On November 24, 1623, shoemaker’s apprentice Nicholas Keeney became the first-ever fatality of Black Friday promotions when he was run over by an oxcart in Plymouth, Massachusetts, rushing to get a great deal on goose quill pens. Thus began the long and checkered history of Black Friday, by far America’s deadliest holiday.
Starting and maintaining an email list is not nearly as simple as it was in the early days of the Internet. Just as do-not-call lists protect consumers from being barraged by telemarketers, anti-spam measures by the US government and email services such as Gmail greatly reduce electronic junk mail. (Sadly though, when we want to see how many international lotteries we’ve won, we have to remember to check the spam folder.)
A content delivery network (CDNs) is a simple add-on feature you can use along with any hosting account. Through a CDN, your site can be distributed worldwide. The end result is faster page loads for users. That both means that users are happier with your site’s performance and that search engines will give you higher rankings, since speed is considered an important usability consideration by Google and others.
One of the third-party add-ons we have available is SiteLock. The basic questions website owners and managers have about the tool, of course, are:
- does it work? and
- is it worth it?
It’s relatively inexpensive, so proving its worth is not all that difficult. However, let’s look at the SiteLock software itself, alongside an independent review and a recent award, to determine how effective it could be at protecting your site. read more
Everyone loves to bash Google+ for not being as popular as Facebook or Twitter. Well, folks, I have news for you: Google Plus has been on a slow roast for some time, during which it has been changing the Internet recipe (it’s a dish and a chef: deal with it) whether we are aware of it or not.
Beyond that, the temperature of the burner has been slowly rising. The Internet is a lobster (that’s what was roasting, I guess). Get ready to watch it scream. Oh, Facebook and Twitter are also lobsters. Possibly I am also a lobster. read more
One way to try to improve your website is through guesswork – basically by checking in with your own idea’s about ease-of-use and your perspective of what it’s like to visit the site. A much stronger and scientific way to approach site optimization is with hard data, which can be achieved through various metric applications. read more
We all know how important blogs are in the era of quality content and content marketing. We can use blogs to perform a number of different functions: establish our online presence, communicate with our customers, engage new visitors to the site, and provide valuable tie-ins to our site for our social media and newsletters. read more
One of the biggest challenges of a site is of course enhancing traffic to your site and engaging users once they have arrived. Though social media is an endless source of fascination for marketers, email newsletters are still incredibly strong ways to interact with your current customer base. (Both of these forms of marketing, of course, pale in comparison to skywriting; but sadly, the skywriting schools aren’t training them well these days.) read more
Big data is a growing concern for businesses. With all the analytics tools out there and the information that can be gathered regarding behavior on a site, it’s increasingly possible to groom one’s business based on looking at the numbers and ascertaining their meaning. The number seven, for instance, is an unlucky number, so any time you see that, try a different approach (I won’t write it in numerical form here to avoid making this piece unlucky).
IBM, for example, argues that businesses that are focusing on big data and understand its value are increasingly outpacing their competition. IBM’s opinion is based on one of a number of data-analysis studies the company conducted in partnership with MIT. read more
Part of the difficulty of getting your WordPress site going is knowing which plugins will be valuable to your site. After all, a lot of the reason the CMS (or blogging platform – depends who you ask) is so popular is because of those plugins, which significantly enhance your possibilities. Constructing a website is now almost unfair, with thousands of ready-built options available at the click of a button (well, maybe technically three minutes to set one up, including a coffee break). read more