Tag Archives: Website Design

How to Move Your Website to SSL

Many website owners are getting approached by their hosts to move from http to https. What is important to know is that there is an easy way to do this and a hard way.

Here are my tips to easily move from http to https

Typically I will recommend that you buy your SSL certificate through your web host. Although it may be slightly more expensive, when you use your host’s provider your host is eager to help you set up your SSL cert correctly.

I paid $199 for my SSL certificate which is renewable each year through my web host. Once you have purchase the certificate, your host take over the installation on your server. For most clients this is all that needs to be done. Everything should work yet be under the green padlock and your site should start with https.

I do recommend that if you do move to SSL that you have your webmaster review your website files to assure that there are no hard coded in page links within your website referencing http. If there are, you will want them to change them to https.

Also if you are running WordPress in a directory on your site, you will want to update your logins and locations so that your blog and the blog access control panel are now all https.

Last of all do not forget to update the links in Google Ads. Change your site links and ad URLs to https to complete the project.

One tip, I typically recommend moving to https before you do a website redesign. There is nothing worse than having to troubleshoot server issues for https while you are troubleshooting a new site launch. Don’t do these updates at the same time.

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Why You Should Move To HTTPS

HTTPS – Google loves it, but for informational websites, moving to HTTPS adds to your costs. Expect to pay $129 to $229 for a SSL or secure socket layer certificate to be able to have your website use HTTPS in the browser bar.

For me at this time, I am not moving to HTTPS and it is mainly due to the additional cost. I do not have e-commerce on my website and I only use a contact form for prospects, so do not feel that I must have this extra security. But, Google loves the security and encryption that HTTPS affords for websites. At some point in time, the use of HTTPS on your website may be a ranking factor for organic results, but for now, it is not.

E-Commerce Sites MUST be HTTPS

If your website has e-commerce, you take payments or log users into a secure area, you really need to be using HTTPS at this point in time, no exception.

New Websites Should Embrace HTTPS

Any new websites we design are all in HTTPS. At this time I do not feel that existing informational websites should move to HTTPS, but that day may be coming soon.

To find out more about how we can help you, I invite you to visit our website to browse our service offerings and read more content on topics that will help your business grow.

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Important WordPress Plugin Abandoned? What to Do

Simple Tips to Prevent Stares in the Waiting Room
Yikes, an Important Plugin for my WordPress Theme has Been Abandoned!

If a plugin that is important to the look and feel of your WordPress website is abandoned, it is best to start looking for an alternative.

Recently in the news, several popular abandoned plugins were purchased and used to disseminate malware. It is not recommended to keep using a plugin that has been marked abandoned at WordPress.og. So what should you do?

One, search for alternatives using the plugin name. In many cases others just like you have had a similar problem and have created, found, or written about good alternative plugins. Do some research and see if you can find a good replacement option.

Two, be sure is has been abandoned by visiting WordPress.org. Look to see if there are comments that point you to alternatives.

Three, look actively for more than one alternative and test them before deciding on one. I am searching for a replacement for a client for the JP Widget Visibility and found this blog post with a nice review of over ten options.

Four, leave the abandoned plugin installed and take your chances that nothing will happen and your site will not be hacked. Just be aware that as WordPress updates, the plugin may stop working entirely.

This is a great article on other additional options to pursue at Nexcess Beyond Hosting.

 

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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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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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Is Search Engine Optimization for You?

Nancy McCord a Google Partner and Bing Partner
Nancy McCord a Google Partner and Bing Partner

Search engine optimization is not for every website. Although search engine optimization can really improve the organic search results for some websites, there are a couple of considerations when search engine optimization should not be considered and maybe a full site redesign may be a better investment of money and time.

When not to do search engine optimization:

  1. If your site is created in a template and the site layout becomes broken when new content is added.
  2. Your site looks funny in browsers other than Chrome and Firefox.
  3. You have a site designed using Flash or tables for your layout.
  4. Your website looks dated or non-professional.

As search engine optimization is not inexpensive, in some cases the money that would have been spent on search engine optimization would be better spent on a new search engine friendly design with built-in optimization features.

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