google analyticsFirst and foremost, I would like to wish you all a happy belated New Year. We have some big things planned for 2015 and we are going to try to make it our best year yet.

From the title of this article you can probably gather that I’m going to be discussing Google Analytics and how it’s a great tool for your website. I want to preface this by saying yes, we do offer a free web stats tool called Webalizer within cPanel.

I’m not going to say Webalizer isn’t a good tool. It does have its uses and shows you plenty of the basic stats you would want to see when analyzing your website’s statistics. I’m also not going to pretend that it’s anything close to what Google Analytics has to offer, because it simply isn’t. Google Analytics does everything that Webalizer does, they just do it better. They also do a lot more.

Let’s start with what Google Analytics actually is. Basically, Google Analytics is a free tool that you pair with your website to gather all of the visitor data for your website. They then provide you with insight as to how your website is being used by your visitors. It can, in truth, be an overwhelming amount of information when you first look at it. However, if you pay attention to a few key metrics you can find out a lot about your website, both where it’s succeeding and where it’s falling short.

A few of my favorite metrics are listed below. These are the ones that I personally think are the most important ones to look at, but are by no means the only metrics that are important on Google Analytics.

Audience Overview

google analyticsThis is the first page I open to when I look at Google Analytics (click on the image to enlarge it). It shows a breakdown of the total number of sessions (think of sessions as visits to your website) as well as compares it to whatever metric you choose. I personally have it set to % new sessions which shows me of all the visitors we’ve had on that day, how many of those visitors were new vs how many of them were returning.

It also shows a few averages below the graph, including the average number of pages each visitor looks at, how long the average visitor stays on your website, as well as bounce rate, which is the percentage of people who leave without clicking through to a second page on your site.

Acquisition Overview

google analyticsAcquisition overview shows where the people who visited your website came from. It shows how many were sent from another website (referral), how many came directly to your page, how many came from Google (organic search) and how many came from social media sources.

Each of these also have sub-categories. To me, the most important is after clicking on Referral and seeing exactly which websites are referring traffic to you. It is, of course, important to know exactly where your traffic is coming from.

Exit Pages

The Exit Pages report is especially important for businesses. This metric shows what pages people view last before leaving your website. It will help you analyze what parts of your website are weaker than others so that you can strengthen them to keep your visitors around. After all, the longer a visitor stays on your page the more likely they are to buy from you. Analyzing exit pages and making small changes to the pages people leave the most can increase your business.

Top Landing Pages

Another important metric for businesses, especially with regards to converting leads. Top Landing Pages shows exactly which pages people come to first on your website. You can use this in conjunction with Exit Pages and Bounce Rates to judge which pages are converting the lowest. You obviously will want to make changes to landing pages with high bounce rates because they aren’t converting leads into sales.

I could keep going on because of the sheer amount of information that Google Analytics provides but that would turn this article more into a novel, so I think I’ll cut it off here. These 4 metrics are really important for anyone to focus on, especially for those of you running online businesses. They can provide valuable information on how to increase your revenue.

What about you? What do you think are the most important aspects of Google Analytics? We welcome you to comment below to discuss your favorite (and least favorite) parts. To start with Google Analytics, just Click here to visit the Google Analytics page and get started.

new tldsI hope you all had a happy and healthy holidays and are gearing up for a great 2015. For today’s post I want to discuss the new TLDs that are being offered by every registrar (including us) and how they can help you strengthen your brand.

TLDs (short for Top Level Domains) are what you see at the end of your domain name. You’ll recognize the most popular ones like .com, .net, .org, and so on. These generic TLDs have been around forever and are a great starting point for any online business. With the introduction and release of new, vanity TLDs, you can take your business to the next level.

There are over 300 new TLDs available right now, and a total of over 2,000 are in the works down the road. With these new TLDs becoming available it means that you can secure a domain name that you couldn’t have done with the more popular ones. Say, for example, your name is Joe and you run a pizza shop. Obviously isn’t available, but would be a great alternative.

It can also help you protect your brand as well as make you stand out from your competition. Let’s say you’re an attorney living in Chicago where your competition is really high. You could grab and really set yourself apart from the other attorneys in the area.

It can also have a positive impact on your SEO (search engine optimization) and SERPs (search engine results pages). When a visitor does a search on Google the words of the search get highlighted on the website’s title, description, and domain. That means if you have the domain and someone searches for “Chicago Attorney” both Chicago and attorney will be bold in your domain. That won’t be the case for any other result on the page.

Nowadays competition is high for almost every business, and you have to use every tool at your disposal to set yourself apart. New TLDs are a great, inexpensive way of doing this. It will give you a leg up and allow you to market your website in ways that others can’t.

Click Here for a list of all the domain names that are available for registration.

cloudflareCloudFlare is a content delivery network (CDN for short) that uses data centers around the world to deliver your content to your visitors faster, and more securely. Their intelligent system also protects your website from possible threats by blocking out bad traffic. Best of all? It’s free for every HostMetro customer.

So, how does CloudFlare work, you ask? The the basics of it are rather simple. CloudFlare has a network of 30 data centers around the world. These data centers automatically store cached versions of your website in every single one of their data centers. When someone visits your website, CloudFlare analyzes where in the world the visitor is located and routes them to the nearest data center.

This means that visitors of yours who might not live close to our data center (located in Chicago, IL, USA) don’t have to make as many connections to get to your data stored on our servers. The result of this means, on average, websites using CloudFlare load 50% faster.


CloudFlare also adds an extra layer of security to your website. Since so many websites use CloudFlare’s CDN, it has the ability to quickly and accurately sniff out new attacks and stop them before they harm your website. Not only does it block an attack going after your website, it also shuts it down for the rest of the CloudFlare community.

This means that if any website on CloudFlare is attacked, that attack will be recognized and learned, which will make it never be able to target your website, so long as you use CloudFlare. You also have access to reports that show any attempted attacks on your website as well as a breakdown of where they came from, type of attack, and how severe it would have been.

Truth be told, there is no such thing as a 100% secure system. The HostMetro servers are as secure as can be and we take every preventative measure to protect your website from attacks. With that being said, the more security you have for your website, the better. CloudFlare offers a simple way of adding security to your website as well as speeding it up for your visitors.

You can sign up for and enable CloudFlare quickly and easily directly from your cPanel control panel. Just log in, navigate to “Software & Services” and you will see an icon for CloudFlare.

As always, if you have any questions you can call us toll free at 800-485-9730, open a live chat by clicking here or sending an email to

wordpress securityWordPress is the most popular blogging platform with website owners. It has transcended blogging and become a complete CMS (content management system) capable of creating and managing beautiful, unique websites. An amazing 1 out of every 5 websites now uses WordPress in some way. That is truly an outstanding number. This also means that WordPress is one of the most, if not the most, targeted CMS by hackers.

If you use WordPress then you will want to take extra measures to ensure that your WordPress security is as strong as it can be. While there is no such thing as a 100% secure website, the tips here should help you increase your WordPress security, giving hackers a much more difficult time.

Keep WordPress & plugins up to date

The first, and most important thing you can do to keep your WordPress secure is by keeping it updated. This includes all plugins that you are running on your website. WordPress regularly releases updates, and these updates include security fixes.

WordPress plugins should also be updated as soon as new versions are released. Older versions of plugins can increase your risk of being hacked.

Don’t user the username “admin”

Admin is the default WordPress administrator username. Yes, it’s easy to remember. It’s also cutting a hacker’s job in half. Now all he has to do is find the password. Most attacks on WordPress try breaking in with the assumption that the username is “admin.” Simply using another username protects you from many attacks.

Protect your admin login page

The most basic of WordPress attacks target your admin login page. Hackers will use “brute force” attacks to try and send hundreds of passwords as quickly as possible hoping one of them works. WordPress has a “limit login attempts” plugin which allows you to stop this. You can limit the number of times someone can try to login before blocking them for a set amount of time. It’s an easy way to stop brute force attacks.

You can see more about how this plugin works by clicking here.

Use a secure password

It may seem simple enough, but all too often people use passwords that aren’t secure. When setting up your admin account make sure you use a password that is secure. The most simple brute force attacks try using dictionary words as passwords, so using special characters and numbers will increase your security.

Scan your computer for viruses

Many personal computers have malware or viruses that can go undetected by you during every-day use. If your computer is infected then a hacker may be able to gain access to your WordPress login information, among other, potentially more harmful info. Making sure your computer is clean of malware is a good way to protect your WordPress, as well as your bank account and email.

Most of the tips above are relatively simple. They are basic ways to strengthen your WordPress security immensely.