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Small Business Planning

Planning for a New Website

Planning for a New Website

So now that you know your business needs a new website, we still have some more questions to ask of yourself and your business. The answers to these questions will help you create a plan for this website that you can give to the developer. And in the end, that will make everything go much smoother and quicker. So let’s create that plan!

Why Websites Cost What They Do

Why Websites Cost What They Do

As you’ve gone through this process of building a new website, you’ve probably started to wonder how much this is going to cost you. And the unfortunate truth is that it’s going to cost you a good chunk of change. So let’s talk about what you’re paying for in a website and why they end up costing what they do. Hopefully by the end of this you’ll feel at least a little bit better about the price aspect.

Self-Development vs. Hiring a Developer

Self-Development vs. Hiring a Developer

So by now you’re probably wondering why you can’t build the website yourself. The answer to that is complicated. In some situations, yeah, that would work for you. But in most other situations, it is better to hire a developer to build it for you because it saves you time and money in the long run. So let’s figure out which direction works the best for you.

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Ecommerce

What is Ecommerce?

What is Ecommerce?

Ecommerce websites are all of the rage these days. Given everything that’s happening in the world, creating an online store has never made better sense. So over the next few weeks, we’re going to dive into the ecommerce realm as we steam towards Black Friday.

Top StudioPress Themes for Ecommerce

Top StudioPress Themes for Ecommerce

One of the best parts of WordPress is the multitude of great, prebuilt themes that you can use and change for your website. And no place is better at doing that than StudioPress. So let’s go through some of the top StudioPress themes for ecommerce.

What You Need to Know About Ecommerce

What You Need to Know About Ecommerce

Creating an online store is no small task. There is a lot that goes into it. From what you use to create the website, to web hosting, to sales tax to how you turn the online order into shipped product, there’s a lot you need to know before you start. This isn’t something you just do in a weekend. So today let’s discuss what you need to know about creating an ecommerce website.

Exploring Your Options for Creating an Ecommerce Website

Exploring Your Options for Creating an Ecommerce Website

When it comes to creating an online store for your business, the good news is that you have a lot of options. And all of the options vary in price, so you will find something that works with your budget. The only trick is figuring out which one is going to work the best for your business, both for your budget and needed functionality and control.

Top 4 WordPress Ecommerce Plugins

Top 4 WordPress Ecommerce Plugins

When it comes to creating an online store for relatively cheap, WordPress is going to be one of your best options. And that’s because of the extensive number of quality ecommerce plugins that can help you start selling right now. So let’s go through the list of top plugins you might want to use for your online store.

How to Plan Out Your New Ecommerce Website

How to Plan Out Your New Ecommerce Website

In order for our new online store to be successful we first need to plan it out. After all, as Benjamin Franklin once was misquoted for saying, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” And with ecommerce websites there is a lot to plan out, from the technical side of things, like the service, web host and plugin/extensions to use, to the offline process, like sales tax, processing the orders and figuring out who’s in charge of the website.

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Search Engine Optimization

Introduction to SEO

Introduction to SEO

Where does most of your website traffic come from? Without looking at your data, I can tell you the answer. It’s search engines. And search engine optimization helps you get more clicks from search results. So let’s take a look at what SEO is.

How your code affects your SEO

How your code affects your SEO

Before you can really start to work on your SEO, you first need to make sure your website’s code is built and ready for it. Why does this matter? Search engine crawlers don’t see the page the way you and I do. They just see the code underneath. And they use that code to correctly index your website for the proper searches. So let’s learn more about how code affects SEO.

Keywords and SEO

Keywords and SEO

When you go to Google to search for something, what do you put in? You put in keywords. So when you’re working on your SEO for your website, your content needs to be focused on keywords that your target market is searching for and trying to rank for them. So let’s talk more about keywords, keyword research and how that plays into SEO.

How linking affects SEO

How linking affects SEO

The main way that search engine crawlers get from web page to web page is through links. And it’s a way for them to figure out a website’s popularity. So if your website is linked to in a lot of places, the search engines are going to think your website is popular and rank it higher in their results. Hence why link building is so important.

Sitemaps in SEO

Sitemaps in SEO

Something that you’re likely to come across in researching SEO is sitemaps. Sitemaps aren’t the biggest part of SEO, and you’ll want to focus your efforts on other aspects first. But they are crucial for getting search engines to index your website and show your pages in searches.

Tracking your SEO efforts

Tracking your SEO efforts

Finally, our last step in the SEO process is to track our efforts. After all, you’re going to want to see if what you’re doing is actually working or if you need to go back to the drawing board. So today, let’s go over some of the tracking tools — spoiler alert: it’s Google Analytics and Google Search Console — that you can set up and implement to see if you’re SEO efforts are working, how people are coming to your website and more information to help you make smart decisions.

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Content Management Systems

What is a CMS?

What is a Content Management System?

The vast majority of websites you visit these days are built using a content management system. They use anything from WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and more to create websites and display content. And if you’re in the market for a new website, you’re probably going be using a content management system. So let’s talk about CMSs.

What is WordPress?

What is WordPress?

WordPress blows the competition in the CMS world. According to W3Techs, 34 percent of all websites use WordPress as their content management system. So it’s no surprise that you might look at it first if you’re building a new website for your business. But what is it exactly? And how might it help you create and run a website for your small business?

What is Drupal?

What is Drupal?

Next on our list of content management systems in Drupal. While Drupal isn’t near WordPress’ popularity, it is still used by a lot a major companies and has a great community around it. And if you’re looking to do complicated things or want better scalability, it might be the CMS to use. But what is it exactly? And how might it help you create and run a website for your small business?

What is Joomla?

What is Joomla?

Next on our list of content management systems in Joomla. While Joomla isn’t near WordPress’ popularity, it is still used by a lot a major companies and has a great community around it. And if you’re looking to do complicated things or want better scalability, it might be the CMS to use. But what is it exactly? And how might it help you create and run a website for your small business?

What are Wix and Squarespace?

What are Wix and Squarespace?

Finally, let’s talk about the elephants in the website creating word: Wix, Squarespace and website builders. To be clear, these aren’t like the content management systems we’ve been talking about. But they do come up in this conversation often. While I’m not really a fan of them, I do understand that they have a place in the online ecosystem. And there might be a time when it’s right for you.

What CMS Works Best for You?

What CMS works best for you?

Okay, so we’ve talked about the top CMSs plus and Wix and Sqaurespace. So which one is right for your new website? Well, that all depends. Really, it just depends on your situation, what you need, what you want and what you’re comfortable. There’s no one right answer for everyone.

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WordPress Wednesday

What to Expect with WordPress 5.6

What to Expect with WordPress 5.6

We’re nearing the end of 2020 and that means it’s time for the last major WordPress release of the year. WordPress 5.6 brings us a new default theme, Twenty Twenty One, updates to the block editor, some PHP 8 support, auto updates for major releases and other changes and fixes. So let’s go through what you can expect when you update to WordPress 5.6 when it’s released on December 8.

How to Speed Up Your WordPress Website

How to Speed Up Your WordPress Website

How fast does your WordPress website load? Most likely it’s not loading as quickly as you would like it to. But the good news is that there are relatively easy ways for you speed up your WordPress website to give your visitors a much better experience. So today let’s take a look at some of the things you can do today to speed up your site.

A Look at the Google Site Kit Plugin

A Look at the Google Site Kit Plugin

If you’ve got a website, you’re probably going to want to hook it up to some of the Google tools that are offered like Analytics, Search Console, Tag Manager, etc. But each of those service require different things you need to do in order to connect them to your website, including adding lines of code. Fortunately, the Google Site Kit plugin, introduced in November 2019, makes it super easy to connect your website to those services and allows you to see some stats inside your WordPress dashboard.

A Look at the Best WooCommerce Themes

A Look at the Best WooCommerce Themes

WooCommerce is a great WordPress plugin that can turn your website into an online store in just a few minutes. But sometimes the styling can look a bit off if your theme isn’t created with it in mind. So here are four of the best themes sold by WooCommerce to help you quickly create a great online store.

Taking a Walk Through Easy Digital Downloads

Taking a Walk Through Easy Digital Downloads

If you’re looking to start selling digital products through your online store, you’re going to want to take a look at Easy Digital Downloads. It’s similar to WooCommerce, but built to handle digital products specifically. If you sell software, you’ll want to look into this.

Taking a Walk Through WooCommerce

Taking a Walk Through WooCommerce

When it comes to WordPress and ecommerce, there’s probably no better plugin than WooCommerce. Seriously, take a search for WordPress ecommerce plugins, either through Google or the Plugin Directory, and see which one pops up with the first result. I’m willing to bet that it’s going to be WooCommerce. So let’s take a look to see what it is and if it might help your business.

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Website Tip Friday

How to Speed Up Your Website

How to Speed Up Your Website

How fast does your website load? Most likely it’s not loading as quickly as you would like it to. But the good news is that there are relatively easy ways for you speed up your website to give your visitors a much better experience. So today let’s take a look at some of the things you can do today to speed up your site.

Accessibility Testing Tools

Your website needs to be accessible. Everyone should be able to use it no matter what technology they use to browse the web. It’s both good morally and can help cover you on the legal side as well. But how do you know if your website is accessible? Are there any tools that can help you figure that out? Fortunately, the answer to that is yes.

Staying within your website's design

Staying within your website's design

If there’s one thing that annoys me as a web developer, it’s seeing website owners, editors and authors who think they are web designers and create pages that, well, let’s just say they don’t look good. Don’t do that. Your website is designed the way it is for a reason. So use it as intended. And leave the designing to the professionals. Your users will thank you.

Web Accessibility: Skip Links

Web Accessibility: Skip Links

Another fix you can make to your website is using skip links. This is a small section that is usually hidden on the screen, but is available when it’s tabbed on to or to screen readers. And it allows people who use the keyboard, screen readers and other assistive technology to skip having to move through the header and navigation each time they visit a page. So let’s learn about how you can add skip links to your website.

Website Accessibility: Color Contrast

Website Accessibility: Color Contrast

Another fix you can make to your website is using the correct color contrast. This is something that’s geared more to web designers and developers that control the colors on the website more. But if you run a website, there’s a lesson in here for you. You should always make sure your text is readable. So let’s learn about how you can make sure your color contrast is correct.

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