Seasonal Website Updates You Can't Afford Not To Add To Your Website

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Now is a great time to start thinking about how to optimize your website to better connect with your audience, buyers, or prospective customers. Why now, because there is no better time than the present to serve up engagement with your website. That is the sole purpose of your website, right?

Connect With Your Audience
There is no shame in being quirky and making your website feel warm and fuzzy by adding some seasonal flare. Speak to your target audience. As a matter of fact, your website visitors will respond to this positively as your targeted visitors will relate. Give it a try!

Special Announcements
Special promotions should always be standard practice, but this is especially important during seasonal operations. Reach out to your audience, give a friendly nudge via a newsletter signup request or simply use this time to promote a special message to welcome the season or event.

Discounts & Promotions
Everyone loves a discount. Everyone expects a discount or some sort of offering. Update your website to reflect special prices, even a few special coupon codes would suffice. Does your website reflect a local business for a service? If so, offer a expedited turn-around time for delivery of said service.

Showcase A Deal With A Spark
We all have best sellers, this may be your most widely used product or your only product or service. None the less, now is the time to prepare your website to showcase your work or special deal. Proudly display a featured image, a catchy banner, or show off the best you have to offer with some style. Never be subtle, assume the sale.

Seasonal Search Engine Optimization
It is hard to believe, but you can gain some decent traffic (with early planning of course) by simply adding some seasonal SEO to your already existing product or service pages. You can change some of your most competitive key phrases to an exclusive phrase/time-frame based targeting – for example “March Discount Half Price Books, Best Sellers”.

Ready to implement some of these website updates, let us help - our monthly website maintenance plan comes with a 7-day free trial.

Customer Spotlight - Pretty Mommies - The Importance of Safely Treating Pregnancy Acne

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We get the pleasure of working with a large variety of businesses and organizations. Today we wanted to highlight Pretty Mommies - a pregnancy skin care line founded by Gina Gordy. We work with Gina sharing ideas while executing site managementweb development, and design to sustain the vision of her brand.

ORLANDO, Fla., March 20, 2018 It is very common for women to experience acne during pregnancy. It can also be an incredibly frustrating time for soon to be new moms because most women quickly learn that their favorite acne skin care brands cannot be used if pregnant. This is largely due to the fact that many popular skin care products made for treating acne contain ingredients that can be harmful to the mother and her child. Until recently, expecting moms were very limited when choosing safe pregnancy acne treatments that were also proven to be effective.

"I think women today are much more conscientious regarding not only the benefits, but also the importance of safe pregnancy skin care, especially when treating acne," says Gina Gordy, President and Founder of Pretty Mommies.

Pretty Mommies has made quite the name for themselves in recent years in the pregnancy skin care market. They've received glowing reviews from customers and physicians alike earning them a spot as one the most top-rated pregnancy skin care lines available.

Gordy explains, "When physicians are recommending a product to their patients, it must deliver measurable results and for this specific market [pregnancy and nursing], the products have to be safe." It is why Pretty Mommies chose an all-natural, vegan, gluten-free and estrogenic-free product line. Their approach was to keep their products simple but effective - pH balanced, clean and free from any harmful toxins.

Gordy continues, "It's concerning how many other skin care lines claim to be pregnancy safe, but they use ingredients like oxybenzone that affect estrogen levels. They also use retinols which are contraindicated during pregnancy. What's more puzzling is why ingredients like these would be used at all when there are natural and more effective alternatives." She urges people to check the labels on all products and thoroughly read the list of ingredients. During this special time women should take every precaution they can to ensure a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.

Pretty Mommies is the #1 Physician Recommended Pregnancy Skin Care Line. To learn more about their products, view photos and read testimonials visit www.prettymommies.com.

Why Is My Website Slow - WordPress Edition

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Let’s kick this off by saying that WordPress is (as I am sure you agree) great! WordPress is a gift out of the box, your site is structured in a search engine friendly way, you have loads of nice template designs to get you up and moving fast, and there are endless ways of customizing your installation.

We have plenty of customers that run WordPress and almost immediately the first remark is “why is my site so slow?”. This usually reveals the #1 flaw of WordPress – the overwhelming presence of third-party add-ons and plug-ins.

WordPress Plug-ins Are Not A Bad Thing
The problem we see is just like hoarding apps on your smart phone, you just can’t help but install them. Plug-ins for WordPress are super simple to install and vary in performance. A common occurrence I will see personally is a simple website which has upwards of 15 plug-ins all active and not in use. A good rule of thumb, if you are not using a plugin remove it.

WordPress On Steroids
No such thing – as said before, WordPress is a great platform as is. There are many (some decent) “All-In-One” super website optimizers and performance enhancers out there. Truth be told, most users that use these all-in-one plugins do so because they sound awesome and they think that their site would be better with than without. I never recommend these plugins as they certainly play a role in performance which most of the time is not beneficial.

My rule of thumb when it comes to slower WordPress based website speed is to keep your installation clean, efficient, and specific to your exact needs.

 

My Website Was Hacked (WordPress Edition)

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Welcome to the wonderful world of websites, grab a glass of wine and get ready to forgive forget and move on – Keep this mindset when your site gets hacked. WordPress hacking is HUGE right now and it can be a scary episode if this is your first time going through the experience.

First, keep in mind that 99% of the time the hacking and/or site breach is not personal. In my experience, I have found that much of the time the attack is not even stemming from a human being but from software. We could sit here and speculate all day on why anyone/thing would target your innocent website or blog for seemingly no reason at all. The majority of the time, the reason behind hacking and website breaches are to use your website to help spread their SPAM links.

What do I do now?
The good news is that your site was most likely targeted along with a large number of other similar websites using a similar setup (WordPress for example). The damage you are facing is probably injected junk code into a series of one or more of your website files. While this is a total annoyance and can make your website behave in bizarre and unpredictable ways, we deal with this issue more often than we would like and can remedy the problem quickly.

If your website has issues due to a hack, simply give us a call and we can resolve the issue as well as put measures in place to try to ensure another hacking episode does not occur.

How To Instantly Increase Your WordPress Website Speed

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Let's talk about Wordpress and how to combat the slow website speeds that come with it. Sure, plugins, JavaScript, heavy theme files, and other usability issues play a factor. But we aren't going to go there today, today we are going to talk about the built in Wordpress Cron Jobs, discuss what they do, and then show you how to disable them by using an alternate method.

What are Wordpress Cron Jobs?

Put simply, Wordpress Cron Jobs are scheduled events that process behind the scenes that help Wordpress look for updates, check plugins, publish scheduled posts, etc. Do you need them to run your site? Yes, I would say so but this is where the "everything in moderation" saying really rings home. You can utilize these scheduled events via your hosting service in much more controlled and modest way.

Why are the built in Wordpress Cron Jobs a bad thing?

Put simply, they suck the life from your website. For example, you may have decided to install a backup plugin to automatically back up your website and data, let's say you set this plugin to run once a day to backup your entire website. More often than not, this setting alone would likely reduce your website speed performance to a crawl during the 20 to 30 minute period while the website is backing up. Over time, plugins, applied settings, and functionality added to your Wordpress website begin to stack up and you have Cron processes running for the majority of the day leaving your website performance to suffer.

How to fix it?

Simple, what we want to do here is disable the auto Cron Jobs and then apply a setting via your website hosting service to allow the Wordpress Cron Jobs to run once per day, preferably in the middle of the night.

Step 1 - Disabling Wordpress Cron Jobs -

Open your wp-config.php file and add the below code to your file:

define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true);

Step 2 - Add a Manual Cron Job Via Website Hosting

If your website hosting service is powered by cPanel, simply login and browse to the Cron jobs area, then follow the prompts setting the specific frequency and time you want your Cron Jobs to run. Then add the command below:

cd /home/INSERTUSERNAME/public_html; php -q wp-cron.php

Where you see INSERTUSERNAME you will want to use the username that was utilized to login to your cPanel.

Need some help with this, contact us and we can point you in the right direction.

2 Website Maintenance Tips For Your Small Business

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As a small business owner new or established, if you have a website I am sure you have experienced the feeling of viewing a competitors website or Facebook page thinking to yourself that you are WAY behind. Perhaps, you’re thinking these guys have been in business a few years longer or maybe even that this competitor has a designated “web guy” or similar. I mean somebody has to be in charge if keeping their website so slick right? Truth be told, it is a lot easier than you think to keep a well maintained site.

Let’s run through 2 helpful but important areas to ensure your website leaves the right impression.

Content. Content. Content.
Does your website reflect 100% accurate information? Right now if someone found your website and called you based on a description of a product or service, would you need to clarify that this particular item or service has changed? Whether it be pricing, descriptions, or images – it is great practice to always ensure your website reflects your business perfectly and leaves no room for questions.

Blogging. Don’t let it hurt you.
Having a blog or a news section is just one of those “must haves” these days – this can be anything that you set out to update on a regular basis. The story typically begins when you first launch your website – you have an awesome blog and maybe a news or events section. You think great, I can update this and my prospective customers will be well informed. Then reality hits, your shiny new blog is not your top priority and you post once every 3 months. The problem here is simply that many prospects do in fact jump over to the blog or news section of a website to get a sense of your current events, when they see that your last post was July of 2012 they scratch their chin. Always keep your blog updated, or simply do without.

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