Podcast | The Keys to Success on the Web with Alberto Medina

Podcast season 2 google success on the web Plesk

Hello Pleskians! Another month, another episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. In this episode, we welcome Alberto Medina, Developer Advocate at Google. He and his team are focused on developer relations and the Open Web, with a keen interest in WordPress.

Podcast Plesk Alberto Medina

In This Episode: 4 Factors for Measuring Success on the Web

Just creating on the web isn’t the best approach when you’re trying to be a successful creator or business owner. Alberto knows that, and he, with his team at Google, are dedicated to helping creators by showing them how to be more successful.
Straight away, Alberto talks about why Google is interested in this. And it’s simple:

I am very interested in doing everything I can to contribute to the evolution and the quality of the web, for everyone…Google, like many other organizations, is a company that depends on the web, right? We are a web company; therefore, the success of the web is at the core of our success as a business.

A rising tide lifts all boats, as it were! Because of that, Alberto (and Google) have put a lot of thought into tools and concepts to help us all make better, engaging websites and content.
In fact, Alberto says that there are 4 key factors to measuring success:

  1. Quality Content: Content is king, and the more value you bring to your users, the more successful you’ll be.
  2. Performance: Your content needs to load fast, be accessible, and have a good user experience. People won’t wait around for content if it takes a long time to load or it’s hard to access.
  3. Monitoring: By tracking page views, monitoring performance, and learning how people are interacting with your content, you’ll better understand your users to create even better content.
  4. Monetization: Understanding that there are several ways to monetize your content allows you to get paid for what you enjoy doing, as well as spend more time doing it!

To help with these success factors, there are lots of tools and resources that Alberto mentioned, like:

In fact, the whole reason Google teamed up with Plesk to bring you this episode is because both organizations offer a whole suite of tools to help you create great, performant content that you can monitor and monetize.

Key Takeaways

  • Creating on the Open Web instead of just on closed platforms is better for your content in the long run. Web Stories, an Open Web form of the popular social media feature, is one way to publish your stories on your own platform.
  • While there are lots of ways to improve performance on your website, many are technical. This can be the hardest part of a good website experience. Tools like AMP can help.
  • You need to understand how your content is performing. Monitoring tools like Google’s Site Console, and Site Kit can go a long way…as can A/B testing.
  • The idea of User-perceived Speed is you want the least amount of time between a user going to your website and the first thing they see. Don’t block content with heavy resources, like big images or videos.
  • Core Web Vitals, which can be found at Web.Dev, provides a unified set of signals to help you deliver a good, quality experience, based on the 4 success factors.
  • Above all, be sure to focus on the user – tell stories that will help them!

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring

 

Joe Casabona


Joe is a college-accredited course developer and podcast consultant. You can find him at Casabona.org.


Alberto Medina


Alberto is a Developer Advocate at Google.


Did you know we’re also on Spotify and Apple Podcasts? In fact, you can find us pretty much anywhere you get your daily dose of podcasts. As always, remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops. And stay on the lookout for our next episode!

Top eCommerce Trends to Upgrade your 2021 Strategy

eCommerce trends 2021 Plesk

Digital analysts, marketers and industry experts are shouting it from the rooftops: now is the era of eCommerce.

With increasing digitalization and demand for access to anything and everything online, retailers across the globe have a simple choice: Dedicate time to understanding online commerce, or risk losing out on what is potentially your biggest market.

Without further ado, we’re going to remedy any questions you have about running an eCommerce business in 2021, with this handy list of the biggest trends coming your way (and some tips on how to tackle them):

eCommerce trends Plesk

Quick and easy shopping, for everyone

Shopify estimates that nearly 150 million new online shoppers have become active since the start of the Covid pandemic. This poses an interesting challenge and risk for eCommerce businesses. On the one hand, online sales are at an all-time high. On the other hand, you’ve now got to deal with a less tech-savvy user, with a world of competition at their fingertips. 

Here’s what to look out for:

  • Streamlining your sales funnel: 
    • Simple, fast check-outs encourage that all-important first buy by new customers. One step too many in the process, and you’ve lost them.
  • The omnichannel approach:
    • Creating a uniform buying experience from in-person sales to mobile shopping is vital in 2021.
  • Retail therapy online:
    • Design a shopping experience that delivers the joy of shopping, keeping UX in mind when building your online store.
  • eCommerce management platforms:
    • Just as your customers enjoy simplicity, make your own life simpler too, with eCommerce management software and widgets. You’ll thank yourself later.

End-to-end is king

With some retailers selling online for the first time and marketplaces setting up increasingly efficient supply chains, the race is on to provide the cheapest, fastest, most exciting shopping experience. Online buyers have high expectations for an end-to-end service, and brands are rising to the challenge. From warehousing to branded packaging to returns management, order fulfilment quality can make or break your business.

But we’re not all Amazon, so growing eCommerce enterprises can contract retail support companies that take care of these operations and resource management for online stores.

Of course, an optimized buying process starting from that first click is vital, so many are opting to use eCommerce widgets and plugins too, allowing them to easily streamline the visitor journey from initial entry to online sale.

eCommerce and creative tech

We’ve all seen shoppable ads and smart assistants like Alexa. These new technologies are becoming part and parcel of the eCommerce experience. This trend also shows growth in the use of AI to improve the user experience, and AR to allow customers to ‘try on’ products before buying them. All of this points to a strong, competitive creativity with tech in online shopping this year. 

How will you impress your site visitors enough to buy?

Customer retention challenges

The strength of your brand is going to come into play in 2021. Marketplaces remain popular, where your brand power is diluted, and you have little direct contact with your customer. Plus, the uncertainty of data sharing laws and third party cookies is sure to push up the cost of customer acquisition, and thus escalate competition.

In light of this challenge, a top priority and trend is to prioritize customer retention and loyalty. How?

  • Gather emails:
    • Direct communication with your customer is going to be more and more beneficial, so focus on collecting email leads for more reliable retention.
  • Incentivize:
    • It’s valuable to reward loyalty and offer targeted discounts. Plus, offering packs or subscriptions can help foment long term relationships. (Plesk Partners, take note!)
  • Remember your brand is everything:
    • Customers feel more connected, and therefore more loyal, to brands that they trust to communicate transparently. Community building outside of your site or service can work wonders for effective customer retention.

Go green and sustainable

It’s no longer enough to sell a great product. Consumers now demand that brands commit to processes that are better for the planet and the community. The continued rise of ‘Green consumerism’ will bring some noteworthy trends for eCommerce in 2021. Retail styles like second-hand eCommerce (a.k.a ReCommerce) are reaching new popularity, while existing sellers must strive for sustainable delivery and fair, environmental production of their wares.

It’s an analytics game

Change in the eCommerce market is lightspeed. The needs and wants of your customers will evolve from week to week, so this trend is about knowing your customer inside-out. Invest in hyper-analysing user behaviour, social media and offline tendencies. The objective is then to drive change that predicts the market. Techniques like dynamic pricing (i.e. adapting to the demand in real time) remain popular this year, as brands recognize the power of this trend.

Be sure to power your site with robust monitoring and analytics through your eCommerce management software or other extensions.

Summary

Phew. So we can all agree that the online world (like the offline world) has greatly evolved since 2019, creating new challenges and opportunities. The key ideas to remember are:

  • Customers want a complete service, with a quick and easy user experience from beginning to end of the shopping life cycle.
  • eCommerce is making use of the best new technologies to give brands a competitive edge. Pay attention to AI and AR.
  • Brand loyalty has never been so important, with a clear necessity for retention strategies and truly connecting with your audience.

What else do you see in the future of eCommerce? Cryptocurrency as a payment method? 3D modelling becoming the best way to present your store online? How will the market respond to the disappearance of third-party cookies? Share your ideas and insights in the comments!

I need a break Elvis Plesky Plesk blog

Business in 2021 – Tips for Organizing Online Events

Covid-19 has changed what “normal” looks like for us all, and the events industry is no exception. Today, virtual events, also known as online events, have grown in popularity around the world and have become a part of our lives and our businesses. 

A virtual event is very similar to an in-person one, but with some outstanding benefits. Virtual events could be online conferences and webinars, interviews and performances, training and courses, tutorials, classes, and more. 

One of the biggest benefits of virtual events is not being restricted to a single place or location. This means that anyone from anywhere in the world with an internet connection and a device can join the event. Secondly, online events are cost-effective as they avoid booking venues, staff, producing merchandise, hiring or buying equipment and other staff you need for off-line events. 

Last but not least, you may already know how important it is to measure any digital activity you perform. Thus, being easy to measure, online events give you the opportunity to measure your success, get data on overall engagement and number of attendees, and gauge the most popular speeches and downloaded materials. All these insights can help you to better plan for your next events. 

However, even though there are benefits and tools to help you create an online event,  organizing a successful online event may require time, effort and consideration.

Here are some top tips to help you host a successful online event:

1. Create a strategy 

 

Before you start, think about why you’re planning the event. You can start by defining whether you’re targeting your current customers as part of an engagement strategy, or whether this is a lead generation activity to pick up new customers, or both. What kind of experience do you want to deliver? What outcomes are you looking for? 

2. Find the right platform

 

Choosing the right platform mainly depends on your goals and the type of events you plan to organize.  However, there are some important features every platform should include; chat, Q&A, live polls, the ability to upload slides or additional content. Also, consider which ones provide an option to run both live and on-demand events, and with access to the events from mobile devices. 

Even if you find the perfect platform, don’t forget to anticipate any tech issues that your attendees may face while using the platform. On the day of the event, a couple of hours before, send out a notification email to your attendees. Make sure to log in to the platform 15-20 minutes earlier to give your speakers the administrative permissions, and during the event, make sure to mute all attendees.

3. Pick the right time

 

Choosing the right time for your online event is very important. Before reserving

the time for your event, consider the profile and the location of your audience.  If you plan to go global and your targeted audience is based in different time zones, do your best to pick a time that works for as many of your customers and followers as possible. If you can’t find a suitable time for everyone, create accessible content and record live presentations for those who couldn’t attend. 

Make sure not to plan your online event during public holidays or other similar events which could coincide with the date of your event. 

4. Promote the event

 

It’s time to promote your online event. It is important to understand your audience and choose the right channels to promote your event. Depending on where your audience spends more time online, you can manage sign-ups: through the event platform directly, on a dedicated landing page on your website, via social media event pages like Facebook or LinkedIn, over email marketing, or all of the above. You may also consider running paid ad campaigns. The best time to start the promotion is two-three weeks before the event, depending on its size and scope.

5. Keep attendees engaged

 

Make your audience feel connected, involving them into the process so they stay longer and participate more. Here are some ideas: 

  • Ask your audience questions during the event
  • Encourage debate
  • Use live content for presentation
  • Use the webcam all the time and encourage the audience to do the same
  • Leave time for Q&A sessions 

After the event

No matter whether the event you are running is online or offline: it is always important to follow up with attendees. Sending a post-event survey to understand participants’ experience will show that you care and will help you to understand the outcome of the event. Also, include a sign-off thanking everyone, both participants and speakers. Share the meeting recording with those who missed it. 

The new normal has boosted the world of online events. Many of you have moved your events online, and we hope this article helps you make them a success! 

Need more answers on this topic? Let us know in the comments below, or if you are a Plesk Partner, get in touch with your Account Manager and they will be happy to provide whatever guidance they can.

The Comfortable Advantages of the Hosting Control Panel

Hosting control panel Plesk

Let’s be honest. We all have enough to think about without constant security worries, micro-managing customers, and recovering lost versions of work.

But as a web admin, a lot of time and effort goes into these repetitive tasks every single day. Decades of complex back-ends have left end customers dependent on expert coverage for their sites, leaving necessary but mundane responsibilities to the IT crowd. 

Well, web admins and developers rejoice! The web and server landscape is rapidly transforming to allow automated management. 

Let’s say you need multiple new websites, and they have to be secured. Let’s say you need them backed up regularly, maybe when you’re not even at your desk. Some old sites need to be migrated and your SEO rank is tanking. That’s a lot to handle, right? 

Enter: The Control Panel. Web and server management, taken care of in a few clicks. *Breathe a sigh of relief*. 

So what can you expect from Plesk Hosting Control Panel? Read on.

 

Ease

What you need is a functioning system. But what you want is simplicity. 

With a single interface that organises multiple sites, giving you clear updates on security, back-ups and running efficiency, you can have both. Instead of juggling tools and manually monitoring each and every site’s health, the control panel takes care of complex tasks in moments.

Features like one-click deployment, mail server support, and automated health alerts allow quick streamlining of multiple tasks. On potentially unlimited domains, wherever you are.

Service provider view Plesk

Multiple customer management. Easy monitoring. Backup and security tasks lined up neatly. You’re welcome.

Security

Security is the #1 priority of any online business. Without it, customers won’t even be able to access your page. For that reason, web admins and hosters spend sleepless nights ensuring that their servers and customers are protected.

Under a web manager, you can sleep easy. Besides the necessities like SSL certificates, managed packages compile firewalls, encryptions, antivirus and more, holding the fort for you and your customers.

And guess what? Even your data is backed up and protected in the event of downtime or tricky updates, with a helpful advisor that keeps an eye on that status of your server at all times.

 

Advisor control panel Plesk

Speed

Unboxing any new feature for your site, or indeed setting up the server and domain for the site itself, can be time and soul-consuming tasks. However, web managers – or control panels – are set up with a catalog of extensions that can be installed and launched in minutes, and certain features can become active in one. Single. Click.

Heaven.

Not to mention the inbuilt performance monitor to show how fast your site is running and flagging any issues. So it keeps up the speed for your website visitors too. 

Want to automate your speed optimization? The Speed Kit is just a click away.

 

Speed Kit Plesk baqend

Efficiency

So you’re able to work fast, in total security, with ease. And it’s available on desktop and mobile for full control on-the-go. Just in case you needed further convincing. 

What else could you want?

Well there’s even more on offer if you leave traditional single-track hosting and web management behind:

 

Extensions efficiency Plesk

🚀 SEO Toolkit to put your website on the map,

🚀 G Suite integration because, well, who doesn’t use G Suite, 

🚀 Ultra-streamlined Premium Email with calendar and task lists,

and many more practical tools for WordPress, file and server management, all in one place. In fact, enjoy +100 add-ons beside what the Plesk interface already has built-in. Just, you know, for luck.

 

The future of web management has never been so clear. Customers are no longer content with sourcing each element of the online process in separate locations. They need just one, managed, safe place to work on what they love. 

Conclusion? Hosting control panels are good for the soul.

Ready to take the leap? See options for building and managing your web here

 

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Next Level Ops: Season 1 Recap

Hello Pleskians! As we approach our second season of Next Level Ops: The Official Plesk Podcast, we’re bringing you a Season 1 Recap while you get ready for more quality content. 

The podcast was created for you, Plesky reader (and listener), to give you industry insights and tips into the world of web hosting, development and management. 

So let your curiosity fly and learn through listening to these 10 curated episodes, hosted by podcast wiz Joe Casabona.

Episode 1 

20 Years of Evolution in Web Hosting

Kicking off our first ever episode of Next Level Ops, Joe meets Lukas Hertig, veteran Pleskian and fellow hosting enthusiast, to look back on 20 years of websites and hosting.

As they re-live the early years of websites and hosting (the ‘wild wild west’, in the words of Lukas), the interview unpacks the industry evolution from 2000 to today. From the first dynamic webs, to major disrupters like WordPress, the conversation ponders the growth of web hosting, and questions the future of hosting as-we-know-it. 

Looking for a trip down memory lane? Stream the episode here:

Lukas Hertig  

Lukas is the SVP Business Development & Strategic Alliances at Plesk.

Episode 2

Partnerships and High-Level Hosting Support

In this chapter, Joe interviews Pleskian Partner wizard, Francisco Pereira Carvalho, to delve into the global nature of today’s hosting market.

With more than 32 languages supported, serving 140 countries worldwide at Plesk, Francisco describes the essence of understanding what’s important for different cultures and regions. He explains that members of the Partner Program benefit from the intuitive and easy Plesk tool with the advantages of an international team.

Enticed yet? Stream the episode to find out more about the program here:

Francisco Pereira Carvalho  

Francisco is the Head of Sales at Plesk.

Episode 3

The Power of Extensions

If you’ve ever built a website, you’ve probably installed at least one or two extensions to enhance your web management. They provide extra tools and features to make your website run smoothly or to improve user experience.

In this episode of Next Level Ops, Joe talks to Jan Loeffler about Plesk’s extensions and kits that make users and admins love the Plesk experience. Some of the so-called ‘Lighthouse extensions’ – which are the most popular ones with users – are included as standard on Plesk. Others, like the SEO Toolkit, are available for download.

But what makes them so great? Let Jan and Joe tell you in Episode 3:

Jan Loeffler  

Jan is the Chief Technical Officer at Plesk.

Episode 4

How Not to Become a Security Engineer

For the fourth instalment of the series, Joe chats with security warlock Igor Antipkin about safeguarding websites. As he explains, the need to educate and be aware of potential threats is real. Web admins need to know the software they use, and share key insights with their own communities.

Alright, so now you’re getting worried. But have no fear, this episode explains how easy security can be with Plesk (and how to avoid dedicating your life to it):

Igor Antipkin  

Igor is a Security Engineer at Plesk. 

Episode 5

Finding the Right Managed Hosting for You

As WordPress continues to grow, traditional, service-free hosts could be left behind. This is what Andrey Kugaevskiy tells us in this episode of Next Level Ops, spelling out the benefits of Managed WordPress Hosting. 

In this month’s discussion with Joe, we learn how choosing a suitable WordPress host can be tricky, and you should keep WordPress-savvy people around if you’re not sure. Andrey suggests, for a smoother, easier and safer experience, take the option of host + management, any day.

Hear the full break-down of Managed WordPress options to make your life easier:

Andrey Kugaevskiy  

Andrey is a Senior Program Manager at Plesk.

Episode 6

Competing in a Hyperscale Cloud Environment

Welcoming back Lukas Hertig, episode 6 explores the world of cloud hosting, its applications in our everyday lives, and ‘hyperscaling’. In other words, companies like Netflix and Amazon that are scaling their operations thanks to shared services in the cloud.

More and more, hosting services opt for the cloud, with its flexibility and specialist managed services. So how do you compete in that environment? Are you thirsty to know how to benefit from the cloud, from experts?

Well then listen to this episode here:

Lukas Hertig  

Lukas is the SVP Business Development & Strategic Alliances at Plesk.

Episode 7

The Downtime Checklist and Web Scaling

Jan Loeffler, tech mage at Plesk, returns for this edition of Next Level Ops to discuss scalability and hosting. 

As you grow your online presence and traffic starts streaming in, Jan talks of the necessary steps for scaling. Have you considered how you’ll avoid downtime? Does your server have the capacity to grow? How long will customers have to wait for the page to load? Jan suggests a Downtime Checklist for scaling and optimization, but you’ll have to hear the full version in the episode here:

Jan Loeffler  

Jan is the Chief Technical Officer at Plesk.

Episode 8

Solving Common WordPress Problems

“The great and terrible thing about WordPress is the amount of freedom you have.” Guest-starring to discuss common issues with WordPress, product wizard Lucas Radke explains the value of a secure hosting environment. With so much margin for error, web builders, admin and users have to be proactive in preventing risks for their WordPress.

But hope is not lost. Click play to learn how powerful hosting and plugins make your life easier and avoid the most common WordPress mishaps:

Lucas Radke

Lucas is a Product Manager at Plesk

Episode 9

The World of Email Hosting Providers

Are you searching for the best email hosting provider, and don’t know where to start? Scratching your head about enterprise options? Then put on those headphones and tune in to this edition of the Plesk Official Podcast, where Joe speaks to Christian Mollekopf from Apheleia IT to clarify the features and pitfalls of email hosting.

You’ll learn about calendar options, self-hosting, spam control and more. Click play to get the full intel:

Christian Mollekopf

Christian is a Senior Software Engineer at Apheleia IT.

Episode 10

Toolkits and Tips for Web Development

For the final episode of this season of Next Level Ops, special guest Brian Richards, Creator of WPSessions, takes us listeners through the modern tools for everyday web developers

Besides imparting useful tips about coding, Brian provides a specific list of great web dev tools and learning resources, suitable for keeping any developer in-the-know. 

Intrigued? Get your coding fix by pressing the play button:

Brian Richards

Brian is the Creator of WPsessions and an independent web developer.

Did this series leave you wanting more? To make sure that you get your regular dose of tech podcasts, Season 2 is coming soon. Watch this space, or our Spotify and Apple Podcast channels to get the latest updates.

Get to Know our Season 1 Host:

Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer. He is the founder of Creator Courses.