Where to find motivation and inspiration when building your first website

For most people, the internet is all about consumption. They go online to find entertainment, shop, learn and generally be distracted from all of the troubles and stress modern life is currently throwing at us. People are generally aware of the internet’s incredible potential for creative expression and professional development, but most people have never actually attempted to create their own websites.

When someone does resolve to take the first steps into the exciting and daunting world of building your first site, they have a remarkable journey ahead of them. Consult anyone with a history of web development (professional or amateur) and they’ll tell you that their first website project can be a transformative experience.

It’s isn’t an easy process though, particularly for those with minimal tech expertise, and not every attempt you make at building a website will work out. It can be easy for an aspiring web developer or entrepreneur to give up due to confusion about what to do technically, or even a lack of creative direction. After all, simple setup procedures and free themes can’t solve all design problems.

This blog is intended to help someone in such a position. If you know someone building their first site, or if you are working on building your first website, these inspirational ideas will hopefully help:

Take a basic course

While it is possible for someone with decent IT skills to cobble together a fairly decent website with no formal development tuition or training, it doesn’t mean it’s preferable. If you are trying to build a site but aren’t sure how to proceed, it is highly recommended that you think about taking a basic course in website development. This can be a great way to pick up the fundamentals that can otherwise be missed so easily when you’re winging it.

When it comes to deciding which course you should take, it really depends on what you are willing to spend, how much you already know, what results you are trying to achieve and what type of website you are aiming to build. A simple blog website for example will require much less knowledge than a large online store with various payment, shipping, tax and language options. Udemy for example has various courses specifically for WordPress, many concentrating on different elements of the development process. Just one solid course can prove extremely useful. Remember to read user reviews before committing your time and money on a course though, as quality and results can vary.

Research and read success stories

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step: even though we all know this, it’s still tough for someone to take that step to place it into an appropriate context. If the process of developing your first website starts to drag, it is the easiest thing in the world to just give up on the idea, justifying this abandonment by assuming that it would never have amounted to anything anyway. As with all those well-meaning New Year’s resolutions that fall by the wayside after a month or two, the world is littered with partially designed and built websites that are ultimately forgotten because things got too difficult.

That’s where success stories become so meaningful. There are plenty of examples out there of thriving businesses that started out slowly, without massive budgets or fanfare. Instead, many successful sites began as simple side hustles set up by aspiring entrepreneurs that eventually grew into highly successful and lucrative businesses. Their creators believed in themselves, worked hard on their websites and kept moving ahead until they achieved their goals. Knowing that success can be achieved is hugely important for getting through the tough early stages.

Examine great sites

When trying to build something great, it can be a massive challenge should you not be very experienced with the production process. It can even be tough to properly envisage exactly what you may be ultimately aiming for. What should the website ultimately look like? How should it work? What pages and categories should you have? In life, there can be a lot of value in having role models to emulate as it can provide inspiration and allow you to see how established and successful sites got where they are, giving you something to aim towards too.

Because of this, one of the best ways to get inspired when building your website is to closely examine the best and most successful websites out there that are similar to yours. Why do users like them so much? What lessons can you learn about how to build a great website? And most importantly, what can be done better? This will allow you to return to your development project with a much clearer vision of where you would like to take your site.

Join a community

One of the best things about the online world has always been its ability to bring people from different backgrounds and lifestyles together. Whatever interest a given person is looking to pursue, they can be absolutely confident that there are relevant internet communities already in place, and that’s certainly the case for web development (and entrepreneurship in general).

Each content management system has numerous communities dedicated to it online, which are always a great place to start. Reddit is another great place for general advice: the r/Entrepreneur subreddit has 650k members, which is a great place to ask broader business questions. There are also subs like r/webdev (416k members) for more specific technical queries. There are also thousands of videos on YouTube that help show you how to develop and setup a WordPress site, taking you through all the steps needed to take your website plan from idea to reality. 

Inspiration can come in many forms and mean different things to different people, but at its core it’s about motivation: motivation to learn, to keep going, and to strive for greater achievement. While the ideas listed above are far from revolutionary, they are incredibly potent and just one of them can be enough to push a project through to fruition.

Rodney Laws

The post Where to find motivation and inspiration when building your first website appeared first on UpdraftPlus. UpdraftPlus – Backup, restore and migration plugin for WordPress.

5 effective on-site marketing tips for your WordPress site

5 effective on-site marketing tips for your WordPress site

With 1.3 billion websites, WordPress is by far and away the top choice for website creation across the world. The platform’s popularity comes from allowing users to easily create personal sites, purchase domain names and customize the site with easy to use, no-development-needed plugins. Since its launch in 2003, WordPress has made the world of site creation accessible for everyone. 

If you have created your own WordPress site and customized it to your personal preference, your next step will probably be figuring out how you market and drive traffic to your brand new site.

This can prove to be very challenging. You could have the greatest idea and site in the world, but without the right marketing, it could remain essentially invisible and un-visited. Luckily, we have 5 of the best tips for successfully marketing your WordPress site.

1. Use the right plugins

WordPress allows you to easily integrate plugins so you can make improvements to your website without having to code them yourself. Plugins are extensions that add features, data analytics, and other resources to assist your website. However, you may not know how to choose the plugins that will be best for your site.

Choosing the right plugins for your website comes down to identifying exactly what needs improving, or where you can get a competitive edge on your competitors. For example, you can find plugins that offer features such as these:

  • Improving your SEO (making it more findable).
  • Allowing you to resize and compress images on your website ( making it faster).
  • Gathering, collecting, and adding email addresses to your newsletter (making it easier to connect with your visitors).

Source

WordPress allows you to easily find popular plugins that others use. You can also search for specific plugins in the internal WordPress search engine – you should have no problems finding the right plugin to address issues or provide changes for your website.

2. Optimize your website

Internet users today expect any website they visit to load almost instantly and provide quick answers. Due to this expectation, it is essential you optimize your website and reduce load times so people can quickly access it. Even a few seconds can make the difference between someone staying on your site or leaving.

Source

Every second counts when it comes to website loading speed. The image above shows how the bounce rate increases by 32 percent after visitors are forced to wait three seconds for the website to load. This continues to grow and become worse as more time passes. So, if you want to reduce the number of people that leave your site, you need to lower those load times.

Some options to improve your loading speed include purchasing a private or shared hosting service, removing unused plugins and optimizing your images. Even small optimizations like these can help your site to load slightly faster and retain more visitors.

3. Use A/B testing for landing pages

Effective marketing requires you to collect data so you can implement the right changes to your website. Many companies use the A/B testing approach to accomplish this, meaning that websites will display two different versions of landing pages to visitors. They will then collect the data for both (for example; session time, click rates, click map) so they can see exactly which elements are working well and which are not. 

Source

The image above shows how a company can improve their metrics with A/B testing. This method can also be used in multiple ways to help improve your pages, emails and other resources.

  • Testing colors will let you know which ones appeal most to your customers.
  • Trying out different email formats and subject lines to get more clicks.
  • Showing different landing pages will help you to find the one that draws in most leads.

A/B testing works because it allows you to see which idea performs the best. This way, you can effectively test your pages and optimize them to their maximum potential.

4. Integrate pop-ups to gain contacts

If you’ve been on the internet before, then you will no doubt know about pop-ups. They usually appear on your screen as soon as you go on a website or if you’re about to leave. Even if you do use popups on your site, you might think that they could cause people to leave as they can generally be seen as annoying. So are they worth the risk?

Source

Looking at the data, you can see that popups have no noticeable effect on your bounce rate but they can double your subscription rate. This suggests that typically you needn’t worry about pop-ups causing people to leave as it has no discernible impact on user behaviour. The benefits of popups seem to heavily outweigh the drawbacks.

There are a few best practices to follow with popups:

  • Whether you choose an immediate popup, or an exit-intent popup, choose one or the other and don’t overdo it. It can feel spammy otherwise. 
  • Target your popups to be relevant to the page content. This makes it feel more native to the content that your visitor is already engaged with.
  • Make it so that if a visitor closes a popup, they won’t see it again for a certain amount of time. 30 days is usually a good benchmark for when you can re-show a returning visitor, but test that time frame for your own site. 

Remember that you can use popups to encourage certain actions from your visitors. For example, you can invite them to follow your social media pages, make an account on your website, or sign up to get emails or SMS notifications from you. Experiment and find the best approach for your popups.

5. Optimize your blogs

If you want to improve your website’s SEO, then you should focus on your blogs as they can help your business grow in various ways..

  • Provide high-quality content on your website.
  • Encourage people to visit your website regularly to read articles.
  • Include keywords in your articles to improve your search engine rankings.
  • Create fresh content that updates frequently, something which Google prizes highly in its search engine algorithm.

But what parts of your article should you focus on to improve your site’s SEO?

Source

If you don’t know where to start with blog optimization, then use the data above. Headline optimization works well because your titles will draw in clicks from outbound links and search engines. Additionally headers and body text allow you to incorporate keywords that can help improve your search engine ranking.

As you improve your blog SEO, you can gain more traffic on your website which will hopefully develop into more leads and conversions if your sales funnel is well-optimized.

Final comments

Remember that creating a website is only the first part of establishing your online presence. After providing a place for people to make purchases or interact with your business, you need to work on marketing. By using the five tips mentioned in this article, you can improve your site and allow your business to meet its marketing goals.

The post 5 effective on-site marketing tips for your WordPress site appeared first on UpdraftPlus. UpdraftPlus – Backup, restore and migration plugin for WordPress.

UpdraftCentral release new 0.8.13 (free and paid) update

UpdraftCentral release new 0.8.13 (free and paid) update

The latest updates for UpdraftCentral (0.8.13) have now been released. This new release comes loaded with many new features, fixes and tweaks.

One of the new features in this update now allows you to upload your plugins and themes while they are still in their zip format. To do this, you first need to install UpdraftCentral Premium. Once this is installed, just press the ‘Plugins’ or ‘Themes’ menu item, then select ‘Install Plugins’ and you will now be able to drag and drag your zip file and upload it directly.

Another new feature in this update gives users even more control over remote storage options. Anytime you create a backup with UpdraftCentral, you can now select which of the remote storage locations you would like to send the backup to. Just open the following dialogue box in UpdraftCentral and you can select or deselect the remote storage options of your choice.

In addition to these new updates, we have also made various tweaks and fixes to keep UpdraftCentral running smooth and compatible with future WordPress and PHP releases.

  • FEATURE: Added the ability to choose the remote storage locations you want to send your backup to in the “Backup Now” modal
  • FIX: Fix scheduled commands execution through WP cron
  • FIX: Fix can’t delete backup item without refreshing the list after a successful restore process
  • FIX: Fix layout/css glitch on the backup settings page
  • FIX: Fix popper.js related error and warning
  • TWEAK: Improve UX and accessibility with better keyboard navigation
  • TWEAK: Register updates retrieval to run in the background
  • TWEAK: Add editor class for page and post modules
  • TWEAK: Add new error message to the rpcerrors collection
  • TWEAK: Show upload errors in dialog as well as in browser console if debug level is set
  • TWEAK: Improve JavaScript’s compatibility with minification and merging, in particular WP-Optimize
  • TWEAK: Add REST controller files for page and post modules
  • TWEAK: Add internal capability to install plugin or theme through zip file
  • TWEAK: Upgrade Bootstrap and Bootbox libraries to current versions
  • TWEAK: Force the connection method ‘via_mothership’ if the command is in the UpdraftClone namespace

The post UpdraftCentral release new 0.8.13 (free and paid) update appeared first on UpdraftPlus. UpdraftPlus – Backup, restore and migration plugin for WordPress.