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  • How To Utilize Expired Domains

    Monday, August 6, 2018 by
    how to utilize expired domains

    How To Utilize Expired Domains

    If you’ve been thinking about buying a domain name, then you’ve probably come across expired domains. Expired domains differ from a fresh domain in that someone else has owned the domain name before you. In other words, you can receive it after the domain expires. Depending on who the owner was this can either be advantageous or disadvantageous. Whether you’re looking to get a head start in the SEO game, or you found the perfect domain name that you want to build your own site on, you’ll find some value in expired domains. Below you’ll learn what an expired domain name actually is, as well as the various ways you can use them. register domain name

    Why Are Expired Domains Valuable?

    Expired domains aren’t inherently valuable in themselves. But, they become valuable when:
    1. They have a quality link profile,
    2. They aren’t spammy, and
    3. They have some level of relevance to your existing site or new project.
    The biggest challenge you’ll face when looking for expired domains is finding one that meets all three criteria above. For example, if you find a relevant expired domain with a strong link profile, but it’s been used for spam purposes, then using this domain will only hold you back. However, if you’re absolutely in love with the domain name and are looking to build a new brand from scratch, you might be okay with purchasing an expired domain that doesn’t have a strong link profile, We offer more information on how to do proper due diligence on an expired domain in the final section of this post.  

    The Best Ways to Utilize Expired Domains

    Buying expired domains is typically used for SEO purposes, but they can also be used to create a brand new website. Keep reading to learn the four most common ways people use expired domain names:  

    1. Start Your Own Website

    If you’re building your own site with the goal of ranking it in the search engines, then you’re probably familiar with, or have a least heard of, the Google Sandbox. Essentially, this is a period of time where Google won’t rank your site until you have enough authority and trust built up. But, you can skip this process by building your new site on a domain name that already has trust and authority through search engine traffic. This method isn’t perfect, or guaranteed, but it’s usually pretty effective in helping you avoid the sandbox.  

    2. Redirect an Expired Domain to Your Site

    If you’ve found a relevant, high-quality domain, then you can actually redirect this domain to your site. This has the benefit of boosting the authority of your site, so it’ll be easier for you to rank in the search engines. The crux of this strategy relies upon the type of redirect you employ, namely a 301 redirect, and the link profile of your site’s you’re redirecting. If you’re looking to boost your SEO efforts this can be an effective way to do it.  

    3. Buy the Domain to Source Links

    Have you found an expired domain that’s relevant to your existing site? If so, you can purchase the domain and use that domain to source links from. Of course, this is only useful if the expired domain has a strong link profile. With this approach you’ll reach out to the webmasters of every site where the expired site is linked. Let them know they’re linking to an expired resource, and see if they’d be willing to link to your site instead. Not everyone will say yes, but you should be able to pick up a handful of quality links.  

    4. Flip the Domain

    Domain flipping is the process of buying a domain name and flipping it for a profit. You can either buy and flip plain domain names, or entire websites. The crux of this strategy relies upon finding a domain or site that isn’t reaching it’s potential. Let’s say a domain hunter finds an expired website that’s getting traffic, but isn’t being monetized fully, you can buy it, improve it, and sell it again. You can also buy domain names, because they have good branding potential. For example, sites like Brand Bucket have a ton of quality domain names that sell at high fees due to their branding potential. Typically, domains like these are catchy, short, and simple, and can be effectively used by startups and new businesses.  

    5. Build a PBN (Private Blog Network)

    Private blog networks still remain popular in the SEO world. We are not endorsing creating your own PBN, as it’s a pretty risky method to rank your site, but it’s still a common practice. Essentially, the process of building a PBN is where you purchase expired domains that have decent authority. Then, you create content for these sites and link to your main site with a link that you control. Typically, you’ll have a network of these sites, which you host on different accounts, while hiding that you’re the owner of the domain. Starting to understand why this is risky?  

    Where Can I Find Expired Domains?

    There are a number of resources that’ll help you track, find, and purchase expired domains. Some of the most common sites include: If you’ve found a domain name you’d like to purchase make sure you do your due diligence. You’d hate to purchase a domain name only to find out that it has a shady past and can’t be used for your future projects.
    1. Run the site through Archive.org to see what it used to look like.
    2. Run it through a tool like Majestic to see the domain’s authority and trust.
    Keep in mind that if something looks too good to be true, then it probably is. You want to buy an expired domain that used to be a tangible website, not one that was used for a PBN, or something else.  

    Do Expired Domains Make Sense For Your Site?

    Hopefully, you have a better idea of the different ways you can use an expired domain name. The most common approaches are to build your own relevant site, or for use within an SEO campaign.
  • How To Backup A WordPress Site Without A Plugin

    Monday, August 6, 2018 by
    How To Backup A WordPress Site Without A Plugin

    How To Backup A WordPress Site Without A Plugin

    You know that having the option to backup files on your WordPress website is incredibly important. By regularly backing up your WordPress site you have a fail-safe in place in case your site is hacked, or you need to restore your site to a previous version. Without a backup system in place, you run the risk of losing all of your hard work. Still, you might not want to use a plugin to backup your WordPress site. If you prefer to create manual backups, you can be sure it’s backing up the right way. Below you’ll learn the pros and cons of using a WordPress backup plugin for your WordPress site. Then we'll show you how to backup your WordPress site without a plugin. best WordPress hosting

    The Disadvantages of Using a WordPress Backup Plugin

    There are tons of WordPress backup plugins out there. These plugins are generally pretty simple to use and can be quickly configured to run automated website backups for the entire site. For most WordPress site owners using one of these backup plugins will be more than enough. Still, there are some reasons you might want to stay away from a WordPress backup plugin and instead pursue an alternative approach.  

    1. You Want to Minimize Plugin Use

    With multiple thousands of plugins available, it can be tempting to install as many plugins as possible. Even though some are incredibly useful, it’s important to take a minimalist approach to utilize WordPress plugins. The more plugins you have on your site the slower your site will perform, and you have an increased chance of a plugin conflict taking down your site, or a compromised plugin creating a security hole in your site.  

    2. You Want a Customized Backup Approach

    Although WordPress backup plugins can be useful, they tend to have a basic file backup approach. This is especially true for free backup plugins. This isn’t always a bad thing if you have a very simple website, but as your site grows more complex you might want more control over what aspects of your site you’ll back up.  

    3. You Want to Enhance Site Security

    A lot of WordPress users are rightly concerned with the security of their WordPress site. In an effort to minimize the number of third-party plugins and programs that have access to your data, you might choose to conduct backups yourself. That way you’re solely responsible for your website’s data and the secure storage of your backups. Since WordPress plugins have been prone to hacking, by controlling your own backups you improve your levels of security. If you want to avoid using a WordPress backup plugin, keep reading to learn how to backup a WordPress site.  

    How to Backup Your WordPress Site Without a Plugin

    As we reviewed above, even though using a WordPress backup plugin might be easier, it still might not be the best choice for every kind of site owner. Below you’ll learn how you can backup your site without the help of a WordPress plugin.  

    1. Do a Manual Backup

    A manual backup might sound difficult to do. However, you can create your own manual backups from directly within your hosting control panel. The steps below are for HostGator customers. To do this navigate to your cPanel, and find the tool called ‘Backup Wizard’. how to perform manual backups in cpanel for wordpress siteRun the tool and you’ll have an entire backup of your site. You can also use this tool to restore your site to a previous version as well. If you don’t want to use the built-in backup wizard and prefer to find and download your site’s files yourself, then follow the steps below:
    1. Open file manager. Locate the tool called ‘File Manager’ within cPanel.cpanel file manager
    2. Find your site’s directory and download your backup. Locate your WordPress site’s files. They should be under a directory called ‘public_html’. Once you’ve found your site click ‘Select All’. Then select ‘Compress’. You can also chose the type of backup you’ll save, and where you want to save your backup.
    3. Download your WordPress database. You’re not quite done yet! Now, you'll need to download your WordPress database as well. To do this locate ‘phpMyAdmin’ within your cPanel dashboard. phpmyadminWith this tool open, select ‘Databases’ from the navigation bar. Then locate the database that’s associated with your WordPress installation. Open up that database and click the ‘Export’ tab on the top window. Save this file in the same location as your other backups.
    Keep in mind that beyond storing backups on your local computer, you may want to upload your backups to a cloud storage tool like Dropbox too. That way if one of your backups is compromised you know you’ll be covered. Make sure you regularly complete these backups as well. After all, there’s no point restoring from a previous backup if it’s a few years old.  

    2. Backup Your Site via FTP

    The second approach to backing up your site is using FTP. This is probably the least frequently used approach, as it’s more technical. But, some users prefer working via an FTP connection. If that sounds like you, then follow the steps below:
    1. Open up FileZilla
    2. Connect to your site
    3. Locate your site’s files
    4. Download and save
    When you open up FileZilla you may need to show hidden files. There are certain WordPress files that are hidden by default that you’ll need to include in your backup. To do this navigate to Server>Force showing hidden files. Once you’ve downloaded and safely stored your backup you’ll also need to download your WordPress database. To do this you’ll need to login to your cPanel and follow the steps for phpMyAdmin above.  

    What's the Best Approach for Your WordPress Site?

    Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the different approaches you can take to backup your WordPress site. If the entire backup process is too much for you, then consider using WordPress managed hosting. This style of hosting will fully manage, backup, optimize, and secure your WordPress site. Keep in mind the method you use isn’t as important as having a regular backup schedule. If a problem occurs with your site you want to be equipped to restore your site to a previous version.
  • 4 Killer Ways to Convert Your Blog Posts into YouTube Videos

    Monday, August 6, 2018 by
    how to convert your blog posts into youtube videos

    4 Killer Ways to Convert Your Blog Posts into YouTube Videos

    Producing and publishing great blog posts is not enough to grow your business. You also need to promote those blog posts to attract visitors. Don’t stop at sharing a link on Facebook and Twitter, you can also turn that blog post into a video to get more traffic from YouTube. With over 1.5 billion monthly active users watching 1 billion hours of video content per day, YouTube is one of the most effective platforms you can leverage to generate traffic and promote your business online. You spend days writing and crafting the best content for your blog. Yet most of those blog posts often go unnoticed. Repurpose those old blog posts by turning them into videos and easily get started on a video marketing strategy. There’s no need to buy expensive video camera equipment or invest in video production agencies. You can create videos all by yourself without having to spend any money. We’ll show you how. best WordPress hosting

    How To Turn Blog Posts Into Videos

    Surveys show that 81% of businesses who use video marketing in their promotional strategy see an increase in sales. Needless to say, video marketing can bring incredible results for growing a business. However, if you’re a small business or a blogger, finding the time to develop videos can be difficult. You need to write a script, record a presentation, do voice-overs, editing, and much more. Frankly, it’s a lot of work. But you don’t have to go through that process. Simply use your existing blog posts as the foundation to create your videos. Here’s what you should do to get started.
    1. Pick a great blog post.
    2. Make a list of the key takeaways from the blog post.
    3. Create a short script for your video using those key points.
    4. Use free stock video footage or images to create the video.
    5. Add a free background music track.
    6. Then insert your script into the video using text effects.
    Here are a few ways you can use that process to convert your blog post into a video.  

    1. Use Microsoft PowerPoint

    If you don’t have any experience in creating videos, the easiest way to turn a blog post into a video is by creating a slideshow and then convert it into a video. You can do this very easily using Microsoft PowerPoint. Simply create a presentation as you normally would. Add new slides using your blog post text paragraphs and subheaders. Add images and animation effects to your slides. Once your slideshow is complete, go to File > Save & Send > and choose Create A Video. From here you can select a video quality (up to 4K) and export your slideshow as a video. It’s as easy as that.  

    2. Use an Online Tool

    If you don’t have PowerPoint or prefer a different approach to creating your videos, there are plenty of great online tools you can use to turn your blog posts into videos. One of the most popular online video creation tools is Lumen5. blog post to video conversion software lumen5 Lumen5 is a beginner-friendly tool that helps you convert your blog posts into videos with minimum effort. What’s great about this tool is that you don’t even have to write a script, this AI-powered video creation tool automatically grabs the key points from your blog posts and add them into the video within minutes. The free plan offered by Lumen5 allows you to create videos using your blog posts and export them in 480p quality. You can use your own logo and custom brand colors in your videos as well. Lumen5 makes converting blog posts to video extremely easy. But, it has limits. For example, you can’t customize the effects used in Lumen5 videos and the free plan also adds Lumen5 branding to your videos.  

    3. Use a Free Video Editing Software

    Even though it takes more work, creating the video by yourself is the most effective way to promote your brand the way you want. You get to customize the effects, add and edit content as you prefer, and add your own custom branding without having to pay for a tool or a video editor. There are plenty of free video editing software which you can use to create amazing videos all by yourself. For example, Lightworks is completely free to use. Even the big Hollywood directors are using it to edit big-budget films such as The King’s Speech, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Road to Perdition, and more. There are a lot of tutorials available online on how to use Lightworks. You can use those tutorials to quickly learn the basics and start creating videos. Here are some more resources for creating videos by yourself:  

    4. Hire a Freelancer

    If you don’t have the time to use any tools or create videos using blog posts, you can hire someone else to do that for you. Freelancing platforms like Fiverr features plenty of freelancers who specialize in creating different types of videos from explainer videos to product videos, animated videos, and more. You can find a freelancer to convert your blog post into video for a price as low as $5. Of course, the price will differ based on the quality of the video. But, it won’t cost you more than $150 to create a high-quality and entertaining video based on a blog post.  

    Over to You

    Using these strategies, you can convert your blog posts into videos within minutes to upload to your YouTube channel or Facebook page. Make sure to also embed your videos into your blog posts to give you visitors a choice on how they would like to consume your content. Remember, much like growing a blog, growing a video channel also takes time. So, be patient and keep producing videos consistently to attract more subscribers to your YouTube channel and generate more views.
  • Which Payment Methods Should Your Small Business Offer?

    Wednesday, August 1, 2018 by
    which payment methods should your small business offer

    Choosing the Best Payment Methods for Your Small Business

    Your online store is filled with great merchandise, your social media accounts and ads are driving traffic to your site, and your mobile user experience is first-rate. So why aren't more visitors buying what you're selling? Maybe you're not letting them pay the way they want to. If you only offer one or two ways to pay, even if they're popular methods like PayPal or Square, you may be losing customers who expect a convenient checkout, especially when they're shopping on their phones. register domain name

    Do Visitors Want to Use Your Payment Options?

    How do you know if you're losing customers because they don't like your payment options? They probably won't tell you but if they do, consider it a gift you can use to learn more about what do they want. You can also survey your customers, but you're not guaranteed to get responses. One of the clearest indicators that shoppers don't like your payment options is your store's shopping cart abandonment rate, which is the percentage of carts with items in them that get ditched before payment. Overall, the e-commerce cart abandonment rate hovers around 70%, according to the Bayard Institute, which compiles data from dozens of sources. The range is anywhere from 60% to 78%, meaning that at best, more than half of shoppers choose items and then don't buy. Of course, your store's cart abandonment rate may be higher or lower. It's one of the metrics to track so you can see how well your checkout process meets your customers' expectations.  

    Is It Worth Your Time and Effort to Add New Options?

    Bayard found that 19% of shoppers who've abandoned a cart say they didn't trust the site with their card information. Another 8% said there weren't enough payment options. why customers abandon shopping cart So, let's do some quick math: If your store is average, 70 out of every 100 shoppers who add an item to their cart will bail. By adding digital wallet payment options so they don't have to give you their card number, you could convert up to 13 (that's 19%) of those 70 shoppers. And if you add the payment methods your target audience prefers, you could convert another 5 or so (the 8% who want other options). Earning up to 18 more conversions per 100 carts seems like a worthwhile use of your time. Let's look at some methods to consider.  

    Amazon Pay makes discount deals with some merchants

    Amazon announced in May that it's offering Amazon Pay processing-fee discounts in exchange for long-term deals with some merchants. Even if you're not among the big-name merchants to be courted by Amazon with the fee discount, adding Amazon Pay to your store can make it easier for Amazon customers to shop with you without having to key in their payment data in your checkout. Why court Amazon customers, who seem very loyal to that site? The company told trade site PYMNTS.com that 33 million consumers in 170 countries already use Amazon Pay, and about a third are mobile shoppers with an average ticket value of $80. Getting even a sliver of those customers into your store could translate into more sales, especially if they can pay easily.  

    Google Pay now works with Firefox, Safari, and iOS

    Google Pay, meanwhile, also made a big announcement in May. It's now compatible with Firefox and Safari browsers and—importantly, given the number of iPhone users—iOS. Previously, only Google's Chrome web browser and Android devices supported Google Pay. The change means shoppers who visit your store via Firefox, Safari, or their iPhones can use their Google wallets to buy your merch. However, unlike Amazon Pay, which provides customer billing and shipping address information in merchants' checkouts, Google Pay only autofills that information in Chrome. Having to key in data can increase cart abandonment, but the extra convenience and security of not having to enter a card number might make up for that. Google Pay also lets retailers set up loyalty programs, digital gift cards, and deals for customers so everyone can skip the paper and plastic cards. And Google Pay works with PayPal and Visa Checkout for added reach. Perhaps the biggest advantage Google Pay has over Amazon Pay is that it's free. Neither merchants nor shoppers pay extra processing fees to use the service. (Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are also free for merchants to use.)  

    Snapchat's a social media payment tool to watch

    Although these aren't payment processing methods, there's a social media payment tool you may want to keep an eye on for the future. The one to watch is Snapchat's new in-app ticket buying feature, which debuted in June. The soft release with SeatGeek lets users book event tickets within Snapchat stories for the Los Angeles Football Club and the International Boxing Federation. Snapchat's also been trying out in-app branded merch sales and swipe-to-buy features. The features aren't widely available yet, but these tests are worth watching, especially for merchants whose target audience is teens and young adults.  

    Which Payment Methods Are Right for Your Small Business?

    Ultimately, any payment method or tool that makes it easier for your customers to buy from you is worth exploring. As you consider which ones to add, look at their fees (if any), customer base, countries in which they operate, security and fraud prevention, and popularity with your target audience. And be sure to track your cart abandonment and conversion rates to measure the performance of any new methods you add. 
  • 5 Tips to Get More Guest Blog Posts for Your Site

    Wednesday, August 1, 2018 by
    how to get more guest blog posts

    5 Tips to Get More Guest Blog Posts for Your Site

    By accepting guest posts, your brand draws new attention to your site. Guest posting adds a variety of content to your blog and helps you develop meaningful relationships with bloggers. It is also an avenue to drive traffic and keep your readers engaged. “In an era where reputation is everything, it’s incredibly useful to build a network of trusted writers to verify each other’s legitimacy in a given field...When a guest author posts on your site, the author is implicitly agreeing that you’re an authoritative source,” states Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers. Are you ready to get more guest blog posts? Here are five tips to get you started. best WordPress hosting  

    1. Write a Guest Blog Page

    Information is important in our society of technology. Knowing about opportunities empowers people to take action. Your company can attract more guest bloggers by merely announcing your interest. Start by writing a guest blog page. You’ll want to include all your guidelines for submitting a post. State the desired topics, word count, sources, and other standards. Don’t shy away from giving writers every crucial detail. By doing so, you set expectations for your content. Bloggers will appreciate the value you place on high-quality writing. It makes getting their blog post accepted a badge of honor, rather than an item to complete on a long to-do list. In some instances, it may be helpful to include the entire submission process. Check out this example from Entrepreneur below. guest blog contributor guidelines You’ll want to convey to writers the benefits of guest blogging on your site. Will they get featured in your exclusive email list? Or will they receive a small financial reward? Be sure to list all the advantages on your guest blog page. And of course, it wouldn’t hurt to mention all the notable bloggers who’ve already published on your site. This social proof will persuade bloggers to send in their submissions. Be honest and specific on your guest blog page. It’s the first step to receiving superb content from writers.  

    2. Give Guest Bloggers Credit

    Online communities rely on developing quality relationships with individuals. It’s an ongoing give-and-take bond amongst content creators. So, it’s vital that your business shows goodwill too. “Bloggers make up a large percentage of conversations happening on the Internet, especially on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. They can be tremendously influential. Which makes them good friends to have,” says best-selling author Jeff Goins. For writers, giving credit is one of the simplest things your site can do. Set up your blog to add multiple authors, and then ask bloggers to submit a short bio with their post. Providing a bio section is also beneficial to the reader. If they enjoy the post, they may want to read more of the person’s content elsewhere. Plus, it adds humanity to the words. Readers will know that an article wasn’t just pumped out from a content mill; someone actually took deliberate action to write a post to inform or entertain the reader. Get creative when showcasing your guest bloggers. You can invite them to a Slack community that matches their interests. Or refer bloggers to other brands seeking professional writing services. Guest blogging is all about highlighting other people’s expertise. By giving credit, you show your company’s appreciation and become a business ally.  

    3. Add a Guest Post Submission Form

    When you’re seeking guest posts, managing the entire process can become difficult. You have to promote an open call, draft a guest page, and sift through all the submissions. Depending on your brand’s popularity, you may receive a high volume of guest post pitches. And if you’re receiving them all by email that will flood your inbox. Creating a submission form is one solution to this issue. It’s a convenient way to organize all the pitches. Form tools, like SurveyMonkey and Typeform, let you build custom fields and export data into spreadsheets. CoSchedule uses a Google form to capture its submissions. They even require guest bloggers to fill out specific information. guest blog intake form When crafting your form, you’ll want to ask for links to relevant writing samples and why the blogger wants to publish on your site. It helps to get a sense of the person behind the words. Remember to keep the form short by limiting your questions. More blogger details mean more unnecessary work. Don’t bog down your team by accepting guest post pitches via email. You can create a unique submission form to make the process easier.  

    4. Pay Traffic Bonuses

    Money is a motivator for many bloggers. If your site wants to attract the best writers, you may consider offering a few financial incentives. If the blogger is doing more than just writing, like following specific SEO requirements or adding the content to WordPress, it’s a signal to pay the guest blogger. Susan Gunelius, president & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., gives her perspective: “The more you expect a blogger to do, the more you can expect to pay that blogger to charge you to write for your business blog. The reason is simple: the more the blogger has to do, the longer it takes her to complete the project, and she should be compensated adequately for her time.” Financial rewards can take many shapes and forms. You can start with paying traffic bonuses to writers who exceed a particular session goal. Decide how you will track the traffic, maybe a custom URL. Then, the blogger and you can monitor the results on a designated dashboard on Google Analytics. With any financial agreement, you’ll want to draft a contract and speak with an attorney. It will save you the hassle if any problems arise in the future. Sometimes guest bloggers will need more than just exposure. You can up the ante by offering writers a monetary bonus.  

    5. Promote Guest Posts

    Guest posting means nothing if no one gets to read the work. That’s why it’s so essential to promote your blog posts as much as possible. Depending on your business industry, how you publicize your content will vary. You may need to talk about the post in a community forum or syndicate posts on other brand sites. It may even be beneficial to enlist the help of an influencer. Well-known industry leaders can instantly spark people’s curiosity and drive traffic to the content. And don’t forget the power of social media. From Facebook to Instagram, your brand can use these channels to lure in more eyeballs on your guest posts. See below how Prisync promotes on Twitter.   Avoid the desire to splatter your guest posts everywhere. Instead, you want to develop a target strategy. If a post discusses the latest baking techniques, find promotional channels around food and cooking. Promotion is a two-way street. Before asking bloggers to promote on their marketing channels, it’s key that you take the initiative. Promote guest posts like any other piece of content. Work with your team to get the most attention from your target audience.  

    Earn More Guest Post Contributors

    Guest posting is beneficial for your brand and readers. It opens the doors to new relationships, while giving your consumers a different perspective. Ramp up your guest posts by sharing your blogging guidelines. You can entice contributors to participate with financial rewards. And you’ll want to promote guest posts as much as possible. It’s your turn. Start getting more guest blog posts today.