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8 Tips for Promoting A Company Website

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Getting your website up and running smoothly is only the first half of the battle. Though getting this far certainly signifies a great deal of hard work and dedication, your new website will ultimately fail to meet its goals unless you continue working hard to promote it. Here are a few of the most important steps you can take in order to do just that.

  1. Social media. In case you haven’t noticed, social media is the place to be in today’s online world. Social media accounts are a near necessity in today’s market–and with a smart campaign, you can attract hundreds of visitors (read: potential customers) to your site.
  2. Social media advertizing. In addition to attracting “natural” social media traffic, you may wish to invest in social media ads (particularly Facebook advertising, the tried-and-true options for most industries.)
  3. Word of mouth. Connections between friends, families, professional contacts, and other acquaintances–sometimes jokingly referred to as “the original social network,” remain invaluable for promoting your new website. Be sure to recommend your site in-person to customers and clients–especially the regulars!
  4. Encourage sharing. Encouraging your customers, clients, and online contacts to share your website via internet and/or recommend it in person can also be effective–especially when a creative discount program or sweepstakes is involved!
  5. SEO. Ensuring that your website is search engine optimized with good keywords, quality content, and professional web design is the only way to ensure that those who look for you online find you.
  6. Harness the power of blogging. Speaking of SEO, a blog can boost your search engine rankings while also giving visitors a reason to keep coming back to your site. Moreover, it will open the possibility of writing guest blogs for other companies in the industry–as well as the possibility of accepting guest blogs. Both of these options are great promotional tools.
  7. Include your URL on business cards, letterheads, email signatures, promotional materials, and in any other location that could drive potential traffic to your site.
  8. Paid Advertising. Though this requires the largest investment, ROI on paid search engine advertising is generally high–especially when campaigns are well managed.

For more important tips for website owners, visit the RFE Hosting blog!

4 Security Tips for Website Owners and Administrators

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Though it may not be as glamorous as driving traffic or boosting sales, website security is ultimately one of the most important investments that website owners and administrators can make. After all, a breach in security could cause sensitive data to be compromised while endangering both funds and reputations. The measures needed to boost online security are generally simple–and when they are ignored, it is usually due the perception that web security is difficult to attain, or the equally erroneous “it could never happen to me” mentality. That is precisely why learning about the basics of website security is so valuable. Here are 6 things that all website owners and administrators should keep in mind.

  1. Don’t Delay on Security Updates. A great deal of modern hacking is automated: malicious bots scan and scour the web looking to exploit weaknesses. Most updates to software and plugins (including most WordPress updates) are direct responses to newly discovered weaknesses and newly circumvented security measures. Postponing security updates increases your chances of being compromised.
  2. Use Strong Passwords. This tip is the hallmark of virtually every cyber security article on the web today–and the reason you keep seeing it in everything you read is because countless people continue using 123456 to protect extremely sensitive information. Ensure that your passwords are long, complex, and unique–or risk paying the consequences!
  3. Backups matter. Whether due to a malicious security compromise or a failure in software or hardware, the loss of data can be a financially (and emotionally) frustrating experience. Make sure that you frequently back up your online data–and, if possible, make sure that your hosting service automates the process.
  4. SSL Certificates. It bears emphasizing: SSL certificates are not a panacea for security issues. However, they are a true necessity for any website that performs e-commerce: make sure your hosting service offers the possibility of encryption.

Hosting counts when it comes to security. Choose a company you can trust–RFE Hosting can help get you started today.

6 Web Design Tips That All Small Businesses Should Consider

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Sometimes it’s the small things that matter. SEO, conversions, bounce rates, and a number of other important metrics can all be affected by very simple components of your website. Here’s how you can get things right:

  1. Use a professional logo that links to homepage. This is a hallmark of virtually every well-constructed website. It will help build trust among visitors while making your website easier to use.
  2. Offer easy and intuitive navigation. The easier it is to get around your website, the faster visitors will find what they are looking for (and, hopefully, make the decision to make a purchase or sign up for your mailing list.)
  3. Reduce website clutter. Sidebars, excessive advertising, and even multiple columns of text can result in a stressful and unproductive visitor session.
  4. Write short paragraphs. Internet paragraphs are typically far shorter than the paragraphs you might find in books or even newspapers–and for good reason! Short paragraphs are far easier on the eyes (especially for mobile users) and thus make for a more pleasant experience.
  5. Use colors strategically. Keep your website colors mostly neutral–and if you do decide to use bright, bold colors, use them in the places where you truly wish to draw attention.
  6. Take original photography. There’s nothing wrong with a well-placed stock photo or two, but make sure your visitors know that you’re willing to invest the time and effort into taking original photos that really show off your business, your products, and your services.

Bonus tip: Quality Hosting. Sometimes, the infrastructure of your website matters even more than the superficial design. By investing in a quality web host, you can guarantee that your website works smoothly and gives off the best first impression possible.

The Best FREE Responsive WordPress Themes of 2016

Nothing beats getting something amazing for free, and these WordPress themes don’t miss the ‘amazing’ mark! Thinking about building a website, or giving yours a face life? Check out these awesome free WordPress themes to make your website stand out!

  • Customizr

    • The King of WordPress themes, Customizr has lots to offer and is super easy to setup and customize. Perfect for the WordPress newbie or a seasoned website designer, Customizr is sure to provide you (or your clients!) exactly what they are looking for in responsive website design. With customizable fonts, social media integrations built in, and a majestic slider you are sure to grab the attention of any customer that lands on your page.
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    • Interested? Check out this link for more details!
  • Esteem

    • Esteem is perfect for any blog or portfolio! With limitless color options, two custom page templates, and a stunning slider, Esteem is sure to make your blog stand out. What makes Esteem special is it’s ability to feature your own custom background images to truly make your website unique. Set up the perfect image to show off any of the three different blog options in the foreground, and reach your customers with a ‘ready to go’ contact form. It’s ‘translation ready’ and has an unbelieveable support forum, making this free template a steal for any website builder!
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    • Check out this link for more information!
  • Accelerate

    • Accelerate is one of the most elegant free themes on the market today. Design to present your website with a professional feel, Accelerate features a beautiful front page slider as well as an easy to use ‘Contact’ set up so you can stay in touch with your website visitors. Is your blog more involved than just pictures and words? Accelerate is perfect for you! Accelerate supports multiple post formats, allowing you to show off different types of content! Feature images, videos, quotes, links, audio, or even short snippets called “asides” to your website.
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    • Check out this link for more information!  
  • Inkness

    • Image heavy websites never had it so good with this awesome free theme! Inkness features a beautiful responsive homepage slider, making it stunning regardless of what sort of screen it’s viewed on. Whether your visitors are visiting from a phone, tablet, or desktop computer, Inkness is sure to impress! Looking for a base that is already translated in to French or Italian? Inkess has got you covered.
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    • Check out this link for more information!
  • Arcade Basic

    • Let your website feature an amazing photo or graphic that is sure to catch your viewer’s eye with this amazing free WordPress theme. Arcade is not only unique, it’s beautiful and loaded with awesome extras like JetPack to make sure that your new website can be found by the right people. WooCommerce integration is also available for those websites that are selling something to their customers, and it’s all for free!
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    • Check out this link for more information!

How To Add The Disqus Comment System

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WordPress may come with its own comment section, but if you’re serious about presenting your users with a refined and professional experience, then it is highly recommended that you make use of Disqus. It’s easy to see that the comment hosting service is popular.  Not only is it featured on more websites than any other comment hosting service, it is also used by many prominent sites–from CNN to Wired and everything in between!  Disqus makes moderating comments easy while offering users a unified platform through which they can express themselves.  Here is a quick and practical guide to installing Disqus!

Installing Disqus in 6 easy steps

  1. Go to the Disqus website and create an account (or simply login if you already have one!)
  2. Click For Websites (which can be found right next to the Disqus logo) Then, on the next screen, click add Disqus to your site.
  3. Provide the requested information.  You will need to give the name of your blog/website, then choose a URL for your website on the Disqus system. Lastly, you will have to choose a category for your blog/website.
  4. Select your platform.  In this case, of course, you will select WordPress.
  5. Go to comments>>settings and sign in with your Disqus information.  Select the site you are working with. (This should be the only one, unless you are adding several all at the same time.) You have now added Disqus to your website!
  6. Import old WordPress comments.  Disqus “takes over” your website’s commenting sections, meaning all old comments on your site will become invisible.  This can be easily fixed, however, if you so choose.  Just go to comments>>Disqus and then select the plugins settings tab. (It should be located in the top right corner!)  Scroll down to the import/export section and select export.  This will export all old comments and import them into your current Disqus system.

There you have it!  With Disqus running on your website, it will be easier to focus on the aspects of your website that really matter.  Happy moderating!

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