All You Want to Know About .htaccess

All You Want to Know About .htaccess

If you are getting into technical SEO strategy, you may have come across mention of a .htaccess file. If you’re researching with WordPress, you may have also wondered why your redirects are not working after migrating to WP Engine.

About .htaccess and Technical SEO Strategy

.htaccess is a configuration file for web servers, such as the Apache web server. As the file is loaded into the root directory through the Apache server, the server then executes the directives listed in the file. With this, you’re allowed to add functionality such as redirection for Multisite and IP blocking.

A .htaccess file provides a way to create configuration changes on a per-directory basis. It is a part of Apache, and it’s not a part of PHP. These are usually used when you have no access to the main configuration files including the shared host. When it is placed in a directory that turns to ‘loaded via the Apache Web Server,’ then the .htaccess is executed and detected by the Apache Web Server software.

These .htaccess files include features such as altering the configuration of the Apache Web Server software to disable and enable additional functionality that the Apache Web Server software can offer. These facilities contain basic redirect functionality. For example, if you have encountered 404 file ‘not found’ error, image hotlink prevention, etc. Any request sent to the server will pass through .htaccess file.

How does .htaccess work?

There is a difference on how .htacess works on the WP Engine platform than other hosts. As stated, Apache server executes the .htaccess file. In some configuration, a page request will open up and Nginx checks to see if it is in Varnish. If so, then Nginx will fulfill the request, bypassing Apache altogether.

What is Varnish? It is an HTTP accelerator that is set in front of a server configuration to cache pages. It is known to be incredibly fast and using it along with Nginx will be as fast as WP Engine.

For more, you’ll need to think twice in using .htaccess file as not every request to your site will go through the Apache server.

Usage of .htaccess Files in the Server

Some of the usages of .htaccess files in the server include cache control to reduce server load and perceived lag, rewriting URLs, customized error responses, and authorization or authentication to specify any security restrictions with the filename “access.” The .htaccess will be accompanied by the .htpasswd file that stores all of valid usernames and passwords.

Was this article helpful to you?  Do you feel like you learned a bit about .htaccess files?  Let us know in the comments below!


What is .htaccess and what does it do?

4 Important Things You Didn’t Know About Bing Ads

4 Important Things You Didn’t Know About Bing Ads

Generally, Bing Ads are very similar to Google AdWords. A lot of people may feel inclined to go with Google AdWords if they are making a choice between the two, since Google is the number one most used search engine.  However, if you have thought about using Bing Ads in the past, you’re not wrong.  If you’re asking yourself, “Does advertising on Bing work? Is it worth a try?”

Advertising on Bing does work.  There is less competition and it’s a great platform for smaller companies to make a big impact on the ad market.  If you’re wondering if jumping on the Bing wagon is worth it, below are the 4 important things you didn’t know about Bing Ads:

Does Advertising on Bing work?  Here are 4 Things You Need to Know

1. Bing Ads are cost-efficient. Advertisers can receive numerous benefits from advertising with Bing.  Bing Ads uses AdWords auction which has cheaper costs per click and better ad positions.  According to Wordstream, extensive managed services clients who used Google Ads and Bing Ads had lower search CPC’s on Bing resulting in 33.5% cheaper CPC in Bing.

2.  Advertising in Bing allows you to assign different campaigns in any time zones. This makes sophisticated ad scheduling manageable and far easier to use. Especially if your business reaches internationally.  Bing Ads basically opens up various options at the ad group level that allow you to quickly adjust a setting for a particular ad group without the effort or hassle of creating a new campaign to make a change.

3.  Bing Ads has the flexibility of targeting and control over search partner targeting and search demographics. Along with tracking exactly which search partners are directing traffic to your site.  You can exclude a particular search partner without opting out of all other partner sites. To do this, you simply click on the campaign settings and add the particular website to website exclusion.

Furthermore, Bing Ads offers the ability to control which age and gender demographics visit your search ads. This can be controlled at either the ad group or campaign level within Bing Ads.

4.  Bing Ads has numerous unique advantages that Google hasn’t offer yet. When it comes to social extensions, Google shows your Google+ followers but Google+ simply doesn’t have the audience to make this as valuable as it could be.  Bing, on the other hand, began testing automated social media extensions in 2014 which includes showcasing Twitter followers an advertiser has right next to their ads.  This gives you an easy and clear idea of social engagement.

Bing Ads has a lot to offer.  It is an easy way to attract more traffic at an affordable cost. Bing statistics have gradually grown over past years and reportedly grew to 19.7% of the US search market share this year. If you’re considering using Bing Ads, don’t think twice!

About Facebook Ad Targeting

About Facebook Ad Targeting

Before 2013, when Facebook successfully proved their role in online marketing, advertisers were unsure how the goldmine of data on Facebook could ever be used strategically. Now, every smart marketer spends time understanding, crafting and implementing Facebook ad targeting.

Understanding Online Marketing Through Facebook Targeting

Despite its popularity and the praise it gets from many brands, there are still many who find this approach to online marketing incredibly confusing and difficult. To help demystify Facebook ad targeting here’s all you need to know about it.

Facebook helps you understand purchasing behavior.

Most companies do not have access to the type of data Facebook can provide. Facebook gathers over 1,500 things about each user every year. It allows advertisers to step out of their own CRM databases to find out more about the customer — from the medication they use and the topics that interest them to how they respond to loyalty programs and your ads. These are valuable, up-to-date insights that can help any brand enhance how they target their segment.

When you use Facebook ad targeting, you can choose from different purchasing behavior subcategories, depending on what you believe would best make an impact on your segment. Sub categories include  Food & Drink, Clothing, Health & Beauty and many more. You can further hone the targeting by limiting buyer profiles or widen the scope by adding more than one.

Facebook Allows You to Be Creative

Many assume that Facebook ad targeting is difficult and takes a lot of practice. While that may be partly true, it requires just as much creativity as it does logic and experience. For example, when your company, product or service caters to a particular event — such as funeral services, moving services or wedding planning, you need to focus on the major life events that happen to users.

Facebook has made targeting those life events easier. You only need to be creative with the people you target during certain milestones in their lives. If a family just bought a house, chances are they need a moving service and an interior decorator. A couple who just got engaged might need a wedding planner, locations for the wedding, a caterer and even a honeymoon spot. Companies with those services can aim their Facebook targeting towards that couple and other like users.

You Can Nurture loyal customers through Facebook Ad Targeting

You can also connect with your loyal customers through an advanced feature called “Facebook Custom Audiences” which allows you to reinforce your brand and increase a customer’s lifetime purchase frequency, value, and loyalty. It’s also a great way to increase the effectiveness of your campaign by excluding your current customer from the campaign for uncovered leads such as free trials.

With Facebook, the primary benefit is advanced targeting and insights that will allow you to get to know and reach your ideal audience.  What do you think your audience looks like?  Let us know in the comments below!


These Paid Ad Platforms Can Help Your Business

These Paid Ad Platforms Can Help Your Business

How effectively you manage your online efforts translate to how much traffic you can get for your site. For many companies — especially those which are exclusively online retailers or service providers, having the right paid ad strategy can make all the difference.

How the Right Paid Ad Strategy will Rocket Launch Your Business

Each business or brand has its own preferred advertising platform — mostly based on cost and profitability. To figure out which online platform best suits you, here are some of the best and most widely used ones.

Google Adwords

With almost 30 billion impressions per day, Google AdWords is one of the most effective ad platforms available — especially if you’re going for reach. Over time, this pay-per-click platform has become synonymous with “paid search”.

For Google Adwords, the focus is on text-centric ads and keywords. Once a Google user looks up a specific phrase that a brand bids on, their ad will appear. If the user clicks on the ad, the company is charged. Compared to other platforms, Adwords has more traffic, so the effects are more vast and scalable. If you have more traffic, you get more leads and thus chances to convert your leads.

Facebook Ads

At 5 million advertisers, it’s hard not to see how effective Facebook is as an ad platform. They have a huge active user base that is easier to engage than almost any other platform. In contrast to Google, advertising on Facebook is all about directing its users to advertised brands, products or services based on a user’s interests and searches. Their approach is more user-driven in that the users find the businesses, not the other way around.

Facebook is also connected with Instagram, and you have the option of having your Facebook ads also show up on Instagram’s platform. This is a great way to reach multiple audiences and increase your ad traffic.

Twitter Ads

Did you know that of all Twitter users, 80% have at least mentioned one brand in their tweet? The videos played and photos on a Twitter feed are also more likely to be recalled than videos and photos shown on other advertising platforms. Compared to the first two, Twitter is a bit more common among Millennials and is deemed as a great way to connect with them.

As an advertiser, you can choose to promote your tweets, trends relevant to you or accounts that you manage. The most effective ads, though, come when you use videos.


LinkedIn is a great fit for business to business marketing.  If you have a product or service that is beneficial to other business owners, this is the platform to use.  Because of its focus on career advancement, LinkedIn offers a more specific advertising opportunity for those advertising through social platforms.

Bing Ads

If you’re wondering if Bing is significant enough to mention here, it is.  Did you know that Bing users spend 23% more online than an average user? What those statistics should tell you is that there’s still a significant amount of traffic available on this platform, and they are willing to spend.  In fact, this might even be a better beginner platform for smaller businesses.

Like any tool, ad platforms only work when you know how to use them.  Consider contacting a professional SEM company if you want to get maximum results.

Which ads platform have you tried?  Let us know in the comments below!


Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads: Which One Works Best?

How to Set Up Email Automation Through MailChimp

How to Set Up Email Automation Through MailChimp

Since email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach an audience, more and more companies want to take advantage of that medium. Sending emails out one by one is not just monotonous, it’s also not strategic, especially if you are hoping to send an email based on a specific action.  For instance, if you want to send an email every time someone signs up for a certain product, you don’t want to have to create a brand new email and send it out manually each time. You’d be spending so much time typing the names, writing content, and organizing the layout every time you’re going to send a thank you note or a newsletter.

Email Automation Tips For MailChimp Users

A great way to save time and make sure your emails are being sent promptly is to set up email automation. Here are some email automation tips you should follow to set up your own email automation through MailChimp, one of the most popular and effective email marketing tools on the market.

Since there are different types of automated emails, like abandon cart, retargeting and many more, this may vary from type-to-type.  You will be able to choose which rules apply that set off the email automation system. To begin creating automated emails, follow the following steps:

  1. Go the Campaigns page.
  2. Select Create Campaign.
  3. Click Create an Email, then select Automated.
  4. Pick the automation email your require, which ranges from Welcome New Subscribers and Say ‘Happy Birthday’ to Share Blog Updates and Enable Order Notifications. You can also customize an email yourself.
  5. Pick a campaign name and choose a list from the drop-down menu.
  6. Once they’re all sorted, click begin.

If you want to design your own, you need to fill out a form that requires you to detail the subject line, preview text, and other information. Make sure to preview these emails before finalizing it. Should you find anything wrong with it, you can easily edit it on MailChimp. You can even constantly hone your automated email marketing workflow until it’s the most efficient.

Was this helpful to you?  When do you want to begin setting up your email automation?  Let us know in the comments below!



Top Places to Find Images for Your Email Marketing

Top Places to Find Images for Your Email Marketing

With how effective email marketing has become, many businesses are starting to dip their toes in and try just how much it can improve their business. For those who are wondering how they can up their game, you might want to consider adding graphics to your emails.

Email Marketing Images Will Improve Your Engagement

Email marketing images add visual interest to a usually verbose and one-dimensional content. It allows readers to remember your message, because it has visual appeal, and it breaks up the text into more digestible chunks. Graphics also give you more liberty to be creative and different from the content of other brands’ emails.

To help you find the best images that fit your email content and concept, here are the most popular sites different brands use.



If you’re looking for high-quality photos that are not as usual in generic image collection sites, then this is where you should be looking. They have over 47,000 free photos from different photographers for different purposes. The photos are not as curated are other sites, so they’re not a specific niche or all with a similar aesthetic. However, it’s still a great photo resource, especially for creative projects.



Despite being only being hosted on a Tumblr accounts, Unsplash has some of the most artistic and beautifully taken photos that you will ever find online. Once you subscribe to their account, you will receive 10 photos every 10 days that you can use for whatever project you have in mind. These photos will be sent directly to the inbox of the email you used to subscribe.

Like their photos, the browsing experience is also very unique. The site’s layout is very minimalist and catered to photos that they feature. It’s definitely more artistic and curated that the other sites on this list.



Pixabay has one of the biggest collection of images available online. They have everything from vectors to drawings and high-resolution photos. If you’re looking for images to use without wanting to spend money on them, you’ll be happy to know you can use all their resources for free and without attribution.

Their site is also easy to use because of they offer a small collection of curated sets of images that you’ll see on the homepage. Pixabay also has a search bar where you can input the specifics of the photo you’re looking for, and the site will bring up the most relevant results.

With the right images, you can create stunning email marketing images that will bring your connection to your audience to the next level!  What’s your favorite image source?  Let us know in the comments below!