Do I need an SSL certificate?
Most people think that SSL encryption is only necessary with an eCommerce store, to protect payment transactions. However, there are other reasons and benefits to having an SSL certificate, on any type of website.In August 2014, Google announced that SSL was a ranking factor, in the hopes that the internet would become a safer place for everyone. To ignore a recommendation from Google such as this would be very unwise. Click To Tweet
What is SSL?
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a way of encrypting sensitive information that is sent between a web server and a browser, or a mail server and a mail client. In order to get an SSL certificate on your website, it must be installed on your server. Once installed and configured correctly, you should see a green padlock symbol next to the browser’s address bar.
Without an SSL certificate in place, information sent between the browser and server is transmitted in plain text. This can be easily intercepted and therefore private data, like credit card numbers and login credentials, are not protected.
Benefits of SSL
Safer experience for your customers
Regardless of whether you have an e-commerce store or not, website users feel safer interacting with a website that is under SSL encryption.
Build customer trust and improve conversions
As mentioned above, SSL certificates provide a sense of safety and trust. This will undoubtedly improve conversion rates, resulting in achieving your digital marketing goals.
SSL is a ranking factor on Google
In August 2014, Google announced that SSL was a ranking factor, in the hopes that the internet would become a safer place for everyone. To ignore a recommendation from Google such as this would be very unwise.
Linkedin banner image too tall
Is LinkedIn saying your banner image is too tall? If so, try some of these top tips below:
1. Make sure that your banner is the correct size and format:
- 646×220 pixels PNG/Jpeg/GIF Max 2 MB
Note: Making graphics in Adobe Illustrator can sometimes cause your image to save larger than you have defined. This is because when you turn off a layers visibility and the artwork in that layer is hanging off of the art board, Illustrator saves the file with extra space for the artwork; even if it is invisible. Therefore before exporting you should always check that all artwork (visible or invisible) is within the art board.
2. Check again if the image is the correct size after exporting by clicking on the image in the file location and at the bottom of the window it displays the image dimensions. Make sure these dimensions are 646×220.
3. Save it in PNG format if you have not.
4. Clear your browser cookies and then sign in to your account to see if the issue is resolved.
5. Use a different Internet browser, sign into your account and try to upload your LinkedIn banner again.
Browsers you could try:
- Internet Explorer
If you still experience this issue submit a ticket to Linkedin’s customer service by using the Contact Us button at the top of the page. Be sure to attach the re-sized banner image in PNG format in the message to their support team.
Installing WordPress Plugins
This article has been written with the assumption that you have been built or have built a website with WordPress and now you would like to know how to install plugins.
How do I Install a plugin in WordPress?
First of all do you know which plugin you require? If so have you checked to see if it has been tested with your version of WordPress or considered the user rating? These small precautions will ensure that your website runs as smoothly as possible. Whether or not you know which plugin you need just continue reading this article and you will learn some useful tips.
So let’s start!
First of all we need to make sure we are signed into our WordPress administrator Panel. If you do not know how to do this refer to this article “How to log into WordPress”.
Select the “Plugins” tab on the left hand side menu which we have highlighted in red in the image below.
Click “Add New” which we have highlighted in red at the top of the plugins page.
This page helps you find a plugin whether you know specifically which plugin you want or whether you want to browse through the available plugins and compare them.If you know the name of the plugin you want then you can type that name in the search box and click “Search Plugins”. If you do not know exactly what plugin you need, which in most circumstances is the case, then just put keywords into the search bar that relate to the type of plugin you need. For example, if you require a gallery plugin to show off your photographs then the obvious word to search for is “gallery”.Type your Keyword into the search bar highlighted in red and click “Search Plugins”. For the purpose of this article we will be looking for a gallery plugin but you can use these instructions for any plugin you like.
The page below is the result of searching for “gallery”. You can see that they have given us a list of gallery plugins with some helpful information about each plugin. The 3 main pieces of information on this page that are going to help you make a decision on which plugin is best for you is the “Rating”, “Description” and “Details” highlighted in red. Look through the list and consider the star rating and read the descriptions. Narrow it down to 2 or 3 plugins that you think would be suitable and that have a good star rating.From the list below I have narrowed it down to the plugins highlighted in green. They both have a high star rating so I can assume that they are going to be good. However it would be nice to know how many people have rated it because for all we know it could have only a few ratings. A plugin with a low amount of ratings doesn’t give us as much confidence as a plugin that has had many ratings. Fortunately we can see this information by clicking “Details”. I am going to start with the plugin at the top called “Gallery”.
Within the “Details” pop up window there is some very useful information. First off you have a more detailed description with FAQ, Support and Features etc. You will also notice that highlighted in red on the right hand side of the window in the FYI section there is some more important information.You can see which versions of WordPress it is compatible with and how many times it has been downloaded. However note that how many times it has been downloaded doesn’t indicate its capability. Although it usually means it is a decent, trustworthy plugin when the number is high like the example below.
Lastly the other piece of information that we spoke about earlier is the amount of user ratings it has. As you can imagine not many people take the time to rate plugins because they are too busy or just can’t be bothered. You can see this with the example below as it has been downloaded 617,129 times but only has 152 ratings. However this is a really good amount of ratings to base your judgement on as I’d recommend a plugin that has at least 20 ratings of a high ranking. That’s not to say you can’t download a plugin with less user ratings but just be aware that it might not be of a very good quality if hardly anyone has used it.
This window also has some tabs running along the top which can aid you in Installation and give you an idea of how it will look in the “screenshots” section.
So I have fully analysed that particular plugin but there was another that caught my eye in the list of plugins that were brought up when I searched “Gallery”. So I will close the “Details” window and click “Details” on the other gallery plugin which was called “NextCellent Gallery”.You will notice that there is a yellow box at the top of the description that says “Warning: This plugin has not been tested with your current version on WordPress”. In most cases this is because you are using a new version of WordPress and the plugin was created before the new version of WordPress was launched.
I recommend not using plugins that haven’t been tested with your current version of WordPress because it can cause unnecessary problems. Considering I found a plugin earlier that was compatible with my version of WordPress and had been downloaded much more times it makes no sense to install this one (Unless you are confident that this is the exact plugin you want and you have done some research into it’s stability on your version of WordPress).
The next step is to install the plugin. There are two ways to do this highlighted in green below.The first is from the list of plugins we searched for earlier. Underneath each plugin name u have the “Details” link that we went through earlier and next to that we have an “Install Now” link.
The other way is when you are inside the “Details” window there is a big orange button that says “Install now”.
When you click “Install” you will see the box below that says “Are you sure you want to install this plugin?” Click ok and the installation will begin.
This is the screen you will see after clicking “OK”. As you can see it has “Successfully installed the plugin Gallery 4.0.5.” Now all that is left to do is click the “Activate Plugin” link highlighted in red below. If you don’t activate the plugin it won’t function so it makes sense to activate it from this screen. However if you forget to activate the plugin or you don’t want to activate it just yet, you can do this easily within the “Plugins” page.
If you need any more help or if this article has left out something please get in touch with us on 01992 582 824 or email us and we will be happy to help!
How do I log into WordPress?
- Firstly you need to know the URL of your website e.g. //www.yourdomain.com/
- Type the URL into the web address bar at the top of the screen
- Now all you have to do is add “wp-admin” to the end of your URL e.g. //www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin
- Click search and your log in screen will appear
- Type in your details and click Log in
- You will be taken to your administration panel where you can edit your website
5 Great Firefox Web Developer Tools
To begin using Firebug it couldn’t be easier. You simply click the button of the Firebug logo on the Firefox toolbar.
Get Firebug here.
2. Web Developer
This tool by Chris Pederick is extremely useful for web development and has features for editing, debugging and so much more. With the amount of useful features it has to offer you can see why it is so highly rated by Firefox.
Get Web Developer here.
3. HTML Validator
HTML Validator is a Firefox extension that will find errors in your code and display the number of errors in the status bar when browsing. Firefox makes the validation locally on your machine so it doesn’t have to send the HTML to a third party server. It is able to do this because the algorithms the extension is based on are embedded inside Firefox. These algorithms are called Tidy and OpenJade. When you install the extension it gives you the option of using one of the two algorithms. To better understand which one to choose you need to know how they differ.
- Tidy shows more errors.
- Tidy shows errors about attributes values.
- Tidy reports useless empty tags
- Tidy has an accessibility checker of WAI level 1, 2, 3.
- Tidy has a feature to clean up a page. It is interesting to help people to find solutions for their errors.
OpenJade, the SGML Parser
- It is the same algorithm as the
- It gives the same errors as the W3c validator. This can be important if you want or need to have your pages W3c compliant.
- It is based on DTDs: a language that defines the HTML syntax. There are a lot of SGML DTDs, several types or versions of HTML, SVG or MathML.
- It gives better result for Strict HTML or XHTML validations.
Get HTML Validator here.
4. Awesome Screenshot
Awesome Screenshot is exactly what the name suggests. It allows you to screenshot any web page you like effortlessly. It also gives you the option to select which parts of the screen you want to capture whether it be the entire page or visible part. The other impressive features of this software are the ability to annotate your images, erase sensitive information and share your screenshots.
Get Awesome Screenshot here.
5. Page Speed
Page speed is an add-on for Firebug developed by Google. It analyses web pages and advises you on where improvements can be made that will speed up the website. The ability to be able to do this is very valuable as a web developer because it saves having to do trial and error to fix a sluggish website. As research proves that speed is crucial to satisfy users you should do your best to keep your websites performing at an optimal level which is where this very powerful tool comes into play.
Get Page Speed here.
12 Benefits of a Content Management System (CMS)
1. Accurate content – As you know your business better than anyone else it makes sense that you keep your website up to date with relevant and accurate information.
2. Do it yourself– It is easier to do something yourself rather than have to explain what you want to someone else and have a time consuming back and forth conversation.
3. Publish data quickly – Not having to rely on someone else allows you to quickly create new content and publish it instantly.
4. Rank higher – Keeping content fresh will rank your website higher in search engines and visitors are likely to return.
5. Search engine-friendly –A CMS has features that help you with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) which will be greatly appreciated by search engines resulting in better page rankings.
6. Remote Access – Log in to your website and make changes from any computer, tablet or smartphone.
7. Saves money – Being able to edit content yourself means that you no longer have to pay your web designer to make amendments or update content etc. This will save you a lot of money in the long run.
8. No coding knowledge required – A CMS separates the design from the content so the complicated coding is in the back end of the website out of harm’s way. The front end just requires basic computer skills to update and add new content etc. However if you have coding knowledge you can set up permissions that will allow you to edit source code and other more advanced features.
9. Communication – CMS websites have facilities that allow visitors to contact you directly on your website so it eliminates the hassle of having to use external email clients.
10. Security – Content Management Systems offer better security because it controls who is allowed to publish and can limit what people see depending on their permissions.
11. Database-driven – If you want to change a file that is repeated on multiple pages you can overwrite the file on the database which will make the change throughout the site.
12. Updates – If your website or parts of it need updating you will be notified within your user interface and be made aware of the priority of the update.
What is WordPress?
In short, WordPress is an online blogging tool that has an easy to use content management system that people with little or no experience can grasp very quickly. It provides you with everything you need to build beautiful websites that can be customised effortlessly.
However like anything digital, things can become very complicated very quickly depending on your needs. If that’s the case, we can help take that load off of your shoulders by simply contacting us.
There are two ways in which you can start using WordPress. One way is by visiting WordPress.org and the other is by visiting WordPress.com. They both have their pros and cons so let’s take a closer look at them and see which way best suits you.
You can download this open source blogging software from WordPress.org and it offers free downloads for themes, plugins and other files that have step by step instructions for installing and setting them up.
- Use any free or commercial plugin you want to add functionality to your site.
- Download Themes, Plugins and other content easily and for free.
- Transfer files via FTP.
- Improve performance by customising WordPress and server settings.
- No advertisements.
- 100% control of Design so that your site has its own unique feel to it.
- Monetization allows you to check your website statistics.
Setting up WordPress this way can be difficult for web novices or first time users. Here are some of the steps you will need to take to get started:
- Register to a hosting provider, whether you purchase one or use a free one. This hosting provider will need to offer MySQL databases and have FTP access.
- Create a MySQL database and take note of the details provided afterwards.
- Download WordPress.
- Configure the “wp-config-sample.php” by entering the details for the MySQL database. Rename it “wp-config.php” when complete.
- Download an FTP client like Filezilla or Cyberduck to upload files to your website.
- Use your FTP client to upload your WordPress files to your host and then you’re ready to go.
Please note that some hosting providers will offer a one-click WordPress installation that deals with all of the above for you. (Recommended for beginners)
This is a much quicker way to start blogging online. All you need to do is sign up, choose from a list of themes and start blogging instantly.
- Hosting is free.
- Very easy way to start blogging without a complicated set up.
- Pick from a list of available themes.
- You will not have upgrade and compatibility issues.
- Takes less time to manage.
- Limited list of themes available that cannot be customised.
- No custom plugins.
- No FTP access.
- May show Google text ads on your site.
- Cannot use it to post Adsense ads or affiliate links.
- Cannot upload your own themes and plug-ins.
Our WordPress services are for people or businesses who would like to take the WordPress.org approach but do not have enough experience or time to design, build and maintain their own website. We can manage the whole process for you which will take the pressure off and give you more time to focus on other things. If this sounds appealing to you please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 01992 582 824 or by emailing us at email@example.com.
What is the difference between Responsive and Adaptive web design?
The hot topic for web developers and website owners is the way that websites can now automatically respond and adapt to any device with any screen size. This new way of web design optimizes the layout of the site to suit the screen size of the device it is being viewed on. There are two ways in which this can be achieve: with Responsive Web Design (RWD), coined by Ethan Marcotte, and with Adaptive Web Design (AWD), coined by Aaron Gustafson. Visitors to your site will not be concerned about which of the two methods you have used. This can simply come down to your or your designer’s preference. The user will not really notice a visible difference between the two methods but they do differ slightly.
If you’re interested in the technical aspects we explain them below.
Responsive Web Design (RWD)
The key elements that make up a Responsive website are CSS3, media queries, the @media rule, and fluid grids that use percentages to create a flexible foundation. It is also fundamental to use flexible images, flexible videos, fluid type and EM’s instead of pixels. All of these key points allow the responsive website to modify its layout to suit the device.
Responsive design is client-side which means the page is sent to the device browser (the client), and the browser then modifies the appearance of the page in relation to the size of the browser window.
The definition of a responsive website is that it will fluidly alter its composition to improve the accessibility of content depending on the screen size of the browser window.
Adaptive Web Design (AWD)
Adaptive web design uses predefined layouts that have been carefully constructed for a variety of screen sizes. A particular layout is activated when the screen size of the device viewing the website is detected and matched with a style sheet.
Adaptive design is predominantly server side. This means that the web server does all of the work of detecting the various devices and loading the correct style sheet depending on the attributes of the device. As well as the layout changing depending on the size of the screen they can also change depending on conditions like whether the device has a retina display or not. The server can detect this and display high quality images for retina display devices like iPads and lower quality images for standard-definition displays.
The downsides to AWD are that initial construction is very costly as you have a lot of layouts to design. Also to maintain and update all of these layouts can be very time consuming which will therefore cost a lot of money.
The definition of an adaptive website is one that has a set of predefined layouts that are activated when best suited to the device detected by the server.
Similarities and differences
The obvious similarity of both methods is that they improve accessibility of website content on mobile devices and various screen sizes. They also both provide visitors with an enhanced mobile-friendly user experience.
They are different in the way that they deliver the responsive / adaptive design to the user. RWD is dependent on fluid grids and AWD is relying on predefined size layouts. Also the fact that they either use client side or server side is another way in which they differ.
The visible difference is that responsive design will fluidly alter its layout while you resize your browser window whilst adaptive design will load a specific layout for the device you’re viewing the site on. If you resize your window with an adaptive website it will jump to a different breakpoint when you reach a screen size that suits another predefined layout.
For more information or help regarding Responsive WordPress Design please contact us on 01992 582824 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The importance of Responsive Web Design considering the popularity of mobile Social Media
As you know, social media is a big part of a lot of people’s lives and most people stay connected via their mobile devices whilst on the go. The main Social Media sites are Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Facebook. On average, Facebook’s 31 million UK users spend about half an hour a day on Facebook and check it about 14 times with their smartphones. That means that Facebook gets accessed 434 million times a day via UK smartphones.
With so many people using social media sites via mobile devices it is becoming a necessity to have a Responsive Website. Say for example someone is checking their twitter feed and come across a link to your website. If they are interested they may click on the link which will open your website in their mobile browser. This is your opportunity to shine and impress your customers with a carefully constructed, mobile friendly, Responsive website. People should be able to effortlessly navigate around your website without constantly resizing, scrolling and panning. It makes browsing flow so much more smoothly, pleasing the customer and giving them confidence in your services.
WordPress Websites can be successful lead generating tools
Properly designed WordPress websites can be successful lead generators for companies.
You must make sure your website has a clear message, is both engaging and informative and has a simple contact form.