April is the perfect time to focus on renewal, so this month is all about growth and moving forward.
Spring Rebirth For your clientele
Schedule a ‘tune-up’ service in your area of expertise. It can be an in-person workshop, presentation at the library, luncheon seminar, or online webinar – anything that you can do with minimal effort and broad appeal. Write down ideas on the post-it notes. Pick one, schedule it on the calendar and make it happen!
Spring Rebirth For your business
Pick one social media platform that best fits your target audience – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Instagram – and either create an account, or get more involved. Build a following by spending 10 to 15 minutes per day on the chosen platform. Make a date on the calendar to spend on the setup.
Another New Year on the horizon, and another reason to revisit the #365 selfie project!
In 2014 I embarked on my first #365 Selfie project, using the hashtag #365FeministSelfie. I enjoyed the simplicity of it, and the way it allowed me to easily be visible and present on social media, without feeling like it was a chore.
In 2015 I tried again with #365Laugther. That was considerably harder and I didn’t end up completing the year.
This past year, 2016, I started the #365WalkSelfie as a way to stay motivated to get out for a walk at least once every day. And while it was meant to motivate me, it turns out my daily selfies were also motivating many of my friends! And although I missed a day or two here and there throughout the year, it still felt like a successful project.
SO, beginning on January 1st, 2017, watch out for the newest #365 selfie project. You can follow my daily “ACTIVE” adventures at the hashtag #365ActiveSelfie. I decided to change from ‘walk’ because a lot of the time I would play soccer or softball, etc. and still use that for my selfie. It felt weird. So in 2017, ALL and ANY activity I do each day can be documented in my daily #365ActiveSelfie. And I’d love to have others on the journey. Sometimes the only active time we get is cleaning the house – that counts, too!
Will you join my adventure? Let me know in the comments and include your Instagram and/or FB name so I can follow you too!
Here’s to an active 2017!
This is one of the questions you have to answer when asked to rate your website in the Plan Your Empowered WebsiteTM blueprint. (Don’t have yours yet? Grab it here, for free!)
Chances are, if your website was created more than a year or two ago, it doesn’t show up well on your smartphone’s small screen.
Worst case scenario: it is impossible to read and the visitor simply closes it right away.
Good enough: it’s a mobile-friendly website design that displays images and text according to the screen size.
Best case scenario: it’s a responsive design that automatically changes images sizes, font sizes, and reduces everything to a single column even if the website was designed with two or more columns (also known as having sidebars).
Did you know that Google recently changed their mobile search to rank a mobile-friendly website higher in their mobile search results? That means if you’ve got great content for your audience, and they happen to search for it on their smartphone (or tablet) and your site isn’t mobile-friendly, Google won’t show them your site! That’s a pretty big risk to take if you’re putting a lot of energy into making awesome content for your audience.
Can a plugin make your WordPress site mobile friendly or do you have to start from scratch?
A client who fell into that “worst case scenario” camp recently asked me make her website mobile-friendly.
At first, that may seem like a fairly straight-forward thing. There are WordPress plugins that can be used to present your website in a mobile-friendly way. The problem with these plugins: they’re really just a band-aid solution.
A slick, well-designed, responsive website will look mostly the same on any screen size, with the modifications as I mentioned above applied ‘on the fly.’ It’ll adjust the text and image sizes, and shift content blocks to be more ‘readable’ in a single-column space.
When you use a plugin in WordPress to achieve mobile-readiness, it just won’t work as well as it would if responsiveness were baked in from the beginning.
Let’s compare the pros and cons of using a mobile-friendly plugin vs. a responsive design.
Mobile-friendly website plugin
- low-cost solution (potentially free if you apply it yourself)
- quick solution – simply install the plugin and configure
- display different content for mobile visitors (if used correctly, this is a benefit when used to focus on your main call-to-action and by-pass the extra content normally found on your home page)
- rank better in Google mobile search results
- only available on WordPress websites
- plugin configuration can be confusing and/or limited
- any new plugin must be tested to make sure it works with all your other plugins and your theme
- plugins need to be updated – you risk losing your settings and/or potentially breaking with future updates
- your site will not look as ‘pretty’ on mobile which means you risk losing brand recognition
- potentially lose the impact of the images you created or curated to support/compliment your content – some mobile-friendly plugins simply don’t display images at all
Responsive website design
- maintain a consistent look and feel across all screen sizes
- no additional plugins required (see CONS with plugin)
- can be applied to any website, not limited to WordPress
- when set up correctly, uses ‘best practices’ and potentially makes your website run better overall
- rank better in Google mobile search results
- if your WordPress theme was not created as a responsive theme, changing it to be responsive is not a simple task. Likewise for any other type of website – adding the responsive element to the design after the fact is always going to be more complicated
- could potentially mean you need to start over with your website design/find a new WP theme
All the One Day Empowered Websites we create use responsive themes. This is non-negotiable. If your website doesn’t pass the smartphone test, let’s chat about how we can help you bring it up to current standards.
What would it mean to your business if your website suddenly disappeared?
Your website is crucial to your business marketing. It’s your main point of contact with clients, potential new staff and partners. It stands as your primary ‘credibility’ piece – your home on the web that shows you’re a legitimate, honest-to-goodness business.
Oh, and if you make all your sales online, it may be your only source of revenue.
Your website is key to the success of your business and you want peace of mind that it will be up and available for your audience 24/7 without interruption.
When your site is doing its job, it generates leads, new clients, and income.
When your site is down or no longer works correctly because it has been hacked, none of that happens.
All Websites Are Vulnerable
Websites needs updating. All websites.
WordPress websites, because of their popularity, are a particularly big target, so they need to be updated more often than others.
As you rely more and more on your website to help you build connections and grow your business website security is only going to become more important. More and more websites are getting hacked and attacked – from the big players like Twitter and Facebook to millions of small businesses everyday.
Can You Do Something to Protect Your Own Website?
It definitely IS possible for you to keep your website up to date, backed up, and secure. That said, it can also be time consuming and tedious.
As necessary as it is, website housekeeping takes you away from working on your business. You’re too busy to do it yourself, and because the technology and the nature of the hackers’ threats is always changing, it doesn’t even make sense to try.
You definitely have options when it comes to managing and updating your website. Your hosting company may seem like a logical choice.
They likely do it for thousands of customers every day, so they are definitely experienced. But, it also means they aren’t likely to notice if a plugin update breaks your site (which is a very real possibility) in a sea of 1000s which are updated by automatic scripts – not humans.
So what do you gain if you seek the more human approach? (Psst: Online Empowerment is run by a dedicated human!)
If you’re a client of Online Empowerment, then I already know your website intimately because I built it or have at least worked on it. That means I know something about those crucial plugins that may be specific to your site.
Even if you haven’t yet hired Online Empowerment to help with creating or revamping your website, if it’s on WordPress, I can get up to speed on it in a very short time.
And I may not work on 1000s of sites at once like your mega hosting company, but I’ve been using WordPress for over 5 years and all of my websites (including this one) are built on the same software.
I’m in the best position to keep your website up and running and open for business and I can do that with one of my Website Care Plans.
What Does a Website Care Plan Offer?
Three words: Peace of mind.
Let me take care of making sure your website is up and running smoothly so you can spend your precious time doing what you love – serving your clients and being more present for your family. And if, heaven forbid, your website gets hacked – or disappears *gulp* – I’m on top of it ASAP. I will have your site back in business as quickly as possible.
Just ask Rebecca Wong and Cheri Valentine. Each of these OE clients has experienced the scare of losing her website. And in both cases, I was able to restore and move them to a more stable server – and their businesses barely skipped a beat.
Working with me means your website will continue to support your business at a fraction of the time and cost it would take to do it yourself.
Good web developers are in high demand these days and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. In order to provide the best level of service and support, I can only accept a limited number of Website Care clients.
I’d Like To Know More About You And Your Business
In all honesty, I’m only interested in working with clients who understand the value their website adds to their business. Hence I have made the website care plans available by application only.
Please review the plans at the link below and use the contact form to set up a brief chat and let’s see if we’re a good match.
This service is designed to offer you peace of mind and the assurance that you have a skilled partner who can help you achieve your online objectives.