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Your Website is Making These 5 Mistakes

We all know that having a website for your business is absolutely essential! Or… at least we hope we’ve mentioned it enough! Most people do not realize that just “having a website” will not get the job done. What makes up your website, or it’s composition, is the most important part of your website. It’s easy to assume that the aesthetics of the site would steal the show. Unfortunately, pretty colors and exotic buttons do nothing more than distract your customers from why they are on your site. You want your audience to know right away that they are on the “right” page. Your website should SHOUT why people need your product and why they should buy it from you. 

Your website should always answer the question “why”. If you are only focused on how your website looks, you need to reevaluate your business goals! An effective website should easily tell customers why they need the product, why they should choose that business to purchase from, and why they should get in touch with the business staff.

If your website is not gaining traffic or producing sales, it might be because you are making one of these five mistakes.

  1. Your Website Is Missing a Message

Studies show that 55% of visitors will leave your site if there is no clear message.

The message of your website is summarized by your brand value proposition (BVP). Your BVP tells the site visitor what you can do for them. 

The design of your website should be focused on the purpose of your business or brand. It needs to send one, clear and direct message. Your website also needs to effectively convey that one message. You should want to give off a good impression when someone lands on your website’s homepage! Your brand value proposition should stand out. The website visitor must receive value from what you’re offering for your site to be effective. They must see your message as valuable and take action on that.

Your website needs to present only one single message. If you clutter your website with too many different slogans, phrases, and pictures, then the true goal of your site will be lost.

There are nearly 5 BILLION people on the internet every day searching for information or answers. Someone is bound to come across your site. When they do, you do not want to steer them away by your message inconsistency or lack thereof.

2. Your website is lacking a clear CTA 

CTA means Call-to-Action. The Call-to-Action is essentially the “what” of your business. You first have to make the decision of what you want your website visitor to do. What action do you want them to take on your site? The most common CTA is a button that expresses an action. The purpose of that button is for the customer to click it and potentially sign up to receive something of value. It is one thing to have a CTA button and it is another to have an effective CTA button. The effectiveness of your Call-to-Action depends on the location, design, and verbiage of the CTA. Your CTA button must be easy to find, access, and understand.

Some common CTA buttons are: 

  • Sign up Here
  • Get Started 
  • Add to Cart 
  • Chat With Us Now
  • Get Your Free Newsletter
  • Learn more  

Your website would see a tremendous benefit from having multiple Call-to-Action buttons. 

We recommend that you make all your Call-to-Action buttons the same color, style, and have similar reinforcing verbiage throughout your website. If your CTA buttons are sporting different styles and colors, your message could be confusing the customers on your site. 

CTAs must complement each other, not compete against each other! Your Call-to-Action buttons should match your website’s BVP. You might also want to include a chat support button to help answer customer questions.

3. Your website is not mobile-friendly 

This might be something you haven’t thought about. Your website NEEDS to be mobile responsive. A mobile responsive website is one that is compatible with mobile and tablet devices. Your website needs to be able to adapt to various screen sizes (or screens other than a computer monitor). If it’s not mobile-friendly, then you are depriving your business of potential growth.

A user should not have to zoom in and out and all around to read the content on their smartphone. We’ve all been on a page like that! It makes you want to leave immediately! If your own website looked like that, you can imagine that a user wouldn’t be staying on your page for too long.  

What’s interesting is that 65% of online traffic comes from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. If your website isn’t designed to be mobile responsive, then you are losing a lot of traffic! In April 2015, Google ranked mobile responsiveness as a factor in its search algorithm. That means, if your website does not accommodate all screen sizes then your website may not be ranked. 

A study by Google shows that 61% of visitors will leave a website that is not mobile-friendly and over 40% of visitors will instead do business with your website’s competitor. Your website bounce rate will increase if your visitors are leaving immediately and that will leave you with fewer sales. 

4. You’re Adding Junk to Your Customer’s Spam Folder

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies out there. But, just emailing something to the customers in your email list every day isn’t going to do the trick. You have to provide something of value to them. 

People spend an average of 2 and a half hours a day sifting through ads, promotions, and work emails. You do NOT want to be that “one business” that constantly bombards their inbox with completely useless information. 

A majority of people have enough emails to look through as it is. They don’t want to give out their email to companies that may abuse their inbox. Although, most people would be willing to give out their email in exchange for something of value. For example, you could encourage a user to enter their email in exchange for a set of coupons to spend at your business. 

Your website visitors are always thinking, “What’s in it for me?”. 

What you DON’T want to do is create a lame CTA and expect your visitors to click on it and enter their email. For example, your Call-to-Action says “Sign up for an E-Book”.  

Your Call-to-Action should entice people to sign up! Instead of your previous bland CTA, say “ Sign up and get my FREE EBook!” 

Most of the time, whenever someone comes across the word “free”, they will stop and read more about the offer. The word “free” doesn’t necessarily add value to your offer, but if a customer sees it as valuable, then they will most likely sign up. The trick is to create something of high value that your visitors will not be able to refuse. 

Place yourself in the position of the consumer. What would entice you to click on that Call-to-Action button and surrender your email address?

5. Your website is more about you than it is about your products 

Microsoft conducted a study that shows websites have only six seconds to grab the attention and interest of a consumer. If you have a clear and concise message on your home page, your visitors are more likely to stay and look around. 

Let’s cut to the chase. People are more interested in how you can help them and why they should choose you. People are very simple. If you cannot help them, they will find somebody who can (which most of the time tends to be your competitor). 

Stop writing about yourself. Write for the visitors on your page. Start gearing your content toward those who will actually be purchasing your product. Visitors are not going to your site because you created it. They’re going to your site because you offer a product or service that they are interested in. 

It would benefit you to add your work experience, educational background, and achievements to your website! Some website visitors actually want to know more about the people who make up your company, which is why they will go to your About page to learn more information. Do not go overboard, though. You need to add the information about yourself to your About page and leave the rest of the information to the home page!

Your business needs a website. There’s no doubt about that. But, just having a website is not enough. Your site needs to be focused on the brand you are trying to portray and the services you are going to provide. It has to achieve your goals! You cannot achieve those goals without following these five steps on your site. If you are not already doing these five things, then don’t worry! We recommend focusing your attention on one “mistake” at a time. Take a few days to fix up your CTA buttons and move onto the next step when you are finished. In the end, you’ll feel much better about a well-produced website than a website that’s rushed and inconsistent. 

How to Build a Social Network Using a Free WP Plugin

Did you know that it’s possible to create a social network on your WordPress site? Well… it is! You can literally turn your WordPress into a social networking platform by using the free WordPress plugin, BuddyPress! 

Why would you want such a plugin on your website? The better question is, why would you not want to install this plugin? If you would like to turn your site into a community of users, add social media features, or attempt to build an entire social media platform with WordPress, then this is the plugin for you!

BuddyPress will allow you to take your site beyond the typical blog or business page. In recent years, BuddyPress has been used as a campus-wide social networking platform for universities, as an internal communication tool for companies, as a niche social networking for very specific interest groups, and for focused communities for products and services. It is also integrated with bbPress to enhance community forms. 

By following just a few easy steps, you can gain all the social media features that you have come to know and love from your favorite social media platforms. BuddyPress comes with multiple social media elements that can integrate directly into your site. Some of those elements include detailed user profiles, published updates, the opportunity to join groups, private messaging, group messaging and so much more. It allows website visitors to network with each other, stay updated on new information, and stay in touch with things going on in the community. This social networking plugin allows you to build your own online platform for any online or offline community!

One of the coolest things about BuddyPress is that there are over 500 plugins available to help you add unique features to your site. But, you do not have to use them! If you only want to use a select few, BuddyPress will adapt to that and only show the menu items and pages for the features you have enabled. Did we mention it is FREE?

This multi-feature packed plugin is easy to integrate into your website and it is very easy to get started! BuddyPress can be installed on your site directly from the WordPress plugin directory.  Are you ready to Install?

  1. To begin, log in to your WordPress website’s admin area and find Plugins on the left-hand panel on your screen. Hover your mouse over Plugins. You will see that you have a choice between Installed Plugins or Add New. Press Add New. On the right-hand side, you’ll see a search bar that will allow you to search for options. In that bar, search for BuddyPress. 

2. You will see that BuddyPress shows up on the left-hand side of the screen. In the BuddyPress box, press Install Now. BuddyPress then installs into your system and you will see the option to activate. Press Activate

3. After you have pressed activate, you will see this popup. 

4. The picture above is basically welcoming you to the newly activated plugin and letting you know about the recently updated version of BuddyPress. From there, you can click the X in the top right-hand corner and mess with the settings on the newly installed BuddyPress menu, located under the settings sidebar menu. 

5. You can individually activate or disable any component. This makes BuddyPress extremely beneficial for those who only want to add a few of the many social networking elements to their website.

6. Under Components, check any element that you think would fit nicely into your site. You can also uncheck elements that you do not think would look good on your site. This is really where you can add all of your social networking elements.  As you can see, the tabs next to components are Options, Pages, and Credits. The Options button allows you to access the toolbar. The Pages tab allows you to configure the pages that are using the BuddyPress plugin to show member information and their activity. You can also set up the registration and activation Pages in the Pages tab as well.  

This is what your page will look like if you do not yet have any members on your site. The down arrow next to members will allow you to associate a WordPress page with each BuddyPress component directory. Use the down arrow to view the list and choose. The options range from live web chat, to blog, to test page, to set an appointment, and much more.

From there, you can begin adding people to your social network! In addition, the visitors to your site can register to become members! Feel free to play with the different features available to see what you like the best!

Wasn’t this process easier than you anticipated? Are you ready to start your own social network? Go get ’em!

What is WordPress and How Does it Work?

In today’s modern-day of unlimited Internet access and seemingly paper-thin smartphones, it is easy to assume that a majority of people know all about web creation websites like WordPress. My assumptions were proven wrong when somebody genuinely asked me, “What is WordPress?”. After thinking about that question it occurred to me that some people are very unaware of WordPress and what it has to offer. If you are stirring in silent embarrassment because you are also asking yourself the same question, then do not worry. This article is for you. 

WordPress is known as the most powerful, straightforward and versatile website content management system (CMS) in existence today. If you own a website, it is your website’s operating system. In simple terms, WordPress is the engine to your “vehicle”. In this case, WordPress is the engine, while your website is the vehicle. 

WordPress allows you to create and customize any kind of website that you want. It provides you with interchangeable themes, fonts and styles. People have created websites that feature topics such as E-commerce, social networking, business, membership, portfolio, forums, events, E-learning, weddings or even a simple blog. WordPress originated as a blogging tool but later developed into the content management system that it is today. 

Whether you’re an aspiring business owner attempting to establish your online presence or you’re secretly passionate about gardening and want to create an online outlet, it is easy for anyone to create a website. In fact, WordPress operates over 30% of all websites on the Internet.

There are many benefits to joining WordPress’s large and powerful website community. WordPress is very simple to operate, which is one of the most intriguing elements of the website. The website content management system is very easy to use, even for beginners. WordPress allows you to create and publish your website content quickly. Another great feature is that the actual WordPress software is free to download and use. WordPress also operates on all screen sizes and devices. It even comes in the form of an app! There are two different types of WordPress websites that you have the option to use.   

  • WordPress.org: This site is known as the self-hosted and free version of WordPress. This WordPress software is, in fact, free and is considered an open-source. Open-source means that you have the freedom to build, use, and modify the software in any way that you’d like without having to pay a fee. It also means that it’s licensed under the GNU Public License and it isn’t owned by one single company. With this software, you essentially install your own web host to create your website. This site does not generate any income. It also does not offer any support for its users. Using this site gives you more ownership as well as access to all the website’s perks. Anybody can download this version. WordPress.org is managed by the nonprofit WordPress Foundation.
  • WordPress.com: This is a paid, profit-geared service that is operated by WordPress.org software. WordPress.com is a simple site that any person can navigate and use. With this service, you are essentially paying WordPress to host your site and handle everything for you. This service relieves you from the responsibility of building and managing your website. Many people choose this service because they want a professional website, created and operated by actual professionals. Once you pay for the WordPress.com service, you are paying to not have to worry about those things. This is a fantastic option for someone who has a business but does not have time to create a website. WordPress.com is a for-profit business owned by Automattic that uses WordPress.org open-source software. 

To get started with a self-hosting WordPress website, you will need to pay for web hosting and a domain name. If you choose to continue with a web hosting provider, the domain name, website and many other features will come with the package.

WordPress is used by all kinds of people for various reasons and goals. It is used by individuals, small businesses, large corporations, nonprofit groups, and many more. For example, the official White House website, BBC America, The Walt Disney Company, Vogue and so many more use WordPress to power their site. Take a look at each company’s website, the design, and how it correlates with the culture of the company or business. These examples depict an attractive outline for how a well-constructed website can look. Although these widely-known businesses utilized WordPress.com to their advantage, you can still create a free site using the open-source software. WordPress makes building a website easy and available to everyone, even people who aren’t developers!

WordPress Themes Without the Complexity

wordpressThe Right WordPress Theme for Your Website

There are literally tens of thousands of WordPress themes, and at last glance there were over 11,000 just on Themeforest alone. Others like MOJO Marketplace is a huge marketplace for WordPress themes, services and plugins. They currently offer over 1100 WordPress themes themselves.

cRaZy fast websites

Navigating through all those themes can be daunting, yet at the end of the day, every webmaster just wants a website that is easy to find, immediately captures its visitor’s attention, draws them deeper into the site and performs really, really well. Like cRaZy fast.

Who needs extra complexity?

Who wants to trust their non-profit, e-commerce store or online magazine to just any ol’ theme? Not you, not me, not anyone. Websites are already complicated enough without adding another level or dimension of complexity to the process.

Hostirian allows its clients to install the theme of their choice

This is why Hostirian offers robust themes to its web hosting clients in multiple platforms, and allows them to install any theme of their desire.

One of the reasons we allow for the installation of any theme on our BUSINESS and WORDPRESS DEVELOPER PLANS is to give our clients unlimited flexibility in the design of their sites. The collection of themes that are available have been used by millions of webmasters, website developers, photographers, organizations and creative professionals to present a highly sophisticated appearance to their websites, combined with unparalleled functionality.

We recommend Elementor

Can’t find a theme you love or just want to enhance the one you have? We recommend joining over a million users who use Elementor, the #1 WordPress Page Builder.  It’s significantly faster than other site builders as it allows you to design on the front end with immediate, real-time results. It’s also FREE and OPEN SOURCE, and it does not force you to learn code. Need it to display well across multiple devices? It’s underlying source code is compact and optimized for every device and screen.

Use in combination with your favorite theme

Use Elementor with your customized or favorite theme. Elementor allows you to change your themes and still keep all your designs. Elementor can be used to design any page or custom post type on WordPress.

Design is paramount

As we continue to enhance our web development offerings, we’ll look to emerging trends that promise to deliver the design look and style for real value-add and agility for our clients. Why? Design is a paramount element of any website, regardless of the code or method to create it.

Separate your website from the competition

Every website developer and business owner is forced to compete with their rivals to offer a compelling online user experience, where the intuitiveness and aesthetics of their sites favorably separate them from their competition. In essence, your visitors are judging your site against the site they just left.

What about SEO?

Will the design, functionality, aesthetics and value-add content of your website help you in SERPS (search engine results pages)? Absolutely, YES. Fantastic looking sites are the very basis of incredible digital experiences.

Hostirian is here to help

At Hostirian, we are committed to arming our clients with the information and tools they need to develop the best sites possible. We’re definitively excited and looking forward to all the fantastic looking websites our clients are going to build. As always, we’ll continue to scour the Internet looking for new methods to assist our clients to do what they do best, and that is to run successful businesses.

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