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  • 5 Best WordPress Calendar Plugins

    Thursday, June 28, 2018 by
    best wordpress calendar plugins

    Best WordPress Calendar Plugins

    Calendar plugins can be a very useful addition to your WordPress site. You can help to showcase your live events, manage bookings, and a lot more. Some plugins are better suited for managing your events, while others offer complex booking and scheduling options. Luckily, running WordPress means you have a ton of options at your disposal, both free and paid. But, since calendar plugins are so popular, it can be difficult to find the right plugin for your needs. Below we highlight five of the most popular WordPress calendar plugins, so you can easily find and use the right plugin for your needs. best WordPress hosting

    1. The Events Calendar

    the events calendar wordpress plugin The Events Calendar is a very popular free plugin. It’s clean, simple, intuitive, and easy to use, and is one of the most downloaded WordPress calendar plugins. With this plugin, you can easily add events to your site, along with different venues and organizers. You can even integrate Google Maps to make it easy for your viewers to find your event. There’s also a premium version of the plugin which adds support through WooCommerce, and gives you additional features like selling tickets through your site, creating recurring events, and a lot more. The premium version currently costs $65.  

    2. My Calendar

    my calendar wordpress plugin My Calendar is a free and feature-rich event management plugin. It offers you a ton of different options, so you can decide exactly how you want your events to display. You can integrate multiple calendars, create calendars for specific categories, add locations, create events groups, and a lot more. With the short code generator, you can display your events wherever you’d like, in your posts, sidebars, or even on its own page. When creating an event you’ll be able to adjust options like the event description, add images, set the event host, add the time, and more. Finally, you’ll also have the ability to customize the look of your events and your event calendar from within the plugin’s settings. If you’re looking for more, there are various premium extensions, which will allow you to easily sell tickets for your events.  

    3. Events Manager

    events manager wordpress plugin Events Manager is another very popular WordPress events plugin. It offers a ton of different features like the ability to integrate with Google Maps and Google Calendar, multiple display options, and a lot more. This plugins also lets your users register for events, and you can easily create recurring events as well. If you want to add a social element to your events you can integrate the plugin with BuddyPress to add discussion feeds, user feeds, and a lot more. There’s also a premium version of the plugin available if you require even more feature and functionality. When you upgrade the plugin you’ll get access to additional features that allow you to accept payments, offer coupons, and create custom booking forms.  

    4. Simple Calendar

    simple calendar wordpress plugin Simple Calendar is another plugin that integrates with Google Calendar. This plugin is similar to the Google Calendar plugin above, except it offers even more customization options. With this plugin installed all you need is your Google Calendar feed URL. Then you can import your upcoming events and start customizing. With this plugin, you have a shortcode that you can use to display anywhere across your site. If you know any CSS, you can customize the look of your events calendar with custom stylesheets. The plugin is even fully responsive, so your events will look good no matter the screen size they’re viewed upon. There are also premium add-ons available, which unlock additional features like color-coding events, adding more events details, and getting more attendance and registration options.  

    5. All in One Event Calendar

    all in one wordpress calendar plugin All in One Events Calendar packs a ton of useful features into an easy to use interface. Right out of the box you have three different themes to display your calendars. Some of the features include adding events, adding category sorting, adding theme venues via Google Maps, adding event descriptions and a lot more. Plus, you can sync your events with any app that supports iCal format, like the Google Calendar. There are a variety of add-ons available that will give you access to additional features like a front-end submission form, being able to embed your calendars into other platforms like Facebook, and the ability to sell tickets from your site. Hopefully, you find one of the plugins above useful in integrating an awesome calendar with your WordPress site.
  • How To Find Out Who The Domain Owner Is

    Monday, June 18, 2018 by
    How To Find Out Who The Domain Owner Is

    How To Find Out Who The Domain Owner Is

    Choosing a domain name and then finding a suitable hosting plan are the first step in launching your dream website. However, choosing the perfect domain name can be a lengthy process. You’ve spent time brainstorming domain names, have tried different domain suggestion tools, and you’ve finally found the perfect one. You go to register your domain and find that it’s already been registered. This doesn’t have to be the end of the road. You can figure out who the owner of the domain is and get in touch to see if they’d be willing to sell it. You might pay a bit more than registering a fresh domain, but getting that perfect domain could be worth it. Below you’ll learn the benefits of uncovering who owns a domain name, and how to do exactly that. register domain name

    Why Do People Buy Domains?

    A lot of people buy domains without actually using them. If you’ve found a domain that’s registered, but the site is empty or has a landing page provided by a hosting company, then there’s a solid chance the domain is available for purchase. In some cases, you’ll be able to purchase the site entirely, even if it’s already built-out. Maybe the owner decided to move onto other projects and hasn’t updated the site in quite some time. If this is the case, you should expect to pay a higher domain name price, but if the traffic levels are low the number won’t be outlandish.  

    The Benefits of Knowing Who Owns a Domain

    Before you begin the process of digging to find the owner of a domain name, it’s important to understand why you’re doing it. Being able to look up who owns a domain name can be very useful for a few reasons:  

    1. To Get in Touch With a Domain Name Owner

    If you want a purchase a domain that’s already registered, then you’ll need to get in touch with the owner. By finding out who the owner is you can inquire about purchasing the domain name.  

    2. To Uncover the Ideal Time to Reach Out

    By using WHOIS database information you’ll be able to see when a domain is about to expire. This can help you time your bid, so you can reach out with an offer right before the domain is set to expire, or needs to be renewed.  

    3. Correct Your Own Information

    If you’ve already registered a domain name in the past, then you might want to verify that your domain name information is accurate. This is especially true if you’ve purchased domains with the intent of selling them down the road.  

    How to Find Out Who Owns a Domain Name

    Finding a domain name owner’s information isn’t that difficult. To do this, we’re going to be using the website called WHOIS. This site essentially answers the question: who owns a certain domain name or IP address? Whenever someone registers a domain name they must provide relevant contact information. To perform a domain lookup navigate to the site: https://whois.icann.org/en, and enter the domain name you’d like to lookup. find out who owns a domain name As long as the domain owner isn’t using a proxy or domain privacy service to shield their information, then you’ll be given relevant contact information. Usually, you’ll find information like:
    • Where they registered their domain
    • The owner's email address and phone number
    • The domain expiration date
    • When the domain was registered
    You’ll find more information about the IP address as well, but the above elements will be the most useful to you.  

    I’ve Found the Domain Owner, Now What?

    If you’re still interested in making an offer for the domain name, then you’ll have a few different options. The first is reaching out to the owner via email and expressing interest in buying the domain name. The second is using a domain name broker who will handle the negotiation and transfer process for you. There are services like Sedo, which will handle the entire process on your behalf for a fee, or you can use the HostGator domain tool and place an offer directly through the site. In cases where the domain owner’s information has been hidden, your best bet is to get in touch through the site’s contact form.   

    Conclusion

    Hopefully, you have a better understanding of how you can use the Whois lookup feature to find the owner of a domain name. If you run into a domain name owner who either isn’t willing to sell the domain or is asking too much that means it’s time to cut your losses and continue your domain search. With hundreds of thousands of potential domain names still available, and a multitude of top level domains to choose from you’re bound to find the right domain for your needs.
  • How To Use WordPress User Roles To Improve Security

    Monday, June 18, 2018 by
    how to use wordpress user roles to improve security

    How To Use WordPress User Roles To Improve Security

    If you’re just a single person running your site, then you probably haven’t thought twice about WordPress user roles. However, if you ever want to give someone else access to your site, now or into the future, then knowing how to use these is paramount. Essentially, with user roles, you can give people access to certain areas of your site. With this, you only give them access to the portions of the site they require to do their work. Below you’ll learn what WordPress user roles are, why they’re important, and how using them alongside your supportive web hosting service can help to improve your site’s security. best WordPress hosting

    What are WordPress User Roles?

    WordPress is equipped with a role management system that allows you to specify what users can and can’t do on your website. As your site grows knowing how to use WordPress user roles is absolutely invaluable. Each role can be specified based on certain capacities. For example, you can give one user the role to publish a post, while you can give another a role to update your WordPress security plugins and themes. In total there are six default user roles you can use.  

    1. The Administrator Role

    You’re probably already familiar with the administrator role. It’s the role you’ve been assigned when you created your site. Usually, there is only one administrator role and it has access to everything related to your site. They can even conduct a website safety check to ensure the site is free of any malicious malware or viruses.  This role is very powerful and you should rarely give anyone this high-level access to your website.  

    2. The Super Admin Role

    There is a user role that’s technically one step higher than the admin role and it’s called the super admin role. The super admin role only applies when you have a network of connected WordPress sites using the WordPress multisite installation. This role is responsible for the entire network of sites and has the same privileges and permissions as an admin, but it extends out across the entire network of sites. If you have a super admin role, then the role of the admin is diminished and you can no longer modify or install plugins and themes, or change user information.  

    3. The Editor Role

    The editor role has pretty high-level access to your site. This role is responsible for content management, so they’ll be able to do things like creating and editing pages and posts. Along with moderating comments and changing categories. They won’t have access to plugins or themes, but everything related to publishing content is under their jurisdiction and capabilities.  

    4. The Author Role

    The author role is responsible for creating content. They’ll be able to create, edit, and publish posts, but that’s about it. They won’t have access to any pages and will have no level of administrative access.  

    5. The Contributor Role

    The contributor role has even less access than the author role. With this role, they’ll be able to read the posts on the site, plus edit and delete their posts. This role doesn’t allow post publishing or the uploading of media files.  

    6. The Subscriber Role

    The subscriber role is commonly used for subscription-based sites. Subscribers usually have access to a stripped down WordPress dashboard where they’ll be able to manage their own profiles. This role is useful if you want users to sign up to gain access to certain content.  

    Why User Roles Matter

    When your site grows and you have multiple people working in the backend of your site, you need a way to manage these users without getting overwhelmed. User roles are important for two reasons: 1. They can simplify your workflow. If you have a developer who maintains your plugin functions and themes, a team of writers, and an editor you can assign them specific roles based upon the job they’re doing. This will make their jobs easier and prevent them from accessing parts of the site not related to their work. 2. They make your site more secure. By defining user roles you’re giving people access to limited portions of your site. The last thing you want is an untrusted user installing plugins, or themes, or modifying your existing code.  

    How to Use WordPress User Roles to Improve Security

    By assigning different users roles based upon how they’ll be using your site, you will help ensure your site's overall security. When you give every single site user an admin role you essentially give them full access to your site. Even though you might trust the person you’re assigning an admin role to there are things that can still compromise the security for your site. For example, they could be using a password that isn't very secure. In that case, if the password is hacked then whoever is doing the hacking will have a full range of your site. However, if you’ve assigned them a specified user role (such as author or contributor) the damage the hacker will be able to do is minimal. You also never know if another person’s computer is infected. They might not even know, but their computer could have malware or another virus installed. If you give them admin access, instead of a defined user role, this puts your site at risk. In these specific cases, it is also critical that your virus removal tool runs routine website security checks as well.  Overall, by specifying user roles you end up improving the security of your site and help to safeguard it against any user errors. Hopefully, you see the advantages of utilizing WordPress user roles as your site grows. It’ll not only improve your overall workflow but will improve your security in the process.
  • Benefits of Using A Website Security Checker

    Monday, June 18, 2018 by
    benefits of using a website security checker

    Benefits of Using A Website Security Checker

    Website security isn’t usually something we think about until it’s too late. Think of securing your website like securing your home where things like locks, security cameras, and alarm systems help to keep you protected. The same can be said for your website. By using a website security checker and a reliable hosting company you’re keeping your website secure, which not only benefits your website but your users as well. Below you’ll learn what a website security checker actually does, and the benefits it can bring to your website.  

    What Does a Website Security Checker Do?

    A website security scanner will regularly check and monitor your site to look for any security weaknesses. Typically, these scans happen on a regular basis and a security tool will check for known threats, malware, and blacklists to ensure there aren’t any issues. If a problem does arise, say your site is infected with malware, you’ll receive an alert and be given the best course of action to take to clean up and protect your site. Most of these tools will also be able to remove any viruses, malware, and other security threats that might be compromising your site. Unless you’re a security expert, finding and removing these is going to be near impossible. Most website security scanners will also be equipped with features like:
    • Regular site backups, in case you need to restore your site to a previous uninfected version.
    • An integrated firewall to protect your site from SQL injection attacks, DDoS attacks, and dreaded comment spam.
    Put simply, a website security checker will regularly scan your site for security issues, remove any malware or other threats, and employ different tactics to keep your site safe and secure on a regular basis.  

    4 Benefits of Using a Website Security Checker

    Without a website security checker, you’re leaving your site open to attack. Hacking does happen, and it can have some unfortunate consequences if you’re the target. Keep reading to learn about the biggest benefits you’ll receive when you use a website security checker:  

    1. No Chance of a Reputation Nightmare

    Keeping your visitor’s trust is important. There are a lot of things you can do to improve visitor trust, like having an authoritative design, producing high-quality content, creating an intuitive user experience, and never spamming. However, even if you’re doing all of these, having your site hacked is a one-way ticket towards destroying all that trust you’ve built. This is why protecting your site is key.  Imagine a visitor goes to your site while your traffic is being hijacked and they’re sent to a site that installs malware on their computer. Or, imagine you go to your site and your links all redirect to a spammy site. Or, even worse, imagine a hacker steals all of your sensitive customer data. All of these scenarios are real. But, they can be protected by using a website security checker. This security tool will help to protect your site from the above issues and more. If a web security threat arises it’ll be taken care of before it becomes an issue.

    HostGator SiteLock Malware Protection2. Regular Protection From Security Vulnerabilities

    There are a lot of threats out there on the internet. Most websites aren’t 100% protected, as most software and CMS have security vulnerabilities. By keeping all of your software, plugins, themes, and apps up to date you’re defended against known security risks, but what about unknown risks? With a security checker, you’re protected against present and future risks - all without having to take care of it yourself.  

    3. Complete Peace of Mind

    Imagine being able to rest at complete ease knowing your site is always protected. With a website security checker, you’ll never have to worry about logging into your site, only to find it compromised. It’s simple. Your site will always be protected, and you don’t have to lift a finger. Just let the software do its job.  

    4. Improved Site Performance

    If your site is experiencing a DDoS attack or has a malware infection, it will not function properly. In some cases, it won't function at all. A website security checker will not only protect against threats that’ll slow down your site but usually, there are built-in features that’ll improve your site’s performance as well. For instance, by utilizing a CDN you’re not only improving the web security of your site, but you’re improving its performance as well.  

    Stay Secure with a Website Security Checker

    Using a website security checker will help to keep your site safe and secure without any added work on your end. Remember, it’s never too early to start thinking about the security of your site. For HostGator customers, we recommend Sitelock. It doesn't just scan for malware; it removes it immediately. Keep in mind that a website security checker is one of many options you can use to keep your site secure. Some users prefer to use WordPress user roles and other tools along with their security checker to stay protected.  For further recommendations on WordPress security plugins and virus removal tools, call our customer service today.
  • How To Make A Profit Buying & Selling Websites

    Monday, June 18, 2018 by
    how to make a profit buying and selling websites

    How To Make A Profit Buying & Selling Websites

    Did you know you can start making money just by buying and selling websites? Creating a profitable website from scratch can be difficult. But, there is a way to shortcut the process. It involves buying existing website domains and flipping those for a profit. The process of buying and selling websites is similar to the process of buying and flipping homes. Just like there’s a major upside, there will be some inherent risk involved. The smart website flipper will look for undervalued websites that can be improved with minimal time and money invested, then sell those for a larger fee. Below you’ll learn the ins and outs of buying and selling websites, so you can start a new side hustle, or give yourself a leg up earning an income online. register domain name

    1. Know Your Time and Money Limits

    Before you even think about buying a website you’ll want to take inventory of how much you can afford to invest, and how much time you can spend improving your new site. Buying a website and its hosting services is an investment, so you should only spend what you can afford to lose. There are no guaranteed investments, no matter how attractive the website may seem. Once you have your number, think about how much time you have to actually work on your new site. Chances are you’ll be buying a relatively passive website, but you’ll still want to improve certain things if you’re looking to sell.  

    2. Look In The Right Niches

    When looking for sites to buy, the niche you choose is important. Don’t choose a site that’s based on a timely topic or a passing fad. You might have heard of the term evergreen content before, but essentially it’s a type of niche that’s consistently popular and will be over the long-term. This includes niches within the following spaces:
    • Health and wellness
    • Money and finances
    • Sports and hobbies
    • Relationships and personal growth
    The above niches can expand out into multiple sub-niches as well. Don’t just think about the big overarching topics like health. Consider sub-topics like weight loss for moms who just had a baby or fitness for men over 40.  

    3. Finding Websites to Buy

    When you’re buying a site there are certain performance indicators you’ll want to look for. Here are a few criteria you can use for evaluation:
    • The website has been generating consistent revenue
    • The income is generally passive (meaning it’s not entirely ad-based)
    • It has upside potential. You can maximize the traffic, types of revenue, existing content and design, and more.
    When looking for sites to buy, expect to pay a multiple of the monthly (or yearly) income. On average, you can expect to pay a 12-18x multiple of the monthly income, although this figure does vary. You can usually get a newer and unproven site with a higher monthly revenue for less than a site that’s been a long-term consistent earner. Here are some of the most common places to find websites you can buy:  

    4. Do Your Due Diligence

    Once you’ve found a website you like it’s time to do your due diligence. This includes things like:
    1. Determining why they’re selling the site. Has it been flagged by Google? Has the interest in the niche been slowly declining? Or, are they simply tired of the site and want to move onto something new?
    2. Look for proof of revenue and traffic. Usually, you can verify traffic levels with Google Analytics and other tools.
    3. Do you trust the seller? Some sites have user profiles with feedback, ratings, and more.
    4. Examine their link profile. Are the links purchased, or are they white hat links? If the site relies on SEO, can you keep both the link quantity and quality up?
    Ideally, you’ll speak to the seller and ask them these questions in person, along with evaluating things like traffic and income reports. Some of the platforms highlighted above offer broker services that can help you evaluate the site. Other platforms also thoroughly vet every site before they even list it, so you can be sure it’s high quality.  

    5. Make an Offer

    If you’ve found a site you like and have done the proper background check, then it’s time to make an offer. Here's a helpful way to find out how much your website is worth Some website listing sites will have a price listed, but for others, you’ll simply make an offer. If this is the case, then you’ll want to start with a lower offer, but don't low ball. Starting at 70% of the asking price gives you some wiggle room, especially if there are some negative things you were able to uncover about the site.  

    6. Improve the Website

    Once you’ve purchased the site and it’s been transferred to your name it’s time to get to work and prepare for potential buyers. Your goal should be to grow your monthly profit as high as possible. This may involve doing things like:
    • Improving the content strategy and SEO to rank for more keywords and improve the traffic
    • Explore more affiliate opportunities, or negotiate better deals
    • Growing things like social media and paid advertising to further grow revenue
    • Creating and nurturing an active email list
    Overall, you should try to optimize the traffic and income as much as possible, while removing yourself from the equation. A site that takes less time to run and maintain will go for more than a site that takes 40 hours a week to run.  

    7. Sell The Site

    With your site fully optimized, it’s time to sell your site. The easiest way to start flipping websites is to head back to the same platforms where you originally purchased your site. You can also sell your site directly or through industry forums. When selling your site you’ll want to be as honest as possible. Keep detailed records of your revenue, and traffic numbers to show to potential buyers. Finally, it’s always a good idea to use an escrow service when receiving payment for your site. Most of the marketplaces have built-in escrow services, but if you’re selling the site on your own it can be helpful to use a third-party service. Hopefully, you have a better idea of what it takes to buy and sell websites for a profit. It’s time-consuming and the money isn’t guaranteed, but if you get good it can be a lucrative way to make a living online.