5 Ways to Make Your Site More Engaging

Google is able to accurately predict how engaged a typical visitor to your site might be. Higher engagement translates to a higher ranking in their search results, leading to more visitors. With more to keep them interested, your visitors will stick around longer and come back again for more. Here are six easy things you can do to get more engagement.

1. Make It Easy To Get Around

When it comes to getting around your site, don’t try to reinvent the wheel. This whole internet thing has been around for a while by now, and everyone on the planet has been conditioned to look for certain things in certain places. Put the main navigation either across the top or down one side. Use normal words that are easily understood by your typical visitor. Use colors that contrast enough that your text can be read without effort. Put your content near the top of the page, above the fold. Let your visitors know immediately that they have come to the right place.

2. Speed It Up

The fastest way to lose someone is to do nothing for a few seconds. About 50% of all people on the web will hit the BACK button if your site hasn’t loaded in two seconds. By four seconds, that number jumps to 80%. Getting a quick load time may be as simple as removing images from your background and using only color or eliminating rich media ads that are loaded from other websites. If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, you can install a plugin such as WP Super Cache to serve cached content, eliminating the time it takes to query the database.

3. Format Your Articles For Ease

Long blocks of text simply do not work well on the web. Use images and break your text into short paragraphs to keep the reader interested and occupied. Break medium and longer articles into smaller pieces separated by sub-headings. Do not place ads in the main body of the text. You will be tempted. Don’t. Remove all obstacles that interfere with the ability to consume your content.

4. Use Video

Now that your visitors can easily find their ways around your lightning-fast and informative website, what can we give them to keep them happy and coming back for more? Sometimes a great idea is to create a custom video on a relevant topic. If you have a product to sell, make your own 30-second commercial for it. You’ll be tempted to make a feature film, but you have to control that impulse. Keep it short. You can upload it to YouTube if you want, and host it on your site from there.

5. Add a time waster

It doesn’t have to be all business, all the time. Consider adding a section with nothing but photos, or a section with some simple games. Make it obvious that this is here just for the enjoyment of it–a little added value you just wanted to give away.

Happy Visitors Keep Coming Back



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Introduction To Networked Attached Storage (NAS)

Have you noticed lately that you’re starting to accumulate too many pictures, home videos and legally obtained music and movies in too many different places? You need to consolidate everything into one place. You need to upgrade to Network Attached Storage (NAS).

In The Raw

The NAS is a device dedicated to storing and serving up all your files to any device on your network. On the inside, they’re just a computer running specialized software. Your raw performance is going to be based on two factors: processor speed and memory. You can find a simple NAS for less than $150, or you can spend a couple thousand for a high-end box with all the latest features. Current NAS models work on nearly any Windows or Apple network.

Would You Like Drives With That?

Keep in mind that you can buy NAS devices that do not include the hard drives. There are times when this might be a good choice. NAS units shipped with hard drives installed might require an expensive visit to your favorite repair shop if (when) the drives ever fail. Then again, if you buy your NAS with the drives installed, you know that the software is already setup and ready to go.

By design, units shipping without drives must be user-accessible, and even though the total cost is a bit more up front, you might save a bundle down the road. If you choose this route, pay attention to the type of drives you buy. All drives do not work in all NAS models. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Size Does Matter

The most important question to ask yourself is, “How much space do I need?” A good rule of thumb might be to add up all the space you’re currently using and double it. Or triple it.  You’ll be adding more stuff to your collection in the future. Don’t let it sneak up on you.

RAID!

RAID is just a cool way of saying Redundant Array of Independent/Inexpensive Disks.  And that’s a fancy way of saying that RAID tries to make sure your data always has multiple copies, sort of like a backup (but NOT a backup – see below). If one copy becomes corrupted, the other copy will be available. This sounds great, but it comes with a trade-off: RAID uses up a lot of hard drive space creating all those copies of everything. Some RAID arrays can cut your storage space in half. Remember that when choosing the size of your hard drives.

Back That Thing Up

Backup comes in two stages. Stage one is backing up all the devices on your network to the NAS. Stage two is the backup of the NAS itself. After all, your stored data is only as good as your last verified backup. Some companies are including cloud-based backup solutions with the purchase of their system. You can always choose an external USB drive for your NAS backups. Many devices offer “hot-swappable” capabilities. This allows you to switch drives while the system is running.

But There Is No Spoon

There are so many other options and features available, even on some of the least expensive models, that space won’t allow them to be discussed here. You’ll find web servers, torrent clients, iTunes servers, applications for remote access, download management, energy efficiency, working with IP addressed cameras… nearly everything except the proverbial sink.

Maybe that is why there is no spoon.


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