Do You Have a Crash Plan for Your Website?


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Do You Have a Crash Plan for Your Website?

If you use your website primarily for lead generation, it won’t hurt you too much if it goes down for a couple of hours or for a whole day. However, if your business transactions deeply rely on your website, even a couple of hours of downtime could cause severe damages to your business in terms of money, time, number of customers and not to mention the resources needed to get the site back up and running.

Having a crash plan for your site is very important if you plan on running a successful business, and this is why we are addressing this matter today.

Consider these strategies in order to prevent disastrous crashes that could severely damage your business.

Backups

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One of the essential steps towards ensuring your e-commerce’s safety is performing daily backups of all the systems included in your site. However, part of your data will always be located on the external servers of your hosting provider.

All web hosting providers say that they backup your site, but you have to test them.

How do you do this? Simply upload a certain file to your website and delete it a couple of minutes after. After you have done this, ask your host to go and retrieve that file.

If your provider doesn’t get the file back in less than thirty minutes, then that service is not any good.

Nevertheless, even if your host is on time, you should backup your entire site by yourself. Consider using some free software such as FileZilla in order to copy all the relevant files and data to your internal systems via the control panel of your site.

Monitoring and Logging

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I can’t stress this enough – you simply can’t leave everything to the web hosting provider if your website is used for generating revenue. As I’ve said before, it is important to keep a certain level of backup control on your own.

Another way you can achieve this is to make and run a manual log in which you will write what changes have been made to your site, when they were made and who made them.

All of these things will greatly increase the restoration speed of your website in case of a catastrophe. One other thing that you should put into work is a website monitoring service. This service will send an email to notify you if your website is currently down. The email is sent to the location you previously designated. There is a huge variety of website monitoring services, so learn more about them in order to choose the one that suits you the most.

Hosting

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Many hosting services claim they have 100 % uptime, but, in reality, there is no such thing, and many hosts like to sugar coat their service.

This is why it is important to choose a reliable and trustworthy service. If your current service is complicated for cooperation, get rid of that firm. It’s much better to have a hosting company that listens and is responsive, rather than one that is cheap but has a low quality service.

The next thing to consider is the level of service your business really needs. If you choose shared hosting, your site will be located on a computer with many other sites.

Although this option is cheap, you can’t really use it for customer or order data, as security is very low. For this type of website, you will need to get VPS (virtual private server) hosting. This is a dedicated server that is private and it is secured on a physical server via visualization technology. The most advanced hosting method is a dedicated physical server, which can handle high end sites that have huge daily traffic. Before choosing any of these, you should do even more research about the different types of hosting out there.

One last thing before we wrap up – if your website is subject to an outage, stay calm. The first thing you should do is call your hosting provider and see what’s happening. As soon as you are able, inform your customers about the problem you are experiencing and let them know when things will get back to normal. It is very important to communicate with your clients in order to reduce the damage.

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How to Perform a Complete Website Redesign without Any Fuss

Your customers can’t afford to waste time on a business website that doesn’t look up to par, loads slowly and doesn’t allow them to find what they need within a couple of clicks.

Since the development of very quick social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and with the appearance of functional tablets and smartphones, speed and simplicity have become the most important characteristics of any good website.

The good news is that there are many useful tools that you can use in order to redesign your website quickly and easily.

Enhancing your online presence is essential for success, so don’t sleep on it.

Here is how you can perform easy steps to do a clean website redesign and what tools you can use to do so.

Pay Attention To Your Data And Enhance Your Features

Make sure that you review all of your data thoroughly, so that you can get a good idea of how customers use your current website. The trick to achieving functional simplicity is to figure out which elements are absolutely necessary.

For basic data research, you can use free tools like Google Analytics or Yahoo Web Analytics. However, if you want to get some more insight into what makes your website work, you will have to pay some money.

Some of the tools you can use for this include CrazyEgg and FiveSecondTest. Bear in mind that your final goal is to create a list of functions you must have, based on the data you’ve gathered.

Figure Out What Your Website Should Do And What It Shouldn’t

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By acquiring the right data and properly evaluating it, you will be able to eliminate the features your business doesn’t need or use.

After you have successfully accomplished this, you should rank all of the remaining functions by their significance, so that you can effectively accomplish everyday goals and start laying out  your webpages.

Use outline tools and brainstorm to create a “rough” version of your page design that matches your plan.

Define Your Needs And Base Your Ideal Website Around Them

Usually, the most essential business content doesn’t take up a lot of space. Because of this, there are a lot of capable web hosting services available out there.

These modern web hosting services can manage upgrades and security, while supplying a website with features that work well on mobile phones, tablets and other devices. In the rough version, you should include most of the key features, so that you can get an idea of how it all works together.

Simplicity is the key when it comes to hosted sites.

For higher complexity and more features, such as product photo galleries or online forms, you should try more sophisticated web hosting services.

Make sure that you choose a scalable web host, so that your site can handle its steady growth.

Include Social Media In Your Design

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Take a lot of time to consider the best placement for the social media content on your web page.

Usually, it’s in the center, up in front and it includes most of our dynamic content, including video, updates and all of your blog posts.

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn are the most popular platforms that you can integrate.

Find out ways to spread your content on these platforms and look for useful features that can help you promote likes on Facebook and follows on Twitter.

Once Your Site Is Up And Running, Test It Rigorously

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At the very beginning, you should decide how you will measure your site’s failure or success. The results will vary, and that is normal, but there are a lot of useful metrics which include chat sessions, email lists sign ups, conversions from phone users and additional followers.

You can choose from various tools to optimize your performance. The best tools in my opinion are Optimizely, Visual Website Optimizer and Google Content Experiments.

Always monitor how your website is performing, because a good website is a never ending work in progress that must be attended to constantly.

Never forget the value of the internet. Your e-commerce store depends on its design and functionality.

If your website is outdated and non-functional, take these steps immediately, so that you reduce the damage as much as possible.

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