Setting up Paypal or Payment Systems

So you’ve got a business, you’ve got a product, you’ve got customers, but how do they pay you? Looks like it’s time to decide on a payment processor. Let’s dive right in and explore a few good choices to consider.

To begin with, one of the most well known free payment systems is PayPal.

Also, when we say free, we mean no upfront or service charge costs. PayPal does take a small fraction of each sale made on their platform. That aside, there are no other costs, and few requirements, making it one of the easiest to sign up for. All you need is your business name, how to contact your customer service, the bank routing and account number for the account you wish to use, and your personal information (name, e-mail address, physical address). The site handily guides you through the steps in just a few minutes. One thing to note is it takes 3-5 days to fully set up a PayPal business account. This is because they send a small deposit to your bank in order to verify it’s yours. After you relay back how much they deposited, you’ll be good to start using all the features! These include all the basics you need for your business, like being able to receive debit card payments, credit card payments, checks, and of course PayPal transactions.

Let’s say something about PayPal just doesn’t catch your eye.

A worthwhile alternative to mull over is Stripe. They offer nearly identical service to PayPal, however, they have a few more features. To begin with, you’ll now be able to accept Apple Pay, as well as being able to avoid the fees from customers paying with international cards. In addition, charge cards from your website are free, and those come with a $30 fee on PayPal. Besides that, it’s just as simple to sign up for as PayPal, requiring only your name, e-mail, and a password to get started. From there, you can build your business and billing the way you like. The interface is quite analytically driven, so if you’re a fan of statistics and automated processes, Stripe may be the processor you’re looking for. We almost forgot, there are no startup costs or recurring fees. In fact, Stripe charges the same percentage per sale that PayPal does.

If neither seem to be doing the trick, there’s always Authorize.net.

Though by far the most expensive with a $49 start up fee, and $25 recurring monthly charges on top of percentages from each sale, Authorize.net has a very streamlined process, amazing on demand support, and a host of features. Besides doing everything PayPal and Stripe do, it even allows for QuickBooks integration, as well as an on-site checkout process. Customers can set their payments to auto-pay, and Authorize.net accepts nearly every form of payment, including PayPal transactions. Signing up isn’t difficult either, and requires the same information you would use for Stripe or PayPal.

Choosing between these may be somewhat difficult, but just consider what you need for your business at this point in time.

Don’t feel bad if you pick one you don’t like; you can always upgrade/downgrade later to fit your needs. I wouldn’t worry about that part though, all three are excellent choices for making your life as a business owner easier.

CREATV Website Manager

Why You Need a Website Manager

When the internet just began things were a lot different. You could hire a designer, design your website and be finished. The website you created would then sit on the internet and visitors would come in.

Flash forward to our day, websites need maintenance.

Managing a website in the modern online market is a job that requires an individual’s complete focus and attention to every detail. It can not be completed as well by the busy business owner because the roles of website manager are simply too broad. The vast range of different areas that need to be covered when managing a business website are from adding content to updating SEO and checking for technical issues.

Small online business owners often will avoid hiring a manager in hopes of saving their small business the added cost. But this is a mistake, and it puts their business in a large disadvantage compared to their competitors that have already invested in this particular service.

A website manager understand that content needs to flow perfectly on the website in question, while matching the target audience, driving traffic to the areas that change visitors to customers. The position of the website needs to be carefully selected as well. This is the last thing business owners want, a website that is overcrowded or full of information that it’s difficult for their traffic to maneuver around. Also, websites need to be updated often and fresh content is what will get your website higher in the rankings. A website manager will ensure that all of these areas are handled.

Online marketing is a very specific skill and it goes as deep as the words you choose to use on your website could ultimately impact your ranking in the search engines. A skilled website manager understands all of the complexities of SEO and with hiring the right website manager, they will regularly update your site to match different SEO requirements and ensure that your website is receiving the highest amount of traffic possible. A website manager lives and breathes everything web related and is able to determine what would make your website rise and what could be hindering it in the rankings as well. They are in tune with your competitors and are your advocate for your business in order to get ahead!

On top of the above, a website manager is also there to check for and fix any problems that might be apparent on your website. There are a vast amount of reasons why your website conversion rate might be low on your site. It could be a single image that’s turning visitors away or it may be your overall design and feel to the website. A manager will constantly assess and reassess your website and all of the details regularly making changes to make sure that your site delivers the optimal first impression!

A website manager is a vital service for any business owner. With an expert outsourcing company, businesses can get quality service at a price that matches their budget. 

CREATV Speed

How To Improve Your Website’s Speed

Page speed refers to the amount of time a page needs to be entirely loaded. Page speed depends on many diverse influences, from host to design and can be optimized. In fact, load time does matter for both users and search engines.Users are less likely to stay on a website that takes ages to load and Google will undoubtedly penalize your website for being too sluggish. Also, a fast website also converts better.

Like it or not, people today are impatient. They’re used to fast internet, to clicking on a link and being able to dive in instantly. Page speeds that would have been cause for celebration 10 years ago, today just irritate and aggravate people. Annoyed and frustrated people don’t convert.

Page Speed Matters to Google

2010 was the year where Google publicized it was going to regard page speed as a ranking signal. Google is concentrating since a few years on bringing the best onsite user experience imaginable.

Page speed comes in that logic. If a site loads fast, chances are better that users will remain on your website as they will experience something positive (of course other elements needs to be consider offering the best experience possible). While Google seems to reward fast-ranking website it won’t hurt your rankings severely, unless your website is very slow. In 2010, Google was stated that only 1% of search engine results get penalized by the page speed factor.

Page Speed Matters to Visitors

While page speed is important to Google and for your rankings, it does also impact your user experience. And it is not a secret that an optimistic user experience often leads to better conversions.

A fast website generates a good user experience in many ways:

  • If you sell a product, having fast loading pages will help your visitors quickly comprehend what you have to offer and complete your order forms.
  • If you produce revenues thanks to advertising on your content, a fast website will ease your visitors to navigate from page to page and will increase your total of page views per user.
  • Page speed relies on different elements. But for some types of websites, like ecommerce ones, page speed should be your top importance as a corrupt one could cost you a lot. For instance, Walmart found out they were the fastest retail website compared to sites like Amazon or eBay. They decided to increase even more their speed performances and it results that:
For every 1 second of improvement they experienced up to a 2% increase in conversions
For every 100 ms of improvement, they grew incremental revenue by up to 1%’ (source)

Thus, a minor decrease can affect in substantial loss of conversion rate as people will be more likely to abandon their shipping or by leaving your website.

As we said above, a well-organized page speed trusts on different optimizations. In the other hand, a poor load time results from:

  • Unoptimized browser, app and plugins: App using Flash for instance can seriously lower your page speed. Also, you should test your website on different browsers to see how it performs.
  • Inexpensive web host: Your host performance relies solely on the price you are ready to give. In the long run, a cheap host could lead to low page speed performances. You need to choose your host based on your business size.
  • Complicated theme: The theme you choose impacts your website performance and your load time. Some themes are pretty hefty and will lower your page speed if they contain too many special effects and designs.
  • Too many ads: Beside bothering your visitors, a bunch of ads will just reduce your page speed.
  • Heavy images: Some HD images can seriously lower your page speed. It is better to compress your visuals under PNG to maintain their quality while lowering their weight. For logos or pictograms, you can use JPEG instead.
  • Widgets: Social buttons, comments area, calendars or other widgets do impact your page speed.
  • Dense code: Your HTML/CSS code influences your load time. Clean up your code to achieve better page load time results.
  • Embedded media: Video from outside websites can be valuable, but can also lower your page speed. You could save those videos on your host to save time.

If you aren’t sure how fast your website is loading, you can test it on GMetrix. Gmetrix shows you your load speed ratings from both Google Page Speed and Yahoo! YSlow. Preferably, you want a page speed of around 2 seconds. If your page load takes longer, here is some more in-depth tips to get your site at its prime:

Compress Your Images (and Videos)

Images and videos can be pretty data heavy. Image compression shrinks the image files, sometimes cutting the file size by more than half. A poor compression will mess with your image quality. Try smush.it and tinypng.com to decrease your file size while still giving you decent-quality images. Movavi.com is a decent video compressor. For images or videos where you need high quality, you can learn to do the compression yourself or buy a professional compression program.

Load the Right Sized Images

Speaking of images, when you add images to your blog, resize them first. Many people upload a full-size image and decrease the size later using html or their content management system. When you do this, your visitors browsers don’t just load the smaller image you want them to see. They take the time to load the full image size, then follow your html’s directions for resizing it. In its place, decrease the image size, then add it to your site. This way your visitor’s browser instantly loads the correct (and smaller!) file size.

Watch How You Embed Items

Unless you unquestionably need to, don’t embed images, videos, widgets or anything else on your blog. When you embed something, that media isn’t part of your site. It’s from another site. Your visitor’s browser needs to intrude loading your blog to run off and get that embedded media from somewhere else. Known as “redirects,” these little side-jaunts can really decrease your load times. Upload everything to your own server.

KEEP EVERYTHING UP-TO-DATE

Updating your site elements consistently is usually suggested for security reasons — and those are important. But old code can also slow the site down. Upgrading the various elements of your site as needed can avert you from losing speed over time.

Compress Your Site

If compressing your images and videos isn’t giving you enough of a improvement, try compressing your entire site. Gzip is a free tool for turning your website into a zip file. Your zipped website is sent to your visitors for their Gzip-compatible browser to open. For an idea of how well it works, hop over the to Yahoo! home page. Yahoo!’s html is around 101 kb but has been compressed to about 15 kb.

Use Caching

Caching stores some of your site elements on your visitor’s browser. Those saved bits are what web browsers get rid of when they “clear the cache.” Caching doesn’t help the first time someone visits your site, but it decreases load times for repeat visitors. The cache means most of the site is on their browser. Less stuff needs to be sent over from your server, reducing load times.

Change Servers

Your site can never load faster than your server runs. You can optimize your site speed a dozen ways, and if you have a slow server, you’ll still see slow load times. Increasing your bandwidth can prevent your site from slowing down during highest traffic. You can talk with your web host to find out what bandwidth options they offer. Alternatively, your host may just have an outdated server. In that case, either you need a new web host or a better server with your current host.