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Easy WordPress Troubleshooting Tips to Try [2022]

Are you facing issues with your WordPress website? Most of these issues are solved by following easy WordPress troubleshooting steps.

What Is WordPress Troubleshooting?

WordPress troubleshooting is a process for determining why something does not work as expected. The process does not require code experience and can be accomplished if you have basic WordPress knowledge.

Reasons Why You May Need to Troubleshoot WordPress

There are different reasons why you may need WordPress troubleshooting. These are the most common:

Website style issue: The website does not follow the style and looks different than it should be (i.e. the font color is red while blue is the right color).

Speed issues: The website is loading very slowly.

Theme and plugin functionalities don’t work: Sometimes plugins or themes may not work as they should. Maybe your WordPress theme doesn’t look like the demo theme. These conflicts are easily identified with the troubleshooting.

Increase security: Avoiding hacker attacks to the website is crucial. WordPress troubleshooting can assist you in hardening WordPress and keeping your site safe.

WordPress Troubleshooting Techniques

You can troubleshoot your WordPress website using different techniques and plugins. Let’s check the most used below.

Save a Complete Backup of Your Website

Troubleshooting a problem might break something on your website. A backup is essential to easily restore your website to the latest WordPress version before troubleshooting.

You can backup a WordPress website manually, or you can use a plugin. If you are using a WordPress backup plugin, make sure you safely save the backup following the plugin’s documentation.

If you have a managed WordPress hosting plan with Hostdedi, you can easily find the daily backups by going to My Hostdedi > Plans > Your Plan > Your Site > Backups on the left sidebar.

Feel free to create a new backup by clicking on the Create Backup button or restore the files on the Daily Backups list by clicking on the three dots on the right and then Restore Files, Restore Databases, or Restore Files + Database.

If you are not using a backup plugin or don’t have managed hosting with Hostdedi, we strongly recommend you start using a backup plugin on your site. Or, check with your current hosting provider to see if they offer a backup service. The manual backup process is only recommended for developers and may break your website if something is imported or exported wrong.

WordPress Website Site Health Checker Tool

In WordPress 5.1, the WordPress team added the Website Site Health Checker tool that helps to monitor how your website is doing. You can find it under WordPress Dashboard > Tools > Site Health where you will find the status and info tabs.

In WordPress version 5.4, the Website Site Health Checker was added as a widget to the dashboard. This makes it more visible and easier to find errors or improvements from the dashboard view without going to the tools page.

Status Page

This page is the first place you should check in the WordPress troubleshooting process to verify and ensure there are no errors reported.On the status page, WordPress runs a performance and security test to make sure everything is going well with your website. It’s also possible to see a colored circle representing your site status. All items are collapsible, giving you more information about each improvement and how to fix it.

Keep in mind it’s pretty important to keep all those recommendations up to date in order to improve website performance in WordPress.

Info Page

The website’s information is stored on the info page, which is pretty useful to share with developers and support if you are getting help.

Copy the site information to the clipboard easily by clicking on the available button on this page.

WordPress Health Check & Troubleshooting Extension

An extension to the Website Health Checker tool is the WordPress Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin developed by the WordPress community. The plugin is very useful for checking for themes or plugin conflicts on your website, as it adds the troubleshooting and tools tabs to the site health page. As a separate plugin, you need to download and install it on your WordPress installation.

The Troubleshooting Page

When troubleshooting issues on your site, you are likely to be told to disable all plugins and switch to the default theme. Understandably, you do not wish to do so as it may affect your site visitors, leaving them with lost functionality. By enabling the troubleshooting mode, all plugins will appear inactive and your site will switch to the default theme only for you. All other users will see your site as usual.

A troubleshooting mode menu is added to your admin bar, which will allow you to enable plugins individually, switch back to your current theme, and disable troubleshooting mode. Please note that due to how must used plugins work, any such plugin will not be disabled for the troubleshooting session.

The Tools Page

Extra tools offered on this page like the plugin compatibility allow you to see the current installed plugin’s version, as well as minimum and maximum PHP supported versions. It’s essential to know that it must need to be added by the plugin’s author, so don’t worry if you see empty spaces in some plugins.

Manual Theme and Plugin Conflict Check

This process has the same result and intention as the Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin. The difference here is that it’s manual, does not require a plugin installation, and will not prevent live visitors from seeing the effects of a theme switch and plugin deactivation. For this reason, it is mostly recommended for staging and development environments where the website is still in progress.

Switch to the Default WordPress Theme

The best way to check for conflicts related to your theme is to switch to the default WordPress theme, always the most recent one like the Twenty Twenty-Two. If the present issue is solved after this, the problem comes from your theme.

It’s simple to do. Just access the Dashboard > Appearance > Themes > Twenty Twenty-Two and click on the activate button. Note you can search by theme if it is not listed on your themes.

Disable and Enable Plugin by Plugin

Disabling all plugins is the best way to verify if they cause conflict. The process may be tiring, but it is worth it. Just check the following example:

The LearnDash LMS WordPress plugin is not working properly and to get the conflict suspicion solved, you will go to the Dashboard > Plugins > Select All Plugins (except LearnDash) > Deactivate, and then if the issue is solved, go back to the plugin’s page and activate one by one until the issue remains. After that, you just need to reach the plugin support reporting the found conflict.

Try Fully Managed WordPress Hosting from Hostdedi

Get fully managed WordPress hosting from Hostdedi. It’s optimized for WordPress, so you’ll have a faster, more secure, and scalable website. Smart monitoring tools are built-in to help you keep it that way. Check out our plans to get started today.

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Small Business Advice — 6 Ways To Scale a Business | Hostdedi

Scaling your business can be an easy task if you know how to do it. But you may have a hard time if you’ve never done it before.

According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in every five new businesses fails to survive till its anniversary.

You should know how and when to scale to prevent your business from failing. Besides that, you need to scale your business in a way that ensures its security for the future to come.

Read on to learn about how to scale your business:

Scaling a Business

Scaling is growth, but scaling is a different aspect of growth.

To scale your small business means you increase your revenues without significantly increasing your business costs. In other words, you have an exponential increase in your revenues and only a marginal increase in costs, if any.

As an entrepreneur, you often require more resources than before to maintain sustainable growth in your business. But scaling involves optimizing your costs and increasing your revenues and customers to help you grow without extra resources.

For example, ByteDance scaled TikTok and made it one of the most popular social apps in the market today.

Using various growth and scaling strategies, TikTok went from 55 million monthly active global users in January 2018 to over 1 billion monthly active global users in September 2021.

ByteDance achieved this massive feat with a workforce of 1,294 in Europe and 1,400 in the U.S.

Finding the Right Time To Scale Your Business

You can scale up your new business at any time. But you can maximize your efficiency and profits by scaling at the right time: You’ll reach a point where you’re no longer a startup but aren’t a large corporation either.

That’s not the only way to tell. Here are other things you can look out for.

Overshooting Your Quarterly/Annual Goals

You should scale your business if you smash your quarterly and annual goals way before the due dates. Overshooting your goals early-stage means you’re successful at your current level and need to push harder.

Minimal Risk Around Business Growth

A single quarter with outstanding results doesn’t guarantee risk-free growth in an online business. Assess your business model’s risk and only scale when you’re ready.

Proven Business Concept

Does your new idea do exceptionally well in the market? Have you proved that your solution will sell? If so, consider scaling your business model.

Your scaling exercise will likely succeed if your business concept enjoys market support.

Strong Revenues and Increased Sales

Consider scaling If your business sees increasing revenue streams for periods exceeding six months.

A positive cash flow in your business can help you project new revenues and expenses in the future. It also enables you to prepare for setbacks and protect your business from threats like bankruptcy.

Owning the Right Technology

If your company takes the initiative to use automation, it may be time to scale. Also, consider scaling if you own or develop cutting-edge technology with a unique advantage in the marketplace.

Another way technology can help you scale is data analytics. If you can collect and leverage customer data, you can identify trends and patterns to help you scale.

How To Scale a Business

1. Know your business goals and purpose.

2. Benchmark similar companies that have scaled successfully.

3. Develop a business plan.

4. Establish your team.

5. Improve the quality and consistency of your product.

6. Connect with your customers.

1. Know Your Business Goals and Purpose

Goals help track your progress, motivate you to do more, and keep you accountable for success. To scale, keep yourself and your team up to date with business goals that clearly illustrate what to target.

2. Benchmark Similar Companies That Have Scaled Successfully

Identify businesses within your community that have experienced rapid growth. Find what they did right and use that to guide your scaling activities.

Benchmarking also helps you learn how to address challenges the previous companies faced. You can avoid common errors and other undesirable outcomes to scale as smoothly as possible.

3. Develop a Business Plan

Think of your business plan as a map that directs your internal processes and spending towards a goal. A business plan helps you see the big picture, scale systematically, and reduce your risk of failure.

You always have guidelines for success with a business plan. It brings you back to your main focus whenever you get off-track with your scaling efforts.

4. Establish Your Team

Your team members play a pivotal role in scaling your business efforts. As you scale, hire new employees whose values align with your company culture. Your new hires will use their skill set and work with enthusiasm to help you scale.

Your team isn’t just your workers. It also includes your suppliers and other partners essential for your growth. Create strong and lasting partnerships with them, and they will help drive your business into a bright future.

5. Improve the Quality and Consistency of Your Product

Whenever scaling, many small business owners focus on other functions and forget one vital aspect: product quality. To scale successfully, improve the product quality. Standardize your production processes to ensure your products are uniform and consistent across all batches. You can also offer new products or create varieties to keep your customers hooked.

6. Connect With Your Customers

For efficient scalability, communicate with your customers. Social media is an excellent way to engage your current and new customers. You can also use new media like podcasts and webinars.

Or you can switch to customer relationship management (CRM) software for your growing business as you scale. Using this software-as-a-service (SaaS) and social media integrations, you can communicate and collect feedback from all your product users.

Final Thoughts: 6 Ways To Scale a Business

Scaling is better than growth as it costs less in the long run. Once you figure out when to scale your business, you can do it the right way.

Are you looking to scale your website to support massive traffic from your users? Get Hostdedi Cloud Auto Scaling to support high speeds and efficiency during traffic surges while offering excellent customer service.

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What is the Domain Name System? How DNS Works [2022]

The Domain Name System (DNS) is indisputably one of the most essential parts of the internet. Without the DNS, the internet would collapse. Although it is one of the most important parts, it is also one of the most overlooked.

For many of us, being able to connect to the internet is a quick and easy process. We connect our devices to the internet within seconds, and we don’t have to memorize anything in order to access any particular website. We have DNS to thank for this.

The internet is set up by large networks that communicate with each other via wires and are identified through a series of numbers known as IP addresses. Since the majority of people can’t memorize hundreds of numerical sequences, we need to assign special names to each address. DNS essentially translates these names into numbers, which is why people usually compare DNS to a phonebook.

If you are a WordPress site admin, you will need to deal with DNS configuration when setting up a new website, buying a new domain, or migrating to a new web host. Because DNS is basically the core of the internet, a small mistake in DNS records will keep visitors from being able to access your site. That is why it is crucial to have an initial understanding of what DNS is and how it works.

What is the Domain Name System (DNS)?

DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is a hierarchical naming system used by computers with access to the internet to assign domain names to IP addresses. Put simply, it translates human language domains into its assigned series of numbers.

When working with WordPress, DNS is usually used to refer to what your domain displays when a visitor sees it and how that domain interacts with different services.

Every device connected to the internet, whether it is a computer, tablet, or smartphone, has a unique IP address. Similarly, every registered website is hosted on a web server with an individual IP address that looks something like 111.222.333.4.

If DNS did not exist, we would have to remember the IP address of every website that we wanted to visit. Since people don’t have the mental capacity to store hundreds of numerical strings, DNS was created to work as a phonebook for the internet. Now, we can use domain names that are easy to remember and let DNS do the hard work.

How Does DNS Work?

When you enter a URL in your web browser’s navigation bar, your device will need to know the IP address of where that website is stored. Your operating system will determine if they already have this information in the cache. The cache is basically your computer’s memory. When you search a domain, that information is saved on the cache, so your computer doesn’t have to access a DNS server to resolve the name with its IP address.

So, if the information isn’t in cache and the operating system doesn’t know where that website is stored, it will ask a DNS server to find it. The DNS server is the main working part of this whole search. It is typically a server from your internet service provider or network router, and it is usually automatically configured on your computer’s network interface.

These DNS servers are called recursive servers because they simply forward your request to other servers higher up in the hierarchy instead of storing domain data. The servers that actually hold this data are called the Name Servers. Every domain or URL should have two or more Name Servers. You have to configure these Name Servers whenever you first buy your domain. We will talk about this in more detail later on.

At this point, your DNS server has received the list of name servers for the website you are trying to reach. It then sends a request to another server to translate the domain to an IP address, and it gets an answer.

Now that your DNS server has the IP address of the website you are trying to reach, your device can connect to the web server using that IP address. Congrats, now you can finally browse your chosen web. All this was done very quickly, and you didn’t have to do any of the hard work.

WordPress DNS Configuration

Now let’s walk through a WordPress DNS configuration step by step.

Registering a Domain and Web Hosting

To register a domain, you first need to go to a domain registrar to purchase one. Follow domain naming best practices and choose a domain name that’s easy to remember, and easy to spell.

Pointing Your Domain

When you register your domain at a domain registrar and your webspace at a web host, the domain registrar isn’t aware of this, so you need to point your domain. Pointing a domain is the process of linking your domain to your web space. That will allow you to get traffic to your website.

When configuring WordPress DNS, tell the domain registrar where your website is hosted. The domain registrar will then know that if a user requests that particular domain, it should forward that request to the web host. Then the web host will point the user in the right direction.

So, how does it do that?

How DNS Works

When you sign up for web hosting, you specify your domain. That particular step instructs the web host where to point requests. To simplify this even further, our domain is “onewebsite.com.” We first tell the web host there is a site on its servers with the domain “onewebsite.com,” then we tell the domain registrar that “onewebsite.com” is with this web host.

When a user types “onewebsite.com,” the domain registrar forwards their request to the web host. Then, the web host looks through its servers and sees that “onewebsite.com” exists. After that, it redirects visitors to their website.

The domain name system is one of the most essential and also one of the most overlooked parts of the internet. DNS translates easy-to-remember domain names into IP addresses every time you try to access a website on the internet.

When you want to register a domain, you first need to go to a domain registrar to purchase it. After you buy your domain, you will need a good web hosting service to host your website.

When it comes to hosting your website, you need to make sure that you use a professional web host designed for WordPress. We’ll watch your site’s performance every day and give you insight into your site’s speed and performance. And we include it free with every WordPress plan.

Check out our fully managed WordPress hosting plans to get started today.

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How to Do PHP Unit Testing for WordPress [20222]

Testing is a routine part of life. We test everything before and after buying to ensure we’re getting the full functionality of a product. If you have a WordPress website, you probably check to make sure it’s functioning as it should. And that includes PHP, WordPress’ scripting language.

Testing is essential to verify that code is working correctly, and in PHP, this usually entails unit testing. Keep reading to learn about PHP unit testing, how to write and incorporate these tests, and why it’s important.

What is Unit Testing?

Unit testing refers to a level of software testing where individual units or components of code are tested in isolation. This gives us the ability to check if each unit of code performs as expected. A single unit can be a line of code, a phrase, a function, or a class. In PHP and WordPress, typically a unit is a function or a class.

Although units can come in all sizes, as a rule, smaller tests are better. By using smaller tests, you can obtain a more granular view of your software’s performance. Plus, if you use tests for smaller units, you will be able to run thousands of tests in one second because small tests can be run very quickly.

Related reading: How to Create a Test Plan for Your Ecommerce Website >>

We mentioned that unit tests are tests run in isolation, so what does that mean? Testing in isolation means that we test only one unit at a time. Almost all types of testing require some sort of isolation, but in PHP unit testing this is particularly important. We isolate our test because if a test fails, it will be easier to know which part of the code is not working properly.

Why is Unit Testing Important?

Unit testing helps us make sure that for any function and given set of units, we can ascertain if the unit is returning the proper values. It also assures us that if invalid input is provided, the code can identify and handle the failures. Thus, it helps us identify bugs in our algorithms, which will enhance the quality of our code.

As you write more tests, eventually you will create a series of tests that can be run continually to establish the caliber of your work.

When you incorporate unit testing in your software, you will inevitably start using code that is easy to test. Having easily testable code is a necessity for unit testing because it ensures smaller and more focused functions provide a single operation.

Furthermore, if you write well-tested code, you can prevent breaking your software’s functionality if you incorporate future changes. Since you are testing your code as you are adding functions to it, you will eventually have a series of tests that will help you address code failures as they happen.

Additionally, poorly written code can make your website susceptible to hacking, and you should make sure that you are hosting your website on a secure server.

Is PHP Unit Testing Worth the Time and Effort?

Unit testing indeed takes a lot of time and effort to write, but it saves you considerable time you would have spent fixing unexpected bugs. Writing unit tests maximizes the performance of your program by making it high quality and bug-free.

The confidence that comes from depending on your code’s functionality makes unit testing definitely worth your time. Not only can you be sure that your code does what it was designed to do, but you can rest easy knowing that adding new functionality later on will not sabotage your existing project.

Things to Consider When Writing PHP Unit Tests

There are two ways that you can go about writing unit tests. Either you write the tests first and then write code to make those tests pass, or you can write the code and then test how that code is performing.

It is generally better to write tests first if you are starting a project from scratch. That’s because it is harder to design tests for an application that you already wrote and know how it works. If you write the tests first, you will document how the application is supposed to work, and that will immediately catch a failure when the code isn’t working as it should.

Related reading: What Is User Acceptance Testing? How to Do Ecommerce UAT >>

Nevertheless, it is unrealistic to expect that you will write unit tests for all your code in the beginning because that will take dozens of hours. Instead, you can be pragmatic about it.

One way to go about it is to create unit tests for every bug that you stumble upon. That’s because bugs are usually small mistakes in your code, making it easier to create a test for it. This approach will also help you better understand the function of unit tests because you see firsthand how the test is identifying a bug and helping you fix it.

Another thing you can do is write unit tests for new features that you want to add to your software. This is a good idea because the code for a feature will usually be specific to it, making it ideal for unit testing. This practice will also train you to be mindful of the code you are writing because you will be forced to write code that is easy to test, which is always a good practice.

How to Write Unit Test Cases in PHP

To Install PHPUnit you need to have a few prerequisites:

  • Use the latest version of PHP.
  • PHPUnit requires dom, JSON, PCRE, reflection, and SPL extensions, which are enabled by default.

Installation (Command-Line Interface)

Download PHP Archive (PHAR) to obtain PHPUnit. To install PHAR globally, we can use the following commands in the command line.

$ wget https://phar.phpunit.de/phpunit-6.5.phar

$ chmod +x phpunit-6.5.phar

$ sudo mv phpunit-6.5.phar /usr/local/bin/phpunit

$ phpunit –version

Via Composer

If you have installed composer in your system you can download it by using the single command.

composer require –dev phpunit/phpunit

Test your phpunit work by typing

./vendor/bin/phpunit

in Windows

vendorbinphpunit

Then you should Init your PHP unit configuration:

By typing:./vendor/bin/phpunit –generate-configuration

Or in windows machines: vendorbinphpunit –generate-configuration

There will appear three questions, just type enter and the files will be auto-generated.

Bootstrap script (relative to the path shown above; default: vendor/autoload.php):

Tests directory (relative to path shown above; default: tests):

Source directory (relative to path shown above; default: src):

Cache directory (relative to path shown above; default: .phpunit.cache):

Generated phpunit.xml in /php_test.

You should exclude the .phpunit.cache directory from version control.

Let’s Start Our First Unit Test

First create a file and name it. For this example, we will name it HelloworldTest.php

mkdir src tests

code tests/HelloworldTest.php

This will open Visual Studio code in your file. Then, write the following code:

Run the following command on your command line to start the unit test

./vendor/bin/phpunit

In Windows Machines :vendorbinphpunit

Here is the output for the run test:

Now, Let’s Try Testing a Class

First, create the file in the src/ folder and name it Hello.php and set the namespace App.

Then we should require the following file like documented in the photo below:

Let us run a test and see the results.

As the image says, assert is failing because the two strings are identical. We can make the expected variable to helloworld again and get the assert true like in the following example:

Let’s see the result of the tests.

As we can see from the image, we now have an assertion.

Now You Know

Testing is essential when we want to verify if our code is working correctly. Unit testing is a level of software testing where individual units or components of our code are tested in isolation.

When you unit test WordPress, it is important to test in isolation because if a unit test fails, it will be easier to know which part of the code is not working properly.

Unit testing is a lengthy process but it is essential to a high-performing site.

As you saw, well-tested code and a secure web host provide you with reliability and valuable insight on performance and speed.

Want to implement these on your website?

Check out our fully managed WooCommerce hosting plans — which come with built-in automated testing.

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The 7 Best Ecommerce Podcasts to Inspire & Educate [2022]

Are you an ecommerce business owner and want to keep pace with emerging ecommerce trends? Or maybe you’re about to start your ecommerce journey and you’re looking for some guidance.

Fortunately, there are tons of people willing to share their experience, advice, and walk you through how to start an ecommerce business. And a lot of these ecommerce experts are sharing their advice on podcasts.

Learn from their mistakes and their successes with this list of the best ecommerce podcasts in 2022.

There’s A Podcast For Everything!

If you are still unfamiliar with podcasting, it’s time to change your perspective.

Over half of Americans have listened to a podcast at least once, and around 40% listen to podcasts on a monthly basis. And podcast listenership is growing. Monthly podcast listeners have grown by 61% in the US in the past three years.

It’s not exaggerating to say that there is a podcast for everything you can think of. News, interviews, educational series — you can find all types of content readily available to you. And yes, ecommerce has found its way into the world of podcasting as well.

Ecommerce podcasts are one of the best ways to learn from the ecommerce experts as they share valuable insight to the world of online sales. You can learn how the world’s ecommerce leaders approach building business processes and marketing strategies, and apply all the advice given to ensure the prosperity of your online business. Podcasts are arguably the best source of information to discover industry trends to stay ahead of your competitors at all times.

You can listen to podcasts from different platforms, including Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or CastBox, among many others.

Let’s dive into the world of ecommerce podcasting and discover how the best ecommerce podcasts can help you take your business on a whole new level.

7 Best Ecommerce Podcasts of 2022

In no particular order, here are the best ecommerce podcasts to listen to this year.

1. EcommerceFuel

The EcommerceFuel podcast is hosted by Andrew Youderian, an experienced ecommerce entrepreneur. The podcast earned its popularity as Andrew sought to build the world’s largest community for ecommerce business owners to help them grow their customer base and provide valuable insight into industry trends.

Most of the time Andrew invites the industry experts to join him in the podcast episodes to discuss the best strategies to grow an ecommerce business and avoid mistakes, all advice given from their experience.

Who is the Podcast For?

EcommerceFuel is perfect for all categories of business owners, both newcomers and advanced entrepreneurs.

Popular Episodes of EcommerceFuel

2. Store Builders

The Store Builders Podcast, hosted by the ecommerce expert Chris Lema who has been in the industry for over two decades, focuses on providing top-notch advice for expanding your online business. Using the experience of the ecommerce leaders, Store Builders features insights into online retail trends and best practices, making it one of the best podcasts on all things ecommerce. Most episodes last around 20 minutes to keep it as informative and comprehensible as possible.

Who is the Podcast For?

The Store Builders podcast focuses on taking your business to the next level, including increasing your ecommerce customer base, which is a burning question for all ecommerce business owners regardless of their level of experience.

Popular Episodes of Store Builders

3. My Wife Quit Her Job

The My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast, as its name implies, follows the story of the host Steve Chou ‘s wife’s progress as an ecommerce entrepreneur since she quit her job to build her own business. They operate a business together and provide comprehensive guidance on everything you need to know to get started in the ecommerce world, including the challenges that you encounter along the way. This podcast follows the couple’s experience and was originally created to inspire corporate workers who have always dreamed of starting their own business to be brave enough to finally give it a try.

Who is the Podcast For?

While My Wife Quit Her Job is ideal for beginners to the ecommerce world, all the information in the podcast can be useful for business owners at all levels.

Popular Episodes of My Wife Quit Her Job

4. The Fizzle Show

The Fizzle Show podcast has been in ecommerce podcasting since 2013. Originally created by four hosts, until this day the podcast is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs meet the challenges of the ecommerce world. Not all podcast episodes are about ecommerce, but all the insights provided from other online businesses can be applied universally. Most episodes are created in the form of an interview with a successful entrepreneur where they cover everything you need to know about customer base growth, marketing campaigns, and creating a personal brand.

Who is the Podcast For?

The Fizzle Show is perfect for those who would like to listen to advice from successful business owners as they uncover all the best strategies for growing your online business. The podcast episodes are not necessarily focused on ecommerce, which makes it a great source of general business advice.

Popular Episodes of The Fizzle Show

5. Ecommerce Influence

The Ecommerce Influence podcast, hosted by Austin Brawner, helps business owners build wealth and change their perspective on building a business for its long-standing purpose. New podcast episodes are available twice a week, most of the time featuring interviews with ecommerce experts. You can expect to hear advice on all aspects of building a successful ecommerce business, including how to avoid burnout and take care of your mental health while meeting all challenges of the business world.

Who is the Podcast For?

Ecommerce Influence covers a wide range of topics, which makes it one of the best ecommerce podcasts for anyone in the industry, from newcomers to experienced entrepreneurs.

Popular Episodes of Ecommerce Influence

6. Ecommerce Masterplan

Hosted by Chloe Thomas, the Ecommerce Masterplan podcast features weekly interviews with ecommerce industry leaders who share their insights into successful online sales. Ecommerce Masterplan will teach you all the best practices on how to acquire more customers, and improve customer retention.

Who is the Podcast For?

The Ecommerce Masterplan podcast is ideal for all levels, from newcomers to the ecommerce experts, as the guests invited provide their advice on operating an ecommerce business.

Popular Episodes of Ecommerce Masterplan

7. 2X Ecommerce

The 2X Ecommerce podcast is hosted by Kunle Campbell, who is an ecommerce growth advisor. The podcast’s main goal is to provide its listeners with a comprehensive guide on how to scale your ecommerce business. 2X Ecommerce features a series of interviews with world-class entrepreneurs who share their stories that will help you increase order values, customer base, traffic, and in the long term, grow your business by 2X.

Who is the Podcast For?

2X Ecommerce is a great ecommerce podcast for online sales professionals looking to grow quickly in today’s saturated market.

Popular Episodes of 2X Ecommerce

Now You Know

Podcasts are a fantastic form of digital media that is aimed at helping you absorb information in new ways. Ecommerce podcasts are undoubtedly one of the best sources of world-class online sales content that will ensure you are up-to-speed with all the best trends and expert strategies of the ecommerce world.

We hope now you have added a few podcasts to your list to check out in your free time. Discovering something new everyday is what we are absolutely for at Hostdedi. But sharing it with you is what we love most!

Love What You’re Hearing? Get Started With Ecommerce at Hostdedi

Take what you’re learning in ecommerce podcasts and get started with your own online store. Hostdedi makes it easy with StoreBuilder. It’s the fastest and easiest way to build an online store with WordPress.

You can get an online store up and running quickly — with no coding or design skills required. Check out StoreBuilder to get started today.

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What is a Plugin for WordPress? Examples of Plugins [2022]

WordPress remains one of the most popular content management systems in the world, with over 30% of all websites taking advantage of the codeless website building it offers.

It’s not surprising why so many use WordPress — its core functionality features a wide range of tools that allow you to build a great website. Add to that plugins and themes, which extend the possibilities even more.

What is a plugin for WordPress? This is something that is often not clear to someone who is new to the platform. In this article we will answer that question and walk you through the process of finding the right plugins and getting them installed on your website.

What is a Plugin for WordPress?

A plugin for WordPress is a piece of software that extends the functionality of a WordPress website. Plugins make WordPress websites highly customizable. There is a plugin for just about anything you want on your website.

WordPress is open source. As an open source project, it is supported by a devoted community of individual software developers and entire companies. The WordPress community works on making it an even greater platform.

Because the WordPress ecosystem is so robust, there are many plugins to choose from. With more than 60 thousand plugins available, any website owner can achieve just about anything without having to write a single line of code.

And if you do know how to code, you can edit or create your own plugins. Powered by the PHP programming language, anyone who is familiar enough with software development can create their own plugins and themes.

Where Do I Find WordPress Plugins?

You might be wondering where you can find WordPress plugins and learn what they offer.

WordPress.org has gathered thousands of plugins for your WordPress website, all divided into categories. You will find all kinds of lists providing you with the best plugins in the chosen group.

There you can also read plugin descriptions and reviews from real WordPress website owners who have already tested the function of certain plugins, which will help you choose what you need.

Are WordPress Plugins Free to Use?

There are thousands of free WordPress plugins. There are also many paid plugins, which are sometimes called premium plugins. Some free plugins also include paid options with extended functionalities.

Although WordPress remains an open source platform, many powerful and trusted software companies are behind widely-used plugins. You may need to purchase paid plans to unlock premium features of popular plugins.

15 Examples of Plugins

They say there is a plugin for everything, and it couldn’t be more true. There are tons of WordPress plugins available — to the point where it can be overwhelming for WordPress beginners.

You may be wondering, how would I know which plugins to install? Reviews from WordPress users can certainly help. Recommendations do too. Below, we’ll also walk through some examples of plugins that are top-rated and highly recommended.

We gathered five essential plugin categories and the best plugins to use in each one. Having reviewed what they can offer, you can be sure you will know exactly how to use WordPress plugins to your advantage.

Page Builders

WordPress provides its standard editor to help you create new posts and blog pages, but it does not come with much freedom and flexibility. WordPress page builders make it easier than ever to customize your website pages without any programming skills. Most page builders provide great building elements like buttons, galleries, and text areas that you can assemble by drag and drop.

Top 3 WordPress Page Builders:

Performance Plugins

The loading speed of your website is a key factor when it comes to attracting visitors and increasing your customer base. Everything you have to offer to your customers should be easily accessible to them in a matter of seconds. In today’s busy world, nobody waits for a website to load. That’s where WordPress performance plugins can help you speed up your website.

Top 3 WordPress Performance Plugins:

Security Plugins

Security is one of the most important aspects of hosting your WordPress website in the global network. Unfortunately, as WordPress has become so popular, websites powered by it are often targeted by hackers. Security plugins are developed to defend your website against cyberattacks of all kinds.

Top 3 WordPress Security Plugins:

Ecommerce Plugins

Did you know that WordPress is powerful enough to turn your website into an online store? Now you do. By using WordPress with WooCommerce, or another ecommerce plugin, you can become a new big name in the world of online shopping. Ecommerce plugins make it easy for you to build your store while taking care of all technical aspects.

Top 3 WordPress Ecommerce Plugins:

Search Engine Optimization Plugins

Search engines are a major source of traffic for all websites. Studies have shown that around 75% of people never scroll past the first page of Google, so it’s best if your website is there for your potential customers to find. Search engine optimization plugins can help you rank higher, drive more traffic to your website, and grow your business in the long term.

Top 3 WordPress SEO Plugins:

How to Use WordPress Plugins: From Installation to Activation

As we have learned, plugins act as WordPress extensions adding new functionality to WordPress websites. Every plugin has a list of features it provides, along with clear instructions on how to make a plugin work for your website. Below, we’ll walk through how to use WordPress plugins.

Once you have created your new WordPress website, you will get access to the WordPress dashboard, the so-called wp-admin area. As the name implies, you can manage your blog from there, including getting new posts added, and installing new WordPress plugins.

1. Log Into Your WordPress Dashboard

The first thing you need to do is log in to your WordPress dashboard, or WordPress admin area. Typically you can do it by going to your-website.com/wp-admin/ in a browser. There are plugins that allow you to move your WordPress Admin to another place to protect you from hackers. This is a great feature, but for now let’s focus on how to get our first plugin installed.

2. Choose the Plugins Tab From the Left Menu and Click “Add New”

This will take you to the list of currently installed plugins. From there you can manage your plugins — install and activate new ones, as well as deactivate and remove existing plugins. After you click Add New, you will be taken to the plugin catalog where you will be able to search for certain plugins or choose one from the categories provided.

3. Choose a Plugin

The Add Plugins menu presents you with a catalog that you can browse to choose what plugins you would like to install. It is hard not to get lost in the wide variety of plugins available to you, so you can make use of the categories provided that include the most popular plugins and plugins recommended to you. If you have marked any plugins as favorites on WordPress.org, they will appear under Favorites.

If you chose a plugin beforehand and know exactly what you need to install, you can use the search box on the right to search by the plugin name, keywords, tag, or author. If you scroll down, you will see the list of most popular tags that can also help you find what you are looking for.

4. Install the Plugin

Once you have chosen what plugin you would like to install, click Install Now, and WordPress will fetch the plugin and install it on your website, easy as that.

If you would like to see more information before installing a plugin, you can click on its name. You will see a page containing the plugin description, including when the plugin was last updated, what WordPress versions it is compatible with, the number of installations, and plugin reviews.

5. Activate the Plugin

After you install a new plugin, all its information will be saved to your website, but unless we activate it, WordPress will not be able to make it work. To activate a plugin, click on Activate once the installation is complete.

You can activate, deactivate, or remove the plugins you installed from the plugin tab. Think of deactivation as temporary removal. A plugin will not be active, but you will be able to activate it back at any time. If you delete a plugin entirely, you will need to install it again to be able to use it.

Now You Know

So, what is a plugin for WordPress? Plugins are amazing WordPress extensions that can do wonders.

We hope that now you have a clear understanding of how you can power your WordPress website with plugins. WordPress has a lot to offer, and you are going to see it once you start getting familiar with the platform.

Power Your WordPress Site With Fully Managed Hosting from Hostdedi

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Our fully managed WordPress hosting plans are optimized for the platform — making website hosting headache free for you. We have included all the best solutions from the world of WordPress to make your website faster and more secure. Our web hosting experts are there for you to answer all questions and address any technical issues that may arise 24/7/365.

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A Complete Guide to Robots.txt for Magento 2 | Hostdedi

From the standpoint of SEO, it is extremely important to configure the Magento 2 robots.txt file for your website. A robots.txt file specifies which pages of a website should be indexed and analyzed by web crawlers. The robots.txt file plays a big role in SEO.

SEO is about sending the right signals to search engines — and robots.txt for Magento 2 is one of the best ways to communicate your crawling preferences to search engines.

What is Robots.txt?

Basically, robots.txt files tell search engine crawlers which URLs on your site they can access. This is mostly for preventing overloading your site with requests. Robots.txt files are mainly intended to manage the activities of good bots, since bad bots aren’t likely to follow the instructions. To keep a web page out of crawls, block it with noindex or password-protect the page or website.

Why is Robots.txt Important?

In addition to helping you divert search engine crawlers away from the less important pages on your site, robots.txt for Magento 2 can also provide the following benefits.

  • This can help prevent the appearance of duplicate content. Sometimes your website might require more than one copy of a piece of content. For example, if you create a printable version of a piece of content, you may have two different versions. Google has a well-known duplicate content penalty. This would allow you to avoid that.
  • Using Magento 2 robots.txt, you can hide pages in development from being indexed before they are ready.
  • Also, there may be pages on your website that you do not want the public to see — for example, you might have added only a simple product. Another example would be a thank you page after someone has made a purchase or registered. These pages should not appear on a search engine, making it pointless for Google or other search engines to index them.

How to Configure Robots.txt for Magento 2

Please follow the below steps to configure your robots.txt file in Magento 2.

Step 1: Log in to your Admin Panel.

Step 2: Go to Content > Design> Configuration.

Step 3: In the opened grid, find the line Global, click the Edit link, and open the Search Engine Robots tab.

Step 4: Now choose what Default Robots you need from the following:

  • INDEX, FOLLOW: Search engines will regularly index your pages and check the changes.
  • NOINDEX, FOLLOW: The search engine bot won’t index your website but it’ll still monitor changes.
  • INDEX, NOFOLLOW: Search bot will index your store once but never come back to track the changes.
  • NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW: This setting will hide your store from search engine bots.

Step 5:  The Edit custom instruction of the robots.txt File line allows you to write custom instructions. To reset the default settings, click the Reset To Default button, which will remove all your customized instructions

Step 6: Click on Save Configuration to apply the changes.

Magento 2 Robots.txt Custom Instructions Examples

As we mentioned above, you can define custom instructions to the Magento 2 robot.txt configurations. Here are some examples:

Allow Full Access

User-agent:*

Disallow:

Disallow Access to All Folders

User-agent:*

Disallow: /

Block Google Bot From a Folder

User-agent: Googlebot

Disallow: /subfolder/

Block Google Bot From a Page

User-agent: Googlebot

Disallow: /subfolder/page-url.html

Default Instructions

Disallow: /lib/

Disallow: /pkginfo/

Disallow: /report/

Disallow: /var/

Disallow: /catalog/

Disallow: /customer/

Disallow: /review/

Disallow: /*.php$

Restrict Checkout Pages and User Accounts

Disallow: /checkout/

Disallow: /onestepcheckout/

Disallow: /customer/

Disallow: /customer/account/

Disallow: /customer/account/login/

Restrict Catalog Search Pages

Disallow: /catalogsearch/

Disallow: /catalog/product_compare/

Disallow: /catalog/category/view/

Disallow: /catalog/product/view/

Disallow Duplicate Content

Disallow: /tag/

Disallow: /review/

How to Add Sitemap to Robots.txt file in Magento 2

A sitemap is an XML file which contains a list of all of the webpages on your site as well as metadata (metadata being information that relates to each URL). In the same way as a robots.txt file works, a sitemap allows search engines to crawl through an index of all the webpages on your site in one place.

To enable Submission to Robots.txt in Magento 2, you need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Log in to your Admin Panel.

Step 2. Go to Stores > Settings > Configuration and choose XML Sitemap in the Catalog tab.

3. Open the Search Engine Submission Settings tab and set Yes in the Enable Submission to Robots.txt dropdown.

4. Click on the Save Config button.

If you would like this option to be enabled automatically, navigate to Content > Design > Configuration > Search Engine Robots, and in the Edit custom instruction of the robot.txt File field, set the instructions to add the sitemap as follows:

Sitemap: https://magefan.com/pub/sitemaps/sitemap.xml

Sitemap: https://magefan.com/pub/sitemaps/blog_sitemap.xml

Sitemap: https://magefan.com/pub/sitemaps/sitemap_ua.xml

Sitemap: https://magefan.com/pub/sitemaps/blog_sitemap_ua.xml

It will be easier for search engines if you have a robots.txt file that specifies the latest sitemap instead of crawling every page of the site then finding them days later. If your site is not performing well and the web pages are not indexed correctly, your position within the search engine results is compromised. For the performance of your site, it is also very important to keep the website optimized and this Magento 2 speed optimization article can further help.

Now You Know

Now you know how to create Magento 2 Robots.txt for your website.

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Take advantage of our complimentary free Magento site migrations and switch to Hostdedi today.

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How to Add a Widget in WordPress | Best WordPress Widgets

WordPress widgets are one of the most useful tools WordPress provides. The process of adding widgets to your website is highly intuitive and does not require any code knowledge. The codeless website building that WordPress offers is one of the main reasons why millions of website owners continue to give preference to the platform.

In this article we’ll list the best WordPress widgets. We’ll also cover how to add a widget in WordPress, and we’ll review any potential issues you may encounter in a step-by-step manner.

What is a WordPress Widget?

A WordPress widget is an element that allows you to add specific content to your website. They can be placed to certain areas of your website outside the body of a post. Widgets allow you to add extra content to your website to encourage your visitors to get information or take action.

These elements are so common that you probably have seen them a million times visiting different blogs. Recent post lists, shopping carts, search bars — these are just some of the examples of what you can place on your WordPress website with the help of widgets.

Where Can I Place WordPress Widgets?

Widgets are usually placed in special content areas such as headers, sidebars, or footers. The list of areas you can choose to add a widget to can differ depending on the WordPress theme you are using. Generally, you can put a widget almost anywhere. You can also choose if you want widgets to appear on every page of your website or specific pages only.

You will find that some types of widgets are better off placed in the sidebar for your visitors to notice them easily, while others can be placed in the footer, such as a social media feed.

How Many Widgets Are Available to Me?

WordPress comes with a list of default widgets, but the choice may be limited. To get more customized widgets, you can install different plugins — there are a lot of them to make use of. Some unique widgets specific to your WordPress theme of choice may also be available to you.

5 Best WordPress Widgets

We can add amazing new functionality to our website with the help of widgets. Below you’ll find the five best WordPress widget plugins to leverage.

1. SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle

Siteorigin Widgets Bundle provides a number of useful widgets, currently 22 different types of them. You will find widgets for Google Maps, pricing tables, image sliders, contact forms, buttons of all kinds, and more. All widgets are fully customizable, with support for endless colors and more than 1500 icons.

2. Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails

WordPress comes with the recent posts widget by default, but it does not provide any additional features. As the name of the plugin implies, Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails takes the widget to a new level, allowing you to display recent posts with thumbnails. It means that now you can list the most recent posts with post titles, authors, categories, dates, and more.

3. The Events Calendar

The Events Calendar is another plugin that provides a good alternative to one of the default widgets WordPress provides — the calendar widget. The set of widgets The Events Calendar features can be useful If you want to alert your users about upcoming events and important dates.

4. Relevanssi – A Better Search

The Relevanssi plugin was created to replace the standard WordPress search widget with a better solution that includes more features and configurable options. For example, you can choose for search results to be displayed by relevance rather than just by date.

5. Contact Form by WPForms – Drag & Drop Form Builder for WordPress

WPForms is a drag and drop WordPress form builder that you can use to create custom forms of all kinds in a matter of minutes. The plugin allows you to create a new one from scratch or choose from a range of pre-built templates.

How to Add a Widget in WordPress

Now that we have learned what the best WordPress widgets are and what types of them we can find, let’s review the steps we need to take to add a widget to our website.

The process of adding a new widget to your website used to be very different from what we can see now. When the 5.8 version was released in July 2021, the widgets screen that many WordPress users had been using for a long time was gone. All newer versions of WordPress present the new widgets menu that does not look like what we saw before.

This article focuses on getting widgets added using the new approach, so if you are still using any WordPress versions below 5.8, the steps below may not be helpful. With every new WordPress version released, we are getting new features presented and all vulnerabilities of the previous versions addressed, and that’s why we strongly recommend getting your installation updated to the latest version as soon as possible.

With that said, let’s walk through how to add widgets in WordPress.

1. Log Into Your WordPress Dashboard

Adding a widget to a website requires access to the WordPress admin area. You can open your WordPress dashboard by opening your-website.com/wp-admin/ in any browser.

2. Choose the Appearance Tab From the Left Menu and Click Widgets

It will take you to the new widgets screen that first appeared when WordPress 5.8 was introduced. On the right side of the screen, you can see the list of areas you will be able to add a widget to.

If you had experience working with any older WordPress versions, it may take you some time to get used to the new layout. With new features presented, you can now add pretty much any block of content to your website widget areas, not just widgets.

To illustrate what we have discussed at the beginning of this article, let’s take a look at the two screenshots below. In the first one, you can see just one widget area defined — Footer. This is what you will see if you have the Twenty Twenty-One WordPress theme activated.

Here we are using another popular theme, GeneratePress. You can see that now we have 11 areas available for us to add new widgets to. Different WordPress themes define a different number of widget areas.

3. Click On the Chosen Widget Area

Once you click on the area we would like to add a widget to, you will see a real-time preview of the added widgets. From here you will be able to add all kinds of widgets and modify them to create your unique style. If you have a new WordPress installation you have not yet started working with, you may see that there are some standard elements already added to certain widget areas.

4. Click on the Plus Button Next to Widgets

After you click on the plus button in the top left corner, you will see a long menu presenting all types of widgets and other elements available to add to the chosen widget area. If you scroll down to the widgets, you’ll see all the default ones that can be used. If you installed any plugins that provide additional widgets, you will see all of them in the menu.

5. Add the Chosen WordPress Widget

You can scroll through the elements to choose one that you would like to add or use the search bar to find what you are looking for. Once you have chosen what widget you will place on your website, you can simply click on it, and it will appear in the selected widget area. You can also drag and drop the element to put it exactly where you need it to be. In the example below, we have added the default calendar widget to our right sidebar.

Now we know how to add a widget to WordPress websites — it’s easy and intuitive.

How to Edit WordPress Widgets

It is important to understand how to edit WordPress widgets in case you would like to change their order or the way they are displayed on the website.

We can edit all WordPress widgets we have added from the same screen. All we need to do is click on the widget we added and make use of the editing features available. If you installed some new widgets to extend the list of the default ones, editing them will be possible from the interface of the plugin that provided a certain widget.

Let’s take a look at the screenshot below. We have installed two popular widget plugins, WPForms and WP Call Button, and added the widgets they provide to our right sidebar.

We can edit the default search bar we added before. For example, we can change the button type and its position. We can also change the positions of widgets and their sequence. If we want to change the way the contact form and the Call Us button look, we would need to do so from the plugins menus before having these widgets added to the sidebar again. We typically can not edit custom widgets from the WordPress widgets screen.

What to Do if Your WordPress Widget is Not Showing

Sometimes the process of adding widgets does not go smoothly. Having added new cool widgets to your website and being ready to present them to your visitors, you may notice that it is not showing where it needs to be. Let’s review some of the most common reasons for WordPress widgets not showing.

Reason 1: You Have Not Saved the Changes

When you add new widgets to any area of your website from the widgets screen, changes do not get saved automatically for you. You need to click Update to make changes to the live website.

How to solve: Simply get in the habit of saving all changes you make to the website every step of the way. You will need to add the widgets you wanted again and make sure you do not leave any unsaved changes before leaving the widgets screen.

Reason 2: You Have Some Incompatible Plugins and/or Themes

Every WordPress plugin or theme is essentially blocks of code written by its developer. Sometimes some pieces of code can conflict with each other, or some plugins can be incompatible with the PHP version you are using. Your widgets may not be displayed on the website at all or they may be displayed incorrectly if there are incompatibility issues.

How to solve: Plugin incompatibility is not easy to address. You can try deactivating plugins one by one to see which ones are causing issues, but it’s best if you contact a WordPress professional, for example, your hosting technical support.

Reason 3: Your WordPress Installation Has Suffered a Failed Update

Failed updates lead to WordPress core files being saved incorrectly — or some of them may even be missing afterwards.

How to solve: We recommend backing up your WordPress website before making any major changes, and that includes WordPress version updates. You can restore your website from a backup to a functional condition. But without knowing why the update did not go well in the first place, we can not really consider the issue solved.

Generally, we need to try to understand when the elements were last seen working correctly and what changes might have been made to the website that led to the WordPress widgets not showing.

Knowing what happened — and when it did and how — will help us find the right solution and get the issue addressed quickly. Unfortunately, all websites can be prone to technical issues of different kinds, and there is no one universal solution.

Now You Know

Now you know how to add a widget in WordPress admin, along with some of the best WordPress widgets available. Widgets are an amazing solution for your website, and no matter what content you’re hosting, you can pretty much add anything you can think of.

Power Your WordPress Site With Fully Managed Hosting

Getting familiar with modern platforms takes time and effort. And it’s not enough to just create something amazing — you need to make sure it stays available at all times, secured from various attacks, and backed up regularly. It is not easy to take care of all that yourself.

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Try Fully Managed WordPress Hosting from Hostdedi

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Video for Sales: How to Sell More With Ecommerce Videos

Video has turned into one of the breakout trends in marketing for the past decade. Considering an average user spends approximately 100 minutes per day watching online videos, we’re talking about the most popular choice for content consumption these days.

However, watching videos isn’t just about entertainment. You can also use videos for sales to increase the revenue of your online business.

With that in mind, let’s go over what you need to know about using video to increase sales.

How Does Video Content Help Businesses?

Implementing ecommerce video content into your overall marketing strategy can help by:

Building Trust

Building trust with customers will encourage them to be more ready to commit to the services and products you offer. Trust is one of the key driving forces for almost every purchasing decision a buyer faces, no matter what item they’re looking for.

It’s also how people distinguish their favorite brand from other companies offering similar products and services.

Boosting Sales and Conversions

Adding a product video to a landing page can help you increase conversions. In simple terms, conversion is a point where the user responds to your call to action (CTA).

Wyzowl showed that over 70% of users who watched an explainer video about a specific service or product ended up buying it. When you think about it, these statics are not even that surprising — vision is our most dominant sense and how we transmit most information to our brain.

Improving Return on Investment (ROI)

More than 80% of businesses say that video has an excellent ROI. Video production is not the cheapest nor the easiest task, but it pays off long-term. Also, online video editing tools are becoming more affordable and are improving all the time.

The videos you make don’t have to be perfect because the content is what matters. Research backs that up, showing that users didn’t find a poor design or low quality important. They were mainly put off by material that doesn’t explain the service or product well enough, which means you can make decent videos with your smartphone alone.

Complementing Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Efforts

Video content helps you increase the time visitors spend on your website. While longer exposure positively affects trust, it also signals to search engines your website has helpful content users can benefit from.

You can optimize YouTube videos for SEO by adding keywords to the video title and description, tags, and links that lead back to your site, services, and products.

Appealing to Smartphone Users

90% of users watch videos on their smartphones. Google supports that idea, showing three in four people prefer watching YouTube videos on their phones. Since the number of mobile users is increasing and consumers prefer to watch videos on the go, your potential audience will continue to get bigger and bigger.

Now that you know the benefits of video let’s see the different ways you can start incorporating videos to increase sales.

Product Videos

Product videos explain and visually exhibit a specific product and its benefits.

To make a good product video, make sure it contains the following elements:

  • A meaningful narration paired with engaging dialogue.
  • An adequate length — your video needs to be short enough to keep the user’s attention and long enough to explain the product and its benefits in detail.
  • A professional tone and approach — you don’t want your video to be “stuffy.”
  • Relatability and empathy.

There are different types of product videos you can create:

Teaser/Promos

Most TV commercials and other advertisements promoting products are usually teasers. They tap into the viewers’ emotions to affect their perception of prestige, wealth, beauty, or other elements they want to target.

For instance, take a look at chocolate commercials. They show you the process of raw chocolate swirling, pouring, and eventually mixing with the rest of the tasty ingredients, after which you get a perfect final product someone is thrilled to eat.

Another good example is videos for perfumes that create extra dimension with magical lightning and charming people looking grandiose.

All in all, teaser videos are both the top and the bottom of the funnel. You’ll leave new customers mesmerized, intrigued, and wanting more, while loyal customers will feel like they’re part of the magic and continue purchasing your products.

Explainers

Explainer videos tell buyers what’s behind your product. Such videos tend to showcase the product in its best light and explain what problem it solves. They’re mostly something a customer can find halfway down the marketing funnel after they have already become aware of the product and are now at the consideration stage.

Compared to a teaser, an explainer video gives more information about your product. It reels the buyer in by relating to their needs and present problems. These videos are not that much about glamour but practicality.

Demo or ‘How-To’ Video

A demo product video tells people how a product works, shows the details, and eventually convinces them to buy it. At times, this type of video will be something customers at the top of the funnel need to be drawn in. However, demos mostly go step by step, explaining how to use the service or product to solve a specific problem.

These videos must be well-narrated as well as cover helpful details. For instance, SaaS product companies often find demo product videos useful because they can show how to use software features to achieve specific goals.

Marketing Videos

Now let’s go over how to use video for sales in marketing. Here we’ll talk about the different types of video content companies use to promote their services, products, and, above all, values.

Video Ads

Commercials or video ads are the type people are most familiar with. Ads are overtly promotional and designed to sell something to people — even if that something we’re talking about is the image of your company.

They are often short. Although a good ad can accomplish the set goal in less than one minute, 30 seconds is the perfect length most video ads fall into on the internet. The most successful video ads are based on a narrative that makes them memorable and helps people identify with the story.

Video ads are an essential part of pay-per-click (PPC) strategies. They can make your clickable ads way more compelling to target audiences and boost your ROI. As for marketing goals, a good commercial can improve brand awareness and draw attention to your business. Video ads are also something you can do to funnel users into your lead generation landing pages.

Employees/Company Showcase

What’s a business without the people in the background creating its magic? Company story videos are a great way to show who’s standing behind your brand.

These videos humanize companies, which audiences crave, especially in the modern age of instant communication and constant movement. Customers want to develop a more personal relationship with brands and identify with the core values they represent — which is something company stories help with.

Educational Videos

Is education something you relate to fun, engaging content? Well, in the case of educational videos, it should be. They make excellent videos for sales by presenting helpful information to the audience in an engaging way.

They tend to use specific narrative resources such as a sharp script and compelling graphics to cover topics relevant to their target audience.

Educational content is crucial during the customer’s awareness phase. In this stage, they may not even know they have an issue that requires a solution, which gives you a great chance to step in to educate them.

In other words, you aim to stir their interest enough to encourage them to move further down the funnel. Also, educational videos help you provide valuable information clearly and precisely and establish a better relationship with potential customers.

Options for Creating Video For Sales

There are two ways you can create a video for sales — keep it in-house or outsource it to a video agency. Each of these options comes with advantages and disadvantages.

Keep It In-House

Advantages:

  • It can be cheaper.
  • Your team will know how videos fit into your general marketing plan (including colors, specific design features, and how you generally communicate with your audience).
  • Your existing team will quickly understand the message you want to convey (they have a better understanding of the basic principles of your brand).

Disadvantages:

  • You’ll have to invest in equipment (which isn’t always physical stuff, but apps or different video editing programs).
  • Your employees may not be appropriately trained for creating top-notch videos.

Outsource A Video Agency

Advantages:

  • You’re getting a professional team trained explicitly to create high-quality video content.
  • Outsiders offer a fresh perspective and unique content that may expand your horizons.

Disadvantages:

  • An agency may not be familiar with the specifics of your brand and how you communicate with your audience.
  • They need to get to know you better to create content that will fit into your overall marketing strategy.

Maximize Sales With Hostdedi

Both research and praxis showed videos for sales are one of the lead trends in 2022. Now, since you’re about to invest in a new strategy for your marketing plan, the question remains — what’s the best platform to track sales?

Hostdedi’ fully-managed, high-performance digital cloud platforms offer a Sales Performance Monitor as part of its built-in testing features. It’s an intelligence engine that sends you alerts on sales trends, captures issues with payment processors or site slowness, and generally helps you measure your performance.

You can access the Sales Performance monitor and many other features through Hostdedi’ Managed WooCommerce Hosting plans. Sign up for a plan today.

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How To Grow Your Dropshipping Business in 2022 and Beyond

Dropshipping is one of the simplest ways to make money online. You don’t have to manage inventory the same way a wholesaler would. So it’s pretty simple to earn a four-figure income with a dropshipping business.

But getting to six figures and beyond is a different ballgame.

Dropshipping is estimated to be worth $591 billion globally by 2027. So you need a recognizable, trusted dropshipping brand to establish yourself in a competitive market.

Most dropshippers begin small, but after some time, they must grow their dropshipping business to compete on a global scale with larger competitors.

Here are three tips that’ll help you grow your dropshipping business and compete with retail giants:

1. Invest in a High Converting Ecommerce Website

The success of a dropshipping business model depends on your ability to market and sell the best dropshipping products without storing them yourself.

That means the traditional brick-and-mortar business model is unsuitable for dropshipping. It only works if you have a great website to connect with dropshipping suppliers and customers.

The good news is that with so many ecommerce platforms to build your website, creating an online store is pretty simple.

Here’s what you need to build an ecommerce website:

  • A good domain name.
  • Web hosting.
  • An ecommerce platform such as Shopify or AliExpress, ecommerce marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay, or a website builder such as Hostdedi’ StoreBuilder.
  • A payment gateway.

A good ecommerce platform should make it easy to build your dropshipping store — from finding a domain name to installing marketing and sales plugins. It should also help you sell in multiple currencies and accept payments easily.

Make sure to include the following elements in your website:

Your dropshipping business will benefit significantly from digital marketing efforts like ecommerce email marketing. But it’s only valuable if you have an online store you can direct potential customers who see your dropshipping ads to.

2. Market Wisely

Driving traffic to your dropshipping store is critical to the growth and success of your online business. Most store owners work hard to create a perfect ecommerce store, only to launch it to an audience that has no idea it exists.

Start by figuring out the right traffic ecommerce channels for your website.

For example, there are 4.62 billion social media users globally. So having the right social media strategy will empower you to reach your target audience and boost your chances of having a successful dropshipping business.

While you shouldn’t market yourself on every online platform, a comprehensive marketing strategy will help grow your small business faster.

With that in mind, try out these three practical marketing tips:

  • Run TikTok or Facebook Ads that suit your marketing budget and goals to drive traffic to your ecommerce store and increase sales.
  • Leverage influencer marketing to grow your dropshipping business. Influencers usually have more sway over customer shopping decisions than any other channel. That’s why 54% of companies working with influencers have ecommerce stores.
  • Focus on content marketing to engage and educate customers about your products. 82% of companies actively invest in content marketing, so you don’t want to be left behind. Concentrate on creating high-quality content to enhance customer experience and improve conversion rates.

3. Specialize in a Profitable Niche

Using a dropshipping business model isn’t straightforward. Most people think you simply add products to your online store, and customers flock to buy. But that’s not the case.

You should focus on a niche you’re genuinely interested in since a non-focused product selection will likely be difficult to promote. If you aren’t committed to the niche you choose, you’re more likely to fail since it takes a lot of hard work to grow an ecommerce business successfully.

Choosing a niche to sell in can make or break your dropshipping business. When scaling your business, consider avoiding these three types of products:

  • Low-profit margin products: Don’t go after products everyone knows about since they come with fierce competition and low-profit margins. When pricing your dropshipping items, consider the product costs, shipping fees, possible refunds, and marketing and advertising expenses.
  • Restricted products: These products aren’t illegal but have strict rules on selling them. They may also be legal in some areas but illegal in others, like cannabis. Such products may be appealing initially, especially if they have a high-profit margin and few people sell them. But selling these products can also limit your advertising and increase business risk due to their restrictive nature.
  • Copyrighted products: You’re usually not allowed to sell these products unless authorized to do so — for example, t-shirts for a popular TV show.

Here are some pointers when selecting your niche:

  • Make sure people are interested and actively looking for your product. Use search engine optimization (SEO) tools such as Ahrefs to check common search terms related to your potential niche. If no one is looking for what you want to sell, you’re out of luck before you even start.
  • Select a niche with higher-priced products since the amount of work required to sell a $10 item is typically the same as selling a $1,500 item.
  • Find a product that’s inexpensive to ship. It will enable you to offer free shipping to your customers, absorb that cost as a business expense, and attract more sales.

Final Thoughts: How To Grow Your Dropshipping Business in 2022 and Beyond

Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or seasoned business owner, a dropshipping business is a low-cost, low-risk way to start selling online.

You can scale your dropshipping business to a whole new level with a highly optimized ecommerce website, effective marketing strategies, and reliable suppliers. But it takes time and effort, so you have to be patient and work hard.

To start with the right foot, build a dropshipping ecommerce website with Hostdedi’ Storebuilder today.

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