Saturday, April 9, 2016

A Spec Of Sand

Beautiful Sand Castle on the Beach
A Spec Of Sand

Let's take a stroll along the beach and while we're at it learn about how a domain name is nothing more than a spec of sand when it comes to the moment you purchase the domain till the death of the domain. It will always be one domain name and to explain it more plainly let's call it... a spec of sand. Pretend for a moment you can reach down and grab some sand. Now, take one spec of sand or one piece of sand and look at it. Now, remember it.. drop it back into the pile of sand or entire beach coast line even a playground. Go find that same spec of sand.

Skip forward to the point that your domain name is hosted on an affordable hosting service that is most likely a shared hosting account. You've installed Wordpress and selected a great theme for the design like the sand castle above. It's pretty to many, complex to others and what's the point to some as eventually this castle will fade back into the sandy beach.

Now that our sand castle or website is completed we certainly want to get visitors to come see it and take photos or in this case put us in their favorite places within the browser cause most only take a few seconds to visit a new website only to quickly decide if they are interested and if so will come back later. Myself, I have 30 tabs open on my browser rather than favorite them all I keep the ones I need. Point is, not everyone is the same.

Getting traffic and the right kind of traffic to visit us is only one part but are you ready for visitors? What is your castle made of? How many visitors can it hold at once? Is it secure and safe for everyone who enters? This list of questions can go on forever as their are so many factors to consider when it comes to... is my website ready?

Building Foundation Strong and Secure
For most of us the domain, hosting, theme and spending one day or several weeks on making the website look and function the way we want it too. It's important to keep up with trends, current versions and updated website software such as Wordpress requires updating and in many cases updates can and in fact break the theme or the complete website. Not to mention hackers love to play hide and seek with many website owners as they enter the backdoor of websites and add hidden pages, dirty links and in most cases send out spam.

Service Entry - Back Door - Easily Opened - By Most Anyone

A Wordpress website has a login and admin control panel. It also normally contains plugins that allow the website to function in a special way like sliders, classifieds, photo galleries and of course ecommerce shopping carts. Oh, a hackers paradise once they gain access to a successful online store causing troubles foe everyone. So it's vital to keep the website protected 24/7 even while in production or coming soon stages.

Simple Tools Create Amazing Results

We're all masters of our own websites, even if you do not personally do the work. Someone is making a website for you or helping you. In my experience over the past 15 years or so is that some clients think a website is no more than a word doc, pdf or some fancy printable page. Not once really give any thought about all the work or the software making it all possible. 

Stone Master Gently Tapping On Cobblestone

Take a look at the photo above, the stones are sitting on sand that has been compacted, prepared for the stones. The hammers are wood and rubber allowing the stone master to tap or pound on the stones to make them level and semi perfect patterns. Not all are same shapes and sizes and for us, this like like the top of the website or the header area. Then the content, images, wording as well as the menu and of course the footer area of the website. It all has to be built and correctly, even if your just editing the theme you must be careful of typos, image optimizations as well as content that is SEO driven.

Success Is Not Instant

If you think about this, notice the walkway is starting to take shape. There's a road being built and there's lots of stones to put in place. Now, with a Wordpress website all the road is complete, once you have the website software installed it normally includes the basic and free themes to select from. But, for most of us it's not enough as we seek to be unique as possible. Notice the stones on top of the road, they represent the pages a client wants to add to the website. Home, About, Photo Gallery, Contact and normally a Services page.

Cobblestone Roads Are In Need Of Constant Repair

Like the road breaks, so does a website and oddly enough some of the worst breaks happen day one in the setup of the premalinks or menu structure of the website. So many times we see that a client has created a site, menu with 20 page and on each page has links to all the pages creating a negative SEO result for incorrect linking internally, not even talking about the links to other sites. These links are actually ether broken and do not work or looping causing a bot to ignore the content you have worked so hard on but you can see the site, the page but if it's not linked correctly.. you the only one that sees it.

Incomplete or Personal Choice
As humans we all drive different cars, taxis, buses, trains and even inside our homes we're different all created around the same idea of 4 walls, ceiling, floor and some windows etc.. like a website you want to make sure you also have all things in order. In so many cases clients say .. I love pink, black and purple and I also want the images to be perfectly clear without any distortion. Also like minimal with lots of white space. Look at this photo and think about it... do you like it? Is it interesting? Does it make you want to tell a friend? One needs to be careful with white space as it can cause the.. what is the point reaction.

Dark Holes Should Be Avoided

Creating a unique website can sometimes go overboard and actually loose visitors. Really have to be careful when it comes to advertising and paying money for people to see your website online such as banner ads, links and even directly listings. Kinda like leading a horse to water, you can not make the horse drink the water. Sure, you can bring it to it's lips, even pour the water on the horse.. it's not drinking cause it wants too. So money on advertising can and in many cases totally wasted cause the website was not ready.

Pitfalls and Dangers

Visitors to your website normally have anti-virus, anti-malware and even smart phones etc.. your website can, if not protected or has broken links, missing images or typos in code cause the site not to look the same to all visitors based on the device they are using. One of course these days make the site 100% responsive. Even more important is to us a plugin like Wordfence - free and helps protect the website from would be hackers.

My Road, err Website is Ready - Looks Great!   

Now that you have secured your website, locked the backdoor and even updated all the plugins, software itself you want to make sure and backup the website. Not just one time, but in different ways. Via the hosting control panel as a server backup or contact your hosting company for instructions. Plugins can help, I love to use one called BlogVault not just cause I'm an affiliate and get paid for referring people like you to use it. More cause I use it myself and for my clients websites it's very easy for me to use. Give it a test drive for free. 

Everyone's Looking At You Kid!

This is the result we want in most cases to come up on the search results as first place or at least the top fold of the screen. Now that the website is protected, you've placed some ad's and see messages from visitors you're on the right track. Make sure and listen to the visitors feedback, especially if they complain something is not working - investigate it and fix it.

Unique and Narrow Path

Maybe your website is one product, one thing like the next best piece of bubble gum. You really want to modify your approach, selective on how you promote and even what medium you want to reach your audience with. I've seen TV commercial mention to visit the website for more information only to see that the website does not work on my android phone as the website has flash (flash is fading away) so you want to make sure you have a mobile version for visitors to see your website. These versions are normally highlights, specific and important pages of the main site. Reducing things we show visitors so it loads quick and not a lot of distractions.

Successful Paths Of Success

If you do it all correctly, take your time and learn how to build a website correctly and that actually depends on one thing.. what do you want the website to do for you? Best of luck to your projects and please feel free to reach out to me for consultations, recommendations as well as free quotes to help you get your website where you want it.