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  • 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.
  • A Guide To Conducting A Website Safety Check

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by
    website safety check

    A Guide To Conducting A Website Safety Check

    Most people assume that their website will never get hacked...until it does. As a result, many people only think about their site’s security once their site has been compromised. But, security is something you’ll want to take seriously from the beginning. You never know when hackers could be trying to force their way into your website so it's important to protect your site from them in the first place.  There are several ways you can keep your website secure. Some website owners prefer to use WordPress user roles to improve security while others opt for a security plugin. For the purpose of this article, we are going to review the benefits of having a website security checker to protect your site. To ensure that your site’s security standards are up to date with your hosting plan, and you don’t have any existing security issues it’s important to perform website safety checks regularly.  Below we’ll walk you through the process of doing a site security check.  

    How Your Website Can Be Attacked

    Unfortunately, simply having a website can put you at risk for a variety of different attacks and hazards. Here are the most common forms of attacks and hazards you’ll want to be aware of and protect yourself against:
    • DDoS — This type of attack will flood your site with traffic and service requests, which will overwhelm your site and bring it offline.
    • Brute force — This attack uses an application that cycles through password combinations until it finds one that works, and the hacker will have unlimited access to your site.
    • Malware — Malware covers things like viruses, worms, spyware, and more. This type of attack and can steal your information, erase your website data, and even infect people who visit your site.
    • Injection — An injection uses malicious data or some kind of command that will make your force your site to give the hacker access to sensitive information.
    • Scripting — Cross-site scripting lets hackers hijack your website’s traffic, or change it in some way.
    Simply having knowledge of the above types of attacks isn’t enough. You need to proactively protect your website and any users who are interacting with it by adopting a safety plan. Below you’ll learn how to conduct a website safety check to ensure your current site is secure, and take steps to protect from any future attacks. HostGator SiteLock Malware Protection

    Conducting a Website Safety Check

    The goal of a security check risk assessment is to identify any security vulnerabilities before they become actual issues. After all, you can only fix security issues if you know they’re there in the first place. Follow the steps below to find and fix and existing security holes.  

    1. Update Your Current Site

    Before you begin doing any security checks it’s a wise idea to update your current website. If you’re running WordPress, then make sure your WordPress core, themes, and plugins are all up to date. This will help keep you safe from existing vulnerabilities and hazards that the updates have been created to protect against.  

    2. Remove Any Older Accounts

    If your site has been live for a long time, then chances are, you might have some user accounts that are no longer in use. These accounts might have weaker passwords and be easier to crack, or they might belong to people no longer associated with your site. Go through any older accounts that have access to your site and delete them, or change the user permissions, so they don’t have access to the entire backend of your site.  

    3. Do a Security Scan

    Now, it’s time to run your site through an online security scanner to check for any issues. There are a variety of both paid and free tools you can use to keep your website safe. If you’re just getting started with security optimization, then you can use one of the free tools below: Input your URL into any of the above tools. The software will check your site for any known security issues and give you a report that shows things you can fix. securi site scan   4. Fix Any Issues If any issues are detected, we recommend that you fix these as soon as possible. The free tools above will only give you a quick check to known errors. If you want a detailed report, then you’ll have to pay for an in-depth security screen. If you use HostGator for your web hosting, we recommend Sitelock. However, the free scan will be enough for most website owners.  

    5. Use an Ongoing Solution

    Even if the scan above revealed that your website is secure and free of malware and other issues, it’s still a good idea to take the necessary steps for ongoing site protection. There are a variety of tools out there that will regularly protect your site, and perform regular malware scans, and backups in case something unfortunate happens. If you’re a WordPress user, there are a few WordPress security plugins you should consider:  

    Secure Your Site. It's Important.

    Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the common ways your site can become compromised, and the steps you can take to improve your site’s security, and the benefits of using a website security checker For further questions regarding our web hosting packages and protection services, please give our customer service a call today.
  • 5 Reasons To Shorten Your URL Structure

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by
    reasons to shorten your url structure

    5 Reasons To Shorten Your URLs

    Your URL is one of the most fundamental aspects of your SEO strategy. However, it’s such a small task it can be easy to overlook. Chances are you’ve come across a website where the URL screamed spam, but it was just a regular site. Or, maybe you haven’t taken the time to optimize your own URLs and you’re giving off the same vibe. Your URL is one of the first things your website visitors will see. Even though it’s subtle, it will go a long way towards making a good first impression. Below we explore five reasons you’ll want to shorten links and optimize your URL structure and show you how to do just that. register domain name

    5 Reasons Why Shorter URLs Are Better

    Before we dive in, it’s important to note that we’re not going to be talking about using URL shorteners. These tools help you generate a short and clickable URL that can be used for tracking and monitoring other metrics. Instead, we’ll be focusing on the benefits of cleaning up and shortening the structure of your existing URLs, and the benefits your site will receive when you have shortened URLs.  

    1. Improved Search Engine Rankings

    The structure of your URL will influence your site’s rankings. It is not a direct ranking signal, but it does carry important qualities, which can end up influencing your rankings. For example, by including your keyword in your URL you give Google and your readers a better idea of what your page is about. You don’t want to go crazy and stuff your URLs will all kinds of keywords. But, by using your target keyword in shortened URLs, it’ll give the search engines and your user's cues to the topic of your page. Chances are high that most pages ranking at the top of Google will have the keyword within the URL.  For example, check out the search results for the term “affiliate marketing”. Every single top ranking post has the keyword “affiliate marketing” within the URL: google search results for affiliate marketing showing URL

    2. Greater User Trust

    Like we mentioned in the introduction, sites that have long URLs filled with strange characters just look spammy. With a clean URL, your site looks much more authoritative and trustworthy. Aim to have all of your site’s URLs pass the readability test. Read your URL out loud. Does it sound confusing, or can you generally guess what the page is going to be about? This also includes minimizing the use of any subdomains and subfolders. The cleaner your URL reads, the more likely your users are to trust your website.  

    3. Enables Easier Site Growth

    As you continue expand your site you’re probably going to have more and more categories, pages, and sections throughout. By shortening and simplifying your URL structure you’ll make navigating and expanding your site much simpler. If you have long and confusing URLs it’ll be harder for the search engine bots to crawl your site, and you’ll have greater difficulty creating a logical and intrusive website experience. With short URL links and simple categories and URLs expanding your site will be easy.  

    4. Shorter URLs Make Sharing Easier

    Short URLs make it easier for your readers to share your content. Think about it, if you have a long and confusing URL, it is going to look weird when shared across Facebook, Pinterest, or in an email. Not to mention the fact that it’ll be less memorable. What are you most likely to share? http://example.com/shoes ohttp://example.com/all-the-shoes/red-shoes/pageone.jghfp=p6 I’m guessing you’d go with the first one every single time.  

    5. Align Your Content With User Expectations

    Another aspect of shortening and optimizing your URLs or URL redirects has to do with user expectations. You want your URLs to give insight into what your page is about. Typically, you’ll want to match your page title and your URL structure. They don’t have to be a perfect match, but you’ll want your reader to come to a logical conclusion about the topic of the page simply by looking at the URL.  For example, if you have a post called The 10 Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes of All Time, your URL could be yoursite.com/best-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipes. It’s not a perfect match, but it’s short, simple, and relates to the topic of the main page. Your URL will create an expectation for your page, and your page’s headline and content will deliver on that expectation. This creates a solid user experience through and through.  

    Make Your Life Easier with a Shorter URL Structure

    Overall, shortening and improving your URL structure doesn’t have to be difficult. When shortening your own URLs just think logically. Ask yourself, what would make sense for this URL? And of course, if you’ve done your keyword research, then use those keywords accordingly. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of why shortening your existing URLs can be a game-changer for SEO, user experience, site structure, and more! If you have any further questions about your website or our hosting services, please give our customer service a call today.
  • The 7 Best Domain Name Suggestion Tools

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by
    best domain name suggestion tools

    Best Domain Name Suggestion Tools

    You've finally come up with the perfect domain name. You’re unbelievably excited until you head over to a domain name registrar and find that your dream domain is gone. Choosing the right domain name and finding a trusted hosting service plan is the first step in building your new site. But, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your website name and associated domain it needs to be catchy, short, memorable, and (most importantly) relate to what your website is about. If you’re stuck during the brainstorming phase or want a generator tool to help simplify the process, then this post is for you. register domain name

    Best Domain Name Suggestion Tools

    Below we highlight the best domain name suggestion tools to help you find the perfect domain name.  

    1. Namestation

    namestation Namestation is a great tool if you need a domain name generator. You enter the niche of the type of website you’re building, and the keywords you’d like in your domain, then let the tool do its thing. You can also check the box that says "I need an available domain", and the tool will only show you domains that are currently available for purchase. If you want to get the feedback of the community, then you can create an account and hold a contest. Once you create your content all the community members will be notified and vote on their favorite entries. You’ll be notified once 10 people have cast their votes.  

    2. Domainsbot

    domainsbot Domainsbot is a unique tool in that it gives you a variety of different search options for domain name ideas. First, you’ll be able to search for something similar to an existing website, like "meditation.com," or you can enter a keyword or series of keywords like "learn meditation." With your seed domains or keywords in place, the tool will give you an initial domain name suggestions list. You can filter this further by searching only for specific TLDs, languages, synonyms, and more. This tool will also search for expired domains and domains that are currently owned by third-parties and selling for higher prices via marketplaces like Sedo.  

    3. NameTumbler

    nametumbler NameTumbler lets you enter a series of different keywords. The tool will then find various keyword and topic combinations to help you find a great domain name. You can also choose to look for domain combinations that use a certain top level domain like .com or .net. Then, you’ll be given a list of potential domain names to choose from.  

    4. Domainr

    domainr Domainr kind of acts like a search engine. You input your keyword, or series of keywords into the search bar, and choose your domain from the drop-down list. You’ll see the suggested domain names that are available highlighted in green, which you can purchase today. This tool will show you results that have a variety of different domain name extensions. Although some of them aren’t as great as the classic .com, you might be able to find something short and very brandable.  

    5. Lean Domain Search

    lean domain search Lean Domain Search does exactly what it sounds like, it helps you discover a short and simple domain name through its keyword tool and domain name generator. Just enter your chosen keyword into the tool and you’ll get an entire list of domains that feature that keyword. If it’s a popular keyword then you’ll find modifiers either before or after your keyword. The best part about this tool is the volume of results it provides. For just a single search, you’ll have hundreds of options for potential domain names.  

    6. Nameboy

    nameboy Nameboy will help you find the perfect domain name based upon your target keywords. You can enter either one or two keywords to uncover a unique domain that combines the two. The results will give you around 30 different results and show which of the domains using your keywords are still available. The results will show you results for domains with the .com, .net. .org, and .info extensions. The best part about these domain results are that the tool will keep them as simple as possible, so you won’t end up choosing a long and difficult to remember domain.  

    7. Panabee

    panabee Panabee will provide you with a massive selection of domain name choices based upon the keywords you’ve provided. You’ll get a ton of results that include multiple varieties and combinations of your keywords, plus a lot more. With each domain, you’ll also see the price for purchasing the domain. There are even additional sections that provide related keyword domains and also show which social media names are available if you want to build a cohesive online presence.  

    Ready to Get Your Domain Name?

    Hopefully, the seven tools above will help you choose the right domain name of your dreams. then, once you've settled on a domain name, you can purchase it easily with HostGator!  get custom domain name from hostgator Remember that choosing your domain name isn’t something you’ll want to rush. Use your own creativity and the tools above to land on a domain you can build a successful website around. For any further questions regarding our WordPress hosting services or web hosting packages,  please give our customer service a call today. Whether you are maintaining a corporate e-commerce site or you’re still in the early stages of development, our experienced staff can help you with any questions you may have on website building and maintenance.