Brothers Building has showcased their work for many years in two iterations of a website. It was time to add more pictures of their projects and give the graphics a visual modernization. The site was revamped on the WordPress platform so that company personnel can manage content going forward.
Rob Graham wrote his first children’s book and wanted a website that reflected the lively and colorful illustrations in the book. Let’s Go See It! highlights adventure and life lessons in a vibrant picture book.
Seeking a website to display a garden fountain, the owner of Your Garden Home and I put together a simple display of some photos and videos using WordPress.
Around the time hosting services began to strongly advise upgrading the PHP coding language to version 8.0, I got an urgent call from The Barre-Tones that their website had gone down. Suspecting the correct reason, that the theme and one or more plugins had deprecated code, I reverted to the latest back-up and back to PHP 7.x. Following up, I explained that it was only a matter of time before we would need to address this again, and that their aging website had served them well for many years. So we worked together to implement a new theme, some new functionality, and a visual refresh.
“Rhoda Lerman is known as a ‘writer’s writer’,” noted by her daughter on her website. I was contacted for website assistance prior to the late Lerman’s last novel being published.
I was pleased to read that NASA recently redeveloped their website using WordPress. This article gives insight into why it was a good choice for the government agency, with the breadth of resources due to widespread WordPress use and popularity being a major factor.
I wrote a post a few years ago to support that use of WordPress and open source benefits the small businesses that specialize in this platform. Numerous large corporations have built development platforms that are also easy to use, but once on that platform, you are helping corporations gain more power and revenue at the “expense” of the little guy. Moving from a proprietary platform generally involves redevelopment. Moving from one WordPress.org platform to another may require some technical attention but can also be seamless.
Moretown established its first professional website a decade ago as part of the Vermont Digital Economy initiative. The timing to upgrade was perfect and not a moment too soon as the aging theme and plugins were soon to break when platform updates including updating to PHP 8 would be made.
A new child theme was developed based on the WP Engine Genesis platform, bundling newer functionality and mobile compatibility. Older plugins were retired and replaced. Fortunately the code originally written for the uploading of agenda and minutes PDFs survived the PHP update, of course after appropriate testing on a development installation. Reorganizing information was key, especially for the lengthening list of announcements seeming to pile up on a desk with no permanent home on the old site. These were converted to standard Posts and categorization was added so they would display on department pages.
While providing periodic updates to the Seacraft DPV site, I continued to be frustrated to have to work in the Beaver Builder page layout program when WordPress native block functionality had come so far and is now just as good. I changed to a simple Genesis theme and styled as needed to closely replicate the original site.
Dr. Diamond needed a website that she and her assistant could update, so WordPress was the logical choice. The website highlights the multi-faceted aspects of her career in psychology, as an author of books with appeal to professionals and scholars, a professor and seasoned speaker, researcher, and therapist in private practice.
That is the question.
There are numerous methods for you to get the word out regarding your products and services including:
- marketing/posting/blogging on your own website,
- mailing a newsletter using tools such as MailChimp and Constant Contact,
- posting on social media,
- and/or posting on a forum or blogging platform such as Substack which has become popular lately.
Here is my assessment of the pros and cons of each.
If your site is created in WordPress, as is my preferred approach, blogging is built in. That is how WordPress came to being – its original purpose. Notification to subscribers can be set up with some well-tested plugins. An example of an organization using post notifications for 8+ years is https://www.awsaeast.org/. Note the breadth and organization of posts in the left sidebar. It can be a challenge to fine-tune 1) the addition of subscribers amongst spammers, and 2) the receipt of notifications by subscribers in their inbox and not in their spam folder. If generating revenue is important, paid membership can be established, and this improves the ability to add subscribers and reach them seamlessly. Although these take time, cost, and some technical knowledge, the biggest benefit is having a permanent record of everything you want to share on your own branding – your portfolio. Poise yourself as an expert. Find everything in one place rather than hunting for emails and in which newsletter you sent something.*
An email service such as MailChimp can be set up for you to send a newsletter. You can import a list of contacts, but be sure you have everyone’s permission. A signup form can be added to your website for new followers to add themselves to your list. If using a newsletter, my recommendation is still to put the full text on your website in a post. Provide partial information in the newsletter and provide a link to the website post so that you drive people to your website where they might learn other helpful information as well.
You can post on social media. As you probably already know, all of these efforts take time and reach a certain audience – not everyone. Plugins can be used on your website to include feeds or to attempt to cross post, but they can be problematic and will break every so often when the platforms change their methods. My biggest pet peeve about posting on social media is that older posts take time to find while loading the page by scrolling. Additionally, if anything you have said changes, like your holiday business hours or a sale price, it can persist on the internet because Google may have indexed it at one time.
The benefit of using a blogging platform such as Substack is that if you generate a large following you can easily turn it into a membership site. The con is that your material is on another platform.
*This post is a prime example of saving time and repetitive writing. Any of my clients or followers that read my tips will see it, and I can point people to it easily with the URL.