What is a VPS?

Many web hosts offer a product called VPS (virtual private server). You may have seen it on their service listing, or perhaps received a recommendation from your web host to upgrade to this option. In this article, we’ll explain what a VPS is and why you should consider one.

A VPS is the middle ground between a shared hosting account and a dedicated server. It acts like a dedicated server, running it’s own copy of the operating system a container. It comes with a specific amount of RAM and CPU power for your hosting environment for your operating system, server software and website to utilize.

Typically, you are allowed to run various software that the OS can support, including those not allowed on shared hosting (such as chat and other resource intensive applications). This doesn’t mean you can run everything ever created, but you are usually allowed to run applications that are banned from a shared environment.

data-center-2

A VPS usually comes in two flavors: user managed and host managed. While each company will have their own definition of user and host managed, this is the typical meaning of each:

User Managed VPS (also called ‘unmanaged VPS’ or simply ‘VPS’) is a blank install of the OS of your choice, with no control panel and little support from the hosting company. In fact, the support is usually limited to network and hardware issues. In many cases, you can reinstall your OS at any time with only a few clicks. The service comes with root access so that you may handle installation, configuration and maintenance of your hosting environment. At least one dedicated IP address is provided.

Host Managed VPS (also called ‘Managed VPS’) includes a control panel and full support from the hosting company for network, hardware, and the server environment configuration. It may or may not come with root access. A Host Managed VPS is usually very similar to a Shared hosting account, but with less chance of neighbors on the server causing problems and more flexibility in terms of configuration. At least one dedicated IP address is provided.

Why should you choose a VPS

There are a few reasons why you should choose a VPS. Below is a short list of several common instances when you should opt for a VPS.

Your site has outgrown a shared host

Does your website need to move to a VPS?
Does your website need to move to a VPS?

As a website grows in popularity and/or complexity, it will naturally consume more resources. When this happens, your site will eventually reach a point where it needs to move beyond a shared hosting environment. Moving to a VPS will allow your site to grow into the new pool of resources provided by the plan you choose.

You need root access

Some webmasters require root access. It may be for configuration of the website and software or for access to logs when something goes wrong. Since a web host is never going to provide root access for a shared server, you will need to go with at least a User Managed VPS. This will allow you to log in as root and do anything to your operating system and server software that you need.

You need to run software which is banned on shared hosting, is resource intensive, or requires an OS different than that of a shared plan.

chat-smaller-smushitSome software is banned from shared hosting for good reason. Software which is resource intensive or may otherwise cause problems for other shared accounts will not be allowed to run on a shared environment. You can usually find a list of such software in your web host’s Terms of Service or Acceptable Use Policy. In many cases, much of this software can be used on a VPS, though you should double check with your host prior to purchasing a plan.

Some software is OS specific. With many web hosts using CentOS Linux, running software that is made for Debian would require a different OS. With a User Managed VPS, you can typically choose from a list of available operating systems in which to use.

You need to send bulk email

Shared servers will usually have an hourly email sending limit which will stop email from being sent once you reach that threshold. This is to prevent mass spamming and bulk emailing. If the limitation is not network wide, you may be able to avoid the limit by using a VPS. If you need to send bulk email, check with your service provider about sending bulk email via VPS, and if there are any hourly sending limits that you may face.

You want to store large files

Software like ownCloud allows you to backup files to your hosting space to store and share with others. Your web host may have rules against storing files that are unrelated to your website. These rules don’t always apply to VPS and higher. If you need to store files, in particular large files, a VPS is usually the place to do it.

You want to reduce the risk of issues from other customers who share your server.

A VPS is a shared environment of sorts. There are other people on the server with you, but each account is privatized within it’s own operating system container. This reduces the chances for others on the server to cause headaches for you. On a standard shared hosting plan, your server neighbors have a much greater chance of breaking things for everyone on the server.

You Need Additional Configuration Changes

Some websites require changes to various settings in the hosting environment. While your hosting provider may allow you to change PHP.ini settings, they are unlikely to allow you to modify how many concurrent connections can be made to your site (how many people can be on your site at a single instance). Limitations on entry processes and MySQL connections are among some of the most common ceilings that people hit. With a VPS, these can be modified to a higher value.

When to Move to a VPS

WorkingIf your web hosting provider is suggesting an upgrade, don’t just brush it off as a greedy attempt to get more money out of you. Evaluate the reasons behind the request. If your site is breaking a Terms of Service rule for Shared Hosting, there is likely little you can do other than remove the cause for the infringement or upgrade. If the reason is because of resource usage, you may be able to hold off moving to a VPS.

Your website should be as tightly optimized as possible. Make sure your code is strong and well written. If you are working with a system like WordPress, use thoroughly vetted optimization plugins and remove any outdated or unused/deactivated plugins. It is also a good idea to utilize services such as Cloudflare to deliver cached versions of your content, thereby reducing the resource usage on the server. Cloudflare also filters incoming traffic to help prevent malicious users and comment spam.

If optimizing your website isn’t enough, moving to a VPS is going to be the best next step. If you are moving to a Host Managed VPS, the upgrade is relatively painless. A good web host will take care of migrating your account for you. All you will need to do is update the nameservers for your domain.

Using a VPS has several advantages for a website, but make sure you get the correct product. If you are not comfortable working with a user managed product, one which requires you to handle everything about the OS and server software, get a Host Managed VPS. You will pay more for it, but the peace of mind is worth it.

When a Simple Article Becomes a Monster

I love to write. This is a good thing considering I write a lot, for several different things. However, like a lot of people, I will occasionally find myself writing much more than I originally intended. My topic might relate to other ideas or may possibly have core concepts that can be branched out on even further. This becomes a problem when what I’m writing takes on a life of it’s own and becomes a monster.

Just a few moments ago I was writing an article for Webmaster Notebook entitled “Understanding Shared Web Hosting”. The article is intended to be a generalized view of what to expect out of shared web hosting. I wrote about the same topic a little more conservatively back in 2012 for my web design and development company, so it seemed fitting to revisit the topic here and flesh it out even further for beginning webmasters and site owners.

As I got through a few paragraphs, I found myself writing quite easily. By page 3 (according to Google Docs), I found that I may have ventured further into life of shared web hosting than I wanted to. I started backing up, pulling apart different ideas and separating them into their own articles. It was during that time, somewhere around the part I discuss the true nature of Unlimited storage and bandwidth, that I had the idea for this article.

Make a wireframe for your writing

Back when I was teaching a student from Asheboro High School how to create web site mockups, I explained to her the importance of wireframes. A wireframe in this respect is a very basic idea of what a website will look like. It’s often a sketch of where specific elements will go. This allows the web designer to have a good grasp of what the site will look like before they actually start designing.

When you start writing, it’s a good idea to work from a wireframe. Pull out a list of specific parts of the topic you want to cover. As your list grows, you will inevitably find that there is a lot which can be removed and written independently. Move those ideas to the side and try to stick to a short, concise group of ideas which you can focus on. This will prevent your writing from straying too far into different ideas and leaving your reader bored, overloaded or simply lost.

A wireframe for your writing doesn’t have to be overly complex. Try to keep things simple. Even though my article about shared web hosting is a topic that can be very complex, it doesn’t have to be. After all, the target audience of this site has always been those who just beginning, those who want to learn the basics. Making it too complicated would destroy the reason it exists.

Follow your rules, remove the excess and use it to build more

Your wireframe should be easy to understand, stick to the core concept and allow little room for deviation. If you do this, it will help you stick to a much more clear path.

When you find yourself writing more than you intend to, take that writing and store it somewhere else. Revisit the parts you remove and explore the possibility of turning some of that excess into additional writing, perhaps as a follow up or supportive to the original article.

The more information you can provide, the better. Just remember that you don’t have to put it all in the same article.

Resize and Compress Your Images

A common mistake by beginner webmasters comes from the use of images. Too often have I come across a website that uses photos that are physically huge but display much smaller. This is done by using a large image as the source file and then setting the height and width to be a fraction of the size.

I primarily see this happen with photos that have come direct from a camera without being resized or compressed. Most digital cameras and smart phones take photos at file sizes and dimensions that do not belong on a website. I’m talking about pictures that are three or more times the size of your screen and upwards of 10 megabytes. A photo like that does not belong on a webpage with other content.

Why you should resize and compress your photos

You may be wondering why you should bother resizing the image. After all, you may want to show the big version to your visitors.

The reason you should resize and compress your images is because loading a massive image on your page is going to take time. Though it may only be a few seconds, seconds on the web can mean the difference between a visitor sticking around and leaving. The images will load slowly, and if you are showing more than one of these large images on the same page, you’re only causing your visitors to get annoyed with the lack of speed.

Another issue with using these oversized images is bandwidth consumption. The larger the file, the more bandwidth you are going to use. For some hosting accounts, bandwidth may be limited. Reduction in file size can keep your bandwidth costs down.

Resize Your Images

There are many tools that you can use to resize your images, both commercial and free. One great free resource is Picresize.com. Upload your photo to the site and set the dimensions you would like. Set only the width and the image will resize the height appropriately. You can even set an effect to apply to your photo. There is no required registration and the whole process can be finished in under a minute.

Compress your files

Yahoo! provides a tool called Smush.it which can reduce the weight of your photos. It applies file compression to bring your photo down to a smaller file size without not much noticeable visual difference. Simply upload your photo and Smush.it does the rest. Like Picresize.com, Smush.it does not require registration to use.

Make your visitors happier by resizing and compressing your photos. It will speed up the loading of your site and reduce the amount of bandwidth you use.

Transfer a domain from Godaddy to Namecheap

If you’re someone who is looking to jump ship from Godaddy, you may want to take a look at Namecheap. An ICANN-accredited domain registrar, Namecheap offers fantastic prices on domain names. If you would like to transfer a domain name from Godaddy to Namecheap, follow these instructions.

Godaddy – Step 1
Log into your account at Godaddy and shut off the domain lock and privacy option (if enabled).

Namecheap – Step 2
Go to Namecheap and transfer your domain.

Godaddy – Step 3
Send your EPP code (Authorization Code). This is often listed at the bottom of the page that shows your Domain Details. It will send to the email address on file in your contact information for the domain name.

Namecheap – Step 4
Go to the Transfers page. Click the domain name and enter the EPP code from the Godaddy email. Wait for the transfer email from Enom. This can sometimes take 30 minutes or more. When it arrives, click the link in the email and approve the request on the form it provides. Wait again.

Godaddy – Step 5
An email will arrive from Godaddy, indicating your request to transfer. Instead of waiting for the automatic transfer, go to the Transfers page in your Godaddy account by clicking Domains in the top navigation and then Transfers. Click on Pending Transfers, then Accept/Decline. Accept the transfer. Wait for another set of emails.

Godaddy will send an email alerting you that they are transferring the domain. You will also get one from Namecheap when they have received the domain. When this happens, double check your domain at Namecheap to be sure the contact information and DNS information has transferred correctly.

That’s all! This gets you over to Namecheap and out from under Godaddy. Right now (10/11/14), Namecheap is providing free Whois Protection for the first year for any domain transferred to them. You can also use a coupon to drop the prices of the domain further.

For the current Namecheap coupons, visit this page: https://www.namecheap.com/promos/coupons.aspx

What is Unmanaged Hosting?

If you are searching for a hosting provider which offers services beyond shared hosting, you will likely come across the term unmanaged hosting. This term may sound odd. Shouldn’t all hosting be managed? Let’s explain what unmanaged hosting is.

Each host will interpret the term unmanaged hosting in their own way, but the following is a fair definition of what unmanaged hosting is:

Unmanaged Hosting
Web hosting in which the provider manages the network and hardware of the server, but very little (if anything) else. Unmanaged hosting is a term typically used for VPS, Cloud and Dedicated platforms, sometimes referred to simply by the type of hosting (such as VPS as opposed to Managed VPS), or called user managed.

The unmanaged hosting environment is often chosen by someone who knows how to handle a server environment and requires resources higher than that of a standard shared hosting platform. Also, it will usually come with root access to the server to allow the customer the ability to configure the server the way they want, and install various software which may be unsuitable for shared hosting. For instance, someone wanting to run a resource heavy chat client would choose an unmanaged VPS or dedicated server to run their application, something usually prohibited by shared hosting terms of service policies.

Unmanaged hosting is usually less expensive than it’s opposite, managed hosting. This is because the cost of additional labor to handle configuration and troubleshooting, as well as provider installed software is not needed. However, the cost is only worth it if you know what you are doing. If you feel comfortable with an unmanaged platform, go for it. If not, you may want to check out managed hosting.

What is Managed Hosting?

A term you may see mentioned by several web hosts is Managed Hosting. Those who are shopping for a platform above that of regular shared hosting, such as VPS, Cloud or Dedicated, will likely see this term on hosting websites. But what exactly does it mean?

While every host will have a different interpretation of their services, the following definition provides a pretty fair idea of what managed hosting is:

Managed Hosting
Web hosting in which the hosting provider manages the network, hardware, and configuration of the hosting service. Often referred to in VPS, Cloud and Dedicated services, the host typically handles the service in the same way (or close to) they do their shared services, but with the addition of more advanced configuration.

The managed hosting environment is typically the option chosen by someone who doesn’t know how or doesn’t want to have to manage the server themselves. For instance, a small business who has a bustling website that is too popular for shared hosting will often choose to upgrade to a Managed VPS so the host can continue handling the server, and they can keep up with their business.

Managed hosting is usually more expensive than it’s opposite, unmanaged (or user managed) hosting. The premium cost is there to cover the additional labor and/or features that come with managed hosting. Still, if you don’t know much about managing a server environment, the extra cost is worth it, as you won’t have to learn to become a server administrator overnight.

What is a web host?

A web host (website host) is a company that offers a place for your website to live, making it visible to the world. They offer space on what is called a server, a powerful computer configured to run websites and web applications.

An easy way to think of a web host is like a land owner. Your house is your website, and the land owner is the web host. Without the land the land owner has, your house has no where to exist. The same is true for a web host.

A web host will typically offer web hosting in a variety of types, with the most common being shared hosting. Some web hosts offer hosting services for free, while most charge a fee. To explain the typical differences between free and fee based web hosts, we’ve created a small list below:

Pros of Typical Free Web Hosts

[checklist]No cost
Simple to moderately advanced web builder
Instant setup
Free site templates
Free site tools (guestbooks, contact forms)
Paid hosting upgrades
Free URL[/checklist]

Cons of Typical Web Hosts

[xlist]Include advertising on your site
May not allow personal domain names (your own .com)
May not offer programming engines like PHP, Java or Ruby
May not offer databases
Do not allow DNS editing
Do not allow your own SSL
Hugely limited storage
Hugely limited bandwidth
Free URL is branded with the host’s name
No support for popular web applications like WordPress, Joomla, or Magento.
No ecommerce support[/xlist]

Pros of Typical Paid Web Hosts

[checklist]No advertising
Supports PHP, MySQL, Python, and Perl. Some also support Java and Ruby
Supports multiple (sometimes unlimited) email accounts, MySQL databases, addon domains, parked domains, and subdomains.
Huge storage
Huge bandwidth (unlimited in many cases)
Supports domain
Auto installers to provide installation of popular web applications
Allows SSL Certificates
Allows DNS editing
Greater upgrade possibilities[/checklist]

Cons of Typical Paid Web Hosts

[xlist]Not free
Often requires domain name without option for free URLs[/xlist]

As you can see from the list, a paid web host is going to offer a lot more than a free host. It also won’t negatively affect your web presence as much as a free host. You don’t want your design impacted by forced advertisements or your URL showing off your web host.

No matter which web host you choose, make sure they can support your site in it’s current form and as it grows. Moving from one host to another is a hassle that is better left avoided if possible.

What is domain privacy?

When you register a domain name, your name, address, phone number and email address become public record. Anyone who wants to find out who owns a domain name can run a whois search to grab information about you in just a few seconds. Did you know that you can hide that information? That’s what domain privacy is.

When you sign up for home telephone service, your name and address are listed in the phone book. For those who wish to keep their info out of the public directory, the phone company will offer to have your information unlisted for an additional fee. Domain privacy works the same way.

Do you use domain privacy?Nearly every domain registrar offers a feature to hide your personal information from domain name whois searches. Domain privacy (sometimes called whois protection) is a service which when used, replaces your personal information with the name, phone number, address, and email contact of the domain privacy service.

This can help protect your identity from prying eyes, spammers, scammers, and other annoyances that you wouldn’t want to have your info. Best of all, this service is usually inexpensive, and some will offer domain privacy for free for the first year.

Important things to remember about domain privacy services

  • If you add the privacy service after you have already registered your domain, your information may still be available. Whois search engines may not update instantly, while some services may choose to include it in a history of ownership list.
  • Some websites exist solely to provide information about websites, including the domain owner’s information. This data will remain available until the website providing it decides to remove it.
  • Domain registrars must adhere to the law. Don’t think that using domain privacy will allow you to anonymously break the law. After all, the domain registrar has your information and they will provide it to law enforcement if required.
  • When using domain privacy, you are no longer listed as the owner of the domain name. While there isn’t usually anything to worry about, there have been times in the past when domain ownership issues have occurred between the person who purchased the domain and the privacy company entrusted to hide your identity.
  • You may need to renew your domain privacy individually. Some domain registrars will include an option to set auto-renew for domain privacy just as you can do for the domain name itself.

It’s Your Choice

Most people choose domain privacy to keep spammers, scammers, and floods of marketing from showing up in their emails, voicemails, and mailboxes. This is quite understandable. At $4 or less per year, it’s also an affordable option to hide your domain’s ownership information.

What is a domain name?

You’ve probably heard the term “domain name” before. As a beginner, you may not know what it is or how important it can be. In this article, you will learn what a domain is and why it’s important.

A domain name is your website address, also called your URL. For this site, our domain name is webmasternotebook.com. It is the address people type into their web browser to get them to our website.

There are several domain extensions to choose from.
There are several domain extensions to choose from.

Domain names consist of a name and an extension. The extension, also known as a TLD (top level domain), is the part that comes after your domain name. Popular domain extensions are .com, .net, and .org.

While most domain extensions are available to anyone in the general public, there are a few that you may have visited which are only available to specific groups. The .edu extension is only available to educational institutions that fit specific criteria. The .gov extension is reserved for the United States government, while .mil is reserved for use by the United States military.

Domain names can include letters, numbers, and hyphens. It can be up to 63 characters long. To get a domain name, you simply sign up with a domain registrar like Godaddy, Namecheap or Name.com. Many website hosting providers will offer domain registration to their customers as well.

When registering a domain name, you pay for the length of time you wish to register for. The shortest length of time you can register your domain for is 1 year, and when the time comes for your registration to be renewed, you can choose to register again or let the domain go, making it available for anyone in the public to purchase and own.

To start searching for your domain name, we recommend using Namecheap or Name.com. They both offer great prices on domains, use easy to understand interfaces, and typically run promotions to new signups.

Understanding Bounce Rate

When it comes to website metrics, you generally want to see high numbers on whatever analytics reporting system you use. You want lots of unique visitors, long amounts of time being spent on your site, and page hits to go through the roof. However, there is one number that you almost always want to be as low as possible, and that’s what we’re going to discuss here.

What Is Bounce Rate?

Google Analytics will report bounce rate, showing you how many people visit only a single page of your site and leave.
Google Analytics will report bounce rate, showing you how many people visit only a single page of your site and leave.

Anytime people come to your website, that is considered a visit. If a person comes to your site and leaves after only viewing the page they landed on, that is considered a bounce. They essentially “bounced” off of your website.

Your bounce rate is the number of visitors who bounced, divided by the total number of visitors to your website (those who did and did not bounce). As a metric, this number can show you what percentage of your visitors are not viewing more than one page of your website.

I mentioned that the bounce rate is a number that you almost always want to be as low as possible–almost being the operative word. For some websites and pages, a high bounce rate is normal. For instance, if you have a one page website, a high bounce rate is perfectly normal because there are no other pages to view. If you have your contact information on every page (such as a phone number in the header of the page) for the purpose of being contacted by visitors, a high bounce rate can be considered normal as long as you’re being contacted.

For websites that want flow through traffic, such a site that sells products, you will want a lower bounce rate. The more often people click through your site, the more they learn about your products and are likely to buy something. If you have an advertisement supported website, the more a visitor clicks through your site, the better it looks to your current and potential advertisers.

What can a high bounce rate tell you?

A high bounce rate can indicate a need for improvement in either your content, your site design, or both. If a visitor lands on a page on your site and can’t find their way to any other relevant or interesting content, they’ll leave. If they land on a page and it is either wrong, doesn’t make sense or is badly written, they won’t stick around. Make sure you write and present your content in the best way possible, and utilize a layout that makes the visitor want to continue to other areas of your site.

Things that can cause a bounce:

Lots of pop ups

Everyone hates pop ups, and using them can cause negative reactions to your website, especially if there are more than one per page.

Overloading your site with advertisements will cause your visitors to leave your site in a hurry
Overloading your site with advertisements, popups and other invasive items will cause your visitors to leave your site in a hurry

Overloaded Advertisements

Following right along with multiple popups, overloading your pages with advertisements can drive a visitor away in a hurry. It’s understandable that your website may be ad supported, but don’t over do it. It can get to a point where the content is being overpowered by advertisements and the visitor has a hard time using or reading your page.

Noise (music, sound effects, autoplaying video ads)

Unless you are running a music or video website, it’s not a good idea to have music or videos automatically play when the page loads. The visitor may already be listening to music, so your website shouldn’t interfere with what they are doing. I can’t tell you how many websites I’ve immediately left because of autoplaying noise that I don’t want to hear.

Content Issues

Make sure that your content is correct. If what you’re presenting is badly written or simply incorrect, the visitor is unlikely to visit the rest of your website. The same goes for dry and boring content. You don’t have to sound like a technical manual, even if you are a writing technical manual. Try to to keep your readers interested because if they bounce for this reason, it’s highly unlikely they’ll ever return.

“Top X Pictures” showing one picture per page

A trick used by some webmasters to increase their page views is to show a list of pictures across several pages, but placing only one picture on each page. This is highly annoying to a user. Rather than being able to see the full list of pictures on one page, you have to click through multiple pages, loading a new page each time. It’s a time consuming trick that drives some people away from the site, especially if the user doesn’t notice that they must click through several pages to view the pictures.

Slow pages

If a page is taking too long to load, it may be the only page they ever try. Make sure your site is loading quickly, and take any necessary steps to speed it up.

What is considered a high bounce rate?

This is a very hard question to answer. The reason is simple: not all websites or content are the same. A photo gallery for cars may have a lower bounce rate than a photo gallery for kitchen designs. A blog about current events in your hometown may have a higher bounce rate than one about current events in your state. Take into account that there are several types of websites that span across countless subjects. They won’t all have the same bounce rate.

Also, as I mentioned before, your site may have a high bounce rate because it’s only one page or has a call to action that doesn’t require the visitor to go further into the site to complete.

So how do you determine what a high bounce rate is? If you know other people who have similar websites, they may be able to give you an idea of what to expect. If not, you can research your website niche to find out what others are reporting. The best way I have found is to simply wait and review your analytics over time. If you have new content being added on a regular basis, you’ll be able to see how some pages rank against others.

If there doesn’t seem to be any consistency in bounce rate across your different pages, it’s likely that either some of your content is better than others, or your topics are so different from each other that judging an average bounce rate this way may not work. Compare the topics of pages that have a wide range between their bounce rate. Some pages will inherently have a higher bounce rate than others. For instance, your contact page will likely have a higher bounce rate than a list of your blog posts.

How can I lower my bounce rate?

While it’s true that you will always have visitors who bounce away from your site after one page view, there are ways that you can lower it. Below are a few effective methods I’ve used.

Internal Links

Internal linking can help reduce your bounce rate and provide your visitors with more information on your own site
Internal linking can help reduce your bounce rate and provide your visitors with more information on your own site

If you have a page that is discussing a topic which relates to other pages on your site, you can link to those pages within your content. This can attract a user to visit pages related to the content they are already reading, without having to leave your site. Link keywords and phrases to their relevant content found in other areas of your site, but don’t overdo it. A paragraph full of links can be irritating to look at for a visitor.

Related Posts

A list of related posts are internal links that connect to pages on your site with similar content. Depending on the way your posts are told to relate, you may be connecting to posts that have the same keywords, were written by the same author, or are in the same category on your website.

Related posts will usually show at the bottom of a page in a list, sometimes with a thumbnail image that represents the related page. It can attract a visitor to click through and read more of your content that relates to what they are already reading. Most Related Posts features on a website are generated automatically based on the content being viewed, which will make it easy to include.

Make your navigation easy to follow

A site that is easy to navigate around is going to have a much better chance of reducing it’s bounce rate. Use a clean, well designed navigation that isn’t complicated or overly cluttered.

Use your sidebars

On several sites I work with, we maximize the visibility of other areas of the site by using the sidebars. Showing links to other categories, new posts and related posts, visitor comments, and featured content, we have managed to reduce the bounce rate significantly as opposed to not using that space.

[info color=”light” ]Tip: Try using pictures to catch the visitors attention. When using a Featured Post widget in the sidebar, we also include an image to accompany that post. It catches the visitors attention better than just using text, and can help to reduce your bounce rate with each click through.[/info]

These tips should help you reduce your bounce rate and keep visitor traffic flowing through your site. There are many ways to reduce your bounce rate, but one of the best is to consider the site from a visitor’s point of view. Look at it from an outsider’s perspective, or better yet, ask others what they think of your site. Look for the negative so you can improve and keep people moving through your site to see the content you worked hard to build.