Customer Experience Analytics: Measure What Works and Make Improvements That Last

Customer Experience Analytics: Measure What Works and Make Improvements That Last

Do you want a simple way to refine your customer experience? Then look at your CX analytics.

The data doesn’t lie. It tells you what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. Once you’re armed with your customer experience analytics, you gain the necessary information to offer prospects and buyers the best possible care.

When you provide a stellar customer experience, you boost efficiency and humanize your service while enhancing loyalty and recommendations.

Yet, according to a report from PWC, 54 percent of consumers feel the customer experience at many businesses needs improvement.

However, there are more benefits to examining your CX analytics.

For example, 44.5 percent of global organizations feel that an amazing CX differentiates them from competitors, and who doesn’t want to stand out and get noticed?

Now you know the importance of customer experience analytics. In this article, I explain which ones you should measure and why they’re so crucial to your business.

What Is Customer Experience Analytics?

Customer experience (CX) analytics uses customer data to improve customer interactions.

You can use the data to track customer behavior and preferences to better understand how customers interact with your company and its products or services. You can then use this information to improve the CX by changing designs, the way you market to customers, or how you deliver your products or services.

There are many different ways to collect customer data. Analytics tools for customer experience often use various data sources. However, some of the most common sources include website visits, purchase histories, contact centers, and social media data.

Benefits of Tracking Customer Experience Analytics

By understanding customer behavior and preferences, analytics for customer experience can help businesses deliver a better CX faster and more consistently. Additionally, CX analytics can contribute to a positive customer experience by identifying and resolving issues early.

Below are just some of the benefits of tracking your analytics.

Customer satisfaction tracking: Perhaps the most crucial benefit is that customer experience analytics can track customer satisfaction over time. This information enables companies to identify areas where they need to make changes to keep their customers happy.

Understanding customer interactions: By analyzing your data, customer experience analytics lets you understand how customers interact with your products/services. You can then use this information to enhance the customer experience and increase sales.

Lower customer churn: When you use them correctly, customer experience analytics improve the CX and lower churn rates by increasing retention. For example, if many customers are contacting customer service about a particular issue, you can address it. This aspect is vital because consumer demand for a positive CX is increasing. However, Zendesk says 54 percent of shoppers feel businesses see it as an afterthought.

Enhanced loyalty through targeting: Understanding customer behavior lets you create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to convert leads into customers and encourage loyalty.

Increased value and lower spending: Predictive customer experience analytics can identify high-value customers in terms of lifetime value and customer satisfaction. However, it also finds high value, dissatisfied customers. When this information is clear, it allows you to spend money strategically and save money. McKinsey cites one example of a company that shaved over 25 percent off its planned budget using this technique.

Metrics to Consider for Customer Experience Analytics

Customer experience analytics (CEA) is a growing field. With that in mind, it’s important to choose the right metrics and analytics tools for customer experience to measure customer CX to get the most accurate results.

While there are multiple metrics you could focus on, to keep it simple, we’re going to focus on six of the most valuable.

Let’s begin with the promoter score.

1. Promoter Score (NPS)

To arrive at your promoter score (NPS), you look at your customer feedback and customer loyalty.

While there are many ways to calculate NPS, the most common is to use a 1-10 scale, where 1 is very dissatisfied, and 10 is very satisfied. To get an accurate reading, it’s important to ask customers how likely they are to recommend your company on this scale.

You could also use a free calculator or a tool from this list.

The higher your NPS score is, the better your customer retention, brand awareness, and customer acquisition.

An excellent example is the jewelry company, Taylor and Hart.

They consider NPS as their most important metric. By focusing on it, breaking it down, and applying the data, the company experienced a 70 percent increase in revenue.

Although you can’t guarantee the same results, you can take the same approach as Taylor and Hart by:

  • identifying your most crucial metrics and compiling the data
  • organizing the data, and rating your NPS
  • keep tracking your NPS and making changes

By tracking the NPS, the company:

  • spotted patterns for its most popular designs
  • found its top customer types, and average revenues
  • identified geographical campaigns and how customers found them
  • optimized their advertising

2. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

CSAT is a numeric representation of satisfied customers with a given product or service.

Many companies use customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) to track their customers’ overall happiness and identify areas where they need to make improvements.

When you track your CSAT customer experience analytics, you:

  • discover unsatisfied vs. satisfied customers
  • prioritize areas of your business that need improvement
  • enhance your internal processes.
  • guide future product development

However, despite CSAT being one of the most essential customer experience analytics, Gartner found that more than 70 percent of “CX leaders struggle to design projects that increase customer loyalty and achieve results.”

There are several different ways to collect CSAT data, but the most common way is to ask customers to rate their satisfaction on a scale from 1 to 10. You can do this through surveys, feedback forms, or chatbots. Alternatively, you can use a free calculator.

You should be aiming for a CSAT score of 75-85 percent. However, there are some variations between categories.

3. Customer Effort Score (CES)

The customer effort score (CES) metric measures how much effort a customer perceives they expend when interacting with a company.

You calculate CES by averaging the responses to questions about how much effort the customer felt they exerted during their most recent interaction with your company.

By identifying areas where customers are experiencing high levels of effort, businesses can focus on making changes to reduce the amount of work customers have to do to get what they want.

But there’s more to it.

When you get your CES right, it improves customer satisfaction, and loyalty, and lowers costs associated with handling customer complaints or support requests.

In addition, according to Gartner, when CES is high:

  • NPS improves
  • repurchase rates increase by up to 94 percent
  • employee retention improves

Your CES score is also more accurate than understanding customer satisfaction rates.

Andrew Schumacher, Senior Principal, Advisory, Gartner, says:

“Customer effort is 40 percent more accurate at predicting customer loyalty as opposed to customer satisfaction,

Calculate your CES with this free calculator. There is no standardized CES score, but the higher the better.

4. Churn Rate

Churn rate is an essential metric for companies to track because it provides insights into why customers leave and what you can do to retain them. Most businesses focus on this metric because a high customer churn is costly and leads to lost revenue.

There are several ways to calculate customer churn rate, but the most common is to divide the number of customers who have discontinued their relationship with you by the total number of customers at the beginning of the period. This gives you a percentage of how many customers have leftover a given period.

The average churn rate is 5-7 percent, while ten is high. However, it does depend on the industry. For instance, the average churn rate for online retail is 22 percent, while it’s 11 percent for big-box electronics.

customer service analytics on churn rate from Statista

You can calculate your churn rate online. If it’s high, delve into your CX analytics and look for patterns.

Remember, several factors contribute to churn rate, and businesses can take steps to reduce it by improving customer experience by tracking their CX analytics. Another way to improve customer experience is by providing an excellent support system and giving them what they want.

5. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

From Costco to American Express to Verizon and AT&T, they’re also using customer lifetime value as a critical metric with good reason.

CLV is a CX metric that helps business owners and CX professionals understand the value of a customer over the entire span of their relationship with their company.

It considers not just the monetary value of a customer but also how long they are likely to continue doing business with them, how much business they are likely to do moving forward, and how profitable each interaction is.

This information allows you to make strategic decisions about what types of customers to invest in acquiring and retaining, what kinds of experiences to offer them, and when it might make sense to let them go.

There is an easy-to-use online CLV calculator. For guidance, with your CLV, you are looking to make three to five times your acquisition cost.

Once you have your number, you can apply it. As a Bain & Co explain, you can use CLV to:

  • segment your existing customers
  • enhance conversions and ROI through better customer understanding
  • create data-focused hypotheses regarding the tools needed for customer acquisition and retention
  • segment new customers to target them according to limit low-value leads
  • make data-focused decisions on customer prioritization, acquisition, onboarding, and retention.

However, with your tracking, you might want to use a range of CX analytics tools, rather than focusing on one or two; research from Bain and Co shows that companies are most satisfied with results when they use a combination of tools. Further, by 2023, 92 percent expect to be using CX experience analytics tools for customer relationship management.

Percentage of respondents who will use customer analytics tools

6. Social Media Engagement

Engagement metrics track how people interact with your brand on social media. There are many different types of engagement metrics, but some of the most common ones include clicks, likes, shares, and comments.

I can’t overemphasize the importance of tracking social media analytics. If you post something and no one clicks on it, shares it, or comments on it, you know that you need to rethink your content strategy.

The potential of social media is best explained by looking at the runaway success of TikTok. According to its stats, 44 percent of visitors visit the site every month to find something new.

TikTok also impacts every stage of the customer journey, including:

  • discovery
  • consideration
  • purchase

Then, post-purchase, buyers head back to the site to create reviews, unboxing, tutorials, and how-tos.

The above should be enough to persuade you of the power of social media. If you’re already on sites like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, make sure you’re paying attention to your tracking with tools like Google Analytics, SproutSocial. and HootSuite.

Customer Experience Analytics Frequently Asked Questions

What are the types of customer experience analytics?

CX analytics come in various forms, including CES, CLV, and social media engagement. They come in a mix of categories, including marketing analytics software, and customer service analytics software, which measures the effectiveness and quality of customer service interactions. Then there are social media and web and behavioral analytics.

Can I track my customer experience metrics with free tools?

There are several free tools businesses can use to track their cx analytics. One such tool is Google Analytics. Google Analytics allows companies to track website visits, engagement, conversions, and goal completions. Another free tool is Survey Monkey. Survey Monkey allows businesses to create surveys and collect customer feedback to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. Finally, another free tool you can use for CX analytics is Simply Measured, for social listening and analytics.

How does data analytics improve customer experience?

Data analytics can improve customer experience by helping businesses better understand their customers’ needs and preferences. Data analytics can also help companies to identify and respond to problems quickly. For example, if lots of people are complaining about a particular issue, data analytics can help businesses identify the cause of the problem and take corrective action.

Why should marketers care about customer experience analytics?

Customer experience is one of the most critical factors for businesses today. In a world where consumers have endless choices, it’s essential to provide an exceptional customer experience to stand out from the competition. Finally, studies show that improving customer experience can increase sales and revenue.

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Customer Experience Analytics Conclusion

Customer experience analytics is a valuable tool for businesses. Businesses can improve customer service and make strategic decisions about their products and services by tracking customer interactions and analyzing the data.

With the right tools and data, businesses can improve their customer service and boost their bottom line.

However, you need to be measuring the correct data. Although there are several metrics you could focus on, don’t get overwhelmed.

The six metrics featured in the post are enough to get you started and give you a clearer picture of what’s going on in your business.

To further optimize your results, you can adopt a range of automation tools to enhance the overall CX experience.

Do you use customer experience analytics in your business? Which ones work best for you?

Source: New feed 2

Wix Review

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Wix is an exceptional website builder, allowing you to create a highly functional and professional website with zero coding experience. Even web developers have access to numerous tools to enhance their site’s customization and functionality.

In my opinion, Wix is the best website builder for general use, whether you are a photographer, musician, restaurateur, blogger, or just setting up a small ecommerce business.

Wix Compared To The Best Website Builders

While most website builders tend to focus on niche markets like ecommerce or content management, Wix is a jack of all trades. This website builder casts a wide net, making it attractive to all kinds of people who need professional-looking websites quickly and cheaply.

Whether you are a seasoned restaurateur looking to promote your business, a startup venturing into your first online enterprise, or an experienced web developer without the time or resources to create a website from scratch, Wix will work for you. 

Be sure to see all of my top picks for the best website builders before you decide Wix is the best option for you. There, I review three more services in separate categories and include an in-depth guide focusing on different types of website builders, what criteria you should consider when choosing the best website builder, and more.

Who Is Wix Best For?

While it is easy to be transfixed by Wix’s marketing and features, the truth is this website builder targets a particular audience.

Wix works exceptionally well for individuals or small businesses that want a professional website but don’t want to bother with hiring a web developer, registering a domain name, finding a web hosting company, and all that goes into setting up a professional website.

Wix does a great job of making an online presence more accessible to small businesses and individuals.

Wix websites are attractive, relatively cheap, and quick to set up. Wix also caters to diverse niches, including blogging, photography, ecommerce, music, events, hospitality, bookings, restaurants, forums, and much more.

Wix’s industry-specific themes, design templates, tools, and resources often feel like the company had you in mind when creating its platform. However, this all-inclusive take on website building is also Wix’s Achilles heel.

The platform simply doesn’t offer sufficient functionality and scalability for larger businesses and bigger ecommerce websites. For this, Shopify would be a much better option. 

Wix: The Pros and Cons        

One of Wix’s best-defining features is the freedom it offers. You can create your ideal site, down to your preferred pixelation.

While freedom is a good thing, newbies may find the design potential slightly overwhelming. Wix remedies this by offering extensive resources, including step-by-step tutorials, videos, articles, and a wealth of information to help you grasp the editor.

Wix also has unique elements that you don’t see very often with website builders. For example, the Repeater feature allows you to easily replicate elements for list items with a similar layout and design but different content.

One major challenge when using a website builder is differentiating your website from competitors using the same themes and templates. Wix offers far more customization options than Weebly and certain other competitors.

You can tell that Wix prioritizes the user’s ability to create unique websites. The design possibilities are endless, especially in the hands of a seasoned developer.  

Pros

Intuitive Interface: While the drag-and-drop feature is hardly a revolutionary concept among website builders, Wix succeeds in this regard. You have unbridled freedom to move elements around with few restrictions. Additionally, the platform offers guidelines to help you get the hang of the tools and templates. Wix also lets you preview your mobile site rather than cross your fingers that the mobile site will be just as good as the desktop version.

Robust App Market: Wix has plenty of built-in tools to get started, but you might need more functionality in your site. Wix has a highly populated app market that offers apps and widgets for almost any functionality you can think of, including events bookings, live chat, newsletter, blogging, opt-in forms, pop-ups, online ads, forums, and much more. The app market offers more than 250 integrations covering almost every conceivable area of your online presence.

Built-In SEO: It’s one thing to create a beautiful website, but an entirely different territory getting your site in front of eyeballs. You can fill in metadata and keyword tags related to your niche, and Wix will help you rank in the search engines. Additionally, Wix lets you edit your URL format for each page to boost your site’s Google ranking. If you aren’t quite ready to invest in SEO, Wix is a good start and requires minimal effort on your part.

Exceptional Security: Something few people think about when building their website is how to protect the data of your site and that of your site’s visitors. Good thing is, with Wix, you don’t even have to. Their managed security elements, including built-in TLS 1.3 encryption and DDoS protection, secure ecommerce payments, and keeping all platform elements compliant with the highest industry standards, mean you won’t have to lift a finger to ensure your site is secure.

A Reliable Platform: Wix puts in the work to make sure the sites their users create are reliably available. Through 24/7 platform monitoring and their powerful array of data centers, you’ll almost certainly never experience downtime for any site you build on Wix. They also offer auto-scaling technology so your site can handle big, sudden rushes of traffic with no degradation of the user experience. Wix even automates backups of your site data, so if anything does go awry, you can restore everything had before and continue along as normal.

Tons of Templates: Wix offers 500+ industry-specific templates to help you build your website. Wix lets you sort and select templates by industry to narrow down your options, including tourism and travel, corporate, photography, ecommerce, music, and more. The templates are all high-quality and designer made. If you are worried about boiler-plate offerings, these templates are highly customizable. You can edit content, change the site name, delete sections, replace images, and tweak the template to make it your own. Wix has one of the largest template libraries of any website builder out there.  

Flexible Plans: Wix has an affordable entry-level plan if you need to create a basic personal website. Should you need more functionality, simply upgrade to a premium plan for as low as $4.50 per month. Also, Wix won’t lock you into a contract. Many website builders need you to commit to a 24 or 36-month contract for premium features. With Wix, you can choose to cancel your subscription at any time. This flexibility works particularly well if you aren’t sure about the direction you want to take with your web presence.

All-in-One Solution: With your Wix subscription, you don’t have to worry about web hosting, domain*, SSL certificate, downtime, security, website speed, or any of the practical elements of running a website. Wix takes care of all that for you, included in your monthly subscription. The platform also has a very responsive customer support team to help you with your site’s problems. You can contact customer support via email, chat, or direct phone call.

*Wix offers a free domain voucher valid for one year with most subscriptions. Domain extensions include .com, .org, .net, .biz, .xyz, .space, .pictures, .co.uk, and .info.

Cons

No Unlimited Plans: A sizable number of website builders offer unlimited storage or unlimited bandwidth. Although Wix provides unlimited bandwidth for its Business and Ecommerce plans, there is still a storage limit. This omission reinforces my opinion that Wix is meant for individuals and small businesses rather than large ecommerce enterprises.

Inflexible Templates Once Live: You can customize your Wix’s website templates to your heart’s content, but once you are locked in, that’s it. You cannot change your template once your site goes live. While this might not be such a big problem for a personal website, it can spell trouble down the line for an online business that continues to grow, morph, and evolve over the years.

You Can’t Export Your Website: To piggyback on the con above, Wix can lock you into a long-term commitment even without a contract. Once on the Wix platform, you are locked in for life. You cannot transfer or export your website to another platform. Again, this may not be a big deal for a small business or an individual. However, a fast-growing startup will have problems down the line if Wix can no longer meet its needs.  

Wix Pricing

Wix paid plans fall into two categories; Website Plans and Business & Ecommerce Plans. Each category has individual tiers, as you will soon discover.

Before I get to the nitty-gritty of Wix’s pricing structure, there are a couple of things worth mentioning.

First, Wix’s advertised pricing is based on an annual subscription. You have the option of paying month-by-month, but it will cost more. Don’t be surprised if your monthly billing is a little higher than advertised on the website. It’s all in the fine print.

Secondly, your free domain is only available for one year. After that, you have to pay an annual premium. Additionally, you are only eligible for the free domain if you pay for the whole year in advance. You lose out on the offer if you choose the month-to-month payments.

Wix Website Plans

Connect Domain 

Starting from the far right, Connect Domain is the most basic plan. This option costs $4.50 per month and doesn’t come with a free domain. Also, your website will display Wix ads. You can still connect your existing or custom domain name to your Wix site. This plan also comes with:

  • 24/7 customer care
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 500MB storage space
  • 1GB bandwidth

Some of the features you’ll be giving up here include the ability to upload and stream videos on your site, site booster app, social media logo files, and visitor analytics app (SEO tool).

I only recommend this option if you want to put together a simple informational website or portfolio at the lowest possible price. However, considering that you’d have severely limited bandwidth, Wix ads, and a Wix-branded URL, this isn’t the kind of site that could conceivably rank high on Google. There are very limited use-cases for this plan.  

Combo

This option costs $8.50 per month and is an excellent alternative to the Connect Domain for a simple personal website. This plan comes with a free domain, or you connect a custom domain.

This option offers 2GB bandwidth, 3GB storage space, 24/7 customer care, and 30 minutes of video. However, you’ll be losing out on social medial logo files, a visitor analytics app, a site booster app, and a professional logo.

Ultimately, you are getting a good deal for a low-traffic but professionally done website. You can always upgrade to a higher plan should your needs change.

Unlimited

This Wix plan targets freelancers and entrepreneurs. It will cost $12.50 per month in exchange for 10 GB of storage space and unlimited bandwidth. You also get a free SSL certificate, no Wix ads, a free domain for one year, one video hour, a visitor analytics app, and a site booster app.

If you want to start a professional website or online business, the unlimited plan will serve your needs better than the Combo plan for a nominal price hike.

VIP

The price shoots up rather drastically with the Wix VIP plan. This one costs $24.50 per month. For the price, you get all the features not included in the other plans and some add-ons. These include:

  • Free domain for one year
  • Remove Wix Ads
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 35GB storage space
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Social medial logo files
  • Visitor analytics app
  • Five video hours
  • Professional logo
  • 24/7 customer care

I recommend this plan for an established business wanting to make its online presence.

Wix Business & eCommerce Plans

If you plan to accept online payments, Wix offers three tiers under its Business & Ecommerce Plans.

All business and ecommerce subscriptions offer:

  • Secure online payments
  • Customer accounts
  • Plans & recurring payments
  • Remove Wix ads
  • Custom domain
  • Free domain for one year
  • Video hours
  • Unlimited bandwidth

Business Basic

This plan costs $17 per month and offers 20GB storage space and five video hours in addition to the above-listed features.

Business Unlimited

You get all the Wix Business Basic features, except this time, you get an additional 15GB (35GB total) storage space. This plan costs $25 per month and guarantees ten video hours instead of five. The distinction between the two plans in terms of offerings is negligible in most cases.

I suggest you start with the Wix Business Basic plan and only upgrade to Business Unlimited if you have good reason to do so.   

Business VIP

This tier costs $35 per month. The most prominent upgrade is proprietary customer care. If you value customer support or have nightmares of your site going down at a critical hour, this is the plan for you.

Additionally, Wix Business VIP allows you to create customized reports from the data you collect. This functionality isn’t available on any of the other business and ecommerce plans. Additionally, you get unlimited video hours on this plan.

I recommend Business VIP for established businesses.  

Wix Product Offerings

Wix allows people with little to no coding experience to create a website from scratch. To this end, Wix offers all the features you would need to create a professional website.

Wix Editor

The Wix editor is the platform’s main feature, allowing you to create a website from scratch with little or no coding experience. This editor is among the most robust out there, and is intuitive and feature-packed, and can handle just about any kind of website you throw at it.

The Wix editor offers more than 500 designer-made and industry-specific templates. You can browse through the templates based on industry to make things easier. You get total design freedom, including dragging and dropping template elements to get the perfect site.

Suppose you’re worried about your site looking the same as everyone else’s. In that case, Wix allows you to add scroll effects, video backgrounds, animation and display your text and videos. You can also choose from more than 100 fonts with the option to upload your own.  

Wix also lets you create a mobile-optimized site independently of your desktop site. Additionally, the Wix Mobile app lets work on your site from a smartphone (hopefully one with a large screen!) or a tablet.

Overall, Wix offers excellent design flexibility without being too overwhelming for newbies. This website builder treads the thin line between being feature-rich and easy to use.

Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI)

If you are pressed for time or the platform’s functionality is proving a little overwhelming, Wix can literally build the site for you.

The ADI offers a hands-off approach to customized website building. Simply enter your social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) or website. The AI will extract business information from these pages and create the first draft of your website.

You can then tweak and customize the site to fit precisely what you are looking for. To make your job even easier, the ADI feature offers helpful tips and prompts throughout the process to help you create the perfect website.

Wix succeeds at pushing boundaries, and this Wix ADI is a feature you won’t see too often on the market.

Velo by Wix

Although Wix primarily focuses on people with minimal to no experience creating a website, this platform does have something for amateurs and more experienced web developers.

Velo by Wix offers more freedom to create the website just how you want it. Wix lets you use your source control tools and code editors and work in your environment of choice or online.

Additionally, you can use external data sources or use Wix’s integrated databases. Velo by Wix uses an open platform, allowing you to connect to an external data source and third-party data sources.

Wix Professional Suite of Features

Wix has all the tools you would need to create and maintain your website. Most plans offer a free custom domain name with the option to connect your existing domain. You also get free website hosting and a professional mailbox complete with a personalized email to match your brand and domain name.

Additionally, Wix offers contact management to help you collect and manage contacts and subscribers from a single dashboard. Additional features include:

SSL Certificate: Wix offers a free SSL certificate to help you with website security and search engine optimization.

Social Tools: You can easily connect all your social media accounts to your Wix website.

Analytics: Wix keeps track of your web performance, including in-depth stats to help you make data-driven decisions.

Considering that Wix mostly targets small businesses, freelancers, and individuals, it’s hard to fault its feature suit. Its all-in-one approach to website building takes a huge load off your back when creating your online presence.

Wix Business and Ecommerce

Another area where Wix excels is its industry-specific offerings for businesses and ecommerce sites. First, Wix lets you build an online store from scratch. Ecommerce features include a storefront, order-tracking, customized shipping and tax rules, coupons and discounts, and multiple payment methods, among other features.

While these features work well for a small business, Wix isn’t well suited to a large online business that relies primarily on online sales. For starters, Wix only supports a handful of payment methods. There is a good chance a large company will need the help of third-party payment gateways to get around this limitation.

Additionally, its built-in ecommerce features aren’t all that powerful compared to competitors such as Shopify. 

On the upside, the industry-specific ecommerce offerings include:

  • Wix Booking
  • Wix Stores
  • Wix Blog
  • Wix Music
  • Wix Photography
  • Wix Events
  • Wix Videos
  • Wix Restaurants

With these options, you get industry-specific templates, features, and functionality. This system makes your work so much easier.

For example, Wix Bookings allows you to accept online payments, accept bookings around the clock, and send auto-reminder emails to your clients. Wix Photography lets you tweak your image’s sharpness and quality, secure your photos with built-in watermarks, and display your pictures in over 30 galleries.

You may need a more robust website builder for a large ecommerce store. However, for a small business, professional blog, or freelance business, Wix ticks all the boxes.

The Best Website Builders

To get a more comprehensive view of how Wix stacks up to the competition, please be sure to check out my Top 4 Best Website Builders post.

  1. Wix – Best for general use
  2. Weebly – Best for beginners
  3. Shopify – Best for eCommerce
  4. WordPress – Best for content management

Overall, Wix is an exceptional website builder for a select group of people, including small business owners, freelancers, professionals, and bloggers. While Wix also works well for small ecommerce businesses, you may need to look elsewhere if you are creating a sizable online enterprise. Wix is user-friendly, highly functional, and offers excellent value for money.  

Source: New feed 2

Best Free Website Builders

Wix main page for Best Free Website Builders

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Looking to create a professional website without buying a new service? 

There are a few good free website builders out there. Yes, I’m talking about zero-cost tools that don’t require any coding or design knowledge to get started.

These options are perfect for individuals and small businesses that need to establish a solid online reputation. You’ll get a sleek site that’s easy to navigate without having to spend a dime of web design.

These are not teasers or trials. Build a site. Keep it for as long as you like.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the best free website builders on the market today. After reviews of the top products, you’ll find a short buyers guide to help you find the best fit for your brand and goals.

#1 – Wix Review — The Best For Ecommerce Sites

Wix main page for Best Free Website Builders

If you’re looking for one of the best free website builder that does everything a real-life store manager would do and then some, Wix makes that a reality.  

The thought of building an online store can be paralyzing. But once you create a Wix ecommerce site, you have access to perks like real-time tax calculations and adding several payment channels that you wouldn’t have with a builder geared toward content or portfolios. 

As a product seller, Wix helps you create beautifully designed storefronts with a selection of over 800 pre-built themes and templates ready to personalize at the click of a mouse. 

One of the reasons Wix is so popular is that it’s remarkably easy to use–even if you have never built a website before. Everything is clicks (not code), so once you find a template you like, finetuning your site to perfection takes no time at all.

What’s even easier is how they lay the important groundwork for you. I’m talking about security and reliability here.

A Wix site meets the highest standards of data security as soon as you build one. From TLS 1.3 encryption for SSL-certification to DCI PSS-compliant payment gateways, your site and its shoppers are always protected from bad actors or breaches.

And their infrastructure is rock-solid. You’ll never have to worry about unexpected site downtime with their array of reliable servers spread across multiple data centers (which also help to serve up your site speedily to any visitor anywhere). They even make sure that routine maintenance doesn’t result in your web store being unavailable.

There’s no doubt ecommerce businesses are in good hands with Wix. It is a builder that goes out of its way to advertise themselves as such, instead of being a jack-of-all-trades.

Still, as with every site builder, there can be some drawbacks. For example, if you ever want to move your site to another provider, you can’t do that with Wix’s builder because of how it’s configured. You’ll have to completely recreate it on a new platform.

Some of their ecommerce features designed to drive sales are:

  • Sales and customer behavior analytics
  • Displaying prices in international currencies
  • Easily creating subscriptions and discount coupons for customers
  • Integration with all social channels for greater visibility
  • Automated email marketing and abandoned cart recovery

To get started with Wix, visit their site and sign up.

#2 – Weebly Review — The Best For General Sites

Weebly features for Best Free Website Builders

Let’s face it. You might not need a free site builder with all the bells and whistles. And that’s okay. That’s why Weebly exists. It’s the best site builder for general sites that need to do their job well.

It’s perfect for information businesses, non-profits, small portfolios, mission statements, or landing pages. This is because they make it easy to bring your site together with a no-nonsense dashboard and with options like built-in image editors and professional design options that let you create video backgrounds.

As a general site, you don’t want to deal with the technical stuff like SSL certification, encryption, and often costly third-party domain shopping. Weebly integrates takes care of all that for you right on their platform. 

One of their best features as a site builder is that you have the option to fully customize their HTML and CSS if you choose to do so. While it might not be something you need right away, it’s nice to know you have that capability as a future option.

Weebly is built for site design with a more structured approach. If you’re looking for a builder with a bit more design flexibility and freedom, this might be a downside. 

Their best site builder features include:

  • Easy-to-use dashboard
  • Drag-and-drop site builder
  • Additional integrations like payments and product search with upgrade
  • Integrated analytics that kills the need for additional plugin installation
  • Mobile app to manage your site from your phone 

You can sign up with Weebly here.

#3 – WordPress Review — The Best For Blogging And Content Creation

WordPress.com main page for Best Free Website Builders

If I had to introduce WordPress to you, I’d say that it’s the top contender for blogging and content creation. 

Thankfully they provide a free site builder to get you started (in addition to paid options). 

For years, bloggers and companies like Disney, Dropbox, Spotify, and NBC have leveraged WordPress.com’s powerful site-building features to build audiences, expand their brand, and drive sales worldwide.

If you’re looking to blog, share your knowledge with the world, or create loads of content around your business, you’ll want to start with their free site builder. It’s designed to be straightforward and easy to use without any confusing and unnecessary features. This way, you can get started creating and publishing your content in record time.

To help you if you get stuck, they provide free webinars that walk you through creating your site step by step. 

Their free site builder’s biggest downside is that you might grow out of its limited blogging toolbox. But if you want paid access to fully customize your site in the future, WordPress makes it easy to upgrade without the technical hassle. 

Some of the WordPress site builder’s best content creation features include: 

  • Optimized for search engine results
  • 24/7 live chat and support
  • Free subdomain that you can upgrade later to a custom domain
  • Free hosting without having to use a third party
  • Large selection of free themes to choose from and customize designed for sharing and creating content

Sign up with WordPress and start building your website for free. 

#4 – Site123 Review — The Best For Quick And Easy Landing Pages

Site123 landing page for Best Free Website Builders

Easy and quick are the two best words to describe Site123. With its no-brainer features, it’s the best site builder for simple sites that don’t need many internal pages. 

In other words, it’s great for landing pages. 

Your business might not need a blog, robust ecommerce features, or top-notch design capabilities, but it’s still in need of a place online it can call home. 

Site123 helps you check that off your list by being the most no-nonsense site builder possible. You can avoid frustration and a big learning curve with Site123’s optimally designed web building process, especially if it’s your first time building a site. 

Their best landing page buildeing features include:

  • Free speedy hosting
  • Built-in media gallery with free professional icons and video
  • Compatible with third-party plugins
  • Beautiful pre-made landing page templates so you don’t start from scratch
  • 500 MB of storage

You can start creating your online presence with Site123 here. 

What I Looked at to Find the Best Free Website Builder

What is your site’s end goal? That’s the first and most important question you want to ask yourself when choosing a site builder.

Do you want to start a blog to share your extensive knowledge and thought leadership with the world?

Do you have a graphic design portfolio you want to show off to gain more freelance clients? Are you a non-profit that needs to display annual achievements and your mission statement? 

When creating your site with a free website builder, your end goal will determine what capabilities you need.

Once you have your site’s end goal in mind, here are additional criteria to narrow down your choices.

Design Capabilities

If you’re a freelancer, a designer, or a photographer wanting to create an online portfolio, consider the design capabilities of each builder. 

  • Customization: How deep do their personalization and customization features go?
  • Templates: Do they provide eye-catching site templates you can use, so you don’t have to start from scratch?
  • Media storage: Does your site builder give you a lot of image storage space? Depending on how big your site will be, this is a key question if you want to keep things free. 

When thinking about how to present your portfolio or brand, this is the site builder criteria you most want to pay attention to. 

Learning Curve

How fast do you need your website built? This determines how much time you’re willing to spend learning the ins and outs of your website builder. 

  • Intuitive design: Some builders are pretty intuitive to learn, while others might have a larger learning curve.
  • Ease of use: Do you want a drag and drop builder to make building and configuring your site easier? Or do you prefer writing in HTML and coding the site yourself?
  • Tutorials and technical support: Do they have a robust support options where you can find answers or get a timely response from the company?

If you’re pressed for time and want something built fast, you might not want to pick a hefty builder with lots of capabilities to learn. A more straightforward drag-and-drop builder can get the job done faster and easier. 

Long-Term Options

As your business grows, your website will inevitably need to grow with it. Your site needs are going to change over time.

When choosing your site builder, it’s a good idea to look into what their paid features include and if they fit the bill in terms of what your site might need as it grows. 

These can be things like:

  • Additional hosting capacity: Once traffic to your site hits a certain threshold, you’ll likely need to purchase additional hosting to sustain your traffic growth. 
  • Additional plugins and design features: If there is ever a need for additional plugins and features, does the free builder provide that?
  • Personalized support: Once you hit a wall creating your own site, do they have sufficient support to help you take things to the next level with CSS and HTML modifications?

Type of Website

What type of website do you need to build? As mentioned, determining your site’s end goal and working backward can help you answer that.

To give you a better idea, the internet is generally made up of five kinds of websites:

  • Blog: Are you going to continually publish content that informs, entertains, or inspires a particular audience?
  • Portfolio: Are you showcasing your work to sell your services to potential clients?
  • Ecommerce site: Are you selling products or services with an online storefront?
  • Small business/organization site: Are you rounding out your brand with a public mission statement or publishing general public business information for the world to access?
  • Online application: While this is technically a website with more complexity, it’s beyond a free builder’s scope since it would need serious developer chops to build well. 

For most businesses, the type of site you need is a pretty basic question. But an important one to answer.

For example, most site builders have blogging capabilities, but this shouldn’t be the only thing you base your decision on. Once you’ve figured out which type of website you need to build, then we can move on to learning about the different kinds of site builders on the market. 

Conclusion

You’ll notice that I didn’t cover every possible no-cost option out there. That’s intentional. These are the best free website builders. In my opinion, these are the only ones that are worth your time:

  1. Wix – The best for ecommerce sites
  2. Weebly – The best for general sites
  3. WordPress – The best for blogging and content creation
  4. Site123– The best for quick and easy landing pages

This should point you in the right direction. You can start creating without having to spend a dime.

Should you need more than what the free options allow, take a look at my list of overall best website builders.

Seriously though, many people will be able to get by just fine with a free website builder.

Give one of my top picks a shot today and start building out your online presence.

What do you think is the best free website builder?

Source: New feed 2

Best Content Management Systems

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Squarespace example for Best Content Management Systems

Do you want to skip the read and get right to my top pick? The best CMS for most people is Wix.

The best content management systems (CMS) allow everyday users to build websites without having to learn programming languages.

Without a CMS, you’d have to write web pages using JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. It also makes managing all your content a lot easier.

There are tons of different content management systems available on the market today. I use WordPress and I can’t imagine using anything else. But if you are just getting started, you might want to check out some of my other top picks–they’re even easier to use.

The best thing you can do is get started. Learn by doing. Keep reading to find out my top picks, and how to decide which system will work best for you. 

#1 – Wix Review — The Best CMS for Building New Websites

Wix splash page for Best Content Management Systems

Wix is one of the easiest website builders available on the market today. Its simplicity makes it a popular choice for non-technical users who want to create a website from scratch.

I like Wix because it offers an intuitive drag-and-drop building tool. So you can add elements to your site and manage your content without writing a single line of code.

I’m serious. There is nothing remotely technical that you have to know in order to get started.

Choose from hundreds of templates, or use Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) to spin up a site for you. All you do is answer a few questions about yourself, your business, and your goals, and Wix ADI will build out a great looking site on the spot.

As you build your site and add content, Wix helps you keep track of everything. The dashboard is very easy to navigate. You’ll be able to see how many people are viewing your site and which content is performing best. Everything is a few clicks away.

A key part of a good CMS is how consistently fast they can deliver your content to site visitors. Wix has built a solid infrastructure of data centers that keep load times and uptime remarkably consistent.

Powerful servers do a lot of the work there, but Wix also features auto-scaling technology. That way, if your site gets suddenly very popular, Wix’s servers will adapt to provide your site the resources so every visitor still gets a quality experience.

Aside from Wix being an excellent choice for beginners, here’s a quick overview of the other highlights that make this CMS stand out from the crowd:

  • 500+ free templates
  • Optimized for SEO and mobile
  • Create password protected membership pages
  • Contact management tools for subscriber lists
  • Ecommerce capability with product pages, payment acceptance, and store management
  • Bookings and calendar management
  • Blog management tools with multiple writers and contributors
  • Photography, video, and media management tools
  • Free hosting and free SSL certificate
  • 24/7 managed security monitoring and incident reponse

Overall, Wix’s content management system is extremely versatile. It’s trusted by restaurants, musicians, online stores, small businesses, bloggers, and sites in virtually every industry.

The platform is free to use with a Wix subdomain, but that’s not really practical for most users. Premium plans start at just $14 per month. Signup now.

#2 – Squarespace Review — The Best CMS for Creative Professionals

Squarespace example for Best Content Management Systems

Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder. But unlike other similar CMS platforms on the market, Squarespace has a unique differentiator—beautiful designs.  

The award-winning templates offered by Squarespace are second to none. These can be fully customized to fit your site’s needs.

These modern designs make Squarespace a popular content management choice for creative professionals, musicians, artists, and portfolio sites. Let’s take a closer look at some of the other noteworthy highlights available with this CMS:

  • Free domain for the first year
  • Intuitive website builder
  • Free logo making tool
  • Ecommerce and blogging capabilities
  • Third-party extensions for expanding functionality
  • Built-in marketing tools
  • SEO tools and mobile optimized
  • 24/7 customer support

Squarespace plans start at $12 per month. If you’re looking for a simple way to manage your portfolio site, this will be a top content management system to consider. 

#3 – Shopify Review — The Best CMS for Ecommerce Sites

Shopify main page for Best Content Management Systems

If you’re starting an online store and need an ecommerce-specific CMS, look no further than Shopify

Businesses of all shapes and sizes have been using Shopify to sell online. Whether you’re building a new site from scratch or switching from your existing CMS, Shopify can accommodate your needs.

Let’s take a closer look and see why Shopify’s CMS platform ranks so high on my list:

  • Manage products and sell from your site, social media, and online marketplaces
  • Built-in marketing tools
  • Simple dashboard to manage products, orders, payments, and shipping
  • 4,100+ apps to add features and functionality to your site
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Unlimited products
  • 24/7 support

Shopify even has a marketplace of experts for hire. So if you need assistance with SEO or getting your store setup, you can find a qualified expert directly within the platform. 

Another reason to consider Shopify as your CMS platform is because it’s built to scale. Plans start at $29 per month, and you can try it free for 14 days

#4 – WordPress Review — The World’s Most Popular CMS

WordPress homepage for Best Content Management Systems

WordPress powers 38% of the Internet, making it the most popular content management system on the planet.

The platform supports everything from small personal blogs to some of the biggest news websites in the world. 

As a free and open-source CMS, WordPress is virtually limitless. You’ll have total control over every aspect of your site, with no restrictions on customizations. This makes WordPress a popular choice for developers and tech-savvy users.

But even non-technical users can take advantage of WordPress. It has an extensive library of 57,000+ plugins, which makes it easy to add functionality to your site. 

Other top features include:

  • Fully customizable designs
  • Mobile responsive content
  • SEO friendly
  • Powerful media management tools
  • High performance and easy to access

The downside of using a free and open-source CMS is that you don’t have dedicated support. But WordPress has an extensive network of developers, content creators, and site owners who are active on community forums. 

You’ll also have to get your web hosting plan and domain registration on your own from third-parties. 

#5 – Drupal Review — The Best WordPress Alternative

Drupal features page for Best Content Management Systems

Drupal is another free and open-source content management system.

If you need multiple page templates and content types, Drupal is a viable alternative to WordPress. It’s also more equipped to handle advanced user permissions. 

Drupal is a popular choice for developers, marketers, and agencies alike. It’s used to manage content across a wide range of industries, including healthcare, ecommerce, retail, FinTech, travel, media, government, and more.

Some of the top features and noteworthy highlights include:

  • Content authoring
  • Content as a service
  • Marketing automation
  • Robust security
  • High performance, scalability, and accessibility
  • Advanced personalizations

So if you’re looking for open-source functionality but don’t like WordPress, I’d go with Drupal for content management. 

#6 – TYPO3 Review — The Best Enterprise CMS

TYPO3 main page for Best Content Management Systems

TYPO3 isn’t the most well-recognized name in the CMS space. But it’s not for everyone.

It’s another free and open-source platform (like WordPress and Drupal), but it’s branded as an “enterprise-class CMS.” Global leaders like Mercedes-Benz and Sony rely on TYPO3 for content management. 

In addition to being used by large corporations, TYPO3 is actually a popular choice for European-based websites. Here are some of the reasons why this CMS platform made my list:

  • Ability to support corporate environments
  • Fully scalable multi-site management
  • Multilingual installations
  • Easy to set up on your existing infrastructure
  • High speed and performance

The average user will likely lean towards WordPress or Drupal. But global organizations with complex content management needs should consider an alternative like TYPO3.

What I Looked at to Find the Best Content Management System

There are specific elements that you need to consider as you’re shopping around and evaluating various CMS platforms.

Use the following factors as a buying guide to help narrow down your options and choose the best option for your site:

Usability

The primary factor that you need to consider is the usability of a CMS. What will you be using it for? Who specifically will be using it?

Marketers and writers might be creating the content, but those people may not have the skills to manage it online, format it, and write lines of code. If this sounds like your scenario, make sure the CMS is easy enough for non-technical users to manage. 

Look for solutions with a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, drag-and-drop building tools, simple publishing features, and the ability to embed third-party content or add rich media. 

The type of website you’re creating will also fall into this category. For example, blogs, ecommerce sites, and portfolio sites won’t have the same needs. 

Security

Security should always be a top concern when you’re looking at CMS software. 

Some platforms will have built-in safeguards and security features to fight off malicious attacks and hackers. Other tools rely on third-party plugins and extensions for security. Generally speaking, popular and open-source CMS platforms are more vulnerable to attacks. You’ll have to install your own security plugins to adequately keep your site safe. 

But these platforms typically have an extensive marketplace with a plethora of plugins—so it shouldn’t be too difficult, even though it requires an extra step. 

SEO

The best content management systems will come standard with features and tools to boost your SEO efforts.

Examples include XML site maps, meta descriptions, custom permalink structures, alt text, title tags, etc. In addition to these out-of-the-box SEO features, you should consider using CMS software that will let you add third-party plugins or extensions to better serve and enhance your SEO strategy. 

Support

Find out what type of technical support is provided by the CMS platform you’re using. 

What happens if you have a question, run into a problem, or need help? Will you be stuck to figure it out on your own? Or can you seek assistance from a support agent?

If you’re using an open-source CMS, you probably won’t have the luxury of dedicated support. You’ll have to rely on tutorials, self-help articles, and forums. But if you’re using a site builder or SaaS CMS, you can usually expect 24/7 support. 

Custom Capabilities

Some CMS software will restrict what you can do with your website.

For many people, this is a non-issue. But for those of you looking for complete customization with no restrictions, you’ll have to go with an open-source CMS system. 

These platforms let you customize everything using the HTML code of your site. So it’s a great choice for developers and tech-savvy users. With that said, even non-technical users can benefit from customization by leveraging third-party plugins or extensions. 

If you can’t find a custom function from a feature marketplace, you’ll need to have a developer build one for you. Make sure your CMS is compatible with this level of customization if you plan to go this route. 

Summary

With so many CMS systems available on the market today, there are really only six that I can recommend with conviction:

  1. Wix — Best CMS for building new websites
  2. Squarespace — Best CMS for creative professionals
  3. Shopify — Best CMS for ecommerce sites
  4. WordPress — The world’s most popular CMS
  5. Drupal — Best WordPress alternative
  6. TYPO3 — Best enterprise CMS

Wix is my top recommendation for most people launching a new site. It’s a welcoming, easy to use, and plenty of templates to help people get started.

After that, it depends what you need and what feels good to work with. Your preferences really matter.

I use WordPress for my blog, and I really like it. I’m constantly trying out new plugins and adding new functionality to my site. It works for me.

If I had an online store, though, I would probably use Shopify for my CMS.

At the end of the day, it depends on your goals, and what you like using.

Follow the links and explore your options in greater detail. You may even be able to take advantage of a promotion and get a better price.

Use free trials, too. This is going to give you the clearest sense of which content management system works the best before you put money down.

Source: New feed 2

Best Free Web Hosting

Wix builder main page for Best Free Web Hosting

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Here’s some good news–you can get a website up and running without spending a dime.

Yes. Free web hosting exists, and I’ll show you how to get it.

You’ll be able to launch a website with a few clicks, but don’t expect anything fancy.

Some of the trade-offs with free web hosting include: ads on your site (that don’t make you money), a cap on how much traffic you can get, sudden downtimes, and little to no customer support.

There’s some really great cheap web hosting options that will help you build a site without tradeoffs for a few bucks a month.

But if you really need a 100% free web hosting solution, check out my recommendations below. 

#1 – Wix Review — Best Free Web Hosting With Website Builder

Wix builder main page for Best Free Web Hosting

When it comes to building a simple blog or an online portfolio that highlights your work, Wix is the best intuitive website builder you can count on. 

With the help of its simple drag-and-drop interface, you can create a simple website in minutes. Wix takes care of your website through free hosting so long as you don’t mind having Wix brand ads displayed on your pages. 

And if you don’t want to build your own site, all you need to do is answer a few questions. The platform’s Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) will then automatically generate a website with a design based on the answers you give.

You’ll get a great looking page in a few minutes, and from there you can fine-tune it the way you want. Editing within Wix is easy, and you’ll be surprised at how many options you have.

The real boon is the quality of free hosting you’re getting from Wix. They work really hard on their data center quality, using reliable servers that deliver a minimum of 99.98% uptime, all the time.

And their professionals monitor and optimize constantly for both enhanced reliability and rock-solid security. You won’t have to worry about slower load times if your site gets popular or the vulnerability of your site’s (or your visitors’) data.

Although free accounts can only use the Wix subdomain, there are enough templates and apps you can choose from to add a little bit of personal touch to your website. 

Wix business site templates for Best Free Web Hosting

Should you decide to create a website with Wix, you will get a storage space of 500 MB and a bandwidth of 500 MB, enough for a low-traffic site like an online portfolio.

If you want more flexibility, you can upgrade to premium plans anytime to access custom domain, email, and ecommerce features. 

Premium plans also eliminate ads so your website will look more professional and less cookie-cutter. 

But even with ads, Wix has plenty to offer that will put the spotlight on your content. Whether you’re a writer, designer, or photographer, Wix remains the best website builder to help you establish an online presence without touching any code. Sign up now.

#2 – Square Online Review — Best Free Ecommerce Hosting Platform

Square Online store builder for Best Free Web Hosting

Square Online is a free ecommerce platform for aspiring entrepreneurs who are still getting their feet wet with online selling. Unlike big names in the industry, Square Online lets you sell unlimited products without paying recurring fees.

It’s free to set up your online store hosted by Square Online. You’ll pay a fee for transactions on the site, but it’s only a small percentage of your total sale.

Your still making money on your free Square Online site, which is pretty great considering you still pay transaction fees on paid hosting platforms as well.

The drag-and-drop editor only offers four customizable themes, but you get an assurance that every design follows your industry’s best practice. Without touching any code, you can create your online store with a responsive design that fits in any device. 

Square Online drag-and-drop builder for Best Free Web Hosting

Square Online also offers the following to help you get started with your business:

  • Square POS integration so you can automatically import your product catalog and let it sync with your online store for a seamless inventory management
  • Payment processing system that accepts all major credit cards, Google Pay, and Apple Pay
  • In-house and on-demand delivery
  • Instagram integration
  • Free SSL security
  • SEO tools

In exchange for hosting your online store for free, Square Online requires a small commission fee of 2.9% + 30¢ for each product sold. Should you decide to scale your business, you can leave the free plan and move to the premium plans starting at $12 per month. 

Through a new feature called Square Online Checkout, sellers also have the option to sell their products and receive payment using only a link instead of a website. 

Whether you’re an established brick-and-mortar store owner or just starting from scratch, Square Online has all the basics to help you navigate the unfamiliar world of ecommerce with ease. Start now.

#3 – DreamHost Review — Best Free Web Hosting for Nonprofits

DreamHost main page for Best Free Web Hosting

DreamHost believes in every nonprofit organization’s advocacy so much that they’re giving them a shared hosting plan at no cost. 

Aside from free web hosting, DreamHost also provides US-based charitable organizations with the following:

  • Free domain
  • Free backups
  • Free shopping cart installation so you can accept donations with ease
  • Unmetered transfer and unlimited monthly visitors
  • Free SSL certificate to keep online transactions secure

To create a free hosting account, DreamHost does not require any credit card details and needs just your billing address for verification purposes. 

You also need to attach a 501(c)(3) determination letter, a document from the United States IRS proving your tax-exempt non-profit status under the applicable sections of the tax code.

Since it’s a free account, you won’t have access to reliable 24/7 customer support. However, DreamHost’s dedicated help center and ticketing system offset this, which more than meets the need for straightforward troubleshooting solutions. 

Should you want more control over your account, nonprofit organizations can also avail themselves of a 35% discount off DreamHost’s managed WordPress hosting plans. This means you can host your site under a paid plan for as low as $11 per month. 

#4 – WordPress.com Review — Best Free WordPress Hosting Service

WordPress.com builder page for Best Free Web Hosting

Often confused with the open-source software WordPress.org, WordPress.com is the free platform where non-technical users can create websites. 

Since it is powered by the same robust and world-class infrastructure behind nearly half of the world’s websites, WordPress.com is the best place to learn how to manage a website while you’re still not ready or able to pay for a hosting service.

Setting up a website is easy. You can select a WordPress subdomain and choose from any of the available themes. 

Just like Wix, WordPress.com also displays ads to sustain its free platform. While the ads may sometimes be annoying, this is a small price to pay for all the other features that WordPress.com has to offer:

  • 3 GB storage space so you can publish both text and beautiful images
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate for an additional layer of security
  • Optional backups so you can save your files on your hard drive

While it has excellent performance for a free hosting platform, WordPress.com can’t beat the paid version in terms of flexibility. The WordPress CMS installed on websites in paid hosting plans gives you direct server access and freedom to install plugins and themes of your choice.

Still, WordPress.com is good for starters, especially if you only want a simple, stripped-down website to showcase your writing portfolio or personal diary. 

#5 – GitHub Pages Review — The Best Free Static Web Hosting for Developers

GitHub Pages builder page for Best Free Web Hosting

Anyone with basic coding skills is already familiar with GitHub, an open-source platform where developers store their coding projects. GitHub Pages is where you can take these codes from the repository, have them go through a build process, and turn them into a simple static website. 

A static website is ideal for those who prefer a small website that doesn’t need to be updated regularly. It’s also perfect for students who want a test site to play around with or present for their school projects. 

GitHub Pages is completely free, yet it comes with a range of outstanding features:

  • One site per GitHub account 
  • Unlimited project websites
  • 1 GB of storage plus 100 GB bandwidth every month
  • Standard github.io subdomain or custom domain name you own
  • Free HTTPS to prevent others from tampering with your traffic
  • Built-in integration with Jekyll, a popular static site generator, for more customization options

To build your static website, all you need to do is sign in to your account and create a new repository. You can then use the Jekyll Theme Chooser to pick from one of the pre-made themes. 

If you don’t like your theme or your static website’s content, no need to worry as changes are a simple edit and push away. You can make these changes either via the web or locally on your computer. 

Whether you’re a developer or a non-techy looking for easy-to-follow instructions, GitHub Pages has all the tools you need to create a free static site. 

What I Looked at to Find the Best Free Web Hosting

Before we proceed, you have to remember that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. 

In the case of a free web host, it has limitations that don’t appeal to everyone. 

Free web hosting is designed to meet the needs of a niche market like a new hobby blogger who doesn’t intend to earn from his website or a student looking for a free platform where she can test her web development projects. 

With that being said, you can’t use the same criteria in selecting a paid hosting plan when zeroing on the best free web hosting to suit your needs. 

Remember, you get what you pay for. And in the case of a free web host, you shouldn’t expect to receive round-the-clock support, daily or on-demand backups, and 100% uptime guarantee, among others. 

However, some free options are a cut above the rest. Use the following parameters to figure out whether a free web hosting service is worth a try. 

Custom Domain

Most companies are willing to host your website for free so long as you’re also willing to use a subdomain. 

For instance, Wix is a popular website builder that requires its free users to use a subdomain (e.g., neilpatel.wix.com). 

A subdomain doesn’t look professional nor is it good for branding. So, unless you only want a stripped down website you can play around with, it would be better to opt for a company that can host your custom domain for free. 

A custom domain is one that you own (e.g., neilpatel.com). You can purchase it from a domain registrar or from any hosting provider that also offers domain registration on the side. Domains are inexpensive, and you’ll need to renew them annually.

If branding is your top priority, make sure to find a free web host that gives you the option to stand out in a sea of other freely hosted websites. 

Security

While advanced security features don’t exist in free web hosting platforms, they should at least offer a free SSL certificate.

SSL (secure sockets layer) is a technology that encrypts the information that passes through your website. It protects your site visitor’s sensitive data like passwords and credit card data from outside intruders. 

If you’re launching a basic ecommerce site on a free hosting platform, a free SSL certificate is non-negotiable. However, some free web hosting services only offer a self-signed SSL, which misleads users into thinking that it’s the same as the industry-standard SSL certificate.

A self-signed SSL is issued by servers and not by trusted authorities like Comodo, Digicert, and Let’s Encrypt. Since it’s not a standard version, websites with self-signed SSL will still show security warnings to visitors.

Hence, a self-signed SSL defeats the purpose of an SSL certificate even though it offers the same level of encryption. Especially if you’re planning to sell a product through your website, having a self-signed SSL is no better than not having an SSL certificate at all. 

Storage and Bandwidth

As a rule of thumb, never go with free web hosting unless you’ll use it for a basic website with little to no traffic. 

A free web host isn’t designed to handle huge traffic volume. This is why it’s important to read the fine print of the hosting provider’s terms and conditions before signing up.  

Unfortunately, a lot of free hosting providers tend to mislead clueless users by including “unlimited storage” and “unlimited bandwidth” in their list of features. 

Disk space or storage space is the amount of server space allocated to your website files, while bandwidth is the amount of data allowed to transfer from the server to your visitors in a given amount of time. If your website is hosted in a free platform, your disk space and bandwidth are best described as low and never “unlimited.”

“Unlimited bandwidth” is a promotional tactic by free hosting providers based on the assumption that sites on a shared server will not use up the available resources, which is rarely the case. 

Instead of being swayed by these superficial features, pay more attention specifically to file size limit and CPU limit. 

A file size limit is the maximum file size your website can upload, while the CPU limit refers to how much of the server’s central processing unit (CPU) your website is allowed to use. 

Free web hosting providers can temporarily shut down your site without warning, so make sure you know exactly what and how much your limitations are. 

Ads

The only reason why free web hosting continues to exist is because of the business behind it. And a business requires a source of revenue. 

Some of the more popular free web hosts sustain their platform through ad space. This monetization method may be effective, but it comes at the expense of your visitors.

You have no control over what appears on the advertisements or where they’re placed. Not to mention ads, in general, tend to be obtrusive and take the joy out of consuming your content.

If you want free hosting but care about your site’s aesthetics and user-friendliness, you can opt for a company that supports their free platform through other means, such as the sales of premium hosting plans. 

Customer support

Support for websites hosted in a free web host is limited at best. Unless you already have both the budget and need to upgrade to premium plans, there’s nothing else you can do. 

When looking for the best free web host to entrust your website, choose one with an active community forum. 

Check the latest posts and see how fast the response time is. The more active users the service has, the quicker you’ll get a resolution to any problem you might face in the future.

In addition to a community forum, some free web hosts also have a self-service knowledge base where users can quickly get answers to their most basic questions.

Conclusion

Nothing beats a paid hosting plan for all the extra support, features, and functionality. Still, if you need free web hosting or if you want to try out different web hosts before committing to an investment, there are some good free options available. 

These are my top choices if you are looking to get online without spending a dime:

  1. Wix – Best free web hosting with website builder
  2. Square Online – Best free ecommerce hosting platform
  3. DreamHost – Best for nonprofits
  4. WordPress.com – Best free WordPress hosting
  5. GitHub Pages – Best free static web hosting for developers

The best free web hosting for you depends on what you’re looking for. Use the reviews and guide to help you narrow down your choices.

Source: New feed 2

Squarespace Vs. Wix

Squarespace templates for Squarespace Vs Wix

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Wix takes the prize for simplifying the process of making a website. Its drag-and-drop interface, hundreds of apps, and flexible pricing options mean anybody can whip up a website without breaking a sweat. 

Squarespace has a better selection of design templates, though its customization options require more technical confidence. Squarespace outperforms Wix’s blogging and ecommerce tools by a very small margin, but the more flexible Wix has something for everyone. 

Squarespace or Wix: Which is Better? 

Squarespace’s sleeker, more professional-looking template designs are best for creatives who place a high value on aesthetics. Its grid-style editor requires a little bit of time to get to grips with, making it better for those with technical experience. Turn your ideas into a visually-appealing Squarespace website for free. 

Wix is best for beginners who want an easy way to create a website right now. It has a drag-and-drop interface so building a website is as straightforward as solving a kid’s puzzle. It also comes with hundreds of templates and features to give users creative freedom regardless of their skill level. Start your own free and stunning Wix website today.

A Review of The Best Website Builders

A good website builder spells the difference between an idea that grows into something big and one that fizzles out. To give you a head start, I’ve blogged about my experiences with building websites and reviewed the top website builders. You’ll get a rundown of the best options and guidance about how to find one that fits your needs.

Wix has proven once again why it’s considered a major player in the industry. Squarespace, though not included in the list, has its own perks that appeal to those with a specific set of criteria.

Squarespace Wins

Unlimited storage space: All of Squarespace premium plans come with unlimited bandwidth and storage so you can host unlimited files while ensuring media files will download smoothly. While the majority of Wix plans do offer unlimited bandwidth, none of them provide unlimited storage so you can’t just upload any files to your heart’s content.

Structured page editor: Squarespace doesn’t have the exact drag-and-drop functionality Wix is famous for. Its page elements are packed inside content blocks which you can move around and snap into rows and columns. Restrictive as it may appear, though, this feature helps you create your page within a more controlled environment, which can help prevent inadvertently sloppy designs.

Squarespace page editor for Squarespace Vs Wix

High-quality, professional-grade template designs: Wix may offer more template choices but Squarespace trumps its competitor in terms of quality. It has over 60 template designs that are not only aesthetically superior but also easier to navigate both for the builder and viewer. Regardless of what template you choose initially, you can customize or replace it with another one anytime. 

Squarespace templates for Squarespace Vs Wix

One-click color palette customization: Squarespace takes the guesswork out of choosing the right color theme that matches your brand. All you have to do is select a palette and Squarespace will apply it throughout your website. 

Like Wix, Squarespace also offers the freedom to pick specific colors for individual elements. But since most users don’t have a design sense, Squarespace’s preselected color schemes take the headache and guesswork out of your site’s aesthetics. 

Squarespace color scheme for Squarespace Vs Wix

Well-thought-out in-house features: Squarespace may have fewer features than Wix but what it lacks in numbers it makes up for in execution. Its in-house features are meticulously designed and built into its editor so you can manage your website even without installing third-party extensions. 

Its restaurant menu editor, for example, uses a markup language so adding items is like filling out a simple form. In contrast, Wix accomplishes the same task through a relatively more tedious process that requires several clicks. 

Squarespace’s donation system is likewise superior to Wix’s because it goes beyond providing a donation button by offering donor-specific checkout, donor email receipts, and suggested amounts. 

Seamless podcast syndication: Starting a podcast? Squarespace also beats Wix’s basic podcast player by being the only one in the industry to offer syndication. With this feature, you can submit your podcast to Spotify or Apple Podcasts where a legion of potential fans can discover you. 

Curated third-party apps: Whatever Squarespace lacks in-house, it offers as a third-party extension. Even Wix’s in-house features that Squarespace doesn’t have can be matched by a third-party counterpart so you won’t miss out on anything. 

For example, the Wix Events app enables visitors to book tickets online whereas Squarespace can be integrated with Eventbrite to do the same thing. Similarly, integrating Memberstack with Squarespace accomplishes the same thing as the Wix Members app. 

Squarespace third-party apps for Squarespace Vs Wix

Ready-to-use blogging tools: With Squarespace, you can start blogging and showcase your best content to the world right off the bat. Unlike Wix that requires you to install a separate blog app, Squarespace has built-in blogging tools. 

Basic features like post tagging, categories, comment moderation, and drafts will help you create professional-looking blogs regardless of your industry. Working with multiple authors is also a breeze as Squarespace allows you to collaborate with them on a single post or assign them different roles.

Sophisticated ecommerce functionality: When it comes to building your online store, Squarespace gives Wix a run for its money. It offers the same basic features you’ll find in Wix like custom email receipts, point of sale system, and automated cart recovery. 

To maximize your profits, however, Squarespace steps up its game by offering features that Wix doesn’t. These include gift cards to help with your brand promotion. You can also use “back in stock” and “low stock” notifications to create a sense of urgency without being too pushy.

Squarespace main ecommerce page for Squarespace Vs Wix

24/7 online support: Should you encounter technical issues with your Squarespace website, you can reach out to their customer support team via email, Twitter, or live chat. These online channels allow their team to get to the bottom of your issue faster. 

Squarespace has excluded phone support because their existing support channels allow them to troubleshoot your issues comprehensively without the need to put you on hold. 

Squarespace Losses

Lacks intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Squarespace’s page editor works like a minimalist grid system so you can’t drag and drop elements. Less freedom means less opportunity to play around with the design. It also takes a longer time to get used to so Squarespace is not as beginner-friendly as Wix. 

Limited creative control: Squarespace’s biggest advantage is also its disadvantage. The “structured” editor may enable you to customize a website design within the realm of what’s acceptable but it also means you have less creative control. 

The templates are on par with professional designs but you can’t edit, move, resize, or re-color the page elements as easily as you can with Wix. You also can’t display both the site title and logo at the same time. 

Limited template designs. Fewer design choices also make it more difficult to stand out. Most photographers, for instance, trust Squarespace to host their portfolio sites. 

With limited templates to choose from, they’re more likely to pick the same template. As a result, they may end up with portfolio websites that have the same look and feel as other sites in their industry. 

Less generous ecommerce plans: Squarespace outnumbers Wix’s ecommerce features but you won’t benefit as much if you’re only subscribed to its basic plan. 

Squarespace’s basic ecommerce features cost $18 per month (Business plan) while its Wix counterpart is a tad higher at $23 per month (Basic Business plan). However, you won’t save as much with a basic plan as Squarespace charges a 3% transaction fee unless you upgrade. 

You also won’t have access to some crucial features like abandoned cart recovery if you’re not under the Advanced Commerce Plan that costs $40 per month. 

By contrast, Wix charges no transaction fee on any of its ecommerce plans and offers abandoned cart recovery even to those in the basic plan. 

Wix Wins

Scalable pricing: Wix has a wider range of pricing options so you can start your website anytime and easily scale as it grows. The free plan is available for beginners who are still learning the ropes and are not bothered by Wix-sponsored ads and subdomains. 

If you want a custom domain, you can switch to the most basic plan for only $14 a month. From here, you can upgrade to any of the three higher website plans or start an online store for as low as $23 per month for the Business Basic Plan. Squarespace, on the other hand, doesn’t come with a free plan and most of the important features are only available in higher plans.

Wix pricing page for Squarespace Vs Wix

Beginner-friendly interface: Wix’s drag-and-drop editor remains its top selling point. It gives you a template to create a simple website in minutes without learning how to code. Squarespace is also a “no-coding” website builder, but its grid-style editor makes it cumbersome for some beginners. With Wix, you can have full control of the layout and even add functionality by dragging and dropping widgets on your page. 

Wix page editor for Squarespace Vs Wix

Instant Websites: Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) will actually build a website for you. Just answer a series of questions about who you are and what you want, and Wix ADI will spin up a professional looking site. Then you can use the simple editing tools to make it your own.

More in-house apps: Name any feature you want your website to have and Wix has an app for it. Do you want to create a forum? Look for Wix Forum in the App Market and install it for free. Planning to add a live chat to connect with your visitors in real-time? Try Wix Chat, another in-house app you can add for free. If none of the built-in Wix apps is what you’re looking for, don’t worry as there are still over 200 free and premium third-party extensions to choose from. 

Free email marketing tools: With this built-in feature, you can send email campaigns to your contact list and even create workflows to manage your own sales funnel. Measure how well each of your campaigns is doing through the stats tracker that lets you see how many people open and engage with your emails. 

Wix’s email marketing tools are part of the Ascend all-in-one business solution that gives you access to other marketing tools like live chat, social media integration, and SEO tools. The best part is you can have access to a limited number of features for free or upgrade to one of the three paid plans to enjoy the full benefit. 

High-end security: For your own site data and the privacy and safety of your site’s visitors, Wix includes several features that automatically secure your site from vulnerabilities and attacks. Payment gateways, for one, meet the highest levels of data security compliance. TLS 1.3 encryption also comes standard. Plus, Wix has a team of experts that monitor and optimize their infrastructure 24/7, so every site stays secure even in the face of new threats.

Robust SEO features: Wix has its own game plan to help your content rank high on Google. What’s great is Wix puts all its strategies in one place so users can learn SEO themselves and improve their online presence. The SEO Wiz contains step-by-step tutorials, achievement updates, and tons of other learning materials so you can start improving your site’s visibility even if you never heard about SEO before. 

Multiple customer support channels: Unlike Squarespace, Wix offers phone support so you can rest assured that humans and not bots are handling your concern. Wix also provides support through forums, social media, and email but not through live chat. In case you get stuck or confused while working on the page editor, there are small question marks on the screen that you can also click to get quick solutions without leaving the page. 

Automatic backup-and-restore feature: Wix is a proactive website builder that anticipates unfortunate events and has developed a counteracting feature in case they happen. 

Through Site History which you can find inside your site Settings, you can restore a previous version of your website. You can restore revised versions of your site regardless if it’s saved manually or automatically. 

Best of all, the previously saved version of your site can be restored without affecting published blog posts and changes made in your email list. 

Wix Losses

Underwhelming template designs: Wix focuses on quantity over quality when it comes to design. Its over 500 customizable templates easily beat Squarespace’s 70+ designs. But with more choices comes more time wasted picking and overanalyzing which one suits a website idea best. 

A “quantity over quality” approach also leads to many Wix templates failing to make a great first impression. While there are hidden gems, it takes time to find them as they are outnumbered by generic templates, some of which are downright cheesy. 

Unstructured page editor: Wix’s drag-and-drop interface has its own flaws. While it helps even non-pros create websites quickly, the changes you make in the desktop version may not necessarily sync to its mobile version. For instance, when you move an image from the top of the page to the bottom, the same change won’t reflect in the mobile version unless you make the same change twice. With Squarespace’s structured editor, movements are much more restricted but any change you make will reflect in both screens.

Complicated color changes: Wix lacks the preselected color palettes that Squarespace has, so changing text and background colors are not as straightforward. This is the downside of having more freedom to manipulate page elements. You may be free to choose the colors of individual page elements but if you don’t have a background in design, knowing which colors will work best without preset recommendations can be really tough. 

Limited bandwidth and storage space: Wix doesn’t have the unlimited resources that Squarespace offers in all its plans. Therefore, the cheaper your Wix plan is, the more restrictions you’ll get on how many files you can store and how much traffic your website can get per day. 

Wix’s cheapest plans, Connect Domain and Combo, only offer a bandwidth of 1 GB and 2 GB, respectively. This is enough if your website receives only a handful of visitors per month. However, once a website gets at least 1,000 visitors a day, it will require about 8.5 GB of bandwidth monthly, something that Wix only provides starting with its Unlimited plan that costs $12.50 per month (billed annually).

Mediocre blogging tools: You can create a decent blog with Wix but if you’re looking for more features, you’ll get it from Squarespace. Wix is capable of scheduling posts, adding tags or categories, and saving drafts. However, it doesn’t allow comment moderation so you can’t filter comments and publish only those you approve of. On top of that, Wix doesn’t have a built-in blogging feature. You have to add the free Wix Blog app yourself before you can start creating content. 

Limited flexibility for free plans: When you start a free website with Wix, you won’t pay for anything but it comes at the cost of flexibility. The Wix subdomain, ads, and the look of a free site tend to come off a lot less professional. If you want to experiment with a free site, that’s fine, but you’ll have to upgrade to premium Wix plans to really establish your own brand. 

Comparing The Top Website Builders. 

Do you want to build a website from scratch without touching any codes? With a website builder, you can do that and more. If you want to get started, here are the best website builders I recommend:

  1. Wix — Best for general use
  2. Weebly  — Best for beginners
  3. Web.com — Best for building landing pages
  4. Shopify — Best for ecommerce
  5. WordPress — Best for content management

Wix is the undisputed website builder of choice if you want to quickly launch a website even without the technical know-how. Its drag-and-drop interface requires a short learning curve while its hundreds of templates and features allow you to elevate your website any way you want. 

But for a more professional site with a stronger design aesthetic and more customization options, especially one you’re willing to take some time to build, Squarespace will be the better choice

Source: New feed 2

How to Make a Website in 6 Easy Steps

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Making a website has gotten much, much easier over the years. It’s cheaper, faster, and more straightforward than ever before.

But what do you really need to build a website?

A stable internet connection and an hour or two of your time is plenty.

You don’t need any web development experience or tons of money, don’t worry.

In this step-by-step guide, I’ll teach you how to make a website from scratch in just one afternoon. Just follow my tactics below to avoid the mistakes I made when I was starting from ground zero.

Your 2-Minute Cheat Sheet

Here’s your quick-start guide to making a website. This section won’t cover the details–just the crucial steps–each step is broken down in more detail below.

Start by choosing the right web host. We highly recommend Bluehost for speed, reliability, and ease of setup. It only costs a few bucks a month, and it’s got everything you need to make your first website look professional.

Then you’ll need a domain name that represents what your website is going to be all about. A .com domain name is best because it helps you earn brownie points in the eyes of visitors.

One reason I like Bluehost so much is that they throw in a free domain name for the first year. That saves you some cash and the extra step of having to go through a domain registrar.

Once you’ve registered your domain name, choose a content management system or CMS. You can consider WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, among others.

I like WordPress the best and it’s what I use for my site. If you go with Bluehost, WordPress is a one-click install.

Boom, now you have a version of a website up and running. Congrats!

But you aren’t done yet.

Next on your list would be to market your business. Since branding is crucial today, you need to consider a logo, write your website copy, plan your marketing strategy, and definitely install Google Analytics.

Basically, the exciting stuff that you may know all about already.

Now let’s discuss how to build a website in more detail. Keep reading or jump right to the step you need help with:

  1. Choose Web Hosting
  2. Select a Unique and Relevant Domain Name
  3. Select a Good Website Building Platform or CMS
  4. Design Your Website to Make It Look Awesome
  5. Protect Your Website by Using a Child Theme
  6. Configure Your Website and Add Relevant Content

Step #1: Choose Web Hosting

Do you remember how your school library had those large categorized bookshelves?

A web hosting company is precisely like that bookshelf, while the library is the internet.

A hosting service provider or a web hosting company stores your website on a server, making everything you put up on your website visible on the internet and your visitors. 

These companies offer monthly or annual plans on shared servers, dedicated servers, or virtual private servers, allowing you to choose a plan according to your security and support requirements.

If your website doesn’t collect or store personal or financial data, you can always select the basic plan. So, you don’t have to shell out a lot of money.

But how do you know which web hosting company or service is right for you?

Site Speed

If you want to earn money from your website, you need to get a stable and fast web host.

Fast sites have many things going for them. They rank better, help with SEO, and maximize conversions. 

I would 100% recommend Bluehost, as it keeps loading time minimal and short.

That said, we would also advise you to avoid shared hosting or overly cheap services. 

Shared hosting means you’ll be sharing your web server with thousands of other sites. In other words, hosting speed will be slow–plus, you may even end up sharing the server with spammy sites, which you may end up with you facing the brunt of Google.

As for skipping cheap hosting services, the rule here is simple: You get what you pay for. 

The level of security, speed, and uptime wouldn’t be as great when you pay $5 per month, especially when you compare it to plans costing more than $120 per month.

I’m not telling you to buy the most expensive plan–just avoid the cheapest hosting.

Uptime Dependability

Your web hosting service should always operate properly. Otherwise, no one can access your website. 

A good hosting provider provides you an uptime guarantee–something like “We offer a 100% network uptime guarantee” or similar claims. 

For instance, if a hosting provider tells you 99% uptime, your site can be down for 3.5 days a year. But providers offering 99.99% or 99.999% will have about one hour and five minutes downtime, respectively.

Look for a provider that offers a guarantee for insurance. If your website goes down, you can be compensated with hosting credits. 

Customer Support

You’ll need quick and efficient backup support when technical difficulties arise. Chat, email, or telephone – there are various support methods. In my experience, though, email is the absolute worst. It’s much better to receive support by phone or live chat.

Choose a hosting provider that offers 24/7 support. This way, you’ll be able to get your business back online if something goes wrong within minutes.

You should also check your service level agreement (SLA) to get an idea of the kind of support you’ll receive. Looking at the company’s website will give you an idea about their support team too.

Definitely go with a host that offers you a free trial period–it’s the only way to get a real sense of the service you’re going to get. Even if you don’t need help, hit them up a few times during the first 30 days. See how quickly they get back to you.

If your new host is slow to respond, the quality of service is probably not going to improve. That’s why the free trial is so important. Bluehost lets you cancel for free within the first month if you’re not happy. DreamHost offers a 97-day money-back guarantee.

Scalability

Scalability is vital for two reasons. First, a hosting provider should grow organically with you, enabling you to upgrade when needed. Second, your website should be able to handle massive spikes in visitor numbers.

Consider the following questions to understand whether your web host is flexible:

  1. Will the web host upgrade you from an entry-level shared hosting plan to an intermediate VPS when your visitor numbers reach a certain level without any downtime?
  2. How easy is this upgrade process?
  3. Can the web host support seasonal fluctuations in web traffic seamlessly?

You should aim to get a solution that checks all three boxes.

Visit web hosting forums to learn about other people’s experiences with providers. Then compare services and prices to determine the right plan based on your needs and budget.

With a web host provider in place, you can move on to Step 2.

Step #2: Select a Unique and Relevant Domain Name

Don’t go looking for the perfect domain name–there isn’t one. Some names better than others, but ultimately, it’s a small part of your business. The content of your website remains most important.

A domain name is your website’s address on the internet. Mine is NeilPatel.com, and it reflects my personal brand. Yours can be anything you want it to be, provided it’s related to your business, topics that you want to write about, or your name.

The options are endless!

Following are a few rules of thumb to help you choose the right domain name:

  • Keep it relevant
  • Stick to short, memorable names
  • Avoid numbers
  • Choose a .com, .org, or .net
  • Make sure your chosen domain name is available

Find the perfect name is also possible using the following methods:

Method 1 – Brute Force Method

Many have the creativity to come up with the perfect domain name independently. If that’s you, you’ll need a domain name registrar to purchase the domain, and then search the availability of your prospective domain name.

Bluehost is a great place to start, as it gives you a free domain for one year with their hosting plans, and you can search availability. 

I’ll also advise you to avoid going for domain names that have hyphens (like neil-patel-marketing.com) even when you get it at a dirt-cheap price. It can get confusing.

Method 2 – Use a Tool

Some of us are not very creative, and that’s okay. 

If you get stuck when coming up with a domain name, try using name generators. Just enter one or two keywords, and the generator will look for ways to combine those words into a domain name.

In addition to speed and downtime reliability, Bluehost also allows you to check domain name availability. Visit the sign up now page and enter your domain name in the box, and voila! You’ll have a name.

Bear in mind that your preferred domain name may be unavailable. Try mixing up words, using a thesaurus, or adding a verb if it happens.

After you’ve chosen your domain name, you’ll next need a website building platform.

Step #3: Select a Good Website Building Platform or CMS

A quick Google search about website builders and CMS will leave you overwhelmed with the enormity of options.

CMS stands for Content Management System. It allows you to edit your website within the domain itself, helping you save tons of time and make everything way simpler. Customizing layouts, settings, content, creating new pages and posts, and so on, becomes easier thanks to ready-to-use website templates.

Here are a few options to consider:

  • WordPress. WordPress is number one when it comes to CMSs. It’s popular, user-friendly, and super easy to use. Moreover, the platform has over 58,000 plugins that allow you to do almost anything you want on your site. 

Keep in mind that WordPress.com and WordPress.org aren’t the same. While the former is a third-party site that allows you to create free blogs, the latter enables you to download the WordPress software to install on a website.

  • Wix. Wix is another website builder that makes things super easy. If you need a site with just a few pages, like restaurants, local businesses, freelancers, or portfolio sites, this could be a great option. Their reliability (99.98% uptime) and security features (like 24/7 managed monitoring and optimization) give you peace of mind, as well.

However, if you want to build a large site, Wix may lack the advanced features required for large amounts of traffic.

  • Drupal. Drupal is the most advanced website building solution, which is why it has a steeper learning curve. Though when you consider the level of customization it offers, the hard work seems worth it.

While I don’t recommend Drupal for beginners, if advance customization is a priority on your list, this is hands down the best option. You can always hire an expert to learn the ropes of the platform.

You’ll now have a website up and running. All that is left to do is to make it look great.

Step #4: Design Your Website to Make It Look Awesome

For any website builder, you’ll have to install a theme. Themes can be free and paid, but the latter is more professional-looking and gives you more flexibility when customizing your website. They aren’t excessively expensive as well and can be bought for less than $100.

WordPress and Wix have some great free themes, but if you want to try out the premium variety, you can give StudioPress a shot.

Themes are built on the basic CMS but are customizable to give your website a unique look and allow it to function differently. After all, shouldn’t an artist’s website look different from a SaaS or a restaurant?

Visual representation is incredibly important as your visitors judge your website in a fraction of a second based on how it looks. If your site looks obsolete, untrustworthy, or doesn’t match their expectations, your visitors will be gone in seconds.

Luckily, choosing a good theme is easy. 

I recommend reading reviews about the themes before choosing and never prioritizing visual appeal over functionality. 

Yes, you want your website to look good with all those fancy fonts and colors, but that shouldn’t be at the cost of functionality.

Additionally, you can always change the theme at a later date. Just don’t change it frequently, as it will harm SEO and branding. 

Step #5: Protect Your Website by Using a Child Theme

The best way to protect your website is to use a child theme. A child theme is a style sheet stored separately from the rest of your theme’s files on the webserver. Not only will it make your site hard to break, but it even protects you from redoing changes whenever you update a theme.

Keep in mind that different website builders have different names for creating a child theme. 

You build a “child theme” in WordPress, but you create a “sub-theme” in Drupal. Also, some websites don’t allow you to create a child theme, but you can always make a duplicate theme to serve as back up, as in Joomla.

Step #6: Configure Your Website and Add Relevant Content

At this point, you’re done with most of the technical part and can now finally focus on the more interesting things.

Start by setting up navigation to make it easier for visitors to know what your website is all about and grant them easy access to different parts of your website. Choose a couple of colors to represent your site without going overboard.

For instance, I chose orange and white.

Organize, separate, and highlight the important areas of your website to make it eye-catching and clear. You can also install plugins to help your website function smoothly.

Here is a quick checklist of things you need to start marketing your business, especially if you want to earn money from the website:

  • Get a logo. This will represent your brand, so be very careful here.
  • Write your website copy, including the home page, About Me page, and other basic pages.
  • Install Google Analytics code to your website to keep track of visitors.
  • Start planning your marketing strategy to figure out your visitor’s likes and dislikes.

As for the last pointer, you’ll have to understand online marketing, content marketing, and the often neglected link building to gain visibility, generate leads, and achieve your business goals from your website.

Conclusion

Making a website does have its fair share of struggles, but the more experience you gain, the better you’ll become, and the easier it’ll be.

While we’ve covered all the necessary details for building your first website, if you find yourself getting stuck anywhere, you can turn to Google or YouTube to solve your problem. 

Trust me, there are tutorials for almost everything out there on the internet.

Choosing a web host and CMS, designing your website, and marketing is just the tip of the iceberg. You can’t expect overnight success, but was just a bit of patience, you’ll see real progress.

Source: New feed 2

WordPress Vs. Wix

WordPress themes for WordPress Vs Wix

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

WordPress outshines Wix by allowing users to create sophisticated websites and customize them to their liking.

Wix doesn’t have as much design freedom as WordPress, but it is going to be way easier for beginners to use on day one.

With WordPress and Wix serving different users, the final decision ultimately depends on your experience level and purpose in launching a website. 

WordPress or Wix: Which is Better?

WordPress is a content management system best for those who value flexibility and versatility. It doesn’t come with great functionality right out of the box, but you can customize it through thousands of themes and plugins. Get your website idea off the ground using WordPress’ powerful, flexible platform. 

Wix is best for beginners who want to whip up a basic website that does not need advanced features. It’s an entry-level tool with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor so you can churn out a website in minutes without much technical know-how. Create your own website today and let Wix do the heavy lifting. 

A Review of The Best Website Builders

Website builders provide the tools you need to spin up basic or highly-versatile websites without touching any code. But it can be challenging to decide which website builder fits your needs if you’re clueless about what to look for. 

With years of experience under my belt, I’ve learned the key differentiators you should look for when shopping for a website builder. Using this in-depth review of the top four website builders, you’ll be able to zero in on the best platform that will set up your website for future success. Both WordPress and Wix made it into the top four.

WordPress Wins

Full data ownership: With WordPress being open-source software, nobody is holding you by the neck. Hence, transferring from one host to another isn’t complicated. You own all your files and can take them to any hosting provider that supports WordPress. 

Site transfers are facilitated by the built-in WordPress Import and Export tools, features you won’t find in Wix. In addition, Wix sites are hosted exclusively on Wix’s servers. Therefore, transferring your website files to a self-hosted WordPress requires a complex, cumbersome process. 

Limitless design options: WordPress is generous to a fault when giving users the power to design their websites. Free themes are available for starters, but if you’re looking for more functionality, you can choose from over 5,000 premium third-party themes that cost anywhere between $25 and $299. 

You can also hire a developer to create a custom theme with unconventional features to make your website stand out. The best part is you can easily switch from one theme to another, unlike Wix that doesn’t allow it once your site goes live. 

WordPress themes for WordPress Vs Wix

No WordPress-sponsored ads: WordPress is free, but you need to purchase a domain name and a hosting plan for it to work (here’s an easy step-by-step guide for getting those). But once your website is up and running, you’re free to monetize it any way you want. Meanwhile, Wix websites are free, and most basic plans are riddled with ads you don’t control. Wix only removes these ads once you upgrade to higher premium plans. 

Unmatched customizability: An open-source software, WordPress offers great flexibility right out of the box. If you’re a programmer or somebody who knows how to code, you can tweak WordPress’s underlying codes to create a website exactly as you envision it. Beginners can also customize their WordPress sites as they please. 

From switching templates after the website goes live to improving site security and adding forms to blog posts, WordPress allows you to modify your site in ways that are impossible with Wix. 

And even if you love Wix for its drag-and-drop builder, WordPress also offers something better with third-party page builder plugins like Elementor or Divi. 

Add plugins to WordPress for WordPress Vs Wix

Massive selection of plugins: WordPress beats Wix for having the most number of plugins to enhance your website’s functionality. Whether you want to add a table, collect your visitors’ emails, or create a landing page, there’s always a plugin that will match your needs. There are over 55,000 free and premium plugins to choose from, so it’s easy to beef up your website without manipulating any codes. 

Robust blogging platform: Even if it has evolved into a full-blown content management system, WordPress doesn’t forget its roots and continues to be the platform of choice for all things blog related. It offers the same blogging features as Wix but takes it up a notch with advanced features you’ll only find in WordPress. 

These include a native commenting section so you can manage your readers’ comments without the need for additional plugins. You also have complete control over posts and pages’ visibility as you can set them to public, private, or password-protected. 

The new Gutenberg editor has its flaws, but the ease of adding, dragging, and dropping different elements without the need for scrolling up or down is second to none. 

WordPress Gutenberg editor for WordPress Vs Wix

Better search visibility: WordPress gives you more control, so your website is more likely to rank on search engine results. Slow website? You can improve your site’s performance by applying speed-boosting strategies. 

WordPress users can also install Yoast, the world’s most popular SEO plugin. This tool helps over five million websites improve how their articles appear on search results, insert internal links, and redirect old pages to new ones, all of which help boost their rankings in the long run. 

Ahrefs, a leading all-around SEO tool, once analyzed 6.4 million websites, and the results show that WordPress sites have higher domain authority, backlinks, and traffic than their Wix counterparts. 

WooCommerce main page for WordPress Vs Wix

Scalable ecommerce functionality: WordPress lacks built-in ecommerce features, but you can easily integrate it with a powerful ecommerce solution like WooCommerce. 

Used by over 40% of ecommerce sites, this plugin can help you display products, fulfill orders, receive payments in multiple currencies, and automatically calculate tax by region. 

To further boost its functionality, you can also install additional WooCommerce plugins. For example, you can connect your store to a print-on-demand service that will process the orders on your behalf. 

There’s also the free HubSpot for ecommerce plugin that lets you track your visitors and lead them into your sales funnel. 

WordPress Losses

No phone support available: WordPress relies on its global community of volunteers. Hence, there’s no customer service hotline that you can turn to if you encounter technical hiccups. 

However, over 39% of websites in the world are powered by WordPress, so whatever issue you’re dealing with, chances are you’ll find a troubleshooting guide in support forums, Slack channels, or YouTube. But having to go looking for solutions is annoying.

The cost of creating and maintaining a website varies: WordPress is free to download. However, it can’t stand on its own, so you need to pay for a domain name and a hosting plan before you can start a website. 

A custom domain name starts at $10 per year, while a hosting plan can start as cheap as $2.95 a month. If your website gets a lot of traffic, you need to pay more for a hosting plan to avoid downtimes with each traffic spike. 

Additional expenses include premium themes and plugins to enhance the functionality of your site. In total, you might spend anywhere between $200 to a few thousand every year. 

Steep learning curve: WordPress is not the most intuitive, and it takes time to understand it. It doesn’t come with an official walkthrough, so you have to learn everything on your own. 

WordPress’s Gutenberg editor, for instance, is not as intuitive as Wix’s drag-and-drop editor. It lacks the what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSWYG) framework, so you need to preview the page you’re working on to see what it will look like once published. 

DIY security and maintenance: Website upkeep is not hands-off for WordPress users. The WordPress software itself rolls out updates every once in a while, and it’s your responsibility to ensure you’re using the latest version. 

You also need to manually update themes and plugins to fix bugs and prevent them from affecting site performance. 

As for backups and security, you can handle them yourself with the help of plugins. In exchange for fixed monthly fees, you can outsource all these to a WordPress maintenance service or choose a managed WordPress host to handle everything for you. 

Wix Wins

No upfront cost: Anybody can register and create a Wix website for free. If you want more functionality and to remove the Wix ads, you can upgrade to one of the Wix website plans or the business and ecommerce plans. 

Unlike WordPress, which is 100% free but comes with extra expenses, Wix’s pricing is much more straightforward. 

You don’t have to estimate anything as the pricing page has all the details. The Combo Plan starts at $14 per month and comes with everything you need to get started. You even get a free domain name for the first year, which you have to purchase on your own if you use WordPress.  

If you want more features like chatbots or event booking, you can also add Wix apps that are either free or premium with prices ranging from $3 to $20. 

Wix pricing page for WordPress Vs Wix

Effortless registration: Although the software itself is free, creating a website with WordPress requires the additional steps of domain registration and signing up to a hosting provider. With Wix, registration is as easy as signing up using your Facebook or Google account. Then, you can start building your website right away, either through the editor or with the help of an AI tool.

Wix signup page for WordPress Vs Wix

Intuitive drag-and-drop editor: Wix sacrifices flexibility so users can build websites fast with little to no learning curve. Beginners can easily customize their website templates with Wix’s drag-and-drop interface that lets you move things around and add as many features as you please. 

Unlike WordPress’s Gutenberg editor, Wix’s operates on a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSWYG) paradigm, so everything you see is exactly what will appear once the site goes live. 

Wix editor for WordPress Vs Wix

If you’re short on time, you can also let Wix’s Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) tool automatically create a website based on your answers to a series of questions. 

Wide selection of free templates: Wix offers the most free pre-made templates among all website builders. With over 500 templates to choose from, it’s easy to pick one that best aligns with your brand, whether you’re a non-profit organization, a photographer, a small business, or a school. 

Each template is packed with built-in elements that you can drag and drop wherever you want. The editor also gives you the freedom to change the background image into a video, select a different color palette, change the font, and tweak other elements that matter to you. 

Wix templates for WordPress Vs Wix

Handpicked in-house and third-party apps: Wix’s over 250 apps are the counterpart of WordPress’s plugins that enhance a website’s functionality. WordPress plugins may outnumber Wix’s, but you have to sift through piles of clunky ones before finding what you need. 

With Wix, however, quality matters more than quantity. Everything in the Wix App Market has already passed Wix’s guidelines, so you won’t have to perform a vetting process. In addition to that, all apps integrate well with Wix, so there’s no need to worry about incompatibility issues. 

Multiple customer support channels: Unlike WordPress that mainly relies on its support forums, Wix employs a more personal approach to customer service. 

Users can request a call-back through the Wix website so a company representative can talk to them directly. This way, they won’t have to waste time fixing the issue themselves and let a real person handle it.

If phone support is unavailable, Wix users can also reach out via email or search Wix’s online help center to find relevant articles and video tutorials. 

Easy WordPress-to-Wix migration: If you jumped on the bandwagon but soon found out that WordPress lacks the simplicity you’re looking for, Wix offers an easy way out. All you need to do is enter the WordPress blog URL in Wix’s blog import tool, and with one click, your WordPress blog will be converted into a Wix blog. 

With this import tool, you can choose only the blogs you want to move to Wix without building anything from scratch. 

Hands-off security and maintenance: The benefit of having your website hosted in a closed ecosystem like Wix is its technical team handles all maintenance and security. This means you won’t have to lift a finger to create backups, update apps, or fix security glitches. 

All updates are implemented and deployed by the in-house technical team, so you won’t even notice there’s an update taking place. In contrast, WordPress doesn’t handle any of these right out of the box, so you’re basically on your own. 

Plus, Wix sites pass the highest levels of industry security compliance, from PCI DSS for ecommerce payments to SOC Type 2, and ISO 27001, 27701, 27018, and 27017.

Managed infrastructure and site data backups: Wix also delivers even more helpful features for reliability that you don’t have to handle yourself. Their data center infrastructure is robust enough to keep your site always available, even during routine maintenance. Plus, autoscaling allows your site to handle traffic spikes without missing a beat.

And, your site data is always kept up-to-date and backed up with redundant copies kept across all of those Wix data centers. You’re never left worrying if your site is available to visitors or if you can restore it should something go terribly wrong.

Wix Losses

Pricing page lacks transparency: At first glance, Wix’s pricing page seems to show how much you’d pay for each premium plan every month. However, the prices are actually what each plan would cost if you avail of the annual subscription. 

If the Unlimited plan’s monthly cost is $12.50 per month, you’ll actually pay $150 upfront. If you opt for monthly payments, the cost is significantly higher. 

It wouldn’t have been an issue had Wix placed a toggle button through which users can compare the prices if billed monthly or annually. To be fair, there’s a disclaimer at the bottom saying that the prices displayed are for yearly subscriptions, but the text is so small you won’t notice it right away. 

Limited flexibility: Wix may be easier to use than WordPress, but that comes at the price of flexibility. 

For instance, the free templates have good enough designs for inexperienced builders but are limiting for more advanced website creators. Not to mention that you won’t be able to switch to a different template once the website goes live. 

Wix is also not open-source, so programmers and other tech-savvy users won’t be able to tinker with its underlying codes. Lastly, the over 250 apps inside its App Market can enhance the site functionality, but they pale in comparison to the thousands of WordPress plugins. 

Underwhelming blog features: Wix wasn’t created with bloggers in mind, so if written content is your website’s main attraction, choose WordPress instead. 

Although Wix offers basic blog features like categories, tagging, cover image, and post scheduling, it lacks other vital elements like native commenting. 

For readers’ comments, Wix only offers Facebook comments, which are much more vulnerable to a slew of spammers. Also, the Wix plain blog editor doesn’t have the drag-and-drop functionality of WordPress’ Gutenberg, so the formatting options are limited. 

Ad-free site not available in all plans: A free Wix website comes with Wix ads and a Wix subdomain. You won’t pay for anything, but it’s not good for branding. If you already have a custom domain, you can connect it to Wix for $4.50 a month (billed annually). However, the Wix ads remain at this level. You can only get rid of the Wix-sponsored ads if you upgrade to more expensive plans. 

Difficult to get out of: Wix websites are hosted in their infrastructure, so once you create a website with them, it’s stuck in their hosting for life. It also lacks the Import and Export function of WordPress, so moving your website files from Wix to WordPress is tricky. 

To give you an idea, your posts will be imported in the form of RSS files, while your images will need to be transferred manually. For most users, this complex procedure is enough to discourage them from making the switch. 

Inferior built-in SEO functionality: Wix is not a terrible choice if you only get direct or social media traffic on your site. But when it comes to search engine visibility, Wix lags behind WordPress. 

Wix is not up to snuff from a technical SEO standpoint as it relies on Javascript to display its URLs, making them more difficult to crawl. The Javascript also leads to code bloating, resulting in slower pages. 

Wix also doesn’t have the basic features to set up a website to SEO success like hreflang and AMP support. Users have limited control over redirects and are restricted from editing the site’s robots.txt and sitemap. Creating shorter URLs is also impossible, so you’ll be stuck with https://www.neilpatel.com/post/keyword instead of the more concise and user-friendly https://www.neilpatel.com/keyword.

Comparing The Top Website Builders

Whether you’re a tech-savvy geek or a technophobe who wants to take a stab at creating websites, there’s a website builder that meets your needs. Here are my top four recommendations: 

  1. Wix — Best for general use
  2. Weebly  — Best for beginners
  3. Web.com — Best for building landing pages
  4. Shopify — Best for ecommerce
  5. WordPress — Best for content management

In terms of Wix and WordPress, if you’re a novice who needs a leg up in creating your first website, Wix can get you online fast. The ease of its drag-and-drop editor is second to none, while its wide range of free templates can give you a professional-looking website without breaking the bank. 

For high-traffic websites that generate income from content, WordPress remains the best content management system.

Source: New feed 2

How the Best Agencies Use Ubersuggest to Deliver Better SEO Reports to Their Clients

How the Best Agencies Use Ubersuggest to Deliver Better SEO Reports to Their Clients

Your digital marketing agency can only perform as well as its suite of tools allows.

If you create bad client SEO reports, you can’t offer the latest and greatest recommendations to improve their websites.

That’s where Ubersuggest comes in.

As an SEO and website analysis tool, Ubersuggest offers the optimal suite of reports to its users. You can then use these reports to advise your clients and make optimizations.

In this post, we’ll explore why agencies love Ubersuggest and take an in-depth look at the various uses for its reports and tools.

Why Agencies Love Ubersuggest For Client SEO Reporting

Ubersuggest is an SEO and website auditing tool that offers both free and paid plans to individuals and agencies alike. Its popularity has grown in recent years, now boasting over 50,000 users!

When it comes to digital marketing agencies, Ubersuggest is an invaluable tool for evaluating client websites. It offers a suite of reports and tools including keyword research and analysis, technical SEO, and even site speed.

Its breadth of reports makes it a great tool for agencies when first evaluating a client’s website. However, don’t be fooled by the variety of reports. These reports also offer significant depth that enables agencies to really dig into the data so they can offer invaluable insights to their clients.

8 Ways Agencies Use Ubersuggest

While we can discuss Ubersuggest’s various reports and tools, it’s most helpful to understand agency use cases. Below are eight ways agencies use Ubersuggest for their marketing clientele.

1. They Create Multiple Projects Per Account

Agency analysts are constantly juggling a handful of client SEO projects at a time. With Ubersuggest, your agency can create one project per client per account. This means you can manage up to 15 clients at one time within your agency account.

To create a new project is simple:

  1. In the Dashboard section of the tool, click on “New Project” in the top right.
  2. Enter a domain and website name.
  3. Select the language/country for tracking purposes.
  4. Add keywords to rank tracking either by manually entering them, copying and pasting, or uploading a CSV file.
  5. Type in your client’s top competitors or choose from the pre-populated list.
  6. Choose your tracking preferences and decide how much hands-on help you’d like from Ubersuggest’s team of specialists.

You’re all done!

Once you’ve created multiple client SEO projects, you can toggle between them for easy tracking.

2. Run Technical Audits

Did you know only 15 percent of websites operate at an acceptable page speed? While there’s more to technical audits than site speed, it plays a big part.

A technical SEO audit is an easy way to find low-hanging fruit for your client. Each audit will call out various technical SEO elements, including header and title tag duplicates, SSL certificate errors, lack of meta description, and poorly formatted URLs.

The best news of all is that you can run an SEO audit in as little as three minutes with Ubersuggest. Here’s how.

Go to our SEO site-auditor or select “Site Audit” from the left side of the Ubersuggest tool:

How the Best Agencies Use Ubersuggest to Deliver Better SEO Reports to Their Clients - Run Technical Audit

Enter the URL to be audited and then select “Domain” for a full site audit or “URL” for a page-level audit.

Click “Search.”

You’ll notice the audit is split into three sections:

  • Overview
  • Site Health
  • Site Speed

The Overview section will cover on-site SEO elements, search traffic, keywords, and backlinks.

Site Health is a highly actionable section that breaks down your domain by page level. This will run you through the various issues and errors present on your client’s website so you can action them immediately:

site health for client seo report

This section provides key takeaways you can provide to your client so you can provide value upfront. This will improve their website as well as increase their trust in your services.

The Site Speed section is self-explanatory. It provides a loading time for both desktop and mobile, as well as a breakdown of the time it took to load each page element:

How the Best Agencies Use Ubersuggest to Deliver Better SEO Reports to Their Clients - Check Site Speed

A technical audit is a great tool that gives you and your client actionable items to impact their overall site performance.

This has been proven to be an invaluable resource to agencies and their clients alike.

3. Complete Keyword Research

With a tool like Ubersuggest, you can ensure you’re targeting the right keywords for your client’s SEO.

Don’t believe us? Take the word of NinjaCat, a digital marketing performance management platform, which saw a 124 percent increase in its keywords ranking on page one.

Most marketing agencies understand the importance of well-researched and targeted keywords. As is so often the case with clients, though, keyword research is not a top priority. As such, your clients may be sticking with just a handful of keywords that aren’t fully optimized or ideal for targeting.

How can you help? With Ubersuggest, you can become the expert in your client’s SEO needs in minutes. Just ask your client for their list of current keywords and plug them into the Keyword Ideas report:

How the Best Agencies Use Ubersuggest to Deliver Better SEO Reports to Their Clients - Keyword Ideas Report

This Ubersuggest client SEO report offers all manner of keyword optimization angles, from new keyword ideas to related keywords to target to questions your client should aim to answer when writing a blog post. This will help you to narrow down high-traffic, low-competition keywords for your client to target.

The initial keyword audit isn’t all, though.

You can also sign up for notifications so you can know when keywords are growing in popularity and when it’s best to target them in your organic and paid campaigns.

4. Competitive Analysis

E-commerce sales in the U.S. grew 14.2 percent in 2021. Without a proper analysis of the competitive landscape, though, how can you be sure you’re capturing (and will continue to capture) your share of this growth?

The importance of your client’s SEO competitive analysis, therefore, cannot be overstated.

The more your client knows about their competitors, the greater understanding they can get of their strengths and weaknesses. Only with this information can your clients then work to carve out their industry niche.

Where should you begin? With Ubersuggest’s Similar Websites report.

The Similar Websites report will show you which keywords competitors are currently ranking for. It will also provide a list of similar keywords that your client shares with their competitors, as well as keyword gaps, estimated traffic, and the number of backlinks to your client’s competitors.

With this information, you can build out a full one-to-one comparison of your client to their top competitors.

  • Where do they fall short?
  • Where do they excel?
  • What steps can they take to see improvement in their rankings, traffic, and conversions?

5. Rank Tracking

If you want your client’s website to be found, it has to rank on the first page of Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Why?

Only 0.78 percent of Google searchers click on results from the 2nd page and the CTR only worsens as you go deeper.

To improve your client’s SEO, you need rank tracking.

Rank tracking enables you to keep a pulse on your client’s website rankings so you can track and react accordingly. Once your client has begun to implement changes to their website and their keyword strategy, it’s more important than ever to keep track of site performance and ranking.

Ubersuggest’s Rank Tracking report will provide an overview of performance changes, including:

  1. The number of keywords that have moved up in rankings over time.
  2. The number of keywords that have moved down.
  3. The total number of keywords changed.
  4. A graph of the average position.
  5. Current search results rankings for your tracked keywords.
  6. Detailed information on your tracked keywords for each client.

For optimal performance tracking, you can also have this report emailed to you and your client on a weekly basis.

To use this report, select the client dashboard and then select “Rank Tracking” from the left-side menu. You can then track ranking based on custom date ranges, region, and selected keywords:

How the Best Agencies Use Ubersuggest to Deliver Better SEO Reports to Their Clients - Rank Tracking

The best thing about this report is you can keep a tab on overall site performance as well as keyword-level performance so you can identify your client’s SEO drivers and draggers.

6. Link Building

According to an analysis of 11.8 million Google search results performed by Backlinko, the #1 result in Google has an average of 3.8x more backlinks than positions two through ten.

In simplest terms, the more high-quality backlinks to your website the higher your site will rank above similar websites with fewer backlinks.

Link building is no longer about quantity, but quality—and it’s an important part of client SEO reports.

The higher the domain authority of the backlinks to your site, the greater bump in SERP rankings your site will see. This is why a solid link building strategy is key to success.

Where can you begin to advise your clients? With Ubersuggest’s Backlinks Opportunities report:

How the Best Agencies Use Ubersuggest to Deliver Better SEO Reports to Their Clients - Link Building

This report will give you an idea of what sites are currently linking to competitor websites.

With this information, you can gain an understanding of the types of content high-quality sites are looking to link to. In some cases, your client may need to create such content for this strategy to work.

As your client works to build their backlink profile, you can run the Backlinks Overview report. This will show them:

  • your clients’ domain authority
  • how many domains are linking back to them
  • number of backlinks to your client’s website
  • change in backlinks and referring domains over time
  • new and lost referring domains and more

As clients typically rely heavily on marketing agencies for backlink support and opportunities, both of these Ubersuggest reports are crucial to your decision-making process and goal completion analysis.

7. They Use the Chrome Extension

The Ubersuggest Chrome extension has over 300,000 users.

As busy as agencies can get, they’re more likely to use the tools that are most readily available. That’s why so many agencies love Ubersuggest for client SEO reports, especially when it comes to the Chrome Extension.

The Ubersuggest Chrome Extension enables you to make the most of your research time.

That’s because you can learn key information while performing live searches on Google, YouTube, and Amazon, including:

  • paid and organic analytics
  • mobile and desktop search numbers
  • related keyword suggestions

Beyond the search results, you can also perform an SEO analysis of your client’s website and their competitors in real-time. This information can then supplement the reports you pull from Ubersuggest to provide even greater insight to your clients.

8. They Use the Google Analytics Integration

Google Analytics is used by 85.9 percent of all websites whose traffic analysis tool is known. With that in mind, Ubersuggest has been optimized to integrate directly with the analysis powerhouse.

Google Analytics is an invaluable tool for client websites of every type. With Ubersuggest, you can connect your clients’ Google Analytics accounts to their ongoing SEO reports.

Alongside the other data provided by Ubersuggest and its various dashboard modules, you can also see:

  • organic visitors
  • historical traffic data
  • data for mobile and desktop browsers

You will also have the ability to see the data for the day, week, or month so you can truly tailor it to your analysis needs for any given moment in time.

Using the Google Analytics integration is easy:

  1. From your client’s dashboard, click “Connect with Google.”
  2. Select the account to sign in with, or select “Use another account” if the account you need isn’t listed.
  3. Select the property and click “Connect.”

From here, you will see additional modules added to the dashboard with that property’s Google Analytics data.

How Agencies Use Ubersuggest Frequently Asked Questions

Where does Ubersuggest get its data?

Ubersuggest gets its data from various sources, most notably the Google Ads API and Google Suggest. Its integration with Google Analytics also provides an additional source of data for analysis. This makes it a great tool for conducting client SEO reports.

What is the main use for Ubersuggest?

As an SEO tool, Ubersuggest offers brands and agencies the opportunity to reverse engineer the SEO techniques of their competitors. You can see what works for your competitors using the suite of reporting tools and make educated decisions based on the data.

Can I use Ubersuggest for free?

There is a free version of Ubersuggest that allows users to perform three searches per day for keyword analysis, competitor analysis, and site performance. For agencies managing multiple client SEO projects, you will need the paid version.

Is Ubersuggest software?

Ubersuggest is a web-based SEO tool. You can access it on any computer as long as you have internet and your account login details.

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Conclusion: How Agencies Use Ubersuggest For Client SEO Reporting

Ubersuggest is an easy-to-use tool with in-depth reports which enable you to offer a best-in-class client SEO report.

When you use Ubersuggest as an agency, you can manage multiple clients’ websites with just a few clicks.

Best of all, you can see how your recommendations are affecting your clients’ websites in real-time.

While client SEO changes can take time to have a huge impact on rankings, there are plenty of other metrics to track, including traffic, backlinks, and site speed.

Which of the above reports are you most excited to run?

Source: New feed 2

10 Best E-commerce Email Marketing Strategies You Should Start Using Now

10 Best E-commerce Email Marketing Strategies You Should Start Using Now

There are plenty of e-commerce marketing channels available to grow your business, such as social media, PPC, SEO, and network marketing.

Successful e-commerce business owners, though, know that email marketing is one of the most profitable channels available.

Let’s take a look at “what is e-commerce email marketing?” and why e-commerce businesses should use it.

Finally, we’ll delve into the 10 best e-commerce email marketing strategies that you can implement immediately for great results.

What Is E-Commerce Email Marketing?

E-commerce email marketing is a marketing channel that enables you to send marketing messages to current and potential customers. 

The strategies you use can be simple, like sending a weekly email blast with featured products, or complex—with multiple automated email series for cart abandonment, customer re-engagement, and exclusive membership deals.

Either way, the ultimate goal is to increase customer engagement and drive conversions.

Why Should E-Commerce Businesses Do Email Marketing?

As an e-commerce business owner, you’ve probably heard the sales pitch for just about every marketing channel there is. 

You may even dabble in email marketing currently, but perhaps you don’t understand just how valuable a tool it is to your sales strategy.

Email marketing is a unique process in that, unlike social media or SEO, you own every piece of the funnel. Most importantly, you own the email subscriber list.

Why is that so important? With 4 billion daily email users (which will climb to 4.6 billion by 2025), you can’t afford to miss this incredible opportunity.

Through email marketing strategies, an e-commerce business can benefit from brand awareness, customer engagement, and high-intent customers. We also can’t ignore the conversion rate boosts that e-commerce businesses see when they implement a solid email marketing strategy, with the best ROI when compared to other marketing channels. 

With an average of $36 earned for every $1 spent, that’s a whopping 3,600 percent ROI!

How to Do Email Marketing

While much of this article will focus on email marketing strategies for active marketers, we understand that not every e-commerce business is yet set up for email marketing. 

If that’s you and you are completely brand new to email marketing, here are the steps you should take first:

  1. Set realistic and sustainable goals to grow your business, such as building an email list or improving customer retention by X percent.
  2. Select an email marketing software like MailChimp or Constant Contact.
  3. Map out your initial campaigns (e.g., welcome series, abandoned cart series, or new product launches.)
  4. Decide how you’ll collect email addresses. Many e-commerce companies offer a small coupon in exchange for email addresses.
  5. Set up landing pages as needed for campaigns.
  6. Set up campaign tracking with your chosen analytics provider.

Take the time to establish a firm foundation and you’ll be off to a better start than even many seasoned e-commerce businesses.

Best E-Commerce Email Marketing Strategies

Whether you’re new to email marketing or you’re looking to optimize your current setup, our best e-commerce email marketing strategies will provide you with a solid foundation to build your email marketing empire.

1. Start With a Welcome Series

For the best impression with new subscribers, establish a welcome email series. This gives you a chance to share your brand story, highlight your best products, and even offer a discount to drive sales.

Beyond that, a welcome series drives serious engagement. With an average open rate of 68.59 percent and an average click-through rate of 16.05 percent, a welcome series is a great part of your larger email marketing campaign.

Why?

First and foremost, a welcome series implies more than one email. Two or three emails is the sweet spot and anything beyond that is considered “spammy” and may scare off new subscribers.

With two emails, you have the chance to welcome the customer and invite them to connect. With three emails, you have the chance to do the previous two while also getting to know the customer more personally.

Take, for example, the NewEgg welcome series below which welcomes the customer and then invites them to connect with the mobile app:

Best E-Commerce Email Marketing Strategies - Start With a Welcome Series
Ecommerce Email Marketing - newegg welcome email

Whether you choose two or three emails, you want to be sure to include a few key elements in each email. 

The initial welcome email should:

  • thank the subscriber
  • welcome them to the brand
  • let them know what to look forward to in future emails

If you made a promise upon sign-up, like a discount, that needs to be included as well. 

The second welcome email should then:

  • give subscribers a further way to connect through mobile apps or social media
  • focus on the value you or your products can provide to their lives
  • tell them why they should purchase

2. Be Sure to Include a Clear Call to Action

What do you want your subscribers to do? 

Whether that’s reading your latest blog post, watching a promotional video, or buying your newest product, your customers should know exactly what you want.

A call to action, or CTA, is a prompt given to users in a newsletter, on a website, or in a video. The prompt is usually a button or hyperlink that will help the user to achieve the goal.

According to Unbounce, including just one clear CTA in emails boosts clicks by 371 percent and sales by 1617 percent.

When it comes to effective CTAs, clear and concise is the way to go.

Create a compelling call-to-action for your email marketing campaigns by:

  1. Knowing the end goal.
  2. Using action-oriented words.
  3. Addressing your audience in the first person.
  4. Keeping your messaging short and snappy.
  5. Adopting a conversational tone.

You should also A/B test your calls to action regularly. 

This means testing variations of your most used calls to action to see what elements your users respond to best. This includes verbs, button shape and color, length, and word order.

Unbounce saw an increase of 90 percent in their click-through rate just by changing “Start your free 30-day trial” to “Start my free 30-day trial.”

3. Use Personalization to Segment Your List

When is the last time you received an email that was specifically tailored to you? 

If you’re like most people, that email had a greater chance of compelling you to act. 

In fact, personalized promotional emails lift transaction rates and revenue six times higher than non-personalized emails.

Personalized marketing has three categories: contextual, demographic, and behavioral.

  • Contextual personalization utilizes where a customer is in their journey. For example, just beginning to research the topic or being ready to make a buying decision.
  • Demographic personalization utilizes demographic information such as age, gender, location, and household income level to inform recommendations.
  • Behavioral personalization is the use of past purchases or website behavior (e.g., abandoned carts). Consider this email from Etsy that advertises products based on past purchases:
Best E-Commerce Email Marketing Strategies - Use Personalization to Segment Your List

Depending on the size of your email list, you can even combine these categories to create intersections. Try combining past purchases with new location-based recommendations.

As your segmentation becomes more specific, the marketing campaigns will become more personalized and, more likely than not, successful.

4. Automate What You Can

Campaign Monitor found that automated emails create 320 percent more revenue than non-automated emails. 

Therefore, automated email campaigns can be an invaluable tool in your overall marketing strategy. 

From welcome series to cart abandonment to transactional emails to re-engagement campaigns, automated emails for e-commerce can level up your email marketing strategy.

Any email marketing software worth its weight will publish advice to help you automate your emails. 

Klaviyo, for example, has various blog posts on topics such as automation flows to consider. It also has an automation user guide so you can set up your flows successfully.

5. Create a Dynamic Cart Abandonment Series

A cart abandonment series can be one of your most profitable series. 

With an average open rate of 41.18 percent and a click rate of 9.50 percent, abandonment emails have a great opportunity for conversion.

When creating one, consider:

  1. The number of emails in the series: Three or four emails typically work best.
  2. The frequency of and intervals between each email: Try sending one email an hour after the cart abandonment, another the day after, and your final one three days later.
  3. Discounts to offer: If you want to secure a sale, try offering a discount code on the products they have in their cart.
  4. Subject lines: Subject lines strongly influence the CTR of your cart abandonment series, and can make sure your audience opens their email and reads the information you’re providing.
  5. Calls to action: Your CTA needs to convince your prospective customers to return to their carts. 

Additionally, your cart abandonment series can be a great place to personalize. The obvious one here is to include the products left behind in the cart like Chewy does below:

Best E-Commerce Email Marketing Strategies - Create a Dynamic Cart Abandonment Series

6. Perform Split Testing

How do you know whether your email campaigns are as effective as possible? 

Without split testing, you don’t!

Split testing (sometimes called A/B testing) is a marketing strategy that pits two or more similar variations of an element against one another. 

For example, a split test may test the efficiency of two CTA buttons, one black with white text and one white with black text. 

The goal is to find the best variations of common email elements to ensure that your emails have the greatest return on investment—such as testing user experience design elements. 

This can result in better conversion rates of up to 400 percent. 

Try to test:

  • subject lines
  • preview text
  • product imagery
  • layout 
  • image size
  • font size
  • font color
  • button color
  • send day and time
  • copy
  • pricing and discounts
  • social media icons

When it comes to running successful split tests, there are some ground rules to follow:

  1. Stick with one variable at a time.
  2. Identify your goal.
  3. Know your “control” and your “challenger.”
  4. Split your groups equally and randomly.
  5. Decide significance parameters.

Once you have statistically significant (as determined by you) results in hand, it’s time to implement changes if necessary.

7. Use Email to Encourage Engagement

We’ve touched briefly on engagement in the welcome series section. However, engagement emails don’t need to be reserved only for welcome email campaigns.

Email newsletters offer a unique opportunity to capture your audience. This is especially true if open rates are high but click-through rates are lacking.

Segment your audience according to their engagement, and deliver appropriate messages accordingly.

Subscribers who have previously converted, for example, are 74.7 percent more likely to do so again. 

Here, you would want to capitalize on brand trust. Ask yourself: 

“Why did the customer buy from me before. Why should they do so again?”

This would be a good opportunity for a product recommendations email based on their previous purchase. 

If it’s a consumable product, then a subscription offer email is easy enough. If it’s a non-consumable product, then a complementary product email is a safe bet.

For subscribers yet to convert, focus on building brand trust and offer discounts to make a purchase less risky.

8. Offer Exclusive Experiences and Rewards to Loyal Subscribers

Segmentation makes it easier to personalize emails and reward loyal customers. 

By segmenting your email list by longtime subscribers or the greatest money spent, you can provide an exclusive experience that makes them feel valued by your brand.

Notice I say experience and reward as opposed to discount. 

Can a discount be a reward? Absolutely. However, discounts do have a downside. In particular, they can cheapen your brand’s value, especially in the eyes of loyal customers.

A loyal customer knows the value of your product. 

Instead of a discount offer, consider an experiential reward. This is also backed by millennial spending habits. After all, 78 percent of millennials would rather spend their money on an experience than a product. 

  • Give away once-in-a-lifetime trips.
  • Offer meet and greet events with brand ambassadors.
  • Make a brilliant rewards program.
  • Design a top-tier social media group where you host virtual events.

9. Set Up Back In Stock or Wishlist Emails

We’ve touched on the importance of automated emails, and we’ve even covered two automated campaigns in particular:

  1. A welcome series.
  2. A cart abandonment series. 

The next on our list to highlight is the back-in-stock (or “wishlist” emails.)

With recent constraints on the supply chain, more brands than ever have had item stocking and inventory troubles. 

You can either waste an opportunity by removing temporarily unavailable items from your website, or you can capitalize on customer wants with back-in-stock emails.

As the name suggests, back-in-stock emails alert customers when a product they expressed interest in is back in stock and available to purchase. 

Depending on your platform, a back-in-stock email option may be a product page feature or it may require additional configuration (and add-ons like an app). 

However much effort it takes on your part, the return is worth it!

According to a study by Barilliance, back-in-stock emails had the highest open rate (65.32 percent) when compared to alternative post-purchase emails.

10. Utilize Dynamic Content

We already know that personalization drives conversions. 

The same can be said for a subset of personalization known as dynamic content, which has been shown to increase email ROI by 100 percent!

So, what is dynamic content?

Dynamic content is personalized content generated based on user signals:

  1. Product recommendations based on past purchases or previously viewed products.
  2. Calls to action tailored to the user’s browsing behaviors. 
  3. Free exclusive offers (such as ebooks and white papers) for someone in the “research” stage of the buyer’s journey.

With most major email marketing software companies, dynamic content will be an impressive addition to most e-commerce email templates. 

E-Commerce Email Templates

Here are a few e-commerce email templates to help you build your e-commerce email marketing campaigns.

1. Welcome Email Template

This welcome email template combines clean lines combined with pops of color to be striking and eye-catching. When customizing it, make sure to use the large “featured image” space for a friendly brand image or a featured product lifestyle relevant to you.

Ecommerce Email Templates - Welcome Email Template

2. Abandoned Cart Email Template

The creative, clean design of this abandoned cart email template is great for any e-commerce site. Stylized text and a large product image make it easy to read, drawing attention to the humorous copy.

Ecommerce Email Templates - Abandoned Cart Email Template

3. Discount Email Template

Make your big sales event known with this beautifully stylized email template. Featuring bold text and modules for product imagery, your customers will easily see the value in your offer. 

Ecommerce Email Templates - Discount Email Template

4. Product Recommendations Email Template

Let your product recommendations do the talking with this image-heavy recommendations email template. The faux navigation also adds a standout touch that makes your readers feel as if they’re shopping your website.

Ecommerce Email Templates - Product Recommendations Email Template

5. Follow-Up Email Template

With a clean, streamlined design, this follow-up email template is ideal for soliciting post-purchase feedback from your customers. 

Ecommerce Email Templates - Follow-up Email Template

E-Commerce Email Marketing Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I make from e-commerce email marketing?

What you earn from e-commerce email marketing is relative to what you invest. With an average of ROI $36 earned for every $1 spent, you’re likely to earn more from e-commerce email marketing than most (if not all) other marketing channels.

How does e-commerce use email marketing?

E-commerce relies heavily on email marketing as a way to connect with both current and prospective customers. It’s used as a way to promote new products, communicate exclusive offers and deals, and engage with the target audience.

How do I start e-commerce email marketing?

To start e-commerce email marketing, all you need is an email marketing software, some e-commerce email templates, and one or two fully fleshed-out campaigns. The rest will fall into place as you grow your subscriber list.

How important is email marketing for e-commerce companies?

Email marketing is a critical part of any effective e-commerce marketing strategy. Without email marketing, you could be leaving tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table.

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Conclusion: E-Commerce Email Marketing

Whether you’re a new or seasoned e-commerce business owner, email marketing should have a large part to play in your overall marketing strategy. 

It’s not difficult to get started, and once you do you now have the best strategies in hand to make your campaigns a success. 

To recap, the 10 strategies you should implement in your e-commerce email marketing strategy are:

  1. Start with a welcome series.
  2. Be sure to include a clear call to action.
  3. Use personalization to segment your list.
  4. Automate what you can.
  5. Create a dynamic cart abandonment series.
  6. Perform split testing.
  7. Use email to encourage engagement.
  8. Offer exclusive experiences and rewards to loyal subscribers.
  9. Set up back in stock or waitlist emails.
  10. Utilize dynamic content.

With these strategies in place, you’ll know that you’re doing everything you can for boosting engagement and conversions.

Which of the above strategies are you most excited to implement in your email marketing strategy?

Source: New feed 2