Broken Links: How to Find, Fix, and Benefit from Broken Links

Posted by: Admin  :  Category: Web Hosting

Linux Cpanel shared hosting: 600 GB disk space, 6 TB bandwidth, free domain, unlimited databases and ftp accounts, web hosting cheap and pro at Hostony

Links are what holds the web together. Essentially, the web is named as such because of the ability for pages and sites to link to other sources and relevant information. So, if links are broken, a visitor has no way of moving to the other resource.

Not only are broken links bad for a number of reasons, but they frustrate visitors. Imagine finally finding the information you need only to be denied because of a broken link.

broken links - frustrated visitor

This short article will help you understand what broken links are, what causes them, the harm they do, how to find them and then how to fix them. The information provided here will help you make sure that there are no broken links on your site and help you deal with broken links that should be bringing visitors to your site.

What is a Broken Link?

In a test run against a subset of the websites of the S&P 500, Link Tiger found that all of the sites had broken links. The average number of broken links per site was 2.4%. Some of the bigger companies had numbers even higher than that:

  • Tech Data – 8.62%
  • Cisco – 4.85%
  • CenturyLink – 4.64%
  • Apple – 4.57%

While others fared far better:

  • Comcast – .01%
  • Dell – .14%
  • WDC – .33%
  • Xerox – .37%

However, before we dive any deeper it is important to understand what a broken link is. Technopedia defines a broken link as, “a hyperlink which is linked to an empty or non-existent external webpage.” Broken links are also called dead links.

Quite simply, a broken link is a link that doesn’t take you to the expected resource. When you click on a link you expect to visit another webpage, view an image, open a PDF file, etc. When the link is broken you receive a 404-page error instead. This page will tell you that the webpage or file you are looking for is not available.

When a website has not checked for broken links and fixed these dead links for a long time it suffers from link rot. This term describes websites with an abundance of broken links.

What Causes Broken Links?

There is a number of things that cause broken links. Some are the fault of the webmaster and others are the fault of the websites a link is pointing to.

broken links causes

Regardless of who is to blame, broken links are caused by errors that include:

  • The wrong URL used by the website owner for the link. This can happen from a simple typo or mistake when entering the URL into the <href> tag.
  • The destination website removed the resource that you linked to. This happens when content grows stale, images are used without permission or just when the webmaster decides to take something down.
  • The destination website has permanently moved to a new URL. This can result from a merger/acquisition or even a domain name change.
  • The destination website no longer exists. Older studies show that the average lifespan of a webpage is 100 days. There is any number of reasons why someone would take their page, or site, down.
  • The resource you are linking to sits behind a firewall that prevents access to the content. Remember, not everyone makes their content accessible to the rest of the web. Perhaps it was open at one time but now sits behind a paywall.

Understanding why a link is not working is just as important as finding it in the first place. The obvious reason is that if you know why a link is broken, you will know how to fix it. However, let’s take that a step further. If you know what causes broken links, you are also less likely to make those mistakes in the first place.

By lessening the chance of a link breaking from the outset, you are reducing the chance that they will harm your website down the road.

It is unfortunate that many webmasters, marketers and business owners only view broken links as a nuisance rather than a larger problem. Google’s John Mueller once addressed the question:

— Do redirected links cause ranking issues?

by answering:

— The web changes, sometimes old links break. Googlebot isn’t going to lose sleep over broken links :).

Google on Broken Links

So, some people made the assumption that broken links aren’t that big of an issue.

Unfortunately, this is wrong. While a few broken links aren’t going to crush your SEO efforts, they certainly aren’t going to help. Of course, there are other ways that they will cause your website harm as well.

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

I know, Google says that Googlebot isn’t going to punish you for broken links. However, there are some ways that broken links will hurt your efforts to rank in search engines like Google.

For one, if you are linking to a page within your site and that link is broken the search engine spiders are going to have trouble finding it. When they hit that page not found 404 error, the content you worked so hard to create and promote is getting no love from the search engines.

Once it hits that broken link, it moves on to the next one and any pages that it does not crawl do not get indexed. Pages that aren’t indexed don’t receive a ranking and therefore cannot be found by search engine users.

seo digital marketing

Another way broken links harm your search engine optimization comes from how long visitors stay on your site. If they encounter broken links they are likely going to look elsewhere for the information they need. After all, they can’t find it on your site.

Most experts agree that pages with high bounce rates don’t rank well. They also agree that the time a visitor spends on your site affects your ranking as well. The assumption is that the search engines will think that your site is full of relevant information because visitors spend a lot of time there.

If they are leaving quickly, it’s because your content isn’t relevant or your site isn’t easy to use.

2. User Experience

Users are easily frustrated. If pages don’t load fast enough they leave. If there are too many advertisements, they leave. If there is a paywall, they leave.

ux

If your visitors can’t access the information that they came to your site to find, they are going to leave. They would rather be on a site that works and broken links are a sure fire way to frustrate your visitors.

3. Reputation & Revenue

When a visitor encounters a website that is full of broken links, they are going to avoid it in the future. They simply won’t trust that site to provide the information they need. If that site is yours, your reputation is ruined.

Not only do you run the risk of damaging your reputation with that user, but others as well. KISSmetrics published a study that showed 44 percent of people will tell their friends when they have a bad experience online.

Website Performance Infographic

That same study showed that 79 percent of shoppers who are dissatisfied with a website’s performance are less likely to buy from that site again. So broken links can cost you money as well.

Of course, if links to your product pages or your affiliate products are the ones that are broken you are losing sales as well. You don’t need a degree in economics to see that this too will affect your revenue.

How to Find Broken Links

Now that you are aware of what effect broken links have on your site it is time to fix the issue. We recommend that you check for broken links on a monthly basis at least. This will give you the opportunity to take action and minimize the negative effect of having dead links on your site.

find broken links

If you have the time, or if you are consistently adding new pages to your website, then you are going to want to check more frequently. You don’t need to become obsessive over this, but making it a habit to check for broken links will certainly benefit your website.

As broken links are a problem for webmasters and businesses, there are a number of different tools available to check for them. Some of these tools are completely free while others will require an investment.

1. Google Search Console

One of the most popular, and effective tools is the free Google Search Console.

When you open this tool click on Search Traffic in the right-hand menu and then Internal Links. If you are missing an important page, or the number of links looks off, it could be due to a broken link.

Find broken links with Google Search Console

Next, click on Crawl -> Crawl Errors. Scroll to “Not Found” Section. This will give you a report of all the missing pages on your site with both internal and external links pointing to them.

Linux Cpanel shared hosting: 600 GB disk space, 6 TB bandwidth, free domain, unlimited databases and ftp accounts, web hosting cheap and pro at Hostony

Find broken links with Google Search Console

2. Xenu

Another popular tool to check for broken links is Xenu. Like the Google Search Console, this is a free product. Since its primary focus is looking for broken links, it is also much easier to use and gives a complete report about the links on your site.

Start by opening Xenu and clicking File and then Check URL. The following window will open for you and you enter the URL of the page you wish to check.

You also have the option of only checking for internal links that are broken. To do this, uncheck the Check external links box.

Once you run the tool, you receive a report of the links found and their status.

Xenu Broken Link Report

Xenu provides you with some other tools as well so you can export the report, build sitemaps and perform some other tasks. If you wish to check a local file, before you upload your code to the web, that option is available too. You also have the option to examine a list of URLs so you can check your entire site at once.

3. Domain Hunter Plus

The final tool we will look at is actually a Chrome extension called Domain Hunter Plus. This allows you to analyze a page you are on to find broken links.

Once you add the extension you will see a small green target on your browser.

domain hunter chrome extension

Navigate to the page you wish to check and click that target. It will run a check on that page and provide you with a report of all the broken links it finds. You can export this report to refer to later if you choose.

domain hunter fabthemes

4. WordPress Broken Link Checker Plugin

If you’re using WordPress for your website, then there’s a free plugin you can install that will automatically monitor your site for broken links.

Broken Link Checker WordPress plugin

After installing the Broken Link Checker plugin on your WordPress website, you’ll get dashboard notifications when a dead link is found. You can then fix the offending link directly through the plugin dashboard without even having to open and edit the page itself.

These are four of the more popular tools. You can find other tools available as well by searching for link checkers if you wish to use something else.

Fixing Broken Links

Now that you have found the broken links on your website it is time to start fixing them.

The way to fix internal links requires you to examine each link to see why it is broken.

  • Did you mistype the URL? If that is the case change it to reflect the correct address for the content you are linking to.
  • Did you rename or move a page? When this happens, you need to update the link to reflect the change.
  • Did you remove the page from your website? If this is the case you need to either remove the link or find another piece of relevant content to link to.

For external links, the process is a bit more difficult.

If the site you were linking to is gone you will need to find somewhere else to link to or remove the link altogether. If the link was to content that supported a claim or statement, find another resource so you keep your credibility intact.

If the broken link is due to an error on your part, you may be able to easily find the correct URL. If you can, change the link. If you cannot find the correct page, search for the site’s main URL using the site: operator and keywords related to the topic.

Search Google for Relevant Sites

You may be able to find the original content or at least something else relevant that you can link to.

What About Incoming Broken Links?

Up until now, we have focused on broken links that exist on your website. However, these are not the only links that cause you problems.

Link building, when done properly, is still an effective SEO technique.

However, if the links pointing to your site are broken you are losing any SEO benefit you could be enjoying, such as improved rankings in the search engines and more visitors to your site.

ahrefs broken links

Therefore, checking for incoming broken links is just as important as looking for broken links on your own site.

You should, as a best practice, keep track of any links you earned through guest posting or other link building strategies. Periodically, you are going to want to audit these links to ensure that they are still working.

Should you find any broken incoming links, reach out to the site owner and ask them to fix them. Check back to see if everything is working properly.

WebMeUp Backlink Checker

Some tools you can use to keep track of and monitor links pointing to your site include AhrefsMajestic, Raven, and WebMeUp.

These backlink checkers are paid tools but many offer free trials to help you decide if they will be beneficial for your website.

Using Broken Links to Your Advantage

Some site owners and organizations don’t bother checking for broken links. Due to this, they may be linking out to content that no longer exists or through user error they might have created the link incorrectly. If their site is one that you would like to earn a link from for SEO purposes, you can use this to your advantage.

First, start looking for sites that relate to a keyword you are trying to rank for. You can start by using some well-known search strings:

  • keyword + “resources”
  • keyword + intitle:resources
  • site:.gov keyword + “links”
  • site:.edu keyword + “recommended sites”
  • keyword + “related links”

When you see a page that is relevant to your site and would make a good link, check the page using a tool like “Domain Hunter Plus”. For the greatest SEO benefit, look for pages that have a high domain authority. Aim for a DA of at least 50 and you will start to see some rather impressive results.

When you find broken links and you have relevant content that the site could use as a resource, you have a match. Contact the webmaster of that site and let them know that you found a broken external link on their page. At the same time, let them know that you have content that they may wish to consider replacing their broken link with.

If you really want to increase your chances, dig into the broken links a bit further. If the site itself is down or you can be sure the page is gone let the webmaster know this as well.

Further Reading on Broken Link Building

Broken link building is an effective, white-hat, content-focused link building strategy. Just spend 30-40 minutes of your time to go through these awesome articles. You won’t regret it, I promise.

Conclusion

There is no question, broken links cause some business headaches. There are webmasters who aren’t even aware of the problems they cause. Whether broken links are hurting SEO efforts or keeping visitors from buying products these are solvable problems. It just takes time and dedication to resolve them.

Start by establishing a strategy on how you will deal with broken links. Set up a schedule for checking, be it monthly, twice a month or even weekly, and stick to it. The right tools can reduce the your workload significantly. Then, deal with broken links immediately. Don’t wait and address them later. Remember, each day that a broken link sits on your website is another day you are losing out.

Finally, remember that you can use broken links on other sites to your advantage. If you really want to take your SEO efforts up a notch, start building new links from sites that have a broken link problem of their own.

Broken links are a problem that all websites will have at some point, even large companies with a team of webmasters at their disposal. However, it is a problem that has an easy solution if you are willing to take the time to fix them.

The post Broken Links: How to Find, Fix, and Benefit from Broken Links appeared first on Web Hosting Geeks' Blog.

Web Hosting Geeks’ Blog

Linux Cpanel shared hosting: 600 GB disk space, 6 TB bandwidth, free domain, unlimited databases and ftp accounts, web hosting cheap and pro at Hostony

How Referral Marketing Can Benefit Web Hosts

Posted by: Admin  :  Category: Web Hosting

Even if the niche of web hosts are fully loaded with a lot of companies they are still one of the easiest to promote because you could write your own experience about them. There are also tools like GTMetrix, to help you see how fast and reliable your site is. And for web host businesses your customers usually stick with you unless something bad happens. Referral programs are the best way to promote this type of business.

The benefits of customer referral programs

Even statistics show that when it comes to buying or trying anything, people would consider recommendations from people they know over ads. And that makes referral programs a very powerful marketing strategy. Online reviews could also help boost the power of a referral program.

When it comes to referral programs, it’s more likely that your customers would be referring you to people who are looking for web hosting. Just like when you’re a wedding planner, your customer would refer you to another person they know that’s planning to get married, they definitely won’t refer you to a person looking for a house as it’s not the slightest bit related. When it comes to referrals, it is more aimed at your target audience which makes it more effective.

And the last best thing you could get from referral programs is the fact that it could turn into a cycle. Your customer referred you, the referred person enjoys your service so they refer you, and it goes on and on. Eventually, your program would grow and so would your business.

How do you setup a referral program?

So, are you finally convinced that referral programs could really make a difference for your web hosting business? Giving rewards in exchange for customers is totally worth it, especially if you get to prove that they will be happy with your service. So here are some things you should do as of setting up a referral program.

There are five things you should do when you are planning to start a referral program.

referral_marketing_benefits

  1. Find out what your customer would be happy for you to offer

If you have the right incentives, your referral program would definitely work. And they type of incentives would vary from your target audience to another. You have to make your reward one of the reasons why they want to promote you (aside from being happy with your service, of course). In order to know what incentive to use, you have to be able to understand your customer, and in order to achieve that you have to build a relationship with them and ask them or give them choices to choose from.

Rewards vary from cash, discounts, free trials, etc. You can offer them free services depending on their payment method whether they pay monthly or not. Just don’t forget to plan everything out before even starting.

  1. Make your customer want to refer you

Your customer would more likely promote you if it’s simple and quick to do. Everybody has their own preference when promoting, some prefer their blog, some on social media, some on forums, etc. So make sure that you allow them to choose where they are more comfortable to promote you in an easy way. But remember to always make your customer happy because that would be the main reason why your customers would want to tell their friends about you.

  1. Choose the referral software that would match all of your needs while still being good to your pocket.

There are a lot of referral programs that you could run on your own website. You can usually add them as a plug-in or add-on. But make sure that whatever you choose is compatible with your website or else it would be useless.  When you have figured how your customer would want to refer your business, you can start looking for referral program software that could do what your customer wants. Every referral software has their fair share of uniqueness when it comes to features and interface, so It’s usually more of a personal decision that should match your needs.

  1. You’ll have to promote your referral program

Not all of your customers would know if you have a referral program or not, having one wouldn’t mean they would automatically know. You’ll have to advertise and promote it.

You could advertise it by sending out emails, through social media posts, texts, invoices and so many other ways. You could also create a landing page for your referral program that entails details about what you offer, what they could expect as rewards, and what your customer needs.

  1. Make getting a reward easier

Some of your customers could be too busy or just not interested in joining a program. And those that do, should be prioritized to be kept happy. The more that they become happy with the benefits you give, the more that they continue in promoting you.

Another way to make getting rewards easier is by making the process simpler. Set up automated transfers if you are paying cash to make it quicker. No matter what your reward is, make sure that you keep it simple to achieve and be released.

How to promote your referral program

Make use of your email list

When you’re still starting to promote your referral program, you could make an email blast that would share all the necessary details. You should include a call to action button in it that would attract your customers by clicking on it and signing up. Email marketing is a way to market what you offer and at the same time keep your audience engaged. You also have to make sure that you use it to share new updates as well as upcoming updates to your email list. To make your email list better, it’s ideal to divide them into segments. That way, whenever you send out emails you could make it more targeted to their interests.

Let your website proudly wear it

Your referral program should have a real estate on a landing page. You can achieve this by adding a call to action on your website. There are many ways to do that, you could add a link on your header, a sidebar, and even a smack dab in the middle of your page to make customers sign up would do its work.

You could use website menus

If nobody is aware of your referral program then obviously it won’t work, right? So go ahead and make everyone aware that it exists! In the last 5 years, referral programs have been the bomb, people today aren’t just aware of it, they’re even aware of how to use them and what they’re for, actually, they even search for it! So if you don’t have a menu item or a section on your page dedicated to, it’s such a shame. You have to spark the curiosity of your visitors in order to increase your chance of turning them into your very own ambassador.

Bots

There’s a shift in paradigm in the world of technology as it’s being swept by a revolution of bots. Every brand are putting an effort into adding a bot interaction with its users. While many people who are focused on marketing have considered bots, there’s more focus on the ways it could boost ROI. But can you imagine if bots have the capability to upsell your referral program instead of just customer support and bookings?

Web Push Notification

For marketers around the world, web push notifications are such a fancy. Even when there’s obviously a debate on the rise of mobile between this, the web still is continuing to thrive. Web push notifications come in to get the attention of dormant users and also works as a playground for people who are promoting referral campaigns.

Bonus strategy to get more customers

Join Forum Discussions

For every niche, there are different forums, and in this forum, you will see people that are more likely interested in you. Join forums that talks about web hosting, try to contribute as much as possible and build a relationship with people in there. On your signature, you can use your URL to your website or to a page where you post special offers so when they click it could spark an interest. While helping people in related forums you are making more people know that you exist, meaning you are bringing more traffic to your business. Remember, be active and don’t just go there to invite, that could turn out negatively.

Conclusion

A referral program could work like a cycle that actually grows. You also gain the ability to keep and make your customers happier but at the same time attract new customers into your business. Your goal should be to set it up right to make sure it would work as an effective way to grow your customer base and lead to a bigger brighter business. So make sure that you choose the software that matches what you need, the right incentives, and an easy to use referral program to achieve more success.

Even if the web hosting industry is packed with a lot of companies, you still have the chance to grow if you have a successful referral program. Each person is looking for something different from hosts they use, problems could arise with some that could lead to their customers to look for another web host. As long as you make sure that your customers are promoting you and having a positive experience with your service, there’s a great chance that more people will know and try what you have to offer. Good luck!

The post How Referral Marketing Can Benefit Web Hosts appeared first on Web Hosting Geeks' Blog.

Web Hosting Geeks’ Blog

Reasons why your business should shift to Cloud hosting

Posted by: Admin  :  Category: Web Hosting

Cloud hosting has been on the rise since its inception. The improvement to your website performance and business efficiency that comes with Cloud hosting is almost tangible.

Cloud hosting provides hosting through a network of virtual servers that are interconnected and scattered throughout the world. This makes it possible for users to access their website from any location without any trouble.

In this article I will take your through the reasons why your business should move to cloud hosting.

Let’s begin!

Scalability / Flexibility

As a business owner you are always looking to grow your business but often that growth in unpredictable. Your marketing campaign might prove to be more successful than you predicted it to be and that doubled or even tripled the traffic on your website. In these circumstances, there is always a chance of your website crashing leaving your potential customers locked out.

Cloud hosting provides scalability that makes sure that your web server is scaled to handle the sudden spike in traffic. Also, the web server down scales so that you are not over paying for the server capacity you are not using.

No Technical Skills Required

As a business owner you are looking to cut costs on your operation wherever possible. Hiring a developer or an IT expert to launch and maintain your server can be costly. Also, there is a very slim chance that you yourself are equipped with all the knowledge and skills that are required to manage a web server.

Remote Access

Your employees might have shown the desire to work from a different location and not stay confined to the walls of an office. Or, you might want to hire a manager who is located in a different country. This is only possible if you have remote access to your website.

Since cloud hosting is a network of virtual servers, you have the ability to access your website and web server, from anywhere around the world. All you need is an internet connection and you are in. Some hosting providers even provide application so that you are not bound by the type of device.

Reliability

A server downtime can lead to many problems. Internally you may see a wastage of man hours as the entire workflow would come to a halt. Your employees might sit idle in your office or go home leaving unfinished work. Externally, you might lose a lot of customers as they wont be able to access your website.

Cloud hosting’s biggest selling point is its amazing uptime. Reliability is the very fabric of Cloud hosting’s business model. Incase of downtimes or outages, cloud hosting providers have backups that take control in a matter of seconds. Your customers won’t even realize there was a down time.

Security

As a business owner, the last thing you want is your data getting in the wrong hands. A lot of internal data might be stored in your files that are too sensitive and confidential to be accessed by outsiders. If you own an online store, you require personal information everytime a customers makes a purchase. Things might go south if such data is leaked. You will lose your customers’ trust and spoil your brand image in the industry.

Security is something all cloud hosting providers are proud of. Whether you run a blog, a business website or an online store, you will get rock solid security on your cloud web server. Hosting providers like Cloudways offer tightly controlled firewalls on application level to make sure all attacks and data leaks are blocked.

Data Backups

Starting and managing a business is tough. Your days are filled with meetings, replying to emails, phone calls and looking after your employees. In this packed schedule, you might not the time to look after your website and maybe create timely backups.

Cloud hosting offers automated backups that creates backups after certain intervals as per user configurations. This relieves you from the hassle of taking out time from your busy schedule and creating backups yourself. Also, some cloud hosting providers offer one click restoration of your backup. So incase of a disaster and a data loss, it will take you no more than a minute to restore your entire data on just one click.

Costs

Reducing cost to increase profits is a proven profit maximising strategy. Rather than cutting costs on your product and lowering its quality, why not reduce cost on something like web hosting?

As mentioned earlier in the article, the auto scaling feature down scales your web server when the usage is low. This lets you pay for only the capacity you are using and not the entire server resulting in lower cost.

Cloud also saves you the the cost of purchasing and maintaining an infrastructure. The virtual servers are installed and maintained by highly professional and technical staff saving you the time and cost of hiring a developer.

cloud_hosting

Final Words

Choosing a cloud hosting provider for your business is the most important and crucial decision that you will have to make. Cloud hosting ensures that you are relieved of the burden of looking after your web server. As a business owner, you want to focus completely on your core operations and cloud hosting allows you to do that.

Author bio:

Moeez is ‘The’ blogger in charge of WPblog. He loves to interact and learn about WordPress with people in the WordPress community. Outside his work life, Moeez spends time hanging out with his friends, playing PS4 and watching football on the weekends.

The post Reasons why your business should shift to Cloud hosting appeared first on Web Hosting Geeks' Blog.

Web Hosting Geeks’ Blog

How-to Start a Blog – Review of the Best 10 Blogging Platforms

Posted by: Admin  :  Category: Web Hosting

If you want to start a blog as fast as possible, then you need to consider choosing a blogging platform. Thankfully, there are some excellent free and paid blogging platforms out there that will help you launch a blog in less than an hour, regardless of your technical abilities, requirements, or budget.

In this guide to the best 10 blogging platforms, we will cover the most popular and useful options for starting a blog today. As well as giving you a good overview of the different options, we will also list their pros and cons to help you find the best platform for your blog.

If you’re still not sure which option to choose by the end of this article, don’t worry. It is possible to change blogging platforms and migrate to a new system in the future. Blogging can be highly rewarding, so don’t let a lack of certainty on which platform to use stop you from getting started today.

What is a Blogging Platform?

Put simply, a blogging platform is a software or service that gives you the ability to publish content online. In the case of the best 10 blogging platforms covered here, that content is usually in the form of text and images. Although depending on the platform, it could also be video and audio content.

After signing up, in the case of a hosted blogging platform, or downloading and installing the software as you would with a self-hosted platform, you can start writing articles and publishing them online. After that, you can share them with your audience and followers, or wait for them to be discovered organically.

Hosted vs. Self-Hosted Blogging Platforms

As mentioned, some of the best 10 blogging platforms are hosted, while others require you to host the software yourself. The latter involves choosing a web hosting company to take care of this for you. If you go with a hosted service, such as Blogger, all you have to do is enter a few details, and you could be publishing your first blog post in a matter of minutes.

Setting up a self-hosted blog, when using a platform like WordPress.org, can be more involved. However, you tend to have greater control over your blog, its content, and what you can do with your website, rather than being tied into the often more restrictive terms and services of a hosted blogging platform.

Due to this, you have more options for monetizing your content, changing the design of your blog, and working with other authors, to name just a few benefits of opting for a self-hosted blogging platform. On the other hand, managing your own self-hosted blog can involve more work, taking away from the time that could be spent blogging.

When it comes to hosted vs. self-hosted blogging platforms, and which is best, there’s no right or wrong option. Just check out the pros and cons listed below to find the best platform for your needs and preferences.

The Best 10 Blogging Platforms

Some points to consider when choosing a blogging platform includes the price, user experience, and design customization options. It’s also worth thinking about whether you only want a blog, or you might like to use other features in the future, such as the ability to sell products, offer downloads, or create a portfolio. If the latter appeals, then look for a platform that can be also be used to create other types of websites and not just blogs.

So to help you start your blog, here are the best 10 blogging platforms available today.

Blogger

Blogger Blogging Platform

Blogger is a blog-publishing service, now owned by Google. Launched in 1999, Blogger is one of the most well-known and well-established blogging platforms still in operation today.

Unlike many of the other best 10 blogging platforms in this comparison, Blogger is focused solely on creating blogs. Thanks to this, there are fewer distractions from other features, making it very easy to get started and publish blog posts. With Blogger, there aren’t as many customization options compared to the other blogging platforms. However, the upside of this is that it does help simplify the Blogger user experience.

Also, if you’re using other Google services, such as Google Drive or Photos, the process of including photographs in your blog posts is simplified. Also, once you’ve registered a domain name, you can use it with your Blogger blog for free, instead of using a mysite.blogspot.com subdomain.

Blogger Example Template

Pros of Blogger:

  • Very easy to use, mainly due to the single focus on blogging.
  • Integrates with other Google services, including Google Drive.
  • No fee to use your own domain name for your Blogger blog.

Cons of Blogger:

  • Blog templates look outdated, especially compared to other platforms.
  • Not as powerful or customizable as many of the other top blogging platforms.
  • No paid plans to enhance your blog.

Blogger is ideal for those new to blogging or anyone who doesn’t consider themselves a techie. The comparative lack of features and functionality reduces your options, but it does make it very easy to get started and begin publishing blog posts. However, the lack of quality templates, no add-ons or plugins, and an inability to remove ads, is hard to ignore. This means that Blogger isn’t a good platform for anyone who wants the option to upgrade or expand their blog in the future.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org Blogging Platform

WordPress is the most popular software for creating websites and blogs. In fact, the WordPress software powers around 25% of all websites online today. So if you’re looking for a tried and tested platform for your blog, it’s hard to go wrong with WordPress.org. However, declaring WordPress.org the best blogging platform isn’t quite that straightforward.

The WordPress website building and blogging software can be freely downloaded from the WordPress.org website. But if you want to use this platform for your blog, you’ll need to sign up with a web host. Purchasing a domain name is necessary too – although some web hosts give new customers a free domain when signing up.

Fortunately, the best web hosts, whether you’re paying a few dollars a month or hundreds a year, make it very easy to launch your new WordPress.org blog. After that, you’ll be responsible for keeping the WordPress software up to date and taking basic care of your website. Although depending on which web hosting package you choose, these tasks can be taken off your hands.

It might sound like setting up and managing a WordPress.org blog is a lot of work. However, it’s relatively straightforward, and a good web host will provide you with assistance. For a bit more effort and financial investment, compared to the other best 10 blogging platforms, you’ll have a higher level of creative freedom over your blog.

For example, there are countless free and paid themes available to help you transform the design of your blog. About as many free and paid plugins are on hand to add almost any type of feature or functionality to your blog. If you want to adjust your blog in any way, and there isn’t a theme or plugin out there, you have the option of working with a developer to create a custom solution. As you own your self-hosted WordPress.org blog, you have full access to the underlying code if you need it, too.

As you can do almost anything with WordPress.org, the possibilities can be overwhelming. However, if you stick to the blogging aspects of the WordPress.org platform, you shouldn’t have any problems. Besides, there’s almost an unlimited amount of material available to help you get the most out of your WordPress.org blog, including videos, blogs, courses, podcasts, and more.

WordPress.org Blog Themes

Pros of WordPress.org:

  • Full ownership of your blog, including the monetization options.
  • Highly customizable through the settings and options, as well as by accessing the code.
  • Huge library of WordPress themes and plugins to enhance your blog.

Cons of WordPress.org:

  • Must pay a web host to keep your WordPress.org blog online.
  • Higher levels of responsibility for keeping your blog running smoothly.
  • Mastering the full potential of WordPress.org can be difficult.

WordPress.org is the most powerful blogging platform available today. However, it does require a greater investment of your time, finances, or a combination of both to keep your blog online and running smoothly, at least compared to the other options in this collection of the best 10 blogging platforms.

But if you do choose WordPress.org, you’ll have complete creative control over your blog, as well as the ability to grow it in almost any direction you want, as your project develops.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com Blogging Platform

Signing up for the free WordPress.com service gives you instant access to your very own blog.

Unlike the WordPress.org blogging platform, there’s no need to download any software or find a web host. Purchasing a domain name isn’t necessary, either.

Instead, the WordPress.com service gives you access to a hosted version of the WordPress software. You also get your own choice of URL, using a subdomain of the WordPress.com top-level domain (for example myblog.wordpress.com). In exchange for this convenience, you are limited in what you can do with your blog, at least compared to hosting the WordPress software yourself. Adverts from the Automattic Ad Network are displayed on your blog, too.

Also, unlike hosting a WordPress blog yourself, with WordPress.com, you don’t have access to the same number of themes or plugins. You can still use plugins to add new features to your blog, or change its design with a different theme. However, you don’t have access to anything like the same number of themes and plugins that those self-hosting their WordPress blog enjoy.

Although the core WordPress.com blogging platform is free to use, you can pay to upgrade your blog and unlock additional features. Doing so gives you the ability to change the domain of your blog, access a wider range of plugins and themes, remove the WordPress.com adverts from your blog, plus more.

If you want to make money from your blog, your monetization options are restricted, at least compared to self-hosting your own WordPress blog. You can display affiliate links, publish sponsored posts, and sell products, on your free WordPress.com blog. However, there are restrictions that you must be aware of before trying to make money with your blog.

WordPress.com Blog Templates

Pros of WordPress.com:

  • Easy to get set up and start a blog.
  • Free to launch your blog with no running costs.
  • Good selection of blog designs to choose from.

Cons of WordPress.com:

  • Best features are reserved for paying users.
  • Cannot display your own adverts on free WordPress.com blogs.
  • Your blog remains the property of WordPress.com and could, in theory, be taken offline at any time.

WordPress.com makes it very easy to start a blog. The paid plans also give you the option of upgrading your blog in the future. Alternatively, you could migrate your blog to a self-hosted WordPress.org website when you’re ready.

Wix

Wix Blogging Platform

Wix is a hosted service for creating almost any type of website, including blogs. The free plan is ideal for hobby bloggers and those who want to try their hand at blogging without paying any money. Due to the branding and adverts that are displayed on the free Wix plan, business bloggers will need to upgrade to one of the paid subscriptions to give their blog a professional appearance.

Upgrading to the premium Wix plans enables the use of your own domain, rather than a Wix subdomain, such as myblog.wix.com. Also, if your blog grows in size and popularity, beyond the storage and visitor limits of the free plan, you’ll have to upgrade to one of the premium options.

With all of the Wix plans, you can choose from a selection of modern and mobile-friendly templates for your blog. Also, thanks to the user-friendly Wix website builder tool, you have the ability to customize the appearance of your blog. Wix users can also add extra features to their blog, via the free and paid options in the Wix App Market.

Wix Templates

Pros of Wix:

  • Totally free to get started.
  • Library of free website and blog templates.
  • Drag-and-drop website builder for creating custom blog designs.

Cons of Wix:

  • Upgrading to a paid plan necessary if storage and bandwidth allowances exceeded.
  • Must pay to remove ads and unlock other features.
  • Bound by the Wix terms of service.

Although Wix is primarily a website builder rather than a pure blogging platform, launching your blog is still straightforward. The library of Wix templates has been designed to a high standard, while the app market makes it easy to add a wide range of your new features to your blog. However, you’ll probably want to upgrade to one of the paid plans once your blog takes off, or if you’d like your blog to create a professional impression on your visitors.

Weebly

Weebly Blogging Platform

Weebly is another popular blogging platform that can be used to create all types of websites, including blogs. The free plan makes it easy to get started, although a small advert will be displayed in the footer of your site. Upgrading to the paid plans removes the ads, increases your storage allowance, and unlocks other features. If you want to use your own domain name, such as myblog.com instead of myblog.weebly.com, you’ll also need to upgrade to one of the paid monthly plans.

To help give your blog a stylish look, Weebly users get access to an attractive set of website templates, including a good selection of purpose-built blogging themes. You can upload your own photos and videos to your blog, although the free and entry-level paid plans only include 500MB of storage.

Weebly also has an easy-to-use editor that will help you give your blog a custom look, that’s unique to you. Thankfully, the Weebly editor has certain restrictions to ensure everything ends up in the right place. This should help those without web design skills avoid making a mess of their blog.

Weebly Blog Templates

Pros of Weebly:

  • Free to get started and launch a blog.
  • Good selection of customizable website and blog templates.
  • Useful selection of free and paid apps to add new features to your blog.

Cons of Weebly:

  • Best features only available to paying members.
  • Only 500MB of storage on free and entry-level plans.
  • No option to take full control of your blog and self-host your site.

A free Weebly blog should be enough for most people to get started and begin growing their audience. The templates look great and the editor is easy to use. After that, you have the option of working your way through the paid plans, adding more features and capabilities to your blog, as your needs increase.

Tumblr

Tumblr Blogging Platform

Tumblr is described as a microblogging platform and social networking website, making it a good choice for anyone who wants a service that will help them quickly build an audience for their blog. The feature that allows Tumblr users to follow each other provides a good way to gain regular readers for your blog, before it starts showing up in the search engine results.

Getting started is very easy and there are no costs involved in joining Tumblr or running your blog. Although, as well as the free blog designs, you do have the option of purchasing premium templates. Unlike some of the other options in this collection of the best 10 blogging platforms, Tumblr doesn’t have a drag-and-drop editor. Although, this lack of customization options is part of what makes Tumblr so easy to use.

Another key characteristic of Tumblr, that could determine whether it’s the best blogging platform for you, is its focus on publishing short-form blog posts and sharing multimedia content. If you check out a Tumblr blog, you’ll quickly see what this means. Typically users share a video, audio, or image, including animated GIFs, with or without accompanying text.

Tumblr could also be the right blogging platform for you if you’d like the ability to quickly find lots of other content. If you’re in search of inspiration for almost any topic, you’ll be able to find other bloggers on Tumblr posting relevant content. Following those users sees your dashboard populated with their latest posts, similar to social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.

Tumblr Blog Templates

Pros of Tumblr:

  • Social networking and community features can help grow your audience.
  • Possible to integrate a Tumblr blog with your other social media accounts.
  • Very simple interface for posting text, images, and videos.

Cons of Tumblr:

  • No plugins or apps to add new features.
  • No website editor tool for creating a custom blog design.
  • Mixed quality levels in the theme library.

If you’re publishing the right type of content, there’s a good chance other Tumblr users will promote and comment on your posts. Therefore, if you’re looking for one of the most interactive blogging platforms around, with a ready-made audience, and you aren’t interested in publishing long articles, Tumblr should appeal.

Typepad

Typepad Blogging Platform

Unlike many of the other best 10 blogging platforms, Typepad doesn’t have any storage restrictions. This makes it a good choice for publishing videos, audio, or lots of photos on your blog. However, there is a monthly upload limit which could restrict how much multimedia content you’re actually able to upload.

All users can also use their own domain name for their Typepad blog, rather than a subdomain, such as myblog.typepad.com. However, the catch is that Typepad isn’t free to use. Instead, all of the options for using Typepad are paid plans, with prices starting at $ 8.95.

As well as domain mapping and unlimited storage, Typepad users have access to a support service to help you get the most out of this blogging platform. You can also create multiple blogs under one account. Adding multiple authors to your blogs is possible too, at least on the higher Typepad plans. The drag-and-drop editor allows you to adjust the design of your blogs, although users on the higher plans have more creative freedom, with the ability to use custom HTML, CSS, JavaScript to customize their blog.

Although there’s no free plan for using Typepad, there is a 14-day free trial that lets you test out this professional blogging platform.

Typepad Blog Themes

Pros of Typepad:

  • Good levels of customization for users on higher plans.
  • Suitable for video and audio hosting, including podcasts.
  • Ability to add multiple others to one blog on higher plans.

Cons of Typepad

  • Other blogging platforms have better designs and themes.
  • No free option for using Typepad.
  • 150MB monthly upload limit on the entry-level Plus plan.

Typepad isn’t free and you can find better blog templates with other platforms. However, being able to customize the design of your blog using HTML and CSS, as well as the ability to add multiple authors to your account, could make Typepad the right option for you, especially if you need those features and are prepared to pay for them.

Squarespace

Squarespace Blogging Platform

Squarespace isn’t free, and it isn’t cheap either, at least compared to many of the best 10 blogging platforms in this guide. However, creating a professional looking website or blog with Squarespace is a very straightforward and efficient process. In fact, you can see just how easy it is to create a stylish blog or website with Squarespace, without entering any payment details. Then, if you’re happy with what you’ve produced, you can sign up, and launch your new blog.

Some of the reasons why people choose Squarespace includes its library of professional website templates and customization controls that let you personalize almost every aspect of your blog. Whether you choose to use the control panel or edit the underlying CSS using the built-in CSS editor, you do get a high level of creative freedom when personalizing your blog.

Squarespace probably has one of the longest feature lists of any of the best 10 blogging platforms covered here, outperformed only by WordPress and its library of plugins and themes. Squarespace features include the ability to add multiple authors to your blog, domain mapping that removes the need to use a squarespace.com subdomain, and a good level of social media integration. You can also connect your blog to a small number of third-party services, such as Google Analytics, giving you a detailed insight into your visitors and their activity on your blog.

Squarespace also holds online webinars and in-person group workshops to help you unlock the full potential of this website builder and blogging platform.

Squarespace Blog Template

Pros of Squarespace:

  • Full creative control over your blog, through an intuitive editor.
  • Access to high-quality blogging templates as part of the price.
  • No resource limits, including unlimited storage and bandwidth.

Cons of Squarespace:

  • No free plan, although you can build your blog before entering payment details.
  • No option to add extra features from outside the Squarespace library.
  • Prices are high compared to other blogging platforms.

Along with a self-hosted WordPress.org blog, Squarespace is the most powerful option in this collection of the best 10 blogging platforms. The long feature list and the high degree of creative freedom might be overkill for some bloggers. But if you do want to create a professional looking blog, with the option to expand your website in almost any direction in the future, paying for a Squarespace subscription could be justifiable.

Ghost

Ghost Blogging Platform

Ghost is similar to WordPress, in that you can download the software and make your own blog hosting arrangements, or sign up for the hosted Ghost service and let them take care of everything. Considering that Ghost was created to be a more blogging-focused alternative to WordPress, this comparable approach makes sense.

As part of the attempt to differentiate Ghost from WordPress, the former has a simplified user interface that makes creating blog posts more intuitive than it is with WordPress. Although as an upgrade to the WordPress blog post editor is imminent, this could all change in the near future.

Unlike the WordPress.com blogging platform — the hosted version of WordPress — you will have to pay if you choose to sign up for the Ghost hosted service. There’s no free plan, unfortunately, and with prices starting from $ 19 per month for the entry-level plan, it’s one of the most expensive options in our guide to the best 10 blogging platforms. Although, as the Ghost project is a nonprofit, that money is used to fund further development of the platform.

Also compared to WordPress, there are less themes available to help you change the design of your blog. You’ll also be unable to add as many extra features to your Ghost blog, due to the smaller number of plugins available for the platform.

Ghost Themes

Pros of Ghost:

  • Focus on creating blogs rather than websites in general
  • Software can be self-hosted or hosted on the Ghost servers.
  • Intuitive blog post creation interface.

Cons of Ghost:

  • Not much scope for expanding your blog into other types of websites.
  • Fewer themes to choose from compared to some other blogging platforms.
  • Self-hosting a Ghost blog can be more hands-on than running your own WordPress blog.

If you like the idea of supporting a nonprofit blogging platform and using open source software for your blog, then Ghost should be of interest. The simplified blog post publishing interface makes Ghost worth considering too. However, compared to WordPress, you do have access to fewer options for customizing your blog or adding new features in the future.

Medium

Medium Blogging Platform

Medium has more of a community feel compared to many of the other best 10 blogging platforms we’ve covered so far. Once you’ve signed up and created a free account, you can begin publishing articles on the Medium website, along with all the other registered users. So rather than having a self-contained blog, your writing shares a platform with other authors covering a wide range of topics.

Due to this approach, one benefit of choosing this blogging platform is that the Medium website is a popular destination in itself. Thanks to this, there’s a chance that some of the people reading other blogs on the Medium platform will find their way to your articles, giving you a free and easy way to grow your audience.

Just like an online magazine or newspaper, people head to the Medium website in search of great content. Again, this can help your writing be discovered. One downside of this is that links to content from other users can be displayed at the end of your articles, potentially distracting your readers and sending them elsewhere on the site.

The downsides of choosing Medium over the other options, are that you have much less control over the design of your content. You can’t add new features to the platform, or turn your blog into a different type of website in the future either.

Medium Template

Pros of Medium:

  • Totally free to use, including adding your own domain name to your blog.
  • The Medium brand is associated with quality content, which could pass onto your articles.
  • The Medium website is a popular destination, potentially giving your blog a ready-made audience.

Cons of Medium:

  • No option to self-host your own Medium blog or separate your content from the Medium community.
  • Cannot add extra features to your articles, such as email newsletter sign up forms or other content elements.
  • Unable to display your own adverts and monetize your content in this way.

If you want to sign up and start publishing content as quickly as possible, while also being able to tap into a ready-made audience, Medium is hard to beat. However, it is important to know that you never really own your blog. Instead, you are just publishing articles on the Medium website. The lack of customization options and upgrade possibilities does simplify the process of blogging, but it also limits what you can do beyond simply publishing articles.

Final Thoughts

As you can see there are some excellent free, freemium, and fully commercial blogging platforms available.

Whether you just want to start writing and publishing your thoughts online with a community-focused platform like Medium; you need full control over every aspect of your blog as is the case with a self-hosted WordPress.org site; or you’d rather sign up with a hosted service like Squarespace, that will enable you to create any type of website, including blogs, ecommerce stores, and online portfolios, there’s a blogging platform out there that’s right for you.

Which of the best 10 blogging platforms will you choose? Please let us know in the comments below.

The post How-to Start a Blog – Review of the Best 10 Blogging Platforms appeared first on Web Hosting Geeks' Blog.

Web Hosting Geeks’ Blog

5 Facts about Web Hosting You Must Know

Posted by: Admin  :  Category: Web Hosting

When you plan for your company’s online presence, it is essential that you make use of Web Hosting Services. It is a type of internet hosting service that makes your website accessible to the world and is the backbone for getting prospective customers to gain information about your business and its services and products. There are five options available in web hosting: Self-Hosting, Co-Location Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, Shared Hosting, and Virtual Private Hosting, each of which offers their own range of benefits to consumers. To understand more, let’s take a look at 5 facts about web hosting:

1.    Cost

When it comes to web hosting, businesses have to pay significant attention to the service they are purchasing. This requires them to assess their budget and look for a service that best suits their needs and requirements. However, it is imperative that you don’t go for the cheapest hosting. Low-cost or budget hosting may seem appealing, but may have speed and availability issues. Depending on the size of your business, it is vital that you choose a plan that accommodates your needs perfectly (medium or high-end hosting?).

2.    Support

In web hosting, support proves to be an incredibly broad term. Normally, a provider would be responsible for handling general maintenance of systems, connection to the internet, patching, server administration, and hardware needs. However, it is vital that you discuss whether or not the service you choose offers 24/7 phone support, email support, live chat, good response time, and knowledge about various business-related questions.

things-you-must-know-about-web-hosting

3.    Communication

You should always look for a hosting provider who sends regular emails. Newsletter communications should happen on a periodic basis. The content can include any new trends the service is planning to deploy, information on how your company is performing, and what changes you can make on your site to make it more SEO friendly. Other types of communication can include interactive articles, social networking, forum discussions, and blogs on various subject matters.

4.    Features

It is important that you figure out what features you will receive for the service you pay. The best of web hosting services should be able to answer questions like: what technologies do they support? What technologies are they experts in? They must also be able to provide you in-depth detail on their web statistics, sub-domains, reseller programs, email, custom DLLs, control panel, bandwidth option, auto-responders, costs for additional services and application pool memory limits.

website-hosting-server

5.    Security

When it comes to acquiring web hosting, it is essential to consider the security the service offers. Bear in mind a gap in the security of a web hosting can result in your site getting spammed or hacked. So, don’t hesitate on asking the company questions like: How do you handle Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks? Are intrusion detection systems (IDS) implemented? Does the host deploy the latest service packs and security patches? Is the host SAS 70 compliant? Do you require Sarbanes-Oxley? Do you need to be HIPAA Compliant? Does your site require PCI Compliance?

Top 10 WebHosting Companies|Upto 80% off Special Promo Links

Difference between Managed and Unmanaged Hosting

Posted by: Admin  :  Category: Web Hosting

When it comes to operating a successful business, it is imperative that you opt for managed hosting in order to allow your website to grow, handle traffic, and have the appropriate capacity to serve your customers. Without hosting, it can be impossible for a business to operate online. Free hosting proves to be rather slow, offers no support, and is filled with a ton of advertisements. This means, businesses that want to grow have to invest in managed or unmanaged hosting.

Managed Hosting

This form of hosting is provided by professional companies that have multiple packages, depending on the size of your business. It enables you to leverage flexibility and scalability with the growing needs of your company website. Therefore, as your business continues to grow, you can increase disk space and bandwidth to improve your services. This form of hosting tends to be more expensive than unmanaged hosting, as it comes with 24/7 live chat, phone, and email customer support.

If you experience any problem or issue with your website hosting, you can immediately contact the provider to gain assistance. This enables businesses to reduce their downtime and boost productivity. Managed hosting even takes control over the time-consuming tasks of maintaining and performing routine upgrades on your service. This kind of service can be a viable alternative to hiring your own IT staff, which can end up costing you a lot. It also saves you from spending a lot of computers and servers with faster processors and bigger capacities.

managed-web-hosting

The managing of a big network requires the utilization of the best security tools and applications on the server. If the security level is low, any unauthorized person may gain access and steal important business data. When you opt for managed hosting, you can ensure using the best firewall, virus scanning, and security auditing software, hence increasing the security of your business. These providers also have great knowledge regarding potential security issues and can constantly scan and update the operating system to ensure everything runs smoothly and prevent attacks.

If you are looking for an affordable managed hosting company check out this list of top 10 cheap web hosts. Each of these providers are very reputable and have been in the industry for several years. They have been through everything when it comes to security and are sure to be able to solve any issues you may be having.

Unmanaged Hosting

Despite its name, unmanaged hosting doesn’t exactly leave you entirely to your own devices. Most hosting companies will provide some level of support. This will include things like hardware maintenance for things like hard drive failure or any other major technical issue. On the basic level, you may need help with software installation and configuration. However, once that is done, you will be responsible completely for managing the hosting.

Most often than not, business go for this option for its reasonable-price. However, as their business grows, they may require professional assistance and support. This is one of the reasons why most companies will grant businesses to shift to a full-managed hosting later in time. This gives them the control necessary for maintaining the most basic ends of hosting, while the rest is taken care by the professionals of the provider.

Are you planning to launch a business website? If so, then make sure to decide which option will work best for you!

Top 10 WebHosting Companies|Upto 80% off Special Promo Links