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Small Business Planning

Post Launch Support

Post Launch Support

Congratulations! You’ve finished this website and it’s live for everyone to see. So now you’re forever done with that website, right? Wrong. Websites are living and breathing things. You need to take care of them so they can continue to help your business grow. So today let’s go over the ways you can support your website so that it continues to run smoothly and help you.

Taking the Website Live

Taking the Website Live

The website is basically done. The developer just sent you a link so you can see the final website in all of its glory. So now what do you do? Well, you should review it one last time to make sure it’s what you want and need. And then it’s time to take it live.

Making Sure the Content is Ready

Making Sure the Content is Ready

The website is almost done. It’s been planned, designed and built. But what about the content? What are visitors going to read and see when they come to your website? Where is that? The content is the most important part of any website. But it can get overlooked in the process. So let’s avoid that.

Developing the Website

Developing the Website

We are so very close to your website becoming a reality. But we still have the biggest mountain yet to come: developing and building the website. So today let’s go over some of the things you can do during this part to put your mind at ease while the site is built.

The Design Phase

The Design Phase

Once the discovery phase has ended, it’s time for the designer to, you know, design the website. This is typically a fairly hands off part of the process for you. So today, let’s talk about a few things you need to ask the designs and the designer so that you end up with the best website possible.

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Search Engine Optimization

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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Content Management Systems

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.

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 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 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 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 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.

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WordPress Wednesday

Properly Updating Your WordPress Website

Properly Updating Your WordPress Website

You know what the little cycle icon in the top menu bar of your WordPress website means. It means that you need to update a plugin, theme or WordPress core. Most updates are fine, but occasionally one might break your website. Here’s how you can update your website while mitigating that risk.

Creating Gutenberg Blocks with Advanced Custom Fields

Creating Gutenberg Blocks with Advanced Custom Fields

Gutenberg, the “new” block editor that’s been in WordPress since late 2018, opened up a whole new world into creating posts and pages in WordPress. You can now add almost any type of block you want to your posts or pages with just a couple of clicks of the mouse and create rich and informative content. But the conventional way of creating blocks is fairly complicated to get started, even for developers like myself. But Advanced Custom Fields has a way were you can create you own blocks using just simple PHP.

Creating a Child Theme

Creating a Child Theme

You’ve probably tried to customize your WordPress theme in some way. You really liked how it looked in the WordPress theme directory or other directory where you grabbed it. But you need to change some things. Some of the colors need to be changed in order to match your branding. Or maybe you want to change how the single.php is laid out. And if you change any of the files, well, those are going to be erased. So what do you do?

Creating a Custom Functionality Plugin in WordPress

Creating a Custom Functionality Plugin in WordPress

When you change themes, your customizations stored in there will get lost. So that’s where a custom functionality plugin comes into play. You can place your changes there and they will stay there even if you change themes. So let’s go over how you can create a custom functionality plugin today (and you don’t need to be a developer to do so).

What to Expect with WordPress 5.4

What to Expect with WordPress 5.4

WordPress 5.4 is almost here. Yes, the first major release of 2020 is currently scheduled for March 31. The release is focused primarily on new blocks and improvements to the block editor. But there are other changes that you need to know about as well.

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Website Tip Friday

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.

Website Accessibility: Headings

Website Accessibility: Headings

Another one of the most prevalent, but easiest accessibility fix is using the correct heading structure. Screen readers and other accessibility technologies use the heading structure to help their users find their way around the page. And using incorrect headings hinders them. So let’s learn about how you can make sure your heading structure is correct. Because everyone — everyone — should be able to access your website.

Website Accessibility: Alternative Text

Website Accessibility: Alternative Text

One of the most prevalent, but easiest accessibility fix is the use of alternative text for your images on the website. This HTML attribute helps screen readers describe the image to the viewer if they need it, and is a key part of website accessibility. So let’s learn about how you can add alternative text to your images.

Why Website Accessibility Matters

Why Website Accessibility Matters

Website accessibility isn’t something nice to have with your website. It’s absolutely a requirement these days. If people who use the keyboard or screen reader or something similar can’t use your website, then you have a bad website. So let’s talk accessibility. Because everyone — everyone — should be able to access your website.

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