WebP is a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. Using WebP, webmasters and web developers can create smaller, richer images that make the web faster.
Is WebP better than JPEG?
JPEG is a no-brainer. WebP offers 25 – 35% smaller file sizes at the exact same SSIM quality index, which means that WebP images have smaller file sizes with the same quality. There isn’t much more to say on this. WebP offers a better all-around package than JPEG as an image format.
How does it work?
Lossy WebP compression uses predictive coding to encode an image, the same method used by the VP8 video codec to compress keyframes in videos. Predictive coding uses the values in neighboring blocks of pixels to predict the values in a block, and then encodes only the difference.
Lossless WebP compression uses already seen image fragments in order to exactly reconstruct new pixels. It can also use a local palette if no interesting match is found.
WebP is natively supported in Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge, the Opera browser, and by many other tools and software libraries. Developers have also added support to a variety of image editing tools.
WebP includes the lightweight encoding and decoding library libwebp and the command line tools cwebp and dwebp for converting images to and from the WebP format, as well as tools for viewing, muxing and animating WebP images.
We at Webstyle convert all our images to WebP, in our continuous effort to make our website load faster to give your clients and improved web browsing experience. This only part of what we do at webstyle…
Enhanced Protection Against Vulnerabilities with a Security Plugin Preinstalled
We have recently launched our security plugin, which aims to protect WordPress users against the most common vulnerabilities plaguing the sites. We have started preinstalling Security plugin on all new installations on our platform with some of the features enabled by default.
Default Security Settings Against Common WordPress Vulnerabilities
Having your site set up with security in mind from the start can easily protect you against some of the most popular vulnerabilities out there. To help you achieve that goal, when we preinstall the Security plugin we enable the following settings:
WordPress Version is Hidden by default
Hackers often crawl websites scooping information about software versions used. That way, when they get to discover a vulnerability in any of those versions, they are able to reach to and quickly hack many sites in bulk using that information. For WordPress application this data is openly available in 2 places – in an HTML tag and in the readme.html file.
By default, our plugin removes the HTML tag with the WordPress version.
Advanced XSS Vulnerability Protection enabled
The cross site script vulnerability, known as XSS, allows different apps and plugins to access information in your WordPress that they shouldn’t. Such attacks are often used to gather sensitive user data for example. By default the Security plugin enables protection against XSS by adding headers instructing browsers not to accept JS or other code injections.
Disabled XML-RPC protocol to prevent many vulnerabilities and attacks
The XML-RPC is an old protocol used by WordPress to talk to other systems. It is getting less and less used since the appearance of the REST API. However, it is available in the application and many are using it for exploiting vulnerabilities, starting DDOS attacks and other troubles. That is why our Security plugin disables this open access line to your WordPress application by default.
Lock and Protect System Folders by default
Usually when an exploit happens, attackers try inserting and executing PHP files in public folders to add backdoors and further compromise your account. By design, those publicly accessible WordPress folders are used for uploading media content (images for example). Via the Security plugin, we do not forbid the upload of files, but we stop PHP files and malicious scripts from being executed and causing problems for your sites. This feature protects those system folders and prevents potentially malicious scripts from being executed from them.
Disabled “Admin” Username
The default username and one most widely used on all applications by their owners is “Admin.” Hackers know that and when they wish to bruteforce a login form, they will definitely try it. That is why we disable this username by default.
Limit Login Attempts
When someone tries to log in several times with wrong credentials, they are most likely trying to guess your logins. That is why it is strongly recommended to block such attempts after the first few – 3 or 5. We set that in the Security plugin interface and after that many times of wrong logins, the user gets blocked for 1hour the first time, then 24hours on the second trial, and finally for 7 days on their third trial.
More Tools Against WordPress Vulnerabilities Coming Up
There is continuing development of the plugin and will add a lot of new functionality soon.
The Website Optimizer is Now Available аnd Free for All our websites..
File-based Caching (NEW FEATURE)
Nowadays caching is one of the most effective means to optimize performance. When looking for alternatives to Dynamic Caching (built-in feature for all Webstyle websites) we decided to implement File-based caching because of its versatility and compatibility with different hosting configurations. File-based Caching can be used on its own on websites hosted outside Webstyle or as an additional caching layer for Webstyle customers who already have Dynamic Caching and Object caching (Memcached) enabled.
Some great features of the File-based caching are the ability to keep cache for logged in users, pre-heating cache (especially useful for rarely opened pages that are opened for the first time in a while) and defining longer cache expiration. These options are configurable in the plugin interface. Although file-based caching alone is generally slower than the Dynamic caching, our tests show that its implementation in the Optimizer is still up to 20% faster than any other plugin that provide similar performance-optimization functionality that we have tested.
All customers can enjoy several types of environment optimizations that will tidy up your WordPress environment to achieve top performance. Here you can find features like WordPress Heartbeat Optimization where we can define how the WordPress API interacts with your application to optimize resource usage, and Schedule Weekly Database Maintenance to make sure that your WordPress remains tidy and uncluttered.
There are several media optimization tools in the Optimizer that will work on all hosting platforms. We can enable Lazy Load with which only the media in the visible part of the browser will be loaded. This makes loading faster and smoother for longer pages with multiple media items. We can also define the Maximum Image Width allowed for images on your website. A lot of themes and plugins tend to upload excessively large images that slow loading speed without ever being displayed in their full width.
As mentioned earlier, our platform has some unique speed settings and services, which cannot be replaced with plugin functionality alone since they need the specific server environment to run as designed. These remain exclusively available to websites hosted with Webstyle.
Dynamic Caching and Object Caching
One of the best speed-enhancing features you can get for your website and our top choice when we talk about speed, is the Dynamic Caching. The Dynamic Caching is part of our proprietary 3-level server caching implementation that relies on NGINX Direct Delivery for static cache handling, Dynamic Cache for dynamic content and Object Caching (Memcached) for storing data and objects in the RAM. We believe that Dynamic Caching is essential for every website and we have it included in all of our hosting plans. From the Optimizer plugin we have control over advanced WordPress-specific settings for the Dynamic Cache and Memcached to get the most of this technology.
Image compression and WebP
The Image Compression and WebP features of the Optimizer plugin are two essential features available to websites on the our platform exclusively. With our image compression algorithm we can decrease the image size (and respectively the time it takes for your images to load) by up to 85%, while keeping the image quality high for your visitors. We can also enable WebP which will convert your images to a WebP format which adds an additional reduction in size without affecting image quality.
We’re confident that the Optimizer plugin is the best performance optimization tool you can get for your website.
Consumer behavior has changed over time to adapt to the evolving technologies in the digital era. For instance, the thick yellow pages, which were popular not so long ago, have been replaced with online directories with the advent of the World Wide Web.
Today, the number of people who use the internet to find businesses has increased manifold and yellow pages have nearly been reduced to dust. In 2017, 97% of people searched online to find a local business near them. Therefore, if you want to grow your business by being in front of the right audience, you need to be found online – implying you must have a website. But the question, “why do I need a website?”, is still quite common. This blog talks about the top 10 reasons why your business needs a website in 2022 regardless of the industry you are in.
Without further ado let’s talk about the importance of having a website!
Reason #1: Your Customers Expect It
Taking upon the previous point, your tech-savvy customers expect you to have a website to find more information about your business. As for you, your website can help you generate business, increase brand recall value, promote goodwill in front of customers and target audience, as well as deliver strong marketing messages. Think of it this way, your website delivers your marketing message 24 hours, 365 days a year! Apart from e-commerce websites, most professional websites are information-oriented and try to solve visitors’ pain points.
Reason #2: Offers Social Proof
Customer behavior is driven mostly by what others have to say about your business. No matter, if your brand is rated 5-star on review sites like FourSquare or Yelp, people expect to see your website to get more information about the brand. Since prospective buyers are already looking for you online, including customer testimonials on your site is a great way to impress potential buyers and provide social proof.
Reason #3. Control the Narrative
While it is difficult to control what people say about you, you can influence your brand perception by writing your own story on the website. A website is a far more efficient way than print ads or snail mail brochures when it comes to helping brands spread their message, vision, and mission. According to SEOTribunal, there are 5.6 billion searches on Google per day, and 63,000 searches per second on any given day. Imagine, with that kind of search volume, there might be someone online right now looking for your exact service.
If you don’t have a website, guess who will get the business? Definitely, not you! But that competitor next door, who has a great-looking search-optimized website.
Reason #4: Maximize ROI
In the digital transformation era, creating a website on free tools such as WordPress.com doesn’t cost a lot of money, but provides more bang for your buck. A search-engine-optimized website lets you be in front of thousands of more potential consumers without spending much. It can help you reach a wider target audience for promoting your services or products. The content on the website also influences buying decisions and commercial transactions, no matter which industry you are in.
Reason #5: Website Adds To Company’s Credibility
If you want to show the world that you take your business seriously, then it is time to invest in a professional website. In an age when more than 50% of smartphone users discover a new company or product while searching on their smartphones, not having a website can damage your credibility. According to a study, 75% of online users accepted to judge a company’s credibility based on its website’s design. In the end, people are likely to engage with a company they can trust, and the website is the stepping stone towards building that relationship.
Reason #6: Have More Constructive Conversations
The website is your platform to answer all basic questions your potential customers may have about your business and brand. This is especially true for B2B marketing agencies. When people visit your website, they seek answers to basic questions like what you do, your products/solutions, your location, contact details, etc. Once they are satisfied with all that, they decide to either follow up or not. Just remember, when you provide such information, keep it simple and short since consumers these days expect immediate gratification.
Reason #7: Compete With Other Industry Goliaths
Did you know that having a website gives you a fair chance to compete with the giants of your industry? When an optimized website is created, it can rank higher and be at the right place at the right time. Bidding for the right keywords can increase your website traffic and influence your consumer’s journey, which typically begins with research, recommendations, and reviews. Having a prominent position on the search results page is one of the many ways to challenge your industry Goliaths.
Therefore, if you don’t dominate the Internet, you are giving your customers a reason to buy from the competition.
Reason #8: Fading Social Media Reach
If you think having a page on social media is enough to attract new customers, think again. It is not enough to have a Facebook page, because every other business has it. Facebook claims that people in 2018 spent 50 million fewer hours on Facebook than they did the year before. Therefore, many companies are now switching to building websites instead of relying on social media networks only. While social media networks have the potential to increase business, banking just on them can be a huge mistake that can cost in the years to come.
Reason #9: Expand Your Working Hours
Having a website means that your content is available to users anytime during the day, at their convenience. So whether someone visits your website in the dead of the night or during the day, in some way you’re always interacting with them, and can say goodbye to that ‘closed for business’ sign. Being accessible at all times supports marketing and increases sales dramatically, and this is especially true for e-commerce companies. It also is a step towards effective customer service and relationship building, especially if you have AI-powered chatbots enabled on your website that can solve the basic problems of your customers when they need it the most.
Reason #10. Showcase Your Offers
It cannot be stressed enough that a website is the first interaction of your target audience with your brand. How you position your business is totally in your control. Add to it, you can not only display your offerings with features but also provide short video tutorials or downloadable PDF instructions. You can also highlight your awards, testimonials, and all the features that can alleviate your visitors’ pain points. This increases the average time your customers spend on the website and perhaps influences their decision to contact you.
Tips to Get Started
Now that you’ve understood why have a website, let’s look at some ways to get started. First things first, choose a web hosting service. There are several companies that provide both domain and hosting services.
Choose a Domain Name
Ideally, your domain name should be that of your company name. In case, it is not available, you can choose a domain name that reflects your business line. Make the domain name catchy and distinctive. The domain name is a powerful marketing tool that you should fully utilize.
Web Hosting Service
Opt for a web hosting service that is credible with a strong reputation. We at Webstyle work with one of the best international hosting companies, with over 6 data centres wordwide including a CDN network spanning 90 countries and 194 cities worldwide.
We at Webstyle will walk with you step by step to ensure we build the website of your dreams.
The Price of Being Left behind Is A Lot More Than Having a Website
Having a professionally designed, brand-differentiating website is critical to increasing sales, boosting the bottom line, and growing your business. It gives you a chance to be in front of the right target audience with your brand’s story. Moreover, having a basic website costs some pennies and can provide huge returns over the long run.
So instead of asking why your business needs a website, ask why not!
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is a set of practices designed to improve the appearance and positioning of web pages in organic search results. Because organic search is the most prominent way for people to discover and access online content, a good SEO strategy is essential for improving the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.
Why is SEO important?
To understand the value of SEO, let’s break our definition into three parts:
Organic search results: the unpaid listings on a search engine results page (SERP) that the search engine has determined are most relevant to the user’s query. Ads (in this context, PPC or pay-per-click ads) make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic search results are distinct from these ads in that they are positioned based on the search engine’s organic ranking algorithms rather than advertiser bids. You can’t pay for your page to rank higher in organic search results.
Quality of organic traffic: how relevant the user and their search query are to the content that exists on your website. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they’re coming to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for Apple computers when really you’re a farmer selling apples, those visitors are likely to leave your site without completing any conversions. High-quality traffic includes only visitors who are genuinely interested in the products, information, or other resources your site offers. High-quality SEO capitalizes on the search engine’s effort to match a user’s search intent to the web pages listed in the SERP.
Quantity of organic traffic: the number of users who reach your site via organic search results. Users are far more likely to click on search results that appear near the top of the SERP, which is why it’s important to use your SEO strategy to rank relevant pages as highly as you can. The more high-quality visitors you attract to your site, the more likely you are to see an increase in valuable conversions.
How does SEO work?
Search engines like Google and Bing use crawlers, sometimes also called bots or spiders, to gather information about all the content they can find on the internet. The crawler starts from a known web page and follows internal links to pages within that site as well as external links to pages on other sites. The content on those pages, plus the context of the links it followed, help the crawler understand what each page is about and how it’s semantically connected to all of the other pages within the search engine’s massive database, called an index.
When a user types or speaks a query into the search box, the search engine uses complex algorithms to pull out what it believes to be the most accurate and useful list of results for that query. These organic results can include web pages full of text, news articles, images, videos, local business listings, and other more niche types of content.
That is why a good SEO strategy is essential for improving the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.