3 useful links this week: Get off Google’s Blacklist

I read a lot of website press, and some of it is useful for my clients, particularly if you’re not asking me to maintain your site. Recovering from a hack can be nasty and I’d encourage you to seek assistance if it happens. Please note that most hacks I’ve experienced recently often occur because you have malware on your computer, and the hacker has obtained or compromised your password in some way. Make sure you update virus scanners!

Check out these reads:

  1. Malware and hacking on WordPress. Oh no – Google slapped a scary red warning message on your site telling people to keep out! If this happened due to an error on your part (bad SEO, shady linking tactics, etc) that’s one thing. But if your site was hacked and now contains malicious code, that’s just adding insult to injury – and can really damage your reputation. Click here for more information on how to recognise WordPress hacks. I install Wordfence on most of my client sites, and encourage them to sign up for the paid version if they can afford it. Totally worth it for the peace of mind, especially if you collect payments through your website.
  2. Tags and categories are a good way to classify your content, but a lot of people get confused between them. Broadly speaking, a category is a broad grouping of post topics. A tag is generally used to describe your post in more detail, and may not apply to all posts in a category. They allow you to associate search terms and other topic areas that may be linked with your post. For example, you might have a category about Resources, but you might include tags that describe the type of resources – eg. Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, Powerpoint templates, Budgeting guides, etc.  This article is a good read if you want to be very clear on how to best use them.
  3. Blogging on Facebook. A lot of customers want their own website, but then end up publishing their content on Facebook. Whether this is wise is debated all over the web, however I generally advise people to consider Facebook an opportunity to extend the reach of your content through a smaller version of what is normally offered on your blog (or the news section of your company website).  This Blogger’s Guide to Facebook is a useful summary of key aspects of extending the reach of your website, and using Facebook for what it is – a tool for engaging existing and potential customers. It also has a good section on etiquette.

Have a good week and I hope these reads are useful.

Building WordPress Websites

WordpressWhen I build your wordpress website, I make sure we reflect personal goals and brand identity for your business. The first step is to contact IKARUS Solutions for an initial meeting about the scope of your web project. I will ask questions about your needs, what type of web sites you like and educate you on what to think about when choosing a web site template or in using a graphic designer to create something from scratch. Based on the scope of the project I will then give you a quote for designing and implementing your web site.

The following are typical steps in building a web site for a client:

  • Client Interview
  • Quote provided to the client, with optional services
  • Content gathering: images and text
  • Optional: graphic designer goes through iterations of site designs
  • Optional: photography to support the text: lifestyle and/or team portraits
  • Installation of WordPress on client host account
  • Selection of a WordPress theme to fit client needs (if not doing a custom design)
  • Installation of theme and demo content
  • Setting up pages for the site with content and images
  • Writing an instruction manual for the client – how to add posts and pages to their theme
  • Web site maintenance is an optional service

If you have any comments or questions, please email me, or strike up a conversation on Twitter – I’m @ozlady.

I don't start with a design objective, I start with a communication objective. I feel my project is successful if it communicates what it is supposed to communicate.

Mike Davidson

Design is inspiration

3 good reasons NOT to hire me to do your website:

  1. You only want a site that looks cool (whether or not it actually sells or generates leads)
  2. You see your website as a short-term project (not a critical part of your marketing)
  3. You want to get your new website at the lowest possible cost
    (rather than an investment in your future - I try and reduce costs, but refer to our blog post as a guide)