Sites of the Month November 2017

Welcome to WPCaddy's newest feature, a website of the month article that showcases web designs that we love from around the net. Each month we will identify some categories and websites worth of being featured on the website.

These websites are being featured for their unique design, eye for usability, and great content. The categories and winners will change each month, so make sure you subscribe to see who wins in December.

Category - News

The Intercept


The Intercept publishes engaging political and news articles through a website that simply looks better than anything else out there. From the floating and expanding menu that blends perfectly with sharing icons on individual posts, to the typography and custom photos and graphics, the user experience is unparalleled.

While the homepage is well thought out and looks amazing, our favorite part of this design are the individual posts and articles. Everything from the header, to the related articles, to the subscription and comments boxes are so well thought out and designed.

Category - Event

Kik Festival


To be honest, we had no idea what the Kik Festival was prior to it winning site of the day on Awwwards back in November. It's easy to see why this is an award winning design, as the website features one of the most breathtaking home pages we can remember seeing. Here is how Kikk describes itself:

KIKK is an international festival of digital and creative cultures. Its interest lies in the artistic and economic implications of new technologies.

A unique blend of colors and motion lay behind the head of a giant ape of all things on the landing page. Also in the background is a fishing boat, and some seagulls that fly around the landing page. The bold, unique colors are maintained as the user moves between the website's subpages.

Category - Sports

The Daily Audible


The Daily Audible is a website that the fantasy enthusiasts on our staff have frequented for years and demanded that we include on this list. It takes on a unique twist to WordPress with an eye for design and readability.

Like The Intercept, the focus on The Daily Audible is clearly put on the user experience and readability. Content is king here. Posts are cleverly laid out and written, presenting the daily fantasy user with the information they are looking for in the easiest to use format.

Our favorite aspect of the website has to be the unique homepage hero slider. This, like the rest of this website, keeps the content in the foreground, as it uses negative space to allow the user to navigate through the site's featured articles.

Category - Business

FedEx SoundTrack


We love when staple companies, business that help form the foundation for American culture, get creative and do something unique. This is the case with FedEx's latest design project, SoundTrack.

SoundTrack allows the user to experience a packages journey through sound. It loads with an extremely unique hero graphic that has the states outlined with what is essentially soundbar pixels bouncing up and down on the screen.

The user is able to enter their package's tracking number, and load it's unique soundtrack. The website matches sound and tone to the weather in each of your package's stops, then allows you to track it as it's flown and driven across the country. It's a unique take on something that the industry used to struggle with, tracking a package.

Category - Studio

The Great Agency


The Great Agency, based out of Paris, France, recently redesigned their website, and we are digging it. The new design is heavy on typography and readability, and low on flashy elements that distract from their brand and message.

The most unique feature on the site is it's page layout and transitions, which is brilliant because the flash is in places that don't distract the user from the brand's message.

The selected work, or portfolio page, allows you to browse through their past project in a horizontal layout. Selecting an individual project to load brings forward a full screen layout with about 20 difference unique sections that give you a thorough rundown on the project. Easily one of our favorite designs we have ever seen in this category.

Category - Shop

Nike Shop


Listen, we are not going to start this article off with any other shop. Nike have always been innovators when it comes to eCommerce. Their website has always looked phenomenal and functioned way ahead of it's time. This would be like creating a smartphone article and leaving off the iPhone, Nike has always been and will always be pioneers in the industry.

Their current design is clean, minimal, yet does an unbelievable job of highlighting individual products while allowing the user to navigate quickly and easily to whatever it is they are looking for.

Individual product pages are well thought out with individual images in a stacked gallery to the left that open in a lightbox when clicked. Product details, pricing, and options are in the right third of the screen, brilliantly using all available space to perfect the UX. Well done once again Nike.com.

Best WordPress Typography Plugins

Looking for a typography plugin for your WordPress site? You’ve come to the right place. The style of text on your site can actually have a huge impact on whether or not visitors stick around and come back in the future. Having good typography makes your site more attractive and your content more readable, so this is definitely a factor that should not be overlooked. Now let’s take a look at some of the best typography plugins currently available for the WordPress platform.

1. Easy Google Fonts

Easy Google Fonts basically grants you simple access to the Google Fonts system, letting you use this library of fonts on your WP site without any hassle. Advanced users will know how to integrate Google Fonts on their sites without resorting to plugins like this one, but it can still be recommended to the vast majority of users. It adds a new tab to your theme customizer, letting you change fonts on the fly and preview your changes before confirming them.

2. Google Font Manager

Just like Easy Google Fonts, Google Font Manager lets you make use of the impressive library of fonts made available by Google. You’ll have to get the relevant API key to make this work, but that’s very easily done. This plugin lets you choose and preview different fonts with ease, adding them to your own personal library for quick access.

3. Typekit Fonts for WordPress

One of the biggest and most impressive font plugins available right now, Typekit Fonts comes with countless typography styles, allowing you to find the one that suits you site and expresses your ideas. This plugin is highly functional, allowing you to connect your website to the Typekit library and even make your own custom CSS.

4. Simple Drop Cap

This simple plugin allow you to change the first letter in your posts into a drop cap. You can set it to work on every single post or use a simple shortcode to use it selectively. It works well and adds a touch of elegance to your WP posts.

5. wp-Typography

This plugin acts as a filter and grammar-checker for your text. WordPress does do this sort of thing automatically, but wp-Typography does a much better job. It can insert hyphens, dashes, trademarks, copyright symbols and a whole lot more. These might sound like simple additions, but they help to make your site look much more professional.

6. Simple Pull Quote

When you read news articles on big sites, you’ll often notice the presence of pull quotes dotted throughout the posts. These quotes catch the eye and help to enhance each article. The Simple Pull Quotes plugin lets you make those quotes appear with ease. It comes with a button to simply create a new pull quote, as well as various short codes to let you make them manually.

7. TinyMCE Advanced

TinyMCE Advanced is a great way to enhance your WordPress experience. When you use the regular WP visual editor, you’ll probably have noticed that it isn’t exactly the most fully-featured system in the world. TinyMCE Advanced gives your editor a whole bunch of new options including font sizes, colors, tables and more.

8. Zeno Font Resizer

Zeno Font Resizer lets you make fonts bigger or smaller as needed. You can even add a simple resizing widget the sidebar for easy access. Fonts will change size without any delays or reloading.

9. Page Title Splitter

Page Title Splitter lets you write big post titles across multiple lines. Without this plugin, long titles can become simply unreadable, so it’s a real necessity if you want to make posts with big titles.

10. Secondary Title

The Secondary Title plugin gives you the option of adding subtitles to your posts. This can help to enhance readability and encourage people to read on.

11. Accessibility Widget

Designed to help people who are visually impaired, the Accessibility Widget lets visitors adjust the font size to make the text more readable.

12. Endnotes

Endnotes lets you add simple footnotes to your posts with ease. You can even customize these notes, making them collapsible and expandable as necessary.

13. Greg’s Threaded Comment Numbering

This plugin lets you assign numbers to the comments on your posts. It’s a simple touch but, again, it adds a bit of professionalism and style to your pages, allowing readers to more easily find or reference a particular comment.

14. Colorful text widget

Want to jazz up your widgets? This plugin lets you adjust colors, texts and titles on your text widget, making it more attractive and eye-catching.

15. Text Hover

This plugin lets you add tooltips to certain parts of text, allowing these tips to pop up whenever the cursor hovers over the text. It’s very easy to use and comes with a good range of options.

16. Just Writing

Long-time WordPress users might remember the old “Just Writing” mode that allowed you to write in full-screen, free from any distractions. The new WordPress does still have a similar mode, but it’s not quite the same. If you’d like to go back to the days before WordPress 4.1, give this plugin a try.

How to Remove Comments from Your Entire WordPress Website in Minutes

Guide to Remove Comments from Your WordPress Website

If you’re looking for ways to completely remove comments from your WordPress site, you’re in the right place. This article will give you all the information you need to make the change. There are many different reasons why you might want to cut out comments, and we’ll be looking at some of those reasons here today. Disabling comments for static pages and individual posts is easy enough, but this article will show you to completely remove all comments from the entirety of your WP site.

Why Some Websites Don't Need Comments

Before we talk about the method, let’s look at the reasons why you might want to get rid of comments. On the one hand, comments can be a great way to build up a community on your site. The ability to leave comments and share opinions often encourages people to spend more time on a webpage and return to it in the future. For blogs or news sites, this sort of feature is almost vital.

In the modern world, people like to have their voices heard and to feel like they can have their say on things that matter to them. Therefore, comments can be a great advantage for a site. So why would you want to remove them?

Well, not every site is designed to encourage discussion. A huge number of WP sites are run by small business owners who simply want to share information about their company and sell products or services. For these sorts of sites, a comment section would be completely superfluous.

Sites like this rarely even have blogs or “social” sections at all, being mostly comprised of static pages. At the same time, there are certain styles of blog or media site that simply choose to keep the comments turned off. Comment sections can often get filled up with spam and anger, so some site owners choose to disable this feature and encourage discussions in different ways.

Maybe your content simply isn’t the sort of thing that can be commented upon, in the traditional sense. Maybe you want to avoid arguments and haters. Maybe you just want to share your content without worrying about what everyone is going to say about it. Either way, there are many valid reasons for getting rid of comments.

The trouble is that, while WordPress does make it relatively easy to disable comments for individual pages and posts, it can be a bit of a hassle to keep on doing this every time you want to post something new. Fortunately, it is possible to fully disable WordPress comments with just a few clicks.

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Steps to Remove Comments on WordPress

So how is it done? Well, the first step is to download a plugin called Disable Comments. It’s pretty self-explanatory; this plugin works to simply turn off the commenting system across your whole site. If you run a WordPress site, downloading and installing a plugin should be second nature to you, so we won’t worry about explaining how to do that.

Once the plugin has been installed and activated, you’ll want to head to the Settings tab, and then click on the Disable Comments page to start configuring your new plugin.

This page is split into two distinct, clearly-marked options. We have the “Everywhere” option, which globally deactivates comments for your entire site. Then, we have the “On certain post types” option, which allows you to be a little more selective, offering the ability to disable comments for individual posts, pages or media. If you want to disable comments entirely, click on the first option and save your changes.

It’s as simple as that. You can go ahead and visit your site to see the plugin’s magic in action. The great thing is that you don’t need to waste any time going through pre-existing comments and deleting them, because the plugin makes all comments disappear, including the ones that had already been posted. Any mention of comments will be entirely removed from your site and dashboard.

So that’s how you get rid of comments, but this doesn’t work flawlessly with every single theme. With so many different themes out there, all optimized in different ways, we can’t expect plugins like Disable Comments to always work without a single hitch.

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Removing Comments Without Installing a Plugin

In some cases, pre-existing comments may remain, even after clicking to remove them. In addition, some themes may display a “Comments are closed” message that you probably don’t want to see. So how do we get rid of these things? Well, a simple thing to try is to contact the theme’s creator and see if they can either fix the issue or tell you how to get around it.

Otherwise, you can fix the problem manually. Connect to your site using the FTP Client or File Manager via cPanel, then find your theme folder which should be under the following directory: wp-content/themes/folder. Here, you should be able to see a file called “comments.php” and you’ll want to rename that to “comments_old.php”.

The next step is to right click and choose “Create new file” in the FTP Client and name this file “comments.php”. Click OK and then you should be done. Basically, this trick takes the old comments out of the equation and replaces that file with a blank template, meaning that your site should then update to remove all traces of the pre-existing comment system. We hope that this article answers your questions on how to remove comments from a WP site.

A Closer Look at the New WebHostingPad WordPress Hosting Services

New WebHostingPad WordPress Hosting Service

WebHostingPad recently unveiled a new line of WordPress hosting plans, set to launch at some point in the future. We don’t have any exact date because the company hasn’t specified one just yet, but these plans seem pretty fully-featured, so we don’t expect to have to wait too long until they launch. There are three plans, with prices starting as low as $2.99 for the most basic offering and rising up to just $5.99 for the most advanced plan.

The basic option brings support for five sites, while the top-end subscription will work with up to 25 sites. These plans offer a nice range of features including malware scanning, premium backups and SSD storage. The company states that its new WordPress plans are being built to provide the top levels of speed, security and reliability, so let’s take a closer look to see what exactly the WebHostingPad team is doing to bring that promise to life.

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WebHostingPad WordPress Hosting Service

First of all, let’s look at security. This is a big issue for many site owners, with people naturally wanting to keep their data safe from any possible attacks. All of the new WordPress plans from WebHostingPad come with automatic malware scanning and removal. The company claims that its scanning software will regularly search for any malware and immediately quarantine anything it finds.

The problem with this kind of automatic malware detection and removal is that it can sometimes cause bugs and problems with the functionality of the site. Fortunately, WebHostingPad will automatically email users when any malware is found, letting them take a look at their sites and ensure that everything is working smoothly.

If there are any problems, the site can be restored to full functionality using a backup. The provider will take weekly backups automatically, and you can schedule additional backups yourself if you like. We don’t have all of the details on this malware scanning service, so we don’t know exactly what program the company is using here. It could be a high-profile security agency, or it might be something simpler like regular cPanel protection software. Either way, it seems to be quite effective.

Whenever you upload something new to your site, it will be scanned and checked for any traces of malicious software. This includes themes and plugins, so you’ll be able to know whether or not the changes you make to your site are safe. As stated, when the software detects any problems, it will immediately quarantine the affected files and send out an email alert. From that moment, you’ll have 24 hours to fix the issue before the quarantined files are released.

Overall, the new security features for these WordPress plans seem decent, but what sort of speeds can you expect to get? While other WordPress hosting providers often offer full SSD hosting for the fastest speeds, WebHostingPad has preferred to keep things simpler by only using SSD technology for the database. This means that speeds might not be as fast as they could be, but it helps to keep the overall costs down. So if your budget can’t quite stretch to some of the pricier WordPress plans on the market, this could be the right choice for you. The speeds and performance offered by these plans still seem to be very impressive, so most users won’t even notice the difference.

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WebHostingPad WordPress Support

The final feature to discuss is customer support. Right now, we can’t be entirely sure how this will work for the new WordPress plans. Normally, WebHostingPad outsources its support services, but does still manage to offer 24/7/365 support and promises to deal with all queries as quickly and efficiently as possible. The company makes use of a ticket system, as well as offering a large database of tutorials and guides to help people gain a better understanding of hosting and dealing with certain site issues. We can only expect this same level of service to continue with the WordPress plans, and the company has stated that WordPress-specific issues will be addressed like installing themes and plugins.

The big question about these new plans is can they match up to the regular sort of WordPress hosting that other brands are providing? This type of hosting often comes in either managed or unmanaged forms. Managed plans involve full support and optimization and prices can often be pretty high, while unmanaged plans are often cheaper and come with their own specific range of advanced WordPress features and options.

These plans certainly aren’t managed and don’t quite have the same selection of features as many others, but they are being offered at some truly attractive prices. The idea of being able to get fast, reliable, secure WordPress hosting for just $2.99 per month will entice plenty of people into signing up with WebHostingPad. We can’t say that these plans are going to be the fastest or most fully-featured, but they’re affordable and efficient, and that will certainly be enough for some.

Hostwinds Coupon

35% Off Hosting

Save 35% off any hosting plan with our most popular HostWinds coupon code. This coupon will work on either a monthly or annual purchase, and doesn't have an expiration date.

99% Off First Month

Get started on HostWinds this month and save 99% off your first invoice. Simply copy the coupon code below and paste it into the promo code box at check out to lock in the savings.

How To Use Your Hostwinds Coupon Code

Using your Hostwinds coupon code is a relatively easy process, but we’ll give you a quick guide, just to ensure that you don’t accidentally miss out on the great benefits provided by these codes. If you have the option, it’s always smart to test out multiple codes in order to see which one gives you the best rewards before confirming your order. We also recommend that you read all the small print and fully verify that your code is working before proceeding to the payment screen.

To start off, you simply need to visit the Hostwinds official site and find the plan or service you’d like to purchase. When you’ve chosen the plan that works for you, select it. The site will then take you to the “Domain Options” page, where you can input your pre-existing domain or register a new one. Next, you’ll be taken through an assortment of hosting options, allowing you to add additional features and upgrades to your plan. You can select or ignore these add-ons and keep proceeding until you reach the “Checkout” screen.

This is where you’ll need to use your code. The screen should show a list of the products you wish to purchase, along with their prices. Just below this section, you should be able to spot a box labelled “Promotional Code”. You can copy and paste your code into this box and click on the “Validate” button.

At this point, the effects of your code will be applied, so you can check that it is fully functional and review your savings before proceeding with the order. If you’re happy with the code, go ahead and fill in your address and payment information in the relevant boxes, then click on the green button to finalize your order.

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Hostwinds Company Background

Hostwinds is a hosting provider that was founded back in 2010. The company was created on the idea of offering better service and richer experiences for site owners everywhere. The founders of Hostwinds worked to discover the flaws and holes in other providers’ plans, aiming to fix these problems and offer the most fully-rounded service available.

The founders of the brand quickly noticed that there were essentially two main types of provider: the budget companies that compromised on quality in order to keep their prices low, and the higher quality brands that offered good service but expensive costs for the consumer. The idea was therefore to make Hostwinds offer the best of both worlds. This company aims to keep prices affordable, while also ensuring that every customer gets the service, speeds and support they need.

hostwinds-features

The main feature of the Hostwinds service is a dedication to customer satisfaction. The Hostwinds team works around the clock to ensure that every single user is happy with the service they’re paying for. The company vows to treat every customer like a member of the family, with the customer support team always ready to help out with friendly and informative advice and assistance.

The CEO of the brand is so confident in his company’s customer care promise, that he even allows any customer to email him directly, should the need arise. Customer support is an important issue in general, and is particularly vital in the world of web hosting. When you put your site in a company’s hands, you need to know that company can be trusted and will be there to help in times of needs. With Hostwinds, you get that reassurance and peace of mind, guaranteed.

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Hostwinds Service Overview

Hostwinds offers a large range of hosting plans and other services and can appeal to a broad range of customers. The company’s shared hosting plans are particularly appealing, as they all come with a selection of helpful features like nightly backups, unlimited disk space, Softaculous auto-installs, unmetered bandwidth and round the clock tech support. For these plans, prices start as low as $4.50 per month.

More advanced hosting options like business, reseller, VPS or even dedicated servers are also available, with many different plans, most of which can be customized with additional features or resources to suit your site’s needs. Hostwinds is able to boast of excellent loading speeds and site uptime ratings, while its customer service is also highly-appreciated.

As well as offering high quality hosting to suit any kind of site, Hostwinds also offers a range of additional services and products, including SSL certificates, domain registration and Windshield security. Windspeed optimization and analysis services can also help you improve the functionality of your site, and you can even set up a VPN to help protect your data and boost security even further. Simply put, Hostwinds offers more or less everything you could possibly need to get your site up-and-running as efficiently as possible. The company’s prices are very attractive and its service is second to none.

TMDHosting Coupon

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15% Off Coupon

November is a great time to upgrade your hosting and save money. This TMDHosting coupon will save you 15% off WordPress hosting plans.

tmdhosting

5% off Coupon

Save 5% on any TMDHosting product this November. This is coupon is always active and guaranteed to work on any purchase.

tmdhosting-coupon-guide

How To Use Your TMDHosting Coupon

It isn’t hard to make use of your TMDHosting coupon code, but there are a few important things to bear in mind before you make any payments or confirm any orders. First of all, whenever you want to make use of coupons like this, we encourage you to test out multiple codes in order to find the best deal.

Sometimes, one coupon code might turn out to offer better savings than another, so it’s always wise to try them all to maximize your rewards. We also recommend that you read all of the small print and make sure you understand any terms or conditions of each coupon before activating it.

With that out of the way, let’s look at how you should go about using your coupons for TMDHosting. First, visit the company’s official site and browse the selection of hosting plans and services. We recommend that you take a good look around, as TMDHosting has a huge range of products and plans on offer.

Once you’ve found the product you’d like to buy, continue to the purchase screen. You’ll be able to register a new domain name or enter your pre-existing domain, if you already have one. Click to continue and you’ll be taken to a screen where you need to enter your personal information.

This is the screen where the coupon code will need to be used. First of all, go ahead and enter your name, address and other info, as well as selecting your payment method of choice. This is also the time to select the data center that works best for you, as well as choosing the length of your subscription plan, plus any extra features you’d like to add on to your order.

Right at the bottom of the page, you’ll then be able to see the box labelled “Promo Code”, and this is where you can type or paste in your code, before hitting the “Apply” button. The benefits of the code should immediately appear and the total price of your order will be adjusted accordingly. Once that’s done and you’re happy with the final price, you can confirm and pay for your order.

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Who is TMDHosting?

TMDHosting got started way back in 2007, so it has been around for nearly a decade now. During that time, the founders and staff have learned a lot about the hosting industry, dealing with countless customers and improving their catalog of products and services along the way. The company is very popular and seems to have a bright future ahead of it, with lots of exciting plans for the months and years to come.

TMDHosting is dedicated to making customers as happy as possible. The brand does all it can to make its hosting plans feature-rich and fully reliable, boasting excellent uptime rates and page loading speeds. TMDHosting manages to do all of this, while also keeping the prices of its plans very affordable. All in all, it’s one of the better hosting providers operating today and is a great place to start if you’re in need of some hosting for your site.

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TMDHosting Services Overview

TMDHosting covers the full range of hosting plans. From simple shared hosting starting at just $2.85 per month, all the way up to highly powerful dedicated servers that can cost up to $389 each month, this company is able to offer any kind of hosting you could possibly need.

Everyone, from individual bloggers to small businesses to large enterprises, can benefit from signing up with TMDHosting. The brand’s shared hosting plans come complete with 99.99% uptime guarantees, your choice of data center and extra fast SSD storage, offering the best speeds and performance money can buy.

It’s a great entry-level option to welcome you to the world of site ownership. WordPress site owners can also get plans that have been specifically designed to work seamlessly with their platform, so if you’re running a WP site then this is also a great place to be.

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TMDHosting is Affordable and Scalable

As time goes by and your site grows larger, you might find yourself in need of something more powerful. Upgrading your plan with TMDHosting is a breeze and the brand has lots of options to keep your site powered-up. The natural progression after shared hosting is cloud hosting, and TMDHosting has a good choice of scalable cloud-based plans to give your site the resources it needs.

There are plenty of VPS options for even larger sites, will large-scale businesses can choose to invest in one of the brand’s premium dedicated server plans. TMDHosting offers all of the features you would hope to find from a top hosting provider, without any compromises on quality.

TMDHosting also aims to ensure that every customer is fully satisfied and offers an excellent support network, responding to queries and issues with speed and efficiency every time. The extensive research we did on the company turned up very few issues. Grab out coupon code and give TMDHosting a try today.

Should You Use WordPress.com or WordPress.org for Your Website?

Should You Use WordPress.com or WordPress.org for Your Project?

WordPress is the world’s most popular site creation platform, allowing everyone to get their own sites up-and-running with minimal effort. WordPress is also famous for its extensive library of themes and plugins, allowing you to make your site look and function exactly as you want it to.

The whole process is very easy, but there are a few big questions to ask yourself along the way. One example is whether you should be using WordPress.com or WordPress.org. Some people don’t even know that these two separate entities exist, but they do and it’s important that you choose the right one. Here, we’ll take a look through the merits of each option to help you make the best decision.

Both the .com and .org variants of WordPress make use of the same software and services, so there isn’t any real difference between them on a base level, but when you dig a little deeper, you start to see that these two formats are not the same thing.

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Understand WordPreess Hosting

Let’s start off by looking at hosting. WordPress.org is entirely self-hosted, meaning that when you make a site, you’ll need to make an account with a hosting provider and pick yourself a hosting plan in order to keep your site active. Hosting comes in many different forms, with different speeds, features and plans to suit different-sized sites and businesses.

You can get basic shared hosting that will provide everything you need from as cheap $4 per month from a host like A Small Orange. A shared hosting account with A Small Orange, Media Temple, HostNine, or a similar company can start small and scale all the way up to developer grade dedicated hosting that costs hundreds of dollars.

Meanwhile, WordPress.com is actually fully-hosted and entirely free. You don’t need to spend any time or money sorting out hosting plans or providers for your WordPress.com site. Instead, the whole thing is fully supported by Automattic.

This hosting service is fully functional and very fast, so you don’t need to worry about your site running slowly or going offline. In terms of hosting then, it’s clear to see that WordPress.com is the better option.

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Understanding the Level of Control You Need Over Your Site

Now let’s look at how much control you have with each option. WordPress.com may bring the luxury of free hosting, but it does come with a lot of limitations. The hosting plan only features 3GB of space and can actually show annoying ads to your visitors without your permission.

Meanwhile, over on WordPress.org, you have total control. You can choose a hosting plan to suit your needs, as well as finding the features and options that work for you. With a WordPress.org site, you get to control and validate absolutely every aspect of your site. So, if you’re the sort of user who likes to be in charge and have a good amount of freedom, .org might be the way to go.

More restrictions and limitations arrive when we look at the design and usage of WordPress.com sites. WordPress is renowned for its vast library of themes and plugins, letting you craft the site of your dreams using thousands of different options and add-ons. Well, you will only get access to all of those things if you use WordPress.org. WordPress.com site owners have to choose between a much smaller set of themes and aren’t allowed to install any custom plugins. The .com sites still come with a good amount of in-built functionality, but they just don’t have the same potential as their .org counterparts.

The Potential to Make Money Off Your Website

Moving on to monetization, site owners nowadays are realizing that the internet is a veritable goldmine. Even basic blogs can be used to earn a bit of cash on the side, and if you want to make money with your online endeavors, WordPress.org is once again the right option. Since you have total control over the site, you can monetize it however you like.

Whether you want to show ads or sell products and services, the sky really is the limit with a .org site. In fact, countless plugins exist to help you make that cash. Since .com users don’t have access to these plugins, their money-making opportunities are severely restricted. You can still put ads on a .com site, but it’s way harder to do.

Securtity, Ease of Use and Our Thoughts

Our final factor for consideration is security and general maintenance of your site. Every site is at risk of hacking or other cyber-attacks, so it’s always important to take proper security precautions to keep your data safe.

Over on WordPress.com, Automattic does a nice job of keeping everything as safe as possible, without you needing to make any effort whatsoever. On the .org sites, the responsibility of keeping your site safe is down to you.

You’ll need to choose a secure hosting provider and install the right plugins and software to keep everything running smoothly. This isn’t necessarily hard to do, but it can be tricky for new users, and it’s definitely easier to just let the experts handle everything, so we think WordPress.com wins this round.

Overall then, it seems like WordPress.org is generally the better option for most applications outside of a hobby, starter-blog. The high levels of control, the possibilities of monetization and the fantastic options provided by the theme and plugin libraries make .org sites so much fun to use.

At the same time, it’s important to note that WordPress.com does have its benefits. The automatic security and free hosting is a great bonus, so if you’re just looking to start a simple blog or stress-free site, then .com might be the way to go. It all depends on your own project and needs.

10 Best Selling WordPress Themes for 2016

A Look at the Top 10 Selling WordPress Themes of 2016

WordPress is the most popular site creation platform around, offering unparalleled levels of customization and ease-of-use. It’s no surprise that so many people make use of WordPress to create their sites each and every day. Starting a WordPress site is easy enough, but there are some big decisions for you to make along the way. One of the most important aspects of any website is its aesthetic. In the modern world, visitors will quickly judge sites based on how they look.

A chic, engaging site will present a professional and inviting image to your visitors, while unattractive sites will simply be ignored. Luckily, WordPress is able to offer an enormous range of themes to help your site look its best. We’ve picked 10 of the most popular themes to share with you today.
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Oshine

Oshine is one of the most attractive multipurpose themes you could ever hope to find. Suitable for use on dozens of different website types, this theme has been tailor-made to adapt to new situations with unerring elegance. Quite simply, it looks stunning and is used by countless companies of all shapes and sizes. It comes complete with easy-to-create layouts and seamless functionality with static and single page sites. You don’t need to be an expert to get the best from Oshine and can have a great-looking site within a matter of minutes. Other features of this theme include dozens of demos, parallax integration and various high quality sliders. With so many options and features, the possibilities afforded by Oshine are almost endless.

Divi

Divi is all about versatility. This theme gives you the tools you need to make the site of your dreams, without any restrictions or limitations. If you want a fully-customizable theme with lots of options and high functionality, Divi is a great one to choose. Normally, the results you get from working with this theme would take hours of work or years of experience. Fortunately, Divi has been made to cater for people who don’t have the time or know-how necessary to start coding and adjusting advanced settings. It basically lets you act like a professional developer, without needing to know anything about web design. Complete with the highly useful Divi layout drag and drop builder and seamless functionality on tablets and phones, this theme has to be seen to be believed.

Soledad

Soledad is actually one of the best-selling WordPress themes of all time. When you see just how many themes are currently available on the platform, that achievement becomes even more impressive. Users absolutely love their experiences with Soledad and we can understand why. This theme looks fantastic and comes with a whole host of excellent features. It is fully responsive and Retina-ready, meaning it will work with almost any device or browser imaginable. It also comes with hundreds of different customization possibilities, allowing you to make the ideal site to suit your business. Hundreds of different demos are also included in this theme, letting you kickstart the creation process, rather than wasting time preparing each individual aspect of your pages. With the WordPress Live Customizer feature also included, you can make changes on-the-fly and preview them before making anything official.

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Specular

Specular isn’t just a great-looking WordPress theme, it also happens to be convenient and very easy to use. Each aspect of Specular seems to have been designed with an enormous amount of care in order to provide the perfect user experience. No matter whether you’re an amateur or a tech pro, you’ll be able to get a lot out of this theme, crafting unique and beautiful webpages in the blink of an eye. This multipurpose theme is also exceptionally flexible and can work wonders for a very broad range of businesses and site styles. With dozens of demos, 8 different styles, parallax effects and a mixture of popular sliders all included, you can be sure that Specular will offer all you need to give your site a real boost.

Uncode

Uncode does exactly what you would expect from its name. This theme has been designed to make the whole complicated, coding side of web design infinitely easier. You won’t find any confusing terms here, and you won’t need to have years of development experience behind you to make the most of this theme. Instead, you can use the simple, intuitive range of features to get the same sort of results you’d hope to enjoy from hiring a real professional. In short, this theme gives you top level quality without any trouble. It doesn’t take long to understand Uncode’s smart interface, and in a matter of minutes you’ll be crafting visually gorgeous pages for your site.

Speed Matters!

Run any WordPress theme you are considering buying through a speed test. It's irrelevant how great a website looks if it loads slow. Slow themes will negatively effect your UX and search engine rankings. In addition to the theme's speed, it's important to choose a quality web hosting provider such as A Small Orange or Media Temple.

Massive Dynamic

Massive Dynamic is another smart WordPress theme that can be easily customized to suit a myriad of different sites and businesses. No matter what your needs happen to be, this theme will be able to get the job done and leave your site looking better than ever. Flexibility is the number one concern of the Massive Dynamic development team, so this theme has been prepared with an incredible degree of customization. Making use of a convenient Live Website Builder, Massive Dynamic lets you make beautiful webpages in a flash, as well as integrating shortcodes, templates, headers, e-commerce support and plenty of other great features too.

Kalium

If you’re running a blog or portfolio, Kalium has to be at the top of your list. This theme is perfect for blogs and makes your site so easy to navigate. Visitors will be overwhelmed by the beauty and functionality of your web pages. Meanwhile, the handy documentation and tutorials included with Kalium will help even the most inexperienced user get started without any problems at all. Blogs need to have a unique style in order to catch the reader’s eye. Kalium gives you that style and so much more. This is certainly one of the most highly-recommended themes currently available for WordPress users.

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XStore

As the name suggests, XStore is designed with e-commerce in mind. As such, this theme is fully ready to work with WooCommerce and will be a great aid to people who want to buy or sell services and products via their WordPress site. XStore offers everything you need to get your online store up and running, and you won’t even need to do anything complicated. The whole process has been perfectly streamlined to ensure that a store can be set up by almost anyone without any difficulty whatsoever. Complete with the highly popular Visual Composer page builder, along with Slider Revolution and Contact Form 7 plugins, this theme is fully-featured and filled with templates to let you start buying and selling straight away.

Merchandiser

Another store-centered theme, Merchandiser is an engaging innovation designed to help online store creators focus on selling their products and services, rather than wasting time coding and designing. This theme comes with everything you need to run a successful store, including advanced shopping cart options and smart product galleries. The team behind Merchandiser clearly thought of everything and tried to cover every angle when developing this theme, as we can’t find a single flaw with it. Merchandiser can be customized to suit countless types of store and is filled with features and intuitive options to help you make the site you want.

Kallyas

A modern, hi-tech WordPress theme, Kallyas opens the door to a new world of possibilities for your site. This theme comes with a truly staggering number of layouts, demos, templates and more, all waiting to be used and customized in any way you like. If you want to have a genuinely unique site that can be changed and upgraded on-the-fly, Kallyas is the right theme to use. Featuring the ever-popular Revolution Slider plugin, as well as the easy-to-use Visual Builder page creation system, this theme gives you all the tools necessary to start making your WordPress site better than the rest.

Best Email List Managing and Marketing Services for Your Business

Best List Management and Email Marketing Services for Your Business

Don’t be fooled by certain things you may have read. Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways of spreading the word about your business and gaining new customers. Not only does this form of marketing provide visible results in terms of lead generation, it also happens to be very easy to use. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to make use of good email marketing services, and the rewards more than justify the costs.

Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of services out there and not all of them can offer the same levels of quality. Too often, business owners are drawn in by false promises and beguiling feature lists, only to be disappointed in the long run. In order to help you make the right decision for your business, we’re going to highlight 7 of the very best email marketing services available today.

Constant Contact

constant-contactConstant Contact has been generating a lot of positive hype in recent times and gaining plenty of new customers in the process. This service is particularly appealing for beginners as it is exceptionally easy to use. Managing email lists and various contacts is child’s play with Constant Contact, while your account also comes with a full 1GB of storage space, social media sharing options and plenty of ways to get in touch with helpful customer support services.

If ever you encounter a problem, a friendly member of the Constant Contact team will be standing by to help you out. If this sort of support is your number one concern, you won’t find anything better than Constant Contact. This service also happens to be pretty cheap, with prices starting at just $20 per month, as well as coming with a free 2-month trial.

Aweber

aweber-email-marketingOne of the most famous brands in the email marketing industry, Aweber offers functionality and flexibility. This service can appeal to many different types of business owner and won’t cost you too much. Plans start at only $19/month, and you can also get the first month as a free trial if you’d like to test out the service before subscribing.

Aweber works perfectly with all of the big site platforms, including WordPress, and comes with dozens of handy features including automatic responses, detailed tracking, templates and listing management. The Aweber team also do a nice job of helping new users get started, with plenty of guides and tutorials available, along with a full support service.

ConvertKit

convertkit-servicesConvertKit is one of the most dynamic and powerful email marketing services money can buy. Speaking of money, this is actually the most expensive service on our list today, with plans starting at $29 per month. However, ConvertKit makes our list of the best email marketing services because we think it totally justifies that price tag. This service has been designed with active bloggers and content creators in mind.

It’s an approachable service with helpful features like automatic responders, easy list management and plenty of material to help new users learn all the ins and outs. This service will help you get the results you need and can be an excellent, automated tool to market your blog or business with ease.

GetResponse

getresponseFor small businesses and inexperienced users, GetResponse is a great email marketing solution. This service is exceptionally easy to use and streamlines every aspect of the marketing process, breaking everything down into simple chunks. It also comes with a bunch of useful tools that allow you to set up automated marketing services without a whole lot of effort.

With customizable forms, detailed tracking, A/B testing possibilities and many other features, GetResponse is an excellent option and also one of the cheapest on our list today at just $15 per month for the entry-level plans.

MailChimp

mailchimpIf you know anything about email marketing, you’ll certainly have heard of MailChimp. This brand is one of the most recognizable names in the business and has earned a lot of respect over the years for offering some of the best service and support money can buy. Seamlessly functioning with platforms like Shopify and WordPress, MailChimp gives you everything you need to start running powerful email marketing campaigns and boosting the popularity of your business.

There are too many great features for us to list, but one of our favorite things about MailChimp is the way in which you can adjust email sending times based on the geographical locations of your customers. MailChimp is also pretty cheap, with basic plans starting at only $10. There’s even a free version of this service that can be very useful for small businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals.

Campaign Monitor

campaign-monitorWith an intuitive drag and drop builder, richly detailed tracking, round-the-clock support and excellent social media sharing options, Campaign Monitor is another one of the very best email marketing services available in 2016. This service lets you craft the perfect email in a matter of minutes, as well as organizing your lists, learning more about your customers and even personalize each message. Everything about Campaign Monitor is very easy to use, but if you do run into any problems then the team will be ready to answer your questions and help you out via email, forum or phone support. Prices for this service begin at just $9/month.

ActiveCampaign

activecampaignLast but not least, ActiveCampaign is designed to make your email marketing campaigns as effective as possible. To that end, this service brings a stunning number of features and tools, letting you create beautiful emails, forms, lists and more. It also offers you plenty of information about your customers, allowing you to adjust your campaigns and messages accordingly in order to generate more leads. This service works wonderfully with all of the big platforms and the plans start as low as $9/month. The cost can start to rise if you want to benefit from all of the best features, but we think ActiveCampaign is completely worth the price you pay.

Rackspace Hosting Goes Private

rackspaceThe seemingly unstoppable force of Amazon has forced another one of its competitors into seeking new ownership. Rackspace, the managed cloud computing company responsible for the creation of OpenStack, has just recently announced that a deal has been reached with private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

The total cost of the deal amounts to $4.3 billion, which equates to $32 for each share. Rackspace is the latest in a long line of companies to fall under the control of Apollo Global. Other big brands under the firm’s possession include Claire's, Caesars Entertainment Corporation and CORE Media Group.

Rumors have been rife for many years now that Rackspace was attempting to go private, but the company consistently attempted to retain its independency and keep up with its rivals. Unfortunately, the brand’s efforts were simply not sufficient to prevent this acquisition.

Why? Mainly because Rackspace has been competing with some of the biggest names on the planet, namely Amazon and Microsoft. In fact, Rackspace actually created the OpenStack project in the first place in order to help themselves and other companies keep up with the sheer power of Amazon Web Services.

What Is OpenStack?

OpenStack has proven to be the company’s finest success. It’s a completely free and open-source cloud operating system that allows companies to have their own data centers while making use of various cloud services and options, rather than being forced to stick to just one provider.

Essentially, OpenStack offers everything that Amazon Web Services doesn’t, and has a lot to offer its users. It’s no wonder that dozens of high-profile brands have decided to join up and make use of this system, including eBay, Intel, HP, Sony and NASA, who also helped to co-develop OpenStack in the first place. It’s a great system and can be managed via an online dashboard or command line tools.

Sadly for Rackspace, even an invention like OpenStack wasn’t strong enough to prevent the company from being bought out. The colossal might of giants like Amazon and Microsoft simply cannot be contested and things started to take a downturn a couple of years ago when Rackspace’s CEO, Lanham Napier, decided to leave the company.

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The Future of Rackspace in this Industry

This event sparked a whole wave of rumors regarding the future of the brand, but Rackspace didn’t want to give up straight away. Companies value their independence and the freedom it provides, so it’s completely understandable that the folks at Rackspace were keen to keep on fighting.

It was at this point that the team decided to adopt a new strategy. Following the old adage “If you can’t beat them, join them”, Rackspace ceased its attempts to keep up with its big rivals and actually began trying to form partnerships with them.

First, the company teamed up with Microsoft and began trying to offer its support for the tech giant’s Azure cloud system. Afterwards, Rackspace went one step further and decided to join forces with Amazon, hoping to use its excellent public image and high quality customer service to help Amazon get more sales.

It was a smart plan, and it did actually work for quite some time. Indeed, Rackspace’s earnings reports were very positive in the early stages after its unions with Microsoft and Amazon. Unfortunately, that initial boost was quickly cancelled out and the brand’s profits once again started to drop.

As expected, the rumors of an impending started up once again and, this time, it seems as though those rumors were correct. Since the deal was confirmed, Rackspace representatives have revealed that over a dozen different investment firms were interested in purchasing the company, but Apollo Global Management seemed to be the perfect choice.

It’s certainly interesting to note that the brand decided to go private with a firm like Apollo, rather than being purchased by one of its big competitors or partners like Oracle or Amazon. The merger agreement itself was signed in late August and clearly represented the best possible course of action for the company.

The current president and CEO of the brand, Taylor Rhodes, revealed that he saw this moment as a significant opportunity to preserve the future of the brand. Rhodes emphasized that many companies nowadays are starting to make use of multi-cloud systems, which could spell a bright future for the cloud industry as a whole.

That said, the future of the industry remains significantly unclear. Some experts argue that Amazon has already become too great of a presence and that no other company, even giants like Google or Microsoft, will be able to compete in this particular industry.

Either way, the whole situation is particularly interesting and it will be fascinating to see how things play out over the weeks, months and years to come. The cloud has provided a veritable revolution and offers so much potential for expansion and development in the future. Now, it’s up to Rackspace and other companies to starting reaching that potential.

InMotion Hosting Review

InMotion Shared and WordPress Hosting Review

InMotion is a fast-growing hosting provider that has been generating a lot of positivity in recent times. New users are flocking to this company every day, with InMotion having a reputation of being equally popular with advanced and inexperienced users. The company itself got started way back in 2001 and has a lot of experience in the hosting industry, managing to remain completely independent and currently celebrating its 15th of existence. Having tested out InMotion’s services, we’re here to give you a full and frank assessment of this provider’s hosting solutions.

When searching for web hosting, there are several different factors you’ll probably be looking for. Customer support is often an important aspect of the service, so let’s begin there. Fortunately, InMotion does a really good job in this area. The company knows that not everyone has years of experience and qualifications in web development, and little hiccups problems can occur from time to time.

The brand therefore offers excellent support systems via email, chat, phone and tickets. Helpful and friendly members of staff are on hand to solve your issues and answer your queries. When a problem arises, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you won’t have to wait for hours and hours to get some help.

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Server and Hosting Performance Review

So the customer service is top notch, but how about the actual hosting performance? Well, we’re glad to report that InMotion doesn’t disappoint here either. When you sign up for some web hosting, you want reliability, speed and security for your site. We can measure the relative quality of any provider in lots of different ways, but it doesn’t really matter which test you use, as InMotion always comes out on top.

The company is able to boast of 99.99% uptime and we haven’t seen any indication of major downtime periods at all. Similarly, speeds have been proven to be very impressive with this provider. Unlike less scrupulous competitors, InMotion doesn’t cut any corners when trying to offer the best user experiences.

Moving on to the ease-of-use, the InMotion team does a fine job of making its hosting plans approachable and easy to understand. Each plan comes with cPanel access, with cPanel being the most common and intuitive user interface currently in use throughout the hosting industry. It’s a flexible system that new users will quickly be able to adapt to. Other providers force users to make separate cPanel accounts, but InMotion lets you handle everything from one single dashboard.

A handy one-click installer is also available directly from the dashboard, giving you everything you need right at your fingertips. Similarly, if ever your site grows too large for your current plan, you can upgrade your subscription with ease and rapidity, without having to perform any complicated procedures.

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InMotion Has Your Back With a 90 Day Guarantee and Free Data Backups

Another big advantage of InMotion is that this company offers free data backups to protect your site in emergency situations. Plenty of other providers actually charge additional fees for backups, but the folks at InMotion know how important it can be to have the option to restore your data. Other handy features included in InMotion’s plans include free site transfers, Google Ads and Google Apps integration.

You’ll also benefit from a very impressive 90-day guarantee, providing you with a full refund if you aren’t satisfied with the hosting services you have received. It’s rare to see such long guarantees, and this just goes to show how much faith this company has in its hosting solutions.

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Plans and Pricing

The final big factor that every site owner needs to consider is price. Everyone has different budgets and the costs of plans can vary wildly from one provider to the next. InMotion’s pricing structure is fair, with basic plans being priced very cheaply, and more fully-featured options costing a little more than the average. It’s important to remember that you get what you pay for in the hosting industry.

A high quality plan with InMotion might have a higher price tag than another company, but it will come with all of the excellent service and features mentioned above. If you want to benefit from top quality customer service, reliable performance and plenty of useful features, this provider could be just right for you.

InMotion offers a wide range of hosting solutions, including classic shared plans, virtual private servers, dedicated servers and even WordPress hosting. You can also choose to invest in site creation tools, domains and other useful services with this provider. Put simply, there’s a lot to like about InMotion. This company manages to tick all of the boxes and should satisfy the requirements of every site owner, from an individual blog runner to a large business in need of a dedicated plan.

Overall, we can’t find many flaws with the InMotion service and have had nothing but positive experiences with this company. The price point might be too high for some, but most of the plans remain perfectly affordable for the vast majority of users. The high standards of site performance and customer support are more than deserving of those few extra pennies.

Why Your Small Business Needs a Blog

What Can a Blog do For Your Small Business?

In the modern world, your business’ online presence is more important than ever before. These days, people live in a hyper-connected world and spend hours per day browsing the internet. When searching for products or services, the vast majority of people will turn to their tablet or smartphone and start typing. This is why it is almost impossible for any small business to thrive without a significant online presence.

For example, blogging is an excellent way to improve your chances of success. Unfortunately, too many business owners have their own excuses for rejecting the progress of technology. Perhaps you believe that a blog would have no use for your company, or simply that you don’t have the necessary knowledge or patience to run one. Whatever your reasons, we’re here to convince you that a blog is absolutely worth your time.

Form a Connection with Your Customer

The first big advantage that comes with having a blog is to start connecting with your customers. Thanks to the popularity and accessibility of the internet, people are now able to share their thoughts and opinions with others from halfway around the world. Modern customers like to get in touch with the businesses they use.

content-marketing-through-a-blogBy posting blog articles, you’ll be encouraging people to start leaving their own comments or even contacting you directly. Sometimes, these comments may simply come in the form of praise or support, but others will offer constructive criticism that can help you better understand what your customers need and how to respond to those needs in a logical and efficient way.

Not only that, but those comments also help to generate more interest in your business. One of the keys to success for any company is spreading the word about who you are and what you do. The internet gives you more possibilities than ever before, and blogging is a smart first step to making your business more talked-about.

Blogs are the Easiest Way to Improve Your Website's SEO

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-9-04-33-amSimilarly, the SEO potential of your blog can also help to generate more clicks and interest. By posting articles on your blog frequently and interacting with your customers, you’ll be indirectly helping your company appear more prominently in search engine listings. That way, the next time someone decides to type something related to the products or services you offer, they might just stumble onto your site and become a new customer.

Another big advantage of running a blog is that you get to show the world what your company is all about, and also what sort of person you happen to be. Blogs can be deeply personal spaces for you to show off your ideas, sense of humor, opinions and philosophies. We aren’t suggesting that you turn your business blog into a list of all your thoughts and feelings, but it’s a great place to share your own ideas and reactions to developments in your industry or area. This is a great way for customers to really get to know you. People tend to prefer buying products and services from smaller companies that feel more “human” and “real” compared to the multinational conglomerations. The human side of your business can be a big selling point, so don’t ignore it.

Using Content as a Non-Intrusive Form of Advertising

Another great bonus to running a blog is that your business will be benefitting from an unobtrusive form of marketing. People don’t like having ads and links thrust in their faces non-stop, they prefer to make their own decisions. A blog allows you to share information about your company, without forcing readers to jump over to your store page and start making purchases.

This leaves the customers free to make up their own minds and presents a cleaner, friendlier image of you and your business. People will also be keener to keep checking back on a blog that is updated regularly, as they’ll be interested in learning more and reading new content. If you can set aside a little bit of time to write an original article every couple of days, your blog will be able to offer a visible boost to your company’s profits.

We’ve seen some of the many advantages of running a small business blog, now let’s look at why you really have no reason not to start one. First of all, if you’re reading this article and thinking that you just don’t have enough spare time to run a blog, think again. The marketing you’re already doing is just an alternative to blogging. Maybe you write newsletters or commercial emails.

The time you spend doing those things could easily be spent writing a post for your blog. You can still choose to use those posts for email marketing if you choose, so you won’t be losing out on anything. Similarly, it’s also good to know that blogs are incredibly easy to run. A lot of different sites exist that allow you to get up-and-running in a matter of minutes.

What’s more, the blog articles you post will be archived and stored as their own unique webpages and can be visited again and again, unlike those emails you send out which can easily be deleted or ignored. Blogging sites also allow for multiple authors to log in and post, so you can always delegate the blogging side of your business to another member of staff.

Finally, if you just don’t like the idea of blogging for some other reason, we have to encourage you to change your mind. Like it or not, the internet is here to stay and the general public has access to an ocean of information and opinions. In order for your business to be successful, you need to get involved and start getting in touch with your customers. It’s the best way to develop loyalty and help your brand grow.