Website loading speed may have a serious impact on search engine standings, bounce rates and sales conversions of your site. As a web hosting provider we are able to contribute to your website’s success by helping it load faster. That’s why at SiteGround we’re constantly implementing new speed-enhancing technologies that are more powerful and easier to use for our clients.
One of our latest products, that ensures faster sites for our clients, is our custom-built CDN. Just a few months after its launch, it is already used by hundreds of thousands of domains. We have seen the service has a considerable positive impact on our clients’ website performance and we are also receiving a steady flow of positive feedback from the users.
To improve the service even more, we have just deployed version 2.0 CDN. It employs the power of anycast routing and Google network edge locations and thus increases the website loading speed by 20% on average and may go up to 100% for visitors located in some specific parts of the world.
Why is the CDN 2.0 faster?
As you probably already know, the idea of the CDN (Content Delivery Network) is to keep a copy of your website on multiple locations called points of presence (PoPs) around the globe. When you have website visitors located far away from the original server that hosts your site, the CDN allows them to see a version of your site from the closest PoP. Thus the time needed for the data to reach your visitors is shorter than if it was served by the original server and your site loads faster. The closer your visitor is to a PoP the shorter the time it takes your site to load.
Which is harder: Naming your kid or choosing a domain?
Sure, your bambino is stuck with the moniker you choose until they can get a judge to change it, but you won’t need to reinvent the wheel to come up with something to call them. You can look to historical figures, literary characters, or even your favorite TV show for inspiration.
However, when it comes to a domain, you’ve got to make sure your digital baby is truly unique. No repeats allowed.
So what makes a good domain name?
Generally speaking, you’ll want something memorable, brandable, and easy for people to type and pronounce. It’s also smart to avoid anything too long or overly specific. By following a few simple guidelines, you can pick out a name that helps to drive more traffic your way.
In this guide, I’ll explain why your domain name matters and share 11 factors to consider when making this decision. I’ll also discuss the best places to register a domain and how you can get a free one along with your web hosting. Let’s get started!
Why Your Domain Name Matters
Your domain name is as much a part of your brand as your business name or logo. Even if you’ve nailed your branding in every other respect, if there’s something about your domain name that puts potential customers off, they’ll likely go elsewhere.
The opposite is also true. If your web address is accurate and as fun to say as it is to use, people will be eager to check it out and share it. First impressions matter, and sometimes your domain is the initial experience people will have of your brand.
It’s also not easy to change your domain name after your site is online. You can do it, but it can be time-consuming and does have consequences. It can lead to a loss of traffic and unnecessary downtime. In other words, life will be a lot easier if you take your time now and come up with a name you love.
Incorporate Keywords Strategically
Keywords aren’t just for content. Search engines use your domain name to understand what your site is about and help determine search rankings. So it’s essential to include keywords where possible.
Make Sure Your Domain Is Easy to Pronounce and Spell
You probably want your domain name to be memorable. However, if you’re thinking of going the Elon Musk baby-naming route, don’t. No matter how cool it looks spelled out, there will come a time when you’ll have to give someone your website or email address verbally.
Word-of-mouth is still powerful advertising. What’s more, it only works when people can actually pronounce your domain. This also makes the name easier to remember, increasing the odds that people will visit and pass the site along to their networks.
Using hyphens may seem like a creative way to get the domain name you want. Unfortunately, they’re tough to express verbally. They also make the domain more difficult to type. Some people will likely forget about them entirely and end up on someone else’s website.
Generally, when you’re brainstorming domain name ideas, try to avoid anything that isn’t a letter. That includes replacing letters with numbers. Those kinds of touches make the name a lot easier for people to misremember and mistype.
Avoid Using Doubled Letters
Using doubled letters in a domain name is practically asking for typos. Doubled letters are hard to read and even harder to type correctly.
If mistakes happen often enough, you may end up with someone typosquatting and stealing your traffic. Plus, having to spend even a few seconds longer than necessary trying to figure out how to spell your domain is an unnecessary distraction.
Keep Your Domain Name Short
There are several reasons short domain names work better. First, shorter names are easier to remember and type. Therefore, they are beneficial for branding purposes.
Also, an overly long domain name is yet another way to look suspicious. If you don’t use too many keywords and make your name easy to pronounce, on the other hand, your domain will probably be short naturally.
Stay Unique and Brandable
A unique domain name can help your business stand out and potentially help you avoid legal trouble. It can also contribute to your marketing efforts, so you’ll want it to be brandable.
StitchFix is an excellent example of a unique, brandable name.
StitchFix checks all the boxes when it comes to marketable domain names. It’s fun to say, doesn’t have any inherent meaning, and is easy to remember and spell.
Pick a Domain Name That’s Flexible
Your domain name is one area where you don’t want to paint yourself into a box. While you should be specific enough to attract an audience, you don’t want to be so precise that there’s no room for your website to grow.
For example, “shutter.photography” might be perfect for a photography blog. However, if you decide to write about other art forms as well, you’ll be stuck with an inaccurate domain name. So it’s smart to consider upfront how your site or business may expand over time.
Don’t Get Analysis Paralysis
Chances are that if you want a domain name, someone else probably wants it too. If you’re sure about your choice, go ahead and buy the domain.
This is especially recommended if it’s reasonably inexpensive. Plus, if you come up with something better later on, you can always let the registration lapse. You don’t want to end up in a dispute because you didn’t act fast.
So Many Potential Domain Names . . .
There’s a lot to think about when choosing a domain name. After all, it’s one of the first major decisions you’ll make when establishing your online presence. Putting some time and care into this selection can help set the stage for success down the road.
Fortunately, there’s lots of information you can rely on to help you make your choice. Keeping your domain name short, pronounceable, and easy to remember will get you off to a strong start. Once you have a name in mind, you can follow our suggestions for choosing a registrar and getting a free domain with your web hosting provider.
Have you settled on the perfect domain name for your website? Signup with webstyle Today!!
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.