Category Archives: Web Design

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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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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Contact Form Solutions

What to Do With a Contact Form?
What to Do With a Contact Form?

Occasionally we have a client who is using a low-end web host or who is self-hosting and does not have a cgi-bin or scripting enabled in order for us to install a contact form processing script. Sometimes this has lead to expensive programming charges. We do not offer programming and so we have to contract out this portion of a project adding to expenses.

We have found a service that will process the script for you on their servers and so far it looks like a clean and elegant solution to a thorny problem for some clients. You will want to click our post title to review the site MyContactForm.com. With a premium account for $24.99 per year, now any client can have a professional seamless contact form installed on their site without complex programming initiatives. I think that it is a very smart solution.

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Rebecca McCord – Virginia Tech Graduating Senior

Rebecca A. McCord, Virginia Tech Senior
Rebecca A. McCord, Virginia Tech Senior

Our very own Rebecca A. McCord is a graduating senior at Virginia Tech.  She is seeking full-time employment in the Washington D.C. region in the national defense and/or security field.

Her major is BAIS in National Security and Foreign Affairs with minors in Leadership, Russian, International Public Policy and Global Engagement.

You can see Rebecca A. McCord’s  full resume and curricula vitae on the Wix website that, by the way, she built herself.

Rebecca has been my Executive Assistant for several years. Although my firm will miss her for her exceptional qualifications and head for business, it is time for her make a difference in the world around her.

A person of unique qualifications, Rebecca A. McCord brings to the table a very strong work ethic, desire to make our country strong in the global order and global marketplace, and a desire to succeed. She speaks Russian and French. Rebecca will be graduating in May 2019 but is scheduling job interviews now for full time employment after graduation.

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An Update on the EU’s GDPR for Privacy

An Update on the EU’s GDPR for Privacy
An Update on the EU’s GDPR for Privacy

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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It’s the Page Speed Load Time That Hurts Your Sales

McCordWeb.com Results
McCordWeb.com Results

Continued from Monday.

Google says that as your site load speed increases from 1 to 7 seconds, your bounce rate increases 113%. Missed opportunities; bounced prospects means missed sales.

I tested my own website against a number of other sites on the Google Test My Site tool and here’s what I found.

My site www.mccordweb.com – 3 second load, excellent rating, low loss of visitors. My site is a responsive design in PHP and only uses WordPress for the blog.

Fulfillment company legacy HTML website that is over 8 years old, but the owner is not ready to do an update yet. 7 second load time, fair rating, 26% estimated visitor loss.

Pest control company legacy PHP website that is over 10 years old, but the owner is not ready to do a site update yet. 6 second load time. fair rating, 24% estimated visitor loss.

Medical business redone responsive WordPress website, but the owner was not speed-focused. 7 second load time. fair rating, 26% estimated visitor loss.

GPS technology business newly redone responsive WordPress website with a very glitzy look, but the designer was not speed-focused. 10 second load time. poor rating, 29% estimated visitor loss.

What I have found is that the WordPress sites with the slide show on the home page are not testing well for speed. The PHP based websites that do not have a slide show cover and are more text focused and utilize created AMP pages are testing as speedy.

Need help with your website? Check us out to see how we can help you get a speedy rating and not risk visitor loss.

 

 

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