Tag: Websites

New Year’s resolutions for your website

Six things you should do for your website in 2017.

Lose weight.

Pare down large images,  graphics, outdated plugins and overweight code. Your customers and Google both appreciate a website that loads quickly. Check your site speed with Pingdom.

Be a better friend.

Make sure your website is socializing well. Make it easy for people to share and comment on your content (whether you’re selling swing sets or mortgage rates).

Be more responsive to others.

Your website should be available and usable whether your customer is on a phone, a tablet or a PC. Check your website responsiveness here.

Think about others.

I know it’s your website, but don’t make all about you. Make sure your content is useful to  your customer.

Keep in touch.

Use analytics and track your performance. For expert advice and bulletproof analytics, sign up for Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. They’re both free!

Get a personal trainer.

If you’re too busy to stay on top of all this, get some help! A freelance website manager can make all this happen and make sure your site is secure and up to date all year long.

Top Five Reasons Why Your Website Is Failing

#1. It’s so slow.

Your website visitors expect your site to load in less than 3 seconds. 65% of visitors will actually leave if it takes more than 3 seconds.

#2. It doesn’t work on my phone.

60% of “visitors-from-searches” are on their phone NOT a desktop PC.

#3. I can’t find what I’m looking for.

Poor menu structure and confusing language are responsible for most “bounces”.  According to Google Analytics, “a bounce is when a person leaves your website from the entrance page and doesn’t interact with the page”.  These visitors just go away, usually because they don’t see what they want in their first glance.

#4. I can’t find your address or phone number anywhere.

Phone books don’t exist anymore! The #1 and #2 reason why someone would Google your business is to find your address or phone number.

#5. The most recent comments are from a year ago.

Your website looks out-dated and unattended.

Honorable mentions…

  • You have annoying pop-ups or unwanted ads.
  • It says “Copyright 2012” at the bottom of your page.
  • Your links don’t work.
  • You have a spelling mistake.
  • I can’t pay online?
  • You don’t have an online contact form.
  • I don’t see any links to your social media pages.

If you need help fixing any of these issues, just contact a Freelance Website Manager here.

Does my website need an SSL certificate?

Yes.

Google has started favoring websites with SSL certification (websites with “https”) over regular websites (sites with “http”) in it’s search results.

SSL certification shows that your website is using encryption to protect users and their personal information.

By January 2017, the Google web browser, Chrome will treat all regular “http” websites as non-secure.

With this in mind, yes, I suggest you add SSL certification to your site.

The actual SSL certificate costs about $150/yr (based on a single medium-size website) or $300/yr for an e-commerce website. You will also need some help from a website manager to ensure the certification is handled properly.

There’s no rush on this, but it is something to consider before 2017.

Common mistakes that small-business websites make

My take on some points made in the article “These Website Mistakes Are Costing You Money” from entrepreneur.com.

  • Poor SEO – “I can’t find your website on Google.”
  • No mobile  – “I can’t see your website on my phone.”
  • No social media links  – “I can’t share your website with my friends.”
  • No website manager – “Your website is a security risk, it also looks outdated or unattended.”
  • No metrics / analytics  –  “Without analytics you won’t know what’s working and what’s not working.”

I think fixing the SEO issue should be #1 on your list, if no one can find you, none of the rest matters.

Mobile is #2, more than ever people are looking for you with their mobile device and your website must support that.

You don’t need a big budget to fix these mistakes, most can be fixed quickly and inexpensively with a good freelance website manager. – Mike

How much does a website cost?

How much does a website cost?

The name: $25 / year

The name: The name of your website is the ‘domain name’. Your domain name should be something that is easy to remember and easy to spell (and your name should explain who or what you are).

My domain name is “FreelanceWebsiteManager.com”

A domain name must be registered and managed by a hosting company. Expect to pay about $25 per year for your name.


The host: $120 / year

The host: The host of your website is the place where the actual files that make up your website are stored (hosted). The hosting company will also provide ftp and email services for your domain name.

Expect to pay about $120 per year for a shared hosting plan. A shared hosting plan is good enough for a personal or small business website.


The site: $50 + $500

The actual website: There are many options when it comes to designing and building your website. I recommend using a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress or Joomla.

Customizing an existing WordPress theme is the most cost effective way to build a website.

A WordPress theme will cost $50-$75 and customizing the theme could cost anywhere from $500-$1,500 depending on the complexity of the site.


The management: $50 / month

The management: Now that your website is up and running, someone needs to watch over the site and keep it up to date and safe.

To keep your site secure, your CMS (WordPress theme) and plugins will need regular updates.

This type of freelance website management can cost as little as $50 per month.


How much does a website cost? 

$695 to start, then $745 per year.

Good luck with your website! If you need any help or advice, feel free to contact me .

Is your website mobile friendly?

When was the last time you looked at your website… on your phone? Was it hard to read? Was it difficult to navigate?

Studiopress has a responsiveness test page that will load your website in four mobile sizes, so you can see just how mobile friendly your website is.

The page displays your website in…
240 x 320 (small phone)
320 x 480 (iPhone)
480 x 640 (small tablet)
768 x 1024 (iPad – Portrait)
and desktop

Click the link, add your URL and see how you look to the mobile world.

Here are my results for this site…

FreelanceWebSiteManager.com Responsiveness test
FreelanceWebSiteManager.com Responsiveness test

If your website isn’t responsive to mobile devices, maybe it’s time for an upgrade. Upgrading to a more responsive theme can be a pretty simple process, especially if you’re using a content management system like Joomla or WordPress.

Let me know if you need any help (or free advice).

Seven things to consider when choosing a WP theme

This is a great article and how true! Too many choices, too many features, can’t decide!

Put another way, how much easier is buying a bottle of wine when you know that you prefer reds and that your favorite red is Australian Shiraz? This small amount of knowledge cuts a choice between 500 bottles in a store down to 10.

With a nearly unlimited pool of WordPress themes to choose from, it becomes so easy to feel overwhelmed and resort to inaction… – Smashing Magazine

To try and simplify the process, here are the seven main points of consideration…

1. Price: Free Vs. Premium Themes

2. Speed: Lightweight Vs. Feature-Heavy Themes

3. Design And User Experience

4. Responsiveness

5. SEO

6. Ease Of Customization

7. Security

For all the details check out this great article from Marcus Taylor on the Smashing Magazine website.

Why does it take 24-48 hours for DNS changes to kick in?

DNS propagation map
DNS propagation map from www.webfusion.co.uk

This totally explains it all…

Every domain has two name servers assigned to it and these are the only two name servers that hold records for the domain. However, when another server somewhere else in the world, queries the name servers for DNS records, it will often keep a local copy of the DNS record so that next time it needs to know what IP address the domain resolves to, it already has the answer. More here…

A New Year’s resolution for #WordPress SEO

10-seo-tips-in-2014“10 Tips For Unbeatable WordPress SEO In 2014” by Wajdan Gul

Really interesting and definitely worth reading the entire article.

1. Speed/Load-time optimization
2. Configure critical WordPress SEO plug-ins
3. Configure critical social plug-ins for WordPress
4. Write unique and in-depth content
5. Rich snippets. Please!
6. Authorship with Google+ is the future
7. Commenting is the new SEO
8. Keep updating the (old) content
9. Be a community person!
10. On-page website structure