To make sure you continue to receive McCordWeb's monthly newsletter in your inbox, not sent to bulk or junk folders,
please add to your address book.

McCord Web Services Where the Focus is on Your Success

August 2009 Features » WordPress Upgrades, iPod Rescue, Recommendation for Startups

Nancy McCord, Owner of McCord Web Services LLC.Dear Friend,

I think that you will find this month's newsletter interesting reading. I am showcasing new versions of WordPress for blogging, a new application for iPods, and providing some concrete advice that all businesses can use in regards to where you will get the most return for your investment on the Web.

We've also just rolled out a new low price ghost writing program called Twitter Junior that provides budget ghost twittering services for clients that want to outsource Twitter writing. Find out more about these new Twitter services today including set up and implementation, Twitter Executive and now Twitter Junior.

Best Regards,

Nancy McCord

Time to Upgrade WordPress to 2.7 or 2.8 | Songs Stuck on Your iPod? |Recommendations for Business Startups

It's Time to Upgrade to WordPress 2.8 or at least to 2.7

The new McCord Web Services blog template.If you are still running WordPress 2.2 or even WordPress 2.3, now's the time to consider moving to WordPress 2.8 or at least 2.7. I made the change earlier this year to 2.7 (which is my preferred version), and have to say that the improvements to the WordPress application are really worth the time and expense to upgrade.

The most important reason to upgrade is that once you move to at least WordPress 2.7, you will be able to upgrade your WordPress application from that point forward with one click!

Some of the cool new features that you will see in WordPress 2.7 and version 2.8 are:

  • Ability to use WordPress widgets in widget ready blog templates.

  • One click subsequent WordPress version upgrades.

  • Quick edit feature on the blog post management page for blog posts.

  • Ability to promote specific blogs posts to the top of the home page at will.

  • Image uploading is majorly improved. No more problems loading images to posts.

  • Super easy administration navigation. Everything's on the left side bar and is intuitive.

  • Ability to upgrade plug-ins with one click from the plug-in page.

  • New cool templates that are free to use and easy to configure.

If you are interested in upgrading, WordPress has some nice step by step instructions that can easily be found online. It took me 1.5 to 2.0 hours to upgrade my version and that included the full application backup and database backup. Installation is not terrible, but can be hairy. Just go slowly, don't get interrupted, and take your time.

I've included a screen shot of the WordPress control panel so you can see just how different it is from the previous versions. I have to say that I am a big fan of the new version but particularly like 2.7 over 2.8.

WordPress new interface.If you are not using WordPress right now and want to try a blog out, you may want to check out your web host. Some hosts now even have a WordPress one click installer. Both GoDaddy and Network Solutions offer this feature, and both will install the newest version of WordPress for you automatically.

Make sure to use some of the very newest features by selecting a WordPress blog template that is widget ready. I have just changed my blog recently to the Atahualpa theme. I have to say that this is the most advanced, yet easiest to use blog templates that I have ever seen. It has customization features that you just won't believe. For hard core coders, widget templates may not be your cup of tea, as control is relegated to the online WordPress theme control panel only, but I still think that the options are wonderful and the ability to move things around and try out new widgets easily is fabulous.

So if you're still using an old version of WordPress, now's the time to really consider moving forward to version 2.7 or 2.8, it's an upgrade that is well worth the time and effort.


Songs Stuck on Your iPod? Move Them to Your PC With This Free Tool

Hot tipMy son's hard disk on his laptop computer crashed last week and with the crash he lost all of his songs on his computer that were stored in iTunes. However, he had all his songs on his iPod, but due to Apple's weird quirky application there was no getting the songs from his iPod back to his newly formatted computer.

He was moaning about how much trouble this was as he typically has his iPod hooked up to his car stereo and really wanted to listen to music in the house from his computer. I checked for applications that might solve the problem and found one at This is a super cool, and believe or not, free application that has been his lifesaver.

The program is easy to use. Just open the installed program, connect your iPod and either download all your songs from your iPod into iTunes on your computer, synch songs, or move songs from iTunes to your iPod. For my son, Chris, this little application was a life saver.

There's even one for Macs. Just visit to download the software and regain your peace of mind.


Concrete Marketing Recommendations for Business Startups

I get asked a lot for help in regards to what a new business startup should do to develop a web presence and what provides the biggest return for investment. To help answer this question as concisely as possible, without you having to pay me a consulting fee, I have tried to share my insights in this article.

1. Purchase a great content-rich professionally designed website

Connect with customers with your website.I have to say if you do not have a great website, and I am not talking about one your kid sister made, or one created using a GoDaddy template, then you will not be able to convey the professionalism that you need to create confidence in yourself or your products with potential customers. Many startups come to me asking why they do not generate sales and when I look at their website it appears that they are operating on a shoe string. The Web is a great equalizer. Your business startup website can make your business appear to be large, established, and successful, if it reflects true professionalism in content and in design. This is one of the most critical expenses that any new business startup should invest in. You may choose to work with our firm for a custom website or a Quick Launch website or select another web design firm, but you must have a good-looking professional appearing web presence.

2. Get involved immediately with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter

You've got to get the word out about yourself once you have a website. By updating your status and posting information, sharing and interacting online a minimum of three times a day on these various sites you start to build an online presence. Plus you'll get authority links to point to your new website and deep content, and start to establish yourself as a contender in your industry. I have reviewed many social networking sites and these are the ones where I invest my own time with: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I recommend in some cases setting up accounts under your own name as the business owner. I do not have one profile for business and one for pleasure. Small businesses need to just get involved with social networking and typically some of your very first customers will be friends, family, and social contacts.

Follow us on Twitter @mccordweb.If you take the attitude that social networking is a time pit and worthless, you will be woefully wrong and out of the loop. In fact the more you involve yourself in these endeavors with the attitude that you are sharing and providing information and not looking particularly to sell, the more fun you will have and the more fruitful the connections will become.

I have closed sales from social networking contacts. It does happen, really. But, if you watch any of the networking I do myself, you will see that I am open, sharing, provide information on a wide variety of topics, and soft selling my own services only occasionally. I do not use social networking as a brochure or lead generation opportunity, but yet it has worked to bring me business over time.

3. Get started on Google AdWords

If you have the budget, you really want your very next step to be advertising your products and services on Google AdWords. Don't waste money at this point on Yahoo, MSN adCenter, Yodle or other pay per click enterprises. Concentrate on AdWords. If you cannot afford a professional account manager such as myself, then get started using the simple to use Google AdWords Starter version. If you are advertising your services to a local or national audience be prepared to spend anywhere from about $1.25 to $3.50 or so per click (some businesses will pay much more). Don't go into this expecting to pay $.05 per click and set $150 per 30 days as your monthly budget. Allocate $500 to $800 for the first 30 days of clicks and set your maximum click cost to a "market reasonable" setting. Make sure you set up special landing pages for your ad group themes and have conversion tracking installed. Review your program often to make sure that your money is working for you and is an investment in the future not an expense.

Put your website to work for YOU!4. Build great content on your website under your domain name using a blog

Now we're moving into maintenance mode on your website. You must be adding to and growing your web presence over time to attract search engine robots, improve your placement organically, and to provide opportunities for readers to connect with you. There is no better way to do this than using a blog. Blogs build website traffic, allow for keyword dense topics to be discussed and housed under your domain name, and build "web authority" for your site over time. It is not necessary for you to have a professional blogger write for you. Although we offer this service, there is no replacement for your insights as the business owner, but you must be a consistent writer and provide interesting on-topic information and resources in your blog posts.

5. Focus on customer service in all you do

I have found when I first started out that it was easy to do the work, but hard to find someone to pay for it. Here is where top notch customer focused customer service is key for a new business startup. You must provide free information and help initially to prospects, then move them to a paying customer status, and then finally  make sure that you do everything possible to satisfy them. My own business started out solely as a word of mouth referral service and now earns a six figure income. When you build your base on happy customers, rewarding referrals, and provide real advise and value to customers, your business will grow.

If you feel that you need a more personalized plan and review of your own business' current statistical information we do provide consulting services for $90 per hour.  Much of the information on what you can do and how to do it however is provided as free content on our website and blog, so we invite you to dig deeper and browse our content. You're sure to find a wealth of information in both locations.


Home | Web Design | Webmaster Services | Ghost Blogging | Internet Marketing | Contact Us
McCord Web Services LLC • 2254 Ravenna Court • Waldorf, Maryland 20603 • 301.705.7303
nav-map McCord Web Services Webmaster Services Blog Writing Internet Marketing Web Design