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7 Low-Cost Website Builders to Use When Creating Your Company Site

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Creating a website or blog for your business is crucial in our digital-first world. But just having a website isn’t enough, as it also needs to be engaging, intuitive and user-friendly in order to draw potential customers in and keep them on your page (instead of on your competitor’s). At the same time, with the right amount of focus and effort, your website or blog can quickly find itself ranking past the competition in the search results through the power of great content, marketing, and SEO.

So, how can you create a website that has all the bells and whistles while still keeping costs low? There are many affordable web builders out there that can simplify the process, whether you’re turning to a professional web designer through B12 or customizing your site with WordPress. For the most part, many of these low-cost solutions will provide you with everything you need to get started, such as hosting, a domain name, a user interface and sometimes even a drag-and-drop platform for having full control over the look and feel of your site.

We asked seven entrepreneurs from YEC to share the tools they rely on when building their websites. Bonus: Some of these tools are completely free.

1. Squarespace

Squarespace is by far my top recommendation. Its natively designed templates are very stable and meticulously engineered and can be adapted to suit almost any business need. The emphasis on great design removes the need to hire a separate web designer. Though there is a slight learning curve required to get the most out of the platform, once you master it you’ll use Squarespace for everything.-

Annie Wang, Her Campus Media

 

2. Google Web Designer

Google Web Designer is good when you want to have animated elements on your website. It also integrates with other tools offered by Google.

Peter Daisyme, Invoicing

 

3. Shopify

“But that’s for e-commerce,” I hear you say. Not really. Shopify has some pretty amazing options, and it helps that they’re capable of taking potential customers’ financial details in case you ever want to expand your business and sell merchandise. You won’t pay the same bill as someone who actually sells products and everything is practically plug-and-play.

Cody McLain, SupportNinja

 

4. WordPress

WordPress is extremely simple to use and there are free plugins available for virtually every function your business website will require. A business can essentially create a website without spending any money, outside of hosting, if it’s built using WordPress. There are free customizable themes available as well, and a business can opt for a custom design once the budget allows for it.

Jonathan Long, Market Domination Media

 

5. Wix

In my experience as a digital and advertising matchmaker, the most popular no/low cost website builder is Wix. I’ve seen many agencies and early-stage companies use Wix and benefit from it’s low-cost/high-value ratio. It’s not for everyone (you’re “leasing” a hosting website that is template-based), but it’s fast, cheap and good enough for many.

Robby Berthume, Bull & Beard

 

6. B12

A website is your online storefront, so don’t skimp! B12 is a great service that creates beautiful professional websites for businesses. They pair you with an experienced web designer, and then use artificial intelligence to automate the tech. This keeps quality high and costs low. Basically agency quality at a fraction of the price.

Adelyn Zhou, TOPBOTS

 

7. Self-Hosted WordPress

WordPress is great because it’s free and easy to install from any web hosting company. It’s best to use self-hosted WordPress, not WordPress.com, which is the same company but hosts the site for you (so you have less control). What I like about WP is that it’s suitable for beginners but you can add many advanced features as well. You can choose among thousands of themes and plugins.

Shawn Porat, Scorely

How to Start a Website in the Next 10 Minutes

If you still don’t have a website or blog of your own, there is simply no excuse out there that is good enough to back up not having one. With so many resources and tutorials on the internet today for how to start a website or blog of your own, it’s amazing how many people are still sitting on the sidelines. Follow our how to start a blog guide and discover how simple it is to go live with a site of your own in just the next few minutes, while also costing you just a few dollars per month in hosting costs.

Zac Johnson is a online marketer with 15 years of experience and also a blogger at ZacJohnson.com, as well as the founder of BloggingTips.com. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Top Hosting Warning Signs To Watch Out [Infographic]

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essential pages blog should have

Picking the right web host for your business website is one of the most important website launch tasks. With the numerous hosting providers available in the market, you can easily pick a web host as per your needs and requirements. From Shared hosting to WordPress hosting to Dedicated servers, there are also several types of web hosting that you can choose from. However, the downside of having too many web hosts is difficulty in selecting a reliable hosting service provider. 

Thus, if you are looking to purchase a new web host, then here are the top hosting warning signs that you need to watch out. These warning signs are also an indication for website owners who are struggling with their existing hosting.

Picking-the-Right-Hosting-Service-for-Your-Blog-image

  • Frequent Downtime

Downtime refers to the period during which the server is unavailable for use. If you are running a website that attracts a huge amount of traffic daily, frequent downtime can affect your site’s revenue. It can also affect your site’s credibility in the long run.

Thus, you must do your research and pick a web host that offers optimal uptime (99.9% is the industry standard). Frequent downtime is also a sign of an unreliable web host, in which case, you need to switch to another hosting provider post-haste.

  • Poor Customer Support

Having a robust customer support is a vital back-up for business owners just launching their website. Without proper support in place, you wouldn’t be able to resolve website issues quickly, which could impact the growth of your website. Also, a good web hosting provider offers multi-channel support via phone, email, and live chat. As such, check what support channels the hosting provider offers, before signing-up with them.

  • Inadequate Security Features

One of the top requirements for any website, especially eCommerce website, is powerful security features. With cyber-crimes rampant, the only way to protect your website and database from threats like malware, viruses, and spam is to have strong website security features in place.

If your hosting provider is not offering you adequate security, then shifting to a new host is the only option, which can prevent hacking attempts and other threats. Also, when choosing a new host, check out their security features list to understand what measures they undertake to protect websites, before purchasing a hosting package.

  • Lack of Essential Features

This includes cPanel, back-up facility, storage, advanced programming languages, among others. A cPanel makes your task of managing the website easy. Whereas, an efficient back-up facility ensures that you can get your site up and running in no time, in the event of website hack or server failure.

Adequate storage is important or else it could affect your site’s performance. Likewise, advanced programming languages ensures that you can easily scale your website, should the need arise in the future. So, if these features are not offered by a hosting provider, then you need to look elsewhere.

To sum up,

Web hosting is one of the building blocks of a successful website. When choosing a hosting service provider, ensure that you read reviews and customer testimonials before choosing one. Also, low/high price doesn’t always guarantee great features. Thus, make sure to do your research, and to learn more about hosting warning signs, go here.

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Managed WordPress Hosting 101: What Site Owners Need to Know

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The first and crucial thing when establishing a website is a solid foundation for running it. Building a website maybe not that hard, especially if you have a WordPress website on your mind, but keeping a website safe and secure is a big obligation.

You can hire professional developers, but also you can take advantage of web hosting providers and choose the packages of the best hosting solution. Nowadays many web hosting companies offer different solutions for maintaining a website. For one price, you can get a whole hosting package that has everything suitable for your website, and the only thing you need to consider is: what exactly your website need?

There are a few different web hosting solutions: shared hosting, managed hosting, dedicated hosting, cloud hosting, etc. Choosing a compatible hosting depends on your website, so think about crucial things, or ask someone with more experience to help you. For example: if you have a small website with less traffic, the best option for you will be shared hosting. You’ll share the same disk space, memory, and power with other small websites on the server for an affordable price.

If you have a WordPress website, we have good news. With the bigger and bigger popularity of WordPress, many hosting providers offer a hosting package specially designed for WordPress websites. This kind of web hosting adds some convenient features designed for easier managing. Keep reading to discover all the benefits of managed hosting and how it can help you to run a flawless WordPress website.

 The Difference Between Managed and Unmanaged Web Hosting

The great difference between these two types of hosting is the quantity of responsibilities of hosting provider. Standard (unmanaged) hosting service means that you usually, optimize the website by yourself, keeping it up to date and making sure everything is ok. Managed hosting provider is specially designed for a WordPress website, and it’s much more customized for owners – the provider company will manage your hosting, not only ensuring server security and optimization. Your hosting provider will take care of many tasks that will make your job easier. It offers various services along with the server space so your website will run smoother, with your minimal involving and monitoring it. Hostinger provides hosting solutions for small or medium WordPress websites, so you could think about the offers. Before choosing a reliable hosting company read the reviews, inform yourself wisely – it can save you a lot of money and time.

Managed hosting isn’t so much a plan as it is a description of the services you’ll receive: in one package you’ll get everything you need customized for a WordPress website so you can focus on website content or something more interesting than a monitoring security and all that complicated tasks.

Here are some of the great advantages of managed hosting:

1.   Expert team support

The web hosting companies specialized in WordPress have more experience with typical problems and it will faster troubleshoot any bug. Technical problems can happen with any kind of website, and sometimes it can be really hard to solve it on your own, or to explain to your provider what’s happening. So, the best option is to have a reliable host with a personal support team with 24/7 availability, to answer all your questions and concerns. An expert WordPress technical support has the experience to solve any problem immediately. A highly skilled group of technicians will be there for you in case of any emergency: on email, on the phone, on live chat. Everywhere!

2.   Backup regularly

As you can assume, backups are your key to security and it’s very important continuous performing them. If you don’t have time to backup a website by yourself regularly, it’s important to find a web host who will do it for you. Some managed web hosting solutions offer daily backups, some of them weekly, and it’s important to decide how often you need copies. After your decision, try to find the option that fits what you want. With managed hosting provider offering backups as many as you want, your website will run smoother and you’ll be peaceful.

2.   Scalabity Whenever and Wherever

One of the most important things to look for when signing up for a managed WordPress hosting account, is to make sure they are not just focused on WP-powered sites, but that they also have the tools, solutions and options for scalability in place as well. This will be ideal for any site owners starting off with a brand new site and don’t have a lot of money to spend in the beginning for their hosting — however, when their site starts to pick up in traffic and revenue, the option is also there to upgrade to a better managed hosting plan.

3.   Keeping a website safe, not just solving a problem

With managed hosting service, the host team will supervise your WordPress website regularly and keeping monitoring of any suspicious activity. It is extremely important especially if you are a newbie in online business and haven’t experienced recognizing potential threats. The support team of the hosting provider maintain your website and work on preventing any of the potential threats. You must admit it’s perfect resolution: instead of requesting support after some issue, the technical team keeps everything safe all the time. 

In Summary…

If you have a high-traffic WordPress website, managed hosting will be the best solution for you. Experienced WordPress hosting provider with expert staff will give you the necessary support and make things easier. WordPress is giving endless possibilities for creativity, so don’t let complicated things interfere with your work. Good luck, and let managed hosting be with you!

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Protecting Your Online Business with Cloud Access Security Brokers

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No matter if you are a blogger just starting out, or have a full time business online, you need to make sure your site is up at all time ans that your data is also secure. This is something many individuals and brands think they have in place, until a new security leak and hack comes into play. One of the best ways to make sure your online business and customer data is safe, is to make sure you are hosting your site with a reliable solution. As ‘cloud computing’ also becomes more accessible and at cheaper prices, it’s yet another option for keeping your online brand and business safe at all times,

A cloud access security broker (CASB) assists with cloud-based security concerns. While you may have outstanding security measures in place both within your organization and with your cloud service provider, there is still a point of vulnerability between the two. A cloud access security broker helps you protect your data everywhere from the point of origination to its final storage place in the cloud. There are several options available for service providers in this area, so it’s important to know how to assess them and make a fair comparison across all your potential security brokers.

Data Security Measures

The primary purpose of a cloud access security broker is to enhance your data security as information moves between internal or external storage devices and the cloud. While the cloud itself may be safe and secure, the transmission of information can create a weak point where cybercriminals have the opportunity to snag sensitive data en route to its next destination.
When you’re comparing cloud access security brokers, you must assess the details of their security measures. How do they control access? What measures are in place to prevent data leakage? How do they handle encryption key management? Compare providers evenly at this point to see which offers the most comprehensive data security services.

Visibility

Enhanced visibility is one of the key services offered by cloud access security brokers. Your broker should monitor all content moving in and out of the cloud, performing regular security audits. It’s important that you, as the consumer, have access to data and security logs and regular reports. Your CASB should also provide helpful alerts that will draw your attention to any potential weaknesses and guide you toward the best solutions. Find out how much visibility a CASB provider offers and what form it comes in.

Threat Protection

How does your cloud access security provider handle threats? You will inevitably come across cybercriminals who are attempting to access your data. What measures are in place to analyze user and entity behavior and capture these criminals? How does your provider detect data theft, and what steps do they take to then block the criminal from accessing your information? Your CASB should not only protect you from potential threats but also aid in the investigation of suspicious activity.

Compliance

Discuss compliance requirements with your cloud access security broker. Are they knowledgeable about the latest requirements for legal compliance with data management within your industry? Do they have smart solutions to help you monitor and maintain compliance throughout the cloud? While compliance is an issue that will still ultimately fall on the shoulders of your company, a cloud access security broker should have the knowledge to assist you in this area, and they should always be on the alert for any compliance concerns that you need to be informed of.

Research your options carefully to make sure you’re working with a cloud access security broker that is well-equipped to assist with your industry-specific needs. The best option should suit both the size and scope of your company.

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