Negative Effects of Social Media

Alexander Pope said “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” it goes perfectly with the amateur usage of social media especially in the 21st century. We take social media for granted and do whatever we want which comes biting back later.

Social media has brought about new opportunities and avenues for the world to connect at large. With social media, the world has become a smaller place. On one hand, it is a great invention, and a lot can be done to better our lifestyles. But if we look at it with thousands of immature users it is becoming a somewhat scary place to live in.

There is a reason why most parents or older siblings try to keep the young ones away from social media handles these days. From being a platform to connect or share worldviews it has narrowed down to bring a platform to boost and troll. That is sad given that we can do so much with social media, it is sad to see how low to stoop.

Today kids of ages 10 have the access and accounts on social handles; it can turn into over addiction and an escape to a fantasy world. This fantasy world that we create behind the 15-inch laptop screen might be a scary affair. The fit models with perfect bodies, exotic travel locations, and photo-perfect moments most often don’t match with the lives we lead on a daily basis. This disconnect might want us to aspire for more which might not be possible in reality and can affect our mental health.

The thrust for more followers or likes has a dangerous effect on our mental health. You start feeling anxious, a lack of identity, less sleep causing insomnia, a negative body image can be some of the significant issues that a social media addict might, face. You make yourself as desirable as the models you see around you, you keep adding filters and edit your pictures to look ‘perfect, and your sense of self is lost. You want to become someone you are not. You start hating yourself for not having the ideal body, the perfect shape, so on and so forth.

Researchers across the globe have found that the “fear of missing out” created across all popular social feeds can substantially lower self-esteem and fuel issues like anxiety and depression among individuals.

Cyberbullying is also heavily linked to the constant need to prove oneself better than the others on social media.

On a large scale, not only teenagers but people nowadays take the social platform too literally and believe in a lot of fake news of hoax that is being circulated just for publicity purposes. People today are falling for dangerous trends that they see on social media or think it is cool to be a part of. The trend of being a part of a social group is what is causing more harm than good.

You have to understand you being social has nothing to do with the number of friends or followers you have on social media. It can all be a farce, just by seeing another peer having many followers you cannot be jealous and want that life. Don’t let social media be a drug that is so addictive that you cannot live without.

All of these leads to identify threats that take place due to the sharing of too much personal information on the net unnecessarily. You can also see a rise in hate speech and social disgust across social media accounts which is completely uncalled for. The most disgusting thing that is coming up a lot in the 21st century is cyberstalking. It can be too dangerous and is even taking lives. Immature usage of social platform has to stop and stop now.

After using social media handles many people decide to keep themselves away from it as there is no or very minimal privacy with the extensive use of social platforms. If not handled sensibly your life becomes a window to the world. A subject of discussion.

We as a world lack smart users. We either take everything for granted, or we take things too literally. Having said all of this it does not mean that social media is all that bad with only negatives. Of course, not, there are plenty of benefits of social media. It keeps us connected across vast distances, let’s us find our school buddies and long lost colleagues. If your motive is to stay connect or share an opinion about life and other stuff but if social site is your source of news or emotional upliftment it is undoubtedly a bad idea.

How to Select the Best WordPress Theme for Your Website

If you have decided to choose WordPress for your business website, then your next task would be to choose the perfect theme from hundreds of themes that range from business website templates to personal. While choosing your theme, you should be very careful, as the success and the look and feel of your site will depend much on the chosen theme. When it is about choosing the right and a feature rich WordPress theme, you will understand that popularity comes with a price tag. With thousands of themes obtainable easily for free, it is natural to get lost in the different options on the web.

So, here in this article we will discuss with you the key points that you should consider while choosing the theme for your site that meets your business requirements.

Make a list of the features you actually need:

It is absolutely essential to determine the exact features that your business would need before selecting a theme. The WordPress Feature Filter makes it easy to customize your search for the free themes that match your specific needs. If you have a design in your mind, then it would make it easy to choose the theme and it will help you to attain the objectives of your site without going for unnecessary themes that might just be a clutter for your site.

Remain simple:

With lots of WordPress themes coming with multifaceted layouts, varied colors, flashy animations and etc., it might be a bit confusing to choose the perfect theme for your business. So consider something that has a simple design layout as it will help you to support your business goals. Ensure that the theme looks elegant without compromising on the quality. It is very important that your presentation style is not very complicated and helps you to get new subscribers or business.

Free theme Vs Premium theme:

Another point that you should consider is whether to choose a premium WordPress theme over a free one or not. Free themes are often developed as a passion project and may not offer great support or updates. And premium WordPress themes come with good documentation, regular updates and access to support.

Responsive design is a must:

While talking about responsive themes, it is important for you to know that such themes are known for their adjustments on different screen sizes and devices. Since a huge amount of traffic is generated from mobile nowadays, and even Google prefers mobile friendly websites, choosing a responsive WordPress theme is important as it brings a lot of opportunities for your business.

Compatibility with browsers:

Your users might be using different browsers, so to make your website easily accessible to all, you should consider a WordPress theme that is browser compatible. Though most WordPress themes are tested by the developers by using sophisticated browser compatibility testing tools, but in case they don’t, then run some basic test and check if they are compatible with Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome and etc.

Design and usability:

The prime focus of your theme should be to ensure that your business is easily accessible to all and is at the same time very attractive to the visitors. The design can be subjective, and in that case you can look for some professional designers selling their themes. You also need to make sure that users can easily move through the site and the design is built considering convenience in mind.

Look for customization options:

Creating a perfect website takes a lot of effort and it is also important to keep your website updated with latest features. An excellent means to see if the theme is worth all your efforts is to check the review of the people using it. A customizable theme will help you to make direct changes to the style sheet. You can make your site attractive with very less effort. Plugins like Visual Page Editor helps to develop complex structures without a single touch of code.

Benefits of Introducing a Smart Web Application

Web applications are the latest way of interacting with customers. The application of a company can make or break the company’s sales and profits. Customers today are extremely tech savvy, so choosing to promote online is a wise and smart choice. Creating a web application is probably the most effective way of getting in touch with your customers. Web applications serve numerous purposes related to company businesses.

Advantages of Web Applications

Web development depends largely on the promotion of products and services. It also involves providing a method of easy access which is informative at the same time. A web application can cover all such demands that are very necessary to fulfill to ensure customer satisfaction. An application can help in boosting such needs by many folds. Applications, abbreviated as apps in common tongue, are used by audience and users all over the world. A professional web developer creates attractive apps which incorporate latest and interactive graphical user interfaces. Interactive being the keyword here is a matter of output of creativity. Professionals are entirely updated about all the current trends in technology. This helps them design something that people actually seek.

A company with an active web application also has comfortable communicability with its customers. Instead of going overboard with letters, SMS and calling systems to reach out, a web application is a good idea. It serves all the purposes because every kind of communication is integrated into one application. This makes the entire process very easy, convenient, and most importantly, cost-effective. The only cost required is the internet connection, which is, of course, a staple in any company’s expenses and communication tactics.

Loyalty Programme

A loyalty programme is an efficient method of interacting with customers and making sure they are updated about your business values, sales, and other statistics. A website application development company designs an application, which not only provides communication services but also has a news feed. This feed allows the company to upload important information on a regular basis or as per the requirement of the company. Respective measures taken are easy uploading capability of the application.

Avoiding Trouble

Websites face a lot of undue traffic which often causes communication blockage and system failure. A rewarding solution is a mobile application. These can be used over any compatible device and gives users a one-on-one interaction facility. Nobody gets stuck in the server failure issues in this method. When servers fail one too many times, customers interpret the situation as poor maintenance and unprofessional approach from the company’s side. You can clear your way to the success of all such obstacles by simply introducing a web application for your company.

You could be lagging behind many competitors in this digital era if you fail to make a web application for your company. Give customers the best- a scope for them to connect with your company in one touch, and a convenient platform for reviewing your services. Professional website development companies save your time and money and do the job for you. Opt for a right strategy for online marketing, and there is no better way to pave the way other than gifting your customers a web application privilege.

Four Web Design Tips for Better Conversion

Your website’s design is a large factor when it comes to conversion. It doesn’t matter how amazing your online ads are, or how well managed your social media pages are. If your website is where all the transaction action is to take place, an ill-designed site means kissing conversion goodbye.

So how can you make sure your website is designed in the best possible way to ensure more conversions? Here are some tips.

1. Limit Navigational Choices

As counter-intuitive as it may initially appear, limiting choices is actually a better step to take, particularly when offering your customer with navigational menu options.

According to a study, when customers are presented with more choices, not only does this lengthen the decision-making time, but it lessens the chances of the user actually picking an option. What works better is presenting them with just enough options to provide variety or at least provide the necessary segmenting of more specific options.

Avoid overwhelming your website visitor with twenty or so specific options and put them into groups instead. Not only does it make your site less cluttered-looking, but the user will have an easier time deciding where to go as well.

2. Heed the Speed

One major factor that affects a user’s decision as to whether they’ll give your website a chance or not is its loading speed, so making sure it’s efficient is something you mustn’t overlook.

With a reported 7% deduction in conversion per every second of delay, you can see how vital a quick loading time is. Constantly testing your site’s loading time through different methods and tools, such as Google’s Page Speed Tools can help you prevent losing customers due to a slow site.

3. Simplicity is Key

Similar to providing a simpler array of choices in navigation, the website’s pages themselves would do good to be kept as simple as possible.

This doesn’t mean not adding certain touches to spice things up, but rather maintain a minimalist approach to how much information, images, and material you put into a single page.

If your site is more on what your products or services are about, especially, keeping things simple and clean makes it easier for the user to understand, and more importantly, makes sure they don’t get intimidated by a grand overload of images, videos, and text to process.

4. Learn from Experience

Different things work for different websites, and while some tips may work out (and should work out based on other websites’ experience), it’s not an automatic assurance for every site.

This is why investing in constant monitoring of your site’s performance is an essential part of your website’s development. If you find that somehow lots of material works for your site, then go ahead and apply that, or if you find that providing more choices gains more clicks, then go with that.

Switching things up every now and again and seeing how that works out and which improvements can boost conversions is also vital.

With all of that, it’s evident how maximizing your website’s design for better conversions isn’t a one-shot thing; it requires constant monitoring and updates, and more importantly, it requires a mindset that successful web design is an ongoing process, no matter how new or established your business website is.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Web Hosting Service

People often ask me about factors that they should be taking into consideration before signing up for a web hosting service. Unfortunately, there is not one, simple answer. Instead, different types of requirements can be served with different types of services. You can start with narrowing down your own requirements. Don’t forget to make two distinct lists: ‘must-have requirements’ and ‘optional requirements’. Once you are aware of what you need out of a web hosting service, second step would be deciding your budget. This is probably the easiest step of all because you would know that already somewhere in the back of your head.

There are heaps of hosting providers available in the market. Hence, we started our search with narrowing down what we are looking for. A simple Google search can return several services and it might be hard to choose from. But if you keep your list of requirements in front of you, it would be much easier. Here is what you can do to aid your search:

1) Study the web hosting service: After filtering a few service providers, you should start digging into the business history of each. Remember to strikethrough those that are not in business since a reasonable amount of time. A reasonable amount of time can range from one to three years. Read reviews of that particular service provider on blogs and forums. Only move with this provider if it passes the first step.

2) Choose web hosts with at least 99.9% uptime: Do remember that a cheap service may attract you with colorful banners and advertisements. However, it is not necessary that their servers are capable of handling traffic consistently, no matter what the load is. Many good services mention their server up-time. Filter your list of web hosts with only those that have at least 99.9% server uptime.

3) Look for Support & Knowledge base: Never sign up with a service provider that doesn’t offer 24/7 support. Many good hosting services offer live chat option. Although the wait-time is considerable, but you have an advantage of getting your issue resolved quickly. Make sure that the company has a good knowledge base available at your disposal and it includes basic FAQs in it. You don’t want to keep your website visitors on hold till your web host fix the issue.

If you consider these three things in your web host hunting, you will definitely end up finding a great service that will the long-lasting companion of your website and your clients.

Precious Data in the Hands of Technology

Technology has jumped leaps and bounds in the last decade, and data has come of prime importance for corporates to work their magic, but they still need the magical wand to accomplish this. Well they have got it, web hosts from around the world are in a frenzy to deliver state of the art infrastructure for SMB’s and large scale industries to host their data, and this has come in the form of VPS and cloud hosting.

Well, everybody’s heard of computers, hard-drives, etc. to store and execute data and run different programs on it, storing data on the web comes with the basics of VPS that involve the technique of virtualisation that means dividing a single server into multiple servers. Virtual servers host data with other data that is saved on other partitions of the server. In this kind of hosting, resources are shared with data of other clients on that server. This kind of server technology is good for businesses that do not have a lot of data or high spikes in traffic.

VPS servers are the easiest and cheapest way to host data on the web, hosting on VPS renders clients to upload their data, track visitor stats, create new accounts, and work with their personal information like username, passwords, so o and so forth. Clients looking out for Linux or Windows VPS should look at the amount of storage, bandwidth, control over data and personal information, systems support for scripts and databases, ability to install applications seamlessly, create email accounts and much more.

The next step of virtualisation is cloud computing, this technology delivers shared resources to clients on-demand, cloud servers and VPS deliver flexibility, performance, saves capital cost, and much more. Hosting data on the cloud is the modern wave of virtualisation technology as it renders full virtualisation, state of the art management, optimisation of resources, and enhanced automation.

Virtual Private Servers deliver single and independent solutions at lower costs to smaller companies, the cloud VPS also called as Infrastructure-as-a-service deliver managed infrastructure in the form of virtual instances, these components can include capacity, storage, RAM, Processing Power and lots more, clients are given the option to select their own operating system like Windows and Linux, a virtual private cloud or virtual private data center is virtually partitioned from a large cloud setup through a VLAN and is maintained by service providers.

A virtual private cloud is said to be an amalgamation of cloud computing with a virtual private network in place. A virtual private cloud is derived from interconnecting cloud resources with enterprise sites and VPN’s. Therefore cloud computing or cloud hosting is the new wave of the future by providing flexible and on-demand resources, global clients are using this technology seamlessly across various platforms and will continue to do so in the future. This is where cloud hosts are working day in and day out to deliver state of the art services to clients all around the world.

What Is Web Hosting & Which Web Hosting Suits You the Best?

With the increasing trend of online shopping and e-businesses, it is not a surprise that the increase in the popularity of web hosting services is more than ever before. Even more interestingly, the rate at which small businesses are signing up for various kinds of web hosting services is breaking its own record every year. If you are new to online business, this might be a confusing thing to understand. This is why I felt the need to write this article where I can talk about what web hosting is and how you can benefit from its enormous features in order to promote your business and be successful.

First let’s discuss a little bit of history. We live in an era, where door-to-door marketing isn’t really possible in today’s ever-expanding societies and settings. With millions of households in even a small city, you can’t even think of successfully marketing your business unless you use online means. Hence, it doesn’t matter how great is the idea, product, or service that you are trying to sell, you can’t succeed without leveraging the power of internet and social media. You need to have an online presence where you can market your products and service and give them an exposure they deserve. This is where web-hosting services come into play.

There are quite a few services available in the market today to choose from. The question is: which one suits you best. Your business ideas and goals are most likely be different from other businesses and hence not any web hosting service can cater your needs and your demands. Therefore, you need to ask yourself a few questions before purchasing the subscription of any web hosting platform. The first question should be the storage space that is available at your disposal. You don’t want me to struggling in storing the high-quality photos and videos of your products. Hence you should choose a service that offers unlimited storage for your valuable content.

In terms of security of your intellectual property, you also need to ask how secure the service provider is and how long they are in business for. Don’t got for new-comers as they might disappoint you sooner rather than later. Always go with the names that are in business since a long time and hold a good reputation. Lastly, you should be questioning about the bandwidth that a particular service provider includes in your subscription. Bandwidth here is the amount of data your website visitors will be consuming by visiting your website. Once you run of allocated bandwidth, the visitors might face trouble accessing your website.

Choosing Your Keywords Wisely

he keywords and key phrases that you choose to put into your content are critical to your success. They will make or break your business. If they are effective, the search engines will react to them in a positive manner. On the other hand, if they are not effective, you won’t make any progress at all.

How to choose the most effective keywords and key phrases possible
Before you even start to write any content and before you even consider which keywords to use in your content, it will probably be very helpful to analyze which keywords will work best for your content. As you are conducting your research, you will want to study how marketers are using keywords. If you learn the concepts behind the choices, you will be able to use those concepts over and over again in a very successful manner.

As you are studying, you will discover that the marketers have identified trends and are able to forecast what can (and will) happen in the near future. That is very valuable information to have at your disposal. That information can enable you to have a leg up when it comes to your competitors so that you will be noticed by other people who need and want what you are offering. If you are able to do that, you will be successful.

You may be wondering exactly how you should choose the metrics that are most important to the success of your brand. Well, here are some that will most likely help:

Volume of search terms
When it comes to keywords and key phrases, you will want to pay attention to volume. If a keyword or key term is popular, the chances are that you will have more people paying attention to the content that you are putting out there. That means that your keywords and key phrases will probably be found higher on the search engines pages. The more that happens, the great the number of people who will visit your website will be.

Of course, that will ultimately translate into your eventually having an increased number of clients and a better revenue stream. That concept is actually quite simple. Your keywords and key phrases are still (and will probably always be) critical to the success of your brand. One way to get a clear understanding of how your chosen keywords and key phrases will do is to research how similar keywords and key phrases have done for other people.

Study the current trends
You will want to search volume for certain trends. You undoubtedly want your search terms to do well and to bring the people to you. This is another analytic element that you would do well to pay attention to. The (obviously) main reason that you want to pay attention to metrics is so that you can identify what is working and what is not working for you. That way, you can keep doing what is working and either tweak or eliminate what is not working.

It is important to be aware that not all keywords and key phrases will produce the exact same results. However, there will be many that do achieve certain results and have similar movement. The analytics tool will show you the trends that are important for you to identify and work with. You will want to focus on keywords and key phrases that are not time-sensitive because you will definitely get more bang for your buck in that case. Evergreen is definitely the way to go.

Be intimately acquainted with your competition
Interestingly, if you ask most business owners, they will probably say that they really don’t have any competition in business. Of course, that is almost never the case. When it comes to keywords and key phrases, you will want to go for those that have less competition because that makes them more unique and, therefore, more memorable and more interesting. It may be challenging to find those words and phrases but once you do, you will be glad that you made the choices that you made because the results will really be favorable.

The search results that turn up
Of course, you want your keywords and key phrases to produce a robust number of results. The more search results that show up, the better your chances of people finding you. If your content is optimized, the results that are produced will be the most effective ones for your business. This is definitely a metric that you will want to pay attention to. It will help you to evaluate the effect that your competitors are having on your target audience so that you can hone what you are doing in order to keep up with the competitors.

The strength/value of your keywords and key phrases
Naturally, you not only want to use keywords and key phrases but you want to use the best possible keywords and key phrases for your particular business. The value of your keywords and key phrases is an extremely important factor for your business. The stronger they are, the better your results will be. You can learn a lot about this by paying attention to what your competitors are doing here as well. If they can achieve positive results, so can you.

Pay attention to past trends
If you have been in business for a while, you probably understand how to use your data from the past to achieve greater success in the future. You can use those data to identify trends and patterns that worked well for your business. It is a very good idea to go back and review what you did and exactly what sorts of results those actions produced. The trends will help you tremendously to understand exactly how you should proceed and what to expect.

Conclusion
Paying attention to analytics is invaluable to your brand and to your business. Of course, you will want to choose keywords that are really relevant to your brand. Those keywords and key phrases will help you to generate more valuable traffic to your website. Analytics will allow you to identify trends and to make forecasts for the near and distant future. It will also enable you to understand which keywords and key phrases to use and why.

Professional Web Designers

Reasons to Engage Professional Web Designers for Success in Business:

Having recognized the benefits of digitization of business, every organization looks to being visible and having an impressive presence on the Wide World Web. This not only is accessible across national boundaries and borders, but it also ensures a highly vibrant global clientele. One of the most important factors that contribute to such visibility is having a website that reflects the business, attracts visitors, converts the visitors to prospective customers and most importantly ensures that the prospective customers become ‘repeat’ customers. To achieve this level in business, it is essential that Professional web designers be given the responsibility of creating a website that promotes business growth.

There are many reasons why engaging the services of the web designer is beneficial and some of those reasons include:

The business is reflected by a highly responsive, automated and interactive website which has a higher potential to attract customers.

The professional designers are more likely to be familiar with the latest, state -of -the -art technologies that go into the making of an impressive and user-friendly website.

On engaging the services of the web designer or a web designing company, the website is likely to be updated regularly, which would include the latest information regarding the organization, the business, and related information.

New ideas and concepts are included on the website, making it extremely modern and contemporary. This attracts the viewer to spend some more time on the website, thereby providing the opportunity to convert the visitor into a prospective customer.

Designers are basically artistic in nature and hence, their aesthetic skills come to the fore when creating a website. Their color combinations, graphics, and the other imagery do wonders to the visitors to attract them. Therefore, by engaging the services of the web designers, there is an assurance that the website that is created is a boon to the organization and its business.

Website designers apart from being aesthetically inclined also possess an in-depth knowledge of technology and are highly computer savvy, as they are trained for it. Therefore, the organization is ensured that an extremely user-friendly interface is in place as well as it has just the right material that does not clutter the pages, nor makes it jarring for the viewers.

Factors to look for when engaging the web designer:

When engaging the services of the web designer, there are some factors that make the entire process of engaging their services in achieving the results of their services worthwhile.

Firstly, the qualification and experience of the designer engaged to create a website is important. It is through experience that the designer becomes aware of the pros and cons of various technologies, compatibility of the technology with the different kinds of interfaces and the languages that can be used.

Secondly, knowledge and skill are important factors too, as the web designer is better equipped to offer suggestions and ideas to enhance the quality and the look of the website. Apart from the physicality of the website, the web designer would be able to offer suggestions on the technological aspects of the website, the various pages of the website and the user-friendliness of the website.

Monthly Marketing Happenings + a Little Woo for a Change

Those of you who have been around awhile will not be surprised by the last part of that subject line. For years I sprinkled in the non-physical side of my life and highlighted the mentors from afar that I follow and how they’ve impacted me. I’ve always honored my intuition – in work and life – and feel pulled more into that space every day.

Rest easy if this isn’t your thing; it’s not taking over center stage. But in our quest to stand out, to be seen and heard, I believe it’s a good idea to tap into what makes you uniquely you on the soul side as well as the 3-D you side.

Back to the as-promised marketing content from around the web.

As always, there is at least one Social Media post, starting with this one from MeetEdgar, a social media content management application. It’s not the one I use and that’s a money thing. It’s more than I care to invest at this point but they post great tips and strategy content, and this one gives you a behind-the-scenes look at their Facebook live experiment and how to make the most of that tactic.

Email marketing is still the #1 way to increase engagement and sales.

Most of you reading this have a list that you communicate with. And though you spend time and mental energy, aka anguish, writing what you think is important content you may not get the open rates you think you deserve.

This article on Forbes.com by Forbes staffers has a short list of 5 ways to increase open rates.

Tired of the same old lead magnet?

Quizzes and assessments are Hot! Interactive is where it’s at and this article from CopyHackers is a tell-all on why, how, and what options there are for creating them. I’m using a platform they didn’t mention called Interact.

Next week I’ll be offering you a chance to take my new quiz and give me feedback, and tell you why I went with them. This is not a short how-to blog post, rather it’s a comprehensive guide to creating a great quiz, which comes after the data proving that it’s worth it. I have it printed out as I work through creating mine.

And now for the Woo.

Caroline Myss is known to some of you I’m sure. If not, and you value an intelligent contribution to the conversation of all things spiritual both far out and more mainstream, then I recommend Caroline. Her sense of humor is razor sharp and she is no BS when it comes to personal responsibility. She has been hosting a series called Reflections for years. The context is living in the world with spirit, mysticism, healing, archetypes and more of those kinds of subjects. As part of the marketing to promote her offer to buy access to all of these live classes, she’s been offering the first session of the a few of the multi-session courses. This one titled Pebbles in the Well, is about getting to know your spirit, its voice, your spiritual needs, and more.

After reading most of her books and listening to hours of her recorded teachings I still have room for more. I hope those of you who make spirit an intentional part of your day enjoy this. Let me know.

I mentioned last week that I was going to do a manifesto webinar and that’s true. Then I thought I’d move it back to do one on sales. You know, that thing that keeps the lights on, the thing that everyone has to master to stay in business? I’d had a few conversations with people who thought that the need for a sales training is greater than need to get that manifesto done. And I almost went there.

Here’s why I’m sticking with the manifesto. Without a clear message you will not master sales nor have successful marketing activities. Doing the manifesto work gives you clarity, confidence, and a better understanding of whom you serve. From there you can take on the world.