It is the season of goodwill, and I am providing site upgrades to Home-Start and NACCC child contact sites for the next 30 days at a very low cost, so please be quick if you are thinking about this.
To qualify, your site needs to already be in my hosting. If it is based on the original Home-start Lite or Child Contact Centre Lite sites comprising 13 pages the cost is £120. If there are some additional customisations in your site with additional pages then the costs are slightly higher. 14-18 pages £160, 19-23 pages £200.
I continue to be impressed by the Elegant Themes Divi template which has made many sites that use it a lot more interesting to use, and they all look very professional. Many commercial web development agencies are now basing sites on Divi, I am seeing it all of the time.
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.
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.
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
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/
Many of the organisations I work with manage social media marketing through Facebook and Twitter. I know from my own experience that you reach a different and frequently younger audience through Facebook and Twitter compared to relying on people visiting your website.
For my local village association we have around 900 subscribers that receive a newsletter each month, and around 350 subscribers to a Facebook group. By checking the demographics in Google Analytics we know that the majority of website visitors are aged 35+. We reach a younger audience through Facebook. The behaviours are different, the conversations are different on Facebook compared to the discussions associated with Posts.
I have recently installed two plugins that repeat the Facebook and Twitter activity on your website. They are easy to set up provided you are logged into your respective accounts. On this article I am going to refer to Twitter.
I wanted to highlight that in a couple of cases I am editing websites on behalf of their owners. This was not my original goal, which was to help every one to be independent of their developer. Which is the primary reason I built this site!
However I recognise if you only need a few changes a year, then keeping up to date with everything may be a problem. The situation you need to avoid at all costs is procrastination. Keep your site up to date and keep it fresh in Google.
I need help!
If you don’t have the time to update your site, but you have material you want added to your site, I can do this for you. There will be a small charge for this service which starts at £5/ 15 minutes or £20/hr. I can get quite a lot done in 15 minutes so provided you have everything ready, I can add things to your site if you wish.
Contact me to find out more. Generally I recommend packaging everything up that needs editing/ changing/ adding and sending it to me with explicit instructions on what you want the end result to look like. I will let you know how long it will take to make the edits, you then need to authorise me to go ahead.
Following some work on another project I have developed a new low cost framework for Home-Start sites. This is now the 5th generation for Home-Starts from when I started around 5 years ago.
Some people do not like the heavy dominance of the orange sidebar in the old Home-Start Lite site template. The new design is cleaner and brighter with more white in the background, and more open than the former design, although the former design is still available if anyone wishes to use it.
This has been built largely because of the demand for low cost responsive websites. It also compliments the premium Home-Start websites I have been building over the summer and autumn period. The premium sites have a lot more work involved in creating them, so I felt it was necessary to continue to provide an entry level solution.
The new template is available to existing Home-Start websites for a single fee starting from £60 (up to ten pages) to swap the templates over and change some of the layout to fit the new style. Your content can be retained in this framework. Higher page counts will be based on £5/ page.
I also upgrade the contact form to a new style of form.
I can also import an old website, even those not built in WordPress to this new framework. Contact me for more details if this is of interest.
In case you are curious there is no Home-Start Seething, this is a demonstration website only for the purposes of displaying this example.