Web Hosting Tips | HostGator Blog

HostGator Blog

Web Hosting Made Easy!

  • 5 Ways To Evaluate The Success of Your Website

    Friday, March 17, 2017 by
    Evaluate Website Success Every website is different. What might be considered successful results for one website may be lackluster for another. To measure your own site’s success, you must first define what success means to you and develop a clear picture of how your website is performing according to these metrics. To start, ask yourself about the purpose of your site. Was it created to sell products? To boost fundraising efforts? To engage consumers in a particular niche? Defining the purpose of your website is essential to defining its success.  

    Setting Good Goals

    Next, you need to set some clear goals that coincide with your website’s purpose.

    Make sure you set S.M.A.R.T goals:

    • Specific: Who, what, where, when, and why?

    • Measurable: They should include numbers and figures.

    • Attainable: Your goal should present a challenge, but not be impossible.

    • Relevant: Does your website goal fit with your overall marketing and business goals?

    • Time-bound: Do you want to reach this goal in a week? Six months? A year?

    As an example, say you’re a business owner who sells jackets online. Your organizational goal is to generate revenue through jacket sales, so one goal of your website is to get visitors to buy jackets (a specific website visitor action). Your goal might be to sell 500 jackets per month through your website (which is both measurable and constrained by a specific time frame), up from the 400 you sold last month (which is challenging, yet realistic).  

    Website Metrics That Matter

    Though the definition of website success will vary from business to business depending on goals, everyone can measure the performance of their website using analytics software. The factors that you measure with analytics are called metrics. According to the Content Marketing Institute, all metrics fall into four categories: Consumption, Sharing, Lead Generation, and Sales. Keep an eye on these key metrics to get a good idea of your website's performance.  

    Consumption Metrics

    Consumption refers to the content that your visitors see and consume when visiting your website. Examples of these metrics include:

    • Page Views: Page view metrics track how many people have seen the pages and content on your website. These are the easiest metrics to find and record.

    • Video Views: Video view metrics track how many people have seen your videos. You can measure these using YouTube Insights, or its equivalent if you use another video host.

    • Document Views: Document view metrics track the number of views for any documents embedded on your site. You can measure these views through document sharing websites like Paper.li and Slideshare.

    • Downloads: Download metrics track the number of times people download your downloadable content.

    Consumption metrics are important because they help you understand how your content is viewed.


    Sharing Metrics

    These metrics measure how many people are sharing your content across the web. Content sharing has become a common indicator of content usefulness and popularity, so these metrics are good indicators of your website's performance. They include:

    • Social signals that people give by clicking social share buttons on your website. They come from sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+.

    • Backlinks. A backlink is created whenever another website links to your site. You can measure this through Google Analytics (or any other analytics software), and through Pingbacks on your blog.

    • Email open rate and forwards. You can measure these through a list management provider like Aweber or MailChimp.

    You can encourage content sharing by using share buttons on your blog posts, articles, and other content. If your blog doesn't have them already, check out websites like AddThis and ShareThis.


    Lead Generation Metrics

    Lead generation is a critical goal for businesses, especially B2Bs. The goal of providing rich content is ultimately to move website visitors down your sales funnel, transforming them from passive viewers to active and loyal followers (and customers). Examples of the metrics you should be paying attention to:

    • Conversion rates: The number of unique site visitors measured against the number of conversions.

    • Form completions and call-to-action downloads: The number of times a visitor signs up for your newsletter, downloads a special report, etc.

    • Blog subscribers: You can measure this via your blog account or through your email marketing provider like Constant Contact.


    Sales Metrics

    If you use your website to sell products and services, then this one probably matters the most to you. Tracking sales metrics usually involves analyzing data within the CRM system you have in place for your business and customers. In order to effectively track sales metrics, you must include trackable components on your website (like a call-to-action to a product landing page). You can also include call-to-actions at the end of blog posts. By doing so, you will be able to track which content on your site is actually driving visitors to purchase your products or services.

  • How You Can Choose The Best Domain Name For Your Blog

    Thursday, March 16, 2017 by

    choose best domain name for your blog

    You’ve decided to start a blog. You know what it will be about, you know who your target audience is, and you’ve drafted a list of individual post ideas you can use to keep up a regular posting schedule. The only thing standing between you and your first published post? You need a domain for that new blog. Suddenly, your new blog project feels a bit daunting. How do you choose a great name when millions of names are already registered? Should you go with .com, .blog, .cat or one of the hundreds of other top level domain options? How do you protect your privacy when you register your domain? What about SEO? Don’t get overwhelmed. There’s a lot of great information online about the best way to select a domain name for your blog, and we’ve sifted through it to bring you the highlights. (We also know a thing or two about registering domain names ourselves.) Here are the 11 most important things to consider as you decide on your blog’s domain name. Create Your Blog  

    Your domain = Your brand

    What’s your blog’s brand? If it’s a blog for your business, it’s part of your business brand. If it’s a personal blog, it will reflect on you personally, whether you’re seeking jobs, promoting your services to clients, or keeping visitors entertained. Take the time to think about the feelings, values, and uniqueness you want your blog to convey, and use that information to guide your domain name choice. [bctt tweet="Your domain name = Your brand. Don't forget that! #branding" username="hostgator"]  

    Keep it short

    Short domain names are easy to remember, type in, and share. Short domain names also display fully on even small screens, an important consideration now that most US digital media consumers browse on smartphones instead of computers.  

    Pass the “radio test”

    If you say your domain name aloud and a listener can type it into their browser, it passes the “radio test.” This is important because, according to both Entrepreneur and Moz, pronounceable domains are easier to remember and more likely to be shared. [bctt tweet="Does your domain name pass the Radio Test? Say it out loud, and people should be able to type it in." username="hostgator"]  

    .com or bust?

    There are so many top level domain options today that making a decision can be intimidating. Here’s a timesaving solution: Go with .com if you can. Even after all these years, .com is still the market leader and .com still appears to have a trust advantage with internet users. However, there are times when an alternate TLD can enhance your domain branding. Someone who blogs about data security, for example, might choose the .tech TLD, and a blogger who reviews monthly product-box deliveries might be able to work .club into the domain name. You can explore TLD options at HostGator partner Domain.com, which offers more than 300 TLDs, including .design, .wedding, and .recipes. Domain Name  

    Keep squatters away

    Cybersquatting is a real problem, and while registering a domain using someone else's trademark is illegal, squatters (and even domain registrants acting in good faith) can create confusion around your domain by registering variants, like the plural version or the same name with another top-level domain. To avoid confusion, you may want to spend a few extra bucks to register domain names very similar to yours and redirect them to your blog. Some real-world examples:
    • Stabucks.com redirects to Starbucks.com
    • HostGators.com redirects to HostGator.com
    • Amazon.sale redirects to the “Today’s Deals” page at Amazon.com
    You may not have the budget to register every possible variation of your domain name, but it’s a good idea to pick up the .info, .net, and .biz versions if you can.  

    Scout social-media availability

    Make sure the domain name is available as an account name in the social media channels you’ll use. Otherwise you’re setting up your blog for visitor confusion and possible trademark battles (see below).  

    Avoid domain name confusion

    You’re not likely to copy or reference the domain name of a major existing brand like Amazon or Starbucks, but you might accidentally step on the toes of a smaller blog or brand. Spend some time online looking for businesses and blogs with similar domain names. Adjust yours, if you need to, to avoid confusion and potential lawsuits. As Rand Fishkin says in the Whiteboard Friday video below, “it's not your judgment. It's not even your audience's judgment. It's what you think a judge in the jurisdiction might have the judgment about.”

    Keywords in your domain name? Maybe

    It makes sense to use search keywords in your domain name as long as they’re part of your brand and you understand you won’t get an SEO value from them. A decade or so ago, the internet was full of generic-sounding keyword-rich domains like CheapCottonShirts.com or RemoteControlCarBlog.com. At best, search engine honchos say keywords in the domain name don’t enhance SEO enough to make the loss of unique branding worth it these days. At worst, Google may even penalize you for it.  

    Hyphens in your domain name? No way

    Take it from someone with a hyphenated name: Hyphens are a hassle. Worse, research shows that a hyphenated domain name can undermine your blog. Not only are they difficult for users to remember and type in, they can also look spammy to search engines. If you’re considering a domain name that only works if it includes hyphens, head back to the drawing board and come up with hyphen-free alternatives. [bctt tweet="Avoid hyphens in your domain names - they're tricky for users and look spammy." username="hostgator"]  

    Protect your privacy

    When you register your domain, you’ll have the option to buy domain privacy protection, which keeps your billing address and name out of the international WHOIS searchable database of domain registrants. With privacy protection, when someone looks up your domain, they’ll see the corporate address of your privacy protection service, rather than your home or business address.  

    Remember to renew

    Depending on the domain registration service you use and the length of time you pay for, you may need to manually renew your domain registration and privacy protection every year or two. This takes only a couple of minutes, but it’s easy to overlook the renewal-notice email, and if you don’t renew within a certain time, your domain name can go dark or be sold to someone else. HostGator helps bloggers and businesses avoid this problem by auto-renewing your domain registration by default.   Take your time choosing your blog domain and remember that if you want something different later on, you can always choose a new domain and 301 redirect your blog to it. Learn more on the HostGator blog about how your blog can make you money and maybe even change your life.
  • 7 Key Ingredients for Every Successful Food Blog

    Wednesday, March 8, 2017 by
    Food blog As a food blogger you’re probably always on the lookout for ways you can more effectively serve your fans and readers. To do this successfully, you need to focus on the design of your food blog and website. Having a poorly designed blog will negatively impact your readers’ experience and your search engine rankings. Put simply, the design of your blog will make or break your success. Luckily, we’re on your side. Below we highlight a few website tips that will take your food blog to the next level. Create Your Blog  

    1. Beautiful Photography

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A picture of a tasty meal you just cooked might be worth a whole lot more. You want your readers to salivate at the meal you’ve just prepared. However, it’s important to not just show the finished product. You’ll also need to show your recipe in stages; but don’t overwhelm your visitors with images either. The goal of your recipe should be to teach users how to make your meal. Do away with anything that takes away from this end goal. Executive Chef of Lucia's in Minneapolis and HostGator customer Alan runs the Forager Chef. His photos are beautiful and striking, as you can see from his Instagram: Forager Chef Instagram  

    2. Mobile-Friendly Website

    If your site isn’t mobile-friendly by now, then you’re missing out on a lot of potential traffic. Chances are your site has already received a penalty and is ranking much lower in mobile search results. Many people utilize the portability of their mobile phones and tablets when cooking. You’ll want to ensure your site looks good and performs well, no matter the device it’s viewed upon.  

    3. A Compelling About Page

    Your About Page is what helps differentiate you from the millions of other food bloggers out there. What makes you unique? Why do you have a passion for cooking? Why do you want to share your recipes with readers? Cooking is a very intimate experience and you will build a much deeper relationship with your readers by letting them get to know you. Tattoo aficionado, fitness fanatic, and HostGator customer Elizabeth Nylund runs GuiltyKitchen.com. In her about page, she shares how a scare with severe idiopathic scoliosis led her to reevaluate the role food and fitness played in her life. Now she helps others forge "elite nutrition" in their lives by providing paleo and organic recipes on her blog. Food Blog about page  

    4. Don’t Cater to Everyone

    Have a specific focus or unique point of view to bring to the kitchen. No one wants to learn to cook from someone who’s trying to cater to everyone on the planet. Are you passionate about vegan recipes? Do you make cruelty-free meals? Are you passionate about cooking with the least amount of ingredients possible? HostGator customer Sara runs The Organic Dietitian. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified LEAP Therapist, her recipes use whole foods and unprocessed ingredients. Organic Dietitian  

    5. Include Pinterest Accessibility

    Pinterest is going to be a huge source of traffic for your blog. Your recipes need to be optimized for sharing on Pinterest. Plus, it’s a good idea to integrate your Pinterest profile into your blog, whether that’s in your sidebar, mentioning it in your posts or both!  

    6. Tested Recipes

    The quality of your recipes are a good way to build trust with your audience. Your recipes not only need to be delicious and easy-to-follow, but they also need to be readable and easy to print out if necessary. You will need to have a blog that uses a readable font, has plenty of white space, and uses formatting to make recipes easily discoverable.  

    7. Easy Reader Interaction

    What happens when a reader runs into an issue with your recipe? What if they have a question about what temperature to set the oven at? Enabling threaded comments is a great way to encourage reader interaction and build a relationship with your readers. They’ll thank you for it and come back for more. Mom of 2, cook, and HostGator customer Cassidy shares gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, and mostly grain free recipes on her food blog Cassidy's Craveable Creations. Many of her readers have special dietary needs, so they've become loyal subscribers: Food blog comment section There you have it! Seven functional ways you can improve the design of your food blog. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!
  • How to Migrate From Shared Hosting to VPS

    Monday, March 6, 2017 by
    Migrate from Shared to VPS We often talk about hosting options in terms of real estate. Your first shared host is much like that apartment you moved into when you were 19 and shared with a few roommates. When one of them, or perhaps a neighbor, decided to blast music or stumble in drunk at 2 a.m., it affected you. Once you moved into your own townhouse after graduation, you had more room and more responsibilities to maintain the space, just as a VPS user does. To keep the analogy going, a dedicated server customer is akin to a homeowner. They’ve got the most expenses, the most space with which to work, and the most responsibility should anything go wrong with their property. College dorms, apartments, rental properties — they’re all steps on the road to home ownership. You’re not ready for a mortgage right out of the gates of undergrad, but each upgrade in living situation takes preparation, and there’s an art to the moving process. Hosting transfers are no different. Here, we’ll talk about how to make the move from a shared hosting plan to a VPS.  

    4 tell-tale signs you’re ready to consider a VPS migration:

    1. Your site is loading super slowly.
    2. You’ve received the 509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded error too many times.
    3. You need to run certain software, and your hosting plan can’t accommodate it.
    4. You’re growing (your traffic, business, profit etc.), and you want more security and support.
    If you’re seeing two or more of these signs coming from your website, it’s safe to say you’re ready for an upgrade. Let’s talk migration steps.  

    Note: Hosts With a Comprehensive List of Services Will Probably Do This for You

    It’s worth noting many of the best web hosts offer various migration services. For example, if you’re already a HostGator customer, you can upgrade at any time by ordering a VPS and requesting a migration transfer. However, this can’t apply if your current web host doesn’t offer VPS plans. This brings up a word of caution I give folks at the beginning of their hosting journey: Consider the long-term goals for your site before signing up for a host. If you aim to surpass the 100,000 visitors/month threshold one day, go ahead and scope out a potential provider’s VPS and dedicated plans early. Even if you only sign up for a shared account at first, choose website hosting services that will help you grow. You want a hosting company with rave reviews for shared, virtual, and dedicated servers because a full-spectrum hosting provider offers more long-term value. This is why hosts like HostGator give customers greater flexibility as they’re building online brands.  

    Step 1a (Optional): Transfer Your Domain to a Domain Registrar

    As someone who’s experienced serious frustrations with domain name transfers, I feel compelled to suggest transferring your domain name to a domain registrar. This step is completely optional, but it may save you a few headaches down the road, should you ever need to switch hosting providers. There’s an obligatory 60-day wait period after initial registration or any subsequent transfer, but then you’re free to reach out to the registrar to which you’d like to migrate your domain. The new registrar should send over an Initial Authorization for Registrar Transfer form and maybe a Confirmation of Registrar Transfer Request form. If you don’t know who your registrar is, you can do a Whois search to find out.  

    Step 1b: Export Your Site Database and Download Site Files

    Now for the formal first steps. Whether you’re running WordPress, Joomla, some other CMS, or none of the above, you’ll need to export your site database and download your site files. If your site uses cPanel, Plesk, or any control panel, you can simply run a backup using their various wizards or backup and restore interfaces: In the case of cPanel, you can back up your entire website, download the backup file, and later upload the file to your new virtual server. Tools like cPanel’s Backup Wizard are ideal for shared hosting customers or those who are nervous about messing with site files directly. Now let’s cover exporting databases manually. Since you’re migrating from shared hosting, you’re probably still using a control panel, so log in and navigate to phpMyAdmin within the dashboard.
    • cPanel → Databases section → phpMyAdmin
    • Plesk → Websites & Domains tab → click “Databases” under “Functions” → WebAdmin
    Select the database that contains your website. If you’re not sure what yours is called, you can check your configuration file (e.g., wp-config.php for WordPress sites, configuration.php for Joomla sites, etc.). Click “Export” at the top of the screen. You should walk away with an .SQL file containing all your site data. To manually download all your site files, including themes, plugins, and media uploads, you’ll use an (S)FTP client like Filezilla, which you can download for free here. Once it’s downloaded and opened, toggle to the File menu and click “Site Manager,” then “New Site.” You’ll need to fill in the following fields:
    • New Site: Enter your site’s name
    • Host: Enter your domain name
    • Port: 22 is the default port for SFTP; leave blank for FTP
    • Protocol: Select one of the options below

      • SFTP → SSH File Transfer Protocol
      • FTP → File Transfer Protocol (select “only use plain FTP” in the Encryption box)
    • Logon Type: Select “Normal”
    • User: Enter your cPanel username

    • Password: Enter your cPanel password

    Click “Connect” and you’re ready to transfer files. There will be a Local Site pane and a Remote Site pane. You’ll want to grab any site files in the Remote Site pane and drag them to the Local Site pane, meaning they’ll be found on your local computer. You can also simply double-click files in the Remote Site pane, and they’ll be downloaded automatically.  

    Step 2: Upload Your Files and Import Your Database to Your New VPS

    Now it’s time to move your files and database to your new VPS. Log into your control panel in your VPS hosting account and open phpMyAdmin again. Click “New Database,” then “Import.” Find the .SQL file you exported earlier and click “Go.” You can also do this via the command line. To upload the site files located on your local computer, you’ll open up Filezilla again and this time double-click the files in the Local Site pane to upload them.  

    Step 3: Point Your IP Address to Your New Server

    You’re almost done! Now it’s time to go to your DNS provider and change the value assigned to the A record (IP address) so that it’s pointing to your new server. This can usually be done with an email to your domain name registrar. And voila! The knick-knacks have been packed and unpacked, boxes loaded and unloaded, and you’re ready to experience the joys of nesting in a new space. I wish you luck as you settle into your new hosting home!  

    Is it time to scale to support your growing business? Choose from multiple VPS hosting plans to find the right fit for your website.

    Experience the power of HostGator VPS!

  • Fix These 8 Things to Give Your Website a Professional Look

    Sunday, March 5, 2017 by
    Make your website look more professional Do you ever find yourself on a website that’s cluttered, hard to look at, or seems like it was designed in the 90s? Most people find themselves immediately skeptical of any information on a website like that. Whether or not it’s fair, we associate our experience of a website with how trustworthy the company is. 75% of users say they make a judgment about a company’s credibility based on their website. [bctt tweet="75% of users say they make a judgment about a company’s credibility based on their website." username="hostgator"] If the website itself doesn’t appear to be high-quality and well thought out, why would anyone believe the company’s work is any better? Your website is the main face of your business for most of your new prospects. You have to make a first impression that gives them every reason to believe your company is legitimate and trustworthy. That means creating a website that conveys professionalism.  

    8 Website Issues That Make You Look Unprofessional

    If you don’t want to lose your prospects’ trust the moment they land on your website, you need to avoid letting anything onto your site that looks sloppy or unprofessional. These are a few of the biggest offenders that could be losing you customers. Recommended WordPress Hosting  

    1. Bad design

    Bad design can mean a lot of different things. It could mean your website’s design looks outdated. It could mean your home page is unattractive due to clutter, or that your navigation is unintuitive. bad website designWhether you have the kind of design problem that causes people to click away the moment they see the website, or the kind that makes them give up after a few seconds of not finding what they need, you have a problem. If you’re getting an alright amount of traffic but have high bounce rates or low conversion rates, then a bad design could be the culprit. What to do about it: Hire a designer. Fixing a design problem requires making an investment in a professional that knows how to design a professional-looking website. Spend some time looking for the right person or design firm. Look at samples of their work yourself and ask friends to do so as well. Do the websites they’ve designed before look attractive and professional? If you think your website looks good, yet are still concerned that it doesn’t seem to be doing its job, you may need a UX designer instead of a web designer. They’ll analyze your website in terms of the actions people take (or don’t) and what changes you need to make so that your website successfully urges people toward your goals. A UX project includes user testing, so you can be confident the website you end up with will be well designed to inspire action in your users.

    2. Broken links

    Any time one of your users lands on a dreaded 404 page, it means they aren’t finding what they need. And if they got to the error page through a link on your website, that disappointment definitely makes you look bad. HostGator 404 Page Broken links are bound to happen over time as websites get updated and pages move, but you should make an active effort to avoid letting any remain on your website for long. Clicking on a link that doesn’t work every once in a while won’t necessarily lose you a prospect forever, but if they encounter multiple broken links? It makes you look sloppy. What to do about it: Find and fix all your broken links. The good news is that fixing broken links is pretty easy. There are free tools out there that will automate the process of finding all the broken links on your site so that all you have to do is go remove the link, or replace it with a URL that works. Make a habit out of looking for broken links every couple of months so you keep your website up to date.  

    3. Bad writing

    Bad grammar, misspellings, and awkward wording all serve as distractions to someone trying to understand what you’re saying on your website. And worse, they tell your visitors that you couldn’t be bothered to proofread or hire an editor. If you didn’t bother with something as basic as that, they may well wonder what else you’re careless about in your business. But even if the grammar and spelling is mostly okay, you could still need to give your website writing a revisit. If you tried to get your website up without hiring a professional copywriter, then you probably didn’t choose the best wording to get your positioning across and drive action. Your words may be technically correct, but not make a clear case for why your visitors should want to work with you. Replacing your current copy with better wording on your website could quickly make your business more attractive to visitors and increase conversions. What to do about it: Proofread the whole website and consider hiring a copywriter. To start, do a read over of the whole website to look for minor errors and ways to improve the language that you can handle on your own. If your read over convinces you that your whole website needs a copy refresh, then look for a local copywriter or marketing agency to bring in and help you improve the writing across the website. Professional copy that’s both correct and persuasive can make a huge difference to how official your website feels and how good a job it does at convincing people to buy.  

    4. Outdated content

    Content marketing usually consists of a mix of evergreen content and blog posts that are timely. If you wrote a blog post five years ago about a product that’s no longer around or highlighted industry news that’s become outdated, there’s no good reason to keep that information on your website. If someone happens upon your post without context, it could make you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about. What to do about it: Perform a content audit. Once a year or so, go back through all your old content to analyze:
    • What content you should scrap.
    • What content is fine to keep, but needs an update.
    • What content works fine as is.
    Performing a content audit will help you get rid of anything you have on the site that’s not working now or that could make your company look bad or untrustworthy. As an added benefit, it will help you better understand what is working so you can improve your content strategy moving forward.  

    5. A bad mobile experience

    bad mobile experienceNearly a third of all online shopping now happens on mobile devices. Businesses can no longer get away with not having a mobile-optimized website. If the visitors coming to your site from a mobile device have a bad experience, not only will they leave, but it also makes you look bad. At this point, they know you should know better. What to do about it: Invest in building a mobile version of your website. You already knew you should have a mobile-friendly version of your website, but if you’ve been dragging your feet on it, here’s a good reason to get it done. A website that doesn’t work on mobile makes you look unprofessional and is probably already losing you business. The good news is that if you’re already planning to hire a designer to help you improve your overall design based on our earlier suggestion, they should be able to create a mobile version of your website as part of the overall web design process.      

    6. Distracting ads

    No matter how great your content is, if there are ads surrounding it that are distracting and make the page look cluttered, it will make your website feel cheap and unprofessional. It is possible to have ads on your website without it being a distraction that loses you credibility, but it’s tricky. If your visitors find the ads obnoxious, you’ll lose their attention and trust and the money you stand to make from the ads will come at a big cost. What to do about it: Either scrap them completely, or make sure your design minimizes how distracting they are. If you have a business model that makes it possible to do away with outside ads, then do so. If you need them to keep your website up, then make sure you design each page on your website in a way where the ads don’t detract from the information on the page. A clean design can go a long way toward keeping the ads from seeming like clutter. And whatever you do, make sure no ads are allowed that auto-play audio. Someone sitting in their office, at a library, or in a public place, will pretty much have to click away within seconds if their computer starts playing audio without warning, and many others will choose to out of annoyance. Don’t lose people based on an amateur mistake.  

    7. Stock images

    Every website needs images and, we get it, stock images are the easiest option. But using stock photos won’t add much to your website and they may even hurt you. If customers see the same image on your website that they encountered on a less reputable site, that can subconsciously influence how much they trust you. People know stock images when they see them and, frankly, they just make you look lazy. What to do about it: Create original images. Original images take more time and work to create, but they convert 45% higher than stock photos. You can hire a professional photographer, or you can put some work into creating stock photos of your own. Buy some basic equipment, experiment some to get the best lighting, and you should be able to produce better photographs than the ones you find on stock image websites. Your visitors will notice the difference.  

    8. No https

    With all the high-profile data hacks that have occurred in recent years, people are reasonably concerned about website security. Any website they hand sensitive information to, like a credit card number, has to earn their trust. The number one thing a business can do to show customers the website is secure is to have that https in the URL field for all pages that ask for sensitive information. PayPal SSL Certificate Without it, savvy consumers will leave your website to find someone more secure to shop with.  If you’re asking for financial information without having https, you’re putting all your customers at risk and giving them every reason not to trust you. What to do about it: Buy an SSL certificate or switch to a web hosting plan that provides one. This is probably the easiest problem to fix on the list. All you need to do is buy an SSL certificate for your website. Some web hosting plans even come with a private SSL included so you might consider if it’s time for a web hosting upgrade instead of buying a certificate outright. When you offer a secure website to your customers, you show them you’re a legitimate business they can trust. It’s a bare minimum for exhibiting the kind of professionalism customers count on.   You can’t assume your business website will be perceived as a professional website just because it represents a business. You have to show visitors your professionalism from the moment they land on your website and earn their trust with every step they take once they’re there. That takes work and means putting some real care into how you present yourself on your website. But the trust you earn from your customers – and the profits that leads to  –make it all worth it.