Recent Posts

5 great things you can do with WordPress

By Nicolo Nasol | Friday, 11 August 2017
Powering over 700 million websites worldwide, WordPress stands as the top blogging software today. (That is 27% of the world's total w...

5 great things you can do with WordPress

By Nicolo Nasol | Friday, 11 August 2017

Powering over 700 million websites worldwide, WordPress stands as the top blogging software today. (That is 27% of the world's total websites.) Since its rise in 2003, WordPress made site building easier for everyone. In just a few steps, one can launch a working website. Even without coding skills, one can still customize engaging websites.

Such is the revolutionary approach of WordPress. What started as a blogging platform has now grown into a powerful web content management system (CMS). Not only does WordPress lets you create blogs, it also lets you create a fully functional website.

WordPress is open source — meaning you can use it for free! Great, right? But the even better thing is that there are currently over 2,600 themes and 31,000 plugins available for free! (Take the YOAST plugin for example, which is a great help to generate SEO traffic.)

Now you can almost do anything. Here are 5 of the many great things you can do with WordPress that will fit your specific field.

1

Blog or Personal Site

WordPress started as a blogging tool in 2013 and has come a long way from that. With all its features and tools polished and matured throughout the years, WordPress definitely stands as the best choice for those who want to start a blog or run a personal website. Simply the most reliable because it's proven and time tested.

2

Portfolio

WordPress offers a great space for online portfolios. For photographers, writers, artists, graphic and web designers and developers, etc. WordPress is rich when it comes to themes and plugins — mostly free of charge!

You can upload add albums or whole galleries of your work. This also serves a great starting point for entrepreneurs to experience running their own site.

3

Organisations and Clubs

Nowadays, a group should have a blog or a website. Having an online identity is necessary. Most people go online now—especially on Facebook — and so are looking forward the announcements, updates, and news to be posted online. Also, WordPress is a great for holding online forums (with its plugin bbPress and other social features).

4

Schools and Companies

Around the world, WordPress powers hundred thousands of institutions. Because of its powerful content management system, it makes the website easy to manage no matter how large it is.

5

Businesses, E-commerce, Shops, and Start-Ups

The easiest way to build a professional and engaging website is through WordPress. From big names in business to budding start-ups, WordPress has been a go-to platform. WordPress offers many tools for business websites that let you accept payments, transact deals, do inventory, advertise, effectively manage your business, etc.

Crazy Good News for PH!

Filipinos get a huge 50% off on .COM and .PH for every WordPress hosting purchase this coming Aug 15-17, 2017. This is for the first 200 customers only. And lot more comes your way this August!



Flash finally scheduled to die in 2020

By Jorisse G | Friday, 4 August 2017

Last year, we've explored the various reasons why Flash may be nearing its sunset. We've also written previously that Google may have put an end to to the popular plugin. Now, the time has finally come for the software to end its reign.

Adobe announced in an open letter that it will end the development of Adobe Flash Player by 2020. The software company will stop updating and distributing the freeware, encouraging content creators to move to new open formats.

Until then, Adobe will continue providing security updates for Flash, which will still be compatible with the majority of browsers.

Flash: An ageing standard

Most of the major web browsers have already ended their support, including Firefox, Safari and Chrome. Microsoft has announced the same. The preference leans toward HTML5, which improves browser performance, increases security and extends battery life.

In its letter, Adobe pointed out that its own tools, Animate CC and Premiere Pro CC, have also incorporated HTML5. The company explained at length how the decision was finalised:

But as open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured over the past several years, most now provide many of the capabilities and functionalities that plugins pioneered and have become a viable alternative for content on the web.
Over time, we've seen helper apps evolve to become plugins, and more recently, have seen many of these plugin capabilities get incorporated into open web standards. Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plugins directly into browsers and deprecating plugins.

Microsoft Edge will ask for permission to run the plugin for most sites on a first visit throughout the rest of 2017 and into 2018. User preferences are saved for following visits. By the mid-to-late 2018, Flash will be disabled by default, and by 2020, the ability to run Adobe Flash will be removed from Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer.

Possible threats

During its heyday, Flash took the online world by storm. However, Flash content has been a liability in the past, with attackers introducing malware through unsanctioned back doors. As a result, the number of attacks on both Android devices and PCs has been high.

Steve Jobs made the then-shocking announcement on April 2010 that Apple would not support Flash on the iPhone and iPad series. Two major points stand out why Flash is being discontinued. First, newer and better formats for video existed, the second is that Flash has issues with security and performance.

Soon enough, more developers followed. It was a bold move for the company at the time given that the software was crucial to many browser-based games and sites, such as YouTube.

Flash Player has received criticisms for its tendency to accommodate malware despite the changes made by Adobe. HTML5 video player has been adopted more and more as people gave their system security more priority.

In Adobe's public statement, the company disclosed that it will work closely with Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Mozilla and Google to end the distribution of Adobe Flash appropriately. Measures will be taken to ensure a seamless move to other standards.



Dos and Don'ts of Email Marketing

By Nicolo Nasol | Friday, 28 July 2017

Email marketing has been proven time and again to be an effective method for communicating with your customers, including sending updates on your new releases and promotions, and even asking them for their opinions that can help you improve your business.

According to a benchmark report from MarketingSherpa, 72% of people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media.

Why use email marketing, you ask? To begin with, an email is a more personal approach when it comes to connecting with your customers. An important thing is that it expresses how much you value your customers. An email delivers your message far more effectively than social media.

While email marketing is effective, you must consider the Dos and Don’ts. And here are the top reasons for each:

The DOs of Email Marketing

DO
conduct A/B testing.

You need to pay attention to the data from your previous campaigns so that you can find ways to get better results. Test the subject lines,image placements, colours, and designs; gather the data; and take note what areas you can improve.

DO
strategise your email campaign.

Failing to plan is just planning to fail. To save time recovering from errors that could have been avoided in the first place, deliberate, discuss, and construct a plan with your team. Remember that your e-mail represents your business — your brand.

Sending one email at a time consumes a great amount of time and energy. It's a good thing technology has solved this problem, such as Email Marketing from Crazy Domains. An email automation product makes efficient use of your time.

The point of email marketing is to personalise your approach, but if you send mass emails to a non-segmented audience, then it defeats the whole purpose. Your customers have a variety of wants, needs and desires. Make sure that you are sending relevant emails to your customers: the key is to send the right message to the right person at the right time.

The DON’Ts of Email Marketing

DON'T
be generic and boring!

Using a weak subject line with your email marketing loses your brand value—and with it transactions. First impressions are critical when it comes to this. Since customers receive a lot of email every day, they don’t want to waste time opening something that don’t sound interesting or relevant to them. Write simple, concise, yet catchy subject lines.

DON'T
break spam laws.

(CAN-SPAM Act outlines several restrictions that apply to e-mail marketing. Recipients have the right not to receive unwanted emails from companies.) Sending spam is simply illegal, and hence unprofessional. Needless to say that this will negatively affect your email campaigns.

DON'T
forget to be mobile friendly, or else you will miss a huge audience.

Stats reveal that a third of all emails received were read on mobile devices 50% of the time.

If your emails aren’t designed to fit into the smaller screens of the mobile phones, then your email simply won’t work. Go with a responsive design (this can increase email clicks by 130%).

DON'T
buy lists!

Though this may quickly expand the reach of your email campaign, you won’t definitely get what you paid for. Aside from negatively affecting your campaign as well, lists aren’t even reliable for your business.

A wide reach is essential for marketing, but you should never neglect quality. E-mail marketing works best when you are able to send a relevant message to people who need that certain information.



Everything you wanted to know about Net Neutrality but were too afraid to ask

By Jorisse G | Friday, 21 July 2017

The internet provides different experiences for different people based on what they want to see. Enjoyed by consumers and businesses alike, this degree of freedom is made possible by net neutrality, the guiding principle of the internet.

This neutrality allows people to freely communicate online in an internet that enables and protects their right to free speech. This means that internet service providers (ISPs) provide open networks without blocking or discriminating against content or websites.

The risks associated with the removal of net neutrality can seriously affect daily life and how people interact on the web. How and why? Read on to know more about this important principle.

What exactly is net neutrality?

The rules around neutrality allow people to make their own choices on what sites and apps work best for them and their needs. These rules make the internet free, so to speak. Without rules in place, ISPs will be able to select which apps and websites you can visit. They can speed them up, slow them down, or block them outright.

How it works is that ISPs can prioritise websites that pay extra fees as opposed over those that don't. In addition, ISPs could also add more to your monthly internet bill by charging you more when you access sites that use more data.

Why is it so important for business and daily life?

Net neutrality prevents ISPs from interfering with consumers' choices in browsing. With the rules in place, they are unable to manipulate access as they please. This means that an ISP's business agenda, pushing certain products and services, is not allowed.

Without it, the internet as we know it would cease to exist. The open internet helped usher in innovation and became a platform for people without a voice. Without it, the web is a closed network ruled by companies deciding which websites or apps can succeed.

Tech giants generally love it

Net neutrality receives strong backing from tech giants that flourished under open internet rules. These include companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Yahoo and Netflix.

These companies argue that net neutrality helped them to establish their businesses and ultimately succeed. They view net neutrality as something that can also help new businesses to pave their own path to future online success.

Net neutrality today

Recently, net neutrality has made the rounds of the news as the biggest companies on the net urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to preserve net neutrality rules.

The group argues that an open internet encourages openness and non-discrimination. This benefits consumers and society at large. This responds to current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's campaign to repeal the legal framework that forms net neutrality.

It's important to keep yourself informed on what net neutrality means today, especially since changes could be in place soon. Internet neutrality is essential for startups, small business owners and entrepreneurs that rely on an open internet to launch websites, create ad campaigns and reach more customers. It's what nurtures growth, innovation and competitiveness.



The importance of customer experience

By Jorisse G | Friday, 14 July 2017

Exceeding customer expectations and meeting their needs for convenience is a key to customer satisfaction, loyalty and business growth. A solid strategy for customer interactions is called customer experience, or CX.

These days, customers hold the freedom of choosing between competing businesses for products and services. For companies, a positive customer experience is crucial to stand out and encourage more conversions.

A recent study found that 89% of customers stop shopping at online stores after a poor customer service experience. With this in mind, here is the top reasons to focus on customer experience for your business.

Customer experience and customer satisfaction

The dedication you put into CX will improve customer satisfaction. To do this, focus on both the small interactions with customers, and also on the bigger picture as well. When you focus on the larger aspect, you apply consistency across the whole experience.

Think on what you want to deliver and align your whole customer experience. With this in mind, you'll be able to make sure that you provide a positive experience across your customer service, tech support, sales, or accounts.

Customer loyalty

The highly competitive business world offers many different options that consumers face every day. To set yourself apart from competitors, business owners should provide an excellent customer experience. Customers will then want to stay with that particular brand.

Good customer experience is unique for customers, something that they may not get from another company. When a customer recognises that quality, loyalty is established. And loyalty is built out of customer experiences that go beyond what consumers expect.

Avoid customer churn

The dreaded customer churn is when a customer ends their relationship with a company. Surprisingly, customer churn is not caused by pricing, but is mostly a result of poor customer service.

By focusing on customer experience, you'll be able to identify areas in your business where there may be poor customer service. You can then work on a strong, consistent approach and make sure that you don't go below the standards you've set.

More referrals

Happy customers are more likely to share their positive experiences with friends and family, as well as across social media and online forums. These referrals are very valuable for business, as referred customers have higher potential for retention.

Improved revenue and sales

Satisfied customers are more likely to spend more with the services or products that you offer. They are reassured with the business and more comfortable with their wallets. This is definitely one big aspect that you should never overlook.

Customer experience is here to stay, a big factor that businesses focus on. Embrace customer experience and engage with your audience, creating experiences that go beyond expectations. You will then begin to see growth as you build stronger customer relationships that last.



What is website analysis, and why should you do one?

By Jorisse G | Friday, 7 July 2017

Many small businesses make the mistake of having an "if you build it, they will come" approach to their websites. But the key to fully taking advantage of what the internet has to offer is to ensure that your website is able to convert visitors into real leads, constantly. And what do you need? Website analysis.

Analysing your website goes beyond simply ensuring that everything works as it should. There are a lot of reasons why you should do it, and here are some points you should consider:

Clear and relevant content

When it comes to getting more customers, you need to make sure that the information you provide is enough. Through website analysis, you'll be able to see if your website provides good descriptions that are clear and relevant.

Don't make your customers think; make sure they readily "get it" – including what benefits your service or product can bring them. Your website should be constantly updated with fresh content to make sure it stays relevant.

Mobile-friendliness

Being mobile friendly is critical if you want visitors to find your site. Analyse your website using Google's mobile-friendly tool to find out if you are on the right track. Remember that if you miss out on this, the search giant could be blocking you in more than half of searches from potential customers.

Good calls-to-action

A call-to-action is necessary so your site visitors know exactly what they have to do next. These should be stated clearly on each page. By doing this, you'll lessen the tendency of prospects to hit the back button because they don't know what to do on your site.

Gathering leads

Your website can be a gold mine for leads when you invest time, effort and resources in developing it to its full potential. Analyse whether your website has an option for capturing these leads once they come in.

One way of implementing an effective lead capture form is to give value in exchange for of visitors contact information. People can hesitate to give out their contact details, such as an email address, so make sure you give them a good incentive to do so. A useful free trial or a sample product in exchange makes them more willing.

Optimisation

One question you should ask yourself during website analysis: is your site optimised with all the necessary tags for on-page optimisation? Have you included relevant keywords in your title tags? Other things you should take into consideration include heading tags, alt attributes and Meta descriptions.

Analytics

Have you installed analytics software on your website? Google Analytics is a great place to start, plus you get a lot of help to use it. Analytics helps you determine what works and what doesn't. It's a valuable tool in understanding people's activities on your website, including the pages they visit, how long they stay, and the actions they take on your site.

Blog and social media

Your online presence isn't complete without a blog or social media. Blogging offers a great opportunity for you to get more leads and improve your ranking. Your blog should be updated at least once a week with relevant and interesting content.

Linking your social media accounts is your way of keeping instantly connected with customers and prospects. Some may think social media is separate from their website, but in truth they are more of an extension. Furthermore, you'll be able to get more visitors to your website through social media.

Through website analysis, you'll be able to look at these different elements and keep your website aligned with your business goals. You'll be able to determine weak and strong points, and which areas you can improve on to make sure your website is performing at its best.

Determine the information that you need for your website analysis and get moving on it. Once you've completed your checklist, you'll be left with the important data you need to move forward and make your website stronger.



Crazy Domains PH integrates Dragonpay

By Nicolo Nasol | Friday, 23 June 2017

Got no credit card or PayPal account? No problem! Crazy Domains PH now accepts Dragonpay, taking cash payments for online transactions.

Addressing increasing demand for more payment options, Crazy Domains has integrated this unique and flexible payment solution into our system. In addition to all the usual methods, this provides a new option to customers.

Since Dragonpay is an online payment solution, it is a very handy channel for processing transactions to pay for the goods and services you purchase online.

Because in developing countries like the Philippines, the use of credit cards is less common, this is a great alternative. Fully integrated into payment systems, customers can now send payments at their own convenience through the following methods:

Online Banking with Dragonpay

This secure and convenient method allows you to pay in real time online using your debit card account. Just as much as any credit card ever could, Dragonpay supports many major banks in the Philippines: BDO, BPI, Metrobank, RCBC, RCBC Savings, Unionbank, UCPB, Chinabank, PNB, and EastWest Bank. More banks will follow in the future.

Most of all, to assure the safe transmission of your valuable data from your browser to their server, Dragonpay uses secure socket layer (SSL) technology. This is the encryption technology used by all financial institutions around the world. Dragonpay does not store your banking ID and password. Online banking transaction costs PHP 10.00.

Over-the-Counter Bank

With this method, you can walk in to a branch in any supported bank. The banks that currently support this method are: BDO, BPI, Metrobank, RCBC, Chinabank, EastWest Bank, Land Bank, Maybank, PNB, Security Bank, UCPB, and Unionbank. Over-the-counter bank transaction costs PHP 15.00.

Over-the-Counter Non-Banks

Furthermore, you can also walk in to non-bank outlet to do your transactions. Bayad Center, LBC, SM Payment Counters, Robinsons Department Store, Cebuana Lhuillier and M.Lhuillier are all supported, with branches nationwide. Dragonpay supports mobile transactions as well through Globe GCash and BPI BanKO. Over-the-counter non-bank transaction costs PHP 15.00.

In all transactions, Dragonpay monitors account activities and sends an electronic notification to a merchant once a deposit/payment has been processed.

Make Yo' Mama Proud!

By Nicolo Nasol | Tuesday, 13 June 2017

May is a flourishing month, not only for Crazy Domains, but also for the winners of the company's Make Yo' Mama Proud! website building contest for Mother's Day. It is the company's first online website building contest.

Celebrating Mother's Day

The contest was in celebration of Mother's Day. Open-themed, entry styles range from gallery-style webpages, through one-page dedication sites, biographies, to almost absolutely everything under the sun. But the goal was clear: to create a website to make their mothers proud. That is what the contest was all about. Between May 12 and June 2, 28 people entered the contest. They launched wonderful, heartwarming, and most of all, expertly creative websites - all explore the .ASIA website builder's potential in their own way. Using storytelling, slideshows, and other different methods, the participants showcased their website building skills.

To enter the contest, participants had to first register their own free .ASIA web address and then use the user-friendly website builder to design their webpages. The participants were only to use the .ASIA website builder, with no third-party programs allowed in the contest. The criteria for the winners was: originality 30%, creativity 25%, relevance 25%, and engagement 20%.

Winners

After a long and tight deliberation, the victors are decided.

Grand prize (10,000 PhP and Online Startup package)

Alfie Pogado, loveourmoms.asia.

The 1st runner-up (5,000 PhP)

Jessa Mae Gestoso, worldstoughestjob.asia.

The 2nd runner up (2,000 PhP)

Lucky Arriesgado, lovemymom.asia.

Their mothers must be very proud of them, and it seems like they must similarly be proud of their mothers to produce such amazing work. Check out their respective websites and be amazed! You can also visit us on Facebook and check the other participants' awesome works as well.

The Make Yo' Mama Proud! awarding ceremony is June 13, 2017, at the Dreamscape Networks office in Cebu.



Web design's top 5 trends for 2017

By Jorisse G | Friday, 2 June 2017

Web design in 2017 is all about delivering a personalised, highly interactive and altogether relevant experience for users.

One size no longer fits all, and design trends are evolving. Check out the rapidly rising web design trends to follow to get your website performing for top user experience.

1

Virtual reality and full screen video

Exciting virtual reality (VR) announcements abound in 2017, and the trend continues its significant impact on web design.

Leading VR's trend is Google and its Daydream headset. There are many practical uses for VR tech, and opportunities for integrating it in everyday life, so expect to see more of it along with 360º video on web design.

Many businesses have optimised their apps with video, which provide users with a more immersive experience, especially when it comes to how-to’s or to illustrate how relevant the product or service is for the customer.

2

Minimalist approaches: bold font and white space

More and more designers are using bolder fonts, with less content made up of impactful sentences along with clever use of white space. The minimalist trend lives on.

The reasoning is when a user browses the website, instead of getting distracted by too many design elements, they see the outstanding statements in bold fonts. User attention is then immediately caught. The landing page is designed to create a pop.

3

Vibrant colors and gradients

Social media platform Instagram has introduced the use of bright colours and gradient patterns to improve stories in pictures and showcase a heightened kind of lifestyle. This trend is catching on across websites as well, which gives pages a distinctly vintage yet fresh feel at the same time.

4

Interactive bots for engagement

Bots have less of an impact on web design when it comes to the visual side, but it does influence designers on how they think about creating the website. AI bots have become more realistic and complicated, allowing companies to offer instant and automated sales and communication.

The customised customer support provides businesses with a huge shift in conversational interface. Brands will be able to express different characterisations of the business persona, adding a more human and personal touch in approaching customers.

5

High quality photography

TThe use of obvious stock photography reduces trust. Some pictures can even be completely ignored, which is bad news for design and for the business. Authentic photography is offered by countless sites online, with beautiful, high quality images. The era of cheesy stock photography could be nearing its end for web design.

One thing to keep in mind is that images that feature real people are more attractive for visitors. This gives you a bigger chance for conversion. Candid and original images are in demand, providing relatable, real moments captured from life rather than lifeless, polished pictures that are clearly posed. Authentic photography will help brands tell their visual story more effectively on their website.

Focus on creating your website with WordPress Hosting

Fulfilling the latest trends of web design will not be complete without an awesome web hosting service. Fully managed WordPress Hosting for businesses handles the technical details effectively and out of the way – so you can focus on building the website of your dreams.

Dedicated WordPress web hosting is readily purchased, making the experience easier with full management of set-up, configuration, maintenance and support. Enjoy blazingly fast speed and topnotch security. Sit back and relax – and design your website, worry-free.



The top benefits of cloud computing for small business

By Jorisse G | Friday, 26 May 2017

Hosted services offered over the web operate under the general term cloud computing. It applies to the online services you use to send emails, edit your documents, and stream films or TV shows. Services that offer listening to music, playing games online, and storing files and images also fall in the category.

Cloud computing at a glance

According to a study by the IDC, 50% of information technology will transition to the cloud within 5-10 years. Furthermore, 60% of businesses already make use of cloud-based IT for operations. Meanwhile, 82% of companies are also planning for a multi-cloud strategy.

More importantly, cloud computing offers many more advantages for small businesses. Check out the top five benefits here.

1

Time-saving services

Cloud computing features self-service delivery for different types of workloads and needs. Any service can be available on-demand. Companies no longer need to maintain in-house IT staff or manage physical computer resources.

According to TSG, 45% of companies that use private cloud solution have enjoyed significant reduction of the time it takes to install applications. This time-saving feature enables companies to enjoy faster processes and improve productivity for employees.

2

Flexibility

One of the biggest benefits offered by cloud computing is its flexibility. People on your team can access files and information anywhere, and on any device. This is especially important in a highly mobile world.

Many companies now offer flexible working arrangements, such as remote workers and telecommuting. With cloud computing, these employees can access work files even when they are not in the office. This makes it easier for them to work wherever they are.

For small business owners, it's easier for them to easily manage their operations while on the move.

3

Lower costs with pay per use

Cloud computing decreases the need for physical space, power usage and IT resources. As a result, there is a lower need for installation, maintenance, upgrades and costs for support and hardware.

Users only pay for the workloads and resources they use with cloud-based resources. There is no need to buy software anymore. You no longer need to pay for someone or a team to update or install the software, manage email or file servers or run backups.

4

Improved collaboration

Teams in different locations all over the globe can readily collaborate on projects without needing to actually meet. Easy sharing and real time updates on files are available. More things will get done with web conferencing for meetings.

Cloud-based applications can also be accessed on common web browsers at any time. Users across the company can adopt to the applications without the need for intensive training.

5

Enhanced security

The strict security standards required by ISO increase safety for cloud solutions. As a result, risks are reduced when it comes to loss of devices with confidential information. You can also remotely wipe sensitive data from lost gadgets so nobody else can access them. Hacker threats are also reduced.

Cloud service providers regularly update offers. Customers get the most up to date technology possible. The suppliers themselves maintain the systems and update them when new features roll out.

With the rise of the cloud computing trend, small businesses can create websites and power up online influence. There are many benefits to enjoy, which makes the cloud an unmissable opportunity for companies.