Everything You Need to Know About Using a WordPress Website Builder

Everything You Need to Know About Using a WordPress Website Builder

A website builder is a tool that allows anyone to design and build a website without having to learn or use code. For WordPress, they provide drag and drop tools to allow you to place elements or modules where you want them. They are easy to use and let you customize every detail. Michael Holding How do Website Builders Work? Website builders provide code as blocks that you can drag and drop where you want them to create the layout that you want. Once you publish, the code displays HTML to create the page according to your design.  Most website builders are WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get).  Who Should Use a Website Builder? Website builders are built to be easy enough that anyone can use them. They’re well-suited for WordPress users that don’t want to customize their website using HTML or CSS. Anyone switching from builders like Weebly or Wix would be right at home using a website builder for WordPress. Website builders don’t require programming skills, but they do offer tools, such as code modules and custom CSS fields, so developers can customize their designs even further. Another advantage for developers is the speed in which they can create a design. They can throw a design together quickly and make changes on the fly, saving design time and turn-around time. They can export their designs to reuse on other websites, which can give them a good starting point and save time.   Sign up for our newsletter and never miss a tutorial or knowledge base update. [/et_pb_signup] Limitations of Native WordPress WordPress includes a text editor...
A Step by Step Guide to Updating Your WordPress Website

A Step by Step Guide to Updating Your WordPress Website

Updating a website is not an easy task: there are loads of moving parts to keep track of, especially if you manage more than one site. Even if site updates may seem daunting, keep in mind that it’s 100% worse to leave a website alone and not update anything at all. As a solution, set up a system that works for you. Tired of never ending website updates? Pod Creative offers dedicated, managed hosting for $30/month.  That means you never have to worry about the next update. Read more about our hosting service In What Order Should I Run Website Updates?  The order of updates is subjective and differs from developer to developer. We recommend plugins first, themes second and WordPress core files last. While not every web developer shares the same views, these steps are highly advised when updating your website or those of your clients. Step 1: Make a Back Up of Your Website The single most important aspect of managing websites is to run regular backups. To do this, manually access the website’s server to export the SQL database from the phpMyAdmin console, and also export the site files from the File Manager. Step 2: Test the Update on a Staging Site Set up a testing/development/staging server and load an exact replica of your clients site here. Use this live staging site to test everything from trying out new plugins, testing code changes, and assessing trial runs of updates etc. Step 3: Run the Updates on the Live Site Once you’ve tested the updates and everything is in good working order, head on over to the live site and run the updates. The website...
What is Content Marketing

What is Content Marketing

What is content marketing and what does it have to do with your online presence?  In this article, I’ll go over what it is, how your already doing it, and why it’s important to stay consistent.   Michael Holding What is Content Marketing Content marketing is marketing that uses content to bring in customers rather than advertising or sales.  According the Content Marketing Institute: Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. When done well it will entice readers to your site and customers will actively search for your content.   While blogging is one of the most used mediums for content marketing it is not the only one.  Social Media, video, newsletters and more can be key components to a successful strategy. Consistency is Key – Building a Strategy There is no such thing as a universal template for content marketing.  Your strategy should outline your key business and client needs and how your content will address them.  It is vital to set reasonable goals for each step in your marketing strategy.  If you are aiming for thousands of new visits you can become discouraged quickly.  Smaller, incremental goals will also help you refine what is working with your content and what doesn’t connect with your audience. Knowing your target audience is not a new concept in marketing but it’s worth repeating.  As you understand who you’re trying to attract with your content you will learn how to effectively refine your content to be...
Google is pushing SSL, it’s not something you can ignore.

Google is pushing SSL, it’s not something you can ignore.

Right now, SSL certificates come with the incentive of guaranteed improved search rankings. But Google is showing they’re not afraid to use Google Chrome to “punish” sites who don’t move to SSL.  Below I go over what an SSL Certificate is, why you need one, and how to get them. Michael Holding What is an SSL Certificate Have you ever noticed how sometimes websites start with “http://” and other times they start with “https://” and have a green padlock nearby?  That’s the end result of an SSL certificate. SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. Typically, SSL is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins, and more recently is becoming the norm when securing browsing of social media sites. Why your site needs an SSL Certifcate As mentioned above, SSL Certificates allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. This makes for secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins, and more recently is becoming the norm when securing browsing of social media sites. So, “SSL” is short for Secure Sockets Layer. In simpler terms, it is a means for small business to communicate to their customers that they can browse, shop/pay, and share information, safely with you online. Stated simply, in a non-technical manner, adding an SSL creates a safe connection aka online environment. How you can get an SSL Certificate There are three ways to get an SSL certificate for your website: DIY – There are only a...
Customizing your contact form in DIVI

Customizing your contact form in DIVI

In this tutorial I will walk you through customizing the contact form module within the Divi theme.  If you are one of our clients, you already know how versatile we think the Divi theme is.  If you’re just checking out the site, we encourage you to check out their site demo on the Elegant Themes website. *Updated March, 2017 – I’ve added some custom css to our contact form to jazz it up! **DIVI updates the Contact Form – June 2017 – New features and functions. Michael Holding Adding a Contact Form Module I have created a new post by clicking on Add New under the Posts menu in the main WordPress Dashboard.  Give your post a Title, in this case I’m using ‘Contact Form Module’.    Use the Divi Builder If the Divi Builder is not open, click on the Use The Divi Builder button.  Once open, click on the Insert Column(s) and choose the configuration you prefer.  I have kept things simple and selected two columns for this post.  Next, click on the Insert Modules(s) column where you want your contact form and select the Contact Form module from the options. Contact Form Module Settings   We are now in the Contact Form module and we can see that the default has a Name, Email and Message fields.   We’re going to leave them as they are for the moment.  As we explore the module we find a Captcha option (an easy test if you’re human or a bot). Next there are several fields that need to be filled in.  What email will the contact emails be going to?  Do you want to...
Basic SEO Tips

Basic SEO Tips

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ever changing landscape of trends, keywords and analytics.  I’m going to go over some simple steps to help you with your site’s SEO.  These tips will give you a basic foundation to build from but they should be seen as first steps in a long term project. If you find this article helpful please leave a comment below or share it with your networks. Michael Holding Keywords Keywords are the searchable terms we type into a search engine bar when we’re looking for something online.  Having a good understanding of what your target audience is searching for will help you refine your keywords.  If your site is selling shoes and you’re calling them ‘Smashing Slip-On Soles’ it will be hard for anyone searching for ‘shoes’ to find you. When choosing the your site’s keywords it can be helpful to make use of  the Google Keyword Planner, you will need to have an Adwords account to use this tool but you dont’ have to spend anything.  Google Trends is another good resource to familiarize yourself with. URLs and Page Titles     When the web was a simpler thing your site’s URLs and page titles could be ‘home’, ‘gallery’, ‘about’ etc., but no longer!  The web and search engines have evolved and need more relevance these days to be satisfied. Based on the keywords you’ve choosen for your site, make each page’s URL unique and relevant.  If you have multiple services or products, you should have a page for each that is customized for that item.  For example, at Pod Creative we have separate pages for Web...

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