Seems simple, just install code and you’ve got a chat app. But not so fast. I am finding out from personal experience that not all chat apps are alike.
I started out with Drift and still have that chat app on my website. What I found as I used the app was it slowed my website to a crawl for load time. I think much of this is the code is installed in the head tag as instructions state, but may be better installed before the ending body tag </body>.
What is happening on my site is the page is taking so long to load and the navigation does not operate until the chat app function appears – I consider this very bad. Drift must have made a code change to the asynchronous code recently as the page load time was not an issue before but started about two weeks ago. As a result I have been actively looking for a website chat app replacement.
I have tried three Tawk.to, MyLiveChat, and now Pure Chat. I am using Pure Chat on my website right now and so far I do like the free version. What I consider important for a website chat app are the following:
Easy to install
Able to configure colors
Has a rock solid mobile app
Does not impact page load speed
So far Tawk.To and My Live Chat were too complicated for my needs and cumbersome to use. Pure Chat has easy set up and I do like the mobile app which is simple to use.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.