Month: December 2017

Need to Host a WordPress Site? Check Out Kinsta

Have you ever tried to deal with most web hosting companies’ customer service? That experience alone is enough to scare you away from those company for good.

Seriously, it can be that frustrating!

If you own a website, you know how frustrating it is when your server goes down and you are forced to sit on hold for over an hour.

It is that frustrating experience that motivates me to always keep looking for hosting companies that provide top quality service. Recently I discovered Kinsta

So, what is Kinsta?

Good question. They are a highly reputable hosting and support company that work exclusively with WordPress websites.

Kinsta doesn’t treat you like a number and their customer service is some of the best I’ve experienced.

The thing I like about Kinsta is that they offer their services through the premium version of the Google Cloud Platform and they are even recommended by Google Cloud themselves.

But they are more than just a web host

I was excited when I learned that the team behind Kinsta is mainly WordPress developers, the same developers that have made tons of WordPress themes, plugins, and who have troubleshooted countless problems on the platform before.

It’s that kind of expertise that helps you get your website back online when something goes wrong. And of course, having 24/7 support 365 days a year helps too!

Here’s another thing good about Kinsta

Other companies will often just throw your website up on any server and call it a day. This isn’t how Kinsta does it.

They let you choose which data center you want to have your website hosted on.

Look at these amazing choices:
-Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
-St. Ghislain, Belgium
-Changhua County, Taiwan
-Sydney, Australia
-The Dalles, Oregon, USA
-Ashburn, Virginia, USA
-Moncks Corner, South Carolina, USA
-São Paulo, Brazil
-London, UK
-Frankfurt, Germany
-Jurong West, Singapore
-Tokyo, Japan
-Mumbai, India

You’ll never have to worry about slow speeds because you are in direct control of where your website is hosted, meaning you get localized speeds that are backed by Google themselves.

And in the case where something does go wrong, who do you trust more to get your hardware back online? The Google Cloud!

The answer is easy

I’m not a tech guy, but when they told me that my individual WordPress website was being hosted in its isolated container, that sounded good. They told me that they used LXD managed hosts and LXC software, but honestly, that kind of terminology was beyond my paygrade.

The thing that sold me was that I was being provided a dedicated service that was 100% private. I didn’t have to worry about my customer’s data being leaked because my server will be secure.

Sounds good, right? What’s the catch?

You do have to pay for Kinsta. They offer tiered plans starting at $30 a month for smaller websites.
The other plans include:

$60 per month for 2 installs, 40,000 visits, 6GB of storage, and a free SSL & CDN
$100 per month for 3 installs, 100,000 visits, 10GB of storage, and a free SSL & CDN
$200 per month for 10 installs, 250,000 visits, 20GB of storage, and a free SSL & CDN
$300 per month for 20 installs, 400,000 visits, 30GB of storage, and a free SSL & CDN
$400 per month for 40 installs, 600,000 visits, 40GB of storage, and a free SSL & CDN
$600 per month for 60 installs, 1,000,000 visits, 80GB of storage, and a free SSL & CDN
$900 per month for 80 installs, 1,500,000 visits, 120 GB of storage, and a free SSL & CDN

Their plans may seem pricey, especially if you are a smaller business. I get that. But $30 a month for a smaller website is fair if the hosting is top notch, and upgrading to a larger plan takes a few clicks to do.

My Verdict – 5/5

Don’t penny pinch and settle for a budget host. When you do, you get a budget host and that will hurt your website.
Your website needs to be online 24/7, especially if you are selling products. Pay a few extra dollars to get a quality host.

I give Kinsta a 5/5 because of their reliability and dedication to the WordPress platform.

Original post: Need to Host a WordPress Site? Check Out Kinsta

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Examples Of How Graphics Compact Lengthy Explanations

When you have large chunks of information to convey to your visitors, using imagery gives you the opportunity to make that information easier to understand. It takes far less time for someone to absorb information presented in a symbol than it does when they’re forced to read about it word-by-word.

The internet is full of examples of poorly documented instructions and written explanations. Users are plagued with too much information, incomplete information, signs in the wrong location, and ambiguous language.

There’s an equal amount of poor visual communication, but that’s because symbols need to be carefully designed and developed for maximum efficiency. You can’t just pay someone five bucks to create your image and expect a masterpiece in return.

Colors play a role in communication as well; colors can capture attention or drive it away. The construction of the wrong color combination on your blog can turn readers off.

Symbols quickly convey complex instructions

This basic fact can be seen on the roads where symbols describe what vehicles and pedestrians can and can’t do; instructions that would take a driver too long to read when spelled out. Road signs also communicate to drivers what’s ahead, so they can prepare to be in the correct lane.

For instance, these complex road signs use long arrows to indicate where each lane leads, and tells the driver what lane they need to be in when approaching a roundabout/rotary. The same type of symbol is used in GPS so the driver knows which lane they need to be in to maintain their course. When a freeway has four lanes but only the far-left lane will take the driver to their destination, only that lane is highlighted so the driver knows to stay in that lane.

The use of symbols as instructions is also seen in user manuals, although some companies are better at designing these manuals than others. When the imagery is done right, the symbols convey tiny nuances words can’t describe. For example, when you’re putting a piece of furniture together, accurate images depicting how the pieces fit together is more efficient than trying to figure out ambiguous or unfamiliar terminology.

People are hard-wired for visual processing

According to Canva, approximately 20% of your brain is devoted to vision – the visual cortex – and that system “reaches out and interacts with at least half of your brain, sending electrical impulses all over the place.”

Color plays a big role in capturing visual attention, and that’s why marketers focus on it. Citing a 2009 study from the University of Berkeley in California, Canva also explains that colors like blue and green are interpreted as safe, while red is interpreted as dangerous.

Color consultant Leslie Harrington comments on the power of color: “Color is a universal, nonverbal language, and we all intuitively know how to speak it. What color you paint your walls isn’t just a matter of aesthetics. It’s a tool that can be leveraged to affect emotions and behavior.”

You can use color to influence people’s perception and behavior. Marketers, artists, and interior decorators do it all the time.

Colors support visual communications

Colors heavily support symbols in conveying complex messages. For example, this page discussing the safety of natural herbs compared to pharmaceuticals uses both red and green to convey degrees of safety. Colored meters are used to rate the potency of each substance on a scale from mild to extreme.

According to the visual meters, all pharmaceuticals have a red background while all-natural herbs have a green background.

When your content is often misunderstood, as is the case with the healing power of natural herbs, using colors to support your symbols is important.

Visual communication isn’t limited to infographics

Infographics are popular, but they’re not the only way to convey important messages. Icons, which have been around forever, were invented to replace words. Ted speaker and relationship coach Bruce Muzik uses large icons in the middle of his website to navigate to his blog, his coaching program, or to hire him as a speaker. What’s powerful about his icons is that all three icons depict hearts, representing his heart-centered approach to his work.

Communicating your message isn’t only about information

You could have a genius, 10-page report that answers every possible question anyone could think of, and most people will still prefer the condensed version in the form of an image. Efficient communication isn’t about conveying all of the information; it’s about conveying small chunks of information quickly and clearly.

Original post: Examples Of How Graphics Compact Lengthy Explanations

Need a FAQ for Your Site or Blog? Check the WordPress FAQ Plugin

If you own a website, you understand that there are so many plugins, apps, and services looking to suck you in.
With limited resources, you can’t afford to try them all.

I understand that struggle, I’ve felt it too.

After building my website on WordPress, I became frustrated with how many plugins I had installed. I’m not a coder, I don’t excel at it, and I need plugins to help me overcome this hurdle.

Sadly, not all plugins are created equal. Several of them even failed to deliver on what they were designed to do. How useless.

Then I found Heroic FAQs

Creating a “frequently asked questions” section is important. It allows you to address your customers concerns, add rich content in the form of answers, and they make your website appear full.

In the eyes of Google, this is all good stuff.

Why Heroic FAQs?

For me, I like Heroic FAQs because it does its job. It comes with a lot of features, you don’t need to know how to code, and it is really simple to set up. Best of all, it was created by the HeroThemes team.

Some of the plugins great features include:
-An intuitive drag and drop interface
-One-page editor allows you to edit all FAQs on one page.
-Easy to use visual editor
-Allows you to add FAQs on any page
-Comes with 5 styles
-Images and videos can be added to FAQs
-Drag and drop designer
-FAQs look good on all devices

Here’s what I did
I use my FAQ section to plug additional keywords for SEO purposes. Heroic FAQs makes this process easy and takes away a lot of the design and coding headaches.

You don’t have to worry about coding or theme errors because Heroic FAQs seamlessly integrated with your existing website and making edits is simple.

Heroic FAQs only has one flaw in my books

If you only own one website, it’s a bit pricey at $49 for the basic version. For entrepreneurs with more websites, the Professional version will allow for 3 installs for $69, while the Business version allows for 10 installs for $149.

Most themes cost around $49, making this an expensive plugin.

It does its job really well.

Price aside, I highly recommend Heroic FAQs if you manage a WordPress website and need to design and build a FAQ section.

This plugin provides a lot of utility, and unlike other plugins, it actually does what it advertises really well.

My Score
Based on my experience with the plugin, I give it a solid 8/10. The only reason I didn’t give it a perfect score is because of the price.

The Good:
-It comes with a lot of features
-Building your FAQs is easy with the drag and drop builder
-Boost your SEO scores with additional content
-Responsive design

The Bad:
-The price
-It’s another plugin to add to your WordPress website

This plugin works. If you are worried about the price, try a demo out and see if it is a good fit for your website. You can grab it or read details here.

Original post: Need a FAQ for Your Site or Blog? Check the WordPress FAQ Plugin

How to Write Post Blog Posts That Rank Well

Everyone wants their blog posts to be seen. That’s only normal. But only a few understand what makes the difference between a blog post that ranks well and one that doesn’t. You don’t necessarily have to be an SEO expert to write blog posts that rank consistently. Here are a few tips on how to write blog post that rank well.

Use Long Tail Keywords

If you do have some experience with SEO, you may be already familiar with long term keywords. In short, long tail keywords are variations of core keywords but with extra words attached to them. Using long tail keywords has many benefits. First, they usually have much less competition than shorter, more obvious keywords. Second, they have a tendency to rank very well because of their highly targeted nature. Don’t make the mistakes of stuffing your blog posts with tons of keywords, instead, focus on 1 or 2 core keywords and let the content flow naturally. Keyword spamming is a practice that is frowned upon by Google and won’t win you any points. Focusing on a few keywords will allow you to reach the same objective while your content remains natural. If you don’t know what keywords to use, you could work with a firm like Snap Agency that will help do the keyword research with you.

Include Links to Influencers

When building blog posts, don’t be afraid to link to other sources as well. Linking to other reputable websites not only gives your audience more material to read, but also shows them that there was some actual research involved. Nothing builds credibility like cold hard facts from reputable sources.

Use Internal Links

Internal links also play a role on how blog posts are ranked. Internal links facilitates the crawling process and allow Google bots to create a clearer sitemap. This will not only help your blog post rank, but other more obscure posts to rank as well.

Try to Go for Longer, Scannable Posts

In a time when attention spans are shorter than ever, you’d expect that shorter and easier to read posts would be winning points with search engines. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Google still privileges longer posts, and higher-ranking articles usually have more words than those falling further down the rankings. However, make sure that the article is easily scannable by your readers. You can do that by using evocative headers that tell the full story. If your readers cannot get the gist of the article just by looking at the headers, you’re doing it wrong. Make sure that the headers are descriptive enough to give your readers at least a summary of what the article is about

Writing blog posts that rank well is truly a science. Understanding how search engines work and what they like can seem like a challenge, but is perfectly doable once you know what you’re doing. If you follow the tips outlined in this article, you shouldn’t have issues ranking your blog posts in the future.

Original post: How to Write Post Blog Posts That Rank Well