What Do The New Generic Top-Level Domains Mean For Webmasters?

Category Archives: Nexcess

Jun 27

  • Created: Jun 27, 2014 2:00 PM

What Do The New Generic Top-Level Domains Mean For Webmasters?

New Top Level Domains and SEO for webmasters

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that domain registrars and web hosting companies have started to offer a large number of new generic top-level domains. There is some confusion among web hosting clients as to the status of these new domains, so I thought it would be useful to explain what they are, why they were created, and the potential benefits to hosting clients.

What Is A Generic Top-Level Domain?

Top-level domains are the final part of a bare domain name; “.com”, “.net”, and “.me” are all common examples of TLDs. Domain names come in a couple of different varieties: generic domain names (gTLD) and country-code domain names (ccTLD). The latter are intended to be used for sites that have a relationship to a specific geographic area, “.fr” and “.jp”, for example, although that is somewhat complicated by the way Google regards some ccTLDs, such as “.me”, the ccTLD for Montenegro, which for SEO purposes are treated the same as a generic TLD. As the name suggests, gTLDs have no ties to specific regions, and can be used by anyone. There are other top-level domains with a slightly different status, like “.cat”, but for our purposes the distinction between gTLDs and ccTLDs is sufficient.

Read more

Posted in: Nexcess
Jun 25

  • Created: Jun 25, 2014 3:03 PM

Using WordPress As A Crowdfunding Platform

Over the last few years, crowdfunding has taken off in a big way. In 2011, a total of $1.5 billion was raised through crowdfunding. In 2012, that number increased to $2.7 billion. The most successful crowdfunding projects raise many millions of dollars, with prominent examples being Star Citizen, a video game that raised over $44 million dollars after having asked for $500,000; the Pebble smartwatch, which exceeded $10 million; and the Ubuntu Edge, which failed in its (somewhat over-optimistic) goal of raising $32 million, but was pledged almost $12 million dollars.

The leading crowdfunding platforms, Kickstarter, have had a huge impact on the opportunities available for makers, creatives, and anyone who has a great idea but lacks the capital and connections to turn it into reality. While there are obvious advantages to using established crowdfunding platforms, the most notable being a built-in audience, a platform designed for running crowdfunding projects, and experienced people handling the financial aspects of the process, there are also benefits to going it alone and building a platform over which you exert complete control.

Naturally, WordPress offers several solutions to the problem of home-grow, self-hosted crowd funding. But, I’m going to highlight what I consider to be one of the best WordPress crowdfunding plugins available.

Read more

Posted in: Nexcess, WordPress
Jun 19

  • Created: Jun 19, 2014 5:08 PM

How To Get Help From WordPress Plugin Developers (And How Not To)

Getting WordPress Plugin Help

If you’re a WordPress user, the chances are that you’ll have to interact with plugin developers at some point. It can be frustrating and anxiety-inducing when a plugin goes awry, especially if it has a significant impact on your site’s functionality or even stops it working altogether. On many occasions, I’ve seen WordPress users vent that frustration at plugin developers. As satisfying as that might be in the short-term, it’s not helpful.

Developers work on free plugins for a variety of different reasons: to give back to a community from which they have benefitted, to publicize a premium version of their plugin or some other service, or simply as a hobby. If you’re using a free plugin on your WordPress site, you’re getting something for nothing from a developer who is probably very busy putting food on their table with a full-time job in addition to working on the plugin. Developers don’t have the time or the inclination to deal with rude, demanding, or uninformative users.

To help you deal with plugin developers in a way that’s likely to have a positive result for both you and the developer, it is helpful to keep a few simple guidelines in mind.

Read more

Posted in: Nexcess, WordPress
Jun 17

  • Created: Jun 17, 2014 4:18 PM

Alternative Payment Methods To Outstrip Credit Cards For Global eCommerce

eCommerce and alternative payments

US eCommerce was built on the back of secure credit card data handling and a population of which the majority own a credit cards. In the US, and much of the rest of the world, credit cards are still the primary method of payment, but the proportion of people choosing to use alternative payment methods is set to reach half of the global eCommerce market, which is surprising when you consider that Amazon, the biggest fish in the eCommerce pond, doesn’t accept alternative payment methods on its main eCommerce store, in spite of offering its own spin on alternative payments.

In fact, the number of companies offering alternative payment methods is rapidly growing, with a particular focus on mobile payments. Amazon, Google, and others offer digital wallets, and Apple and Facebook are expected to jump on board in the near future. It’s likely that the battle for the wallets of eCommerce shoppers will be fought and won on mobile platforms, an area in which both Google and Apple are well placed to dominate.

But across the alternative payment market as a whole, the more established players continue to rule the roost, with PayPal and AliPay being the most prominent. AliPay, which is China’s leading online payment solution, processed over €100 Billion worth of transactions, making it world’s third largest mobile payment provider.

Read more

Posted in: Nexcess
Jun 11

  • Created: Jun 11, 2014 2:00 PM

Maximizing Magento Performance [Infographic]

As the original Magento web hosting provider, nobody knows how to make a Magento storefront perform quite like Nexcess. The following infographic is a distilled version of our popular white paper: Best Practices for Optimum Magento Performance, which details how to improve Magento performance by 1,300% or greater.

We invite you to share and reblog this piece openly, as it applies to anybody that’s ever installed Magento and then proceeded to lose money by not optimizing with an ideal server environment.

Read more

Posted in: Magento, Nexcess
Jun 9

  • Created: Jun 9, 2014 5:42 PM

South American eCommerce Markets Represent A Huge Opportunity For Retailers

Retailers and South America

The eCommerce market in the US has plenty of room for growth, innovation, and new entries to the marketplace, especially as brick-and-mortar retail loses its dominance in favor of online equivalents offering more convenience and an improved experience. But the US and European markets are mature, and innovation often takes the form of value-adds from established retailers — same-day and next-day delivery being an obvious example.

Developing regions like South America, with up-and-coming economies including Argentina, Venezuela, and Brazil, which has the seventh largest economy in the world and a growing middle class, have significantly less mature but quickly growing eCommerce markets, presenting an opportunity to both local and international online retailers.

The number of online buyers located in South America is growing. Across the region as a whole, numbers of buyers will have increased around 14 percent between 2010 and 2016. Argentina and Brazil both beat the average growth rate by a considerable margin. Around 30 percent of Argentina’s population were classified as online buyers in 2010, by 2016 that’s expected to have grown to almost 50 percent. For Brazil, the proportion of buyers is expected to rise from 24 percent to 40 percent in the same period. As these economies strengthen, we can expect that rate of growth to increase considerably.

Read more

Posted in: Nexcess
Jun 3

  • Created: Jun 3, 2014 12:03 PM

New Data Shows That Magento Continues To Dominate The eCommerce Market

Magento Dominates eCommerce It’s no surprise that eCommerce is growing apace. No one with any experience of the online retail sector has any doubt that the eCommerce market is in rude health, with revenues and numbers of retailers growing every year. eCommerce is fast becoming the default shopping venue for many markets in the US and Europe, with plenty of growth opportunity both in the developing and developed world.

There is no shortage of eCommerce platforms for new and established retailers to choose from, both nascent and mature, so it’s interesting to see how retailer platform adoption has changed over time. Luckily, we’ve a couple of very good sources for eCommerce platform data: The Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide and Tom Robertshaw’s eCommerce Survey, both of which show that Magento’s market penetration is growing at an impressive rate.

The Internet Retailer Top 500 gathers together a large number of metrics for the most prominent online retailers. It’s a guide to the eCommerce one percent, and isn’t really reflective of the market as a whole, but it’s a useful bellwether for determining how retail giants who insist on high-performance and reliability see a platform. Read more

Posted in: Magento, Nexcess
May 30

  • Created: May 30, 2014 4:38 PM

Net Neutrality Is Fundamental to a Free And Open Internet

Net Neutrality

Although complex in implementation, the Internet is quite simple in principle. Consumers buy bandwidth from last-mile ISPs. Network operators provide international connectivity to those ISPs and to each other via peering. And the majority of content providers host their content with web hosting companies, which manage servers in data centers that connect to network operators.

Ideally, any content provider can connect to any consumer with Internet access at the bandwidth that consumer has paid for. All packets are treated as equal and none is given special treatment. That arrangement has seen the Internet flourish, propelling enormous innovation and massive economic advancement. Net neutrality provides an environment where all can benefit — it is a public good.

Read more

Posted in: Nexcess
May 21

  • Created: May 21, 2014 2:44 PM

Bring RSS Feeds Into Your WordPress Blog With Orbital Feed Reader

Orbital Reader

Since the advent of Twitter and its super flexible lists, RSS has become less important to my blogging workflows, but it’s still a daily part of my life and a huge timesaver. The idea of having to go to each of the sites that I need to look at daily to check for updates is not one that I relish. Like most writers of digital content, I was burned by the sad demise of a Google Reader and tried various replacements, but RSS has never regained the place in my heart that it once had.

Nevertheless, there are specific cases where RSS feeds fit the bill perfectly. For example, I quite often develop article topics as a response to something another a writer has written. Perhaps I want to look at topic from a different angle, maybe I want to argue against a writer’s position. Sometimes I just want to highlight content written by a blogger whom I respect and give it a thumbs up.

In all those cases, I like to quote fairly extensively, which generally involves a lot of cutting and pasting followed by formatting the quotation and links in the WordPress text editor. It’s not a huge hassle, but I’m always looking for ways to increase my productivity and streamline my writing workflows.

Read more

Posted in: Nexcess, WordPress
May 14

  • Created: May 14, 2014 12:26 PM

Former Magento Lead Architect Creates Sellvana, A New eCommerce Platform

There have been numerous attempts to build the perfect eCommerce platform over the years. For many, Magento is the closest — it’s an extraordinarily powerful eCommerce application, capable of supporting everything from the smallest boutique vendor to the largest eCommerce retailer. Much of the groundwork for Magento’s success was laid by Boris Gurvich, Magento’s original Lead Technical Architect. So, when Gurvich turns his attention to something new in the eCommerce world, it’s worth paying attention. We’d like to take a brief look at his current project: Sellvana, a new eCommerce platform that is designed to be simple to use and deploy.

Sellvana, currently in development, is an open source eCommerce platform created with modern design and development techniques in mind. Based on the lightweight Fulleron PHP framework, which was developed for the project, Sellvana aims to be the eCommerce platform that retailers have been asking for — promising “radical improvements in functionality, flexibility, performance, and security.”

Read more

Posted in: Nexcess