Website Optimization

Helpful WordPress Information

What is Optimization?

Optimization is generally referred to as SEO or Search Engine Optimization. If you have a well-optimized site, you will rank higher in search engine results.


A BIG NO-NO:

Large Images!

I would say that large images are #1 reason for a slow website. And the easiest thing to fix.

Optimizing images should be a priority. If you have the time, reduce your image sizes before loading them onto your website. Knowing the max size your images could be shown will help you know the largest size you would ever need to upload.

If you don’t have the time, want or know how to reduce your image file sizes then using an app to reduce your image sizes is a great option.


If you have a slow website and you have already optimized your images, then you may need a hand from an optimization genius.  I just happen to know one!

Teresa with A Fearless Venture offers three levels of optimizing service.

Site Speed Diagnostics

Teresa takes a look at your site, gives you professional advice on what your next steps should be and what you don’t need to worry about.

DIY optimization program

Like working through programs? Then this is for you. Her 7-day program will walk you through the steps to increase your website speed with simple big ROI tweaks.

Complete Optimization Package

Not ready to get your hands dirty? Let Teresa spruce up your website. She does a deep dive to see what problems you may be facing and gets you fixed up.

~Amanda

PLUGINS

Helpful WordPress Information

What can I say about plugins?

BE CAREFUL!
There are thousands of plugins available in the WordPress plugin store and they are not all made the same. That does not mean that there are not some amazing plugins out there! There are. You just need to learn to weed through the mass to find the gold.

Tips:

  • Make sure you actually need a plugin for what you want to do before you install one.
  • Do research on plugins you want to install.
    • Look at the last time it was updated.
    • Look at what support is available.
    • Look at the reviews for the plugin.
    • Look into the developer of the plugin and their reviews.
      • I know this seems like a lot to do when deciding on a plugin. But trust me, plugins can reek havoc on your website!
  • Always keep plugins up-to-date! Out-of-date plugins can open up security holes in your website.
  • Uninstall unused plugins. There is no reason to keep the plugin files in your file manager. They just clutter it up!

If you follow these tips then you will be able to pick plugins like a boss!

~Amanda

THE BEST WORDPRESS FRAMEWORK

Helpful WordPress Information

There is a myriad of frameworks, themes and child themes on the market for WordPress.

If you want a site build with security,  SEO, and site speed in mind, then I highly recommend Studio Press’s Genesis Framework.

The Genesis Framework uses clean, optimized code, which means you don’t have to worry about bloated code that will slow your website down. This also means that your site will rank better on search engines. How?  The Genesis Framework is automatically updated for you. This means you will always have up to date code and be optimized for what is new in SEO.

Sites that load slowly, have bugs or glitches are automatically downgraded in search engine results.

It’s all about CLEAN CODE + OPTIMIZATION!

Plus StudioPress gives you unlimited support and unlimited updates. Most frameworks or themes come with limited support.


Don’t just take my word for it. Check out the Genesis Framework for yourself:

Why Genesis is the Foundation of Any Smart WordPress Design


So, I have talked about the Genesis Framework. Which you are probably wondering what a framework is. A framework is the basic code structure to build a website on. If you are a developer, you can build your own site off of this framework. However, if you are not a developer there are over 40 child themes that you can purchase for your Genesis Framework.

Yes, I know it sounds like it could get expensive. But, if you are wanting to make money with your website or build your business then you need to invest in your website’s structure. You will lose so many potential visitors or clients by having a slow, buggy site that isn’ ranking in search engine results.

Genesis Theme Framework for WordPress by StudioPress

~Amanda

P.S. This post contains affiliate links. That means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

SSL Certificates: Free VS Dedicated

Technology

SSL Certificates: Definitions

SSL 

Secure Sockets Layer is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser.

HTTP/HTTPS

Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the underlying protocol used by the internet and defines how messages are formatted and transmitted.

HTTPS is a variant of the standard protocol which adds a layer of security on the data in transit through a secure socket layer.

HTTPS is important for any website that collects information from its visitors. If you have a form, a store, a client login area, etc you should have a SSL to make your site secure with HTTPS. Visitors to your site who see HTTPS are more confident that their information is safe while visiting your site. Even if you don’t collect information, having a secure website gives visitors that extra feeling of safety.

In order to make a more secure internet, Google is now showing all sites that are not HTTPS as NON-SECURE within their Chrome browsers.


Free VS Paid Dedicated SSL Certificates

Free SSL Certificates

Free SSL certificates provide validation of ownership of a domain and only one domain can be secured by a free SSL certificate. These free SSL certificates or AutoSSL certificates are issued through cPanel and renew every 90 days. These certificates use the same encryption as dedicated SSL certificates, but only validate ownership of the domain name. However, your site will still show the green padlock of protection.

Dedicated SSL Certificates

Dedicated SSL certificates include more in depth validation of the ownership of the domain name and the business that claims ownership of the site. This added layer of validation is extra security. The encryption used for the SSL certificate is the same, although the validation is much more secure. These certificates vary in price, but standard is $150/year. The extra security prevents others from trying to use your business for phishing and other spam related activities.

Whether you have a free or dedicated SSL certificate, it will help your SEO with Google as they use HTTPS as a ranking factor. Also, Google is blocking referral data from HTTPS sites to HTTP sites. Therefore, you could be missing out on platforms that are sending you traffic.


Converting Your Website from HTTP to HTTPS

There are a few things that you will need to do in order for your site to show as secure to web browsers.

  1. Backup your website.
  2. Within WordPress you will need to change your domain name from http:// to https://. You can find this under Settings > General.
  3. Update links within your site to HTTPS. This can be done manually – which could be time consuming – or you can use a plugin. Here are some suggested plugins:
    1. Velvet Blues
    2. SSL Insecure Content Fixer
    3. Go Live Update URLs
  4. Test your site. If you have the green padlock you are good to go! If you do not see the green padlock you have a little more work to do. Visit whynopadlock.com to determine what is causing your site to not be secure. If you are on CloudFlare, you will not be given a reason for your site not showing secure. Just reach out and we will get it fixed for you.
  5. Be sure to include https:// when sharing a link to your website.

~Amanda

Happy New Year! | New Server Enhancements

Technology

BRUTE FORCE & DDoS ATTACKS – they are the bane of all servers and hosts! 

Brute force attacks are very hard to track, and cause havoc to servers which cause sites to go down. And that is just on the good side – if there is a good side. We are able to stop brute force attacks but not before we notice that there is an issue. Now we will be able to stop attacks before they cause an issue!

And so we are implementing new security features to our servers to better protect you! We are implementing these new security features overnight. Expect small windows of downtime while these features are being enabled on the server.

1. An Operating System with Security in Mind


Stability | Security | Performance | Flexibility

Each of our clients has their own special place on the server! This helps with performance spikes and prevents slowdowns and downtime by limiting and partitioning resources per user, thus reducing resource spikes. You’ll also be able to check your cPanel account to see how your site is using your allotted resource pool. Just a few of the features:

Disk IO Improvements
Hardened PHP
Faster PHP Pages
PHP Selector

2. Artificial Intelligence to stop the bad guys faster!


Our servers are now secured by Imunify360 at no extra cost to our clients! Here are a few of the features:

Advanced Firewall

Prevents unauthorized users from accessing your servers. Uses herd immunity and artificial intelligence to detect new threats. Capable of defending against brute force attacks, DoS attacks, port scans, as well as many other types of attacks. If imunify360 blocks your access to your login – due to invalid password, because we all forget our passwords every now and then – they have a self-service unblocking tool! Simply click on the “I am not a robot” check box to unblock your IP address.

Intrusion Detection System / Intrusion Prevention System

Includes a comprehensive collection of “deny” policy rules to quickly block all known attacks. Monitors server logs and scans log files from all different angles and bans IPs that show malicious signs.

Malware Scanning

Automatically scans file systems for malware injection and quarantines infected files.

Hardened PHP

Keeps your server secure by patching all PHP versions against known vulnerabilities. This allows you to run any version of PHP without having to update programs.

Website Reputation Monitoring

Analyzes if your site or IPs are blocked by any blacklists and notifies you accordingly so that you can take action.

3. Let’s get 2018 started right!


 

UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH for 3 months!* A special New Year’s gift from me to you!

To inspire creativity and growth, I am breaking down the walls! You will have unlimited bandwidth from January 1 – March 31, 2018.

4. A new revenue stream for your blog


 

The Betty Lou Hosting Affiliate Program: Earn up to $50 for each qualified signup!
Our affiliate earning scale matches our pricing structures. You will earn money for each individual that signs up for a plan after clicking on your unique affiliate link. A cookie will be added to their browser for 90 days. If they purchase a plan during that time it will count towards your affiliate earnings. **You must disclose that you will earn affiliate income to your readers.**

Earning structure:

  • $10 Beginner Plan = $10 to you
  • $15 Intermediate Plan = $15 to you
  • $20 Serious Plan = $20 to you
  • $35 Expert Plan = $35 to you
  • $50 Professional Plan = $50 to you

If you are interested in becoming a Betty Lou Hosting Affiliate click here. Don’t forget to read the Affiliate Agreement.

Not sure what an Affiliate is?

Affiliate marketing is an easy way to earn money simply by referring individuals to a business. Ex: you are reading a blog about a product that someone loves and they give you a link to purchase that product on Amazon. If it is an affiliate link that they are using they will receive a portion of the sale from Amazon. This costs the purchases no extra money, earns the poster money, and gets the company sales.

Ways to use affiliate links:

  • Write reviews.
  • Posts informative articles on the product.
  • Show people how easy something is to use.
  • Etc.

Always recommend that they use whatever it is you are talking about. Sales for the company = money for you.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

~ Amanda

 

*For current customers only. Unlimited bandwidth in accordance with our Terms of Service.

Start a Blog or WordPress Site in under 10 minutes!

Uncategorized

Why Wait?

Do not waste time getting bogged down in plans.

Whether a spokesperson, food or lifestyle blogger, or small business – the best time to start your site is now! Your online influence will be ahead of the game if you start today compared to next week, next month, or next year. Follow the steps below to see just how easy it is!

 

First, look through our web hosting plans.

Once you’ve found the plan you want, click Sign Up! For beginner bloggers, we recommend our Beginner plan. If you’ve already established an online presence through Facebook or Instagram (among many other sites), you may want to think about a plan that better aligns with you expectations.

 

 

 

Second, pick your domain name.

Your site name is very important! Make sure that it tells what you are doing.

Registering a new domain is easy through our ordering process – Simply enter the domain name and click “Check”.

 

 

 

 

A prompt will appear if it’s available.

 

 

 

Click “Add” to add the domain to your order.

If you already have a domain and want to keep that at your current registrar or transfer to us, that process is painless as well.

 

 

Third, setup billing frequency.

Next, choose your billing cycle – these prices are per month and you save 10% by choosing to pay annually.

 

 

 

Fourth, pick your extras.

Afterward, choose your add-on products. We recommend adding G-Suite Email and at least adding “WordPress Backups”. If you have room in your budget, we suggest the additional add-ons so you don’t have to worry about securing and optimizing your blog – Let us handle that!

 

 

We always recommend ID Protection to protect your personal information. Choose that option if you want this service and click “Continue”

 

 

Finally, checkout!

Review your options and click “Checkout”.

 

 

Fill out your information and click “Complete Order”. You have the option of using the default contact details or custom information that may be for your web developer, parent company, or any other representation.

Under “Additional Notes” let us know if you are wanting to transfer your current website to our servers or if you are starting a brand new site.

 

 

 

 

 

You have successfully created a hosting account with Betty Lou Hosting. Soon after completing checkout you will receive a email with your account information.

Hello!

Inspiration

Welcome to Betty Lou hosting! We are so excited that you stopped by.

Just to let you know what you can expect from Betty Lou Hosting.

We will be creating some great tips on everything from building a website, how to choose hosting, securing your domains and much more. We look forward to bringing you great content and supporting you in your hosting needs. If you are interested in receiving our tips in your mailbox, please sign up for our newsletter. Otherwise, you can just pop in whenever you like to see what our latest tips are.

Cheers!
Amanda