6 Benefits of Hiring a Web Designing Expert

By Hopinfirst on November 28, 2018

A carefully created and professional looking website is liked by all segments of society as it helps people gain the desired knowledge and make decisions easily and quickly.

When you wish to take your business to the WWW with a sole intention to increase the brand awareness, and reach out potential customers and sell more products, your website must show professionalism and the information searched by visitors.

This is possible only when you get in touch with a professional web design company or an individual web designer. They benefit you in many ways.

Let’s have a look at the top 6 benefits of hiring a web designing expert now.

#1. Experience & Knowledge Matters A lot in Web Development

When you tend to have a stylish and trendy website that stands out of the crowd, satisfies the parameters of different search engines, easily meets the rapidly changing needs of the Internet audience, then you need the assistance of an expert web designer or SEO company.

It is because only an experienced and well-informed web designer can keep a close eye on changing trends in web design, SEO, the user behavior. These things are necessary to create faster, eye-catching, professional & user-friendly websites.

These days, many people use different CMS systems to create websites with the help of pre-made themes and plugins. Always keep in mind that using predesigned themes and plugins don’t help you create websites you dream of. You necessarily need to customize those themes and extensions and reshape them as per your needs. Only an experienced web designer can do this. So, hiring website developers makes sense when you have to create professional websites.

#2. To Deal With Website Errors ASAP

The availability of multiple content management systems, free themes, plugins, & extensions have enabled even non-technical persons to create makeshift websites in a great hurry and join the world of online business. Such websites don’t stand in the rat race because they contain several errors. Generally, non-technical persons have almost zero or insufficient knowledge of different types of website errors. So, when such problems take place, they become panic and desperately look for Professional Web designers to do the troubleshooting work.

You must keep in mind that website errors must be solved as soon as possible. If you remain ignorant towards those problems, they will affect the SEO ranking of your website and the business generated by it. Moreover, flawed websites invite intense criticism from search engines and people alike. So, it is always advantageous for you to keep an experienced web designer or developer in your team. He/she can easily track different types of website errors within a few minutes and solve it immediately.

#3. To Save Your Hard-earned Money

You must know that the successful creation, operation, renovation, migration, and maintenance of a website comes at a great price. From time-to-time, you need to spend dollars on website domain purchasing, server, themes/plugins, extensions, firewalls, antivirus, etc. Website design and development is an expensive affair.

If you contact professional web developers for different web design services, it can make a big hole in your budget and jeopardize the financial well-being of your organization. So, it would be better to hire a Professional Web designer on a fixed monthly payment and keep using his/her expertise for the development of supervision of your website at all the times.

#4. Services on Demand

We all know that the profitability and popularity of websites are determined by its uptime and the services offered by it to the targeted audience. 100% website is a dream of many site owners as their sites are exposed to various types of online security threats, sudden technical errors, updates in themes and plugins or CMS, Google updates.

All these activities greatly determine the business generated by your website. During the crisis time, the assistance of a professional web designer helps you to keep the things under control and help visitors find what they are looking for. Experienced web designers always provide different types of services on demand to ensure 100 website uptime and keep business opportunities falling in your way.

#5. Innovative Ideas keep Flourishing

In the digital word, only those companies get the ultimate success that keeps inventing innovating ideas to present useful information to customers and help them make transactions one after another. Big IT companies, such as Google, Facebook, Yandex, Amazon, etc, are successful because of their innovative ideas. You will be surprised to know that people around the world have different tastes and preferences. A company that sells products and services must always invent innovative ideas to communicate with customers and make more business opportunities. This is possible with the help of a Professional Web designer.

#6. 24*7 Website Performance Monitoring

Website performance monitoring is essential to keep your business alive and stay in the competition. Always keep in mind that the better the development process is, the less often the performance problems will appear. But, it’s a fact that they cannot be avoided completely for the banal reason. Proactive website monitoring includes two things- (a) Active notification of problems & (b) Clear action plan for localization and troubleshooting. It is always convenient to build a notification on a ready-made monitoring system. You can perform this work easily with the help of a professional web developer.

Final Words

The Internet audience loves only those websites that help them find useful info easily and make decisions quickly. A professional web designer helps you to create trendy, information-rich, and trendy websites in an easy way and keep a close eye on its performance & usability for the targeted audience.

It is essential because customers, partners, competitors come to your site every day to monitor the pulse of your company. There should not be a single outdated line on the site and you should rejoice website visitors with fresh information every day. All these are possible if there is a well-trained and experienced web designer. So, hire a professional web design company and take your business to a new level in a few days. Good luck.

Morris Edwards is a digital revenue growth specialist and a web designer of Awebstar- Best Web Design and Development Company Singapore. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus to get his new articles and updates instantly.

7 Important Things to Consider Before Building a Website

By Hopinfirst on November 15, 2018

Building a website is not an easy job because you have a lot of things to consider. Without having proper knowledge, you are likely to mess up things. Undoubtedly, your website serves as the touch point and it has to be perfect. Here are the seven most important things that you need to consider while building your website.

#1. Define your objective:

This is the first thing that you need to do because, without a defined set of goals, it is almost impossible to have your site constructed. Having the right objective would mean getting answers to the right questions like what you want to achieve. At this juncture, you need to discuss, analyze, clarify and strategize

  • You need to answer “who, what and why”
  • Consider the measurability aspects like how much traffic you expect and how much you want to spend
  • Create actionable plan
  • Keep things feasible and realistic
  • Have a timeframe

#2. Define your target audience:

Ultimately, you would create a website for your customers, right? That means you have to define the audience group and understand their behavior. Use social media analytics to find out about your audience behavior. At this juncture, you should consider looking at their content consumption habit because this will help you in crafting your content strategy later.

If you look at the above image, you will discover that it explains where the customers are, how they purchase and what kind of content they consume. This will help you in getting things more streamlined.

#3. Choose a domain name:

Since your business name is important for your success. The domain name will help you your customers in finding your product and service. For instance, as fashion house the domain name invouge.com is more appropriate than a name that does not speak your business idea. At this juncture, you need to consider a few names and search for availability of the domain name.

#4. User-friendly:

Since Google and other search engines are keen on giving their users a great user experience, you need to have a site that is user-friendly. Undoubtedly, user-friendliness would mean having a site that is accessible on the all the mobile ecosystems. That is not all! Actually, you also need to build a site that is fast.
That means the website should open in less than 7 seconds. Apparently, this will help you in getting the preferential search engine page ranking. You can use various tools to get the speed of your site.

User friendliness would also mean having a clean site that is easy to navigate and find the products. Ensure that you do not go overboard with visual ideas because you have to also maintain the functionality aspect top. You should never look at the website from only an aesthetic viewpoint. Undoubtedly, this demands you to have great designers who can maintain a balance between visual aesthetics.

You have to consider your product or brand line while creating the website. For instance, if you are creating an e-com site, then you must and should consider having a site that makes your users find the products easily and that demands you have the right layout.

#5. Have a great content strategy:

The content strategy plays a vital role because the new age consumers are content savvy. However, they want informative and high-quality content. But content strategy should go beyond the confines of the website copy. In fact, you should entail SEO, social media optimization and integration.

You must find out what kind of content your users generally consume. That information can be found if you look at the social media analytics. In addition, you should also sit with your team and discuss to gain more insights into your customers content consumption habits.

#6. Promote your website:

You should not create a website just because it is important. Undoubtedly, it’s important but it does not make sense if you cannot promote. The web universe is way too cluttered for your site to be visible. Therefore, you must have a great promotional plan.

You have to have promotional plans for both offline and online platform. Make sure that you run PPC ads, organic SEO and AdWords. You should also consider promoting your site on social media sites.

When it comes to off-line advertisement, you must consider promoting your website on your business cards. A great PR strategy must be in place to promote it. More than 30 percent of e-commerce transactions take place on cell phones.

#7. Consider hosting:

Since you need a hosting service provider that can handle your site’s traffic, you have to get the best hosting. All, you need to do is to find out about various hosting companies and look at their offers. At this juncture, you need to identify the operational mode. For instance, if you want to manage the site on your own, then you must get a hosting plan accordingly. Some people prefer the hosting service provider to maintain it. In brief, you must speak with your technical team to identify your own requirements.

Over to you:

The above-stated points should be considered while building your site but then, you also need to find out whether you want to build a site using your in-house team or you need to find a service provider. If you do not have the technical capability, then you should consider hiring a service provider.

But you need to be careful when you search for the service provider because not all the service providers offer the best quality work. Before hiring the service provider, you should and must look at their previous work sample.

By following the discussed facts, you can build a great site. So, ensure that you approach web building process analytically. The web world is highly agile and fragmented and to succeed on that platform you should have a great site. Now, you should be ideally in a better position to build a perfect site and gain competitive advantage.

This article is contributed by Smith Andrew, Jr. Content writer working with Ranking by SEO.

6 ways to Make your WordPress Website Mobile-Friendly

By Hopinfirst on September 15, 2018

Studies are showing how consumers are spending more time connecting to the Internet through mobile devices compared to desktop computers. This trend has already been taken into consideration by internet giants, opting them to advise that mobile-friendly websites are going to get more ranking points. This mobile-first index is an important shift in search engine optimization, and must really be taken into consideration by businesses as they maintain and develop their websites.

To help you in ensuring that you do not get left behind on this shift in website development, we will be sharing 6 effective ways on how to make your WordPress website mobile-friendly. The following tips can help you easily make your site significantly friendlier for mobile users.

#1. Images, CSS, and HTML optimization

There are basically two primary considerations in making your site mobile-friendly: designing your site to fit a smaller screen while keeping it visually delightful and making the most out of objects without causing performance issues on less capable devices – in short, it’s balancing user experience and site performance.

Images, an important element for any website, should be optimized for mobile. Of course, images should be smaller to ensure that it will look fine on a small screen. There are tools that can help compress images to a smaller file size. You should also control the use of images, and that you should remove photos that do not exactly add value to your pages. Remove unnecessary photos that could just weigh your website down. and Even then, the photos that will stay on the site should be lightweight. You should also consider that most users browsing through mobile would more often use cellular data, and it would cost them a huge amount of their data allocation if you retain a number of high-resolution images.

It’s also recommended that you compress the HTML and the CSS of your website in order to keep your page running smoothly on mobile. If not optimized for mobile, the page would have design and performance issues on handheld devices. Make sure that you tweak your settings so that everything works perfectly. It would be great if you make use of a trusty cashing plugin that can help you out.

#2. The Help of Responsive Plugins

There’s a wide range of plugins that can help improve your site’s functionality on mobile devices. Here are some plug-ins that you should consider using to improve your site’s mobile-responsiveness:

Any Mobile Theme Switcher

This plug-in helps provide themes for your mobile website that is different from what would appear on desktop web browsers. First, it detects whether the visitor is using a mobile device or not, and would alter the design to your desired theme.

Call Now Button

A straightforward plugin, it adds a mobile-integrated call button on your website, which can really capture the attention of mobile users. This is very helpful in raising customer call-ins for inquiries, setting appointments, or basically just to bring customers in touch with your business.

Cornerstone Page Builder

This plug-in provides a lot of ways to include various elements to your website.

Dynamic Widgets

It helps you manage widgets on mobile sites and allows you to choose for what pages on your site these widgets would appear so that the overall performance of your clients’ phone won’t be affected

Favicon by Real Favicon Generator

This makes your mobile site flexible to the screen size to make sure that it runs smoothly across various mobile devices.

Max Mega Menu

This plug-in manages the menu of your mobile website. This feature helps make your mobile site easy to navigate, considerably improving the experience of your site’s visitors.

Mobile app Plugin

If you want to easily transform your website into a mobile website or create mobile app out of your website, this is an excellent plug-in that you should consider using.

Smush Image Compression and Optimization

This keeps your photos looking great while keeping file size manageable, ensuring that your images would load quickly on mobile devices without compromising quality.

WordPress Mobile Pack

This plugin helps you come up with a great mobile website and has a number of themes that can help you set up your mobile website.

WP Touch

It ensures that visitors using mobile devices will be directed to your mobile site. Your mobile site would also adjust to the screen size of the device that being used.

Plugins are very helpful especially when keeping a mobile website smart. Make sure that you make use of decent plugins and that your site works smoothly.

#3. Pop-ups are a no!

 

While it is understandable that popups are marketing strategies, they must not lead to a bad user experience, especially on mobile sites. That is why these should be taken down for mobile websites. Popups and interstitials that cover the whole screen are already bothersome for desktop computers, but it is even worse if on mobile. Sites that make use of pop-ups and interstitials loses points from Google, so make sure that you avoid making use of these in your mobile website.

#4. The use of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project makes mobile content load faster. Google sets optimization standards that greatly improve the loading speed of an optimized site. The fast loading, coupled with standardized formats, improve the customer experience to a great degree.

An “AMPed” site will surely be mobile-friendly the way Google wants a site to be. Furthermore, AMP websites are expected to rank higher in the results page. So, aim to have your website abide by AMP standards.

#5. Full-Fledged Mobile App Consideration

Earlier, a plugin that can help transform your site to an app has been discussed, which is vital because mobile apps are also evolving in a fast pace. There are mobile apps for various needs, and having a dedicated app for your site is a brilliant idea.

While some businesses only have websites, a number of businesses maintain both mobile website and mobile app. While doing the latter is an added challenge, it’s quite rewarding as the app version of websites are more engaging, and could help you improve the user experience of your customers without being limited by any web browser.

Mobile Friendly Test

Google has a mobile-friendly test which can help you assess which areas of your mobile website will need more work. You may also make use of Google Analytics which provides you with the ability to determine what kind of mobile devices your visitors use. This can help you prioritize as to what device you will need to optimize best.

Make sure to utilize this helpful tool to determine what you need to do to make your site mobile-friendly.

#6. True Shift in Search Rankings

With Google’s mobile-first index, being mobile friendly is a necessity for business that are engaged in websites. While the SEO is not revolving on only making your site mobile-friendly, it is a significant factor for ranking.

Our tips above can help you step up your mobile-friendliness game so make sure that you spend time in adding the above tips to your website management initiatives. SEO now heavily involves mobile-friendliness so make sure that you are not left behind.

Perhaps the best way to conclude this is that WordPress itself is finding ways to help WordPress sites more compatible for mobile. Your actions plus that of WordPress itself can work hand-in-hand to help you reach the desired goal in the search engine results pages.

Author Bio:- A true expert in web design and mobile app development, Kenneth Sytian is a web designer in the Philippines and owner of Sytian Productions. His no-nonsense approach to design and a decade of solid experience is a winning combination for his clients.

How to Stop Hotlinking on a WordPress website step-by-step

By Hopinfirst on September 15, 2018

What is hotlinking?

Pirates have long since stopped looking like Johnny Depp on an old fashioned ship.  The internet houses thieves everywhere.  Internet image piracy is known as “hotlinking” and it happens when a site unrelated to your own, links to an image or other resources, without permission, while still letting you host it on the world wide web.  Why is this bad?  When sites don’t host their own images, your bandwidth is drained by visitors who are not coming to your site.

You can check for hotlinking by looking at the source code in the developer tools on your internet browser.

Blocking the Pirates

Like most WordPress security solutions, all you need is a simple bit of .htaccess code to block outside sources from stealing your images, videos, pdfs, and other files.

First, using an FTP client navigate to your root folder and open your .htaccess file. (create one if you do not see an .htaccess file in your root directory.)

Second, copy and paste the below code into the .htaccess file. Make sure it goes above any existing rules or coding.

# STOP HOTLINKING

<IfModulemod_rewrite.c>

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://([^.]+\.)?example\.com [NC]

RewriteRule\.(gif|jpe?g?|png)$ – [NC,F,L]

</IfModule>

After pasting the coding, you need to tailor the code to your specific site.

To do that, just replace the example.com with your domain. If your TLD is not .com but something else, make sure to change that. See an example below.

 

So, what does this code do?

It checks to see if the refer is not empty and then it determines if the refer is from your domain or not.

Finally, it checks to see if there is a request for the file types listed in the code.  In our base code, it checks for gifs, jpegs, and pngs.  This portion of the code can be altered to include any file type you want to protect from outside users. If there is a match for any of the mentioned criteria, the site stealing your resource displays a 403 Forbidden response.

Tailoring to Your Site

There are a few tweaks you need to make to the code we provided to make it work for your site.  As mentioned above, the most important change you need to make is changing the example domain to your domain name and the “top level” of your domain.  The top level is your .com, .net, .biz, etc.

This is the time you also want to add any file extensions to your coding.  For example, if you want to protect Zip files as well, you go to line five and add a forward slash followed by “.zip” into the appropriate section code.  After you have added all of your preferred extensions, save and upload the file to the server.

Checking to see if your new security measures work is easy.  All you have to do is refresh the page of the thieving website, and your browser should display a hotlink protection message.

Further customization

If you want to customize your security even further, there is a snippet of code that allows you to customize the response the pirate’s website provides when you block their hotlink.

To use this code, replace the above provided code you pasted into your .htaccess file with the code below.

# STOP HOTLINKING

<IfModulemod_rewrite.c>

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://([^.]+\.)?example\.com [NC]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !hotlink.gif [NC]

RewriteRule\.(gif|jpe?g?|png)$ /hotlink.gif [NC,R,L]

</IfModule>

NOTE: do not paste under first code, but completely delete and replace it!

You still need to make the same customizations with the first code as you did with second one.  Change your domain name and top-level domain.  Change or add to the file extensions to include all types of resources you want to protect.  Finally, replace the part of the code that says “hotlink.gif” with the file name you want to use in response to your pirates.  Be sure to also include the link path to this file or image on the server.

You can use any image you want; it is a perfect opportunity to get creative, and maybe even redirect those visitors to your site instead!

That is all there is to it.  Choose your preferred code snippet and protect your resources from internet pirates.

Author:

Emin is a Los Angeles-based web designer at Amberd Web Design Studio, on his free time he enjoys writing web design related tutorials, reading books and drawing.

How to Add a Favicon to Your WordPress Site?

By Hopinfirst on September 15, 2018

Favicon stands for Favorite icon. It is the tiny image which represents your website in a browser’s favorite menu, tabs and wherever else it is represented visually. Even a small detail can make a big difference in how your website is seen. Having a favicon is good for gaining brand recognition and building trust with the visitors.

In this article we will show you how to include a favicon on your website. First we will talk about why you should add as favicon and then how to add one to your WordPress site.

Why to Add a Favicon to Your website?

A Favicon is part of your website’s identity and is good for user experience. Below are some of the reasons to use Favicon to your site:-

  • Easy to identify in Web Browsers

A favicon helps your site to be more recognizable in web browsers. Generally users open more than one website in their browsers. If you have used a favicon in your site then it will help the users to identify your site among many other open tabs.

In the above image you can easily identify the tab for WordPrax site by the logo alone. You can also identify the other sites from their favicons. Otherwise you have to make an effort to read the beginning of the site. Clicking on every tab is certainly not the best option.

  • Looks more Professional

If you have added a favicon to your Website then it will look more professional and trustworthy. Many of the customers may be relying on this small detail to take their decision to purchase something.

Now we will discuss about how to add a favicon to your WordPress site.

How to Add a Favicon to WordPress Site

There are many ways to add a favicon to your WordPress site. Lets talk about them one by one.

Method 1: Using the Customizer

This is the most easy option to add a favicon to WordPress and has been around since WordPress 4.3. Just activate it in your theme and you can simply add favicons via:

Appearance > Customize  in WordPress backend. Here just click on the ‘Site Identity’.

Here, you can change site’s title, description and other thing related to your site including the favicon. To change this just click on the ‘Select File’ button to upload your favicon file.

If the file is too large then WordPress will ask you to crop it to the appropriate size. Otherwise just save it. Now you can preview your favicon in action. Finally just save and publish.

Method 2: Using Your Theme Options

Sometimes option to change the favicon is not present in the Customize then you can still find it in your theme settings. Now a days the themes come with lots of options and they are not standardized. Hence you should first check this option within your theme as this is one of the easy option.

Method 3: Adding a Favicon using Plugin

If your theme doesn’t have a built in option then you can also use a plugin. We are giving you some options:-

Now we will describe how to add a favicon using the All In One Favicon which is one of the most popular solution.

Just install the plugin and go to the Settings under Settings > All in one Favicon.

This plugin provides support for GIF, ICO, PNG files and Apple Touch Icons. It will also help you to define different paths for icons used in the frontend and backend. You just need to paste the paths of your already present favicons in the WordPress media library. Otherwise you can use the buttons to upload your files and the plugin will automatically insert their paths. Then save the changes.

Method 4: Adding a Favicon using Code

If your WordPress version is old then you have to add a favicon manually. First try this in a local development site to check whether it is working fine. To do so, first you have to upload your favicon files to the site’s root folder. You can also use a subfolder but remember the file path for later use. Make sure there is no other favicon files present there.

After the upload, you can add the favicon to the WordPress site either by adding certain code in your header file i.e header.php or functions.php. We are giving a code for use in functions.php.

function add_favicon() {

echo ‘<link rel=”shortcut icon” type=”image/png” href=”‘.get_template_directory_uri().’/assets/favicon.png” />’;

}

add_action(‘wp_head’, ‘add_favicon’);

If you are using an ICO file then use the below version:-

function add_favicon() {

echo ‘<link rel=”shortcut icon” type=”image/x-icon” href=”‘.get_template_directory_uri().’/assets/favicon.ico” />’;

}

add_action(‘wp_head’, ‘add_favicon’);

Just replace the part after href= with the location of your favicon files and this code will work for your site.

Conclusion

Although favicons are small design details but they make a big difference in the opinion about a website. Favicon helps in making your site more professional and help it to stand out in so many browser tabs and ultimately enhancing the user experience and brand recognition.

We have discussed how adding a favicon will be beneficial and four ways to add them to your WordPress site. You can choose any options but the favicon will always have a great effect on your website’s perception. And this is one of the most important thing to get while running a business website.

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