Tag Archives: Tips

Introducing Our New Website

The New McCord Web Services Website.
The New McCord Web Services Website.

We’ve launched our new website last week and invite you to take a look at https://www.mccordweb.com.

Created using a new responsive framework from Project Seven, our new site is made for speed. We have utilized a number of different page layouts using the Zeitgeist page pack.

Our new site features a return to our original colors from years past of a blue-green, gray, and black and we have moved to https.

We have revamped our content, streamlined our services, and introduced new offerings.

As part of our change, we will be changing up our marketing mix.

  • Our newsletter will disappear in October.
  • Our blog postings will move from twice a week to monthly.
  • Our blog posting will be longer, more thoughtful articles.
  • Our social media will focus on LinkedIn engagement.

You will start to see these changes over the next month as we work out pre-scheduled content.

We look forward to many more years serving our clients.

Visit the site now.

 

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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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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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The Value of Social Media for Your Business

What to Know About Social Media
What to Know About Social Media

In the eyes of many business owners the value of social media is shrinking. Does that mean that you should move out of posting to your blog, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn?

It depends on where your audience is and how active your followers are. Although you may never be able to say that you got a lead from Twitter, there may still be value to your business and brand by posting on the Twitter platform.

For most businesses, I like LinkedIn posting, for news and information I like Twitter, and to connect with and announce promotions to consumers, I like Facebook.

Each platform has a unique use for your business, but when the value stops, it is time to look carefully at where you invest your time and money and make sure that your investment still makes sense.

If you need help with social media or analyzing which platforms are the best fit for your business and audience consider our services to provide a honest opinion and quality content.

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Working Online with Teams

How to Work with Remote Teams
How to Work with Remote Teams

My firm employs a number of staff to assist with Google Ads consultingsocial media, and blog writing. Not all staff is located on-site.

Here are a few tips on how to communicate and keep staff on track and accountable as well as focused.

Use Technology to Communicate
Most of our staff is under the age of 30. I have found that assuring that they have mobile access to tasking is key. We use TeamUp for our online tasking and scheduling app. Each staff member has a smartphone with enough data monthly to access work. I require that when projects are completed that they mark the item done or drag that item to the day they will work on it.

Use Video to Show How
When I have complicated tasks, I do a video explanation followed up by an email. Some of my staff like to closely follow the steps in the email and others get the gist of what to do by watching the video. As a good boss I know which of my staff members needs what and I try to supply the information in the way that I know will be the easiest for them to get and understand. My videos are typically 4 to 10 minutes long and show as a hands on what to do. The emails are detailed so staff can print it out and follow step by step.

Teach Accountability
Although work gets done, assuring that they note that something has been completed in TeamUp or doing the required follow-up email or text can be a challenge. I use SMS Scheduler to send out reminder text messages on an automated schedule to keep staff on notice that they need to do the final step which is to let me know what they have done. I have found that text is the best way to get the attention of younger staff and email the best way to get the attention of older staff. The automation of the text messages allows me to set the reminders up once but to send out on a repeating schedule.

Working with remote staff does have its own special challenges. We do try to get together periodically face to face to celebrate and train on more intensive subjects, but I have found that these several tactics have really helped my business to be effective and grow.

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