New WordPress Care Packages

WordPress sites are great if you want to keep your content updated – but for security and ongoing functionality you also have to keep WordPress itself updated, keep all the plugins up to date and make sure you take regular backups.

All this ‘under the hood’ stuff takes time and can go wrong if you are not 100% sure what you are doing. With this in mind we have now formalised our range of care packages, from basic bronze to full fat gold.

See below to find out which one is most suitable for you.

 

Bronze WP Care Package

Cost: £15/month or £165 per annum

Most suitable if you are a ‘hands on’ type

Scope:

  • Basic site hosting and technical support
  • Weekly content and database backups
  • Client keeps WordPress and all plugins updated
  • 30 min/month maintenance time allocated

Note: If you only take out basic Bronze package and the site is on our servers then you are obliged to keep it maintained and  secure

 

Silver  WP Care Package

Cost: £30/month or £330 per annum

Best value package for most clients

Scope:

  • Site hosting and support
  • Support for content/layout issues
  • Weekly content and database backups to a remote location
  • Backup Restoration if required
  • WordPress core updates
  • Plugin Updates
  • Premium  anti-spam plugin installed
  • 1 hour/month maintenance time allocated

 

Gold  WP Care Package

Cost: £40/month or £450 per annum

Full fat option – no worries, ever

Scope:

  • Site hosting and support
  • Support for content/layout issues
  • Weekly content and daily database backups to two locations
  • Backup Restoration if required
  • WordPress core updates
  • Plugin Updates
  • Plugin conflict issues dealt with if necessary
  • Premium anti-spam plugin installed
  • Malware monitoring and removal
  • CSS tweaks to theme to change appearance
  • 90 minutes/month maintenance time

 

For more info on our WordPress services see our new WordPress site at webcraftwp.uk

Wow, it’s been a long time . . . part 1

Too busy to blog, and anyway we have a Facebook page now . . . 

Still working away, almost entirely with WordPress now.

Here’s just a few of the sites we’ve completed or redesigned over the last twelve months.


whsIn July 2016 we completed the conversion of West Highland Sailing’s website to WordPress.

With over fifty pages, the site is bursting with information about the company, the boats and the canal and surrounding countryside.

 

Zoomable charts of the canal, booking forms, availability calendars, downloadable PDFs of all the major documents and lots and lots of really great photos.


kkSeptember saw the publication of the Kold Kronicles website, a site for the readers and fans of a new series of groundbreaking fantasy novels.

The author was particularly interested in the blogging side of WordPress, and is using it to good effect to keep in touch with his fan base.

 


 

Mobilegeddon?

mobilegeddon3What does Google’s new algorithm mean for your business?

Since the 21st of last month (April 2015) Google will – for searches made from mobile devices only – reward sites that are deemed to be ‘mobile-friendly’ with higher ranking for the same search terms as non-mobile-friendly sites.

 

So what?

If your traffic mostly comes from desktop, laptop or tablet users then don’t panic – your search rankings will not be affected. However, it is worth remembering that approximately 60% of web traffic is currently driven by mobile devices.

 

How do I know if my site is mobile-friendly?

Simples. Go to https://www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ and plug in the URL of your site

 

Help! My site is not mobile-friendly. What can I do?

Firstly, don’t panic. Remember, searches  that are not from phones will not be affected.

But – we recommend that you consider updating your site in the not too distant future to use a responsive design that will look good across all platforms.

 

How can I do that?

Just ask us for a quote. We will set up a new WordPress site for you using a responsive design, and transfer your existing content.

How much will it cost?

How long is a piece of string? It depends on the size and functionality of your existing site. Roughly, it will probably cost as much or a little more as it cost to set up your site in the first place – if we did it. If your site was created by another company it might be very much cheaper than you think. Ask us for a free, no-obligation quotation –  fill in our contact form.

 

Are there any other benefits other than Google rankings?

Yes. You can manage a WordPress site yourself. Simple edits are a doddle –  no need to call your web developer. You – or us if you prefer – can add almost any functionality you can thing of in future, from e-commerce to galleries, forums or online booking. And the site is easy to transfer to another server or web provider with a few clicks should you ever want to do so.

And finally . . .

After recommending to our clients that they think about updating their website to make it responsive and mobile-friendly we realised that the project to convert our own (Webcraft) site, which was started several months ago, had stalled and we were not practicing what wee were preaching. A (very) long weekend burning the candle at both ends – and in the middle – sees the project finally finished. We hope you like the result.

screenshot

 The site is powered by WordPress using a modified version of the Air Balloon theme.

New website for KS Treecare

We created K&S Treecare’s original site for them three or four years, ago, and it has served them well. However, with the advent of Google’s new search algorithm which favours mobile-friendly devices K&S decided it was time for an update.

It’s built in WordPress using a modified version of the Accelerate theme.

They like it – hope you do too.

kstreecare

Setting up a Business Facebook page

Facebook pages for businessThe time has passed

 . . .  when Facebook was a “good idea” for businesses to try.  It’s now pretty much essential

Facebook keeps changing how to set up Facebook business pages – both on the macro scale with the rollout of Facebook Timeline, and on a smaller scale with new features that are appearing all the time.

To save you time and a lot of head scratching this basic guide breaks it down to make it simple to set up your business or organisation’s Facebook Timeline correctly. Just follow the steps below to get your business on Facebook today.

 

1) Choose a Classification

Navigate to the following URL in a new tab to create your
business page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php

Once there, choose from one of the following six classifications:

  •        Local business or place
  •        Artist, band, or public figure
  •        Company, organization, or institution
  •        Entertainment
  •        Brand or product
  •        Cause of community

This classification will help you rank for more relevant searches and provide relevant information fields on your page.

 After selecting one of the six, choose the category you’re in and fill out your business name (or if you selected one of the other options, your brand or company name). The business option also asks for further location information. Keep in mind that your category and name cannot be changed once your page is created. Type carefully and check before finalising, otherwise you’ll end up having to delete the entire page and start anew.

                       

2) Complete Basic Information

 ~ Upload Photo

Facebook will now prompt you to upload the main photo for your page. This photo will appear as your icon every time you comment on a post or appear in news feeds. For most businesses it will probably be the company logo. The dimensions of your profile picture are 180pixels X 180pixels. Make sure you upload a square image (add blank space to make it square if necessary), and ideally resize it to 180×180 before uploading it. (This image will shrink on the page to appear as 125X125)

~ About Section

Next, you need to write your ‘About’ information. This brief wording will serve as the main 2-3 sentence description for your company. It will be on your main page, so it is worth taking some time to craft it. Make it descriptive but succinct, and be sure to include a link to your company website as well.

 

3) Use Your Admin Panel

Your admin panel is the ‘dashboard’ for managing your page. It’s filled with various features and options to optimize your page and facilitate your monitoring of that page.

~ Edit Page

The ‘Edit Page’ option in the upper right provides various options. The first option, ‘Update Info,’ allows you to update the basic information you provided earlier. This will also allow you to enter a description, which is an extended version of the ‘About’ information. Users only see the description by clicking ‘About’ on your business page, so don’t hesitate to add lengthier and more detailed information here.

You can also manage the roles of your page administrators. This allows you to invite various employees from your business to be administrators on your Facebook page in order to respond to comments or messages specific to their function, without giving them complete control over your page. The other options under ‘Edit Page’ allow you to manage your notifications and add page permissions.

 ~ Build Audience

Don’t invite users right away. First, you want to fill your page with interesting content. Then invite your users/clients to start engaging with that content. Once your page has some interactions, invite more fans and contacts and get them to ‘like’ the page.

 

4) Fill the Page with Content

~ Cover Photo

The cover photo is a great opportunity to project your business image. The exact dimensions of this cover photo are 851X315. Resize your image to these dimensions before uploading it.

~ Custom Tabs

Facebook allows you to have unlimited tabs on your page. However, only four can appear on the page before the user has to click the arrow to see the rest. Think carefully about what you want to appear in these four slots, whether it’s events, photos, groups, etc.

~ Posts

When posting on your page, be sure to use a variety of content. What images would your audience like to see? What stats would they like to read? What links would they like to click? You can also click the little star to the upper right of any post to highlight it horizontally across your entire page. Not only will this make it look like you have a cover photo on your actual timeline of posts, but it will highlight the page as a milestone in your company history. Use this feature for product announcements, business anniversaries, and other major events pertinent to your brand.

~ Monitor

While having an attractive Facebook page is a great investment of your time, to get maximum benefit from it you need to ensure you’re monitoring how people are interacting with it. To the upper right of your Admin panel, you’ll see all the private messages users are sending to your page. Meanwhile, the upper left and centre of the panel shows all the posts users are liking and commenting on. Be sure to respond to comments and messages promptly not just to show your visitors that you care about them, but to avoid any detrimental impact of ignoring these people. One study has shown that failure to respond via social channels can lead to up to a 15% increase in ‘churn rate’ for existing customers.

 

5) Measure Your Efforts

At this point, you’ve built and shared a Facebook business page that (hopefully) accurately represents your business. Now you need to measure your efforts to ensure you’re making the right marketing decisions on Facebook. Click on the ‘View Insights’ option to the bottom-centre of your Admin panel. You’ll be able to monitor various factors that will help you grow and adapt your Facebook marketing efforts around what’s working and what’s not.

And voila! You have a Facebook business page. Now go and post lots of interesting content, gain new clients and grow a loyal base of fans!

Social Media for Business

Social MediaWhat do you use, and what works?

We are told we must Tweet, set up a Facebook page, make YouTube videos, work on our LinkedIn network   – but this all takes a lot of time. Which of the various social media platforms do you seriously use for business, and which one would you say has provided the best return in terms of new clients or increased business over the last year?

 

 

Clients From Hell

A collection of anonymously contributed client horror stories from web designers

(None of these are ours, honest) 


“That other website is stealing our business. Can you make it so that when someone types in their address they come to our site?”

Me: “So what’s your budget?”

Client:  “Well we are well known amongst all the Russian billionaires so there is great potential for you to get your name out there by doing this project for free. Also I am a direct descendant of Genghis Khan.”


“I’m not paying you anything extra to do the website because it is simply a matter of pushing the right buttons. I know how to push buttons.”

Client: You see where you have a full stop at the end of the first sentence?

Me:  Yes.

Client:  Can you change it to a comma?

Me:  Er, well I can, but you should put a full stop at the end of a sentence.

Client:  Oh, that grammar stuff is very old fashioned.


“Our web application support team doesn’t know HTML or JavaScript, can you redo the project so you aren’t using those?”

After a lengthy presentation for the design of a microsite, the clients had a few unanswered questions. Chief among them regarded the large portraits of former actors and directors beside their bios. The conversation went something like this:

Client:  “Can you click the picture?”

Me:  “No. What do you want it to do? Enlarge?”

Client:  “No, I just want to click it.”

Me:  “But when you click it, what do you want to happen?”

Client:  “I just want to be able to click it.”


“We’d like you to illustrate this (diagram of traffic tunnel and four-lane highway), but we’d like you to make it look like this (watercolour of budgie doing aerobics).”

My client was an outdoor events company and upon seeing a competitor using a blue sky in their advertising, emailed me telling me to call this company and let them know that they had to change the colour of the sky in their ads, “because we own copyright of blue skies in this country so no-one else can use them”.


“I really like the gradient – going from red to yellow – but I don’t like orange. Can you make it go through another colour?”

Client:  “Just make it look like the site I showed you.  In fact, why don’t you go into their site and take the images?”

Me:  “Because that is illegal.”


“I want you to make it so people have to give us their email before they can look at the site. If they’re gonna look at our stuff, I want to be able to spam them afterwards.”

Client: I need video streaming, contact forms, a small database for customer comments and a new logo made and hosting for 3 years with a bit of a download option for the videos too

Me:  That all sounds reasonable, your original request terms this “Cheaply” what is your budget and I’ll advise as to what can be done realistically.

Client:  £20


“I really like it. The thing is, I showed it to my uncle, and he didn’t like it at all – he though the ‘1’ looked like an ‘i’. He was a bit drunk at the time. Do you think you could you change it?”

Make sure you have copyright and control over your website

These shocking quotes are from a local web design company’s FAQ:

Q: Copyright?

A: All website designs, logo designs etc come under the copyright of (company name) and no unauthorised use of any image or any other design feature may be copied, reproduced or referenced without prior authorisation.

——————————————————————————————————–

Q: Who owns the website once completed?

A: All website designs are the property of (company name), the client owns the ‘domain name’ and rents the host space Unlike other web designers we offer our clients the right to buy the website design should they ever wish to leave (company name).

——————————————————————————————————–

Q: How long will I be committed to (company name)

A: Any website design deal undertaken by (company name) will require, as part of our terms and conditions and per the detail of each individual website design deal, the commitment of a 12 month period, after which any client can leave (company name).

——————————————————————————————————–

These terms and conditions are simply horrendous and we cannot believe any business would agree to engaging a company that offers such terms. If you are thinking of doing so then please be aware that this is NOT industry standard practice and is possibly not even legal.

How can this company get you to pay them good money to design a website and then tell you that you don’t own the design, don’t own the copyright to the content and cannot transfer the site to another hosting provider? They say this is ‘unlike other web designers’. Damn right it is. How can they have the cheek to offer to sell you a website you have already paid for?

Compare this with our T&C:

All files created, html, graphics and any other, remain the property and copyright of Webcraft UK Ltd until the final invoice is paid in full. Once payment is received full intellectual title to all files, graphics, HTML and site structure will transfer to the client.

We also allow and will facilitate transfer to another host at no charge to the client any time after the final invoice has been paid.

Please don’t accept any lesser terms when choosing a web design company. There is no point in paying good money to have a website built only to discover it is not actually yours at all.

 

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