Celebrating 10,000 Customers with WPEngine

On Thursday last week, we met up with our friends at WPEngine in London for drinks and Ping Pong. It was a pleasure to meet with Mary-Ellen Dugan (CMO) from Austin, Texas and Jack Clarkson from the London office. Fun times all around.

We chose WPEngine because of the company’s belief in long-term investment over short-term gain. This is something we believe in. Along with the goal of building lasting relationships with customers, employees, and our communities, by making what’s important to them, important to us.

We offer WordPress hosting to all our customers supported by WPEngine.

East West Photography

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by Matt Peters
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“Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.”

Sam, Matt, Jeff and I are really proud to announce our new partnership with East West Photography. Over the years, the UK and Tanzania-based award winning photographers have set a high standard and raised the bar in terms of expectation in the Asian Wedding Industry.

Both Directors, Jagdeep and Gurwinder with decades of hands-on experience in the industry under their belt, chose WebFX to create a digital platform – a place to share the beautiful and intimate moments they capture with their audience.

As the lead developer on this project, the beautiful imagery makes this really exciting. In addition, the large files also present infrastructure challenges which will present us an opportunity use new CDN technology. Creating the infrastructure required for East West to thrive amid high-traffic and resource heavy demands is a high priority.

We plan to launch the new website before Christmas and look forward to sharing it online once complete – watch this space.

Images are subject to copyright. Used with expressed written consent from East West Photography.

Want to know more? – Get in touch

WebFX
Building 1, Chalfont Park, Gerrards Cross
Buckinghamshire, SL9 0BG

Visit us
Get directions

Email
[email protected]

Phone
+44 (0) 1753 910 390
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eCommerce Season

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The two months leading up to Christmas is a busy time for our eCommerce team. We call it eCommerce Season.

The shift of consumers turning to the world wide web to buy gifts for their friends and loved ones has seen our working patterns over this ‘usually quieter’ period change significantly. It’s a seismic shift that has experienced phenomenal growth over the last few years.

According to the Guardian newspaper, UK consumers spend an average £1,083 per year each on online shopping. As per information geeks at Experian, Christmas 2012 showed some interesting statistics for the online retail industry. In the UK, Internet users made 2.8 billion visits to retail websites and spent over 372 million hours shopping, with boxing day seeing 113 million visits, setting a new British retail record! With the convenience of shopping online coupled with the ease of accessing the internet through a myriad of portable devices, it’s will come as no surprise that we are in the office until late in the months before and after Christmas.

Are you ready for Christmas?

In fact, one of the first questions we ask our new customers is, ‘are you ready for Christmas?’

When we say – “Is your business ready?”, we don’t mean “Is your server capable of handling the extra traffic?”. We mean are you ready to harness the potential of that extra traffic and tackle the dreaded problem of Basket (or ‘Cart’ if you’re American) Abandonment and improving user conversions? It’s an ideal opportunity for every online store owner to understand the bottlenecks and maximise the impact of the visitor traffic.

Mobile Phone and Tablet Ready?

With an increasing number of customers now browsing the internet using a smartphone or a tablet, your website needs to work efficiently across all these devices. Responsive design is no longer a just a cool feature. Optimal viewing experience across all devices is vital for online success. One of our eCommerce customers receive more hits from iPhones than any other device. So far this year, it averaged just over 56% of all traffic. A mobile website isn’t enough now because viewers can browse your website across different devices and responsive design ensures that there is a continuity across all of them.

Retargeting

Are you ready to deal with the first time visitors that are “just browsing”. Retargeting has helped many small eCommerce store owners by showing those visitors who didn’t take any action on a site. Using pay per click banners or adverts elsewhere online can persuade them to go back to the site again. The technology is so advanced that Amazon (the eCommerce giant) goes one step further and send the customer emails if they still have an item left in their basket.

Want to know more? – Get in touch

WebFX
Building 1, Chalfont Park, Gerrards Cross
Buckinghamshire, SL9 0BG

Visit us
Get directions

Email
[email protected]

Phone
+44 (0) 1753 910 390
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Writing Blogs

This short guide aims to give some guidance on how to write blogs for your website, in order to minimize editing and speed up the publication process.

First up, let’s start with a list of items a submitted item must include for consideration on the blog. Afterwards, we’ll dive into what each term means and the specifics we need to make the blog great.

Elements to be included in a blog post

  •   A headline
  •   A meta description
  •   Body text itself
  •   A featured image OR company images to inspire one
  •   Author information
  •   Author picture (where possible)

In-depth: guide to each element

Headline

Try to keep it short, snappy, and interesting to read. Where necessary, you can include the name of your company in the headline. However, stick to something that is likely to be clicked and read, rather than just written for the sake of posting

Meta description

This is a short description utilized by search engines as a ’blurb’. It is also the text that appears on the blog feed to give readers an idea what the blog is about.

Like the headline, this should be snappy, should explain the blog post, challenge the reader, or just intrigue them to read more.

Think of this as a blurb to sell your story. In any case, try to limit it to 150 characters.

Body text

This is the main copy of the blog. Here are some basic rules:

  •   Straightforward tone – no idioms, jargon, or abbreviations that can be misunderstood
  •   Tell a story. What inspired your blog? What’s your experience? Anything that stirs emotion.
  •   Try to keep the copy under 500 words
  •   Include sub-headings where possible – it makes it easier to read
  •   Use appropriate paragraph spacing for ease of reading
  •   Include links to external sources proving your point
  •   Use contractions if you like – we’ve got no problem with writing how people speak

Featured image

This is the image that appears at the head of the blog.
It should measure at least 1200 pixels in width, and 400 pixels in height.

However, we understand that not everyone can supply high-quality images that adhere to our editorial policy, style, or sizing. Therefore, if you’re having trouble, please supply any company images and/or images you have on file which could inspire us to make a featured image ourselves.

Author information

While our Marketing team will edit the blog, it’s important to declare that the blog was written by an external writer.

Therefore, it’s important to supply us with some author information. Please include:

  •   Name of the author
  •   Job title / role
  •   Company
  •   Short company description

For example: This blog was written by John Smith, Marketing Director at Made Up Company, a British-based imagination company dealing in the inception of people.

Author picture

Next to the author information should be a picture of the author. Just a small thumbnail of the author’s face will do.

However, it’s your work – we can’t take that away from you, and don’t want to. Any revised versions will be delivered to you for your input and discussion before publication. We’ll happily clear up any edits or misunderstandings at this point.

Choosing the Best Web Hosting Is Crucial for Your Business

This is our first blog in our series on Choosing the Best Web Hosting Is Crucial for Your Business. Blogs and news articles are the most under-utilised business promotion. Most smart business owners utilise websites and blogs to engage with existing clients and reach potential customers. While most business owners see the value of creating awesome content, the importance of selecting a good web host often takes a back seat. In our experience, most small businesses end up making a wrong choice in the beginning because they do not properly evaluate their needs.

What Happens When You Make The Wrong Hosting Choice?

As a business, one of your most important priorities is to make a profit. If you think choosing the wrong web hosting can’t have a negative impact on your income, think again. Here are some bad things that can happen when you don’t choose the best hosting for your needs:

  • Loss of revenue – If your site goes down, your potential customers will not be able to view your blog posts or learn about your products and services. Even worse, if you host an online store, you will lose out on potential sales and income. Amazon recently had a 40 minute outage which cost them about £3.5 million pounds. Your loss might not be as big, but it’s still a loss of revenue.
  • Negative effect on your SEO Ranking – Your goal with content marketing is to rank high in search results so customers can easily find you. If your site is down repeatedly when search engines are attempting to visit, then your ranking will be adversely affected. Aside from downtime, many SEO experts believe that slow websites can also hurt your rankings.
  • Security and Malware Attacks – There is no perfect solution for keeping your website secure. However a reputable web hosting company will back up your data to a remote server and make it easy to restore in case your site is hacked. They will also assist you with technical support, maintenance and security issues 24 hours a day.

How Do I Choose The Best Web Hosting Provider?

It’s crucial to choose a reliable web hosting company to ensure that your website remains safe and accessible all year round. If you are experiencing problems with your existing provider or have no idea what needs/features to consider, here are some tips that can help:

  • Understand the different hosting options available – There are various web hosting options available such as Shared, VPS (Virtual Private Server), Dedicated and Managed Web hosting. You can learn more about them in this article. It’s always good to make an educated discussion, so you choose the best option for your needs.
  • Excellent customer support is a must – The internet never sleeps. Look for a provider that offers excellent customer support. Hosting providers may claim they offer 24-7 support, but this will not guarantee you will receive fast, knowledgeable service. Test the response of the customer support staff before committing to any long term hosting contract.
  • Choose a host with an excellent uptime track record – The hosting provider you choose should take every precaution to ensure maximum uptime. While no web host can guarantee 100 percent uptime, it should offer at least 99 percent uptime on average.
  • Cost should not be your only consideration – As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” As a business, you cannot afford to experience extended downtime. Basic shared web hosting is great if your site is generating only a small amount of traffic. On the other hand, if you’re in the business of selling products or generating a large amount of traffic, then a dedicated or managed hosting provider is a far better choice. It will cost more upfront, but will be more reliable in the long run. The level and quality of technical support will be better too.
  • Ability to scale – As your business grows, your website will tend to generate more traffic. The ability to scale will be increasingly important. Your web hosting provider should be able upgrade and scale to accommodate your traffic growth. Just remember that there is no such thing as “unlimited resources” (Truth about Shared Hosting).
  • Good reputation is essential – Once you have narrowed the list of important features you require, the next step is to find a host with a top-notch reputation.
    • Do a background check. Find out how long the company has been in business.
    • Can they provide you with testimonials and endorsements from current clients?
    • Check maintenance schedules and average downtime statistics

Conclusion
There are a lot of web hosting companies out there. It’s crucial to select a hosting provider carefully since your business will be depend on it. Do your homework.

Remember that choosing a hosting provider solely on price is not worth the hassle and headaches if your site goes down. Are you happy with your web hosting provider? What steps did you take the last time you experienced downtime? What important features do you look for? Share your experience by leaving a comment below.

WebFX makes an appearance at the Dubai Airshow

We just returned from the Dubai Airshow, one of the largest and most successful air shows in the world. This year’s event saw over 1,103 exhibitors from over 61 countries. It was a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into an exciting industry and connect with aerospace professionals. WebFX makes an appearance at the Dubai Airshow.

Our team were on hand to support two of our clients and to see how our online campaigns drew visitors to their stands. One client, printed more than 1000 in-flight parts for the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft.

Dubai is continuing to grow and outpace traditional markets as it becomes an increasingly important global aerospace hub. We look forward to be part of it’s digital future and help drive and shape this growth.

“Exciting things are happening in this part of the world, and Dubai is a crossroads for the digital business in general. We achieved our clients’ objectives this week and have made good contacts here at the Dubai Airshow,” said Sam Liu, co-founder at WebFX.

2015 STATISTICS

1,103 Exhibitors from 61 countries
66,346 Trade Visitors
$37.2 Billion Order Book
150 Aircraft on display

Digital Forum: What is digital strategy?

This question re-emerges as businesses complete their initial investments in digital technology. What is digital strategy? Much of that investment concentrated on applying new technologies to existing products, practices and processes. In that sense digital strategy was much like your IT strategy – a process of selecting which technologies you will invest in and where those investments would go. This approach to strategy results in a plan or in the digital world a roadmap. Digital strategy is not IT strategy, and requires a different approach.

Continue reading “Digital Forum: What is digital strategy?”