WordPress Development Toronto https://nextoronto.com Web Development Services Toronto Fri, 26 May 2017 04:20:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How Many WordPress Plugins Are Too Many? https://nextoronto.com/how-many-wordpress-plugins-are-too-many/ https://nextoronto.com/how-many-wordpress-plugins-are-too-many/#respond Fri, 26 May 2017 04:09:27 +0000 https://nextoronto.com/?p=15440 This question has often been asked in the WordPress community and there really isn’t answer to be quite honest. Plugins […]

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This question has often been asked in the WordPress community and there really isn’t answer to be quite honest.

Plugins are essentially pieces of code that can be added to WordPress that provide additional functionality. There are literally thousands of WordPress plugins that can offer a solution to almost everything you’re looking for. In fact there are dozens of plugins available offering similar functionality.

Through the WordPress dashboard anyone can search through the thousands of available plugins that can be installed with just a couple clicks. This sometimes leads to webmasters going plugin-crazy not knowing that they are hindering on the overall website’s performance.

Recently I was hired to improve the performance of a clients WordPress website which had serious page loading problems. Upon reviewing the plugins I noticed that most of them were redundant or unnecessary. Often times plugins are installed for functionality that is already available through the theme or existing plugins. This particular client had a plugin for Google XML sitemaps when they already had YOAST for SEO installed which provides that functionality.

Upon reviewing the installed/activated plugins with the client we removed roughly 3/4 of them. The end result was the site speed skyrocketed almost 50%.

When it comes to purchasing a web hosting package you typically get what you pay for. Being on a good quality web hosting package allows a website with many plugins to run more efficiently since scripts can be executed faster.  While it’s tempting to purchase a $2/month hosting package this can negatively affect your overall site performance. I recently migrated a clients website which normally took 10 seconds to load on their hosting package only took 3 seconds to load on dedicated server. If you understand the importance of page speed, then you’ll understand that significant different in loading time can determine the overall success of a website.

How to know which plugins are slowing down your website?

P3 Profiler is a useful plugin to see which plugins are using up the most resources. By looking at a simple pie chart you can see a breakdown of which ones are the biggest memory hogs. Based on the information provided through this plugin you can then made an executive decision as to whether to keep or replace them.

Aside from too many plugins bogging down your site’s performance you also have to keep in mind that not all plugins play well together. However rare, code conflicts do occur which can sometimes affect other plugins or worse crash your entire website. This is why it’s important to setup your site in a testing environment.

If you’d like to setup a testing environment on your local machine that works similar to a hosting environment then I highly recommend downloading and installing XAMPP. When planning on making any major changes such as testing new plugins, they should be installed first in a testing environment before applying them to a live website.

Here’s a few tips when installing WordPress Plugins:

1. Make sure the plugin is necessary and will improve the users overall site experience.
2. Read the plugins reviews to see what others have to say.
2. Review documentation and support forum.
3. Install the plugin in a testing environment such as XAMPP.
4. Keep plugins updated for security and performance updates.
5. Check page speed after the plugin is installed.
6. Compare against other plugins if possible.

So to answer the question of “How many plugins is too many?”, it’s really about the quality of the plugins rather than the number of plugins installed.

If you’d like to hire a WordPress expert to help you build a strong online presence, contact NexToronto WordPress Development today!

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Battling Comment Spam? Here’s a quick fix. https://nextoronto.com/battling-comment-spam-heres-quick-fix/ https://nextoronto.com/battling-comment-spam-heres-quick-fix/#respond Sat, 20 May 2017 17:30:34 +0000 https://nextoronto.com/?p=15380 If you’ve launched a WordPress website that has comments enabled then get ready for an influx of comment spam. Comment […]

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blocking wordpress comment spamIf you’ve launched a WordPress website that has comments enabled then get ready for an influx of comment spam.

Comment spammers only care about getting a backlink from your website for their own SEO benefit by posting a mute or unrelated comment on your blog posts.

Getting a lot of comment spam can additionally bloat your database. So why add the extra task of having to clean up your comment spam and protect yourself against it?

While there are plenty of known WordPress plugins available to help combat comment spam, some WordPress developers simply aren’t interested with the additional functionality that can contribute to bloating their website which may even impact site performance.

2 plugins that can help combat WordPress comment spam include:

Both of these plugins can be easily installed through your plugin library (Plugins->Add New). You can use the search in the top right corner to find these plugins, install and activate them. Once installed you can find WP SpamShield under your settings option or Stop Spammers under as a standalone option on the right WordPress menu.

So if you want to eliminate having to constantly clean up your comment spam and essentially give these spammers the middle finer then I highly suggest installing either of the suggested WordPress plugins.

If you have a WordPress website and interested in having us set this up for you, feel free to contact us.

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Can PPC Affect SEO? https://nextoronto.com/ppc-affect-seo/ https://nextoronto.com/ppc-affect-seo/#respond Thu, 18 May 2017 00:13:56 +0000 https://nextoronto.com/?p=15372   10 years ago I took an Search Engine Optimization class at a local college. My teacher would always iterate […]

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can ppc affect seo

 

10 years ago I took an Search Engine Optimization class at a local college. My teacher would always iterate that Google’s objective is to return the best possible search results to the end users query.

Since then, the search algorithm has improved tremendously to the point where a number of unethical or “black hat tactics” I’ve once used in the past can now get a website penalized or even removed from the search results. Nowadays I only practice ethical or “white hat” SEO.

Mobile has officially passed desktop when it comes to search users thus making responsiveness and page loading key factors as we’ve seen in more recent years.

Of course there are numerous factors that come into play to determine search ranking such as content, backlinks, site structure and so on, which all may vary in terms of weight.

I read someone’s tweet that “PPC has no affect on SEO” which is something I’ve told clients for years. Absolutely no correlation at all. But does it?

It’s been discussed on a few blogs and videos that bounce rate can impact a websites search ranking. However I’ve realized there is much disagreement to this theory.

I for one believe that user experience is taking on a larger role as it provides valuable information on how relevant a search result may be. Starting from click through rate of a search result to time-on-site and bounce rate to name a few.

Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC) and search engine optimization are two separate methods to drive traffic to websites which have long since been deemed as unrelated. While PPC can drive targeted traffic from keyword bidding in a short span of time, SEO does not require a budget and requires a lot more time and effort.

If you’re running a PPC campaign and managing it properly then you’re likely to pause keywords that yield a high bounce rate for target keywords otherwise you’re just burning through your budget, unless you have a 1 page website.

Based on observing several Google Adwords accounts I’ve found that bounce rates can range from 20-30% which is a lot lower than the 50% average you would expect from the organic search results.

If your websites bounce rate is significantly lower than your competitors then it’s likely that this may also be taken into consideration (along with all other factors) when determining a websites relevancy.

Now whether any metrics from PPC are even considered might be a separate argument but I do believe that if bounce rate are a factor and PPC can contribute to lower bounce rates. Therefore PPC can indeed have an affect on how a website ranks in Google.

Do you think PPC affects SEO? What are your thoughts? Please leave a comment below.

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WordPress Website Hacked? Install WordFence! https://nextoronto.com/wordpress-website-hacked-install-wordfence/ https://nextoronto.com/wordpress-website-hacked-install-wordfence/#respond Wed, 29 Mar 2017 15:09:44 +0000 https://nextoronto.com/?p=15363 Today was not a good day for me as I discovered a term my site was ranking very high in […]

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Today was not a good day for me as I discovered a term my site was ranking very high in search for had dropped from position 4 to 28 in Google search results. I thought I got de-indexed for some unknown reason so I tried a  search for my own companies name “NexToronto”. The results sent me into panic mode as my listing was displayed in some foreign language.

The hacker had left a backlink to a game website called “clash of the clans” on my homepage and had manipulated the website to display different title tags and meta descriptions on certain pages in some Asian language.

Strangely when I investigated my YOAST SEO settings for both the title tags and meta descriptions on my site everything was fine as they displayed the correct entries I had originally set them to.

I figured the it was related to the site language setting wasn’t.  I decided to purchase and install a popular WordPress security plugin called WordFence to scan my website for potential malware and compromised files. The cost of the plugin for 1 website was $99 US.

The WordFence Security plugin has been downloaded over 2 million times and is currently the most popular security plugin for WordPress.

Installing the plugin took only a few seconds and within minutes I had successfully scanned the entire website.

The results were impressive with at least 8 or so identified new files and roughly 10 files that were subject to code injections.

WordFence not only scans your website for any malicious code or files but also provides the option to either delete or restore any WordPress core files it believes has been hacked.

After completing the WordFence malware scan and cleanup I requested Google to re-index my site through Google console.

Within a few minutes the issue was resolved as my title tags and meta descriptions were once again displaying correctly and in English. My search ranking had also been restored back to page 1 on Google for my target search term and best of all my search listing went from from position 4 to POSITION 2!!!

So if you’re having a similar problem I highly suggest taking the following steps:

1. Install and activate the WordFence Security plugin
2. Scan & clean up any hacked or infected files (delete malicious files and/or restore core files)
3. Request Google to re-index your website through Google Console

Furthermore to fixing my issue, WordFence has currently blocked two hacking attempts on my website.

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The BEST Free Stock Photo Websites https://nextoronto.com/free-stock-photos/ https://nextoronto.com/free-stock-photos/#respond Wed, 22 Mar 2017 04:42:16 +0000 https://nextoronto.com/?p=12602 The post The BEST Free Stock Photo Websites appeared first on WordPress Development Toronto.

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free stock images

gratisphotography.com

Finding the right stock photo for your website is probably one of the most underestimated tasks. Just last night I spent almost an hour looking for ONE image for my own website. A great image can not only improve credibility but also emotionally engage site visitors. The use of stunning photos can help you sell or entice users to read your content. Lets face it most of us will judge a book by its cover.

When I was first starting out I remember Getty Images being one of the few reliable sites for stock photography. Although Getty’s website was comprised of stunning photography as if the site was a giant art gallery, it wasn’t a site for a newbie web developer.

More sites started popping up which offered less quality but at least I wouldn’t have to blow a big part of my budget on a picture of a woman drinking coffee. Sites like iStock Photo and then big stock photo popped up making images more affordable for people looking for images to use for web and promotion.

As of this moment, my favorite site for stock photography is www.dollarphotoclub.com. I actually found out about it through one marketing agency i worked with and later introduced it as a standard at another marketing agency I worked with. This website has a huge collection of usable stock photography for just 1 dollar each.

However lately I’ve been introduced to two more last week by a graphic designer and wanted to compile a short list that might be worth looking at if you’re looking for free stock photos. I’ve looked at other blogs that suggested free stock photo websites but what I found was small libraries of photos that were very abstract and surreal.

Let’s take the images on gratisphotography.com for example. Amazing and fun images but I highly doubt i’ll ever use any of them.

So here’s a list if you’re a cheap bastard or just trying to save a dollar instead of going to dollarphotoclub.com. Although many of the sites I’ve looked at had impressive photos, if they didn’t have search functionality then I didn’t bother listing them.

17 FREE STOCK PHOTO WEBSITES

1. Photopin (http://photopin.com/)

Photopin | Stock Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Unsplash (http://unsplash.com/)

unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Free Images (http://www.freeimages.com/)

free images | stock photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Kaboom Pics (http://kaboompics.com/)

kaboom pics | Free stock photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Stock Photos (http://stockphotos.io/)

free stock photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Morguefile (http://www.morguefile.com/)

morguefile | free stock photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Stocksnap (http://stocksnap.io)

free stock photo website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Picjumbo (https://picjumbo.com/)

picjumbo | free stock photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Gratis photography  (http://www.gratisography.com/)

free stock photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Negative Space (http://negativespace.co/)

negativespace free stock photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Pexels (https://www.pexels.com/)

free stock images - pexels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. 123RF (https://www.123rf.com/search_free.php)

13. LibreShot (https://libreshot.com/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14. Free Stock Photos Stock Pic (http://stokpic.com/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15. New Old Stock (http://nos.twnsnd.co/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16. Life of Pix (http://www.lifeofpix.com/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

17. Splitshire (https://www.splitshire.com)

In creating this list, I’ll admit I searched out a few more to see if there was any others worth mentioning but found a large majority were just galleries of hipsters. I doubt i’ll ever need a photo of an effeminate man wearing a fedora, skinny jeans and a 1940 train conductors hat. Equally annoying were affiliate sites posing to be provide free stock photos only to rediect you to stock photos that weren’t free.

If you have any free digital photo websites you recommend please recommend them in the comments below.

free stock photography

This is a picture of a cute kitten. I don’t know when i’ll ever get to use pictures like this again but look at those blue eyes. DAWWWW!

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5 LINK BUILDING TACTICS TO AVOID https://nextoronto.com/5-link-building-tactics-avoid/ https://nextoronto.com/5-link-building-tactics-avoid/#respond Thu, 16 Feb 2017 01:44:56 +0000 https://nextoronto.com/?p=15322 Did you know that Google banned its own division Google Japan with an 11-month penalty for buying links from blog […]

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Did you know that Google banned its own division Google Japan with an 11-month penalty for buying links from blog reviewers?

5 LINK BUILDING TACTICS TO AVOID

Is your SEO provider engaging in unsavory, black hat SEO tactics frowned on by Google?

You may be experiencing more traffic to your website, but are people engaging with your brand? If you’re noticing a high bounce rate (a lot of visitors but short durations), and generating little feedback or response from visitors, your SEO provider might be attracting the wrong kind of traffic using strategies scrutinized by Google.

Google’s algorithm reviews over 200 factors to determine a website’s relevance to a search. Knowledge of Google’s webmaster guidelines are essential to avoiding a penalty, which can reduce the ranking of your page or site, and, in rare cases, can even result in the removal of your content from the search index.

Some SEO and marketing professionals employ strategies that are frowned on by Google, manipulating search results artificially to gain an unfair advantage. Black hat SEO tactics, as they are widely referred to, pose a significant threat to the quality of search results. If businesses can manipulate Google’s search engine, users will find the search results repetitive and limited to a few dominant players.

Misleading backlinks, false content, and other forms of spam can quickly proliferate across the web if they are not rigorously addressed. Reducing spam from search results has become a top priority for Google, which wants users to discover the best, most relevant, qualified, results based on their search terms.

By introducing guidelines and general practices for web administrators, Google hopes to generate better organic search results. Using a very complex series of mathematical calculations, each page in a SERP generates a score that can be compared and measured against other pages, ranked from greatest to least relevant.

If you’re SEO provider is suggesting any of the five following practices, take your business elsewhere:

  1. OBVIOUS PURCHASED LINKS

Trusted SEO services and experts never advise a client to pay for a backlink. It’s not only unethical, but if repeated enough times can actually generate a penalty from Google. Some services pay third-parties to host your link, using a portion of the fee they’ve been paid by you. They advertise on online job boards and pay very little but it’s an easy way to quickly build your page’s authority and ranking as web crawlers index take note of the increased backlinks. High bounce rates are a sure sign of suspicious backlinks, which could prompt a penalty.

  1. LINK FARMS

Some SEO services will offer a backlinks package, promising front page search results in a short time. Stay away! By proliferating your links indiscriminately across the internet, you’re sure to gain the attention of PageRank, which will make sure you don’t show up in search results. A link farm can be created by an automated program to produce a website (or websites) that feature hyperlinks connecting to one another.  The owners of these sites can post content for a fee, along with hyperlinks placed strategically to link back to a desired site. The content, however is usually irrelevant or non-existent. Users who arrive at the site after clicking the hyperlink discover they’ve been duped, and bounce to another site.

  1. LINKING ONLY TO YOUR HOME PAGE

Links that lead visitors back to your home page might sound like a great idea, but it’s the easiest way to earn a penalty from PageRank. By directing links only to your home page, you’re actually diverting traffic from exploring deeper into your site architecture. Internal links that point to archived content, product pages, or other sources from your domain keep visitors to your site longer, which is a positive indicator to web crawlers of your relevance. Make sure to link to deeper level pages in your site in addition to the links pointing to your homepage.

  1. LINKING TO A PENALIZED SITE

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Of course, you won’t know a site has been penalized unless you make a point of checking for yourself. Good SEO services will perform an audit of all backlinks regularly to ensure that there are no harmful sites affecting your domain authority. With so much content online, rankings can change overnight, which means sites you may have linked to for months or years can suddenly be penalized if they fail to operate within Google’s guidelines.

  1. LINK SPAM

Phony content, irrelevant content; links posted in forums and chat rooms that lead to tacky sales offers or questionable online opportunities. Hyperlinks designed to divert traffic are annoying in whatever form they appear on your screen, but make sure your business isn’t among them. Online directories can be a graveyard of spammy links, used by shady SEO services to artificially increase traffic to a desired site. By registering your business information in forums or directories that lack context or relevance, they hope to fool web crawlers into thinking your business has been endorsed by others. PageRank, however, analyses links for their relevance as well.

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5 Technical SEO Improvements for WordPress & Better Rankings! https://nextoronto.com/technical-seo-wordpress-better-rankings/ https://nextoronto.com/technical-seo-wordpress-better-rankings/#respond Sun, 12 Feb 2017 21:53:13 +0000 https://nextoronto.com/?p=15313 Improving Website Rankings with Technical SEO In my experience I’ve met a handful of web developers who lacked knowledge in […]

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Improving Website Rankings with Technical SEO

In my experience I’ve met a handful of web developers who lacked knowledge in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and vice versa (SEO experts who lack knowledge in web development). Having a technical SEO background can be a tremendous benefit to understanding the overlap between WordPress and SEO which can help give your website the competitive edge to help you outrank your competitors in search.

Why is it important to understand both?

Google’s algorithm has evolved from looking at factors such as content, keywords and backlinks to the infrastructure and usability which require technical knowledge to address.

As a web developer/WordPress and SEO expert I’ve come to realize there is much overlap between these areas which not only allowed me to identify areas for improvement but also address these issues myself.

Here are a few technical improvements that your web developer can provide to make your WordPress website rank better in search and improve usability.

1. Site speed

Site speed isn’t a new factor but it’s definitely an extremely important one for a couple reasons. 1) Improving the site performance can improve visitor experience which can directly translate to how long people spend on your website and bounce rate (how quickly people leave your site). Think about you reacted when you visited a slow loading website and how quickly you left. 2) Page loading time is a ranking factor. If you have a site that requires 40 seconds to load rather than your competitors site that is lightening fast and loads in 3 seconds. Guess what? Google will rank your competitor higher in search.

2. WordPress Plugins for SEO

As a WordPress enthusiast I’m always on the lookout for the best plugins. I’ve identified a handful of plugins that have become standard with every site I work on. Plugins such as YOAST for SEO which I don’t only install but also make sure it’s configured correctly so that Google will be able to interpret a website correctly.

3. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) setup

Accelerated Mobile Pages is a very simple configuration however one that is overlooked by many SEO experts and web developers. AMP was created a method to deliver content quickly on mobile devices. Google has officially launched AMP listings for mobile results in February of 2016, so it only makes sense that this configuration is setup to improve your exposure on mobile devices.

4. Image Optimization

Images can drastically slow down a websites loading and much like site speed and affect how users respond to your website. WordPress has a handful of plugins that allow compression or resizing that will make image file sizes smaller and therefore load faster in the browser. I recommend WordPress plugins such as Smush Image Compression and Optimization which easily optimizes images for your website.

5. Mobile Friendly/Responsiveness

It’s amazing how many websites in 2017 still aren’t mobile friendly despite the increase in mobile search trends. In fact nearly 60% of searches are from mobile devices . Is your site mobile friendly? If you have a WordPress website that isn’t mobile friendly maybe it’s time to give your website a much needed face lift. Most WordPress templates are designed to be mobile responsive so switching to a new WordPress theme might be an easier way to solve this issue rather than trying to add CSS to transform your current theme.

There are many more technical factors that can improve your site performance and search rankings which you’ll only receive when you hire the right web company. If you’re looking to give your site the competitive edge it needs then contact NexToronto today for a free estimate.

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B&B Niagara – New Affiliate Travel Website https://nextoronto.com/affiliate-marketing-travel-website/ https://nextoronto.com/affiliate-marketing-travel-website/#respond Sun, 05 Feb 2017 03:50:59 +0000 https://nextoronto.com/?p=15305 I haven’t launched an affiliate based website for a long time and last month I finally decided I’d get my […]

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B and B Niagara (www.bandbniagara.com)I haven’t launched an affiliate based website for a long time and last month I finally decided I’d get my feet wet again with a simple travel website. Since my fiancee and I are in love with the Niagara-on-the-Lake region of Ontario for its historic town, beautiful landscapes and wineries I decided to focus on this geographic area as my niche.

I decided to create a website that provided bed and breakfast information, a directory for wineries and other travel information. It’s not exactly a website that I would use in my portfolio but I have to say it’s not bad for a pet project that was completed in 1 month. The site was mostly by outsourced to talent from upwork.com for less than $100 in data entry.

One of the reasons I decided to create this affiliate website was because I plan on teaching an affiliate marketing workshop in 2017 and wanted to show my attendees what could be accomplished in a short span of time on an almost shoestring budget.

Of course as a web developer I can easily output affiliate websites that can provide a passive income without a massive investment. I do recommend other web developers and marketers to become affiliate marketers for many reasons including:

  • It helps you become a better developer if you’re building your own website. Personally, I use my own affiliate websites to test out plugins and scripts first before I would implement them on a clients website.
  • It helps you learn about what works when it comes to SEO and internet marketing.
  • You can earn money.

Like all websites by NexToronto, BandB Niagara was developed using WordPress. I purchased a WordPress theme from themeforest.com called Book your Travel which allows me to manage bed and breakfast locations and wineries. I’ve had to make plenty of customization’s to the WordPress theme since it was originally developed for hotel booking to accept payment so I had modify it to  use affiliate an booking form.

While currently in development, B&B Niagara offers the following features:

  • Interactive maps to located bed and breakfast and wineries
  • Detailed pages for all bed and breakfast and wineries.
  • Hotel booking forms
  • Blog

While I do plan on eventually improving the site’s design my main focus is currently to populate it with useful Niagara-on-the-Lake travel information. If this project comes to fruition then I plan on launching more affiliate travel based websites. I’ll most likely not work with the theme I chose for this project but more interested to see what type of response and whether it’s worth pursuing this vertical.

If you’re someone who is looking to learn about affiliate marketing in Toronto. I will be holding a workshop starting this year to help bloggers, web developers and marketers learn the basics of affiliate marketing and how to monetize their website.

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Stock Photo Website Alternative to Dollarphotoclub.com https://nextoronto.com/stock-photo-website-alternative-dollarphotoclub-com/ https://nextoronto.com/stock-photo-website-alternative-dollarphotoclub-com/#respond Sun, 18 Dec 2016 19:22:42 +0000 https://nextoronto.com/?p=15287 Importance of Stock Photography Any graphic designer or web designer knows the importance of quality stock photography. Not only can […]

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Dollar Photo Club Alternative

Importance of Stock Photography

Any graphic designer or web designer knows the importance of quality stock photography. Not only can stock photos transform the look of a website but they can also influence a visitors impression by providing credibility and trust. This small difference can affect how users interact with your website and even impact sales.

Even as a web developer I was once influenced by the stock photos used on web templates. If I was purchasing a template for a particular industry I would purchase a template that included images related to that industry. I also base buying decisions from websites on how they look as I mentioned above. If they look cheaply made then chances are I’ll probably go to another website that looks more credible.

When developing WordPress websites, if I’m using an image slider on the website

dollar photo club alternativeThe Death of Dollar Photo Club


Dollarphotoclub.com
was a stock photo website that I had used for a number of years that was comparable to some of the best stock photo websites.

I had used a number of paid stock photo websites that would charge $10 and more for quality images whereas Dollar Photo Club provided quality stock images for only $1 each. Thus it allowed me to purchase more images and save on costs on web design. It was truly a gold mine for many agencies and freelancers.

On April 2016, Adobe had announced the purchase of Dollar Photo Club. They had ended the run of one of the most popular stock photo websites available and increased the cost of photos exponentially. This had angered many graphic designs and web designers across the United States and Canada.

CreStock: An Alternative to Dollar Photo Club

crestock stock photo website | alternative to dollar photo clubA couple months ago I found a new website that offered similar quality graphics and images as Dollar Photo Club called CreStock which provides royalty-free stock photos and vector illustrations. It is the only website I could find that was comparable to the once great website where you can purchase quality stock photos and images for only $1.

If you’re someone who doesn’t want to spend any money you might want check out my blog on free stock photo websites however the options and quality aren’t very impressive.

99Club is another website that was recommended as an alternative to Dollar Photo Club which also provides cheap stock photos. However you have to purchase a membership which costs $99/year which then provides you access to 200XXL image downloads.

After taking a look at the quality of images on 99Club I have to say CreStock is still my number one choice since you don’t have to purchase a membership and the quality of stock images is much better.

Join CreStock Photo Club

 

 

 

It’s very difficult for every student to find a good homework help online website… Most of the services are not so good at all! Luckily, there are a number of homework platforms that are actually providing top quality homework help, like MaxHomework!

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Boost Online Sales with an Affiliate Program! https://nextoronto.com/boost-online-sales-affiliate-program/ https://nextoronto.com/boost-online-sales-affiliate-program/#respond Sat, 03 Dec 2016 18:28:30 +0000 https://nextoronto.com/?p=15281 An affiliate program is an often overlooked many online businesses and eCommerce store owners. However this marketing strategy is a […]

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An affiliate program is an often overlooked many online businesses and eCommerce store owners. However this marketing strategy is a very powerful digital marketing strategy that is used by almost 80% of major brands.

What is an affiliate program?

An affiliate program is type of performance based marketing which rewards website publishers a commission based on any customer or visitor generated by their marketing efforts. Those who join affiliate programs are known as affiliates and those who run affiliate programs are known as merchants.

In plain English, you get paid by sending customers to a website that sells a product or service.

how affiliate programs workHow does an affiliate program work?

Website publishers or affiliates can join affiliate programs for free. Typically you can find a link to an affiliate program at the bottom of most websites. It normally takes a couple minutes to fill out the affiliate signup form and in some cases a certain criteria must be met such as having a website, being within a particular niche or having a certain amount of traffic in a given month.

Once someone is accepted into an affiliate program they will have access to a dashboard which typically provides stats on earned commissions, access to banners or creatives and unique links used to track any sales generated. From the click of a banner on a website to the completed sale, every step of the process is tracked using cookies.

What are the benefits of an affiliate program?

For businesses setting up an affiliate program means paying a commission based on a fixed dollar amount or percentage of a sale. Depending on how rewarding the commission may be can influence how active or aggressive affiliate marketers will be in promoting a product or service. Affiliates are similar to sales reps working for an online business that only work on a commission basis. The only time advertising dollars are only spent is when an affiliate generates a sale.

For businesses an affiliate program can mean any number of benefits including:

  • More qualified leads
  • Increased sales
  • Extend your brand and reach
  • Viral marketing
  • Performance based, you don’t pay money unless you are making money
  • Get better search rankings from more inbound links generated by affiliates
  • Save money without sales staff
  • Low cost to launch an affiliate program

Not sold on setting up an affiliate program for your business? Check out the affiliate marketing stats below.

  • 80% of brands utilize affiliate marketing
  • Advertisers have seen a 15-40% increase in sales through affiliate programs
  • In 2015, 10% of Amazon’s 10 billion dollar revenue was a result of their Affiliate Program
  • 50% of affiliate traffic is from mobile devices

Affiliate Tracking Software vs Affiliate Networks

When launching an affiliate program a company must decide between integrating their own affiliate program software or an affiliate network which typically provides a more sophisticated platform. Alternatively you can also use both, but I find this is rarely the case.

Hosted Affiliate Software is by far much cheaper. There are plenty of WordPress affiliate program plugins and other software’s that integrate seamlessly which can cost as little as a couple hundred dollars. Normally the level of sophistication is proportionate to the what you pay.

Self-hosted software is yet another option to running your own affiliate software. In this case you are using a third party to manage the software for you so you don’t have to worry about software upgrades and better support.

Affiliate Networks are definitely more costly but provide a number of benefits including:

  • Better fraud detection
  • Are more trustworthy, as affiliates are more likely to deal with known affiliate networks and having all their programs centralized is easier for them to manage.
  • Save time as commissions are handled by the networks
  • Recruiting, since the proponent of affiliate programs are the marketers themselves. Affiliate networks already have thousands of publishers to promote your affiliate offers.

Looking to launch an affiliate program for your online business? Contact Nextoronto today!

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