17 May

Best Online Business Ideas For 2021-2022

Best Online Business Ideas For 2022

If you are in the market for a successful online business idea, you’ve come to the right place. We have created a list of some of the most popular online business ideas for 2021-2022, and we know you’ll love them!

The internet is a powerful tool. Alongside computers, it changed the way we interact with each other, the way we work, the way we go about our daily lives. It opened doors to many new business ideas that were difficult to imagine back in the ‘90s when people started buying computers.

You can now build a successful online business from anywhere in the world. If you’ve got something good to offer, all you need is a good internet connection and a computer.

If you’re looking to start your own company, these popular online business ideas should help get the ball rolling.

Popular Online Business Ideas You Can Start Today

  1. Become a Freelance Content Writer.
  2. Offer Consulting Services to Small Businesses.
  3. Become a Virtual Assistant.
  4. Create & Sell Digital Products.
  5. Build an Online Store.
  6. Become a Creator on Patreon.

Become a Freelance Content Writer

With this type of work, you can write from anywhere and set your own schedule. You’ll be able to make money by providing valuable information to people who need it. It’s an exciting opportunity that will allow you to grow as a writer and entrepreneur while being your own boss.

Popular Forms of Content Writing Include:

  • Blog Posts.
  • Case Studies.
  • Email Templates.
  • Copywriting (ads, website copy).
  • Ghost Writing (content credited to other people).
  • User Guides.
  • eBooks.
  • Social Media content.

If you are new to content writing the internet is packed with great books and courses on this topic.

Some of our favorites resources on content writing are:

On Writing Well – a book by William Zinsser, will teach you how to write well. This book is packed with examples and will give you a clear understanding of the fundamentals of writing non-fiction.

Unlearn Essay Writing – by Julia McCoy is a great course for new writers. Julia’s course will teach you the fundamentals of online content writing. It also includes a ton of resources, templates, and tools you can use in your journey to becoming a successful content writer.

Writer’s Digest University – has everything, from writing workshops to self-paced courses, to help you boost your freelance content writing career.

Offer Consulting Services to Small Businesses

Consulting for small businesses it’s a great way to earn revenue. On top of that it gives you the ability to learn many of the ins and outs of running a successful business.

A business consultant is an expert in their field and can provide advice to companies that need some help growing or getting started. Consulting services can include a wide range of topics, including marketing, leadership, business development, product development, technology. The list can go on, it’s up to you to find what you excel at.

While traditionally a lot of the consulting services were done face to face, today this type of business can easily be done online through popular collaboration tools.

Some of our favorite collaboration and project management tools and solutions are:

  • Google Workspace (Google Meet, Google Drive, Google Sheets, Google Docs).
  • Microsoft 365 (Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Planner).
  • Airtable.
  • Atlassian Tools (Jira, Confluence, Trello).
  • Clubhouse Project Management.

Become a Virtual Assistant

Working as a virtual assistant (VA) offers the perfect opportunity to start your own business. You can work from home, set your own hours, and enjoy the flexibility of working with clients all over the world.

The requests for virtual assistants have been growing at a rapid pace, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic.

A virtual assistant is the perfect solution for companies that:

  • Need assistance with only a specific project.
  • Want to save time by delegating smaller tasks.
  • Want an extra set of hands without having to hire another employee.

As a virtual assistant you can do anything that a personal assistant would do:

  • Manage a company’s calendar.
  • Schedule appointments.
  • Manage their emails.
  • Respond to phone calls (using VoIP – Voice over IP).
  • Data entry.
  • Marketing and social media management.

Create & Sell Digital Products

Knowing where to start when dealing with a project outside of your area of expertise, can be overwhelming. Sure! There is a ton of information available online but research takes time and then you need to figure out how to implement what you’ve learned. That’s where experts and creative minds come in.

Digital products are becoming increasingly popular because they allow anyone with expertise in a specific process or department to share that knowledge with others who may not have the same level of experience.

If you have valuable insights to share or have a knack for creating digital assets, this is the perfect opportunity to create and sell your products online.

Online Business Ideas: Create and Sell Digital Products.

Start by doing a self-assessment. What are you passionate about, what do you have experience with, what are you secretly good at?

Once you have identified your top skills it’s time to start creating.

Popular Digital Products Ideas:

  • Online courses.
  • Templates (email, resumes, marketing, social media, brand awareness).
  • Calendars, planners, and organizers.
  • “Done for You” spreadsheets.
  • Frameworks.
  • Checklists.
  • Playbooks.
  • Workshops.
  • eBooks.
  • Online graphics.
  • Logos.
  • Digital art.

You can sell your digital products on popular marketplaces such as Creative Market, Etsy, Udemy, Skillshare, or, you can create your own online store.

Build an Online Store

If you would rather sell your digital products on your own website, without working with 3rd party websites, you can start your own online store.

The internet is a hotbed for business, with 7.9 million online businesses already in operation around the world! However, there is plenty more room to grow.

To build your online store:

  1. Identify your target customers – what industry are they in, what age group, which states/countries, what is their job function, what are their pain points.
  2. Purchase a domain name for your online store.
  3. Choose an eCommerce platform.
  4. Find a reliable hosting provider.
  5. Build and launch your online store.
  6. Work on your promotion and marketing strategy.

Check out our “Step-by-Step Guide To Starting an Online Store” for a detailed overview of these steps and all the things you need to consider when starting your online store:

Become a Creator on Patreon

You know those cool people on social media that have tons of followers and always seem to be having a great time? They always share small tidbits of valuable tips. But did you know many of them might also be doing awesome deep dives into those topics using Patreon?

If you are an influencer or a well-known speaker you can make money by becoming a content creator on Patreon. This membership platform makes it easy for creators to get paid and offers a great way of monetizing content online. Content creators earn monthly payouts from their supporters, called “patrons.”

You can create any type of content from early releases, exclusive content, and videos, podcasts, behind-the-scenes type of content, mini and micro-courses, templates, frameworks, and more.

Patreon allows creators to set up multiple tiers based on how much people pledge per month (the more you give, the better your rewards).

Some of our favorite Patreon creators are:

Michael Laws – the creator of “Teaching Tech” shares technology-related content, tips, and tutorials to ramp up your technology skills.

Shannon Morse – the creator of “ThreatWire” provides access to news about cybersecurity, privacy, and online threats in addition to exclusive rewards.

John Bonini – creates “Some Good Content” and shares valuable insights on everything from planning, writing, and optimizing content.

To start creating content on Patreon, simply choose one of their available plans.

Patreon Content Creator Plans

A Patreon University (Patreon U) is available to educate creators on how to use Patreon and run a successful business.

We hope these online business ideas inspire you to start your own company in 2021-2022. Whether you’re looking for a side hustle, or want to make the jump into full-time entrepreneurship, it all starts with an idea.

04 May

7 Ways To Improve Customer Loyalty and Retention

Customer loyalty and retention play a key role in the success of any business.

But how can you build customer loyalty? What are some of the strategies to turn customers into your biggest advocates? We’ve got answers to these questions and more!

This blog post will teach you some of the best practices to provide ongoing value and get loyal recurring customers.

Customer Loyalty vs. Customer Retention

Customer loyalty and customer retention are both concepts focused on strengthening your relationship with your customers and increasing revenues. The longer and stronger the relationship with customers is, the more revenues you are going to generate over time.

However, there is a significant difference between these two concepts.

What Is Customer Retention?

Customer retention is focused on preventing your customers from leaving by delivering ongoing value through products and services that address their pains and contribute to your customers’ success.

What Is Customer Loyalty?

Customer loyalty is a measure of how committed customers are to your company or brand.

Loyal customers are more likely to buy additional services from your company and stay with your company for a long time. Loyal customers are also your best brand advocates. They are also more likely to recommend your business to others, which can lead to new sales.

Generating strong customer loyalty will consequently increase customer retention.

How Can You Measure Customer Loyalty?

Net Promoter Scores (NPS) are a great way to measure customer loyalty. When you’re looking for quick feedback, this is the tool that will let you know how satisfied customers are with your services.

The NPS is a data-driven tool that measures customer loyalty by evaluating the willingness of customers to recommend their favorite brands. The term Net Promoter Score was created in 2003 by Fred Reichheld, a partner at Bain & Company. The team at NICE Satmetrix provided data to help find the best questions for measuring customer behavior.

Reichheld and the Bain team found that high scores on one specific question correlate with renewals and positive references!

Use Net Promoter Score to Determine Customer Loyalty and Retention

The results can be divided into three categories

  1. Promoters – Customers that rate you the highest, 9-10, are your loyal customers who are most likely to give you a positive review and have a high Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). These are called promoters.  
  1. Detractors – Customers that rate you between 0-6 are your detractors. They are the opposite of promoters and most likely to cancel and give you a negative review. 
  1. Passives – These are customers that rate you 7-8. They are satisfied for now, but they might just as easily leave if they get a better offer. Passives are not included in the NPS formula.

Net Promoter Score Formula

Net Promoter Score (NPS) Formula

Once you have the results of your survey, calculate the percentage of respondents from each category. Your Net Promoter Score is calculated using a simple equation: subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

NPS it’s a great tool because it lets companies see who are their most loyal customers, and which customers are not getting the expected outcome.

Detractors are customers whom you should follow up with right away. Find out where you’ve missed the mark, what are their expectation and agree on a plan to solve these issues if you want to reduce churn.

7 Ways to Improve Customer Loyalty

  1. Deliver Excellent Customer Service.
  2. Offer an Affiliate (Referral) Program.
  3. Keep in Touch Through Company Newsletters.
  4. Be Active On Social Media Channels.
  5. Make Customers an Integral Part of Your Business.
  6. Build a Customer-Centric Culture.
  7. Encourage Customer Reviews.

Deliver Excellent Customer Service

If you want to build customer loyalty, it’s important that you offer great customer service 24/7. In today’s digital world, with global customer bases, having someone on staff 24/7 is no longer an option, it’s a requirement.

Customers are drawn in by friendly, knowledgeable employees who are able to quickly answer their questions and resolve the issues they have.

To deliver excellent customer service it’s important that you provide your employees with ongoing training related to your products and how to handle specific customer issues.

The main takeaway is this; providing great customer service will help your company stand out from the crowd and build customer loyalty.

Offer An Affiliate (Referral) Program

You’ve probably heard the saying “word of mouth is one of the best advertising methods.”

It’s true!

According to Nielsen’s 2015 Global Trust in Advertising report which polled more than 28,000 respondents in 56 countries, word-of-mouth is still one of the most powerful advertising methods.

In fact, a whopping 83% of respondents from all around the globe said they trust their friends’ or family’s opinions when making a purchase.

The best advertising you can have is a loyal customer.
Source: Shep Hyken, New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author via Twitter

Customers are your best brand advocates and love sharing their experiences with friends and family. Why not reward them for bringing in new business?

An affiliate or referral program is one of the best ways to build and increase brand loyalty. It’s an easy and rewarding way to get satisfied customers to talk about your business. With a referral program, you can easily spread more brand awareness and generate more revenues.

You can reward your affiliates by offering a commission on every sale that comes from their referrals or, reward them with a percentage of their next purchase. Either way, it’s a win-win situation for both parties involved.

Keep in Touch Through Company Newsletters

Another way of improving customer loyalty is by sending out regular company newsletters. Sending out a monthly or weekly newsletter will keep your customers up to date on what’s happening in your company.

What can you include in your company newsletter?

  • Relevant information about your products or services.
  • Helpful tutorials.
  • A summary of new blog posts.
  • New feature releases.
  • Customer use cases.
  • Updates about company events.
  • Contests or limited-time promotions.

PRO TIP: Newsletters are meant to be informative and helpful. Don’t use your newsletters just as a means of up-selling or further promoting your services. You have to be able to provide consistent value to your readers if you want to keep them engaged and turn them into loyal customers.

Be Active on Social Media Channels

Social media is a great way to keep your customers informed on your latest updates. It’s also a great way to keep them engaged with your company and services and stay top of mind.

PRO TIP: You don’t have to be on every social media platform. Find the platform(s) that your customers use more frequently and focus on those.

If you are a small business just getting started, it’s better to start with one single social media platform and focus on making that successful. Once you nail your social strategy on one platform you can expand to other social channels.

9 Ways You Can Build Customer Loyalty With Social Media

  1. Engage with other user’s posts.
  2. Respond to comments.
  3. Post updates about new products or services.
  4. Share updates from your blog post.
  5. Create contests.
  6. Offer promotions for social followers only.
  7. Share user guides or how-to tips.
  8. Create social proof by sharing photos/videos/testimonials from other satisfied customers.
  9. Keep your customers informed on industry trends by curating relevant content from other sources.

Don’t Miss Out! Follow Us on Facebook or LinkedIn for the Latest Updates From SoftSys Hosting.

Make Customers An Integral Part of Your Business

Every company has a team that’s in charge of testing new products and services. But who will better test your products than the actual users?

Your customers are the experts on their own needs. They know what they want from a product, what works for them, and what doesn’t. So why not make your customers’ feedback an integral part of your business?

Create better relationships with your customers by giving them the opportunity to contribute to the service roadmaps, beta-test new features before releasing them to the general public, and give them the tools to submit feature requests.

Take your customers’ feedback seriously and make them feel valued. You’ll be surprised how much more successful your company will become by listening to those who use your products most often!

Build a Customer-Centric Culture

Every company has its own distinct corporate culture that is shaped by a set of common beliefs and values. A customer-centric culture (also referred to as customer-first culture), creates an organization where customers are at the center of everything.

The internet it’s packed with stories and insights from companies who have been successful in building a customer-centric culture in their organizations. Companies such as Zappos have gained many loyal customers due to their focus on customer needs and customer excellence.

Make sure everyone is aligned across your organization and incentivized to deliver the outcome that your customer needs. The goal of your employees should not be to make the customer temporarily happy. The goal should be to solve their issues and provide the outcomes that will help your customers succeed.

PRO TIP: Whether in service value or support, always give your customers a little more than what you promise. This will help your customer feel valued and will increase customer loyalty.

Encourage Customer Reviews

Asking your customers for reviews can seem intimidating. You may be worried that you’ll come across as pushy, but the truth is that most people love to share their experiences with others. You just have to ask!

Another reason why companies don’t often ask for reviews is they are afraid of bad reviews. If you offer a high-quality product and service, you have nothing to worry about. Even if you get some negative reviews the majority of your customers will be happy to recommend your services if they are also getting value from them.

And the truth is every company will have a disgruntled customer who could leave a bad review. That doesn’t necessarily mean the company cannot be trusted. According to Bizibl Marketing, 95% of users suspect a company’s reviews are fake if they only see 5-star reviews.

Good or bad, make sure to respond to every review. This will show customers you care about their feedback and value their opinions.

What Is the Best Time To Ask for a Review?

Don’t ask for a review immediately after purchase. Give your customers a chance to use your product or service first. The best time to ask a customer to provide a review is right after you have assisted them with an issue or after or immediately after they have renewed their service.

You can also use a third-party app such as Trustpilot, G2, Reviews.io, Google My Business, and other tools to send review requests to long-time customers periodically.

Final Takeaways

Loyal customers are essential to the success of any business. They are your best advertising! To retain them, you need to be thoughtful about how you engage with your customers and provide ongoing value. The seven strategies we’ve outlined above will help you do just that!

17 Mar

Which Corporate Culture Is Yours (5 Major Types)?

Corporate Culture

A corporate culture can be described as a company’s overall attitude towards the work environment, the people who perform the work and their interaction with their customers.

A great corporate culture can motivate employees, increase productivity, and contribute to the overall success of the company. A poor corporate culture can lead to poor employee performance, low satisfaction, and low revenue turnover.

Corporate cultures differ greatly from company to company. They start with a company’s unique brand vision and are shaped by a set of common beliefs and values. They are the Do’s and Don’ts of growing a business.

Let’s look at five most popular corporate culture types and how to determine which one is yours.

5 Types of Corporate Culture

Clan Culture

Corporate Culture

“A company is only as good as its people. The hard part is actually building the team that will embody your company culture and propel you forward.”

Kathryn Minshew, CEO & Founder of The Muse

A clan or team-first culture model relies primarily on building strong relationships with employees. This type of corporate culture is focused on open communication and employee engagement.

Your Company May Have a Clan Culture If:

  • Employees play a key role in the company’s direction and success.
  • You have regular team meetings where everyone’s input is welcomed.
  • There is a strong focus on employee training and development.
  • Team building is implemented and encouraged.
  • Culture fit is critical when hiring new staff.

The goal of the clan culture is to build trust among employees. By paying attention to and actively encouraging communication within your workplace, you can foster positive team-first cultures. This directly correlates with happier employees who are committed to the success of the company.

Example of Companies With a Clan Corporate Culture:

  • Zappos
  • Google
  • Hubspot

Elite Culture

An elite culture exposes its employees to a wide variety of innovative and cutting-edge ideas and brings about new advancements in their industry. This type of corporate culture is focused on fostering innovation and finding creative solutions to customer needs and wants.

Your Company May Have an Elite Culture If:

  • It’s managed by effective leaders who are not afraid of taking risks.
  • Hires only the best of the best in your field.
  • Is focused on providing innovative solutions to existing problems.
  • It’s a dynamic, entrepreneurial place.
  • Change and agility are highly valued.
  • Creativity and thinking “outside the box” are encouraged.
  • Employees make work their top priority often working overtime.

The goal of the elite culture is to achieve rapid growth and be at the forefront of its industry, by making innovation an inherent part of the company’s mindset.

Example of Companies With an Elite Culture:

  • Apple
  • Tesla
  • Intuit

Horizontal Culture

The horizontal culture model, or flat culture, can often be identified in smaller companies and startups since it creates a family-like environment. This type of corporate culture has very little hierarchy and much like the clan culture is focused on collaboration, teamwork, and a team-oriented attitude. There is a high level of loyalty and commitment within companies with a horizontal culture.

Your Company May Have a Horizontal Culture If:

  • Job titles are less important.
  • There are very few management levels.
  • The CEO is often involved in day-to-day operations.
  • Everyone wears multiple hats.
  • Communication and teamwork are encouraged.
  • There’s a focus on personalized support and interactions with customers.

The goal of the horizontal culture is to make everyone feel as part of the company and having a stake in its future success.

Example of Companies With a Horizontal Culture:

Hierarchy Culture

The hierarchy culture is the opposite of the clan culture. While a clan culture has a more relaxed, family-like structure, the hierarchy culture is very conservative and tightly controlled. In a hierarchy culture, you don’t just get things done, you do it the “right way” following rigorous procedures. There are several layers of management and leaders are there to implement and ensure adherence to tried and tested processes.

Your Company Might Have a Hierarchy Culture If:

  • There is a clearly defined hierarchy with multiple layers of management.
  • There are strict rules and guidelines in interacting with other departments and customers.
  • There is a process-oriented and data-driven approach.
  • There is a formal dress code culture.
  • You have rigid office hours and organizational structure.
  • Career progression and pay are based on seniority.

The goal of the hierarchy culture is to minimize risks and increase results.

Example of Organizations With a Hierarchy Culture:

  • The Military
  • Banks
  • Most Government Organizations

Market Culture

A company with a market culture is driven by market share and increasing competition. Companies with this type of culture have a lot of external partnerships, investors or are focused on growth often through acquisitions.

Your Company May Have a Market Culture If:

  • It’s a large company with high market penetration.
  • It’s a result-oriented workplace focused on productivity and profits.
  • There are a lot of acquisitions and mergers.
  • It’s a competitive work environment that prioritizes profitability.

The goal of the market culture is to surpass competition and become a market leader.

Example of Companies With a Market Culture:

  • Amazon
  • IKEA
  • Walmart

About SoftSys Hosting

At SoftSys Hosting, we’re focused on providing a world-class managed cloud, VPS, and dedicated hosting service to our customers.

We’re passionate about customers and we train our staff to take a customer-first approach in everything they do.

With a team of 24/7 in-house experienced sysadmins, we take pride in providing unparalleled support so that you can focus on growing your own business.

Click the button below to learn more about SoftSys Hosting and how we can help your business grow.

16 Feb

Google Workspace Now Available at SoftSys Hosting

Google Workspace

More employees are working remotely in 2021 than ever before. COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way businesses operate. Our workplace is no longer limited to a business’s physical office. We can work from anywhere using any number of devices from laptops to mobile.

According to the 2020 survey conducted by Gartner on over 4000 employees, 48% of employees will continue to work remotely post COVID-19.

They call it the “new normal”.

In order to continue to work efficiently and maintain productivity, we require tools that can simplify our daily tasks and make it easier to collaborate in a remote world.

This is why we are excited to announce … drum roll please 🥁 … the availability of Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) services at SoftSys Hosting. 

What is Google Workspace?

Google Workspace is a suite of integrated apps designed to enhance the productivity, collaboration, and security of your team.

Google Workspace provides you with all the tools you need to communicate and collaborate efficiently, all from a centralized location.

What’s Included With Google Workspace?

Google Workspace includes all the popular applications that you’ve been familiar with, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Chat, Meet, and more.

Google Workspace Included Applications

  • Gmail – the popular email client on your own custom domain.
  • Meet – secure and reliable video conferencing solution.
  • Chat – direct 1:1 messages or group conversations.
  • Calendar – shareable online calendar.
  • Drive – secure storage and file sharing.
  • Docs – popular online word processor.
  • Sheets – smart, secure spreadsheets.
  • Slides – online presentation app.
  • Forms – custom forms for surveys and questionnaires.
  • Sites – to build internal projects or public websites with no programming or design skills.
  • Keep – note-taking app to quickly capture ideas and brainstorm.
  • Currents – create online communities and improve internal communication (formerly known as Google+).
  • Apps Script – rapid, low-code application development to create apps that integrate with Google.
  • Cloud Search – AI-powered app to search and retrieve information across all your Google apps, including Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar.

In addition to these apps Google Enterprise Plus users also have access to AppSheet PRO. AppsSheet allows users to build apps without the use of code, for rapid application development.

Google Workspace Security and Management

  • Admin – manages your Google Workspace users, devices, and security on the go.
  • Endpoint – enables network managers to keep data secure on end-user devices by managing screen lock, disk encryption, enforces passwords, and more.
  • Vault – data retention and eDiscovery tool, enables users to retain, hold, search and export Google Workspace data.
  • Work Insights – reporting tool that gives you insights on Google Workspace adoption, work patterns, and collaboration within your organization.

Google Workspace Plans and Pricing

Google Workspace starts as low as $5.90 per user per month and it’s available in two editions:

  • Business Edition (up to 300 users) – designed for personal use or SMBs.
  • Enterprise Edition (unlimited users) – geared towards larger organizations.

With multiple plans within each edition, Google Workspace can meet the needs of any user organization.

Google Workspace pricing

SoftSys Hosting Advantage

You might be asking yourself why purchase Google Workspace through SoftSys Hosting. We’ve bundled the flexible and easy-to-use Google Workspace plans with the celestial support offered by SoftSys Hosting.

When you purchase a Google Workspace plan through SoftSys Hosting you get:

  • More time to test the service.
  • 24/7 technical support assistance.
  • Discounted migration assistance.
  • Better pricing per user & more.
SoftSys Hosting Advantage

Get Started With Google Workspace

Experience the full potential of Google Workspace with a free 30-day trial. Click the button below to activate your *trial.

  • Offer limited to one (1) trial per customer.
  • Maximum of 10 users only. For more than 10 users, a paid plain is required.
  • Existing G Suite or Google Workspace subscriptions cannot be moved to trial.
  • No Credit/Debit Card Required.
  • The trial will auto-expire at the end of 30 days unless renewed.

07 Sep

Popular Solutions To Build A Website Without Professional Skills

Widely known as website builders, they can help in creating websites without having any professional skills in website design. It can be a good option for those who don’t have enough budget to hire a web developer or would like to create a simple website without spending a fortune. 

Using a good website builder is also one of the fastest ways to set up your website. Many free and paid website builders provide simple, drag-and-drop tools that make creating a website simple and straightforward. 

However, not all website building tools are equal. Some are more flexible and/or reliable than others. Here are the most popular solutions on the market in 2020 that can help in building the website without having to study for years.

WordPress.com

WordPress

WordPress.com is a commercial edition of the open-source WordPress software. What you get from WordPress.com is a self-contained website platform that’s geared toward serving the DIY beginner user.

Key features:

  • An all-in-one platform for building a website yourself and launching it to the public. 
  • A visual content editor that’s easy-to-use and supports drag-and-drop. 
  • A separate design customization interface. 
  • Hundreds of free and paid website templates. 
  • A top-of-the-class blogging module. 
  • An eCommerce module. You can sell products and services. Worldwide payment processing can also be integrated with ease. 
  • Thousands of add-ons available. For things like contact forms, collecting leads, subscriptions, backups, and more. 
  • SEO tools, Mailchimp integration, Google Analytics, and more. 
  • Advanced reports and website statistics. 
  • Apps for iOS and Android. 
  • One-on-one sessions with support staff to help you get started. 
  • 24/7 live chat support.

The only thing you require is quality WordPress hosting from a reliable provider.

Wix

Wix.com is an all-in-one website building solution that lets you craft a professional and optimized website all by yourself.  The best thing about Wix is how it delivers its features and how easy to grasp the entire platform is. No matter your level of experience, you will be able to build a beautiful and functional website that doesn’t lack any essential features. 

Key features:

  • Wix Editor. It’s a drag-and-drop website building tool. It’s fully visual, which means that you can build your website design by moving elements around – no coding skills are required. 
  • Wix ADI. It’s an artificial intelligence module for website design. Basically, it asks you a range of questions about your idea for the site and then suggests a ready-made website that’s optimized for your needs. 
  • A fully functional eCommerce module. Wix allows you to add an eCommerce functionality to your website and sell whatever products or services you wish. 
  • Wix Logo Maker. A logo is a must-have when building a website. Wix offers its own logo maker tool that’s just as easy-to-use as anything else in Wix. 
  • 500+ designer-made website templates. 
  • Good SEO features and social tools. 
  • A custom domain name. 
  • Advanced analytics and stats.
  • 24/7 phone support in English. Support also available in other languages during working hours (Monday-Friday from 5 am-5 pm PST).  

Constant Contact Website Builder

Constant Contact is one of the leading players in the email marketing space – offering a functional email delivery service.  They’ve also entered the website builder market with an interesting, budget-friendly solution for businesses and small stores that need a website fast.

Key features:

  • A comprehensive AI website design module. The builder will ask you a couple of questions about your site and suggest a whole website design based on your answers (with individual pages and images included in context). 
  • A visual page building tool. You can tweak your design by adding new sections on the page and changing the specifics of what they look like. 
  • A fully-featured eCommerce module. 
  • A free image library (500,000+ professional images to choose from). 
  • Built-in integrations with a content delivery network (CDN). 
  • SEO features and optimizations built-in. 
  • Integrated with Google My Business. 
  • Optimized to be viewed on all devices. 
  • An analytics module. 
  • A blogging module. 
  • An integrated logo maker. 
  • Support available 24/7 via live chat, email, and also phone on higher plans.

Squarespace

Squarespace is one of the most popular website building tools out there. It’s also the only website builder to have had a Super Bowl ad, which is proof that the company is really confident about their product. 

Squarespace prides itself on its beautiful designs and intuitive interface. Works great if you want to build a business website. 

Key features:

  • Hundreds of professionally-made and award-winning designs to choose from. The designs come in different categories based on the purpose of your site. 
  • Fully visual and drag-and-drop enabled website editor. 
  • A blogging module. 
  • A fully-functional eCommerce store module allowing you to sell products (physical and digital, services, and subscriptions). 
  • A complete all-in-one package of SEO tools. 
  • Advanced analytics to help you understand what’s going on right now but also what the overall traffic trends of your site are. 
  • App integrations with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Maps, Unsplash, Zapier, Dropbox, Open Table, Xero, and many others. 
  • A functional mobile app to work on your site on the go. 
  • A logo maker. 
  • 24/7 customer support via live chat and email. 

Zyro 

Zyro is another all-in-one website building solution that lets you do everything yourself. 

It is also one of the newest players in the world of website builder tools. Right out the gate, its main selling point seems to be their functional free website builder, and very affordable paid plans after that. 

Key features

  • 20 website design templates to choose from. All of them truly beautiful and modern. 
  • A visual website building interface that’s grid-based and has full drag-and-drop functionality. 
  • AI Writer. An artificial intelligence module to help you write your website copy. 
  • Zyro Logo Maker. Easy to use and has some cool elements to help you get started. 
  • An eCommerce module allowing you to sell on your site and also via Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon. 
  • Two more AI tools: Business Name Generator and Slogan Generator. 
  • Optimized for all devices automatically. 
  • Integrations with Unsplash (to get unlimited images for your website), Facebook Messenger, Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Hotjar. 
  • Basic SEO features. 
  • Support via live chat, knowledgebase, and email. 

Webflow 

Webflow is a new player in the website builder landscape and quite an original one at that. 

On the one hand, it does come with a free plan, which lets you build a functional website without spending a dime. But on the other, it also delivers advanced features that are not commonly seen in free tools. 

Key features:

  • An advanced visual website builder. This one works with drag-and-drop, but also lets you tune-up every little detail about the elements on the page. 
  • Lets you build your design based on a CSS grid – a useful feature for advanced users. 
  • Accepts custom code. 
  • Exceptional typography control with over 2000 web fonts available. 
  • Fully responsive (also scales your images to make them fit). 
  • 100+ website templates (free and paid). 
  • 3D transformations and animations. Useful if you want to make your site stand out. 
  • CMS features integrated. This means that you can add content like portfolio items, blog posts, etc. 
  • An eCommerce module. 
  • Great SEO and Open Graph settings. 
  • Features allowing you to create sites for clients and then bill them from Webflow. 
  • Integrates with Google Analytics, Mailchimp, Google Optimize, Zapier. 
  • Email support for paid accounts and prioritized support for team accounts. Community support via online forum for free accounts. 

Weebly

Weebly is another all-in-one website platform on the list. It can handle all your website needs, from simple business card sites to eCommerce stores. 

It is similar to Wix in many aspects but does deliver its features in a slightly different manner. 

Key features:

  • A drag-and-drop website builder. Has all the standard content elements you might need and also some more unique elements like video backgrounds. 
  • 60+ website templates to choose from. 
  • An eCommerce module with secure checkout, inventory tracking, a powerful filtered product search, and other features. 
  • A blogging module. 
  • A custom popup creator. 
  • Apps for iOS and Android with access to website stats, online store stats and visitor interactions. 
  • An app center with third-party integrations and add-ons. 
  • SEO tools. 
  • An email module for communicating with your audience. 
  • HTML and CSS control for advanced users. 
  • Live chat and email support, and also phone support on higher plans. 
01 Sep

How To Choose The Correct Hosting Location For Ultimate Website Performance?

Choosing the hosting locations for your website should be the top on your checklist if you are launching the new website. Your web hosting server locations should be nearest to your target audience.

But Why Is It Important?

Because it will play a crucial role on performance of your website and SEO. Choosing the closest web hosting server to your target audience will reduce the page load speed, especially if you are running an e-commerce website. The slow loading speed of your website might cost you the prospective clients. Also, the Google has added the page load speed to their ranking algorithm so website loading speed will surely affect the ranking of your website. Hence hosting a website on a server closer to your target audience is very important from the SEO standpoint as well.

How To Choose The Best Location For Your Website?

Latency plays a crucial role when it comes to the speed of a website. Lower is better, 10 ms or lower is considered as an ideal latency. The best way to reduce the latency is to put your target audience closer to the web hosting server. You can also use the CDN if you are getting international traffic on your website.

What Is CDN And How Does It Work?

Content delivery networks (CDN) stores the cached version of your website’s static content in multiple web hosting locations across the globe and it will deliver  the static content of your website from the nearest server to the user who is browsing the website. For example, if your website is hosted on a server located in Chicago and the user is browsing it from London, the CDN will deliver the cached content of the website from the nearest CDN server to London which will reduce the load time and latency dramatically.

Conclusion

In such a way, we highly recommend choosing a cloud hosting server closer to your targeted audience which not only gives the performance to your website but also helps in SEO and ranking of your website. Your website will have a lower latency which will result in a faster page loading.  And if you are getting the traffic all around the world, then you should also consider using the CDN service to bring the content closer to your prospective users. Just ask Softsys Hosting experts and we’ll advise.

03 Aug

eCommerce Platforms: Pros and Cons of Server-Based and Cloud Solutions

There are so many eCommerce platforms that let you build an online store from scratch like nopCommerce, Prestashop, Magento, etc. and you can start offering your products and services online without any hassle.

Once you have selected the appropriate platform according to your needs the next step is to choose the hosting platform. 

Basically there are two types of hosting for eCommerce platforms:

  • 1. Server-based.
  • 2. Cloud solutions.

In this blog post we will go through the insights of both of these hosting types and also will discuss major pros and cons of them.

Server-based

Server based ecommerce

In the server-based hosting for your eCommerce website either you can go with a dedicated server or a virtual private server (VPS).

Both dedicated server and VPS gives you the root level privileges and also you will get the higher bandwidth compared to the cloud solution. So if you are running a large eCommerce website and getting a huge traffic then the server-based hosting will be ideal for you.

Pros: 

1 : Disk Space And Bandwidth

In dedicated server or virtual private server you will get the high disk space and bandwidth so you don’t need to worry about the storage space or bandwidth consumptions and you can focus on your business.

2 : Privacy And Security

In the dedicated server or VPS you will get the root level access to your server and only your websites will be hosted on the server with your unique dedicated IP address. Security is more robust as well because yours is the only traffic going in and out of your server.

3 : Performance

Performance is major factor when it comes to any website. No one likes the websites which load slowly. So if your eCommerce site is hosted on a dedicated server or VPS you already have high-speed bandwidth and all other resources are dedicatedly used by your website only.

Cons:

1: Cost

The dedicated servers and VPS are costlier than the cloud platforms so it depends on your business model, the traffic you are seeing per day to determine if you need your own server or if you are just a startup or small business then definitely you should consider the cloud solutions for your website.

2: Maintenance

With great powers comes great responsibility. This is true when you are operating your eCommerce business with your own server. You will need to hire a dedicated person to handle your all server maintenance tasks like installing security patches keeping up-to-date all the software and plugins troubleshooting the server side issues etc., unless you have a managed server.

Cloud Solutions

Cloud based ecommerce

Cloud solutions are widely used for small eCommerce websites and startup businesses. You can quickly setup and deploy your eCommerce website on a cloud hosting platform without worrying about the technical aspects at cheaper cost compared to a server based solutions.

Pros:

1:   Cost-effective

Cloud solutions are cheaper compared to dedicated server or a VPS. You don’t need to worry about managing the server and maintenance of it. The hosting provider will manage all the technical aspects like server security and other things on cloud solutions. This will save the man power and cost of hiring a system administrator to manage the server.

2:  Usability

On a cloud solution you will get an easy-to-use web-based control panel with user friendly UI to manage and deploy your eCommerce websites. And most of providers offer a managed service on eCommerce hosting plans. So you will get 24/7 support in case anything goes wrong.

3:  Scalability

The major benefit of using cloud service is the scalability. You can opt for increasing the resources such as (disk space, bandwidth, etc.) on demand as per your present requirements.

Cons:

1: Security

On a cloud server there are hundreds of websites that are hosted along with your website. So if one of those website is compromised or infected your website may also be at a risk.

2: Performance

In cloud hosting sometimes you may get slower speed on loading due to heavy load on a cloud server because there are so many other websites are also consuming the bandwidth and other server resources which may affect your website indirectly.

03 Oct

Remove Roadblocks To Plan For 2019 Expansion

As we enter the last quarter of 2018, it’s time to begin planning for the new year. What are your goals? Challenges? Projections? Limitations? Spend the next three months laying the groundwork for your 2019 growth. First on the list? Removing any roadblocks that may stand in your way.

Uncertainty

Uncertainty can be paralyzing and is the biggest roadblock to your company’s growth. If you’re planning to expand in 2019, battle uncertainty with strategy and data. First, analyze the data that you have available to determine where the opportunities are in the market. What regions are underserved in your industry? Where can you provide additional value to your customers? Don’t have a ton of data? Add that to your must-have list for 2019.

Then, develop a strategy that uses the data you’ve analyzed to address any uncertainty you’re feeling about expansion. Visualize any challenges and how you may overcome them. Most importantly, work with experts to ensure that your infrastructure can support your strategy and deliver the data you need in the future.

Technology

Is your existing technology hindering your growth? Have you been putting off a technology upgrade because the risk or pain caused by change seems too high? Now is the time to make infrastructure adjustments that will help you better operate and serve your clients now as well as expand in the coming year.

This is a great time to consider transitioning to fully managed dedicated hosting with a provider that is experienced in helping companies scale. Look for enterprise-class secure infrastructure, comprehensive features, and tech support that you can count on. With the right technology in place, you can be much more agile in the market and scale as you see opportunities arise.

Whether your expansion will be worldwide or just down the street, preparing your systems for the growth will help ensure that your business stays running during the transition. IT & technology should help your business grow & not the other way round. At Softsys Hosting, we specialize in helping you deploy solutions which can grow almost indefinitely with your business growth.

Staff Development

Once you have your technology in place, evaluate your team to ensure you have the right resources to support expansion. Often, companies overwhelm their IT departments with internal system management, customer service support, hosting, data analytics, and more. As you grow, the need to specialize increases.

You have a few options when it comes to staff development – train, hire, or outsource. Depending on your specific needs and goals, it can be costly and time-consuming to hire new talent or train your current team members on a new system. So often, businesses are forced to “make do” with a team that may not have the expertise to fuel their growth.

Not sure whether IT resource constraints are costing your business? Here are 4 signs that it may be time to seek expert help. At Softsys Hosting, we not only provide the IT resources you need to succeed, but we work with your in-house team to make sure that the transition is smooth and everyone can focus on what they do best. The end result? A well-oiled machine that is poised for expansion.

Softsys Hosting Review

With the thousands of web hosting services out there you might think of them more or less as a commodity. That may be true for most, but we have found one that stands ahead of the crowd in just about every way. Every single time we work with the people at https://www.softsyshosting.com/ we have been amazed at just how good these guys are. Every time we submit a support ticket, they respond within a few hours with a detailed solution. They will often even go above and beyond and do the work for us. You can image how refreshing it is to submit a complex support ticket and then get an email from the president of the company less than an hour later saying they went ahead and took care of it for you an no charge and asking how else they can help. FlashDrivePros.com definitely recommends Softsys Hosting for all your hosting needs!

— Ryan Stutzman
Vice President