AWS Lightsail vs. Digital Ocean Performance Comparison

AWS Lightsail vs. DigitalOcean Performance Comparison

Ever since Amazon Web Services announced their new service Lightsail, I’ve been wondering how does its performance compare to virtually same droplets hosted by DigitalOcean. I’m not going to go into too many details regarding the similarities and differences between the two platforms, but if you’d like to learn more, here’s a good read by Wogan May and another one by Phil Dougherty.

For the AWS Lightsail vs. DigitalOcean performance comparison, I decided to use sysbench as described in the howtoforge.com article.

Both servers were provisioned by Laravel Forge, running the same software versions. The hardware specs are 4 GB RAM, 2 vCPUs, 60 GB SSD.

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9 Questions you should ask web development agency before building a web site

Process of buying a new website for business is like buying a long term suit for every day.

So in order not to make a mistake (and chose wrong suit for yourself :)), we will name 9questions that you should challenge your future web design company before making long-lasting relationship:

1# How do they price their services/what is business model?

When you’re buying a professional service, where a team of experts should be putting in time to plan, design, develop and manage your project business models can vary a lot so be sure that before going into the investment both sides will be happy with what is agreed. Not having clear business model at the beginning, can led to project fails big time.

Key criteria here that should be considered:

  • How much time will they be spending on your project?
  • Which of their team members will be working on your project and what are their qualifications?
  • Do they provide a flat project price that corresponds to a detailed agreement?
  • Does the cost of the project match up with the agreed upon deliverables and hourly rates?
  • Is there a clear procedure for billing for extra features or work outside the project’s initial scope?

Even the most experienced teams can not make 100% clear prediction about final project outcome so by knowing that be sure that everything (or almost everything) is covered from the beginning.

2# What is their track record?

When money is not a problem, then problem cant be fixed so easily.

At the beggining, companies tend to hire cheap service providers in order to save a few dollars on a short term, but a more important question than ‘how much is this going to cost?’ is ‘how reliable is your company?’ You should be confident that you can trust the team in producing the best results for your project and that they are able to show you a return on your investment.

Key questions to ask here are:

  • What types of clients have they worked with?
  • What kind of results have they delivered for those clients?
  • Do they have hard figures to prove their results?
  • Do they retain their clients and have ongoing working relationships with them?

By asking those questions you can get to know company cullture and how they are dealing with their customers, which will give you a picture of how they will treat your company.

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How to choose web design company?

As we talked in previous post about why it is so important that your web design partner truly understands your business strategy, today we will talk about how to choose right web design company for your business.

Step 1 – Know your bottom line

What you want your website and internet marketing to achieve? First step starts with questioning your needs to consider carefully your business goals and how you are going to measure success of a project.

Depending if you are launching a new company, rebranding current business or creating a new product line, your goals need to be matched with web design implementation.

For example, if your need is brand awareness, you will simply be providing educational information about your services or products so in this case, good visibility and a clear focus is needed.

By knowing your goals you will easily figure out if web design company fits.

Tips: How you should do it? Ask the agency to provide you case studies or examples of how they have approached a problem you are addressing and how they have provided a solution.

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Why your web design sucks?

 

It has been 10+ years since we built a website for our first client and we are not ashamed to say that if we looked back, we did a lousy job. Yup, it was not even close to something if we looked back, we did a lousy job (even though we thought we did a great job) and we did it more then once on our 10 years long journey.

And the good thing is that  there is one big thing we learned on our journey, something precious.

It’s called experience.

Even though we did not see it back then, we were guilty for a lot of things and for many different reasons. In fact, everything you’ll see in text, we did it. However, good thing is that eventually we learned how to perfect the web designing process the hard way, through customer feedback, research, data driven decisions, determination and tons of experience that comes after bad decisions.

Today, it may be safe to say that we are a very good web design company. If you don’t believe us, ask companies that gave us their trust, they can tell you a word or two.

But this text is not about us bragging what we learned in past decade and what kind of great experience we gained over the years.

It’s about everyone who would like to build a web site and not go the same thorny road we did.

So, let’s start with some of the hard lessons we wish you not to experience.

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Why web design should be the foundation of your digital marketing strategy?

 

We need to face it. I know it’s not going to be easy but we need to look the truth in the eyes.

Here it is…..

Digital marketing has nothing to do with likes, shares, tweets or followers. The purpose of digital marketing is not to make your ego feel good about the number of people that is following you or to help you justify time spent on the internet.

And that’s all. That’s the story. The end. Finito.

So if it’s not about likes, shares and the rest of the cool stuff, what is it about?

It is all about how much value you can deliver for your customer money. It is about making sales happen.

Simple as that.

So how should we set up digital strategy to get awesome ROI and close some sales?

Here are a few tips you could use:

  1. Create your Omni channel strategy to be aligned with company sales strategy
  2. Everything you do should be customer centric, not brand centric (except if you have multimillion dollar marketing budget)
  3. Add value to your potential customers and make their life/business better
  4. Always be closing
  5. Continue going the extra mile so you could create brand ambassadors

Mentioned all above, we are on right track to set up digital strategy, but before we do that, there is one step we should take care of – foundation.

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13 Digital Marketing Experts Make Bold Predictions for 2016

Are you wondering where you should be spending your time and efforts when it comes to marketing your business in 2016?

Whether it’s online marketing or social media marketing, things change…sometimes too often.

With social media platforms constantly evolving and new ones being created, it can be hard to know where you should spend your time. While this ultimately depends on your market and business goals, it can helpful to see what the experts are predicting. This is why I asked 13 top digital marketing experts what digital trends they see in the New Year as well as what they are planning to focus their energies on.

I wasn’t shocked to hear a lot of similar predictions come up. One thing is certain…there is a dramatic shift towards video and live streaming in 2016 as it allows more personal access to experts and topics that are of interest.

Here’s what the experts had to say when I asked them what digital marketing trends they see for 2016 and where they personally plan to spend more or less time this coming year.

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Top 4 challenges small digital marketing agencies are facing

Do you know who is Eric Moussambani?

Famous Olympic swimmer…you know him, right?

I bet you don’t.

Let me tell you his story.

Eric Moussambani was the first swimmer on Olympic Games 2000 who  came from Equatorial Guinea.

The funny thing about Eric is that he got to the Olympics on wildcard without even meeting minimum qualification requirement for participating at the games.

But that is not all.

Even more fascinating about him is that – he won a race.

Yup, the guy that has never seen 50m swimming pool before the Olympic games won a race event though he was almost three times slower than his competitors.

One thing I would like to share with all of you is this – small guys can beat big ones.

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Web design trends 2016

8 Web design trends for 2016.

It is all about the content

Website trends in 2015 will be focused purely on content delivery that will draw attention of their ideal customer. You can forget about flashy websites, multimedia pages and strong calls to actions. They will all be subordinated to delivering great content and leading end users to the actions that website is intended for.

Clicking is dead

As websites get more and more complicated and content marketing gets in the way of minimalistic web site design, clicking is one of the first things that will go out of the game.

Scrolling website design, which is used when all the information about your company, services and more is on one page, is becoming more and popular.

Scrolling website design also offer an elegant and effective user experience for the end user instead of using multiple drop-down menus that can easily break down end user focus and lose his attention.

On top of that, one-page websites are perfect for the kind of interactive storytelling highlighted at the start of this article.

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Don’t spend anything on marketing until you’ve read this

Marketing where your competitors do is expensive, especially if they’ve raised a bunch of money. You’ll both constantly bid up prices and there will always be at least one other player in your potential customer’s consideration set when they are evaluating your product.

When you’re working to get your first 1,000 customers, you want every advantage you can get. If your product is compared side-by-side to your competitor’s, it will probably lose:

  • They have more features
  • They can undercut you on pricing
  • They have a big customer success team
  • They have strong partnerships
  • Etc

They can also afford to spend more on marketing because they’ve either raised money or have nailed their CAC:LTV, i.e. they’ve already been through the “marketing experiment” stage, have built a brand and understand their churn and unit economics really well.

Let’s talk marketing channels for a minute. Most places you’d think to market your product to potential customers are already saturated and too expensive to touch unless you’ve achieved some sort of predictable scale.

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14 digital marketing gurus to follow – Part II

As we all live in hyperproduction era of everything, getting the right info at the right time can be really challenging.

Especially if you would like to be in digital marketing industry. You know, there are a lot of digital marketing “gurus” but just a few that are real gurus.

So as we promised a few weeks ago, we are back with Top 14 digital marketing gurus that you can follow if you would like to get the right info at the right time because as Victor Hugo said:

 

 

So go and grab some ideas right now with those people!

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