Delivering the top tips for achieving the highest-performance for your website and getting the most of your marketing efforts.
We've been hard at work creating a number of WordPress Hosting tutorials that we hope you find helpful. Some of our newest WordPress tutorials include:
We also just uploaded this video explaining how to update your WordPress database credentials.
Our goal is to create tutorials that you'll actually use and find helpful. That's why we need your ideas! What WordPress tutorials would you like to see us post in the future? Post your ideas as a comment below!
As an A2 Hosting employee who writes a ton of content for our site, one of the most frustrating problems I encounter is when another site copies our content and uses it on their own site without permission. The fancy lingo for this act is content scraping.
As much as you may want to feel flattery when someone copies your content, it can be quite discouraging when the offending sites actually outrank you in Google's organic rankings. Thanks to Google's new Scraper Report though, you can let Google know about such occurrences. It's a simple form to complete. Just include the link where your content was copied from, the link where your copied content appears and the Google result where you are being outranked. Google doesn't promise immediate (or any) action if you complete this form. It's certainly a start though if you've been unable to get the offending site to remove your content.
On a side note, one of my favorite parts of my job is reading the response of a website after I email them requesting they take the copied content down. One site claimed to be updating their site anyway after I thanked them for removing the content. What perfect timing.
So how do you find sites who have duplicated your content? I have had a lot of luck (unfortunately) by using Copyscape. Copyscape is a free plagiarism checker for finding copies of your web pages online. All you need to do is search for your domain and Copyscape will show you where your content is potentially being copied.
As we begin the process of refreshing our website, it's got us thinking about what makes for good web design. Specifically, what are some principles that we can keep in mind that will lead us toward a good design. There's any number of sources you can choose to draw from on this topic. No matter how many you read, though, there's at least a few points that will always come up.
Keep it simple. It always sounds so easy, and at the start every design is simple and clean. But as things progress, what started out as an elegant mockup turns into a garbled mess of gradients and images. The only way to avoid this is to truly value simplicity and clean design. Don't add things just because you can add them. Make sure anything you add is truly needed.
Choose a color scheme ahead of time. This is most important when thinking about the call to action on a page. It should pop out and be unambiguous in its purpose. In order for that to happen the entire color scheme of the page must be constructed carefully and considered. If you use too many colors, it all becomes jumbled and your call to action (no matter how bright or punchy) will get lost.
Use a grid. A page designed without a grid will feel off. Viewers may not be able to put their finger on a specific element that they don't like, instead it will be all the individual elements failing to coalesce into a seemless whole which creates a feeling of unease in the viewer. Making sure all of your elements fall along a common grid, and line up with each other as appropriate will make your site look and feel as carefully considered and crafted as it really is.
Of course, this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Entire books, and series of books are written about good web design. But these few basic principles are ones that will start you off on the right path. If you have a solid foundation, it's a lot easier to build what you envision on top of it.
It seems like every few months there is a new SEO trend that becomes hot. When done the right way, you can soon see improvement in your organic rankings. Inevitably a few rule breakers will figure out how to game the system. When that happens Google will put the kibosh on the strategy (rightfully so) and that ruins it for the rest of us. Isn't that how it always seems to work? Well this time around Google has announced that guest blogging is no longer a viable SEO strategy. It has become too spammy. If guest blogging has become your top or only SEO strategy, it's time to adjust your strategy. You could risk facing the wrath of being dropped from their rankings if you don't.
Now let me clarify this. I wouldn't stop guest blogging as a marketing strategy. It's still great for generating exposure and cross promotion. This is especially true if you know the person or company well that you're collaborating with. Have you actually spoke to them on the phone or met them in person? This is a situation where you would want to consider guest blogging or accepting a post on your blog. You probably don't want to guest blog if you've received an email from someone you don't know who is requesting that you pay for a post.
For example, at a conference a few years back, I met the representatives from CloudFlare. CDNs were just starting to become popular and I had an idea for how we could explain how a CDN works for those users who are non-technical like myself. I pitched the blog post to CloudFlare and they liked it. They got free, original blog content and we got free exposure to the CloudFlare audience. It was a win-win situation. The post's sole intention was not to pass Page Rank.
As long as you're not guest blogging solely to pass Page Rank to your site, you're still using a quality marketing tactic. Just make sure it's a relevant topic for that blog. If you're accepting a guest blog or are writing one, it's always a good idea to include a section explaining the expertise of the author and the purpose of the post.
Over the past few months we've really revamped our Knowledgebase to not only make it easier to use, but also to stock it with a ton of helpful articles. Some prefer to watch a video instead of reading an article though. In our constant quest to offer you the best service possible, we have recently launched a new section of our blog; The A2 Posting Video Library.
The A2 Posting Video Library is where you can find our latest video tutorials and guides. We've started off with WordPress Hosting tutorials like How to Increase WordPress Security and How to Optimize WordPress with W3 Total Cache and GTmetrix, with many more to to come!
Have an idea for a video tutorial? Is there an application or hosting feature you've been having trouble with? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions for future tutorials!