Advice and Tips2018-05-14T04:05:30+00:00

WordPress Website Development | Burlington

Burlington’s #1 Provider of WordPress Development

WordPress Development | Private Training Classes | Live Support | Training Videos

877-844-9931

 WordPress Website Development | Burlington | Mt. Vernon

Looking for a WordPress Developer to build a beautiful, sophisticated WordPress website?

We can build your website and train you as we go.
Our instructors have decades of WordPress experience and are available to answer questions before, during and after the development process.

Our Portfolio

We get it.

You want to manage your site when we finish, which is why we offer training before, during and after your site’s development.

Types of Websites We Build:

  • Mobile Responsive Sites
  • eCommerce Sites
  • Micro Sites
  • Medium to Large Sites
  • Landing Pages
  • Brochure Sites
  • One Page Parallax Sites
  • 3000+ Page Directory Sites

Our Focus

  • Conversion Rates
  • User Experience
  • SEO

Three Unique Development Methods:

  • Develop Your Site and Teach You As We Go
  • Develop Your Site and Train You When Completed
  • Traditional Development with Tutorial Videos Included

We understand the importance of deadlines and our team is committed to completing your project in a timely fashion while ensuring your complete satisfaction with our services.

Converting web traffic to customers
is our main focus.

While SEO and User Experience are very important, without high conversion rates, the job is only half done.

Our Satisfied Clients

For an Immediate Consultation
Call 206-429-5907

Contact Us

WP Hands-on Training LLC
4921 Heather Dr
Anacortes, WA 98221
Toll Free | 877-844-9931
Local | 206-429-5907

Questions?
For an immediate consultation please call 512-825-4353, or fill out the form below.

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Shortcodes: Shortcuts to Advanced Functionality

Shortcodes: Shortcuts to Advanced Functionality

What are shortcodes?

Shortcodes are small snippets of code that enable you to use code on posts, pages, and widgets without actually having to write out long lines of code. WordPress comes with some built in shortcodes and others can be added through the use of plugins using a shortcode API. Shortcodes can help make your life easier by providing you with shortcuts to more advanced functionality. There are many things you can do with shortcodes.

Shortcode Uses

If you’ve ever embedded a gallery on a post or page, you’ve already used one of the built in shortcodes that WordPress comes with. You can also use shortcodes to:

  • embed a video
  • display your latest tweets
  • add an event calendar
  • embed a Google Map
  • The options are unlimited!

 

Although it can be very enticing to add shortcodes to every post and page, that’s not recommended. This is important to remember because if you want to change your theme in the future or anything like that, you most likely will have to change and/or remove the shortcodes individually from each page so they don’t mess anything up. If you use theme shortcodes, this is especially important to remember as these will not cross over into a new theme.

 

Shortcodes can add many different functionalities to your website and can be a great tool when used correctly. If you have any questions about shortcodes or if you would like any other WordPress support, please give us a call at 877-844-9931 or email us at [email protected]

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7 Tips for WordPress Beginners

7 Tips for WordPress Beginners

If you’re new to WordPress, you’ve probably realized that WordPress can have a bit of a learning curve when you’re first starting out. We know that sometimes it can be hard to choose what’s best for your WordPress website so that you can get the most out of it. Here we’ve gathered 7 tips for WordPress beginners to help you start off on the right foot.

  1. Sidebar Areas

Have you ever gone to a website and tried to navigate its sidebar and noticed that you can’t actually find anything because it’s so jam packed? Your sidebar area should be clutter free and have links to what you want your visitors going to the most. A good rule of thumb here is to pare down your sidebar area to links that help your business/cause reach its goal.

 

  1. Media Library

Your media library should contain just one folder. Try not to separate your media uploads by months or years as this can make it hard for you to search by keyword and find the image you’re looking for. Under “Settings and Media” you will want to uncheck the box that says “Organize my uploads into month -and year-based folders”.

 

  1. Permalinks

Having clean permalinks can help your site be more easily read by search engines and people. One of the first things you’ll want to do is to set your permalinks to be by post name. You can do this under Settings>Permalinks>Post Name. Now that you’ve done that, when you are writing a new post and creating a permalink, it’s a good idea to not clutter up that permalink. Try to use keywords in your permalink as a description for what’s in your blog post.

 

  1. Titles and Descriptions

Another place to make sure you include your keywords from your blog post, is to use them in your titles and descriptions. This will help your visitors identify what they’re about to read when they click on your link. Titles of pages are also important when it comes to SEO. Make sure they are clear, concise, and attract people to your site.

 

  1. Image Keywords

Your images can also be used for SEO, as well. In the title and alt text of your images, you can place keywords in them so that when someone hovers over your picture, they will see the title and know what it is (this is especially important if people are viewing your site with assistive technology). Your image titles and alt text need to describe what your picture is in just a few words.

 

  1. Landing Page

Having a focused landing page will help with your conversion rates. A landing page can help remove distractions so that you get your visitors to complete your call to action (sign up for a newsletter, buy a product, share a link, etc).

 

  1. Footer

The footer can often be forgotten but it can be such a valuable tool when used correctly. Your footer is a great place to put copyright information, your contact information, quick links to important pages, and your social media links. Many people will look in the footer area to help them determine if you and your site are safe to use so it’s important to remember to make the footer area look professional and clean.

 

If you have any questions about these 7 tips for WordPress beginners or if you would like any other WordPress support, please give us a call at 877-844-9931 or email us at [email protected]

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22 Must Check Items Before Launching Your WordPress Website

22 Must Check Items Before Launching Your WordPress Website

Before you launch your website or a client’s website, it’s extremely important to make sure everything is how it should be. By going over these 22 must check items before launching your WordPress website, you are setting yourself and your website up for success!

 

  1. Scope- Always make sure to go over your scope of work. You want to make sure that everything that you set out to do has been completed. This includes any functionality, pages, posts, etc. This is an especially important step if you are building a WordPress site for a client.

 

  1. Revisions- While working on your website, you may have come across changes you wanted to make. Before getting too far into everything, you should check that list of revisions and make sure you have addressed all of them.

 

  1. Page Review- This is going to be a tedious task, but you will need to review every single page on your site as if you were a visitor. Make sure you come at this step with fresh eyes and a clear mind. You will want to check everything about every page including links, navigation, logos, images, contact information, text, forms, logins, sidebar areas, social media, widgets, header and footer, the design, pop ups, and anything else you have on your pages. You’ll want to check each part for things like readability, functionality, and appearance. Once you complete this task, give yourself a break!!

 

  1. Content Review- Another tedious but extremely important task is content review. Your content can make or break the site. Read through all of the text on all of your pages and check that it makes sense and that you also don’t have any dummy text hiding on your pages. You will also want to go over spelling and grammar issues at this point.

 

  1. Photos- at some point while you were working on your site or your client’s site, you or your client determined that everything looked good. Once you have that approval you will want to check that you have all the rights to use any images you put on the site. This may mean purchasing photos.

 

  1. Favicon- The Favicon is the little image that appears next to your site’s name on a browser tab. The majority of themes will automatically do this for you but if you notice that you don’t have one, there are many plugins out there that will help you do this. Once you’ve installed, activated, and setup your chosen plugin, test it in all browsers.

 

  1. Privacy Statement and Terms of Use- No matter what kind of site you have, it’s important to have a privacy statement and terms of use. This will help your visitors feel safer on your site and it’s an added layer of protection for you and your site in case anything happens. You can write up your own or there are also plugins that will help you make one.

 

  1. 404 Errors- Even though you’ve already gone through and checked all your links to make sure they work, it’s still possible for users to type in a wrong URL or somehow get redirected to a Page Not Found. It’s important to have a custom 404 error page setup for these circumstances. You can either use a plugin to help you design a custom 404 error page or you can choose a plugin that will actually redirect your visitors from a 404 error page to a different page that works on your site.

 

  1. Social Media- This is the time where you will want to check your whole social media loop. You will want to test all of your social media links and then if you use automatic post publishing or anything like that, you will want to do a test post to make sure everything is publishing correctly on all of your social media networks. Once you verify that they published correctly, you will also want to make sure that any links on your social media sites work.

 

  1. SEO- All of your pages, images, posts, etc need to be optimized for search engines in order for your site to be found. You can use plugins like Yoast SEO and All in One SEO to help you do that.

 

  1. txt- After a sitemap, having a robots.txt file will be very important for search engines to properly crawl and index your site. You can learn more about robots.txt files and how to make one here.

 

  1. Processes and Functionality- If at any point on your site you’re asking people to fill out a form or purchase a product, you will want to make sure that whole process from start to finish works. You will want to do a test run on each of these processes to ensure that nothing is confusing and nothing is broken.

 

  1. Customizations- You most likely have made lots of customizations to your site whether it’s in the theme itself or with plugins. You will want to make sure it was all done correctly and that everything works as it should. This is going to include things like site analytics, extra security measures, and any special plugins and features you might have added in to the mix.

 

  1. Mobile Friendliness- You can use this Google tool to help you test out your site’s mobile friendliness here. It is crucial that your WordPress site is mobile friendly since over half of search traffic comes from mobile users.

 

  1. Browsers- Go to your site on each major browser including, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, and any others you can think of. Make sure everything looks the same and functions the same.

 

  1. Accessibility- In order for your site to be seen by everyone, it must be accessible to anyone of any ability. WordPress has some great information about accessibility in the codex. You can use tools like NVDA that will help you test your site to see if there are any accessibility issues.

 

  1. Code Quality- High quality coding will help keep your site safe and secure. It is a good idea to be compliant with the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). You can check your site’s compliancy here.

 

  1. Updates- After you’ve gotten to this point, it’s now a good time to update your WordPress version, plugins, and themes that may be out of date. Our article about how to update your WordPress site is a good place to start for this. After each item is update, be sure to check over your site for anything that looks out of place or broken. We do not recommend bulk updating things on your site.

 

  1. SSL Certificate- If you’re using a SSL certificate on your site, make sure it works. You can go to places like this that will test your SSL certificate for you.

 

  1. Security- This is one of the most important things you can do for your site. Make sure it is safe and secure. You should install a plugin like WordFence that helps protect against malware and hackers and also some kind of backup plugin. A backup plugin will help you out big time if you ever need to restore your site to a previous version.

 

  1. Speed Test- Your page load speed will ultimately determine whether a user stays on your site or not so it’s important your site loads quickly. You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to get more information and you can test your site’s speed here. If it’s more than 4 seconds, you will more than likely lose traffic.

 

  1. Update Logins- Before you launch your site or hand it over to your client, you will want to update and test any logins. Make sure they all have secure usernames and passwords that are hard to guess and make sure they all login correctly.

 

If you have any questions about these 22 must check items before launching your WordPress website or if you would like any other WordPress support, please give us a call at 877-844-9931 or email us at [email protected]

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Why You Should Buy a Premium WordPress Theme

Why You Should Buy a Premium WordPress Theme

Have you ever wondered why you should buy a premium WordPress theme over a free theme?  While there are hundreds of free themes out there to choose from, premium themes offer expert design, many more features, and additional services that their free cousins might not offer.

In this article, we’ll go over the top 10 reasons why you should buy a premium WordPress theme.

  1. Security- Premium theme developers make it a priority ensure that their themes have professional level coding and security. Many free themes are easily hacked because of immature programming standards.

 

  1. Updates- Buying a premium theme and having that direct link to the developer means that you will receive any future updates for your theme. They also take into account their customer feedback when updating their themes so that way they can fix any bugs or issues that people may experience while using it.

 

  1. Support- If you experience any troubles with a premium theme you have purchased, the developers will all have some form of customer support so that way you can fix your problem quickly. Many premium themes offer email support, support tickets, or support forums to help their customers.

 

  1. Cost- Even though premium themes cost money, they are much less expensive than hiring a designer or programmer to build it for you.

 

  1. SEO- Search engine optimization is arguably one of my most important aspects of an individual’s or business’ website. It can make or break the goal of your website. So, how does a premium theme offer better SEO support? Premium themes are built by programming and design experts. This means that the coding of the theme is up to date with the latest SEO and search engine trends which can make it more easily read by search engines and get your site ranking higher.

 

  1. Comprehensive Functioning- Premium themes come with loads of extra functions that allow you to customize your website easily. This includes features for setup, design, and other such tasks.

 

  1. Uniqueness- Because free themes are so easily obtainable, anyone in the world can use them. This means that there could be hundreds of other sites that look pretty similar to what your site looks like. If you want a unique design, premium themes can offer that. Not as many people purchase them and the developers spend a lot of time fine tuning them to look as professional as possible.

 

  1. Visitor Assurance- With a premium theme you can rest at ease knowing that your theme helps to reassure your visitors that your site is genuine and safe to use.

 

  1. Performance- Since premium themes are professionally designed and coded, your theme and website will run much smoother and faster compared to using a free theme.

 

  1. Options- There a ton of premium themes to choose from to fit any kind of business or individual need out there.

We hope that this has helped you understand why you should buy a premium WordPress theme. If you are thinking of switching to a premium theme, give us a call today for a premium theme recommendation at 512-825-4353 or email us at [email protected]

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WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

When you’re first considering WordPress, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out all of the options given to you. A lot of people wonder whether a free WordPress.com site or a self hosted WordPress.org site is better for them.

We’ll compare both the free WordPress.com and self hosted WordPress.org options so you can make the right choice for your site.

Free WordPress.com

To begin with, we will be talking about free WordPress.com sites. WordPress.com does have some optional upgrades for a fee. You can find out more about those here, but we will not be talking about them in this post.

Pros

The biggest pro for WordPress.com sites is that it is free right out of the box (without the upgrades). It is very easy to setup your WordPress.com account and start working on your site. You get 3GB of storage and there are hundreds of free themes you can choose from to customize your site. WordPress.com is also SEO friendly. Another upside to using WordPress.com is that there is virtually no maintenance required on your end. They take care of things like automatic backups, updates, and optimization and they have a built in analytics tool. WordPress.com also has a “blogs of the day” section and a “tags” section where your WordPress.com site could be featured which can help drive more traffic to your site.

Cons

While WordPress.com sites are free, they do have quite a few cons to them. First off, the reason these sites are free is because WordPress.com places ads on your site. If you want to have an ad free site, you can upgrade to that. A lot of the other cons have to do with the lack of customization you are able to do on your site. WordPress.com does have features that resemble plugins, but you cannot actually upload any kind of plugin, free, paid, or customized, to your site. You also cannot use a custom theme or customize any of their themes. You can only use their database of themes that they provide. There’s also not much you can do if you want to make money by selling ads. WordPress.com will only allow you to sell ads on your site if you have more than 25,000 pageviews per month and you have to agree to give them 50% of your profits. If you want a custom domain rather than just a subdomain, you can get one but there is a domain registration fee you have to pay. WordPress.com does have community support, but it is limited and you do not get much support if you’re having trouble with one of their themes. One last major con is that if WordPress.com thinks that your site might be violating their terms of service, they can just delete your site at anytime without much notification.

Self Hosted WordPress.org

Pros

WordPress.org itself is free to download and install and they are famous for their 5 minute install. WordPress.org is easy to use and gives you full control over all of your data. You also have a ton more options for customizing the look and feel and structure of your website. You can turn it into practically anything that you want. For themes, you can use free themes, custom themes, premium themes, build your own theme, and even modify and change existing themes to make them look exactly as you want them to. You are allowed to use whatever plugins your heart desires so you can customize your site even more and really tap into the advanced functionality that WordPress has to offer. If you’re wanting to sell your own ads, you are also able to do that on a WordPress.org site and the best part is, you get to keep all of the profits. Also, no one can terminate or turn of your site (as long as you’re not doing anything illegal). WordPress.org allows you to use outside analytics and tracking tools, as well, to help you better monitor your traffic on your site.

Cons

Even though WordPress.org is free to download and install, you must have a hosting provider setup to host your website on. This usually requires a monthly/yearly fee. We recommend using WP Engine or SiteGround for your hosting. Once your site starts growing, you hosting costs will eventually go up as well. You are also responsible for all of the maintenance on your site which includes backups, updates, spam prevention, SEO optimization, and security. WordPress.org sites also aren’t within the WordPress.com network, so you cannot take advantage of the featured blogs section to get more traffic. WordPress.org sites can also be a bit tricky to get setup and start managing your site and content and can have a bit steeper of a learning curve. We offer our WordPress Fundamentals Class to help you get started.

 

Now that you’ve seen the comparison between free WordPress.com vs WordPress.org, we hope that you can now make an educated decision on which platform will be best for you and your website. If you blog for personal reasons and you don’t really see yourself monetizing anything on your site, a free WordPress.com site would be a good option for you. But, if you see yourself blogging for your career, setting up a business website, wanting to sell your ads, or wanting to start your own online store, you will benefit much more from WordPress.org website.

If you need help choosing WordPress.com vs WordPress.org or what kind of site you should setup, we have instructors that are ready to help you. Call 512-593-1621 or email [email protected] to schedule a consultation today.

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