How to Monitor the Health of Your Website

How to Monitor the Health of Your Website

If you aren’t monitoring your website health, you could be at serious risk and not even know about it. There are viruses and hackers at large every day online and they are looking for sites to attack. Even if you don’t have problems with a hacker, your site could be experiencing website issues that can be remedied to ensure that you give the best results to your users as well as get the best rankings possible in the search engines.

What Should You Look For?

There are so many things you can look for when you are checking your website’s health. These things include:

  • Management
  • Content & Features
  • Strategic Issues
  • Marketing & Promotion
  • Usability & Design
  • Revenue and Savings
  • Technical Issues

For your site to be functioning at its best, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of the website. If you aren’t paying attention, you may find yourself dealing with a major technical problem that has your site down for days or there may be a big design flaw on your site that you don’t notice.

Whatever is going on with your site, you need to make sure that you know about it so that you can quickly fix the problem and ensure that your site is up and running.

One of the tools that you can use to make sure that your site is up and running and your hosting isn’t taking a break is a uptime status checker. When you use one of these tools, you will be able to tell if your site has gone down or if you’ve had a perfect uptime. If you notice that your site has been down, you are probably experiencing issues with your host. If you have host issues, you should contact them right away to ensure that these are fixed immediately.

When your site is down, you are losing potential subscribers and leads which means you are losing the ability to convert them into customers and so the final conclusion is that you are losing sales.

Google Analytics

Did you know that Google gives you powerful analytic tools to use for your site for free? You can check almost any metric you want to see regarding your site if you’ve set up Google Analytics on your site. There are many ways to filter information and it can get confusing, but we are going to give you some tips so you can understand how to check your website’s health with GA.

If you are going into Google Analytics, looking at your graphs and coming out as confused as when you went in, it doesn’t have to be that way.

When you look at your Google Analytics, you need to look at your site’s bounce rate. If you notice that your bounce rate is high, there is something wrong. Having a high bounce rate will hurt you in the search engines, but it is also telling you that you aren’t keeping your users on your site past the first page. This means there is little interest in what you have to say so they are clicking away from the site.

If you have a low bounce rate, that shows that people are interested in what you have to say and are finding other pages on your site helpful after viewing the initial landing page. This also leads to an increase in time on your site which is another important metric that you need to pay attention to when you are checking your site health.

Page Speed

You can check how quickly your site is loading through PageSpeed Insights. It is important to have a quick and well optimized website that provides a great user experience to your visitors. Many people are still loading websites from slow connections so ensure that your site is allowing them the quickest load possible. If you match a slow site with a slow connection, it can seem like it is taking a lifetime to load the content on your site.

The fastest your site loads, the more you will be able to retain your visitors and longer retention means more time to convert them into subscribers and then on to customers.

Continually Optimizing Your Site

Even after you have optimized your site and you see that you are getting good results, you need to keep a watch on your site. It is easier to fix small challenges than to fix big problems. If you find out that you are experiencing big problems due to no checking on your website health enough, the best time to start keeping a good check is right now.

Set up schedules and reminders that will help you stay on track with monitoring your site. Improving your site’s speed by a second could mean a world of difference for conversion so continue to test and see how you can make your site better. There are many options for optimizing available and as you are learning about your site’s health, you will see what you need specifically to improve any challenges that you might having.

Conclusion

Keeping up to day with the latest technologies and software is important for keeping your site safe and functioning properly. Make sure that you set up regular backups in case your site does have any problems and periodically check to make sure any plugins that you are using are up to date and functioning well with your CMS.

Was this article helpful and informative? Leave us a comment with your thoughts in the section below.

The 5 Step Guide for Installing Elementor Pro and GeneratePress Premium on a Fresh WordPress

The 5 Step Guide for Installing Elementor Pro and GeneratePress Premium on a Fresh WordPress

Creating a beautiful site on WordPress is relatively easy these days with all of the amazing theme templates and page builders. With so many options to choose from, it’s hard to find a solid ground to start on. As you start to use more and more themes, you start to see how roughly some of them are constructed, and you quickly start running into issues with your custom themes. That often results in a silly hole that was overlooked in the code that needs updated.

To avoid such pitfalls, people have been leaning to a few major theme and page builder combinations to keep site speed up and uselessjunk to a minimum. The combo that has seen some major success for its ease of use is the GeneratePress theme with Elementor Pro as the page builder since GP Premium has Elementor Pro import templates to kickstart your project.

It’s easy to use, but getting it going might have you running in circles. So to help you get your theme and page builder up and running the right way, we put together a 5 step guide that takes you through activating and installing Elementor Pro and GeneratePress on a fresh install of WordPress.

1 – Add GeneratePress

Let’s start by adding the GeneratePress theme to the fresh install of WordPress. The reason being, GP Premium uses the free version of GeneratePress to unlock your GP Premium, so we need to start there.

Navigate to Appearance > Themes

Onces you are there, click on the “AddNew” button in the top part of the page next to the “Themes” page title.

Type “GeneratePress” in the search bar and hit enter. It should be the very first result.

Click the “Install” button, and when prompted, activate the theme.

2 – Install GP Premium Plugin

If you haven’t already, make your way over to GeneratePress and pick up a premium membership. It gets you tons of crazy stuff and endless uses for under $40, so that’s awesome for developers.

Once you complete the purchase, you should automatically navigate to your account where you can view the details. Download the GP Premium plugin and copy the key.

Now that we have the GP Premium plugin and key, we are going to go back to the wp-admin dashboard and navigate to Plugins > Add New and click the “Upload Plugin” button at the top.

Now that you have access to the “Choose File” button, you can click the box and add the file to the upload, or just drag the .zip file to the “Choose File” button. Click the “install now” button, and activate the plugin.

**If you try to upload this plugin on the theme upload menu, you will get a failure due to missing style.css message because it’s an premium activation plugin for the free theme**

3 – Activating GeneratePress

Once you have the plugin activated, it’s time to use that key you copied.

Navigate back to the plugin menu, and look for the “GP Premium” plugin.

Once you find it, click on the highlighted “configure” button, and it will take you to a screen that has the activation box. Simply paste your code in that box and hit the “activate” button.

Boom! You’re halfway there.

4 – Installing Elementor Pro

Now that we have that theme all set up and ready to rock, let’s set up our page builder.  Find the best website page builders for WordPress really comes down to personal preference, but lately there has been a big shift toward Elementor. The price is so right for unlimited developers and single sites, and at $200 and $50 respectively, it’s a steal

So if you haven’t already, head on over to Elementor and set up an account. Once you have your account, you need to download the latest .zip they provide you, and while you are there make sure to copy the key.

Now let’s head back to the wp-admin and navigate to Plugins >  Add New again. Click the “Upload Plugin” button at the top, and drag the Elementor .zip to your “Choose File” button. Then click the “Install Now” button. When prompted, activate the plugin.

5 – Activating Elementor Pro

You’re almost there now that you have clicked activate. When you return to the wp-admin dashboard, you will see a warning about elementor pro not being fully activated and it needing to install another plugin. Click the button and let it go threw the install. Activate the plugin when you are prompted to.

Now that you have both parts of elementor activated, you will see an Elementor icon on your wp-admin dashboard under the settings icon. Navigate to Elementor > License and paste the key into the activation box then click “activate.”

Conclusion

That’s all it takes to get your WordPress up and running with GeneratePress and Elementor Pro on a fresh install. This works every instance on WordPress, but if you have content already on the site, it might change or remove it. If you are revamping a site with this setup, make sure you have a backup ready incase it breaks more than you expect and you need to go back.

What do you think of the GeneratePress and Elementor Pro combo? Do you like another page builder and theme combo better? Let us know in the comments below.

4 Methods to Make Your Business Website Stand Out

4 Methods to Make Your Business Website Stand Out

Some people call it the “it factor”: the idea that the most compelling people, places, and things have an ineffable charm and an intrinsic quality that simply can’t be recreated. Unfortunately, there’s no way to measure, collate, analyze, or reproduce “it” –– whatever “it” is. However, in the world of business, professionals need to deal with tangibles; they have no use for fanciful musings or unsupported theories. Instead, when designing a professional website, business owners should have a well-developed plan on how they’re going to separate themselves from the competition. To that end, here are four concrete ways to make your company’s website stand out from the pack:

Make Everything Easy

This shouldn’t come as a revelation: customers love convenience. So when you’re creating your website you should work to ensure that everything about it is intuitive and easy to understand. You don’t want your leads struggling to find products or services buried deep within your website. Furthermore, streamline your online store to promote easy use and mitigate against consumers exiting your site at the last possible second.

Avoid Gimmicks

Websites that utilize gimmicks and give into fads just look tacky and unprofessional. Remember that it’s okay show some personality and be lighthearted, but at the end of the day your website should focus on serving your customers. If you’re sacrificing functionality for something inessential, then rethink your priorities.

Optimize Products and Services

Companies that don’t bother writing appropriate headlines and meta descriptions for their website are always going to struggle to make progress in a crowded marketplace. Rather than sticking with the generic back-end settings, give proper weight to keywords and phrases that actually explain what you do –– and label your pages accordingly. Chances are people on search engines will go looking for specific products and services, instead of your company’s moniker. Note that whatever it is your company specializes in –– from vintage guitars to doctor loans –– your emphasis should first and foremost be on the product or service you provide. 

Use Original Visuals

Companies that use original visuals tend to stand out more than those that stick to stock images or videos. When used on your site or on social media, visuals can tell a story and help build trust with your brand. In addition to photos, the use of visuals like custom infographics, gifs, or animations will really set you apart. If you are serious about your branding, there is nothing more effective for storytelling than video. Learn about video production processes and formulate your own story that you can use to help sell products, establish your brand, or showcase customer testimonials, all on your website.

Answer Tough Questions

Consumers value a website that provides valuable insight. Plain and simple, if you’re able to deliver cogent content consistently, you’ll likely attract qualified leads to your site. Pertinent and timely blogs, smart videos, and the occasional guest post will go a long way toward helping differentiate your site from the competition. Don’t flatter to deceive on your site; rather, get down to brass tacks and give your visitors the information they’re looking for. Odds are, you’ll see the rewards of that effort sooner rather than later.

How imagery influences website engagement

How imagery influences website engagement

If your website isn’t encouraging visitors to interact, share, click, register, visit, or buy, it’s not doing its job. The strategic purpose of investing in a quality website is to connect with potential clients, customers, or fans, build brand recognition, and convert visitors to engaged followers or customers.

The right imagery can support grabbing, holding, and encouraging the attention of visitors. It’s a main element in creating shareable content and a web experience with which visitors will happily engage. If you have a substantial budget, a skilled photographer and a talented graphic designer can supply content-specific imagery, but if that’s out of reach, you can easily access images from stock image sites, from which you can download free here.

If you want to create a strategy that maximizes website engagement, there are five types of visual content you should consider:

Banners and wallpaper

Banners and wallpaper imagery help you to craft a consistent, appealing brand experience on your website. Create a unified feel across the site by using a limited palette of colors or by choosing images with thematic similarities. Current trends in website design often feature a single large photo or design at the top of each page or post that supports or extends the topic of the content. A good banner communicates that a brand is up to date and professional and is worth attention. Wallpaper graphics add visual interest to backgrounds or fill an entire screen for a graphics-first experience, with text layered on top or following when users scroll down. This design trend feels fresh and immersive and can help your brand feel more likable and engaging to visitors.

Photographs

While banners and wallpaper may be photograph or graphic based, using photographs in-line with content can also be a good strategy. Break up large blocks of text with photos to hold interest and make information more enjoyable and easy to scan through for visitors. Use photography to illustrate or extend ideas from the text where possible. Good photographs can encourage content sharing, boosting your organic reach via social media. Be cautious with stacking or cluttering the space with too many photos, though. Remember to include ample white space and follow layout best practices. If you sell products, custom photos of the products are a necessity.

Vector Graphics

Vector graphics are a fun alternative to photography and may suit your brand or offer more flexibility in portraying an idea or accompanying a topic. Illustrations and vector graphics may be placed in a sidebar location or alternated with text like photos. Vector graphics are ideal because they can scale up or down to suit the space without losing resolution. Draw from the enormous pool of premade graphics in a good stock image store, or commission custom graphics to suit pages and articles if you prefer. Graphics are a useful way to illustrate services since stock photos for professionals could seem cheesy in that context.

Video

Video is preferred in search and on social media, which is a huge opportunity for your website and brand. Keep videos short for best results. You can embed them on pages to accompany things like products, services, and informational content, as well as using them in content marketing campaigns on social media. Good stock imagery sites offer stock video that you can adjust with custom text and/or voiceovers. If you’re finding your website and social media efforts aren’t getting the traction you want, adding or switching to video content can give you an instant boost in visibility and sharing.

Infographics

Make the most of your content with infographics. These combine graphics or illustrations with informational content to visually show the data or convey an idea at a glance. They are excellent for engagement and sharing because visitors can scan them and get a snapshot of what you’re trying to communicate at a glance.

Boost engagement and make the most of your website and social media efforts with the correct use of high-quality graphics. Photos or illustrations are great for creating appealing layouts, page headers, and breaking up content. For e-retailers, crisp, attractive photos of products are a must, while service providers may have more success with illustrations or vector graphics.

Infographics are highly shareable at-a-glance snapshots of information and ideas. Video keeps visitors on the page longer, can convey more information and strengthen your brand reputation, and improves search rankings and social media sharing and visibility. You can work with specialist creators for custom content or draw on the deep pool of creative content provided by good stock imagery providers to craft an engaging site that regularly converts visits in

4 Reasons Why Every Startup Needs a Website

4 Reasons Why Every Startup Needs a Website

When starting a new business, there are some things you can go without and some things which are an absolute necessity. Unless you have access to unlimited funding, which is doubtful in most cases, you need to prioritize spending, but the one thing which you should never do without is a website. Every startup needs a web presence, even if you will not be doing business online. Why? Here are 4 good reasons why you cannot go without a website.

1. This Is How You Will Be Found

As far back as 2012, Search Engine Land conducted a survey on how people find local businesses. At that time, the statistics were already staggering. Of those surveyed, 85 percent stated that they conducted an online search for local businesses.

Since then, Google has made major changes to their search algorithms and it is now even more important to have a website, but more importantly, a responsive website. Since most of those searching for new businesses will be conducting mobile searches, make sure your website is responsive so that Google will rank you highly in the mobile SERPs. If you want to be found quickly as a new business, a website is a must!

2. A Website Helps Build Brand Awareness

When someone finds your website, you have the perfect opportunity to tell them who you are, what you do, and why you are better than the competition. What do you have to offer in your market that no one else has? Here is where you can set yourself up in a position of authority.

A blog is a great way to establish trust in your brand because you are giving your visitors tangible information they can use. Brand awareness is something many startups fail to achieve but with the right website and reliable hosting, you can be the go-to expert in your niche.

3. A Place to Offer the Ultimate in Customer Service

Great customer service will be high on the list, so remember that accessibility is a key factor. There is a general lack of great customer service and one of the major complaints among consumers is not being able to contact anyone who can help with questions or address complaints. Keep in mind that you will need web hosting that is online at least 97 percent of the time.

Check out reviews on sites like hostingkingdom.com to see what other startups and customers are saying about reliable hosting. If you can’t be reached, how can you expect to satisfy customers? Therefore, your website must offer more than one way to contact you. Fillable forms are great as are chat features, email addresses and at least one phone number where your customer service team can be reached.

4. A Way to Own Your Market

Until you’ve watched the competition pass you by, you’ll never truly understand the importance of a website for your local business. Remember, this is how people find you and how you tell them who you are. Give them a way to ask all the questions they need answered and you’ll have a customer for life. A website will help you establish your presence, build brand, and with the right strategies, you can literally own your market.