Local Web Hosting vs International Web Hosting

Typically, I try to avoid controversial posts like this but I think it is important to answer those questions that had been lingering in your minds. In today's post, we will do a quick discussion on local web hosting vs international web hosting. Which is the better choice for you and your website business?


Uncovering the myths

Living in Malaysia is just like living in any parts in the world. There are local web hosting companies and at the same time, international (big names) web hosting companies that paste their ads everywhere on the Internet.

A quick guideline in comparing local web hosting companies to international ones are:

  • Loading speed
  • Server location
  • Level of support

Advantages using local web hosting companies

Web Hosting Malaysia

Web Hosting Malaysia

It varies from people to people, project to project but for me, I would go for local web hosting companies if I am on a tight budget and doesn't have much requirements.

For example, Malaysia is blessed with a large number of web hosting company such as Exabytes. It offers very affordable web hosting solutions — minus all the addons and crazy (time consuming) setup process.

More importantly, local web hosting companies charge you based on your local currency, not USD or Euros (which can save quite a bit in the exchange rate).

Local web hosting companies often tailor their web hosting services to the local community. This offers better bet if you are hosting your site for the locals and not to the International community.

Reginald Chan // Serial Entrepreneur


Advantages of using International web hosting companies

International Web Hosting

International Web Hosting

International web hosting companies are not bad to be honest. Sure, you are most likely to pay slightly more but they have bigger names and brand reputation to take care of. However, my experience with international web hosting companies been great all this while — especially with managed WordPress hosting such as Kinsta and WP Engine.

Apart from that, international web hosting solutions are best when you have website visitors from around the world (and not just from your country) as they have various datacenters that you can choose from.

Reginald Chan

Personally, I prefer going for International web hosting companies because they are extremely competitive and in most cases, offer better features (not pricing). These web hosting features would easily add perks especially to your offering if you are running a B2B or B2C service.


Choosing between local web hosting and international web hosting

I hope you find this article intriguting and useful. If you are looking for a reliable web hosting solution in Malaysia, Exabytes is an excellent choice to go. If you are looking for international web hosting, I can't help but to recommend WP Engine.

GridPane Lifetime Deal: The Deal Breaker In WordPress Hosting Control Panel

I wrote about Gridpane early this year (here's the article on Gridpane) and I even did a Gridpane comparison on another blog. For the record, I'm a hardcore Gridpane fan which I can be rather proud of to be honest. Last month, I received an email from the Gridpane team on the final Gridpane lifetime deal (Gridpane LTD) and there were only 7 slots left. Now, I was "WOW" and before I knew it, I took our my credit card to pay for the lifetime deal.

Here's the thing.

There were only 7 slots left and it is based on first come first served basis. Trust me, that was the longest 72 hours of my life as I did not hear any response from the Gridpane team on the LTD except for "we had received your message and we will send an invoice to you soon."

Reginald Chan

Gridpane is the world's first WordPress control panel. No, it is not a managed WordPress hosting solution per se. Instead, it is a tool that makes your website loads faster on VPS by allowing you to automatically optimize the server with the best settings, without knowing any server knowledge. More importantly, Gridpane isn't built for anyone but selected few who know exactly what they are doing and what they need from a VPS solution.


Gridpane Lifetime Deal

Prior to getting Gridpane lifetime deal, I kept asking myself if this is something worth it. I mean, the final Gridpane LTD costs a whopping USD$2,500 and that's approximately RM10,500 in Malaysia (that's my conversion rate of 4.2).

Is Gridpane LTD that worth the money?


What's included in the Gridpane LTD?

  • A lifetime deal under the Developer plan ($100 per month without the LTD)
  • Unlimited servers
  • Advanced security and firewall settings
  • Creation of teams or subaccounts (up to 10 slots without charge)
  • World class hosting infrastructure

Gridpane LTD: Is Gridpane really worth the money?

The funny thing is that I even get this question on Facebook from some of my peers too. Now, let's do some quick calculation.

Initial investment: $2,500

Potential charges for hosting (assuming mid-tier hosting plan): $30 per month

Potential charges for addon hosting services: $10 per month

That's around $40 per client and with around 5 clients a month, I get around $200. A clean profit would be around $150 with the assumption of no manpower cost and $50 goes to a VPS service like Vultr high frequency.

In order to breakeven with the initial investment, I need 16.6 months (rounded to 17 months) before I can make a profit for a lifetime.


Gridpane LTD is best for some (not everyone)

Why I publish this article? Well, for starters, I want to make it straight up clear with everyone who have doubt.

  • Gridpane is not a WordPress hosting
  • Gridpane LTD is all about the long game
  • Gridpane is best for those who cares about website traffic, performance and security
  • Gridpane is an excellent tool for website developers and agencies who have clients using WordPress CMS

How to get Gridpane LTD? When will Gridpane LTD comes back?

I'm pretty confident that Gridpane LTD won't come back anytime soon (their CEO made it a point to emphasize this).

But what if you really need Gridpane LTD? I can't promise you much, but my WordPress agency do collaborate with several website developers around the world with Gridpane. If this is something you are keen to explore, feel free to reach out to me or my team using the form below.

Easy How To Make Your Google Analytics CCPA Compliant

I'm not going to lie to you. CCPA compliant can be a tough topic to discuss. Added with WordPress plugins, that's a pretty tough nut to crack. Nonetheless, today we are going to discuss on how to make your Google Analytics CCPA compliant.

Simple, right?


What is Google Analytics?

Insert Image

Google Analytics is the most popular analytical tool that’s used by millions of websites. It helps you track your site’s performance and understand your user’s behavior. Now, Google Analytics is powerful because it collects personal data about your visitors and if this is not handled properly, you can get into real trouble.


What is CCPA?

Insert Image

CCPA is also known as California Consumer Privacy Act. The California Consumer Privacy Act is a state statute intended to enhance privacy rights and consumer protection for residents of California, United States. CCPA is also a state-wide privacy law that regulates how businesses can handle the personal information of California residents.

The aim of CCPA is to enhance privacy rights and consumer protection for residents of California. It calls for more transparency by organizations about what personal information they collect, how they use it, and whom they share it with.

Due to the dynamic nature of websites, no single plugin can offer 100% legal compliance. Please consult a specialist internet law attorney to determine if you are in compliance with all applicable laws for your jurisdictions and your use cases. Nothing on this website should be considered legal advice.

Legal Disclaimer


How to easily make Google Analytics and making it compliance?

There are several quick steps you need to take. In this example, we will be using Google Analytics and OptinMonster (the best lead generation software for both WordPress and no WordPress sites).


Step 1: Install OptinMonster and it's EU compliance addon

As OptinMonster is a paid plugin, click here to get the best OptinMonster deal if you have not gotten yourself an license. Next, download and install it's EU Compliance Addon to automate different processes to meet CCPA. For instance, you can easily anonymize or disable personal data tracking in Google Analytics with a click of a button. 


Step 2: Enable EU compliance tracking options

The second step is to change the settings and disable different tracking features in Google Analytics to comply with CCPA. This can be done here: Insights » Settings » Engagement.

As this is an EU compliance addon for OptinMonster, it is important to enable and disable relevant information to ensure that you are complying to the law/as required by the law.

EU-Compliance-Settings-Panel-Optinmonster

EU-Compliance-Settings-Panel-Optinmonster


Step 3: Create an out-out consent box

After setting up MonsterInsights and its EU Compliance addon, the next thing you’ll need to do is create an opt-out consent box. That’s because one of the rights in CCPA is that user’s can opt-out from websites sharing their data with third parties.

And a simple way of creating an opt-out consent box is by using free WordPress plugins like CookieBot or Cookie Notice. Both these plugins offer a built-in option to set up an opt-out consent box and they easily integrate with MonsterInsights as well.

For instance, CookieBot scans your site and creates a cookie declaration link that you can place on your website. Not only that, it also creates a Do Not Sell My Personal Information document that you can link to make sure you comply with CCPA requirements.


Recap

CCPA is now enforceable by law from July 1, 2020, and applies to any business that provides web services to the residents of California. You are required to follow the law even when you are running an online business.

I hope you find this article useful and if you need any help, drop me a message!

Top 13 WordPress Blogging Tools You Should Be Using In 2020

I have been blogging since 2004 and I want to be really honest. Blogging tool changes by the years and I can't help myself but to find for the best blogging tools for my websites (and my clients').

Here's the thing. It is not that simple because it depends highly on what you need and expecting from a tool.

Nonetheless, here's a quick recap of my favorite blogging tools in 2020.



WordPress CMS

WordPress CMS

WordPress CMS

Make no mistake — WordPress is the most important tool for bloggers and for my business. I use WordPress every day (close to 355 days in a year) so, yes! WordPress all the way. Sorry Wix!


WordPress Page Builders

Best WordPress Page Builders Plugins

Best WordPress Page Builders Plugins

As a freelance website developer and marketing agency, it is important for me and my team to build beautiful WordPress pages quickly. Thanks for WordPress page builders, our work is cut down dramatically (like over 50%)!

Here's a list of our favorite WordPress page builders in 2020:

Elementor Pro

Elementor is easy to use and powerful in many ways. This WordPress page builder is the most downloaded page builders in the WordPress market and by far, one of the most intuitive tool too! I can't recommend Elementor Pro enough (so to say).

Astra Theme

As a website developer, I find Astra theme very clean and beautifully crafted. It has a powerful inbuilt page builder, so you don't have to get additional page builder plugin. A huge upside using Astra is that it comes with lifetime deal and you don't have to stay on for a monthly commitment.

Thrive Architect

Last but not least, Thrive Architect is our favorite tool when it comes to building engaging blog posts. It is by far an interesting WordPress plugin that doesn't fail me. If you are thinking of creating high converting blog posts and pages, you can't go wrong with Thrive Architect.


Essential WordPress Plugins

Best WordPress Plugins for Beginners

Best WordPress Plugins for Beginners

Plugins make our lives easier and here's a list of my favorite WordPress plugins that you should be using. And no, you won't go wrong with them!

SEOPress

SEOPress is a powerful WordPress SEO plugin to optimize your SEO, boost your traffic, improve social sharing, build custom HTML and XML Sitemaps, create optimized breadcrumbs, add schemas / Google Structured data types, manage redirections 301 and so much more.

Async JavaScript

Async JavaScript gives you full control of which scripts to add an ‘async’ or ‘defer’ attribute to or to exclude to help increase the performance of your WordPress website. Wethather it is to eliminate render-blocking JS or defer specific JS file, this is an important plugin for speed optimization.

Autoptimize

Autoptimize makes optimizing your site really easy. It can aggregate, minify and cache scripts and styles, injects CSS in the page head by default but can also inline critical CSS and defer the aggregated full CSS, moves and defers scripts to the footer and minifies HTML.

Fluent Forms

WP Fluent Forms is the ultimate user-friendly, customizable drag-and-drop WordPress Contact Form Plugin that offers you all the premium features, plus many more completely unique additional features.

Flying Pages by WP Speed Matters

lying Pages injects a tiny JavaScript code (1KB gzipped), waits until the browser becomes idle. Then it detects pages in the viewport and on mouse hover and preloads them.

Flying Pages is intelligent to make sure preloading doesn’t crash your server or make it slow.

Flying Scripts by WP Speed Matters

Flying Scripts delay the execution of JavaScript until there is no user activity. You can specify keywords to include JavaScripts to be delayed. There is also a timeout which executes JavaScript when there is no user activity.

WP Rocket

Recognized as the most powerful caching plugin by WordPress experts, WP Rocket is an important speed optimization plugin that works out of the box, without requiring custom settings to make it work. Best for beginners!

WPForms

One of the best WordPress contact form plugin, WPForms is an intuitive drag & drop online form builder that helps you create beautiful contact forms with just a few clicks.

MonsterInsights

The best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. See how visitors find and use your website, so you can keep them coming back. This is by far the most accurate Google Analytics WordPress plugin the market that is free to use.


Summary: The Best Blogging Tools 2020

I want to recap that there are many blogging tools that you could use in 2020. While there is no a perfect blogging tool stack, the above blogging tools are best suited for beginners and small non-WooCommerce websites.

Have something to add? Leave a comment below!

How To Create an Engaging Multi-Page Form In WordPress With WPForms?

I was working on my new hosting project, ServerStack.io and one of the most important thing to do is to use a WordPress form plugin that allows me to collect payment and multi-page options.

And here's the fact.

I had been using WPForms for quite a long time now, and I had never been happier to use it again. In this article, I'm going to share with you some nifty tricks that you can use to create an engaging multi-page form with WPForms (hint: "engaging").


How to easily create multi-step forms using WPForms?

If you prefer the watch video instead, here's the video for you, courtesy of WPForms.

The first step in creating a multi-page form in WordPress using WPForms is to create a form. Instead of using codes, you can easily achieve such by installing form builder plugins such as WPForms. Here's the link to download WPForms for free.

By default, WPForms allows you to create a wide range of different forms and structures including:

  • Request a quote form
  • Job application form
  • Order form
  • Survey form
  • Poll form
  • User registration form

And, there are many ready-made templates that you can easily 1-click install them using WPForms.

The second part to creating a multi-step form is to split the newly built forms into several parts. This is how it is done quickly and easily, without coding skills.

WPFORMS = FLEXIBILITY

Do you know that WPForms allows you to create different columns to collect information?

The final step is all abou customization. Here's the thing. WPForms is an excellent tool when it comes to building forms for your WordPress site. However, it is only effective if you are converting leads with it.

This means that you need to spend time to create the right type of form for the right type of audience.


Why should I focus in creating engaging multi-step forms in WordPress?

For starters, the Internet is saturated with content and readers nowadays are more likely to enter their details on things that they trust. In this case, it is your website!

A long form is an excellent way to collect valuable information from your readers but always remember that long forms are also the ones that easily turn readers off.

Instead of displaying the entire form in one page, using page breaks and multiple step forms allow you to funnelt the reader into taking action, one step at a time.


Summary: Improving convertion rates using multi-step form

With that being said, I hope that you find this article simple, effective and fun! Are you using WPForms?

Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

WPForms is 100% free to use

Download here and now!

Gutenberg vs WordPress Visual Builders: The Deciding Factors for WordPress Users

WordPress visual builders play an important role in my writing business. As I use WordPress CMS a lot in my daily life, WordPress visual builders such as Thrive Architect allows me to create multiple WordPress pages and posts quickly and without any coding skills.

But, make no mistake. Since the launch of Gutenberg, I use Gutenberg a lot too. Over the months and years, Gutenberg been receiving tons of updates and while it may not be as flexible as the current WordPress visual builders, it is growing in popularity and importances — with many believe that it will take over WordPress builders in the coming years.

In this article, we will go through Gutenberg vs WordPress visual builders for 2020 because what matters is this year and right now.


Gutenberg vs WordPress visual builders

When I first use Gutenberg, I thought it was messy and complicated. Hey, Gutenberg isn't entirely a drag and drop, or point ot click WordPress editor. It is just a few blocks that work together and allowing WordPress users to create posts and pages quickly without any coding skills.

Here's how the Gutenberg blocks WordPress looks like.

Gutenberg Blocks

Gutenberg Blocks

If you are an avid WordPress user, you know that it is pretty decent but limited functionality as compared to popular WordPress visual builders in the market.

Here's what some of the best WordPress visual builders look like in the backend.

Thrive Architect

Thrive Architect

Here's what it looks like with Divi (which I use quite a lot as well for my WordPress agency, WP Maven).

Divi Builder

Divi Builder

Here's another great WordPress visual builder, Elementor!

Elementor Builder

Elementor Builder


Part 1: WordPress Visual Builder In Summary

WordPress visual builder is still an important tool for website owners — both freelance and agency level. The right tools help you to create beautiful WordPress pages and posts quickly without any coding skills.

There is no denial that WordPress visual builders is an excellent WordPress investment to go with and you can't go wrong with any of these:

  • Thrive Architect
  • Divi
  • Elementor

Part 2: Gutenberg In Summary

Gutenberg has always been a nice addon to WordPress. For beginners and those who can't afford WordPress visual builders, Gutenberg is an important WordPress tool to build WordPress posts fast and effectively, without coding skills.

Yes, Gutenberg isn't that great when it comes to creating WordPress pages for now out-of-the-box. If you are looking to make Gutenberg as great as WordPress visual builders, then you need Gutenberg addons such as Genesis Pro by WP Engine (review).

Here's a quick video on Genesis Pro.


Summary — Gutenberg vs WordPress Visual Builders

Until now, I find that WordPress visual builders certainly has an upper hand especially when it comes to website development. Gutenberg may not be on par with it right now but I believe this might change in the coming months.

With the constant growth and launches of Gutenberg addons such as these, Gutenberg is getting more popular and useful by the day. Plus, Gutenberg is the baby for WordPress/Automattic, you know this is one projec that won't hit the sack anytime soon.

If you are serious in building great WordPress sites and fresh layouts, you can't go wrong with Genesis Pro (click here for addon perks by WP Engine).