Mainly for the benefit of new users

How to quickly update your website

This item is largely for the benefit of new users to WordPress and the systems I have put together.  This assumes you are using a Divi based system. If you don’t know what that is, you probably are not using a website based on the Divi template. The steps are broadly the same for any system. But on the later Divi sites I have configured them to work in a specific way with a featured image.

Basics

Your site comprises fixed or page based content, this tends to remain static and can be located directly through the menu. This is the main part of your website. It tells the world; who you are and what you do in a generic sense.

There is another form of content called a Post. Posts are handled slightly differently. They tend to be transient in that they are time based, with the most recent being prominent and visible on your site, and the oldest buried in an old blog page in your site. However both are still in your site and can be located.  Continue reading Mainly for the benefit of new users

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Low cost site upgrades are still available

Offer Expires in 30 days.

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.

This is particularly important to users of sites that are not mobile friendly. Google can reduce your rating in searches if you are not considered to be a mobile friendly site. Continue reading Low cost site upgrades are still available

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Checking and Backing up sites

If I am hosting your site, and I built it for you, I revisit your website every three months to make sure everything is OK. If I am actively supporting you on something, it will be more frequently than that.

Each time I visit your site I do the following:

Google Search

Perform a good search for your website by using your organisation name (not your web address).

why?

This will tell me if you are at the top of a google search or not. Most (90%) of the sites I have built, I have got you to page one in a google search, usually in the top three. There are a number of techniques to doing this, one of the most important is backlinks. If you are not near the top of a google search, it is generally because you have not searched for sites listing you that could have backlinks (links back to your site from their site).

If I find you are not listed on page one, I will let you know. There are generally some very simple steps you can take to help yourself.

Login and health check

Continue reading Checking and Backing up sites

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GADWP and why it is important

GADWP panel in the WordPress Dashboard
GADWP panel in the WordPress Dashboard

Over the past two weeks I have been working my way around all websites, I still have a few to go, but for most of them I have installed a brilliant plugin called GADWP. It is tied to my Google Analytics Account and allows you to see how many visitors you get over various periods, what they are looking at, and lot of other useful information.

When you login you will see it on your dashboard. There are many different views available. You can select them from the two drop down selection panels in the top left of the panel.

Why is this important?

Continue reading GADWP and why it is important

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New “off the shelf” template for Child Contact Centres (NACCC groups)

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.

I am developing a new “off the shelf” package for NACCC groups that run Child Contact Centres throughout the UK.  Continue reading New “off the shelf” template for Child Contact Centres (NACCC groups)

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Handling Spreadsheets in a website

(Introducing TablePress)

I am sure most of you are familiar with tables of data in WordPress sites and how to create one and populate it. I have recently been developing a Community Transport website which is nearing completion.  I have done one before, but this was some time ago.

One of the issues with publishing timetables is that the it can be done by simply publishing an image of the timetable. In most cases a JPG or PNG would do the job. It looks ok to people visiting the site, and if we also make a PDF version available as well so someone can download and print a high resolution version, it ticks all of the boxes.  Well not quite.

A computer cannot read an image

Continue reading Handling Spreadsheets in a website

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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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News sites and upgrades

It has been a very busy month, here are some sites that are in the late stages of development or about to be released.

Home-Start Carmarthenshire

This is one of the first sites to request a facelift to the new template I have developed for Home-Start websites. It is based on Divi too.  I have two other Home-Start’s pending an upgrade at the moment, if you are interested in getting your site upgraded let me know please. While upgrading existing sites, I can also add in new content if it is out of date.  https://homestartcarmarthenshire.org.uk 

Seniors Social

A new daycare centre being launched in November. The site is based on the Divi Template:  https://seniorssocial.org.uk

New Covenant Fellowship Church

Continue reading News sites and upgrades

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More on Fast Secure Contact Form

Many of the newer sites use Fast Secure Contact form. This plugin was withdrawn last weekend following the discovery that someone who had acquired it had attempted to manipulate it to show adverts for payday loans and other things. In this case it never got to the stage where it showed adverts, and everyone that has come back to me has confirmed their site has been upgraded to remove the advertising (or spamvertising as it seems to be called) code.

This is a great shame because the original plugin by Mike Challis worked really well and had a few side benefits from the earlier form manager I used about 6 years ago.

Continue reading More on Fast Secure Contact Form

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Fast Secure Contact Form

Some of the websites I have built use a plugin called Fast Secure Contact Form. It was a very popular form handler highly regarded by users written by Mike Challis.  The plugin was sold to a third party in June of this year and the new owner attempted to manipulate the code in the plugin to set up adverts.

Please check ASAP whether the version that is currently in use on your website is version 4.0.56. You can do that by logging in, and going to the Plugins page and look down the list. You will see an entry similar to the one below which includes the version number.

If you have version 4.0.56 you are OK! Don’t panic. 

If your site is at an earlier version contact me immediately and I will sort out updating it. 

(update: 6:00am 27/9/17 Nobody has reported a problem so far, all sites have upgraded automatically. That was to be expected. If you cannot find Fast Secure Contact form another method is used for forms on your website. Probably Form Manager. You are not affected by this notice.)

Why is this important?

Continue reading Fast Secure Contact Form

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