What are nTLDs and how do they impact SEO?

Choosing a website domain is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your business. The full website name you pick will be crucial as you attempt to build name recognition and empower people to find your company online, and that’s a solid reason to look at additional top-level domains (nTLDs).

Most companies opt for a .com domain. It’s the most widely used, and according to a 2019 study from GrowthBadger, it is 33% more memorable than other top-level domains (TLDs).

Unfortunately, as new websites pop up every day, the domain name you want for your business might already be taken. Even if you opt to consider domain extensions like .net or .org, those could also be unavailable.

But there is good news!

Domains like .store or .tech have recently become an option. These types of domains give companies more flexibility and can be cheaper than traditional … Read the rest

Securing your online store for the holidays

Shopping season is here, and so is the opportunity for ecommerce site owners to grow their business and generate profit.

With the shifting global ecommerce climate produced by the recent pandemic, comes the ever growing importance of securing your website to protect your users — and your website’s revenue.

The most important thing to keep in mind during the holidays is that your online customers depend on you to protect their data.

As an ecommerce website owner, you’re required to follow the PCI-DSS compliance requirements. These requirements are governed by major credit card companies to securely handle cardholder information — and you’re obligated to follow them, even if you don’t process any payments yourself.

While we’ve outlined some PCI requirements for your reference, it’s important to keep in mind that PCI compliance violations aren’t the only negative impact you can expect in the event of compromise.

Impacts of a hack … Read the rest

5 cybersecurity tips for your small business

Would you believe that more than 50 percent of your web traffic might be from bots, scrapers, hacking tools and scammers? You’ve probably received an email in your inbox with cybersecurity tips and brushed it aside. Maybe you’ve heard stories of websites being hacked, never thinking you could be a target. The sad truth is that hackers and scammers don’t attack websites for personal reasons.

They do it for the thrill or for economic gain.

 

With that in mind, how do you protect your small business website from lurking hackers? These cybersecurity tips for small businesses can help.

5 cybersecurity tips for your small business website

As a small business owner, you are an expert on your products and services. No one expects that you’re a master of web security, which is why small business websites are particularly vulnerable to an attack.

Whether you’re a dog walker, an HVAC … Read the rest

Design Principles: What, Why, and How

This article originally published on Media Temple’s blog.

If 2020 has proved anything, it’s that we work in a world of constant disruption. Whether it comes from a new technology or a worldwide pandemic, Heraclitus was right: “Change is the only constant.”

So, how do we maintain some semblance of order when we’re forced to continuously evolve?

For UX, Creative, and even wider business teams, establishing brand-specific design principles can go a long way. By crafting experiences based on these foundational guidelines, you ensure that even the most agile, experimental ideas stay rooted in your brand and why users embrace it.

What are design principles?

Design principles are foundational ideas for building experiences, guiding everything a design team creates. They sit toward the top of your “design thinking” or “design system” activities, and capture big broad concepts, often represented with a single word or short … Read the rest

How to support local businesses in the new normal

This article originally published on GoDaddy’s OpenWeStand.org website.

Small businesses across the country have been drastically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Coronavirus Impact Poll, 70% of small businesses are concerned about long-term financial hardship while 58% worry about having to permanently close. With small businesses teetering on the edge of failure, other entrepreneurs are stepping in. Local business owners can help each other out and build each other up during this pandemic.

While some companies might technically be your competitors, it’s important to focus on collaboration over competition: we’re all in this together. Here’s how to support local businesses and protect small businesses as an entrepreneur.

Related: America — Land of the free, home of the small business 

Buy from local vendors

Entrepreneurs can go above and beyond to support localism or the idea that you should prioritize businesses within … Read the rest

8 tips for restaurants to thrive in the new normal

This article originally published on GoDaddy’s OpenWeStand.org website.

Restaurant owners have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Historically, restaurants have depended on serving food to people indoors and in person, but with the lingering threat of the novel coronavirus, small business owners have had to adapt.

For months, some restaurants pivoted to offer takeout only, or provide delivery services. Others closed down entirely, hoping for the pandemic to end quickly. Now, both types of restaurants are trying to reopen, while managing new stay-at-home orders and constantly shifting customer expectations.

How can you thrive as a small business in this “new normal” of COVID-19?

How restaurants can thrive in the new normal

We don’t have all the answers, but these tips can help your restaurant thrive in these uncertain times:

1. Pivot your model

Your initial business model has probably changed a great deal since the pandemic hit.

If you
Read the rest

How small businesses can prepare for Black Friday and holiday season 2020

This article originally published on GoDaddy’s OpenWeStand.org website.

There’s no doubt about it: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are going to look quite different this year than previous holiday shopping seasons. But, just because shoppers won’t be flooding into your physical store doesn’t mean you can’t take full advantage of your customers’ willingness to spend throughout the entire holiday season.

1. Accept things are different this year on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday

Your first course of action is to unequivocally accept that everything will be different this year. Many stores are still closed for indoor shopping.

And, while many innovative efforts have been implemented thus far (like retailers taking reservations to shop in their store, organizing outdoor pop-up shops, or utilizing one in one out policies to limit crowds) that’s not going to cut it for big sale days where demand will be … Read the rest

Webform security best practices for small businesses

As a small business owner or manager, you are responsible for your customers’ email addresses, phone numbers and billing addresses the second they type the information into a form on your website. This type of data — known as personally identifiable information (PII) — is in high demand among hackers, which is why it’s important to implement webform security best practices on your small business website.

What do hackers do with PII?

Hackers don’t usually have a direct interest in your customers’ PII. Instead, they profit when they sell the data on the dark web (also known as the online black market) for a median price of $21.35 per record.

For example, a hacker can tap into a rental property manager’s database to extract credit card information. The going rate to destroy someone’s credit or steal their identity is less than $25.

Cyber thieves then mine the information … Read the rest

CSAM: A good month to discuss website security with clients

Cybersecurity Awareness Month isn’t a marketing gambit. Now in its 17th year, CSAM is a collab between government agencies and industry leaders, created to raise awareness and provide resources to further a safer internet. People like web designers and developers should look at CSAM as an opportunity to discuss website security with clients.

It’s a conversation that many of us in this creative sphere aren’t keen on having.

Some might argue that, technically, website security isn’t their problem. (They already delivered the thing.) But it’s important to understand that low-hanging fruit supports an ecosystem where bad actors can thrive. We don’t need them trashing up the internet, a place where everyone is already hustling to make a living.

Web professionals should make sure clients understand what website security is, the risks that are out there, and who’s handling what.

Ready to rip off that Band-Aid? Don’t stress. Let’s walk through … Read the rest

How tiny Fairfield, Iowa, became a micro-business capital

When the COVID-19 crisis hit, Jim Masterson had to figure out how to massage a horse online.

For more than a decade, Masterson and his wife, Conley, have been the go-to experts for equine performance bodywork.

If your show horse got sore after a jumping competition, you could attend a workshop with a Masterson instructor to learn how to release the horse’s muscle tension through the unique Masterson Method.

The pandemic put a stop to the instructor visits and forced the Mastersons to think creatively about their business model and the horses they’ve dedicated their lives to helping.

Fortunately, they had access to an entire community of creative and like-minded entrepreneurs.

Based in the Corn Belt city of Fairfield, Iowa, the Mastersons are part of an entrepreneurial Shangri-La. The 10,425-person city, about 115 miles southeast of Des Moines, is home to a large number of small, internet-based micro-businesses that are … Read the rest