WordPress Themes Rely on Plugins What to Do When They Break

Don't Let Cash Run Out, Get Proactive
Is Your WordPress Website Costing You?

I like WordPress for blogs, but not for websites. Here’s one example of why I am not recommending WordPress for business websites.

Client A did a new website two years ago and moved to WordPress from PHP. They thought that they would be updating their content and so wanted an application that allowed staff to go in and make updates at will.

What happened in reality is that they never added their own content, they paid me to do updates. They had to buy a WordFence premium license to protect their WordPress website from hacking and then  pay a webmaster to monitor files and plugins for updates as well as do monthly maintenance.

Now, one of the plugins that is integral to the look and feel of their theme, has been abandoned at WordPress.com. Deactivating the plugin makes the inside pages look bad. There does not seem to be an easy fix replacement for the plugin. It maybe that the best solution is to replace the WordPress theme in the next year due to the loss of this important plugin.

Client B has a PHP-based responsive website that is not WordPress. They have used their website since 2015. It still rates over 90/100 on the Google Page Speed tool in mobile and desktop. This client simply wants a new look and so is looking for a similar PHP responsive site design.

I personally feel that WordPress has a place, but is not my preferred application for website design. Too many clients want to keep their new website three to five years or longer. If you have a WordPress website and a plugin is abandoned what would you do if one is not readily available as an alternative? You’d have to simply start over and buy new.

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E-Newsletters Still Have Value as Part of Your Marketing Plan

Google is mobile focused to the max
Make Sure Your e-Newsletter is in a Mobile-Friendly Format

E-newsletters have not gone out of fashion with savvy business owners, they are still a great way to keep your name in front of clients.

I cannot begin to tell you how many phone calls I get after sending out our newsletter where we feature an important website issue. Case in point is after one of our recent newsletters on the European GDPR, we had many past clients who were not regular customers ask us to implement the updates on their website.

Customers past and present do read your newsletter – but, only if the content provides value. By explaining an idea, analyzing a new strategy or highlighting a new technology in your newsletter you help clients to stay informed in a low pressure manner. Unless you are selling products online, I do not recommend making the newsletter content all about your services.

Becoming the “go-to” person for your clients builds repeat business and garners you referrals. If you have not subscribed to our own monthly e-newsletter, I invite you to subscribe right now.

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A Quick Refresher on the GDPR Privacy Controls for EU Visitors

How to Work with Remote Teams
Embrace Privacy with the EU Regulations

Since I last wrote about the privacy updates that are mandated by the EU to cover website traffic on American websites by EU nationals, much has happened.

First, clients who thought that they did not want to update their privacy policy or implement cookie approval for website statistic tracking have changed their minds.

Our team has been very busy updating websites to beef up the transparency of the privacy policy, reveal clearly what is being tracked on websites, offering ways to opt out of tracking, and installing cookie approval scripts on websites.

Several clients have shared their thoughts with us on why the sudden change. Some are listed below.

“I do feel lucky about not getting caught, but also want to be safe.”

“I’ve just had a lawyer call me and I feel like I need immediate action on the privacy updates as I don’t want to end up in court on a new matter.”

“I think it is stupid to do, but I am getting inundated with privacy policy updates from everyone that I do business with, that maybe I do need to do something to my website.”

As for me, my perspective is that it is not expensive or hard to do the implementation to be in compliance with the GDPR. I am risk adverse and feel that eventually the US will institute some controls so we will be ahead of the game by changing our own websites now.

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Are You Following Simple Cell Phone Etiquette?

Simple Tips to Prevent Stares in the Waiting Room
Simple Tips to Prevent Stares in the Waiting Room

I have just spent a week at Temple University Hospital sitting in numerous waiting rooms for numerous hours with many people for a family member. It is clear to me that many people don’t seem to know simple cell phone etiquette rules. And unfortunately it seems that the main etiquette offenders are senior citizens.

Here’s my simple and easy list to follow to help you be cell phone-friendly to others around you.

Playing a game? if you’re in a group setting in a waiting room please turn off the sound so people in the waiting room around you do not have to listen to bells and whistles as you make a score for hours on end.

Want to give your family members an update? Please don’t Facetime and have the volume up so that everyone in the waiting room can hear your personal conversation. Instead, step out in the hallway or into a private space so that everyone around you is not hearing the medical conditions that your family member is being treated for.

If your phone rings, please answer it, or click the mute button. Don’t just let it ring and ring and ring while everyone in the waiting room is looking around to see who’s phone will not stop ringing. Just quickly refuse the call.

Before you even sit in the waiting room for hours, consider turning the volume down on your ringer and on all your notifications so that your phone is not making a constant stream of noise of bells and dings or twinkles or boncs when you’re receiving a billion text messages, emails or notifications.

Consider these simple etiquette rules to help others around you be able to tolerate the time that they too have to spend in a hospital  waiting room.

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Speak Instead of Write Your Blog Posts

Using Speech to Text
Using Speech to Text

This past week I may have broken my wrist, my right hand wrist!  As I can’t type with my left hand and even mousing with my left hand is hard, I decided I would try speech to text. In fact I am dictating this blog post right now.

First, I bought a CMTech Studio USB microphone on Amazon. I bought it because it was inexpensive and it was an easy plug and play item . I got delivery in one day. I plugged the device into my computer and it immediately recognized it. Then I followed the very short instructions to start speaking to text.

Windows makes it very easy to integrate speech to text with a microphone. Using the dictation menu, I’m able to have the microphone listen to me and even add punctuation.

Now Instead of being worried that I won’t be able to work or send emails with a broken wrist in a cast, I’m able to talk to my computer and it will write exactly as I speak. I can then do minor punctuation and spacing corrections and still be able to get out a nice volume of content with a hand in a brace.

To turn on speech to text the first time, click the Windows icon on your keyboard and then H at the same time to open up the dictation menu. You then click the microphone in the dictation bar to allow your microphone to listen to you and then Windows does the magic and converts it into text.

You can use this very cool application in any text field. Right now I’m using the microphone to type into WordPress. I’ve also tried speech to text in Outlook and Gmail. It is really easy to use and fast to set up.

You can read more about windows speech to text at the link below.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/14198/windows-7-dictate-text-using-speech-recognition

 

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Tips for Analyzing if Google Ads is Working for You Part Two

Be on target with deciding what conversions to let the Google AI base bidding on.
Make sure that Google Ads is bringing you the clients you want.

Continued from Monday…

The next step is to dig into your Google Ads report center and start to run reports on location, calls, clicks, and conversion actions. Make sure to review Google Analytics to check your paid traffic versus organic traffic.

One of the most important metrics that I use is conversion rate and cost per conversion for analysis of success of a program. If your service nets many thousands of dollars, it is important to assign the “right” conversion value to each prospect you receive.

Here’s where knowing how many leads you need to get a closed sale and how much the typical client will spend with you and how long they will stay is key for your final evaluation.

For example if it take you 100 leads to close one sale and the sale is a $60,000 sale, you can afford to spend thousands in Google Ads monthly to generate the leads you need to get to your known closure and sales rate.

Another example may be where you project fabric sales to be over $1 million this year, an investment of $2,000 a month for clicks where you are generating 500 sales a month is a great start to meeting your goal.

As you can see, deciding if Google Ads is valuable to your business, really requires you to know some important things about your own business first. How long does it typically take to close a sale once you start working with a client, what is the typical sale, is there a chance for repeat business, what is the size of the sale, what is the cost to you to deliver the service or product, are there multiple purchases with each sale are just a few important questions to ask yourself.

Google Ads offer a myriad number of reports and ways that you can slice and dice your data to evaluate success from your program. It all starts with a knowledge of your own customer, your expenses, and the long term value of each client to your business.

There is no better platform on the Internet than Google to drive qualified leads to your business. Make sure you are getting the most from Google by using an experienced and credentialed Google Ads account manager to assist you in meeting your sales goals.

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