Home-Start Stories

I mentioned last month (see the article) that I had been working with Home-Start London, adding in a section called Home-Start Stories. These are slide shows that illustrate the work that Home-Start does from a client’s perspective.

In this case the process was led by the director of Home-Start London; Helena  Konneh. I had the relative easy job of preparing the stories for the web, powerpoint and video. Helena used social media (twitter) to encourage people to visit the website and see the stories. This is what happened. The formal launch was September 4th

Continue reading Home-Start Stories

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Free images for your website

I have been making small numbers of premium Adobe stock images available to my client base. That offer is still open, if you want to take a look at the library which is huge with millions of images available.

I have also come across the following list of sites which offer free images. You need to check the details of each, but of the one or two I have looked at, they do look useful.  The article that led me to this was sitting in the dashboard of my WordPress site.    Continue reading Free images for your website

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Colour inspiration

Palettron.com website
Click on the image to visit the website

I am currently working with a group that have independently created a logo. The logo contains a set of colours that to my eye are not naturally harmonious. The relationships between some of the colours don’t work for me, the problem is I cannot say why.

I have to add here, like most people from an IT/ Engineering background, I should be the last person to question someone’s colour choice. My wife frequently comments on mine, as does my daughter. Continue reading Colour inspiration

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Home-Start Stories

Home-Start Stories
Click on the image to visit the Home-Start London site

I have completed two projects for Home-Start organisations that use images and text to tell compelling stories about young families’ lives and how the Home-Start charity has helped them.

These are powerful ways of engaging with your audience, particularly when combined with a marketing launch plan.

You can see the latest one launched today (5/9/17) on the Home-Start London website here: https://home-startlondon.org/home-start-stories/ and there is another one on the Home-Start Surrey site that I helped to develop.  You can see that one here: https://homestartsurrey.org/home-start-stories/.

The development of the story boards, messaging and project management for these were carried out by Jo McLeish of The Media Room Creative Communications Ltd. You can contact Jo through her website:  https://www.themediaroom.org/

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Facebook Feed

I have recently been around all of the websites and backed up everything locally on my systems. I do this generally every three months and also check the site infrastructure to make sure everything is up to date.

I can see some people prefer to use Facebook for news rather than the news page on the website. This is understandable for two reasons. Your audience if it is under 35yrs is more likely to be active in Social Media than the group that is above 35yrs. In practice it is a good idea to add news to the site and to add entries to your facebook group page linking them back to the website by copying the link to the news item on your site to Facebook.  Here you fix two problems. One is the duplication of news, you don’t want to write everything twice. The other is catering for two audiences.

Continue reading Facebook Feed

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How is my site doing?

On all of the sites I have published, they contain a Google Analytics token. This causes every visit to be logged by Google Analytics. I can grant access to your account on request, it contains a lot of information about how many site visits, which countries did they come from, where did people go, where did they go to next, how long were they on the site for, how did they reach the site etc etc.  There are people that specialise in accessing and manipulating Google Analytics data for a living, so there is much much more than most of us need to know.

I have recently come across a plugin called Google Analytics Dashboard for WP that can be configured to connect to my Google Analytics account and pick up the statistics for your website. Once set up, you can login to your site and see a panel on the dashboard that contains a set of configurable views.  You can see an example below from Prestwood Village Association website. There are twelve different sets of data presented and different timelines can be selected.

It is one of the most useful plugins I have come across for internal marketing analysis.

If this is something you would like to have available on your site then do the following:

Login, go to Plugins and click on Add New and search for Google Analytics Dashboard for WP. Install it and activate it. Then contact me and I will link it to your GA Account. After I have done that, it is always available everytime you login.

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Introducing Forums

In July I built a site where one of the requirements was to include a forum. I have not done this before, but I  have come across them and use them on a regular basis.

I have just added the functionality to this website. If you are one of my clients you can join this area, it is managed through a registration form. I receive the form and review it. If I recognise you as one of my clients I grant you access to the system.

There are three forums set up. One is a general forum, the other two are specific to satellite website owners from Home-Start and the NACCC’s Child Contact Centres. I have built a lot of websites for these two groups, and it seems to be a good idea to offer the opportunity for an online community to share ideas and have a place to test concepts. Being specific to a group is useful, because everyone in that group will have the same clients, the same services, and the same problems to deal with.

Do you need a forum?

Continue reading Introducing Forums

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New Home-Start Lite Design

Click on the image to open up a full screen version in a new browser window.

A new design for Home-Start sites is available in the “Lite” off the shelf versions that I make available to new clients. This offers a website in a box. I take the content and localise it for any Home-Start organisation.

The new design is based on Divi. I have built quite a few Divi sites now and am getting quicker, and learning short cuts which can radically reduce development time. Continue reading New Home-Start Lite Design

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Group Calendar

I have been asked on a number of occasions is it possible to have a group or office shared calendar. The problem is generally those people who are used to using Outlook in a business context have used an Exchange Server which managed all of the calendaring functions for you. In a charity situation, particularly a small regional one, it is not very likely that your charity uses a Microsoft Exchange server. The calendar management needs to be handled at a central point such as a server.

I received a request about a group calendar a few days ago and did some digging and have come up with a solution. So if you are interested in having an office calendaring system that is online, that your volunteers and office staff can log into then this may be for you. Continue reading Group Calendar

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Divi Layout Builder

I have talked about the Divi Template several times and I use this regularly now for my premium sites. The layout tool that is used in the Divi Template is also available as a stand alone plugin.

It is a bit more complicated to use than the standard editor, however it offers endless possibilities. Take a look at the site below (the actual site is under development so likely to change before it is public). You can temporarily see the development version here:  http://wingrove-staging.uk/hhccc/

Continue reading Divi Layout Builder

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