The conviction of Erin Graham, 37, marks the latest criminal case stemming from Backpage, which became the largest sex marketing website before it was seized in April 2018 as part of an investigation that saw the website’s founders and CEO charged in a 93-count federal court indictment. Graham was found guilty of seven counts of sex trafficking following a five-day trial in federal court in Madison, Wisconsin. During the trial victims testified they had been forced to engage in multiple acts of prostitution and turn over the money to him and his girlfriend, Patience Moore, 28, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a written statement.
Leading experts’ bold new guidelines are a “crucial roadmap,” the 2020 presidential candidate told BuzzFeed News.
Posted by MiriamEllis
Who are your clients’ true competitors?
It’s a question that’s become harder to answer. What felt like a fairly simple triangulation between Google, brand, and searcher in the early days of the local web has multiplied into a geodesic dome of localization, personalization, intent matching, and other facets.
This evolution from a simple shape to a more complex shape has the local SEO industry starting to understand the need to talk about trends and patterns vs. empirical rankings.
For instance, you might notice that you just can’t deliver client reports that say, “Congratulations, you’re #1” anymore. And that’s because the new reality is that there is no #1 for all searchers. A user on the north side of town may see a completely different local pack of results if they go south, or if they modify their search language. An SEO may get a whole different SERP if they search on one rank checking tool vs. another — or even on the same tool, just five minutes later.
Despite all this, you still need to analyze and report — it remains a core task to audit a client’s competitive landscape.
Today, let’s talk about how we can distill this dynamic, complex environment down to the simplest shapes to understand who your client’s true competitors are. I’ll be sharing a spreadsheet to help you and your clients see the trends and patterns that can create the basis for competitive strategy.
Why are competitive audits necessary…and challenging?
Before we dive into a demo, let’s sync up on what the basic point is of auditing local competitors. Essentially, you’re seeking contrast — you stack up two brands side-by-side to discover the metrics that appear to be making one of them dominant in the local or localized organic SERPs.
From there, you can develop a strategy to emulate the successes of the current winner with the goal of meeting and then surpassing them with superior efforts.
But before you start comparing your brand A to their brand B, you’ve got to know who brand B actually is. What obstacles do you face?
1. SERPs are incredibly diversified
A recent STAT whitepaper that looked at 1.2 million keywords says it all: every SERP is a local SERP. And since both local packs and organic results are both subject to the whims of geo-location and geo-modification, incorporating them into your tracking strategy is a must.
To explain, imagine two searchers are sitting on the same couch. One searches for “Mexican restaurant” and the other searches for “Mexican restaurant near me”. Then, they divvy up searching “Mexican restaurant near me” vs. “Mexican restaurant in San Jose”. And, so on. What they see are local packs that are only about 80 percent similar based on Google recognizing different intents. That’s significant variability.
The scenario gets even more interesting when one of the searchers gets up and travels across town to a different zip code. At that point, the two people making identical queries can see local packs that range from only about 26–65 percent similar. In other words, quite different.
Now, let’s say your client wants to rank for seven key phrases — like “Mexican restaurant,” “Mexican restaurant near me,” “Mexican restaurant San Jose,” “best Mexican restaurant,” “cheap Mexican restaurant,” etc. Your client doesn’t have just three businesses to compete against in the local pack; they now have multiple multiples of three!
2) Even good rank tracking tools can be inconsistent
There are many useful local rank tracking tools out there, and one of the most popular comes to us from BrightLocal. I really like the super easy interface of this tool, but there is a consistency issue with this and other tools I’ve tried, which I’ve captured in a screenshot, below.
Here I’m performing the same search at 5-minute intervals, showing how the reported localized organic ranking of a single business vary widely across time.
The business above appears to move from position 5 to position 12. This illustrates the difficulty of answering the question of who is actually the top competitor when using a tool. My understanding is that this type of variability may result from the use of proxies. If you know of a local rank checker that doesn’t do this, please let our community know in the comments.
In the meantime, what I’ve discovered in my own work is that it’s really hard to find a strong and consistent substitute for manually checking which competitors rank where, on the ground. So, let’s try something out together.
The simplest solution for finding true competitors
Your client owns a Mexican restaurant and has seven main keyword phrases they want to compete for. Follow these five easy steps:
Step 1: Give the client a local pack crash course
If the client doesn’t already know, teach them how to perform a search on Google and recognize what a local pack is. Show them how businesses in the pack rank 1, 2, and 3. If they have more questions about local packs, how they show up in results, and how Google ranks content, they can check out our updated Beginners Guide to SEO.
Step 2: Give the client a spreadsheet and a tiny bit of homework
Give the client a copy of this free spreadsheet, filled out with their most desired keyword phrases. Have them conduct seven searches from a computer located at their place of business* and then fill out the spreadsheet with the names of the three competitors they see for each of the seven phrases. Tell them not to pay attention to any of the other fields of the spreadsheet.
*Be sure the client does this task from their business’ physical location as this is the best way to see what searchers in their area will see in the local results. Why are we doing this? Because Google weights proximity of the searcher-to-the-business so heavily, we have to pretend we’re a searcher at or near the business to emulate Google’s “thought process”.
Step 3: Roll up your sleeves for your part of the work
Now it’s your turn. Look up “directions Google” in Google.
Enter your client’s business address and the address of their first competitor. Write down the distance in the spreadsheet. Repeat for every entry in each of the seven local packs. This will take you approximately 10–15 minutes to cover all 21 locations, so make sure you’re doing it on company time to ensure you’re on the clock.
Step 4: Get measuring
Now, in the 2nd column of the spreadsheet, note down the greatest distance Google appears to be going to fill out the results for each pack.
Step 5: Identify competitors by strength
Finally, rate the competitors by the number of times each one appears across all seven local packs. Your spreadsheet should now look something like this:
Looking at the example sheet above, we’ve learned that:
- Mi Casa and El Juan’s are the dominant competitors in your client’s market, ranking in 4/7 packs. Plaza Azul is also a strong competitor, with a place in 3/7 packs.
- Don Pedro’s and Rubio’s are noteworthy with 2/7 pack appearances.
- All the others make just one pack appearance, making them basic competitors.
- The radius to which Google is willing to expand to find relevant businesses varies significantly, depending on the search term. While they’re having to go just a couple of miles to find competitors for “Mexican restaurant”, they’re forced to go more than 15 miles for a long tail term like “organic Mexican restaurant”.
You now know who the client’s direct competitors are for their most desired searches, and how far Google is willing to go to make up a local pack for each term. You have discovered a pattern of most dominant competition across your client’s top phrases, signaling which players need to be audited to yield clues about which elements are making them so strong.
The pros and cons of the simple search shape
The old song says that it’s a gift to be simple, but there are some drawbacks to my methodology, namely:
- You’ll have to depend on the client to help you out for a few minutes, and some clients are not very good at participation, so you’ll need to convince them of the value of their doing the initial searches for you.
- Manual work is sometimes tedious.
- Scaling this for a multi-location enterprise would be time-consuming.
- Some of your clients are going to be located in large cities and will want to know what competitors are showing up for users across town and in different zip codes. Sometimes, it will be possible to compete with these differently-located competitors, but not always. At any rate, our approach doesn’t cover this scenario and you will be stuck with either using tools (with their known inconsistencies), or sending the client across town to search from that locale. This could quickly become a large chore.
Negatives aside, the positives of this very basic exercise are:
- Instead of tying yourself to the limited vision of a single local pack and a single set of competitors, you are seeing a trend, a pattern of dominant market-wide competitors.
- You will have swiftly arrived at a base set of dominant, strong, and noteworthy competitors to audit, with the above-stated goal of figuring out what’s helping them to win so that you can create a client strategy for emulating and surpassing them.
- Your agency will have created a useful view of your client’s market, understanding the difference between businesses that seem very embedded (like Mi Casa) across multiple packs, vs. those (like Taco Bell) that are only one-offs and could possibly be easier to outpace.
- You may discover some extremely valuable competitive intel for your client. For example, if Google is having to cast a 15-mile net to find an organic Mexican restaurant, what if your client started offering more organic items on their menu, writing more about this and getting more reviews that mention it? This will give Google a new option, right in town, to consider for local pack inclusion.
- It’s really quite fast to do for a single-location business.
- Client buy-in should be a snap for any research they’ve personally helped on, and the spreadsheet should be something they can intuitively and immediately understand.
My questions for you
I’d like to close by asking you some questions about your work doing competitive audits for local businesses. I’d be truly interested in your replies as we all work together to navigate the complex shape of Google’s SERPs:
- What percentage of your clients “get” that Google’s results have become so dynamic, with different competitors being shown for different queries and different packs being based on searcher location? What percentage of your clients are “there yet” with this concept vs. the old idea of just being #1, period?
- I’ve offered you a manual process for getting at trustworthy data on competitors, but as I’ve said, it does take some work. If something could automate this process for you, especially for multi-location clients, would you be interested in hearing more about it?
- How often do you do competitive audits for clients? Monthly? Every six months? Annually?
Thanks for responding, and allow me to wish you and your clients a happy and empowering audit!
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Ways To Making Money While You Sleep For years I worked in print company in the South East of England. My hours were 6am to 6pm, 5 days a week and 6am to 2pm on Saturdays. I hardly ever saw my wife or young daughter. By the time I got home from work, she was …
Posted by EricEnge
Do Links Still Matter?
For the fourth year running, Stone Temple (now a part of Perficient Digital) conducted a study on how much links matter as a ranking factor. We did that using Moz’s Link Explorer and in this year’s study, we looked at the largest data set yet — 27,000 queries.
Our study used quadratic mean calculations on the Spearman correlations across all 27K tested queries. Not sure what that means? You can learn more about the study methodology here.
The major study components included:
- Total number of links to the ranking pages
- Moz DA of the links to the ranking pages
- Moz PA of the links to the ranking pages
Slicing these calculations into several sub-categories:
- Informational vs. commercial queries
- Medical vs. Financial vs. Technology vs. All Other queries
We were also able to evaluate just how much the Moz link index had grown for a subset of the queries because we have used the same data on 16K of the 27K queries for three years running (this year’s study looked at 9K more queries, but 16K of the queries were in common). In fact, let’s start with that data:
That’s pretty significant growth! Congrats to Moz on that improvement.
Brief commentary on correlations
Correlation studies attempt to measure whether or not two factors are related to one another in any way. We use correlation studies to help us understand whether or not one factor potentially causes the other It’s important to understand that correlation does not prove causation; it simply suggests that it does.
The example I like to share is that there is a strong correlation between the consumption of ice cream and drowning. That does not mean that one causes the other. In fact, the causal factor here is intuitively obvious — hot weather. People eat more ice cream and people do more swimming when it’s hot outside.
But, in the case of links, we also have the fact that Google tells us that links still matter. If that’s not enough for you, Google still penalizes sites for questionable link-building practices. This is not an area they would invest in unless links matter.
So how do correlation scores work?
A correlation score scale runs from -1 to 1. A score of 1 means a perfect correlation between two items. So if we have two variables (x and y), whenever x increases in value, so does y. A score of -1 means the exact opposite: whenever x increases in value, y decreases in value. A score of 0 means there is no perceivable relationship whatsoever. When x increases in value, y is equally likely to increase or decrease in value.
Search is a complex environment to evaluate. Google claims to use over 200 ranking factors. Therefore, it’s quite unlikely that any one factor will be dominant. High scores are not likely to happen at all and correlation scores of 0.2 or higher already start to suggest (but not prove) the existence of a relationship.
Core study results
Time to dive in! First, let’s take a look at the global view across all 27K queries:
This correlation score comes in at a solid 0.293 score. Considering the complexity of the Google algorithm’s 200+ ranking factors, having one single factor come in at a correlation score that high indicates a strong level of correlation.
Next, let’s take a look at the correlation to Moz DA and Moz PA:
Both DA and PA show strong correlations; in fact, more so than the total number of links to the ranking page.
This is interesting because it does suggest that at some level, the authority of the linking site and the linking page both matter. By the way, in the four years that we’ve conducted this study, this is the first time that the DA and PA scores have been a stronger indicator of ranking potential than the pure link count.
More broadly, from a link-building strategy perspective, this provides support for the notion that getting links from more authoritative sites is how you should focus that strategy.
Finally, let’s take a look at how commercial and informational queries differ:
Now that’s interesting — informational queries show a materially higher level of correlation than commercial ones.
From an interpretative perspective, that does not necessarily mean that they matter less. It may just mean that commercial pages get fewer links, so Google has to depend more heavily on other signals. But should those commercial pages happen to draw links for some reason, the impact of the links may still be as high.
The data still shows a strong correlation between links and rankings. Google’s public statements and its actions (in implementing penalties) also tell the same story. In short, links still matter. But we also see a clear indication that the nature and the quality of those links matter too!
Want more information? You can see the Stone Temple link study here.
Tell us what you think — do links matter as a ranking factor?
Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!
Nowadays, with so much critical information saved on our computer systems, we’ve learned to backup data regularly — including our email inboxes, our Word documents, our photos, and entire folders of old work.
It’s typically a ton of data. And, since we usually backup and save our data on auto-pilot, we might not realize just how much has been re-copied and re-saved, time and time again.
Unfortunately, over time, our data storage becomes unnecessarily burdened with redundant copies of data — this could cost your company money, as data requirements become larger, or time, as processing time becomes slower.
What is data deduplication?
Data deduplication is the process of eliminating redundant copies of data and reducing processing time for a software system. Every time you backup your software system, you’re copying and storing large data sets. After a while, this requires an unmanageably large amount of data storage. Data deduplication optimizes your data storage by ensuring only one unique instance of data is copied and stored.
Andrew Le, an IT Helpdesk Technician at HubSpot, further explains the importance of data deduplication for a business looking to grow — “[Data deduplication] really improves scaling and efficiency when pulling data from one source. If you have lots of the same data in different spaces, your entire system can be slowed down.”
To ensure you’re optimizing your data backup storage, we’ve cultivated a list of the best data deduplication software you can use to minimize unnecessary data copies, today.
Data Deduplication Software
If you use HubSpot’s CRM to manage your contacts, you’ll be impressed to find out you can also use HubSpot’s machine learning-powered deduplication feature to keep your contact database clean. HubSpot contacts can be deduplicated by a usertoken set with a cookie in their web browser or email address — additionally, contacts, companies, deals, and tickets can be deduplicated using a unique object ID.
With a 9.1 user rating out of 10 on TrustRadius, Barracuda Backup is a good option, offering a robust, secure, fully-integrated data deduplication solution. Their tool can help your business reduce bandwidth requirements and backup costs. Additionally, Barracuda is a good option if your business needs to protect multiple sites, since its cloud storage technology helps distributed networks stay protected.
Avamar, a solution from Dell EMC, provides variable-length deduplication, which reduces backup time by only storing unique daily changes while simultaneously maintaining daily backups. Avamar is an efficient, secure option and is particularly useful for virtual environments, remote offices, and enterprise applications.
HPE StoreOnce, a solution from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, offers disk-based backup, deduplication, and secure long-term data storage. Their deduplication software is equipped for virtual backup machines in small remote offices, and equally capable of handling high-performance dedicated applications for larger businesses. Ultimately, this is an impressive tool to help you keep your data secure and efficient as you scale-up.
Exagrid implements a highly efficient approach to data deduplicaton that allows six times the backup performance, and up to 20 times the restore and VM boot performance. With Exagrid, you can backup your data straight onto a disk without inline deduplication processing, enabling a shorter backup window.
If you’re looking for online business ideas, you’re in the right place.
These 71 ideas will deliver all the inspiration you need to start making money online in 2019.
The best part?
I’ve included plenty of examples of people just like you, CRUSHING it with a location-independent online business.
Starting a profitable business is no longer just a dream lived by the few. Every day more and more people are putting in the work to get started and turning their ideas into profitable businesses.
That being said, this article is HUGE and PACKED with ideas. So I suggest downloading a PDF version before getting started.
Let’s get started…
Because so many businesses have a blog, it’s easy to forget how many businesses started as a blog. Blogging can help you establish authority in your subject while earning money in a variety of ways. Here’s how to start a blog.
Here are some of my favorite examples from the podcast:
With a well-read blog, you can create a business through advertising, affiliate marketing, or selling products.
2. Virtual assistant services
When it comes to internet business ideas, a virtual assistant business is easily scalable and always in demand.
Businesses always need help with administrative tasks like data entry, managing emails, and scheduling appointments. Instead of hiring in-house receptionists and executive assistants, many are choosing to hire VA services instead.
3. Job search consulting and resume writing online business
Help people find job opportunities, write resumes, and prepare for interviews.
This idea will be more successful if you focus on an area of expertise, or an industry where you have experience hiring (or being hired). In return, you’ll get plenty of referrals and happy customers while living your remote work dream.
4. Online store ideas
Crafters, makers, and inventors can make money by starting an online store. Thankfully, there are options that make it easy to set up, even if you are lacking in tech skills.
Just about anything can become a successful online store — just check out this impressive temporary tattoo business, powered by Shopify.
5. Start a monthly box subscription service
An online business focused on providing monthly subscription boxes for a particular niche can be very lucrative.
With big players like Dollar Shave Club and Bark Box, this business model has obvious potential.
Examples of just how niche you can get with this idea:
- Mantry, a monthly gourmet foods subscription tailored to men
- MistoBox, a curated and personalized coffee subscription
6. Copywriting and content writing
Writers can create an internet business that provides copywriting and content writing services.
You can find freelance writing gigs through platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, or by networking and reaching out to potential clients.
Michael Brown started out with freelance content writing. He was so successful pitching article ideas, he had to hire writers to help.
This was the beginning of online content agency and platform, nDash.
Selling your books on Amazon is a great way to monetize your blog, podcast, or social media channel. It has never been easier to self-publish a book, using Kindle Direct Publishing.
You could also help other authors get published by starting an online publishing agency, like Angela Lauria at Author Incubator.
When it comes to publishing, stick to what you know well and work on becoming the authority on your subject.
8. Editing and proofreading
Editing and proofreading is a great way of making money online. With so much content being published every day, there is plenty of demand.
You can turn it into a full online business in a few different ways:
- Use platforms like Upwork and Fiverr to find clients.
- Partner with a marketing or content creation agency.
- Set up a website and offer a monthly service.
9. Bookkeeping and accounting online business ideas
If you’re an accountant, you’re the real superhero. Especially during tax season.
Browse through platforms like People per Hour, and you’ll see just how many people could become your clients.
You don’t even need advanced software. Quickbooks works just fine in most cases, so you’re cutting your startup costs significantly.
Depending on your credentials and experience, consider these small online business ideas:
- A service to help small businesses transition to cloud accounting software like Xero
- Monthly bookkeeping services
- Individual tax return preparation
- Tax consulting for individuals or business
10. Customer support
If you’re good with people, customer support calls, or online community engagement, this is the online business idea for you.
Customer support consulting through platforms like Modsquad, you can make money with these skills while maintaining control of your own hours — and working from anywhere.
11. Teaching languages
The old saying goes: The more languages you speak, the more of a person you are.
This is true even today, which is why you can start a small business online by teaching through platforms like DaDaABC.
Using Skype, you can privately tutor people who want to learn English (or another language you know) from anywhere. You can even create passive income teaching languages through online courses, like Go Natural English.
12. Translation online business
Translation can be very lucrative if you are fluent in more than one language.
You can help companies translate their content into different languages and reach a wider audience, or work with individuals.
Your first work can come from freelance sites, but once you have a few regular clients, referrals will help your business grow.
13. Fitness and nutrition services
More and more people are turning to healthy cuisine and lifestyle, which is why the fitness and nutrition industry is huge — and a solid online business idea.
Here are a few ways you can make money online while helping people get healthy:
- Sell custom meal plans (paleo, weight-loss, plant-based).
- Create and sell digital products, like workout plans, e-books, or online courses.
- Remote personal training service.
- Health coaching.
- Check out this interview with Mike Matthews of Muscle for Life to get inspired.
14. Create an online business from your knowledge
If you want to start an online business from home and you’ve got skills that are in demand, why not create and teach classes?
If you’re worried about the technical side of selling online courses, don’t be. There are services that make it easy. For example, Podia enables to create, upload, and sell online courses all in one platform.
What to do you know how to do well? Anything from hobbies like baking bread, essentials like productivity, and professional skills like marketing can become a successful online course.
15. Start a YouTube channel
Starting a YouTube channel is the best online business to start when you want to build an audience, even while still working full time.
Of course, with enough people watching your videos, you’ll make money from advertisements on your channel. Just look at Reza Izad and Studio71, the agency behind some of the top creators on YouTube.
But you can also use your channel as a launching pad for a full-scale online business. As your audience grows, you can make money through affiliate marketing, sponsorships, branded merch, or selling books and courses.
16. Start a podcast
Just like a blog or YouTube channel, a podcast can be a great way to get your voice out there and build a following. All you need is some gear and interesting topics to talk about.
Not sure where to start? Here’s our definitive guide on how to start a podcast.
You can make money with sponsorships, or build a business around products and services your audience needs.
Help others succeed, while you start your small online business — consulting as an expert in your field.
To get started, you can charge for services like on-demand consulting calls, while you work towards recurring revenue with long-term consulting clients.
18. Start a membership site
People are always looking for fresh resources, and many are willing to pay for premium access.
If you like producing content and have the knowledge to share, a great online business model can be to start a membership site. Your site can contain a library of valuable content, and a forum for members to learn from you and each other.
You don’t need to hire developers or learn how to code. In fact, you don’t even need a website. Showrunner Community uses Mighty Networks to process memberships, share content, and host a robust members forum.
The best part of this business model is monthly recurring revenue, that grows with every new member.
19. Dropshipping online business
Dropshipping is a form of e-commerce in which you don’t have to deal with any physical products. That’s right — no manufacturing, storing inventory, packaging, or shipping.
To start a dropshipping business, partner with a manufacturer or wholesaler of products in your niche. You make sales through your online store, and pass orders on to the manufacturer for fulfillment.
All you have to do is set up an online shop, and work on attracting customers.
20. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a very simple online business idea: someone needs their products advertised, and you’ll do it – for a cut of the profits.
If you already have an audience through a blog, podcast, or social media channel, affiliate marketing is an easy monetization strategy to try. Just remember only to pitch products you trust, so you can feel good about recommending them.
21. Amazon FBA
Speaking of top online businesses, Amazon FBA lets you sell customized products without having to take care of storage or shipping.
FBA means “Fulfilled by Amazon” because Amazon handles fulfillment. But unlike a dropshipping business, you have to invest in inventory up front.
Manufacturers will customize and package a product with your private label branding. The inventory is then shipped to an Amazon warehouse for storage and order processing.
You can learn more about selling on Amazon from Greg Mercer of Jungle Scout.
22. Designing merchandise
If you’re creative, what better way to show it than by starting an online business selling your artwork on merch like t-shirts and tote bags?
If you want to keep it simple and just stick to design, there are many options. You can use Merch by Amazon, Teespring, and Society6 to name a few. They do all the printing and order processing, and you get paid when someone orders one of your designs.
23. Productize your service and start an online business
A productized service is a way to earn monthly recurring revenue, or flat-rate packages, instead of continually chasing after clients. If you can provide a service online, you can productize it.
Pro tip: there is a huge demand for effective lead magnets. This is a great opportunity for someone with some hustle to start a productized business creating lead magnets for bloggers and businesses.
This online business model is scalable because you can hire out some of your workload as you grow the business. It works for many services, including:
- Graphic Design
- WordPress support
- Content writing
- Consulting and Coaching
24. SEO business
SEO is the lifeblood of online marketing, so if you have the knowledge, start your online business by offering search engine optimization services.
Check out my interview with Brian Dean of Backlinko to learn his approach to SEO and how to rank in Google.
25. Online ad management business
A lot of businesses want to run Google Ads and Facebook Ads campaigns, but they don’t know how. If you’re skilled at advertising and know your way around bids and CPA, you have a business idea that’s in demand.
To get your first clients, start with local businesses who want to test the online marketing waters.
You can also learn from these marketing experts who have found success helping business owners with ad campaigns and sales funnels:
26. Social media management
There’s no marketing without social media marketing. If you’re good at creating content and engaging with audiences in social media, you have a perfect online business idea.
Social media marketing is a perfect business for scaling. You can use CoSchedule to handle multiple social accounts for multiple clients and campaigns as you grow your online business.
And tools like Combin can help you grow Instagram audiences faster for your clients.
27. Digital marketing services
Digital marketing is a catch-all term for everything about creating a presence and making sales online. It could include creating websites, email funnels, SEO, and copywriting.
Of course, it’s very much in demand. If you already do this type of work for your employer, you could be running your own online business.
28. Start a stock photography business
Stock photography is used all over the internet and in print, as an affordable way for publishers to find high-quality images.
If you love taking photos – you may have just found your business idea. There are a few stock photography services you can try. For example, you can submit work to Adobe Stock, and earn a commission from each sale (or get paid per picture).
Admittedly, you have to leave your computer to take photos. But this business can work from anywhere in the world, on your own schedule.
29. Writing music
If you write music and you’ve been told, “Hey, I think I heard that on the radio,” why not take it seriously and start a business?
Writing for film and tv can be a perfect online business for musicians — and it’s easier than ever to get your music out there. For example, TuneCore helps songwriters sell rights to their music for use in advertising, film, and tv.
TuneCore also helps songwriters get published and distributed without a record deal. And they take care of collecting and distributing royalties. That means you’ll get paid every time someone streams or purchases one of your songs through a digital platform like Spotify or Apple Music.
30. Online video production
Videos are marketing engagement boosters, so there is a huge demand for that aspect of content creation. Online video production is also great if you’re combining it with social media management.
Stanley Meytin, founder of True Film Productions, can tell you more about his experience producing videos for businesses and brands all over the world.
31. Sound editing and post-production online business
If you know your way around editing software, monetize it and start an online business that’ll help everyone’s music or videos shine.
You’ll find gigs for editing podcasts, audio tracks for video, mixing and mastering music, and more on freelance sites. Your first jobs will help you build up a portfolio and land regular clients.
32. Starting a graphic design online business
If you’ve got an eye for details, graphic design is always in demand. You can start your graphic design business easily with freelancer platforms like Upwork, Fiverr or PeoplePerHour by displaying an awesome portfolio.
The first thing you need to do is get your work in front of potential clients, and Instagram is a great place to get started. Why not create some motivational quotes or other easily shareable images and land your first client this weekend?
33. Buy and flip websites
If you want to invest in an online business that’s already profitable, why not buy one? You can build it up and flip it when you’ve increased its value.
Check out this interview with Empire Flippers founder, Justin Cooke, to learn just how lucrative this can be.
34. Buy and flip domains
Similarly to buying and flipping websites, you can turn a profit and start an online business by buying and flipping domains.
It’s simple trade: acquire a domain at a lower cost, and sell it to someone who becomes interested, for a profit.
35. Cryptocurrency trading
There’s a reason why cryptocurrency is so popular as of late – there’s a lot of money to be made. If you’re a risk-taker and have a starting capital, try your hand at cryptocurrency trading.
Since it’s such a volatile market, you can make money day trading, as long as you can handle the risks.
36. Cryptocurrency mining
Starting an online business focused on cryptocurrency mining or just setting up mining rigs can be very lucrative. If you know your basic mining from cloud mining, you may just have a great online business idea!
37. Build apps
If you’re an app developer, look no further. There is an almost unlimited market for new mobile applications.
There are a few ways to approach starting an online business building apps:
- Build and market your own app ideas.
- Partner with people who can bring ideas and marketing skills.
- Developing apps on a contract basis for other businesses.
38. Build websites
A good website goes a long way, and so do the people that create them.
If you know how to create a website from scratch and customize it clients’ requirements, you’re all set! And you have no excuse not to have your own killer website to market your services.
39. Create WordPress plugins
If you’re wondering what business business to start, take a look at WordPress plugins. They’re absolutely essential for WordPress websites, so if you know how to create them, you’ve got your business idea.
It’s a scalable business model since the software can be licensed to any number of WordPress users.
If you have an idea that would make using WordPress easier, or add a cool functionality, get to work building it or partner with a developer.
40. Create WordPress themes
WordPress uses themes to set the design and style of the website. Every WordPress site needs a theme, and it’s the most popular CMS out there. So you can see the potential in this online business idea.
If you’re a developer, you can create passive income building custom themes. For example, Thrive Themes sells themes specifically designed for conversion.
41. Website maintenance
In addition to development, website maintenance is a big factor in running an online business. Most people have no idea how to handle backups, security, server issues, or necessary updates on their websites.
For those with experience keeping websites working properly, website maintenance is a logical idea for an online business.
This service works really well as a productized service to generate recurring monthly income.
42. Build software and sell it as a service
SaaS (Software as a Service) is a very popular online business option, for good reason. It generates monthly recurring revenue as opposed to a one-time license fee.
If the market needs your software idea, get to work building it — or partner with a developer who can. Use a subscription model to turn it into a scalable online business.
Listen to these interviews with SaaS founders to get inspired:
- Aytekin Tank of JotForm
- Syed Balkhi, creator of List25, OptinMonster, SoliloquyWP, ThemeLab, and more
- Sharon Savariego of Mobilize
43. Peer-to-peer lending
There’s a big market for peer-to-peer lending, but it requires initial capital and risk-tolerance. For example, Lending Club is a marketplace that connects borrowers with individual investors hoping to make competitive returns.
This can be a good way to earn on the interest rate if you are looking for diverse investment ideas for your online business.
44. Real estate crowdfunding
If you want to make investment your business’ main area of work, real estate can be an attractive niche. But owning real estate is not exactly a hands-off business idea.
Real estate crowdfunding enables you to invest in real estate through online platforms, without the responsibility of directly owning property.
45. Software testing
Every software, website, and tech product needs to be tested for faults or bugs. This is where your business can come in: test other’s software, find bugs, report on usability, and get paid.
There are crowd-testing platforms where you can apply to be a tester, including uTest and Testbirds. There’s also potential in creating your own platform or service business to perform quality control and testing.
46. Virtual tech support
Many customer support teams are fully virtual since it can often be done by email and chat. If you work in tech support or customer service, why not go freelance and start a tech support business?
This is a very scalable online business idea. You can add to your team as the workload increases and you get more clients.
47. Automation service business
A lot of companies want to automate their processes, but they don’t know how.
For example, if you know how to integrate CRM software like HubSpot, you can help small businesses transition their contacts online.
This business idea is perfect as a productized service model. You can create fixed price packages to migrate small businesses to cloud-based platforms for their accounting, sales, or contact management systems.
48. Build niche websites as an online business
Niche websites target a very specific topic. They’re a great way of earning revenue because the traffic they attract is so targeted. You can monetize by selling information products, e-commerce, or affiliate marketing.
You can make it your online business’ main field of work by building and selling niche sites once they are generating high monthly traffic.
Transcription is an easy way to start a remote business. There are plenty of gigs on freelance sites to help you gain experience and reviews.
All you need is a computer and decent English language skills. With the rise of video to text content, you’ll have plenty of clients to get you started.
Eventually, you can scale this business by hiring other transcriptionists, so you can focus on getting clients.
50. Lead generation service
There are no sales without leads. Bringing people in the door (or into the online sales process) is essential to any business.
Any effective lead generation strategy could be turned into a successful online business. If you’ve been successful with LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google ads, you could easily find clients to work with.
51. Direct sales
Direct selling is a lost art and one that can bring companies a lot of extra revenue.
Many companies no longer employ in-house sales teams. Instead, they put interested leads in contact with commission-based salespeople to close deals.
If you’re skilled at sales, you can you can start an online business in sales. You could also take your expertise into a consulting business, like Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion.
Advertising creatives are always in demand — everyone hopes their ads will go viral and get attention.
With a creative mind and some marketing chops, you can create a profitable digital agency. Whether your expertise is digital, print, podcast, or video a digital ad agency gives you the ability to work from anywhere.
It’s easier than ever for artists to make money online. Advertisers, content creators, and all sorts of publishers look to the internet to find the original artwork they need.
To get started, you can find commissioned work on freelance sites. As you build up a portfolio, you can create a full-fledged business by showcasing your work on your own website.
54. Online recruiting
If you’ve got experience in HR, online recruiting can be the best business idea for you.
Helping businesses find and hire stellar employees is a valuable service. Specialize in industries where you have worked in the past to leverage your network.
Maybe you have ideas about how the hiring process in your industry could be improved, like Perry Oostdam. He created Recruitee as a platform to help businesses collaborate on hiring and onboarding new team members.
55. Online research
There’s never been more content online, and it takes an expert to research it successfully.
Depending on your interest and knowledge, here are some online research business ideas to consider:
- Market research, specializing in your industry.
- Private Investigator research
- Academic research for writers and publishers
- Research for digital content creators
56. Travel consultancy
If you’re the kind of person whose intellectual algorithms work better than Skyscanner’s, start a travel consultancy online business.
This one works well if you specialize in a particular niche. That way, you can establish your authority as an expert in a certain region, or a specific type of travel.
For example, Boutique Japan specializes in creating personalized itineraries for those who want a unique trip.
57. Crowdfunding consulting
Crowdfunding has become a very popular means of financing projects. But with so many ideas fighting for attention on platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, success is far from guaranteed.
Startups need advice on how to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign. This is where you come in.
If you’ve been instrumental in crowdfunding projects in the past, you can leverage your knowledge with a consultancy business. In fact, Indiegogo has a list of recommended advisors, so you can be sure there is a demand for this service.
58. Life coaching
Sometimes we all need just a bit more help. Who do we turn to? Life coaches.
If you can help with happiness, career fulfillment, relationships, or financial success, you will never run out of people who need your help.
Using life coaching as an online business model, you can expand your reach beyond your immediate area. Instead of working only with local clients, you can work from anywhere, help more people, and increase your earning potential.
Check out this interview with Stephynie Malik, who helps high achieving executives unlock their full potential with her coaching business, ChiqueSpeak.
59. Business coaching
Similarly to life coaching, business coaching means working with business owners to help them achieve growth and success.
This can be a very lucrative online business idea. In fact, I’ve lost count of how many entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed who are currently working full time with a business coach.
If you’re a good communicator with past successes in your industry, consider offering your services as a business coach.
60. Dating coaching
We all just want a chance at true love, and sometimes that means work. People who are too busy, or don’t know where to start, turn to dating coaches for help.
Dating coaches help people put their best foot forward, find a match, and work through the ups and downs of dating. You can make money online as a dating coach in a few different ways:
- Coaching services
- Creating effective profiles for dating sites
- Writing books
- Creating online courses
61. Start a gaming business
Can you really make money playing video games? If you’re a high-level player and you can put some time into marketing your business, then yes.
This article on Gamefly is a good primer on how advanced players can monetize their gaming skills through streaming, educational videos, or selling items within a gaming platform.
62. Advise on investments
With the availability of online investment tools like Wealthsimple, the personal finance industry is changing.
People still need advice on saving for retirement and making big financial decisions. But financial advisors don’t need to work for big investment firms to create a financial planning business.
For a fee, qualified individuals can provide this needed advice, as independent financial advisors — and can work remotely much of the time.
Diana Dyer founded Triumph Capital to help millennials with their financial planning and investment needs.
63. Start a voiceover online business
Every video needs a voiceover, and so do ads. Between independent production companies, ad agencies, and YouTubers, you can find a huge variety of voice acting gigs on freelance sites.
If you’ve got a distinctive voice, start an online business providing voiceover services.
You don’t need a fancy recording studio. With a decent microphone and basic sound editing skills, you can produce high-quality recordings.
64. Start a virtual interior design business
Interior designers can start a fully-virtual business using photographs and simulation tools.
Besides making money on interior design fees, there is an opportunity to partner with contractors, furniture and home decor stores, and artists.
Havenly is an example of a platform for designers to work remotely, creating custom designs for clients.
65. Open an online jewelry store
There are several ways to put your eye for jewelry design and style to work in an online business:
- Sell your own designs and products with an e-commerce site.
- Use Etsy to sell handcrafted pieces.
- Source jewelry from manufacturers for a dropshipping business.
- Set up an Amazon store and use FBA to sell customized jewelry.
For a unique take on an online jewelry business, listen to this interview with Jessica Honegger. She created Noonday Collection on a social enterprise model.
66. Sell artisanal products online
With the rise of online shopping, you can sell just about any physical products you can imagine with an online shop.
Natural skin care, handmade toys, fashion — what do you like to make?
67. Yoga classes business
Yoga, pilates, and other wellness activities are a big industry. If you teach classes in these disciplines, you can teach online.
Here are a few ways to scale your online yoga business:
- Start a YouTube channel.
- Sell your classes as an online course.
- Create a blog and make money with affiliate marketing.
- Teach classes on Skillshare.
68. Teach music
People who want to learn how to play an instrument but don’t have time classes prefer to learn online.
This is good news for music teachers because it enables you to find students and scale your business beyond where you live.
You can sell courses or offer one-on-one coaching sessions — fully remote.
69. Plan events
Since event planning involves a ton of research and phone calls, it’s a business you could start anywhere.
Depending on your experience and interest, you could consult on wedding planning, private parties, business events, and even corporate retreats.
Just organize everything and leave it to them to have fun.
70. Write speeches
A good speech is a work of art, and many people need help with it. Writers with a flair for crafting impactful presentations can start an online service business in speechwriting.
Speechwriting is not just for politics — people work with writers for all kinds of corporate events and personal occasions. Start by looking at freelance sites to see what kind of gigs are in demand.
You can extend this to press releases and other publicity writing, and have a booming online business.
71. Photo editing
Your first association may be “Instagram influencers,” but many advertisers and businesses need photo editing services.
You could even partner with event or portrait photographers — they do the in-person shoot, and you handle editing and packaging.
Start your online business today
If you’re still wondering what online business you should start, check out our list of side hustles – both remote and non-remote, part time and full time.
And if you’re worried you don’t have what it takes to start a business, you’re not alone. A lot of people give up before they even start.
You don’t have to.
Here’s the next step, take action and learn how to be an entrepreneur.
Is it legit or just another scam? This is the question so many people have when it comes to online courses. Many of you are sceptical about making financial commitments online — especially when it comes to higher-priced courses that come with huge claims of life-changing proportions. Can you genuinely change your life with Sam Ovens’ consulting
The post The Truth About Sam Ovens’ Consulting Accelerator (Updated 2019) appeared first on Bengu.
Are you looking for an honest (and easy to understand) SiteGround hosting review?
Cool, I’m glad you’re here. This article is for you.
Here’s the thing …
After reading countless hosting reviews myself and searching for the fastest WordPress hosting I could find – I found SiteGround.
As of today, I have been using SiteGround for 5+ years. In that time, I’ve learned the pros AND cons – the ins and the outs.
So I decided to write a fluff-free SiteGround WordPress hosting review to share what I’ve learned.
I’m going to go in-depth, but at the same time keep the jargon out of it.
Whether you are looking to get a side hustle idea going, you’re starting a podcast, or you want to get an online business idea up and running, this review is exactly what you need to choose your website hosting.
Here’s what we are going to cover in this review.
SiteGround hosting reviewed
- Another WordPress hosting review?
- What is website hosting and why is it important?
- My love and hate relationship with SiteGround
- My recommendation (fully explained)
- Final verdict: do I recommend SiteGround?
Another WordPress hosting review?
If you’ve been looking for a hosting company that you can trust your online business with, you’ll find the internet flooded with hundreds if not thousands of hosting reviews. Most of them are total BS.
Unfortunately, they’re mostly written to talk YOU into buying the hosting that offers THEM the highest commission.
Do I get paid a small commission if you decide to purchase SiteGround hosting through a link on this page?
Is that why I chose to write a review about SiteGround?
No. I’m writing this because I’ve been using SiteGround since 2014! And it’s the one that powers my entire online businesses today.
It’s also why I recommend SiteGround as the very first tool on my best online business tools page.
Here’s a screenshot of my bill for SiteGround’s GoGeek Hosting
Bottom line: I’ve used SiteGround long enough (5 years) and am aware of pretty much everything there is to know about it.
Also, I host this website with them. Further on in this article, I’ll show you the results of some speed tests I ran while writing this.
Affiliate Disclaimer: This review contains affiliate links that pay me a commission if you sign up through them. However this in no way affects my recommendation. I do not recommend SiteGround for everyone. (more on this later)
What is website hosting and why is it important?
If this is your first time building a website, you might not know what website hosting even is. While this can be intimidating, it doesn’t have to be. Once you understand the fundamental principles of how hosting works it’s quite simple.
For simplicity, here’s a quick breakdown.
A website is a bunch of different files connected to the internet. These files hold data and need a ‘space’ that’s secure and accessible to the internet.
This ‘space’ is what a hosting company offers.
As you can see, your website host is responsible for holding all the data of your online business.
This is why website hosting is super important to your success, and in no way should be neglected.
Here’s what happens when your hosting service sucks.
A host to a website is what a foundation is to a house. If it’s shaky, it’s all going to come tumbling down.
My love and hate relationship with SiteGround
Just like in every relationship you will have the good and the bad. The same is true with SiteGround.
While there’s a ton that I love about this hosting, there are also a few things I don’t.
Here’s a brief breakdown.
What I love about SiteGround web hosting
1) Well-trained customer service
Sure, if you’re an experienced website developer, you don’t need customer support. However, for the rest of us, it’s crucial.
When you’re new to the world of WordPress and websites, you’ll run into problems and when you do – having reliable support to get help from is a real lifesaver!
SiteGround’s customer support is excellent! Stellar, in fact.
They invest in trained experts, not general support that acts like they understand your problem.
At times when I’ve had to communicate with them, I’ve found their customer reps to be extremely friendly, helpful, and patient.
You have multiple ways to reach them ranging from live chat, telephone to a ticket based system.
Note: They even tell you how many customers are ahead of you, and in most cases the wait time is minimal!
2) 99.99% uptime rating
Uptime is the number of hours your website is live and available on the internet. Downtime is the exact opposite.
Ideally, you want 100% uptime because a downtime implies your website is not accessible to people trying to access it.
To a business, this can lead to lost traffic, leads, and sales — lost because you chose a crappy hosting company and your website is down.
Downtime can also have a negative impact on SEO, and this will prevent your website from getting to the first page of Google, and that’s the last thing you want.
Fortunately, SiteGround offers 99.99% uptime which in the web hosting industry is the gold standard.
Note: If you ever experience more than 0.1% downtime on a yearly basis SiteGround will compensate you credit in your next subscription.
Cool guarantee, bro. I’d rather have a site that doesn’t go down.
4) An extremely intuitive interface
Another benefit of SiteGround hosting is how it simplifies the complex process of managing a website server – right from setting up the website to creating a new one and later transferring it.
A glance of SiteGround’s interface consists of well-organized and highly descriptive icons that make it extremely easy to identify what’s what.
Their hosting is great for anyone new to websites, as you won’t have to spend a lot of time trying to figure things out.
Alright, on with the SiteGround reviews!
5) Free website migration (for GrowBig/GoGeek)
If you already host a website with another service, you will need to do a website transfer, which can be a difficult and complicated process.
If you don’t have the technical know-how, you’re going to run into problems. Sure you can hire an expert to transfer it for you, but this comes with its own set of challenges.
Fortunately, SiteGround simplifies this process by handling the transfer for you – and for free!
What does ‘free’ really include?
SiteGround’s free website transfer lets you move everything from your old host – the website, FTP accounts, configurations, etc. – at no extra cost.
Note: this service is free exclusively to GrowBig and GoGeek tiers.
Basically, you’re going to have everything transferred from your old host by an expert who knows what he’s doing – and that means no bugs, unforeseen issues, or downtime!
Okay, how does the website transfer work?
Step 1: Sign up with SiteGround
The first step is to sign up with SiteGround. Remember, if you want to take advantage of the free website transfer, you’ll have to pick either the GrowBig or the GoGeek plan.
Step 2: Request your website transfer
After you’ve signed up with SiteGround you have two ways to request a website transfer:
1) Request website transfer through the setup wizard:
I recommend this method if you haven’t set up an account with SiteGround.
All you have to do is select Transfer a website in SiteGround’s Account Setup Wizard and click Confirm.
Next, an inquiry will be generated to which SiteGround’s amazing support team will promptly respond.
2) Request website transfer through support section:
Alternatively, you can directly raise a support request by heading to your SiteGround User area and then to Support > Request Assistance From Our Team > Proceed to contact us here link.
Among the list of services select Advanced Technical Services and click the ‘Transfer Website’ option.
From the dropdown under Select Account choose the website you want to transfer. Next, choose the radio button ‘I am transferring from another web host.’
Note: If your previous host is not running CPanel you will have to transfer email accounts, configurations, etc. manually.
Lastly, fill in the all the required fields and click Submit. SiteGround’s support team will be notified about your inquiry and get back to you.
5) Cloudflare CDN with one-click activation
Setting up a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can be complicated. However, with SiteGround you can activate your CDN with a single click.
6) Great affiliate program (Up to $150 commission!)
Another thing worth mentioning is SiteGround’s affiliate program that offers generous payouts of up to $150 per referral.
Now while this may not be directly related to the hosting itself if you use it right — you can pay for your entire subscription by simply recommending it to friends and family.
Pretty cool right? Yeah, I thought so too.
Alright, you get it, I’m a HUGE fan of SiteGround.
But what do other people think of it? Let’s take a look.
SiteGround Reviews: What Do WordPress Users Think?
Lastly, I looked at what the community has to say about SiteGround. In my research, I found a popular WordPress hosting group on Facebook.
As you can see, it’s not just me. Many other WordPress enthusiasts recommend SiteGround as their #1 hosting solution.
This is just one of many other polls conducted where SiteGround takes that number one spot – and for a good reason!
What I don’t like about SiteGround
Now onto the bad stuff you won’t see in those “genuine” SiteGround hosting reviews.
1) Higher renewal prices
SiteGround may seem quite affordable at the beginning especially with all the services they offer.
However, when the time comes to renew your bill will be quite hefty. This is because their first subscription is offered at an introductory price!
The renewal price is much higher than their introductory price, which will come as a shock.
When you look at the hosting service you’re getting in return, you’ll find the cost well justified.
Here’s the thing, if your online business can’t afford to pay your hosting after a year, you’re doing something wrong.
2) Limited resources (and the hidden benefit)
The three plans offer a limited amount of bandwidth and storage, which could be troublesome if you have a massive site.
But remember, I run 5 websites and get 10s of 1000s of visitors a month, all on my single GoGeek account. With 100% uptime!
That said, here’s exactly what you’ll get with your SiteGround hosting account.
You’ll get a limited amount of space. This varies with the plan you sign up for:
- 10GB of storage for StartUp plan
- 20GB of storage for GrowBig plan
- 30GB of storage for GoGeek plan
But where’s the hidden benefit I mentioned?
This limit on storage per account is a blessing in disguise and benefits you and your websites.
Multiple users share a single server in a shared hosting plan. So if one user experiences a surge in traffic, he’ll end up using more resources from that server.
This means fewer resources for others in the same pool, and you don’t want that!
However, by setting a limit on the space per account SiteGround ensures everyone uses the server fairly – this ensures that no one ends up hogging more server space and resources.
This translates into a faster website for you!
With the pros and the cons behind us, let’s move this SiteGround hosting review onto a comparison of the three tiers.
Tier Comparison: StartUp vs. GrowBig vs. GoGeek
|10,000 visits monthly||25,000 visits monthly||100,000 visits monthly|
|Get Started||Get Started||Get Started|
What is the best SiteGround tier?
The three tiers offered by SiteGround all have their limits (bandwidth and storage), but these limitations are not linear – making some SiteGround hosting tiers better than others!
Let’s crunch a few numbers:
- StartUp 10,000 monthly visits for $3.95 = 2,500 visitors per dollar spent
- GrowBig 25,000 monthly visits for $5.95 = 4,200 visitors per dollar spent
- GoGeek 100,000 monthly visits for $11.95 = 8,300 visitors per dollar spent
As you can see, you spend less by going for the supposedly more expensive tiers like GrowBig and GoGeek.
However, that doesn’t mean that I recommend everyone sign up for the GoGeek tier.
For just $2 per month more (as compared to Startup), you can host multiple websites and accommodate an additional 15,000 visitors every month!
Before making a decision, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you want to host single or multiple websites?
- How much traffic do your websites get?
- Do you have a high requirement for resources?
First, realize your hosting needs, as that should make it clear as to whether the GrowBig or GoGeek plan is right for you.
Now, let’s take a look at my decision to use SiteGround’s GoGeek for my online business.
SiteGround’s GoGeek plan: reviewed and tested
Why did I get GoGeek in the first place?
When I was looking for hosting, I wanted something that could handle my high-traffic websites and at the same time wasn’t too expensive.
SiteGround GoGeek plan was the best option for me. It was just as fast as a dedicated hosting solution (and at the same time it didn’t empty my wallet.)
Siteground themselves refer to this plan as a semi-dedicated hosting. The servers are built with state-of-the-art infrastructure and shared amongst fewer users than the lower tiers.
Is GoGeek the fastest WordPress hosting?
We live in a world where we can get everything at our fingertips, and the same is the case with websites. That’s why I demand the fastest WordPress hosting I can find, and you should too.
If a visitor experiences slow loading websites, they will most likely go somewhere else, and this is the last thing you want.
Although SiteGround uses state-of-the-art servers that render high performance, I decided to validate it further by running a bunch of speed tests. The results were awesome.
Using GTmetrix, my website reported a loading time of only 2.3 seconds!
When I ran a speed test using Pingdom the loading speed reported was even less at 1.03 seconds.
Finally, Google’s own PageSpeed Insights gave my website a page speed score of 99 out of 100!
As you can see, the results are pretty darn good and well above the average page load time.
With testing complete, I think choosing SiteGround was a good choice for my websites.
Best reasons to get the GoGeek tier
Reason #1: Resources are shared amongst fewer users
Although GoGeek is technically a shared hosting plan, it’s shared amongst only a few users. This results in GoGeek users getting access to far more resources than the other (lower) tiers.
SiteGround claims GoGeek users use up to four times more server resources than lower tiers!
For this reason, SiteGround calls it a semi-dedicated hosting solution.
Reason #2: Priority support (under 10 minutes!)
Now, while SiteGround’s customer service is excellent regardless of the tier you choose, it gets even better with the GoGeek Plan and their dedicated priority support.
In the past, I’ve had technical issues resolved within minutes, all thanks to the priority support available with the GoGeek plan.
They say time is money, and SiteGround’s GoGeek plan is made to save you both!
Reason #3: State-of-the-art server infrastructure:
With GoGeek being a semi-dedicated hosting plan, it uses superior server architecture.
Their servers are similar to ones used by a dedicated host – think SSD powered storage, NGINX, and CDN – top-notch tech that will make your website load extremely fast. As we saw in my tests above.
Reason #4: One-click staging
People often refer to staging as a benefit that’s nice to have. I disagree. To me, it is an essential feature.
What is website staging?
Staging is a carbon copy of your website that you can create with a single click.
This copy of your website is where you can do work, fix errors, or install new plugins. Once you’re happy with your changes, you click one more button and all your changes get pushed to your live website!
This enables you to work on your website without the fear of breaking anything.
This feature is handy if you’d like to test new code, or plugins before implementing them onto the live version of your website.
Reason #5: Automated backup (with assisted restore)
SiteGround automagically performs daily backups and holds 30 copies of your site in storage. 30 copies!
With this kind of automated backup in place, you never have to worry about your website again. If it crashes, click restore!
So if you screw up and break your website, SiteGround will manually restore it for free!
Reason #6: E-commerce ready (plus PCI compliant with free SSL)
GoGeek servers are PCI compliant with free Let’s encrypt SSL. This makes it extremely easy to set up a safe and legal e-commerce website without hassle.
In 2019, every website should be secured and using an SSL certificate. In fact, Google is going to start penalizing sites that don’t use SSL.
To give you some background on SSL, here’s what Google says about securing your website.
I mention the free SSL certificates because there are hosting companies (cough, cough… GoDaddy … cough) who still charge their “valued customers” $50+ per year for SSL!
Final verdict: Do I recommend SiteGround?
We’ve reached the end of this SiteGround hosting review, and you probably are wondering if I recommend it?
In my opinion, if you’re serious about the security and speed of your online business, SiteGround is the best option you can find among WordPress hosting providers.
SiteGround is one of the few hosting providers recommended by WordPress, and that says a lot about their quality as a WordPress host.
Sure it can be a little bit expensive, but if you want excellent service, a blazingly fast website, and peace of mind with automatic backups, then SiteGround is the perfect choice for you.
Well then, you have to be ready to pay a bit more. But remember, you always get what you pay for.
If you are a blogger or want to be, you need to know about Russ Ruffino. He seems to be climbing the charts as the “next big thing” in the blogging world. He is the founder and CEO of the business known as “Clients on Demand.” Their mission is to help coaches, consultants, thought-leaders, and […]