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How WebP images speed up your WordPress website

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Using images in your website keeps the visitor’s attention and can help break up large amounts of text. Media can impact your website speed, search engine results, and more. Larger file sizes can mean longer load time. WebP images can speed up your WordPress website.

A hosting service with a fast server response time can make the difference in faster rendering. Check out how GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting can help with fast and secure hosting.

There are ways to optimizing images for performance. These optimization steps can improve you Core Web Vitals score, a metric Google uses as a factor in search rankings.

What is WebP

Google developed and launched the WebP format in September 2010.

WebP is a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. Using WebP, webmasters and web developers can create smaller, richer images that make the web faster.

WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs. WebP lossy images are 25% to 34% smaller than comparable JPEG images.

Let’s look at an image in several formats. First, you’ll find a photo in JPG format, followed by WebP. The quality difference is virtually imperceptible at this resolution.

JPG format
WebP format

Why is WebP different than other formats?

WebP is an open-source format. This means anyone can work with this format and suggest improvements. Other image formats are less accessible to request feature changes.

WebP offers better compression of images. Google indicates it is the “Swiss Army knife of image formats.” All the features from PNG and JPG formats are available with WebP and in a way that does not reduce the quality detectable to the human eye. Still, there are pros and cons to this format type:

Pros:

  • Supported by all major browsers
  • Smaller file sizes improve site speed
  • Anyone can suggest new features

Cons:

How do you add WebP images to your WordPress site?

WordPress 5.8 recently shipped, including support for the WebP image format.

WebP images are significantly smaller than their JPEG equivalents, so visitors to your site will see the complete page loaded more quickly. Smaller images take less bandwidth to transmit, and your images still get all of the responsive benefits of srcset and lazy loading by default. Finally, WebP is supported in all major browsers, so most sites can start using them today.

Whether you create images with GoDaddy Studio or any other image tool, you’ll likely have a PNG or JPG file format. You can convert these images to WebP format in several ways.

1. Convert an image to WebP and upload to the Media Library

You’re likely creating a lot of images for your own or clients’ websites. Not many image editing programs offer a way to save files in this new format. If you are a Photoshop user, check out the WebP file format plugin.

Otherwise, you can create images in any program you like. Then, convert the images to the WebP format before uploading to WordPress. To do this, check out Squoosh or Convertio.

2. Batch-convert your existing Media Library and new uploads

There are several great plugins that may meet your needs available to help convert your entire media library and individual uploads in an ongoing manner. The following plugins can help you batch convert images, specify which directories to convert, and convert new uploads as well.

We recommend a good website backup plan and testing the conversion process on a staging site.

Conclusion

The images in your website contribute to the average page load speed. Doing all you can to reduce the size of image files will help speed up your website.

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Why you should offer multiple payment options to your customers

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In the dawning of an ultra-connected age, consumers demand experiences that are swifter, simpler, and more seamless than ever—especially when it comes to online shopping. This is why it’s important to offer multiple payment options.

To win on today’s commerce or ecommerce battlefield, you must analyze every part of your customer journey to ensure the user experience (UX) you offer your customers is flawless, including the checkout.

Offering shoppers multiple payment options is likely to boost your conversion rates while encouraging customer loyalty.

 

Here we’re going to explore the benefits of offering multiple payment options as well as the different methods available to budding commerce or e-commerce business owners.

Let’s go.

Why you must offer multiple payment options to your customers

There are many business-boosting benefits to offering your customers multiple payment options. These are the big ones:

Convenience and expectation

The average global shopping cart abandonment rate for retail is 72.8%. Plus, 73% of shoppers will leave a poorly designed website for one that makes purchasing a product or service easier. One of the factors driving this large number is sluggish checkout processes that cause shoppers to hesitate and ultimately go elsewhere.

Today’s consumers expect brands to meet their needs head-on. By offering multiple payment options, you will position yourself as a forward-thinking business with your customers’ interests at heart. In turn, this will raise your brand profile while increasing your sales. Offering more payment options will also take the hesitation out of making a purchase.

Related: 7 resolutions for ecommerce businesses in 2021

Audience growth

By offering a wealth of seamless payment options, you can attract a wider audience. Different generations and demographics of shoppers prefer using different payment methods. Cater to them all and you will accelerate the growth of your audience.

Gen Zers and millennials, for instance, tend to prefer alternative payment methods like in-app purchasing mobile wallets and mobile payments while shoppers from Gen X like to use debit or credit cards.

If you set up a range of payment options across your main channels and touchpoints, you will encourage a wider audience of shoppers to purchase from you, and they will be more likely to return.

Brand trust

In the modern world of retail, consumers value trust. If your brand is seen as transparent and trustworthy, you will reach more customers and keep most of them.

Trust is a sustainable growth tool for any modern commerce or e-commerce business owner, and offering multiple payment options is an effective way to build it.

Providing a cohesive mix of safe, secure ways to pay will make your shoppers feel valued as well as protected, and your revenue will increase in tandem.

How to approach offering multiple payment options

To ensure the payment options your offer will provide you the best return on investment (ROI) while keeping your customers happy, making the right decisions is essential.

While offering every payment option imaginable might be tempting, it could actually make your checkout process messy while hindering the performance of your website.

There are a few considerations in your approach to offering multiple payment options that shouldn’t be overlooked, including:

Know your customers

As we mentioned earlier, different age groups or demographics prefer different payment options.

By taking the time to get to know your customers based on your products or services, brand mission, buyer personas, and data based on previous purchases or customer engagements, you can make an informed decision on which payment options are best suited to your audience.

For example, if you identify that your target audience is primarily millennials within the 25- to 40-year-old age bracket, offering a full range of credit and debit card options as well as PayPal and mobile-based payment options is likely to earn the best results.

You should offer payment options that cater to a wider audience, but it’s always best to invest the most time and resources into the four or five options that are most likely to resonate with your primary customers while attracting other potential shoppers as well.

Related: Top 20 questions to build a buyer persona that will skyrocket sales

Know your options

Once you’ve taken the time to get to know your audience, you should connect the dots by gaining a better understanding of your payment options.

To help you on your quest, here are some of the most tried, tested, and popular payment options for retailers:

  • Google Pay
  • Apple Wallet
  • PayPal
  • Credit and debit card (traditional and contactless)
  • Mobile-based incentive schemes (store credit and discount codes)
  • Payoneer
  • Klarna
  • Clearpay (seamless, modern installment-based payment method)
  • Bitcoin

Once you’re up to speed on the latest payment available payment options and how they work, you can make an informed choice regarding which payment options you’re going to add to your website or online store based on your audiences’ needs or preferences.

When you’re up and running with your payment options, you should closely monitor your sales sources and examine which payment options are performing the best. Any payment methods that are barely used and taking up valuable space on your checkout journey can be replaced with more effective options.

Editor’s note: GoDaddy Payments lets you provide secure payments for your customers with low transactions fees. There are no long-term contracts, no subscription fees, no monthly minimums, or any hidden fees. All major credit and debit cards are accepted including Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover for a low transaction fee of 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.

Work with the right tools

To make adding payments to your store or website as easy and frictionless as possible, you should invest in the right tools.

By using a CMS or a website builder tool that allows you to add payment options and widgets without technical skills, you can give your customers exactly what they want in minimal time (and with maximum success)—allowing you to focus on other important areas of your business as your sales grow.

GoDaddy’s intuitive website builder tool offers the support, features, and functionality for creating a fully optimized online shopping space that accepts multiple options quickly and with confidence.

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From clip art to Comic Sans: These screenshots from 25 years ago show just how much the internet has changed

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  • A report from Morgan Stanley analysts in 1996 predicted the prevalence of the internet.
  • It said a person of intermediate web literacy was anyone who simply knew their own email address.
  • From clip art to Comic Sans, screenshots show how different the internet looks 25 years later.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Morgan Stanley tech analysts Mary Meeker and Chris DePuy knew the world was on the cusp of something big in 1996. They drafted a 323-page report expressing their high hopes for the internet, saying it could be "one of the hottest new markets to develop in years."

Looking back on the report now shows just how far the internet has come in 25 years.

For starters, the report shows how rare some now-common internet activities were in the past. Among 150 million estimated PC users around the globe, the authors estimated 23% had used email for work, 6% had used the web, and 5% had used an online service.

"We feel that e-mail, online/Web access may be ubiquitous for PC users within a decade," the authors wrote. "At a minimum, e-mail should become pervasive. So should Internet/Web access: E-mail is the 'killer application' of the Internet today, and browsing through information services the 'killer app' of tomorrow."

Another marker of the web's progress came from the authors' guide to the report for audiences of varying levels of internet literacy.

Meeker and DePuy defined a novice reader of the report as someone who had "never heard of Motley Fool, CNET, or Yahoo." An intermediate audience was just anyone who "knows [their] own email address."

Take a glimpse at the internet of yesteryear with these screenshots of websites from 25 years ago.

McDonald’s

an animated Ronald McDonald the clown and two animated McDonald's employees at the counter

Microsoft

the Microsoft website in 1996

AOL

a red sidebar on the left and paragraphs on the right of the AOL website in 1996

Blockbuster

the words video, music, books, news, and games on the Blockbuster website in 1996

Xerox

clip art of a film reel and giant question mark

Coca-Cola

various images on a yellow background on the Coca-Cola website in 1996

Amazon

a blue box in the corner of the Amazon website in 1996

Nokia

a picture of a landline phone and a table of contents on the Nokia website in 1996

Mercedes-Benz

animated cars and the Mercedes-Benz logo on a gray background

Sony

a digital table of contents on the Sony website in 1996

Almanac.com

farming tips on a yellow background on Almanac.com

Ebay

text about Ebay on the company's website in 1996

GAP

sweaters and ornaments on the GAP website in 1996

Comedy Central

the Comedy Central website in 1996

Intel

icons on the Intel website in 1996

Frito-Lay

colorful splotches on a white trapezoid that says Lay's at the center

American Express

icons on a sea foam green background on the Amex website in 1996

IBM

orange and purple blocks and the words "tis the season" on the IBM website in 1996

Yahoo

several rows of hyperlinks on the Yahoo website in 1996

MT V2

a blue background with pictures of people and M2 MTV logos

AltaVista

a red banner and search area on the AltaVista website in 1996

The Weather Channel

clouds and a digital table of contents on The Weather Channel's website in 1996

The White House

animated icons and descriptions on the White House website in 1996

Nintendo

several icons on a black background on the Nintendo website in 1996

Kodak

four panels of photos with the globe in the background

Pepsi

a green and black background with the words "Pepsi World" in the middle

MSN

paragraphs and a picture of grass and the sky on the MSN website in 1996

Netscape

several paragraphs on the Netscape website in 1996

Dell

color-coded text boxes and icons on the Dell website in 1996

Epic Games

a digital table of contents on the Epic Games website in 1996

MIT

hyperlinks on the MIT website in 1996

Disney

a blue wave and icons on The Disney Store's website in 1996

Microsoft Windows 95

an image of a pink birthday cake and several paragaphs on the Microsoft Windows 95 website

The X-Files

a black background with the words "The X-Files"

1996 Olympic Games

several icons and an image of people playing basketball on the 1996 Olympics website

HP

rows of hyperlinks and an image of trees amidst a sunrise on the HP website in 1996

Adobe

a calendar, yellow sidebars, and the words happy holidays on the Adobe website in 1996

FedEx

an animation of a box in motion on the FedEx website in 1996

UPS

a picture of a box, a baby, and the Olympics logo on the UPS website in 1996

Pizza Hut

the Pizza Hut logo and online order form from 1996

Toyota

an image of a car, several paragraphs, and the word Toyota on a yellow background

Adidas

a foot, a sock, and a red animated face

Hertz

several colorful stripes on the Hertz website in 1996

National Hockey League

pictures of hockey players on the NHL website in 1996

GeoCities

the GeoCities website in 1996
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How to optimize mobile checkout for small business success

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In this hyper-connected mobile age, the average person spends almost four hours a day using their smartphones. So, is the average person spending time on your ecommerce site? More importantly to you, are they buying? In this post, we’ll explain why it’s essential to optimize your mobile checkout for your customers.

In addition to reading news content and checking their social media feeds, today’s mobile users like to shop on the go with studies showing that 79% of consumers made a purchase with their smartphone within the last six months.

As an entrepreneur or business owner, to stand out in your niche, optimizing your website for tablets or smartphones alone isn’t enough to ensure sustainable growth, you have to make your mobile checkout journey as smooth as possible.

Optimize your mobile checkout design

When you’re optimizing your mobile checkout journey, design matters. Many people make the mistake of valuing looks over logistics doing so will make your checkout journey confusing, prompting your mobile customers to abandon their purchase and go elsewhere.

On mobile especially, people like a user experience (UX) that is swift, simple and intuitive.

 

Any snags and it’s unlikely that people will complete their purchases.

To make sure your checkout design is swift and responsive, you should:

  • Avoid using too many colours, information boxes or dropdown lists. Dropdown lists are especially disruptive to the checkout experience as they require scrolling, distracting shoppers from the task at hand. When it comes to mobile checkout design, minimal is always best.
  • Embrace autofill boxes and pop-up keyboard functions to make entering person data and delivery information as frictionless as possible.
  • Show your mobile customers how many steps they have to take to complete their purchase by adding a progress bar to your checkout journey a simple design feature that helps guide people through the funnel, step by step.
A prime example of a clear, concise, and effective mobile checkout progress bar from ecommerce brand, Zalando.
  • Cement your payment options and payment processes (including the likes of fingerprint and QR code payment if possible), offering as many relevant options as you can without cluttering your page. And, test your payment functionality frequently to avoid any bugs or errors that will drive people away from your business.
  • Value your messaging. When it comes to your mobile checkout journey, copy counts. While you should be as sparing as possible, adding a little microcopy to each stage of the process, telling your consumers exactly what to do and why, will increase your chances of closing those all-important sales. Our essential guide to design principles will tell you all you need to know to get your microcopy just right.

Related: 4 COVID-19 mobile app trends every small business owner needs to know

Test your mobile checkout process efficiently

Testing your mobile checkout journey extensively (asking around 10 different people at a time to make a test purchase as if they were a customer) and noting any common difficulties or inefficiencies will empower you to fix any pressing issues head-on with a web developer.

Without regular mobile testing, you could miss small gaps or performance issues in your checkout journey.

 

Smooth and responsive design is essential, but without regular mobile testing, you’re likely to miss small gaps or performance issues lurking within your checkout journey. If you don’t ensure every last detail of your mobile checkout is fully optimized for success, your competitors will so don’t forget to test, test, test.

The goods news is: There are two distinct and stress-free ways you can test and optimize your mobile checkout journey for business-boosting glory:

  • Mobile testing software: There are many user-friendly UX-based mobile testing tools and platforms available today, designed for checking and analyzing your checkout process and functionality. Here you can invite your team to login and test your designs, adding any feedback either in the platform itself or in a shared document.
  • Heat mapping tools: Heat maps are excellent for ongoing testing and refinements as they will show you exactly how your mobile users engage with your checkout offerings.

Heap mapping tools will show you where your potential customers swipe and scroll, using heat-based visuals to show you where people interact most and least on every page. By running a heat map on your mobile checkout journey for specific periods, you will be able to see where people get stuck, get confused or lose interest. You can also see where your designs, action buttons, and design features work best.

Bonus tips to optimize your mobile checkout process

By making your design features as efficient as possible and testing your mobile processes regularly, you will create a smooth, seamless experience that will boost sales and improve customer loyalty. If people are onto a good thing, they will come back for more if they find your checkout process tedious, they will go elsewhere. It’s that simple.

To complement the tips and advice we’ve already shared, here are some additional mobile checkout optimization tips to try out once you’ve made those all-important initial improvements:

  • Offer a guest checkout option: 28% of mobile customers abandon their carts because they weren’t offered a guest checkout option. Rather than making every customer sign up to your business and enter all of their details, offering the option of a guest checkout journey will speed up the journey and reduce the potential for any friction or hesitation.
  • Add clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons and “save for later” options: To entice mobile customers to engage with your checkout, you should add clean and clear CTA buttons to each stage of the journey to guide them through the process with ease. Also, adding a “save for later” option to your journey is an effective way of enticing hesitant consumers to come back and make a purchase another time.
  • Run mobile audits: in addition to function-based testing, you should also run regular mobile audits (there are several user-friendly platforms available today) to automatically crawl and check for any defects or errors. Doing so will empower you to nip any potential issues in the bud and avoid any costly issues later down the line.

“Mobile is not the future, it is the now. Meet your customers in the environment of their choice, not where it is convenient for you.”— Cyndie Shaffstall, mobile expert & founder of Spider Trainers

We hope that these mobile checkout optimization tips guide you to success and if you’re looking to improve your business, check out Websites + Marketing Ecommerce and GoDaddy Payments.

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