5 Signs Your Web Hosting is Holding You Back

Hosting Issues: Five Signs Your Web Hosting is Holding You Back

One of the biggest misconceptions about web hosting is that all hosting services are the same. Whilst it might seem like that from the way many hosting packages are advertised, there’s much more to consider than choosing a certain amount of disk space, RAM or bandwidth. For example, you should ask about the hardware being used and the way a server is configured. You also need to think about the provider’s in-house expertise, the quality of its technical support and the amount of uptime they guarantee.

Whilst on the surface it might look like the only difference between hosting packages is the price, it can be a mistake to put the cost of hosting as your main priority. All hosting is relatively affordable these days, so saving a few pounds a month could be a false economy that can cause problems further down the line.

Here are five signs that will help you know if your web hosting is hindering your business and if it’s time to move on or upgrade.

1. Your site has slow loading times

The Negative Impact of Poor Site Load Times | Synapse SEM

The loading time is the speed at which your website takes to load on a visitors’ browser. It’s important because Google uses it as a ranking factor and because visitors abandon slow loading websites. It is estimated that a one-second delay in loading time can reduce sales conversions by 7%.

You can measure the speed of your site by typing your URL into Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. This will give you the results for your sites’ performance on both desktop and mobile. It’s important that the site loads quickly on both types of devices, especially now that 66% of all UK browsing is done on smartphones and tablets.

While there are many things that can affect your loading times, such as your choice of theme and the number of plugins your website uses, one of the primary factors is the type of web hosting you choose. Well configured, high-performance servers can dramatically improve speed, as can upgrading from shared to VPS hosting.

2. Other users drain your resources

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If you use shared hosting, every website hosted on a server shares the resources that the server provides. Most of the time, this isn’t a problem; there’s usually enough processing capacity and memory for everyone. However, there can be issues. Greedy hosts can put too many users on one server in the belief that most of them will underuse the resources available. All it takes is for a couple of websites to start using resource-heavy applications, perhaps sending out several thousand marketing emails or importing thousands of product descriptions and images, and this can negatively affect the performance of every other site on the server.

A good host will employ tools that limit the resources any one customer can use; ensuring that its activities do not impinge on others. This is a little like the fair use policy that some broadband companies impose. If you opt for shared hosting, make sure this happens. Alternatively, use a different form of hosting.

3. You have a poor performance during peaks

8 Reasons for Poor Performance of an Employee - HITS Solutions

Unfortunately, the website draining all the shared resources could be yours. If your site has grown and you have lots of visitors carrying out resource-heavy actions, such as using the shopping cart, it could be your site hitting the resource limits set by the host – especially at peak times or during busy seasonal periods.

If this happens, the slow performance of your site can cause customers to abandon their shopping carts and spend their money elsewhere. Your Google Analytics data will tell you if this is the case.

The issue here is not really the fault of your web host. As mentioned above, it is trying to give everyone a fair share of the server’s resources. Actually, it’s a sign of success: it’s time to move on to a hosting package that provides the increased resources your site now needs. Your host may have bigger shared hosting packages or, for a few extra pounds per month, you could opt for the significantly better VPS hosting, where you’ll have a virtual server all to yourself.

4. Your server has a bad IP reputation

How to Check & Improve Your Domain and Email Server IP Reputation?

The server you use will have its own IP address. If one of the other tenants on that server is carrying out inappropriate actions, such as sending spam or hosting malware, then that IP address can get blacklisted. This is bad news for every other website hosted on that server as it can affect search engine ranking and lead to emails being blocked.

What makes this particularly problematic is that the owner of that site might not even be aware of what is happening. They might have been hacked or infected without their knowledge. This is likely a result of them having poor security measures in place, such as not updating their software or having easy to crack passwords.

A good host will provide a range of security features to prevent an IP address from getting blacklisted. These include firewalls, intrusion monitoring, email monitoring, server monitoring and dedicated IP addresses. Make sure your host provides these.

5. You cannot use the software you want


Shared hosting is where one server is shared by lots of users. As it’s a single server, everyone uses the same operating system and this is configured in a way that enables the majority of websites to run optimally.

One of the issues with this is that you cannot use programs that are incompatible with that operating system or ask to have the server configured differently just to accommodate a specific requirement.

If you have a critical need to run incompatible software, the only alternative is to have a server of your own. The most affordable way to do this is to opt for a VPS. By doing this, you have the freedom to use an operating system that is compatible, such as a legacy version of Linux or Windows OS.


Web hosting plays a crucial part in the way your website performs. Choosing the right package and understanding when it is time to change hosts or move to a different type of hosting is vital if for the long-term health of your site and business. Hopefully, from reading this post, you’ll now have a better understanding of the signs to look out for.

6 Tips for Creating a Highly Successful Ecommerce Business

How to Start an Online Business (Easy Guide For Beginners)

Thinking of setting up an eCommerce business? With software such as WordPress, it’s possible to build an eCommerce site and get it online in no time. However, while getting your website up and running is fairly easy, turning it into a long-term, successful business is much more challenging. In this post, we’ll show you six important tips to help you grow your fledgling store into a thriving eCommerce business.

1. Choose products you know will sell

This sounds like obvious advice, but its aim is to draw a distinction between what you think will sell and what you know does sell. If you want to create a successful business, you should focus on products that have a proven track record and sell them whilst they remain popular.

One way to identify trending products is to see how well they perform on social media. If they are getting lots of likes on Facebook or mentions on Twitter, then it is a clear signal that people are interested in them. Also, check out the reviews on the sites of other retailers. If there are lots of recent, positive reviews, this is another indicator that a product is very popular at the moment. Finally, search for the products on Google Trends, this will show you how many people have searched for them over time and give a forecast for the near future. Do remember that some products have much longer lifecycles than others. Some may be hot property for years, others may last just a few months. You don’t want to invest in a stock just as it goes out of fashion.

At the end of the day, finding the right products is down to researching the market. Understand what sells and you have much more chance of becoming successful.

2. Use established eCommerce techniques and tweak them to your own needs

Everything You Need to Know About Ecommerce Marketing

There’s an established formula for online selling that has been honed and updated by many successful businesses over the years. Companies use it because it has been proven to work. Rather than dive in blindfolded, take the time to discover that formula and find out how you can shape it for your own business. You’ll need to look at a wide range of different variables, such as the products you sell and where you source them, how you advertise, the way you optimise your landing page, and how you can increase your customer lifetime value.

Through experimentation and analyses, you’ll eventually find which techniques bring you the best rewards.

3. Create a site that inspires trust

9 Tips on How to Get Customers to Trust Your Website

With so many dodgy websites around, you need to build a store that your visitors will find trustworthy – this is especially true for fledgling brands that people are discovering for the first time. One thing you’ll definitely need is an SSL certificate which will guarantee that customers payment details are encrypted and earn you the prized ‘green padlock’ secure icon on the Google address bar.

In addition, offering money-back guarantees, free delivery and live chat are other ways to inspire confidence.

A websites design is also important. You want a theme that matches both your brand and the products you are selling. Customers have expectations of what reputable sites look like, so It is worthwhile checking out what your successful competitors do before designing your own site.

4. Test your ad to find the best ROI

Advertiser Attracts Attention Of Business Investors Buyers. Team Of Promoters Greets Customers. Metaphor Of Advertising Promotion. Concept Of Teamwork, Cooperation Marketing. Vector Flat Illustration Royalty Free Cliparts, Vectors, And Stock ...

The best way to make sure that your ads have the biggest impact is to test them. Not only should you test different ads, but you should also test them on different audiences. This will give you a much clearer understanding of where to invest your money and your time in order to get the biggest return.

If one ad becomes especially successful, then you can replicate it and scale it to make even more sales. However, remember to do so in increments so that you use your budget wisely.

Three good tips for internet ads include using creative language that can inspire others to share on social media; employing scarcity techniques, such as ‘whilst stocks last’; and offering quantity incentives, ‘buy one, get a second half price’ etc.

By far the best way to advertise and one that has the biggest ROI is using email marketing. However, to do this successfully, you need to get as many people as possible to subscribe to your emails or your newsletter.

5. Ensure you have great customer support

10 Ways to Deliver Consistently Great Customer Service

To increase sales, improve customer satisfaction and earn great online reviews, it is absolutely vital to offer top-rated customer service. And for online stores where customers can shop at any hour of the day, ideally, this needs to be offered 24/7.

One of the best ways you can do this is through live chat. This can help customers with product buying decisions and assist with issues that arise once the product has left the warehouse. It’s good for the brand’s reputation and inspires return custom, meaning increased customer lifetime value.

6. Reinforce your site with great hosting

Never underestimate the importance of good web hosting when it comes to having a successful eCommerce business. Good hosting can ensure your website is always available, that it loads quickly for your customers and that their data is secure. It protects you from hacking and malware, provides backups for quick disaster recovery, and offers you the computing capacity to cope with spikes in traffic during busy periods.

Your business relies on the effectiveness of your hosting. Without great hosting, you cannot guarantee that your site will perform the way you need it to.


eCommerce sites are not automatic money-making machines. Building them is fairly simple to do, turning them into a successful business takes a lot of research and hard work. Hopefully, the six tips in this post will give you a better understanding of how to make a success out of your own site.

How Much Does It Cost To Develop A Fitness App?

Google brings its redesigned fitness app to iOS - The Verge

Given the times we are going through right now, people now more than ever are focusing more on health and fitness. Maintaining health is slowly becoming the number one priority of most people. Such situations prove highly beneficial for people who want to make a big name in today’s competitive world. Along with a mobile app development company, you now have the chance of creating your own fitness app. Not only can you keep people alert, about not missing their workouts, but you can get hands on a rewarding career as well. Want to know how? Take this blog content as a complete guide for starting your own application. After you get the briefing, chances are you would want to start right away with your fitness application idea.

What are the kinds of fitness applications available?

If you think you can start with your fitness app development process as soon as possible, you must take it slow. For instance, it is vital to know the kind of fitness application you want to create. Let’s look at the various types:

  • Diet and nutrition application – Everybody for attaining their business goals need to attain a balanced diet. So you can include nutrition and diet as one of your fitness app ideas. With the help of such apps, users can get hold of details like sugar and calorie level, water intake, preference of food dishes, etc. This kind of fitness app Android also functions as a dietician and assists people in following an abstinent diet plan.

A complete guide to develop a diet & nutrition app: must have features and useful tips

  • Activity tracking application – You can focus on a fitness app program that focuses on activity tracking as well. These apps are always downloaded by most people as these help in tracking physical actions of an individual such as walking, swimming, running, cycling, jogging, etc. These kinds of applications employ motion sensors in users’ Smartphones along with GPS for tracking & offering reliable data regarding his activities like running, figure of stairs climbed, liquid intake, hours slept, etc. With the data users will also know which activity they need to focus on more.

ActivityTracker (the app) — Step Counter, Pedometer for iPhone, Apple Watch & Android

  • Workout apps – Amidst many if you choose the workout app category for your health and fitness app development, then the chances of success are really high. Global app revenue in general has risen to $365.2 billion in the year 2018 to $69.7 billion in the year 2015 which is highly impressive. As per research, these figures are anticipated to treble by the year 2023. So if you are moving forward to developing your own fitness app for Android phone, then you must realize that you are going on the correct path. Different kinds of workout apps include Workout scheduler applications and Personal workout applications.

20 Best Workout Apps 2021 - Top Free Fitness and Exercise Apps

Technology stack

In your 24*7 fitness app, the technologies you include determines how convenient it will be for users or how much popularity it will gain. Employing these technologies for fitness app development is necessary.

How to Choose a Technology Stack for Web Application Development | DA-14

  • Authentication – Nexmo & Twilio
  • Real-time analytics – Big Data, Cisco, Apache Flink, Hadoop, IBM, Spark, etc
  • Programming – GWT
  • Operating system – Debian
  • Payment gateways – E Wallets, Stripe, PayPal, Braintree, etc
  • Data management – Datastax
  • Push notifications – Twilio & Push.io
  • Database – MongoDB, HBase, Postgres, MailChimp Integration, Cassandra, etc

Finalizing the features

The fitness app competition in the present times is really tough. If you are creating your own, the features of the application need to stand out & must benefit users in a way that they find extremely useful. The features that you must include are:

  • User profile – Filling up the detail of user profiles is important. Along with this you must also offer users the liberty of editing their gender, sex, name, weight, height, etc,

User Profile and Notifications - AdminProject

  • Synchronization of wearable devices – To include such features either you can choose a fitness app builder online or work closely with a fitness app development company as well. The latter always proves to be beneficial till the end. Your application must employ GPS, motion sensors and Bluetooth for syncing with external devices such as personal computers, tablets and wearable gadgets. Users can easily track all their activities with this feature as they use any one device for syncing with the application.

Wearable technology in healthcare: What are the leading tech themes driving change? - Verdict Medical Devices

  • Geolocation – Are you wondering why you need this feature in your fitness app program? This is because this feature always keeps a keen eye on the directions & routes you walk, run or cycle. You can get hands on a precise location with this feature.

How geolocation can be used to the advantage of your business apps

  • Payment – While some fitness apps offer services absolutely for free other high end applications charge money from users. However, it is important to realize that expecting monetary value is important while you develop a mobile application. Only then you can attain the ROI and also keep on increasing sales. Customers can send payment via payment gateways. You must offer a multitude of options to users like credit and debit cards, e-wallets, net banking, etc.

The Top 10 Most Popular Online Payment Solutions

  • Rewards – When you focus on developing the fitness application for the purpose of the admin side, then including Rewards feature is very important. Some of the most vital promotional tools that you can get hands on for the fitness application are loyalty programs, cashbacks and referral programs. Admin must also have the liberty of opting for other promotional choices like retargeting, push notifications and social sharing.

An experiment with app rewards. Discover how app rewards helped Files… | by Megan Li | Google Play Apps & Games | Medium

Time period for fitness application development

Fitness App Development: Types, Features, and Costs | Mobindustry

The five stages of the entire development process are:

  • Designing – This part includes UX as well as UI design.

Approximate time – 60 to 80 hours

  • Testing

Approximate time – 80 to 100 hours

  • Documentation – The documentation procedure includes specifications, design prototypes, business analysis, etc.

Approximate time – 50 to 60 hours

  • Development stage – This stage incorporates
  1. Development time for Android platform – 380 to 400 hours
  2. Development time for front-end tasks – 190 to 200 hours
  3. Development time for iOS platform – 450 to 480 hours
  4. Development time for back-end tasks – 350 to 400 hours
  • Maintenance & support

Approximate time – 40 to 50 hours

Point to remember – The time duration for developing your fitness application will also fix the cost.

Cost breakdown

Without learning about the approximate fitness app development cost, you must not start such endeavors. As only when you hire a reputable mobile app development company and developers and programmers as per industry rates, getting hands on quality application is possible. The factors on which the cost of a fitness app depends are:

  • Application complexity – You need to choose the complexity level of your fitness application like simple, high-end & medium. The cost of the basic version of an app is less in comparison to the remaining two which are high-end & medium. It is important to select as per the app functionalities & features.
  • Application development team – Amidst several factors, this is the one that is largely responsible for assessing the application cost. The team that is necessary for carrying out high quality fitness app development are:
  1. QA engineers
  2. Project manager
  3. iOS application developers
  4. Web developers
  5. UX/UI designers
  6. Requirement analyst
  7. Android application developers

Majority of iPhone users are on the latest version of iOS, only 8.2% of Android users are on Android 10 | SoyaCincau.com

  • Application platform – Android & iOS are the two most employed platforms in the globe. The platform you select largely impacts the application development cost. With the increase in the figure of platforms, the cost will also enhance & it is vice versa as well. This factor also depends on the application development company you pick. It is usually the team of developers that decide the number of platforms they wish to construct and it can be multiple or single.
  • Location of the developer team – Along with the appointed mobile app development company, the location of the developer team also influences the app cost. The developer cost varies depending on each country and each region.
  1. Easter Europe – $30 to $150 per hour
  2. Australia – $100 to $110 per hour
  3. India – $10 to $80 per hour
  4. North America – $150 to $170 per hour
  5. United Kingdom – $60 to $70 per hour

Hence, the fitness app development cost you can calculate as follows:

Hours required to develop * Application developer cost

To get a hands on user-friendly budget, you can always choose a sound mobile app development company from Eastern Europe or India.

The approximate cost to develop a fitness application thereby will be $20,000 to $30,000 for one platform. In case you opt for one more platform, you will need to bear another $20,000.

You must remember that the cost you witness in this content is an approximate estimate.

The cost can largely vary as per the features & ideology as well.

Final Say

The brief yet crisp information that you witness in this content can help you think further about your fitness app development endeavors. It is best to take an appointment from a renowned mobile app development company for learning about the business model, revenue, features, quotes, total time required in detail. The experienced teams of such companies work very closely with you to understand the kind of fitness app that can fetch you a huge amount of revenue. Say yes to a rewarding online career with usConnect with us today.

10 Benefits of VPS Hosting for SMBs

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Over the last few years, VPS has become the hosting solution of choice for SMBs. Offering all the benefits of a small, dedicated server but at a fraction of the cost, its features far outstrip those of shared hosting and give small and medium-sized companies an affordable way to expand their capabilities. In this post, we‘ll look at the benefits of VPS and why you should consider it.

What is a VPS?

A VPS is a virtual private server which has been created using virtualisation software. Sort of a ‘ghost in the machine’, it is housed on a physical server but remains completely independent from it. Unlike shared hosting, it is also completely independent of any other VPS which may be housed on the same physical server.

Benefit 1: Improved reliability

Understanding MTBF and Reliability – An Introduction

The independence of the VPS from other virtual servers on the physical hardware means it does not share its resources. Compared with shared hosting, this makes VPS far more reliable. On shared hosting servers, the traffic and computing activities of other customers can impact on all the others – if two or three customers are experiencing heavy traffic, for example, everyone else might be affected. This can’t happen with a VPS.

Benefit 2: Dedicated resources

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Just like with a dedicated server, all the resources of your VPS are dedicated entirely to you. What’s more, the amount of disk space, CPU and RAM available for a VPS is significantly more than you get with a shared hosting account, meaning you can handle more traffic and run more apps.

Benefit 3: Increased performance

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With more resources dedicated entirely to your business needs, you get far better server performance. Improved processing power and capacity means your website can load quicker on users’ browsers which has been shown to improve user engagement, increase conversion rates and boost your search engine ranking.

In addition, it will mean any processes you run on your server will also run quicker and have less impact on other operations taking place. Your website won’t run slowly, for example, while you back up your files or send out bulk emails.

Benefit 4: Software freedom

When you use shared hosting, you have no choice over the type of operating system you can run, everyone on the shared server has to use the same one. With a VPS, you are free to choose the operating system which best suits your needs.

At the same time, some shared hosting accounts limit the types of software you can use. Some apps are not acceptable because they may be resource heavy or because they may cause conflicts with other applications. With VPS you are free to run any applications you choose.

Benefit 5: Root access

Rooting for Newbies: How to gain root access - Android Community

Opting for VPS will enable you to have root access to your server. This gives users full access to your VPS account giving you greater control over how your server is configured and over any application installations. These actions can be undertaken via your control panel.

Benefit 6: Fully managed service

What is a 'Fully Managed Service'? | Dimensions

If you thought updating to a VPS meant having to manage your own server, you’ll be pleased to know that most hosting companies offer managed VPS hosting where they undertake this responsibility on your behalf. A good provider will maintain and update your hardware, the virtualisation software and your operating system. They will also apply any security patches on your behalf.

Benefit 7: Comprehensive technical support

We offer comprehensive technical support for all products we install

One of the main advantages of some VPS hosting is that it comes with 24/7 technical support, this means that should you have an issue with your server or require assistance with some of the more technical aspects of hosting, a technical expert will always be on hand to deal with the issue. At eUKhost, our support team also provides security and application performance consultancy to help keep your VPS running optimally.

Benefit 8: Server monitoring

Best Server Monitoring Tools: Software Review

With the increased need for security against cyberattacks, it’s good to know that some VPS providers will actively monitor your server and associated hardware for any threats. Server monitoring ensures that threats such as hacking, malware and DDoS attacks are dealt with swiftly before they can do any damage.

Benefit 9: Multiple domain hosting

Many companies run more than one website and although this can be achieved on shared hosting accounts, it often means that already limited resources are stretched even further. The more websites you run on a shared hosting account, the less reliable each will be.

The much greater resources available on VPS means that multiple domain hosting can take place without any performance issues arising.

Benefit 10: Cloud data backups

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Backups should be an essential part of your disaster recovery plan, so it is important that any VPS hosting provider offers a backup solution that lets you configure automated, scheduled backups to meet your business needs. Solutions such as R1Soft enable you to safely back up your entire VPS server in the cloud meaning that in the case of a disaster, you’ll be able to recover in no time at all.


VPS hosting provides an affordable way to upgrade from shared hosting to a solution that offers many of the features of a dedicated server: more resources, increased control and greater flexibility. Add to this the managed services and technical support that comes with a VPS and it’s the ideal solution for small and medium-sized businesses looking to improve their IT capabilities.

5 Reasons Your Business Needs Social Media

A Chronological History of Social Media
From multinationals to people selling their second-hand gear, every type of business is taking advantage of social media – and benefiting from it. So, why aren’t you? If you’ve not seen the value in running a social media campaign for your business, perhaps the points we discuss in this post will convince you to think again.

1. Grow your audience

Five Tips To Grow Your Audience For Your Digital Business

The more people who know about your business, the more chance you have of getting new customers. Setting up social media accounts and publishing posts enables you to promote your business, for free, to a wide range of people.

While it does take time to build up a following, posting content that people will like, share and comment on is the best way to start growing an audience. When people do these things, their friends and followers will see your posts too and, in turn, they can like and share with others, enabling you to reach a much wider audience.

An important general rule when posting on social media is not to focus entirely on your products and services. Social media is about being social – so, to garner the most interest and get the most engagement, make sure you post about other things, too. You can even share engaging posts from others. Besides promoting yourself, the aim should be to increase other people’s enjoyment of social media or add value to their use of it. If you do this, more users will take note of you, follow you and like you.

2. Making new connections

Making New Connections | FaskenTech.com

Once you have begun to develop an audience of followers, you are in the position to connect with them. You can share posts inviting them to comment on your products and services, offer them deals, invite them to events and so forth.

Just as importantly, when people make comments on your posts, you should reply. This can really help you build new and potentially promising relationships that increase interest in your company, not just with those who you reply to but with others who read your comments.

3. Develop your brand

Building a brand strategy: Essentials for long-term success

Your brand is what makes you unique. It’s not just the products you sell or the services you offer, it’s how you conduct your business, the values that underpin your operations, the quality of the products and services you provide and the image you project to the public.

Social media enables you to promote all these branding elements so that your followers begin to get a thorough understanding of the kind of company you are and why they should become customers. So, while it is important to get people familiar with your branding (logo, etc.), it is equally important to get your values across. If you believe in great service, only use organic products, make everything by hand, or sell only the coolest gear, get the message out there.

4. Grow your influence

3 Ways to Use Your Influence to Help Others

Social media influencers, those with millions of followers, are very powerful people. A single tweet from these individuals can turn an unheard of product into new fashion or condemn a fashionable product into the annals of history.

While businesses don’t quite muster the same leverage as these mega influencers, they are able to influence their followers, their industry and their market niches. And one way businesses can achieve this is through establishing themselves as experts in their fields.

How do you do this? There are two important elements. The first is sharing your success. If you are an expert at something, people will expect you to be successful, so promoting your successes makes people believe that what you have to say is valid. At the same time, you need to share your expertise with others. Posting ‘how to’ blog posts and videos on social media is the best way to do this as your expertise is being used to help people solve problems. People who need those problems solving quickly become followers. If solving those problems sometimes involves buying your products or using your services, then even better.

If you need convincing, then ask why celebrity chefs make so much money from their own branded products and restaurants? It is because they have been sharing their cooking expertise for years on TV. Those who liked the TV recipes will presume that the food they sell in supermarkets and restaurants will be just as good and go out and buy it.

5. Send customers to your website

6 Email Marketing Tactics Your Customers Will Love | Unbounce

At the end of the day, the principal aim of social media is to generate new business and for most companies, the key place to do this is on their website. This is where you will have created the landing pages, product descriptions and calls to action to encourage the user to buy.

It is important, therefore, that you put links on your social media posts that send consumers to the relevant pages on your site. You don’t need to do this for all your posts, but for those for which it is pertinent, such as posts about products, you should.


Whether you are big or small, local or national, creating a social media profile and developing a posting strategy can have a positive effect on your business. It helps people know you exist, lets you build relationships, develops brand awareness, establishes you as an expert and drives new customers to your website.

7 Ultimate ideas to skyrocket your Online Business

10 Promotion Ideas To Drive More Sales In 2021

Starting an online business is challenging enough but after putting in all that work to get launched, the last thing you need is your venture to fail just because people do not know about it. Luckily, there are quite a few things you can do to spread the word and reach out to your target market and in this post, we’ll look at seven of them, most of which won’t cost you a penny.

1. List your business with the major search engines

Top 10 Search Engines In The World (2021 Update)

If people are going to look for a business like yours, chances are they’ll start their search on the internet and do so using Google or Bing. These search engines have free business listings services that enable your business to be found much easier online and let you add relevant information about your business for potential customers to see. This can include physical and internet addresses, phone numbers, map locations, opening times and customer ratings. You can even upload images. The listings services are Google My Business,  Bing Places for Business and Yahoo! Local.

2. Reach out on social media

Reaching out on social media – Grass never grows on a busy street

Setting up business pages and accounts on social media platforms is now more or less a necessity for online businesses. With billions of worldwide users, it is the ideal channel to reach out and grow an audience of followers.

You can use social media for advertising, brand development, showcasing products and services, customer service, promoting events, sending offers and much more.

The challenge is to choose the most appropriate social media platforms on which to communicate. There are now so many about, it is impractical to devote time to all of them. You need to discover the places where your target market is most active and engage with them there – whether that’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat. If you are a B2B business, LinkedIn is definitely a place to promote yourself.

3. Start a blog

How to Start a Blog and Make Money - The Definitive Guide (2021)

Many businesses misunderstand blogging and tend to think that a blog is some kind of diary or journal that an individual writes. In reality, a business blog is a content marketing vehicle. The aim is to create posts that solve your customers’ problems. Doing so provides a raft of benefits, such as:

  • Improved SEO and search engine rankings
  • Increased traffic to your website (both new and returning visitors)
  • Customers perceive the company/brand as an expert in its field
  • Growth of blog subscribers enables targeted, free, email marketing
  • Improved conversion rates and increased sales

For a blog to be successful, new content needs to be posted regularly and it can take time before it has an impact. Once it does, however, it has massive marketing potential.

4. Outreach

Back to Basics: Building a Successful Outreach Campaign on Good Data and a Personal Touch | by Data@Urban | Medium

If your website is new, it is sometimes beneficial to write posts to publish on other relevant websites or blogs which already have established audiences. Doing this helps spread the word to these new audiences and often you are allowed to provide a link that they can use to find your website. You’ll need to find the most relevant websites to do this and contact them to see if they accept guest posts.

Alternatively, you could send your products to influential bloggers and they may write a review which their audience can read.

5. Create a YouTube channel

How To Create a YouTube Channel - YouTube

An alternative to writing blog posts is to create videos. Indeed, in some circumstances, videos are more helpful than written posts, for example, when showing people how to carry out practical tasks, such as putting a new hard drive in a computer.

Creating a helpful YouTube channel can help you amass a substantial online audience, many of whom will subscribe to your future posts and even share them to a wider audience on your behalf. If you mention your products in your videos and add a link to your website, there’s huge potential to improve your sales.

6. Optimise your website

Free SEO toolkit: 20+ free SEO and SEM tools to help you optimise your website — O'Brien Media Ltd

While search engine optimisation (SEO) isn’t a promotional tool in itself, its value in helping bring new customers to your website should never be overlooked. SEO is a multi-faceted task that involves making your website easier for search engines to index and making it more user-friendly and valuable for searchers. It can include everything from speeding up your site’s loading times and installing a mobile-friendly theme to having a well-structured site and the use of effective keywords in your content.

Essentially, a website that is optimised has a better chance of ranking well in search engine results. The better your site ranks, the more you will be seen in search results and the more visitors you will get.

7. Online advertising

What are the benefits of Online Advertising? Types of Online Advertising

Paid advertising is used by millions of companies and for many, it is a major source of traffic. The main form of advertising is known as pay per click (PPC), which basically means you pay a fee every time someone clicks on one of your ads. The benefits of such advertising schemes are that you have excellent control over who sees your adverts and when. You can choose people in specific demographic groups and locations and choose the times when the ads are displayed. This means you can use your advertising budget very effectively to ensure the right people are clicking through to your site.

The downside of PPC is that it can be expensive. Ad spaces are often given to the highest bidders and competition means you may have to pay quite a lot for each click. The problem arises when you have poor conversion rates – in other words, if only one percent of people who click go on to buy your product, advertising might not provide the return on investment you need. There are many places you can advertise; Google and Bing are key players, as are many social media platforms.


Getting the message out about your online business is essential if you want to attract visitors that will buy your products or services. The sooner you can do this after launch, the better. Hopefully, the seven methods shown here will help find the right marketing solutions for your online venture. If you are looking for hosting for your online business, visit our homepage to see our range of hosting solutions.

6 Social Proof Tips for Boosting Online Sales

Online Holiday Sales Are Expected to Exceed $136 Billion This Year. Here's How You Can Win Big | Inc.com

We use the term ‘conversion’ all the time when referring to online sales. And it’s a word whose religious meaning is at the very heart of what businesses need to do: to convert consumers to believe in your brand. That, however, is easier said than done. We’re a society of sceptics, we don’t take advertising rhetoric at face value. We need independent evidence that backs up what businesses say about their products and services. That evidence, today, comes in the form of social proof – and those businesses that use it, are the ones making the most progress.

Social proof, therefore, is a way of saying, ‘Don’t just take our word for it.’ It’s a very effective marketing technique that gives potential buyers the confidence to purchase from you. Here are some of the ways you can use social proof to grow your business.

1. Display your reviews and testimonials

11 GENIUS Examples of Testimonials on Website You Can Copy (+ Pics)

Reviews are the most powerful of all social proof as they provide would-be consumers with honest, independent feedback about products and services. Indeed, reading reviews is now an integral part of the purchasing process with over 70% of consumers doing so before making a decision.

It doesn’t matter if you are an eCommerce store giving reviews of the products you sell or a garage showing reviews about the quality of your services, as long as you have them, customers are more inclined to trust you. If you have no reviews, you are an unknown quantity. For many online consumers, that can be too much of a gamble.

The same applies to customer testimonials, however, to make them believable, make sure that you include the customer’s name, a photograph, and if they are a business customer, the company they work for.

2. Use the power of statistics

The 4-step refresher of statistical power | by Simon Jackson | Towards Data Science

People have a tendency to believe statistics because they are based on evidence that has been measured and verified. This makes them highly persuasive things to use in your advertising and website content. Used effectively, they can be a great way to convince people that you are a successful business they can trust.

Some examples of how you can use statistics include:

* Highlighting customer numbers – ‘Over 500 learners passed their driving test last year’

* Showing how many customers recommend you – ‘8 out of 10 cats preferred…’

* How much customers can save – ‘Average customer saved £264’

* Show how popular you are – ‘Sign up and join our growing network of 10,000 subscribers’

3. Promote social endorsements

Celebrities and social media influencers investigated over paid-for endorsements

The power of social endorsements should never be overlooked. When Kensington Palace released a photo of Princess Charlotte for her 2nd birthday, the John Lewis cardigan she was wearing sold out the same day.

It’s not just royalty that has this effect, anyone who is socially well-known can do the same – whether it’s a local celebrity, an online influencer, someone who is highly regarded within a specific field or even a prominent organisation. Endorsements give your brand greater credibility and increase the likelihood of sales.

4. Show off your prominent clients and partners

20 most common interview questions (and how to answer them) | Totaljobs

Companies that provide services to the royal family can show off their prominent clients by displaying the various Royal Warrants of Appointment. It says to customers, ‘If they use us, we must be good.’ Today, lots of businesses follow this example by showcasing the logos of their major clients on their websites. Not only does this give your brand a social kudos, it also lets other companies know about the type of clients you are able to cater for and the quality of service they are likely to expect.

Besides clients, also let customers know if you work in partnership with any high-profile businesses or, if you are an eCommerce company, whether you sell high-end brands. Again, this can be done by placing logos in prominent places on your website.

5. Use real-time trending information

Twitter trends

As consumers, we tend to follow fashion and like to keep up with what other people think is hot. You can provide this information easily on your website using a range of different plugins or widgets. These can tell your visitors which the most popular products or the most visited pages are.

These real-time statuses persuade inquisitive consumers to visit the pages to find out why these products are so popular. Of course, the popularity is a sign that other people think these products are good, which further incentivises people to buy.

6. Make the most of your credentials

How to Make Digital Credentials Your Most Impactful Marketing Tool

Legitimacy can go a long way to securing new businesses, so if your company has credentials which prove you meet recognised standards, have required qualifications or are members of professional bodies, make sure they are clearly displayed on your site. These are irrefutable social proof that makes customers feel confident about using your services.

For example, if you were a travel agency, people would want you to be a member of ABTA or have ATOL certification, or if you were an accountant, they would want to see that you were a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.


If you want to convert sceptical visitors into faithful customers, you will need to convince them that the promises you make about your products and services are true. For that, they’ll look beyond your landing page content and seek reassurance from others. That reassurance comes in the form of social proof. We hope the advice given in this post can help you to convince your customers.

Growth of Small Business Using Snapchat

What Is Snapchat and Why Do Kids Love It and Parents Fear It? (Updated)

When it comes to business, every social media platform is a potential new marketing channel. The problem, however, is that there are so many channels out there that it is impossible to concentrate on them all. That said, there are some you shouldn’t ignore and one of these, that continues to go from strength to strength, is Snapchat.

Today, Snapchat has more active daily users than Twitter with over 178 million people viewing an incredible 10 billion posts each day. And with a focus on visual media, it’s a great opportunity for businesses to use a range of creative marketing techniques to engage new customers, build their brand and sell products.

In this guide, we’ll tell you all you need to know about Snapchat and how you can use it to market your business.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat firm unveils platform plan to take on Google and Apple | Snapchat | The Guardian

Snapchat is a quirky camera app that lets users send ‘Snaps’ to each other. A Snap is an image or a video of 10 seconds or less. What’s quirky about Snapchat is that anything you post only has a limited lifespan. Once all recipients have seen it, it disappears permanently. Besides individual Snaps, you can create an ‘Story’ comprised of individual Snaps but even these only last for 24 hours. In addition, you can also send short-lived, real-time, text messages to friends – these are called ‘Chats’.

Snapchat facts

Here are some interesting facts that show how Snapchat can be an attractive prospect for small businesses.

  • In terms of users, Snapchat is more popular than Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest
  • It has high user engagement – over 60% of users post a Snap every day
  • Three-quarters of users make a purchase through Snapchat every month
  • It’s ideal for companies targeting millennials. Over 70% of users are under 35.
  • It’s still an emerging channel. Despite its popularity, 99% of companies have yet to take advantage of Snapchat, meaning there’s plenty of opportunities for those who get in first.

Realistic branding opportunities

Free Realistic Branding Mockup (PSD)

Because of the short-lived nature of Snapchat posts, it’s not a platform where businesses are going to spend thousands of pounds creating lots of professional videos. Instead, it’s an ideal place for quick, entertaining posts that offer an insight into the life of your brand. It’s for showing what happens behind the scenes or taking snaps of people, places and events and highlighting your values. By doing this, you can show the human side of your business to create connections and build relationships.

Snapchat can also be used for posting Snaps about new products or services, for promoting events and even for offering discounts or running competitions. If you send out a discount voucher, for example, users can save it to their phone for later use.

Setting up Snapchat

How to Create a Snapchat Account: 14 Steps (with Pictures)Setting up Snapchat is easy. Just download the app from your app store (Google or Apple, etc.) and sign up for a new Snapchat account. To keep things consistent, have the same username as you do on your other social media accounts. This will help followers find you when they search across different platforms.

Once you have registered your account, the first thing you need to do is to make sure the ‘Stories’ feature, which keeps your posts live for 24 hours, is set to public so that all your followers can see them. To do this, tap the ghost icon to navigate to Settings, select View My Story and set it to ‘Everyone’.

Adding friends

10 Essential Snapchat Privacy TipsYou can only share your Snaps and Stories with your friends, so it is important that you begin to add friends as soon as possible. If you already have other social media accounts, use these to get the message out that you are now posting on Snapchat. What you’ll find is that those who prefer using Snapchat will be the ones to add you.

You can add friends by searching for their username, from your address book, by posting your Snapcode (like a QR code) or your username to other social media platforms, or by inviting contacts who are non-Snapchat users to sign up and make friends.

One great feature of Snapchat is its ‘Add Nearby Users’ feature which lets you invite anyone in your immediate vicinity. This is ideal for organisations that have bricks and mortar stores or which run events. If you have a shop, for example, you can send an invite to every Snapchat user that enters your store.

Creating and sharing content


How to create a new private story on Snapchat: Step-by-step guide - Information News

Creating content on Snapchat is very easy. When you open the app, you open your camera. All you have to do is take a picture or a short video. Once you’ve finished, you’ll then be taken to the editing screen where you’ll be given a range of editing options to embellish your Snap. These include:

  • Stickers – like sticky notes
  • Captions
  • Doodles
  • Tint brush (currently still image only)
  • Filters – these let you add a wide range of text and graphic overlays and photo effects to your Snaps. (You’ll need to turn filters on in the settings first.)

Once you’ve finished editing and are happy with your Snap, you can decide which contacts you’d like to send it to. This is very helpful if you are marketing to different groups of Snapchat users as you can send out different Snaps to different people. To post your Snap, simply click the blue arrow icon at the bottom of your screen. Following this, the app then changes to the feed screen.


How to Use Snapchat Insights : Social Media Examiner

User engagement data is important for any business looking at the impact of its social media strategy. Luckily, Snapchat has this built-in. If you tap on the dots to the right of your Story, you’ll be shown your Story analytics. These show you which users have viewed your Story and who has saved your Snaps to their phones. There is also a host of third-party applications you can use to give even greater insight into your user engagement.


As you can see, Snapchat is one of the easiest social media platforms to set up and get running. It’s perfect for marketing to young, millennial audiences who love this kind of highly visual, fast-paced interaction and it’s a fun and exciting way to promote your brand, products and events. Hopefully, this guide will have shown you all the basic things you need to get your Snapchat account off the ground and start posting.

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting an eCommerce Business

Why Ecommerce Businesses are Thriving - Hedge Think

If you are investing time, effort and money in setting up an online store, you want to make sure it is successful. Often the focus for startups is on the products being sold and creating a website with the right brand image. While these are obviously important considerations, there are other matters which if not handled correctly can cause your fledgeling business to fail. Here are seven mistakes that eCommerce business should avoid.

1. Ineffective product photography

Is Bad Product Photography Impacting Your Conversion & Return Rates?

For all its convenience, the big drawback of purchasing anything online is that consumers don’t get to see the product in real life. For most consumers, the biggest clue to what a product looks like is the photograph. The product image, therefore, is crucial to achieving a sale. Indeed, for 82% of Netflix viewers, it is the main factor in helping them choose a movie – so much so, that the company now serves different images to different audiences.

One of the mistakes new eCommerce business companies make is to overlook the importance of the product image. Photographs not only have to be of a high quality, but they also need to be resizable and show the product in a way that is compelling. For many products, a single image will not suffice. You may need to have a series of images showing the product from all angles and others which zoom in to show features and details. This is what customers want and those stores which provide this are going to get more of the sales.

2. Badly written product descriptions

How to write product descriptions that sell

If a product image catches the visitor’s eye, the next stage of their purchasing journey will be to read the product description. Although no-one is looking for a long-winded essay, generally, customers do want more than a couple of lines of text. The more information you can tell them about a product the more they are likely to find a feature or a benefit that makes them want to buy it.

Any text should be in plain English with technically accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar. Details given must be accurate and include things such as size, colour, weight, energy efficiency ratings and part numbers.

3. Dodgy customer reviews

16 Tips to Handle Negative Customer Reviews Online

After images and product descriptions, one of the other major factors that help consumers make purchasing decisions are customer reviews. Reviews are increasingly important as they let potential customers discover what others think about a product, warts and all.

However, as the BBC recently highlighted, there are some ecommerce business that will write 5-star reviews of the products they sell or pay individuals to write 5-star reviews for them. Consumers, though, are a sceptical lot: just as they are alerted by gushing product descriptions, they are equally as suspicious of a product with a perfect run of 5-star reviews. The moral is a simple one – don’t be tempted into writing 5-star reviews of the products you sell, not only is it likely to get you into hot water, it can have the opposite effect on sales to what you intended.

4. Aggressive returns policies

How To Write An Ecommerce Return Policy (Real Examples)

From a legal point of view, online customers in most countries have the legal right to return goods bought online. In the UK, for example, the Distance Selling Act means that anything purchased online from a business (not from private individuals) can be returned within 14 days of delivery. They then have 14 days to return the products and the refund must be given within 14 days of their return.

While these protections are statutory, many ecommerce business have other clauses in their policy designed to make it difficult to return the products – such as making the customers pay for return postage or requiring special repackaging conditions. While some of these conditions are understandable, the main consideration should be on how these affect purchasers. If your returns policy puts customers off buying from you, it will lose you sales. Offering free returns may improve overall sales and help retain customers, even if it is inconvenient and costly.

5. Hard to navigate site structure

10 Ways Website Structure Can Affect SEO

It can be a challenge just to get customers visiting your site. When they do, you want to make the most of the opportunity while they are there.  You can’t do this, however, if they can’t easily find what they are looking for.

A user-friendly website enables customers to find products without any hassle. The easier it is, the more chance they will buy from you. For this reason, make sure you have your products correctly categorised and that you use menus and search bars. The search feature, in particular, should enable visitors to refine their search by things like price, colour, size, brand, etc.

6. Complicated checkouts and unexpected surprises

Checkout Page Optimization: 22 Best Ways to Recover Lost Sales

You will be surprised by the number of people who abandon a sale at the checkout. There are two main reasons for this. One of the big issues is that some eCommerce business companies hide their shipping costs until the very last part of the process. When customers suddenly see how much more things are going to cost, they bail out of the sale. It is always better to include shipping in your product pricing and state that you offer free shipping. If you can’t do this, be upfront and transparent about what the costs are before customers get to the checkout.

The other chief culprit is an over-complex checkout process. Forcing customers to register on your site, fill in detailed forms or having list after list of last-minute bargains thrown in front of them can leave some customers just to click on the X. If you have a sale in the bag, don’t lose it by making customers jump through unnecessary hoops. If you want this information, ask for it after the sale has been completed.

7. Poor website loading times

12 Reasons Your Website Is Slow (And How to Fix Them) - DreamHost

This is a problem we have mentioned numerous times before: a slow loading website sells fewer products. Even something as small as a one second delay has been shown to reduce conversion rates and website revenue by 7% and cut the number of page views by 11%. Quite simply, in the age of superfast broadband and 4G, consumers don’t wait around for a hanging website to load.

With increased competition meaning ever-smaller profit margins, improving your site speed by one second can be the difference between success and failure. To solve this problem, visit Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool to discover how fast your site is loading and what you can do to improve your site’s speed. In addition, make sure your site is hosted with a service provider that uses high-performance servers that are optimised for website hosting, this can make a real difference.


As you can see, there are a lot of mistakes that new eCommerce sites can make which can have a negative impact on the performance of their business. Hopefully, the information provided here will help you avoid them and give your site the best chance of success.

Watch Out For These 5 Email Marketing Trends

Top 5 B2B Email Marketing Strategies For The Year 2018

Email is a tried and tested method of email marketing. Cost-effective to run and with the highest ROI of any form of marketing, it’s become an essential part of many companies’ marketing strategies, especially as it’s possible to grow huge subscriber lists over time. However, with more consumers now preferring other forms of communication, like texts, private messaging and app notifications, email is having to move with the times in order to keep recipients engaged. Here, we’ll look at some of the ways email marketing is expected to develop in the near future.

1. Personalisation on the rise

Social Shopping on the Rise as Personalisation Influences User Journey | PerformanceIN

In an effort to increase opening rates and conversions, many companies are now turning to personalisation in order to make marketing emails more relevant to their subscribers. The solution that makes this possible is the use of cloud-based AI and machine learning applications. Their ability to carry out big data analysis of customer behaviour provides insights that can be used to trigger automated, personalised emails, sent out at the optimal time, to improve the chances of conversion.

2. Intelligent campaign analytics

How 6 Top Brands Use Machine Learning Marketing to Create Smarter Campaigns | CleverTap

Email software used by webmasters has always included some metrical data on email campaigns, providing information about opening rates, clickthroughs and so forth. Today, however, technology has moved forward. With more campaign data being collected and AI and machine learning used to analyse it, companies are able to run far more successful campaigns. Even better, much of the work needing to be done is automated for them. Now, not only is it possible to track how effective a campaign is; you can also use the data to make automated optimisations throughout, enabling the campaign to be constantly tweaked in order to improve its effectiveness.

3. Email reviews

How to get people to review your product using email automation

Customer reviews are now essential to the success of a company, with over 70 per cent of all purchasers reading them before deciding to buy. What’s also true, is that the same proportion of customers are also likely to leave a review if you ask them to do so. Email offers a great way to do this as links to review sites can be built into the email copy. Indeed, feedback forms can also be embedded into the emails and the comments received here can be used as user-generated content to send out to other recipients. Not only will more companies do this; we’ll see them using AI to choose the customers who are most likely to write positive reviews.

4. Interactive email content

Interactive Email for Beginners: 6 Interactive Elements You Can Add to Your Emails Today - Litmus

While getting a user to open an email can be challenging enough, to be of any use, you really need them to read it and take action. With competition from other forms of marketing, emails will need to be far more engaging than the standard text, image and call to action content that most currently contain. Today, more companies are beginning to create emails that have dynamic content which can keep the user engaged and motivate them to click on the CTA, these include embedded videos, hamburger menus, product carousels, rollover images and even animated CTAs.

5. Alexa mail

Alexa Email Integration | Developing Email for Virtual Assistants

While efforts to improve the content of emails with dynamic visual content will work with many, an increasing number of people are beginning to abandon the visual email interface in preference for having them read out by smart speakers and voice assistants. This makes it more convenient for users who want to open messages while driving, walking around with their headphones on or wanting to multi-task while making dinner.

With the boom in the number of these voice-enabled devices being sold, an increasing number of emails are going to be opened in this way – though one can imagine that not all users who choose this method will use it all the time. This leaves marketers with a problem of how to communicate effectively with these users. If you send a traditional email, they won’t be able to see any images (only hear the alt-tag read out) and they’ll be unable to click through to any landing page. At the same time, neither you nor the user might know how the email will be accessed, until the moment it is. Overcoming these issues will be a major challenge to email marketers as the number of smart speakers grows.


While alternative modes of communication are challenging email as the preferred means of receiving marketing, the future promises to deliver some important developments that will make it even more appealing to both company and customer alike. Personalisation and interactive content will make emails more relevant and engaging and data-driven analytics will improve campaign performance. On the negative side, however, email needs to adapt to the smart speaker era.

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