SHARPSPRING Review 2020

WHAT IS SHARPSPRING?

Existing systems and most third-party apps work seamlessly with SharpSpring, an email marketing platform that is robust and targeted towards small- and medium-sized businesses. Users get all the online marketing functionalities that they require thanks to the platform’s extensive array of features. Even better, SharpSpring is inexpensive and does not require annual contracts, as sign-ups are only required month-to-month. SharpSpring is a good fit for agencies as it allows them to tailor fit the management, branding, and charging of their customers. Rank-and-file staff, as well as management, can get some use from the system. The tool can be used to track prospects and incoming sales, which managers will surely appreciate. Its email and CRM functionalities can be used by staff in creative businesses to communicate relevant developments to customers. Since all marketing materials and key sales are stored in a single location, SharpSpring also accelerates workflows.

SHARPSPRING FEATURES

Main features of SharpSpring are:

  • Behavior-Based Email Automation
  • Dynamic Forms
  • Call Tracking
  • Transformative Email Analytics
  • Campaign Tracking
  • Dynamic Web Content
  • Track Leads
  • Custom Deal Stages
  • Lead Nurturing
  • Lead Scoring
  • Robust Rules Engine
  • Social Notes
  • Point-and-Click WYSIWYG Editor
  • Landing Page Funnel
  • Daily VisitorID Email
  • Smart Emails
  • Third-Party CRM Integration
  • Behavior Tracking
  • Multiple Device Tracking

SHARPSPRING BENEFITS

The main benefits of SharpSpring are its email automation, its lead engagement, and its analytics.

Lead conversion rates are improved by SharpSpring, as it offers a wide array of solutions when it comes to marketing products and services on the internet.

Unlike other email services, SharpSpring’s “after-the-click” tracking lets users send personalized messages that start conversations and turn into lead conversions. Leads are provided with information during critical parts of the sales journey, improving the chances of conversion.

Forms generated by the solution can be customized so that reorder fields are included. Because of the drag-and-drop functionality, modifications like this can be easily done. Regular visitors are provided with an autocomplete option, which further improves conversion rates. The tool can also map fields from native and third-party forms.

Marketing automation is simplified by the system’s intuitive visual workflow builder. At critical stages in the sales journey, leads can be engaged through branching logic. Customizable buyer personas allow for targeted messaging. Lists of strong leads are emailed daily to users, giving them multiple opportunities for easy conversion. Strong prospects are easily identified by factors like engagement and fit, as well as page tracking.

Identifying leads is quick and easy as twice as many site visitors can be identified by the tool. The tracking feature is behavior-based, allowing users to determine prospect motivation. Visibility into the leads pipeline is provided so users can track their leads. Distinct sales processes can also be handled as users are free to come up with their own filters, deal stages, and fields.

Funnels and landing pages can be created by SharpSpring, aiding in the quick conversion of leads. Conversations are driven up since web content can be modified to match visitor interests and attributes, thanks to the point and click functionalities that come with the user-friendly interface of the tool.

The system’s analytics makes it easy for businesses to make decisions that are backed up by data. Teams and clients can get easy-to-understand and information-rich reports through the tools metrics feature. Deliveries, opens, bounces, and clicks can be followed, allowing for the optimization of messaging. All of this allows users to know how successful their emails are.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Devices Supported

  • Web-based
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Desktop

Customer types

  • Small business
  • Medium business
  • Enterprise

Customer Support Types

  • Phone
  • Online

SHARPSPRING INTEGRATIONS

The following SharpSpring integrations are currently offered by the vendor:

  • Twitter
  • Gmail
  • Google Adwords
  • Salesforce
  • Magneto
  • Formstack
  • Zapier
  • Wufoo
  • LinkedIn
  • Shutterstock
  • Cisco WebEx
  • Zoho CRM
  • Litmus
  • PieSync
  • WebEx
  • GoToWebinar
  • Open API
  • Facebook

PRICING PLANS

The company’s pricing policy is simple and clearly stated on its website. Rather than paying the fee displayed per user, you get unlimited users on every plan and SharpSpring quickly becomes a cost-effective choice for large teams. SharpSpring pricing is available in the following plans:

 

CUSTOMER REVIEW

Here is a customer review:

Rogier v
Strategy Director
Small-Business(11-50 employees)

“The best offer for automating sales and marketing”

What do you like best?

If you have an existing website (and who doesn’t), SharpSpring provides the best value for money and is one of the easiest (if not THE easiest) platform to add to your marketing tech stack. It’s easy to use, combines marketing AND sales automation, works great with other marketing and sales tools (CRM, Typeform, etc.) and truly helps to align and integrating sales and marketing into one customer focussed process.

What’s interesting to see on that page is that SharpSpring seems to have the most loyalty; even though all the others are bigger, SharpSpring is the only one that didn’t drop any users in the period that was analyzed. For a company that only sells month-to-month subscriptions, that’s quite an achievement.

With the merger of SMTP, SharpSpring, and GraphicMail (which is in the process of becoming branded to SharpSpring also) it seems that the combined company is trying to become an entity that can serve nearly all the marketing needs for small businesses. With that clear kind of positioning, it seems SharpSpring will be a worthwhile and viable choice for many years to come.

 

SharpSpring offers a lot for SMEs with relatively large marketing and sales teams. If you find platforms priced per user are becoming too expensive, you should definitely see if SharpSpring provides the features you need for a more reasonable price.

We’re pretty confident most SMEs can make genuine progress with SharpSpring and agencies will be able to manage multiple clients. However, companies with more advanced automation needs might find its features don’t go far enough.

Omnisend for Marketing Automation Review 2020

Omnisend is an online marketing automation platform with integrated tools to create and share marketing campaigns on multiple channels through the convenience of a single dashboard. Best known for its easy to use templates, it saves marketers and businesses a lot of time in designing and creation of new campaigns. This marketing automation platform is extremely effective, with customized communications based on user behavior analysis, the inclusion of promo codes and personalized product recommendations, birthday discounts, and other features that drive up conversion rates. Since its pricing is based on the number of subscribers you have, you can control your expenditure per campaign, which makes Omnisend an ideal marketing software for marketing firms, as well as small and medium businesses.

Features

Omnisend features Omnisend’s USP is that its very effective email marketing tool that offers additional inbound marketing features like resending newsletters, re-engaging consumers via compelling call-to-action campaigns infused with CTR driving features like discount vouchers. You can create journeys for your users with personalized email messages triggered for different events, with automated workflows free of any manual intervention. In addition to performance metrics and user data, Omnisend also provides action items in its reports to improve your campaigns on the go. This constant feedback loop contributes greatly to higher conversion rates.

 

14-day free trial

Omnisend offers a 14-day free trial, with a limit of 2000 emails/day. Paid plans are charged by the number of subscribers you have and come in three price bands: Standard – For a subscriber base of 1000, it’ll cost you $20/month, and you’ll be able to send 15,000 emails in total. This plan is the best for businesses and marketers who are have limited budgets and/or small lists. A 22% discount is available if you pay for a full year up-front. Pro – Unlimited emails at $199/month up to 9000 customers. This plan is perfect for businesses that are in growth mode and looking to scale. Enterprise – Fixed price of $2000/month, independent of the number of subscribers. Includes additional privacy and security measures. Automation Workflows are included in all plans.

Omnisend customer support

Omnisend offers both email and live chat support. Users are encouraged to use the Help Center to resolve their issues before approaching customer service. Pro and Enterprise plans include dedicated account managers who are easily accessible and resolve issues promptly. Standard subscribers can also expect professional customer service, albeit at a slower pace. Pros High email marketing conversion rates and sales A library of customizable templates for emails and social media marketing The ability to incorporate discount codes, gifts vouchers, scratch cards, along with the ability to pick products directly from the site in marketing campaigns, to improve click-through-rates Easy integration with established as well as trending e-commerce platforms. Cons No custom themes are available for holiday marketing There’s been a steady increase in pricing plans over the years, with no change in the features being offered Every new social media campaign needs data to be input from scratch.

Rating breakdown

Overall: 4.8

Features: 5

Price: 4.5

Ease of Use: 5

Customer Service: 5

 

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A2 Hosting Reviews 2019

If you take no other impression away regarding a2 Hosting after seeing its homepage (pictured above), it will be that it’s fast. And while the performance of website hosts depends on several factors, a2 does provide a number of features (as you’ll see below) to ensure you’re happy with your website’s performance.

Image result for a2 hosting

But speed aside, a2 is also a very capable and versatile web hosting provider. Whether you’re just starting out and just want a WordPress site to blog on, or you’re a tried-and-true website admin, a2 has the options you need regardless of the type of site(s) you have.

We tested the web hosting platform, so keep reading to see how to fared.

Other Available Levels of Service: From Basic to Advanced

Shared Hosting from A2 is available at the following levels:

  • Lite: The entry-level Lite service is available for use with a single website, although it does include unlimited storage and bandwidth. You won’t be able to add any of a2’s speed-related features (more on these in a bit) to this service level either, and the service only allocates a single processor core and 512 MB of RAM to your account.
  • Swift: The next step up, Swift, adds unlimited websites and domains, although you still can’t add any of the proprietary performance options. It does up the resources however to two processor cores and 1 GB of RAM.
  • Turbo: Finally, the Turbo tier, the one we tested, provides two processor cores, doubles the RAM to 2GB, and makes all of a2’s proprietary performance features available. Some of these are included gratis, and others will come with an upcharge.

Platform: Linux and Windows

Most other web hosting companies offer services based on Linux. And a2’s default Shared Hosting services are on Linux as well, CloudLinux to be precise. This distribution is based on CentOS, which is in turn based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. So, the basis of a2’s environment is very solid. But CloudLinux has been tuned for use by hosts and resellers, meaning it has additional security and performance enhancements. At the same time, it remains compatible with a large number of applications already packaged up for Red Hat-based distributions.

In addition, a2 Hosting also offers Shared Hosting on Windows servers. This allows users (most likely companies) to host sites or applications built on Microsoft technologies like ASP, .NET, or even Silverlight. These accounts also have access to open-source software as well, so users can run applications such as WordPress using the MySQL database engine and PHP programming language, for example. Best of all, users can add both types of Shared Hosting to their accounts for less than $20 month ($7.99/month for Linux hosting at the Lite tier, plus $9.99 for Windows hosting at the same level).

In addition, a2 Hosting also offers Shared Hosting on Windows servers. This allows users (most likely companies) to host sites or applications built on Microsoft technologies like ASP, .NET, or even Silverlight.

Storage: All the Storage You Can Use

As we mentioned before, there is no limit on storage at a2 Hosting. Even the bottom-tier services can use as much disk space as required or go crazy installing lots of different sites or applications. This is particularly attractive given the large number of one-click app installers a2 makes available (more on this in a later section).

Bandwidth: No Need to Keep Tabs on Traffic

Likewise, a2 Hosting doesn’t meter traffic to your sites. So feel free to put up those high-res images or that HD video gallery. With unlimited storage and bandwidth, you don’t need to worry about overages for media-heavy sites or applications.

Registration Process: Quick and Easy

a2 Hosting

 

Getting registered on a2 Hosting is straight forward. The registration process steps you through a small number of screens, although unlike some competing providers there’s no navigation to let you know precisely where you are in the process. You’ll start by clicking on the Get Started! links for whatever level of service you’re currently reviewing.

a2 web hosting

The next step is for you to indicate the domain name you’d like. You can also elect to transfer your domain name or use an existing domain host at this stage.

Next, you’ll select some options to your new hosting account. These include your billing cycle, the data center you’d like to use (likely the one closest to you), as well as add-ons such as a dedicated IP address or performance enhancements. You can also have an application, such as a content management system, installed automatically for you.

a2 Hosting

Finally, you’ll reach the checkout page. Here you enter your contact and payment information. Set your account’s password (you’ll use your email as a username), and you’re off to the races.

Domain & Site Management: The Right Tools Are Here

a2 Hosting

When you first log into your a2 Hosting account, you’ll land on a dashboard. There are tiles with information, or enabling functionality, as follows:

  • The topmost contains a summary of the services you currently have as well as domains, any support tickets, and a link to invoices.
  • The next item down lists all your domains, and contains quick links to each one’s 1) cPanel admin screen, and 2) connection and payment details.
  • Blocks below these two main bars let you open support tickets, register a new domain, view the company’s Tweets and news, or make referrals for credit towards service.

The site’s menu also contains links to important services:

  • Services: You can use the entries here to view your current services, order new ones, or browse add-ons to the services you have.
  • Domains: The Domains menu includes tools to order new domains, renew your existing domains, transfer domains from other hosts to a2 Hosting, or perform a Whois lookup to see who owns a domain you might want.
  • Billing: In this menu, you can change your payment information (including credit card or PayPal), and view invoices. If you’ve requested services from a2 Hosting and received a quote, you’ll also have access to it here.
  • Support: The Support menu contains links to sources of information such as a2’s blog and knowledge base as well as links to request assistance, for example with host migrations.
  • Open Ticket: This item will take you to a screen where you can open a support ticket.
  • Account: Lastly, the Account menu lets you edit details such as your contact information, change your password, grant others (such as web developers) access to your account, or log out.

Advanced Options: cPanel in All Its Glory

a2 Hosting

Within each domain, your admin options are within cPanel, which you can reach by clicking the above-mentioned quick link. That said, you can still use all the power that the cPanel interface provides by going to the Advanced menu. The right side of the screen provides some statistical information on your account, such as your server’s address, how much storage you’ve used, and how many databases you have.

The sections in the center of the screen contain collections of tools as follows:

  • Files: This section contains a link to the web-based file manager, tools to track disk usage, and backup features.
  • Scriptaculous Apps Installers: You can install any of hundreds of available applications with a single click. There are multiple options in categories including Blogs, Wikis, Social Networking, e-commerce, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) in addition to the obvious content management systems.
  • Staging: A “staging” area is a web development term for a copy of your “live” website where you can test out new features. a2 Hosting provides the ability to copy your such an area with a click.
  • Billing & Support: Use the tools in this section to managing billing information, request or upgrade services, open a help ticket, and manage domains.
  • Databases: You can administer databases here using either the MySQL or PostgreSQL database servers, and access web-based management tools such as phpMyAdmin (for MySQL) and phpPgAdmin (for Postgres).
  • SEO & Marketing Tools: This section aids in optimizing the SEO and/or social media links for your site(s). You can also access a free site builder application from here or set up email marketing campaigns.
  • Domains: There are additional links to domain tools here, including registration. You can also set up subdomains or aliases/redirects (automatically sending visitors to one domain when they visit another).
  • E-mail: Create your e-mail addresses, set up mailing lists, adjust spam filters, and configure autoresponders using the tools in this section. There’s a module for calendars and contacts as well, and a tool to enable encryption for your mail.
  • Metrics: You can obtain stats on basics like visitors and bandwidth or use more advanced tools such as Awstats or Webalizer to visualize your site’s performance.
  • Security: a2 Hosting provides SSH shell access to verified users, which you can set up here. You can also manage your SSL certificates (you do get a free Let’s Encrypt cert when you register), or block access by specific IP addresses.
  • Software: While this may seem to overlap with the one-click installers mentioned above, this section is really about your software environments. This includes setting versions of programming languages like PHP or setting up frameworks like the popular Node.js.
  • Advanced: The Advanced section is a collection of miscellaneous tools. These include some configuration for the Apache web server, setting up Cron jobs, error pages (like the dreaded 404 Error page), and how to handle MIME types. a2’s own optimization tools are also located in this section.
  • Preferences: Finally, this section lets you change the language shown in cPanel, manage your users, set your password, or change your contact info.

Administration: Straightforward, No Matter Where You Find It

All the primary administration options are available in at least either 1) the main site menu, or 2) cPanel. The tools themselves straightforward, with easy-to-use-forms that let you change your payment method, for example.

One useful feature is the ability to create “Sub-Accounts.” If you’re a small web developer using a2 Hosting to service your own clients, you can set each one up with a Sub-Account that allows them to not only access their files but upgrade their own services or pay invoices.

Support: It’s All About Opening Tickets

a2 Hosting

One downside to a2 Hosting is that the main method of support appears to be support tickets. There isn’t any real-time options such as phone or even chat. If you have an issue, you’ll need to submit a ticket and wait until a helpdesk staff member gets back to you.

Key Features: Performance Enhancements

a2 Hosting

a2’s Hosting’s “claim to fame,” though, is the enhancements it does to ensure your site is working as fast as it possibly can. The main method they use to do this is the Turbo account add-on. This assigns more server resources to you as a user, and also limits the number of other users that will be on your server. These together minimize the chance of a bottleneck that will slow your site to a crawl.

On top of this, Turbo accounts also use a replacement to the generally-available Apache web server that is tuned for performance. Finally, there are a number of options you can activate such as caching you can turn on for top speed.

a2’s Hosting’s “claim to fame,” though, is the enhancements it does to ensure your site is working as fast as it possibly can.

Price: Great Performance, But A Little Expensive

Compared to some other hosting providers, the $18.99/month for a2 Hosting’s Shared Turbo service is a little high. If you can live without all the performance enhancements (and unless you’re serving a lot of media or running e-Commerce, you probably can), one of the lower tiers will probably serve you just fine. But if you want the very best-performing site you can get on a budget, the Turbo service gives you dollar-for-dollar the best deal without upgrading to a private hosting service of some kind.

Competition: a2 Hosting vs. GoDaddy

The most direct competitor for a2 Hosting as a “generalist” hosting provider is GoDaddy. Both offer tools catering to users ranging from newbies to tech gurus. Both provide both Linux and Windows options, and both position themselves as a host for any type of site.

The main difference between them is at the high end of their Shared Hosting plans. a2 Hosting’s plan provides the performance enhancements mentioned throughout this review, where GoDaddy provides the same raw processing power, yet none of these special enhancements. At the same time, a2’s service is significantly cheaper than GoDaddy’s ($19.99/month vs. $29.99/month). GoDaddy does throw in a free domain for a year, but once that’s over (if not before), a2 clearly provides the better value.

Final Verdict

Worth it for power users, but newbies may be overpaying.

a2 Hosting provides a solid service that can handle any type of site, from basic to complex, with little difficulty. And the company makes all the right tools available for those who know how to use them. If you’re just getting started with building websites, you might be able to use another service that costs less and still has great value. But if you’re a veteran, want the full suite of tools and features, as well as a speedy website, a2 can make that happen easily.

Specs

  • Product NameShared Hosting Turbo
  • Product BrandA2 Hosting
  • Price$18.99
  • Available Levels of ServiceLite, Swift
  • StorageUnlimited
  • BandwidthUnlimited
  • PlatformLinux (CloudLinux), Windows
  • Registration ProcessMulti-step “shopping cart”-style registration
  • Domain & Site ManagementDashboard plus simplified tools in main menu
  • Advanced OptionscPanel provides a wealth of configuration options
  • AdministrationMain menu contains basic tools for contact and payment info management
  • SupportOpening a ticket is the only available support method
  • File AccessFTP, SFTP
  • Shell AccessSSH
  • Version ControlGit, Subversion
  • Payment optionsCredit Card, PayPal
  • Price$18.99/month

 

WPX Hosting Review: Features, Performance & Pricing

In this WPX Hosting Review, I am going to share some valuable information about WPX Hosting and the reason I chose WPX Hosting is that it is one of the increasingly popular companies over the past couple of years. I spent several hours testing the various aspects of the WPX Hosting and reached some interesting conclusion as well.

Image result for wpx hosting

 

Although there’s no denying the fact that there are a lot of amazing companies available in the market, finding a reliable hosting is still a difficult job. This is why I thought of coming up with this post to make things a little simple for you.

Through our individual testing, I’ve ranked WPX as the Cheapest Managed WP Hosting to get started in 2019.

WPX Hosting Review – What’s Interesting?

WPX Hosting has started some years ago with a view to making things way too simple and stable for the users. The Company has carefully analyzed many of the obstacles that were coming in the way of the website users for years such as lack of knowledgeable support, slow server performance, lack of flexibility and features, and more.

Also, it paid the right attention in making every aspect work at its best for the users with the help of the industry’s best technologies.

As a matter of fact, the company has a tremendous growth over the years with its plans extensively user all over the globe. One of the reasons for it being such a well organized with the perfect balance of everything is certainly the years of experience of its CEO, Terry Kyle and of course, his innovative approach toward making things unimaginably easy and effective for the users.

Starting a website or a blog has got increasingly popular among the people these days. Unlike websites in the past wherein they used to be only a mere source of information, the concept has drastically changed over the years.

Websites and blogs are more of income generating platforms nowadays. They are the essential source of earning for many entrepreneurs. Another striking trend is the fact that almost every business nowadays has a website. Also, a lot of entrepreneurs are actually running online stores these days and earning brilliant profits. If you want to be one like them, you certainly can.

WPX Hosting Features

  • Speed is always a crucial factor for a successful as this makes a site more SEO friendly. When I tested my site hosted on WPX Hosting, I found it to be entirely true and offers one of the fastest Web Hosting in 2019.

  • WPX Hosting offers free site migration wherein you can migrate your existing site easily to WPX Hosting. Besides, you also have the full support of the WPX Hosting team.

  • Needless to say, WPX Hosting offers an unimaginably fast Support with the most knowledgeable staffs to attend to your queries and issues. I had an amazing experience contacting the WPX Hosting a couple of times.

  • SSL Certificate holds a lot of importance nowadays for sure and WPX Hosting offers you free SSL Certificate with every plan to show the trustworthiness of your site. Users tend to rely less on the non-SSL website when it comes to making online transactions.

  • The WPX Hosting Review & free Malware Removal service can be used in addition to the security plugins and can be pretty effective in ensuring High security and safety of your website against harmful Malware.

  • WPX Hosting further offers a highly Secure with free DDoS Protection and this can certainly help you take off a lot of burden of worries off your shoulders.

  • A poor unstable uptime can largely bring down your sales and drive away a lot of local traffic. However, this isn’t true for WPX Hosting and as I personally tested the uptime of one of my demo sites hosted on WPX Hosting, I found the uptime to be pretty stable. I found it to be 99.9% just as guaranteed.

  • Also, WPX Hosting offers 30 Day Money Back Guarantee wherein you can cancel your account and get your money refunded back within 30 days from the date of its purchase just in case you aren’t happy with it for any reason.

 

WPX Hosting Review & Pricing

Pricing is another very important factor and what we really need to check is if the service offered by certain Company is really worth buying at their given price. WPX Hosting is available in three different plans; the Business plan for $20.83/mo, the Professional plan for $41.58/mo and the Elite plan for $83.25/mo. However, to avail these prices, one must opt for annual billing.

Even though a lot of you might find it a bit expensive but considering the advanced features it offers, buying it is certainly worth it. Also, it offers a lot of useful features. Hence, one should not have any problem with the pricing as it is providing users with the right value in return for their money.

Conclusion

WPX Hosting is certainly a reliable Company and I can say it confidently as I tested the different aspects and found them to be really up to the mark. I have spent several hours testing the uptime, speed, security and of course, support. In this WPX Hosting review, the pricing might be a bit expensive, it is loaded with advanced features and it’s going to be even better in time to come.

Most importantly, it is highly reliable in terms of uptime, speed, and security. Also, I was pretty fascinated by its Customer Support and as per my experience, the Support team is pretty friendly and also, very knowledgeable.

I hope that this post will make things a lot simple for many of you. However, I will still suggest that you read each and every feature carefully. Also, you can try it for a risk-free period of 30 days and in case you don’t like it, you can always money refunded with 30 days from the date of purchase.

Siteground Web Hosting Review – Is it Reliable?

Image result for Siteground

There are many variables to consider when you’re selecting a web hosting service. For example, there are features that appeal to a general customer base (such as pricing and storage), as well as features that are more business focused (such as e-commerce and server location). SiteGround addresses all of these issues, and does so well. It offers many hosting types, lots of performance-enhancing tools, and excellent customer service at a reasonable price. Although SiteGround skimps a bit when it comes to storage, virtual private server, and Windows servers, it’s a quality web hosting service for both individuals and small businesses.

Shared Web Hosting

If you’re interested in low-cost web hosting, shared hosting is the tier you want to investigate. With shared hosting, several websites bunk together on a single server, thus lowering the overall cost. That said, the multiple sites literally share the server’s computing power, which means your site’s performance could be negatively impacted if another bunk-mate has a huge traffic surge from a Reddit hit (and vice versa).

SiteGround doesn’t offer month-to-month shared hosting options, but it has a one-month trial available so you can try before you buy. After that expires, you sign up for one-, two-, or three-year contracts, and there are discounts available during the sign-up period. If you want more time to play with features, but don’t want to commit to a full year, HostGator$2.64 at HostGator – Shared month-to-month options are a better choice. SiteGround’s non-shared hosting tiers offer month-to-month plans. We prefer to see month-to-month options in the shared hosting realm, as this is where sites with the tightest budgets tend to gravitate.

SiteGround, like a few other web hosts, lets you choose which data center you want to host your website: United States (Chicago), Europe (Amsterdam, Milan), Asia-Pacific (Singapore), and United Kingdom (London). If you are concerned about data privacy or retention laws, you can choose a European data center. If many of your users are based in Asia, you can choose to use an Asia-Pacific data center. Or you can just default to a US server. I can’t imagine a lot of businesses will need this feature, but it’s a surprisingly advanced option for such a newbie-focused provider.

 

Siteground shared hosting plans

The StartUp plan (starting at $11.95 per month) includes one website, 10GB of storage, network traffic suitable for roughly 10,000 visitors a month, unlimited emails, and support for web performance and security service CloudFlare (more on this later).

The GrowBig plan (starting at $19.95 per month) is intended for slightly larger sites, with support for multiple websites, 20GB of storage, network traffic suitable for approximately 25,000 visits a month, unlimited emails, CloudFlare support, a one-year free Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate, and the ability to keep up to 30 backups.

The GoGeek plan (starting at an expensive $34.95 per month) plan is intended for still-larger sites, with support for multiple websites, 30GB of storage, network traffic “suitable” for approximately 100,000 visits a month, unlimited emails, CloudFlare support, a free SSL certificate for one year, the ability to keep up to 30 backups, and a Git repository. SiteGround also offers GoGeek customers accounts on better hardware with fewer accounts (meaning you are sharing better-performing hardware with fewer other sites), as well as a PCI assessment to make sure your site is compliant.

Note that SiteGround says it can handle more visitors than the stated limits, but only as one-time occurrences (such as when your blog lands a Reddit hit) per month. I give props to SiteGround for its limitation transparency; most web hosts, even the ones that boast “unlimited” visitors and/or data, have some traffic restrictions buried in their terms of service.

SiteGround has solid shared hosting plans, but they aren’t as robust as HostGators’ offerings. The Editors’ Choice for shared web services matches SiteGround’s specs, plus has the option for users to select a Windows-based server (SiteGround only offers Linux-based shared servers). Companies that are deeply invested in Microsoft’s web ecosystem will find HostGator’s Windows servers attractive.

SiteGround Web Hosting

Cloud Web Hosting

SiteGround no longer has VPS hosting, but now boasts cloud hosting. The new Linux-based platform, which draws resources from multiple servers, is designed to auto-scale with traffic surges, so that your site won’t go down due to a lack of power.

The four Cloud Hosting plans start at $80 per month for 4GB of RAM, 40GB of storage, and 5TB of monthly data transfers, and max out at $240 per month for 10GB of RAM, 120GB of storage, and 5TB of monthly data transfers. There’s lots of room for growth. You can also customize your Cloud Hosting plan should you need more power. They also include a free, one-year SSL certificate.

Still, DreamHost remains our co-Editors’ choice for cloud hosting service, along with the enterprise-friendly 1&1 Ionos. DreamHost’s Linux-or-Windows-based packages start at $4.50 per month (for 512MB of RAM, 100GB of storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers) and top out at $48 per month (for four CPU cores, 8GB of RAM, 100GB of storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers). Ionos, on the other hand, has prorated plans, custom hosting packages, and big specs for big businesses.

Note: If you’re in the hunt for traditional VPS hosting, check out Hostwinds$3.50 at Hostwinds – Shared, the category’s Editors’ Choice, which offers a fine virtual private server package.

Dedicated Web Hosting

As for SiteGround’s dedicated servers, you have a choice of a variety of CPU, RAM, RAID, and storage configurations. The plans range from $269 per month for an Entry Server to $729 per month for a high-end Super Power Server. You can configure a server with up to two 960GB solid-state drives, 64GB of RAM, and 10TB of monthly data transfers (most of the other web hosts I’ve reviewed offer up to 15TB of monthly data transfers). Siteground tosses in a free, one-year SSL certificate, too.

Siteground only offers Linux-based dedicated servers, which is disappointing. If you want a Windows option, I suggest taking a look at AccuWeb$3.36 at AccuWeb – Shared, PCMag’s Editors’ Choice for dedicated web hosting. It not only has a choice of Linux and Windows operating systems, but also tops out at 32GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers.

WordPress Web Hosting

Like several of its competitors, SiteGround offers WordPress hosting. In fact, SiteGround oversees your installation with optimized managed WordPress hosting, a service that grants your website enhanced security, automated daily backups, page caching, staging, and automatic content management system updates. It also offers one-click installation and a free account transfer. SiteGround no longer offers a free domain name, but it offers substantial discounts for registration. The plans are similar to the company’s shared hosting plans in regards to price. Your options are to sign up for one-, two-, or three-year contracts.

SiteGround’s base WordPress tier, StartUp ($9.95 per month), offers a skimpy 10GB of storage, a mere 10,000 monthly visitors, and the ability to host just one WordPress site. GrowBig ($14.95 per month) ups the storage to 20GB and monthly visitors to 25,000, while letting you host unlimited WordPress sites. The top-level plan, GoGeek ($29.95 per month), builds upon GrowBig with its 30GB of storage and 100,000 monthly visitors. All plans come with unlimited email and monthly data transfers. SiteGround also offers numerous free WordPress themes.

On the other hand, A2 $3.92 at A2 Hosting – Shared, the Linux-based PCMag Editors’ Choice for WordPress hosting, has no such visitor caps. Each of its plans, starting with the $7.99 per month Lite plan, includes unlimited storage and monthly data transfers. The top-tier Managed plan ($75.48 per month) adds site staging so you can experiment with site changes before they go live, unlimited websites, and unlimited databases.

That said, once you’re logged into SiteGround’s WordPress setup, you can create posts, pages, and galleries as you would with any other self-hosted WordPress site. If you want to set up a non-managed WordPress site, you can do that, too. I clicked on the WordPress icon in the advanced control panel to go to the WordPress page in Softaculous, SiteGround’s third-party application library. It launched a wizard that walked me through the installation. SiteGround also let me enable the Clef plug-in, which gives users the ability to log in to WordPress with their phones instead of a username and password. I am surprised and pleased to see these advanced features here.

siteground

Reseller Web Hosting

If you’re looking to get into the web hosting business, but you don’t want to deal with infrastructure matters, check out SiteGround’s reseller hosting packages. The plans, starting at $42 per year, offer sales and commission reports and credit card processing. The servers boast 10GB of storage, unmetered monthly data transfers, unlimited MySQL databases, and free backups and email. SiteGround lets you apply your own branding to the servers you rent, and it also supplies 24/7 tech support.

Hostwinds goes the extra mile with more generous specs in a variety of server categories. As a result, Hostwinds is the Editors’ Choice for reseller hosting.

Setting Up a Website

SiteGround leverages Weebly as its website builder of choice. It’s a good move, as Weebly let me make attractive web pages without sacrificing much of my time. Weebly made it simple to add text, images, and video to my test pages. For more information on this simple site builder, please read our Weebly review.

E-Commerce and SSL

Instead of using Weebly, I could have also set up my site from the get-go with e-commerce software, such as PrestaShop, CS-Cart, or Magento. The control panel has the icons for these platforms under AutoInstallers, making them easy to find. You can also go to Softaculous and pick one of the 30 available options, including Zen Cart, ShoWare, OpenCart, and Axis, to name a few.

I used Magento to create an attractive store using its drag-and-drop store builder. If you only need a shopping cart, that’s no problem, or if you want to focus only on invoicing and billing, there is an app for that, too.

If you plan to sell products online, you’ll want a secure socket-layer (SSL) certificate. The web host includes them for free in all plans above the shared StartUp tier. Siteground also offers Wildcard, a premium SSL certificate that secures your top-level domain, as well as an unlimited number of subdomains. Wildcard is bundled as a free, one-year bonus feature when you sign up for the GrowBig or GoGeek packages. Otherwise, it’s $60 per year.

Security Features

SiteGround offers several security options, including the SG Site Scanner to let you know if your site is under attack, antispam tools SpamAssassin and SpamExperts, hotlink protection, and IP address blocklists. It scans all the links on your homepage to make sure that they’re clean.

SiteGround also offers an interesting feature called Leech Protect, which lets administrators prevent users from giving out or publicly posting their passwords to portions of the site. I also like the fact SiteGround integrates with the CloudFlare content delivery network (CDN) service for better performance and security. While any site owner can easily sign up with CloudFlare, the integration (available for free!) means more people who had no idea this was an option are now able to benefit.

Another helpful tool is SiteCheck. This automatic software scanning tool checks your website to see if there is any malware in the code or on the site. Running it periodically is a good idea, since the last thing you want to see in your email inbox are messages from irate users saying that visiting your website infected their computers.

SiteGround also has free daily backups to safeguard your data.

SiteGround Web Hosting

Solid Uptime

Website uptime is one of the most important aspects of a hosting service. If your site is down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services.

For this testing, I use a website monitoring tool to track my test sites’ uptime over a two-week period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings my website and sends me an alert if it is unable to contact the site for at least one minute. The data revealed that SiteGround is stable; our test site went down once for a few minutes during the two-week observation period. Though we obviously prefer sites to not go down at all during our tests, SiteGround’s downtime wasn’t too atrocious.

Customer Service

SiteGround says its main focus is on customer service, and it shows in the service’s many wizards, knowledgebase articles, and tutorials. Customer support is available through a ticket-based system, live chat, and 24/7 telephone support.

I tested SiteGround’s online chat and am amazed at how quickly someone came to my aid. I was connected to a chat representative in a few seconds. I asked about the differences between SiteGround’s cloud hosting and dedicated hosting, and received a prompt and clear response.

I also called the phone number on a weekday morning to ask a representative about how to import my WordPress.com setup into SiteGround. The representative patiently and successfully walked me through the process.

SiteGround lets users cancel within 30 days of when their credit card was charged.

For Beginners, Businesses, and Beginner Businesses

SiteGround is clearly positioning itself as a hosting provider for newbies, and especially small business newbies. SiteGround’s services—from its limited features to support resources—are designed for the mom-and-pop stores, sole proprietors, and independent businesses that don’t have a lot of design time or advanced web skills. Furthermore, if you aren’t expecting a flood of users to your site each day, you don’t really care about unlimited storage or unlimited monthly data transfers, so SiteGround’s limitations in those regards might not bother you.

Additionally, SiteGround’s surprising number of security features also indicates that it has small businesses in mind. Small businesses are highly vulnerable to website attacks, and chances are they are not going to invest in a site scanner to look for malware or a cloud provider to protect them from a denial-of-service attack. The fact that SiteGround does it for them makes it a solid friend for small businesses just starting out. Still, if you need greater storage and bandwidth allotments, consider moving to Editors’ Choices Dreamhost, HostGator, Hostwinds, or Liquid Web for more advanced features and beefed-up storage.

For more on getting started online, read our tips on how to create a website. You might also want to check out our story on how to register a domain name for your website.

Aweber Review: Details, Pricing & Pros

AWeber is an easy-to-use email marketing and marketing automation platform that’s designed to help small businesses and entrepreneurs send targeted and effective emails. Its drag-and-drop editor allows users to create newsletters and automated campaigns based on hundreds of HTML templates. In addition, AWeber lets business marketers integrate their email marketing accounts with various business apps, which allows information sharing among different departments.

 

AWeber

One of its most popular capabilities is its Campaigns feature. It allows users to send auto-responders based on day and time, contact behavior and tags that have been assigned to database contacts. Through the tracking feature, users can keep tabs on where contacts are in the lifecycle of a campaign, as well as which emails and campaigns got the most activity or led to the most unsubscribes.

AWeber offers a simple pricing plan based on the number of contacts in a user’s account. All options offer the same features, including unlimited emails, segmenting, integrations, more than 6,000 stock photos, automation, analytics, image hosting, sign-up forms and more than 700 templates.

Features

AWeber’s key features include:

  • Marketing Automation – Users can automate the email marketing process by using “if this, then that” logic. For example, if a subscriber clicks a link, then AWeber can be set to automatically apply a tag to that subscriber. Tags can then be used to decide which emails are sent to whom, and when they’re sent.
  • Responsive Email Design – AWeber’s emails will automatically resize based on the device the subscriber is using to view the message, whether it’s a desktop, smartphone or tablet.
  • Data Segmentation – AWeber users can segment data based on the contents of any field in their database and user activity like emails opened, links clicked and web pages visited. This segmentation information can then be applied to further target and hone marketing strategy.
  • A/B Testing – AWeber allows users to compare variations in specific elements of their emails to see which performs better. For example, a user can A/B test two different headlines to see which one generates the higher open rate.
  • HTML Email Templates – AWeber offers more than 700 email newsletter templates that are mobile responsive.
  • Reporting and Analytics – Users can monitor key metrics of a marketing campaign’s performance, such as open rates, bounces, clickthroughs, list growth over time, sign up methods and a subscriber’s activity history. These insights can help marketers continuously improve their strategy by implementing tactics that work and changing tactics that don’t.

Target Market

AWeber serves all types of companies with its autoresponder software. We’ve listed ten of its customers:

  • Prosperity with Purpose LLC
  • CrazyEgg
  • Pillar Social Media, LLC
  • The Prairie Homestead
  • DIYNatural
  • Cole Mize Studios
  • Flipped Lifestyle
  • Vault Brewing Company
  • Click It Up a Notch
  • Running Shoes Guru

Image result for Aweber

Implementation/Integration

As a cloud-based service, AWeber is simple to set up and use. The platform offers a helpful Launchpad with robust documentation for new users to get started using the platform.

AWeber integrates with hundreds of websites and services, including:

  • CRM platforms like Agile CRM, Contactually, HubSpot CRM and Pipedrive
  • E-commerce solutions like WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce and Selz
  • Social media platforms and programs like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms
  • Landing page software like PageWiz, Instapage and Unbounce
  • Video and webinar services like Wistia, SproutVideo, GoToMeeting and Zoom

Customer Service & Support

AWeber has award-winning customer service: the company was awarded the 2017 Bronze Stevie Award for Sales and Customer Service, the 2016 Stevie Award for Sales and Customer Service and the 2015 National Customer Service Association (NCSA) Service Team of the Year Runner-up.

Customer service is available during business hours via phone, live chat and email. On weekends, only live chat and email support is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.

AWeber also offers a comprehensive Knowledge Base, free live webinars, video tutorials and an operational status page showing uptime, scheduled maintenance and any related reported issues. New email marketing users can download a toolkit that contains strategy templates and worksheets for running optimal campaigns.

Pricing

AWeber’s pricing plan based on the number of contacts in a user’s account. Pricing is as follows:

  • 0 – 500 contacts: $19/month
  • 501 – 2,500 contacts: $29/month
  • 2,501 – 5,000 contacts: $49/month
  • 5,001 – 10,000 contacts: $69/month
  • 10,001 – 25,000 contacts: $149/month
  • More than 25,000 contacts: Contact AWeber for a quote

Try AWeber

AWeber Pros

First, let’s look at some of the advantages of using AWeber. There are quite a number of them, which is hardly surprising. After all, AWeber is one of the most popular email marketing software, especially among bloggers and Internet marketers.

Simple to create and deliver
In general, email marketing tools are great because they provide an alternate and simplified marketing process. They kind of revolutionized the marketing industry by providing a faster yet more affordable way of communicating with customers (existing and potential).

I mean compare traditional marketing like TV and print ads to email marketing and you will realize that email marketing offers a faster and more flexible marketing tool. The only thing is that you (and your team) would need to run the campaign yourself. Hence having an easy-to-use tool is crucial. AWeber understands this and has developed a control panel that makes navigation simple.

Customizability
This is very true in AWeber’s case, where they have over 150 customizable professional templates, where you get to decide if you prefer a single or multiple-column design or whether blue color scheme is more appropriate than red.

If you prefer to create an email template of your own, by all means, go ahead. AWeber even provides you a drag and drop interface to help you do so!

Easy to manage
Features like subscribers management & tracking and segmentation are some of the benefits that you can expect from AWeber.

You would want to view the analysis results of your email campaign in order to plan your subsequent steps as well as enhance your future campaigns. Information like which links were clicked and how much revenue was generated are pretty important in influencing business decisions.

AWeber provides these analyses through easy to understand charts. You will be able to see what worked and what didn’t, visually!

Maximum delivery results
One of the biggest concerns of email marketers is un-deliverability. In layman terms, your emails failed to deliver! You want as many of the emails to be delivered to your recipients rather than sitting in their spam folders, right?

This is where AWeber comes in handy. Compared to many other email marketing tools (especially free ones), AWeber’s deliverability is pretty amazing. While it generally depends on a few things like the nature of your products and how you word your email subject and content, some entrepreneurs reported up to 98% success rate, which is fantastic.

You see, AWeber proactively analyze the email campaigns for potential spam issues and thus, you are able to edit them BEFORE it becomes spam. Aweber’s servers also have very high credibility and thus helps in getting your emails through spam filters easily.

Support
Being in the business for over thirteen years, AWeber has fine-tuned its customer support. Besides providing 365 day live support, there are also other ways you can learn more about AWeber’s email marketing tool. You can find answers through AWeber’s knowledge base, online seminars and video tutorials.

pCloud Review – Best Cloud Storage Providers

Cloud storage finally turned out to be as normal and local storage for most of the netizens with the availability of faster internet all over the globe. When it comes to the Cloud-storage, most of the smartphone users start to think with Google Drive and Apple’s iCloud since they are more familiarized among them. Thinking out of the box, you would find a lot other easier, secure cloud storage services which serve you better than any of these. The pCloud is such a Cloud Storage service that can act as your own personal digital library, which can be accessed from any corner of the world.

In this article, we will take you through the complete review of the pCloud – A complete cloud platform for everyone.

pCloud: Platforms

Unlike most other Cloud-serving platforms, the pCloud does not stand apart as a web-only service. The pCloud is designed to run on almost every digital devices, from smartphone to PCs, across all popular Operating System. The pCloud Client application is officially available across both the Computers and Smartphones and can handle the data natively.

Even though you are on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, or Linux, the client software is available to run at your convenience. This, especially, makes the pCloud unique among the other Cloud-service platforms. You can just choose the client-software for your supported Operating System from the pCloud Download page and select the best plan match for your need. For extended user experience, pCloud is also available as the Browser plugin, supporting Google Chrome, Opera and Mozilla Firefox web browsers.

 

pcloud

 

pCloud Features

As mentioned above, pCloud is simply not a cloud storage platform for just storing and accessing files just as you do on Google Drive or iCloud. It completely focuses on enterprise, as well as the work-level file storage and sharing facilities. However, if you are someone who prioritizes the data security and accessibility even when it comes to the personal data, pCloud would serve you the best. The platform offers various unique features including extra-layer encryption, file hosting, family sharing, quick synchronization and more. Here are the best of them in detail.

pCloud Drive

The pCloud platform is a cross-platform application, which includes a desktop client app that could help you sync your files with the Cloud Storage to access them later from the File Explorer itself. The pCloud Drive client application for Windows enables the pCloud Drive can automatically take the backups of your files and acts like the native storage space within your computer. It works as an additional drive within your Computer, which consistently syncs with the Cloud. Even while all the work files stay in the cloud space, you can access them like within your PC. You can access and handle files from the File Explorer itself, and can copy/paste/cut/delete/create files from the drive.

window of pCloud Drive on Windows 10

The pCloud Drive can extend up to 2TB, which would act as your secondary hard drive. The files will be synced both ways, and you can have all your cloud files offline within your system.

pCloud Crypto

The pCloud ensure a default layer of security to the users by encrypting the uploaded files and make them secure. As an additional step to protect your confidential files and datapCloud offers an extra layer of encryption through pCloud Crypto. It is claimed to be one of the most secured cloud-storage based encryption systems. As a first step, the pCloud Crypto enabled client app needs to be installed in the client system for highly-secured encryption at the client-side itself. When a file is being uploaded through the pCloud Crypto, the file gets encrypted through multiple layers within the Client system itself. This unique encryption method is merely impossible to crack, even for the pCloud Developers. Plus, you can set an access key for each file before uploading.

pCloud Crypto Subscription

Only the encrypted data of the file will get saved to the pCloud drive and the encrypted key, meta, and other details will still be on the client-side. Therefore, you would need the same client system to decrypt the files after downloading from your private pCloud space. The Private Keys are encrypted using 4096-bit RSA and files with 256-bit AES.

Public Folder

The pCloud offers a public directory for all the users, where you can store files that can be accessed from anywhere without restrictions. This is more like a hosting space, where you can even store and run webpages without any additional setups. You can store images for your website and link them directly from the Public Folder on pCloud. Whether you are storing images to embed in your site or linking files to download, the Public Folder is a great choice. You do not have to worry about file organization, and it can be handled easily as you do on your PC. The Public Folder feature starts at $3.99 per month and, you can have a 7-days free trial if needed.

Public Folder in pCloud

Rewind

There is a unique option – Rewind in the pCloud, which lets you see the older versions of all the files in an instant. Using the Rewind you can turn the clock back up to 15 days. You can see your pCloud how it was 15 days ago in a single click. Using this, it would be possible to find the older versions of the filesremoved data, new files, etc., without having to worry much. You can pick a date and time from the calendar on the pCloud to get the entire Rewind of your drive. With the extended, paid version of Rewind, you can get up to 1-year old Drive history quickly.

Rewind Feature in pCloud

Third-Party Drive Backups

pCloud supports backups from the third-party Cloud services, which you might be using on a daily basis. It allows you to take backups of your files or media from various platforms to the pCloud Drive so that you can access them all at once. Currently, pCloud supports backups from Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Facebook, and Instagram. You will need to authorize the corresponding account with pCloud to use the Backup option.

Third party drive backups on pCloud

Branded Download Links

Direct Download links from your pCloud storage can be personalized with your own custom branding elements. The pCloud introduced a new feature named “Branding” for the Download Links section, which you can use to create custom branded webpages on your download links. The Branding is shown as a new webpage and, users can download the file from the page itself. The Branding page can contain other downloadable files from your drives, images and more. Once the personalized branding for a shared file is on, the direct share link will redirect to the Branded webpage along with the download link on the same page.

In-built Music Player

An in-built media streamer or player is a key feature that most of the cloud services lack. However, pCloud provides support for all the images and videos, along with an in-built music player to stream the songs you have stored in. The “Audio” tab opens up the embedded Music Player within the pCloud and you can use it like any other Music Streaming platforms. All your audio files will be listed and you can sort them according to your convenience. It even lists your songs by title, artist name, album name, etc. Additionally, you can even create playlists within the Cloud service and play your favorite songs.

In built Music Player pCloud

Auto Backup

Similar to Google Drive and Google Photos on Android smartphones, you can set up an auto-backup for your images and videos stored in your devices. The feature is completely free to use and work across multiple devices. The pCloud enables you to schedule the automatic backing up of your images or files to the drive. After storing enough images to the drive, it can also remind you to free up the smartphone storage by removing the synced files from the local storage. When you need to access the images, stream them directly from the pCloud app on your smartphone.

Enhanced Security

The pCloud offers various aspects of security to their users, both through the encryption and server management. The self-managed servers of pCloud ensure the data stored does not go vulnerable. The company claims that all the data centers were chosen only after strict levels of security measurements and requirements. Additionally, the file encryption from client-side makes sure the data is not readable to anyone other than the user. The highly secured encryption mechanism has not yet been cracked by anyone so far, says the developers. Also, the company keeps a Zero-knowledge privacy policy. This ensures that even the company or authorities do not have control or knowledge about the passwords, encrypted data or other confidential details regarding a pCloud account. So, your data will be safe even from the Cloud providers.

How to Get Started with pCloud

Before starting with the pCloud platform, understand which kind of customer you are. If you are planning to use the pCloud for your personal usage, free storage space would be enough to fulfill your requirements. You get a 10GB of free storage when you create a new account with pCloud. It does not require you to add any payment details, contact address in order to start using the service. Therefore, we could say the pCloud is a free cloud storage platform, despite its paid features. However, pCloud suits well with small project teams within organizations, entrepreneurs, project managers, freelancers, etc., which could boost their productivity with its secured file sharing features. Anyone can use it to share common files among all team members and track the work progress by storing the work file within the cloud itself.

You can choose from the available plans, Premium and Premium Plus. Both the plans provide a one-time purchase lifetime license so that no monthly bill dues. If you are on the free version, you can upgrade your storage up to 10GB for free by doing various tasks (like email verification, downloading pCloud App, etc.). Also, the download link bandwidth will be limited for the free account.

Many of the unique features are provided free along with the pCloud account, but some need to be purchased separately. You can go to your pCloud Storage and choose each option to find out the available plans. The Crypto Folder option is available to unlock at $3.99 per month. Also, the premium accounts can have an unlimited number of custom branding for download links. Almost every other features are available along with the Premium or Premium Plus accounts.

After settings up the account, you can download the client app to work well with your workstation or personal computer using pCloud. You can natively handle cloud storage space using the pCloud Drive on the PC. It is available to install and use across WindowsMac, Linux, Android, and iOS platforms. So, you would be able to use the service whichever device you are on.

Auto-upload Screenshots

Do you have the tendency to take screenshots frequently, which takes storage space quickly? pCloud offers a solution for the same with the auto uploading of Screenshots from your system. Whenever you capture a screenshot, it will upload the screenshot to the pCloud Drive automatically, and stored within the Screenshot folder. This can avoid unwanted storage consumption due to overflowing screenshots, and you can access them at any time from the cloud. Follow the steps to enable the Autosave screenshots on pCloud.

How to Auto Upload SCreenshots to pCloud

  1. Open pCloud Drive on your Windows PC.
  2. Go to the Settings tab.
  3. Under the General section, check the option “Upload Screenshots.
  4. Choose “Copy download link to clipboard every time” in order to get the public link to the uploaded screenshots.

Set Speed Limit

The pCloud offers an unlimited speed for both uploading and downloading files to the storage. It can utilize the maximum of your ISP Bandwidth for uplink as well the downlink. Apart from the default speed state, you can set the speed limit to download and upload files in pCloud. Here is how.

Set Speed Limit for Upload and Download pCloud

  1. Open pCloud Drive on your system.
  2. Go to “Settings” and then “Speed.”
  3. Choose your speed limit under “Upload Speed Limit” and “Download Speed Limit.”
  4. Turn on LAN Sync for P2P connection whenever possible to speed up the file transfer.

Auto-Sync Local Folders

The Auto-sync option can synchronize an entire folder with your pCloud drive at specific intervals. It will update the files frequently and uploads the new files from the same folder. Once a folder is synced with your system, you can access them later from any device even after you remove the original folder from the PC. Here is how to set up a new Sync folder on pCloud.

Choose Add New Sync from pCloud Drive on Windows

  1. Open pCloud Drive on the PC.
  2. Move to the Sync tab.
  3. Click “Add new Sync.”
    Choose folder and add sync
  4. Choose Local Folder and select a directory from your system.
  5. Click Add Sync.
  6. Go to the “Advanced Settings” tab to ignore file name with certain patterns.

Set up Auto-Backup on Android

If you are using the pCloud app on your Android smartphone, you can easily set up the auto-backup for the images from your device. It can save a lot more space on your device by syncing the images with cloud and removing them later from the local storage. Here is how to turn on Automatic Upload for backups on the pCloud app on Android.

Turn on Automatic Upload for Images in pCloud on Android

  1. Open the pCloud app on your smartphone.
  2. Sign in using your account.
  3. Swipe from the left and choose “Settings.”
  4. Scroll down and toggle on “Automatic Upload.”
  5. Tap the Option again for more settings.
  6. Choose your preferences for media upload and Mobile Data usage.
  7. Tap Free up device storage to delete the synced media from your device storage.

Invite Colleagues to Collaborate on Your Work Files

As a work-oriented cloud storage platform, the Cloud offers various file sharing options that let others contribute to your work. You can invite people to work with your files and make necessary real-time updates.

Click invite to Folder for Contribution

  1. From pCloud app, go to Shares tab.
  2. Click “Invite to Folder.”
    Choose the directory to be shared with collaborators
  3. Choose your work folder.
  4. Enter email and invite to collaborate.

App Integration

In favor of the developers, the pCloud has an open API and SDK to integrate with third-party apps. Using the provided APIs, developers can now access the stored data in pCloud Storage through their app. Creating a new app with pCloud is easy and free to use. Methods from every aspects and feature of the platform are available to integrate into your new apps.

Pricing and Plans

pCloud guarantees the best value-for-money service in contrast with any other cloud storage services. There are no nasty monthly subscription fees to use the pCloud. You can pay for the cloud storage single time and the account stays activated for a lifetime. If It is also possible if you want to opt with the monthly subscription method.

The starting cost of pCloud is at $3.99 per month for Premium and $7.99 per month for Premium Plus. However, the Lifetime version costs only $175 for Premium 500GB and $350 for Premium Plus 2TB. Both offers secure sharing and trash history for up to 30 days. You can invite your friends to collaborate with your work files in a single click. Find the Price details from pCloud Pricing Page. The family plan offers up to 2TB shared lifetime storage with premium features for up to 4 family members.

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Conclusion:

The pCloud is a simple, secure Cloud platform to manage your work on the go while keeping the data safe. This affordable Cloud storage platform can enhance your daily works, change the way you share files with your colleagues. Many work groups of popular companies across the globe use the pCloud to manage small group projects. We tried it out and found out to be the best alternative to any other professional cloud storage services.

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CRM for SMEs

Smart businesses of every size have always understood how important it is to build and maintain good relationships with their customers.

Good administrators and sales managers would accumulate information on their best accounts and file it away mainly in paper records or random spreadsheets but often only in their own personal memory. Gathering information that way was time-consuming, inefficient and actually of limited value. It could easily be overlooked or lost and deriving value from it was much more art than science, depending on the intuition of the person closest to the customer.

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Today, the rise of digital technology means factual information on customers is freely available, in unprecedented detail. Guesswork, however intelligent, is no longer the only way to try and develop a competitive edge.

Clearly the adoption of technology is essential for business survival. But is it only larger organizations that should follow this trend? The answer is no, definitely not. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of local economies across Asean, in some countries employing as much as 70 percent of the workforce, and they can benefit from digital technology just as much as their larger cousins.

Even the smallest enterprise has valuable information about its customers, suppliers, leads and many other vital bits of business knowledge, but these tend to be scattered and disorganization. What is needed is a Customer Relations Management (CRM) system.

With the power of a CRM system, SMEs can use their customer data to improve the customer experience, leading to higher satisfaction and loyalty over the long term.

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CRM is designed to help a business gain insight into its sales performance, so that it can adjust strategies based on trends. It will also help the sales team stay on task by setting up automatic workflow rules so interactions with potential customers don’t fall through the cracks. And it goes beyond managing business contacts by also managing relationships with vendors as well as internal sales and marketing teams.

SMEs in Singapore and the Asean region recognize the need to invest more in technology in order to succeed under increasingly challenging conditions. A 2018 study found that 3 in 5 (60 percent) of Asean’s SMEs would focus their investments on technology over other fixed assets to help drive business performance. Seventy-eight percent say they would invest specifically in software such as improving their websites and creating mobile apps. They believe such innovations would enable them to create better customer experience and to increase customer loyalty.

CRM is a must buy for SMEs

Here are five ways CRM will add value to an SME:

Understand customers better

Once an a business has imported its list of leads, contacts and customers into its CRM system, it can start to track the sales and account management team’s engagement with these key targets in a consistent, efficient way.

The deeper understanding of customers that results from this means that cross-selling and upselling opportunities become clear — delivering the opportunity to win new business from existing customers.

With better visibility, businesses will also be able to keep their customers happy with better service. Happy customers are likely to become repeat customers, and repeat customers spend more — up to 33 percent more according to some studies.

Improve retention, less costly conversion of new customers

A CRM system makes it easy for the sales team to follow up with outstanding proposals by scheduling automatic reminders and creating a set of email templates.

Today’s customers expect fast, personalized support, at any time of day or night. Email tracking makes follow-up more accurate and ensures opportunities are not overlooked.

A CRM system can help provide the consistently great service that customers are looking for. Agents can quickly see what products customers have ordered, and they can get a record of every interaction so they can give customers the answers they need, fast.

A CRM can improve the customer’s experience right across departments including sales, customer service, marketing and more. This high degree of personal attentiveness leads to repeat business from satisfied existing customers and generates confidence and commitment from new customers.

Productivity and responsiveness

The automation of workflow that a CRM offers provides a clear view of essential information and metrics, including the latest conversions. CRM facilitates better follow-ups through task orientation, mails and calls. It allows sales teams comprehensive insights into the customer lifecycle and provides swift response to any customer contact..

Customer management solutions can speed up and improve how SMEs locate, win and keep customers happy.

Integrate omni-channels

The purchase journey of today’s shoppers involves multiple options — they seek information, compare product offerings and finalize their purchases via various online channels likewebsite, email, chat, phone call and social media as well as physical stores. A CRM system can break down digital silos and permit better communication with customers and prospects. Sales reps can convert website live-chats to phone conversations, support agents are able to make or answer calls from within their ticket interface, and marketers can convert social media interactions into tickets to get problems solved faster.

Information can be captured through webforms embedded into website contact pages, pushed to the CRM and assigned to the appropriate sales person, which allows for quick follow up so sales are not lost.

With complete, accurate information about clients and prospects accumulated from multiple channels and held centrally, sales and marketing can focus their attention and energy on the right clients.

Mobility of data

Easy sharing of data across teams and the ability to collaborate is critical for successful customer relationship management.

The CRM system will let you schedule weekly, emailed reports, so each of the sales team members will know how close they are to achieving their monthly, quarterly and annual goals.

CRM is able to break down forecasts by salesperson, team and territory to gain insights about the team’s performance. Businesses can make better forecasts by accounting for completed sales, current targets, deals about to be closed and shortages in the sales pipeline as well as Identify the bottlenecks using real-time data and boost the team’s performance.

A CRM system pulls together all the available information on an SME’s customers, enabling the company to track the organizations and customers that they deal with, manage contacts, log information and market to them more effectively. CRM helps small and medium businesses build a relationship with customers that, in turn, creates loyalty and customer retention — key elements that affect a company’s revenue.

In fact, it may well be argued that CRM is not so much a technology as a strategy that results in both topline growth and increased profitability.

ActiveCampaign – Best CRM Solution for SMEs:

If you are looking for best CRM solution, get free 14 days trial Now.

https://www.activecampaign.com/?_r=5BBVL653

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What is CRM and why is it important to your business?

When your business looks at every transaction through the eyes of the customer, you can’t help but deliver a better customer experience, which in turn increases loyalty to your company.

True CRM software brings together all information from different departments throughout the company to give one, holistic view of each customer in real time.

This allows customer facing employees in areas such as sales, marketing and customer support to make quick and informed decisions on everything from up-selling and cross-selling, to improving the quality of customer communication and responsiveness to coordinating the management of sales and marketing campaigns.

CRM strategy

When implemented successfully, CRM gives companies not only insight into the opportunities to grow business with each customer, but a way of measuring their value.

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Why is CRM important to your business?

CRM is more important now than ever to businesses because it can help you to gain new customers and retain existing ones.

And it shows no signs of stopping, as a 2017 report by Gartner found that CRM software revenues have now overtaken database management systems to become the largest of all the software markets!

In today’s highly competitive environment and with so many products and services to choose from, customers are picky and customer loyalty seems to be a thing of the past.

The moment a new product is introduced into the market, it takes only a few months before that product or service suddenly becomes a commodity, which, in turn, means it’s easy to switch companies.

And despite what you might think, not all customers are created equal.

Some are a drain on customer service teams despite spending very little. Other customers do business frequently, often buy new products and services and may even be strong influencers in their market.

CRM helps to prioritize sales and marketing efforts to this group. It also gives companies a better way of understanding customer needs and wants in order to improve the way the product portfolio is offered to them.

The more you know about your customers, their buying preferences and behavior, the more likely your offer will be on target.

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How CRM works and how it builds trust with customers

How does CRM work?
Although some people think of CRM as just a technology, it is so much more than that.

No technology, no matter how sophisticated – can be successful without a strategy to guide its implementation and use. Business strategy and technology must work together in order to bring a customer-centric plan to life.

Let’s take a look at the role CRM plays in customer-centricity, customer data and automation.

1. Supports a customer-centric strategy

A CRM system supports a strategy which says that the customer is at the center of everything that you do. This customer-centric strategy must be based on clear goals and a vision of what a meaningful customer experience looks like.

What does it mean to customer centric?

A valuable customer experience is an integral part of CRM, according to Gartner’s report, “Improving the Customer Experience”.

Every time a customer comes in contact with an organization, through any of its channels, the customer has an opportunity to form an opinion – be it good, bad or indifferent. Through time, this collective set of customer experiences forms a picture in the customer’s mind, which forms the image of the brand its values.

Organizations that are serious about CRM design and maintain a quality customer experience because they recognize that a poor customer experience is a step toward customer churn, whereas a good experience encourages loyalty.

2. Centralizes all your customer data

CRM software combines all sales, marketing and customer service information into one central database.

With 92% of businesses collecting data on prospects and customers, having access to all data in database means fewer silos within your organization – thus helping you achieve customer centricity.

Customer centric challenges 2016

What kind of customer information is being collected?

Customer information includes, but is not limited to, phone numbers, addresses, and last contact made. The software also records what was discussed, what the next follow up date is and even the status of an open item – all of these play an important part in being GDPR compliant.

This information can then be used to manage, measure, and keep track of marketing, sales and customer service activities as they relate to the customer. Overall, it builds greater customer loyalty and a better customer experience.

Since a CRM system centralizes all customer-facing information, silos and finger pointing are significantly reduced. Sales can’t blame Marketing for not communicating with them. Marketing can’t blame Sales for not implementing their campaigns and Customer Service can’t blame Sales for disgruntled customers.

Everyone has the same access to the same customer information.

3. Automates customer-facing business processes

Companies have business-facing processes and customer facing processes.

Business-facing processes are those which make the business run more efficiently such as budgeting and planning whereas customer-facing processes include sales, marketing and customer service.

A CRM strategy focuses primarily on the customer-facing processes and makes them better in terms of meeting the needs of the customer.

The following chart explains a sample what is included in each process:

CRM impact on sales, marketing and customer service

The whole CRM process begins with a lead – the name of someone you think you can sell something to.

Usually, a person has filled out a web form and provided you with their contact information.

Once the lead is put into the system, the software will then take it through to the sales process. It’s the CRM system that will remind the sales person to call at an agreed upon time, for example. Each time you interact with the prospect, you will record it into the CRM system. The same applies if someone else ends up talking to the prospect.

In a nutshell, CRM keeps track of all lead-related actions and what’s been said and done.

At the same time, CRM is a library of documents, phone calls and emails. When an interaction with a prospect is initiated, you get an instant, automated trail of communication. Because the information is in one central place, anyone in the company can help this person out.

Whether you’re in sales, marketing or customer support, a CRM system can help to automate a particular business process, as well as to automate the way each process works together with the other. But, it goes without saying that each business process must be well defined and efficient in order for a company to achieve good results.

Customer-facing process automation
1. Lead management
There’s an entire process before a lead becomes a customer.

You need to identify a lead, then qualify it and only then convert the lead into a sale.

A lead can come from many channels – a website, cold calling, social selling, an event/seminar, or it can be purchased (providing the purchase list is inline with GDPR).

With this number of channels, it must be clear which person or department is ultimately responsible for logging the lead in, because this determines how the lead should be routed and how it will be followed up on. Without a clearly defined process (work flow), leads can end up lost or forgotten, which results in frustration, lost sales productivity and even a bad customer experience.

Lead management flow in CRM

2. Customer support
There should be clear rules for how customer service requests are managed.

These rules define whether a request goes to the first or second line of support, what resources will be used to solve a customer’s problem and how status updates will be shared to ensure that the issue is being addressed. Once the work flow and rules are defined, the CRM system can automate the whole flow.

At the same time, it keeps a record of all contacts’ history, so that customer service teams can view the information to get a better understanding of how to help the customer, which can then be used to improve customer satisfaction.

 

Conclusion
B2B buyers no longer need you to tell them what they need or want anymore.

They already know what they want since they’ve been searching on the internet, through forums, blogs, social media, and so on.

What they want is to be treated as individuals. They want to feel like their business matters to you and that you care.

In B2B sales, a CRM system can make all the difference in whether or not you gain a new customer or retain an existing one. Customers who feel valued are happy customers and happy customers mean repeat business – not to mention, improved bottom lines.

ActiveCampaign – Best CRM Solution:

If you are looking for best CRM solution, get free 14 days trial Now.

https://www.activecampaign.com/?_r=5BBVL653

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Benefits of Email Marketing

For small businesses, deciding where to spend your marketing dollars is serious business. You want to generate new leads while engaging your current customers, but you need to make sure that the digital marketing tactics you are using are cost-effective and drive results.

Although email marketing has been around for a while, it continues to drive significant results for small businesses across the country. Even with the rise in popularity of other marketing platforms like social media, email marketing is still one of the best tactics that brands can use to reach and engage their target audience. Below, we’ll cover the top 25 of the benefits of email marketing and explain how they can help your business improve lead generation, conversion, and revenue.

 

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Benefits of Email Marketing

The benefits of email marketing include:

  1. Permission-based – your marketing list will be made up of people who have actively chosen to receive emails from you. Customers who are genuinely interested in your products and/or services are more likely to engage with your business.
    Flexible design – you can send plain text, graphics or attach files – whichever suits your message best. A choice of design options gives you scope to convey your business branding.
  2. Scalable – email marketing can be used to reach large audiences or smaller targeted lists.
    Personalisation and segmentation – with email marketing you can personalise messages. You can also segment your marketing list, so that your customers receive messages from you that they are interested in – this will help boost their engagement with you.
  3. Shareable – it’s easy for people to forward and share your email content, building your reputation by word-of-mouth or viral marketing. This may help influence new customers to become followers of your brand.
  4. Conversions and increased sales – if you have a new promotion people can click on links and follow your call-to-action immediately. Email marketing is also effective at every stage of the buying process. For example, you can influence someone to choose your product, nurture the customer relationship post-transaction and also encourage future purchases.
  5. Measurable – you can evaluate the success of a campaign by using web analytics software. You can easily test different copy, subject lines and designs to see which is most effective. This allows you to optimise future campaigns.
  6. Benchmark – you can compare your results against others in your industry. There are many free email marketing benchmarking reports available – you will find these by searching online. Benchmarking data can help you to evaluate and prioritise improvement opportunities.
  7. Test before you send – A/B testing of subject lines, calls-to-action, personalisation, email copy, images or messages ensure your email content is as effective as it can be before you send it.
  8. Less intrusive – unlike telephone marketing, recipients can read your message at a time that suits them.
  9. Cost- effective – the costs of email marketing can be much lower than many other forms of marketing. There are no advertising fees, printing or media space costs.
  10. Environmentally-friendly – email marketing is better for the environment than direct marketing by postal mail because nothing is printed.
  11. Time-saving – through automation you can trigger emails to be sent to customers based on an action they have performed on your website – eg. send a welcome email when a user signs up to your website, or issue an email offering a discount incentive if user abandons an online shopping cart. Once you have developed a template you can reuse for numerous email campaigns.
  12. Real-time marketing – through email marketing you can connect with customers in real-time. Using automated triggers, such as website activity, recent purchase or shopping cart abandonment, you can reach the right audience, at the right time, in the right place and with the right offer.