The Extra Mile

Anyone that’s watched Holmes on Holmes knows that 2 houses that appear like identical quality on the outside, can have VERY different stories inside. In both houses and websites, it’s the things that you DON’T see that can make a big difference to how trouble-free – or troublesome – the finished product ends up being. Here’s some of the stuff I take care of BEHIND the scenes, with the goal of making your life as easy and worry free as possible in managing your website.

Enhanced Security

I use a module called Wordfence to keep an active eye on malicious attempts to compromise the site. It does ``live`` checking of user visits, and file changes, and raises red flags (or blocks when needed) to minimize the chance that hackers can break in.
I also create a custom login url, so that the ``standard`` one used by WordPress is off limits.

Hide Email Addresses from Spambots

Email harvesters scour the web looking inside the code of webpages, to see if they can find a tag named ``mailto`` that means there's an email address to grab and sell to spammers. There are several WordPress plugins available that obfuscate email addresses in the raw code, but still makes them visible to the user's eye. Many web developers don't do this - the result, is more, and more spam mail in your inbox.

Regular Backups

Accidents happen, and sometimes you'll lose website content by accidental deletions, overwrites, tech glitches, etc. I use a module called Updraft Plus that does automatic website backups at regular intervals, and uploads them to either the owner's Google drive, or a free Dropbox account I set up for the website. One thing better than crying over spilt milk is to have a full backup quart in the fridge.

Fast Caching

We've all experienced frustrating waits for website pages to load. Many WordPress sites have to build each page on the fly each time a user visits, and that adds extra time. I use a module called WP Fastest Cache that prebuilds the site's pages, speeding up the time it takes for a user to actually view each page. Faster loading times = happier users.

Fav Icon

If you have Gmail, you've probably noticed a red and white envelope icon to the left of the word ``Inbox`` displayed in the browser tab. The icon is known as a ``favicon``, and every website can have its own custom one. It helps users see visually at a glance what browser windows they have open, and for who. I make sure your site has its own unique one.

favicon for gmail
  • Enhanced Security
  • Hide Email from Spambots
  • Regular Backups
  • Fast Caching
  • Fav Icon
  • Automatic Updates
  • Efficient Picture Sizes
  • ALT Text for Images
  • Owner’s Manual
  • Important Login Info
Copper pipes

Automatic Updates

Wordpress and module makers create regular updates to improve security and other useability features. Keeping track and installing manually can become quite time consuming. I use a module called Easy Updates Manager to automate most of this work, meaning the underlying code used in the website stays up to date

Efficient Picture Sizes

There are a lot of sites that add unnecessary seconds to a page's loading time, because the images the page holds aren't optimized properly. Too often, an image displayed is actually a large image squeezed down in height/width (but not in download size) to fit its space. Or is saved in a format that makes the file size much bigger than it needs to be. I pay special attention to this - the less bytes it takes to load a page in the browser, the faster it loads, and the happier the user is.

ALT Text for Images

When you look at a photo book you've borrowed from the library, it's essential to have captions written for each photo that say something about who or what is in the picture. Same when search engines are cataloging images on your website. They look for a thing called ``alt`` text - the more images have them, the more brownie points the search engine gives your site, and the better rankings and visibility your site gets.

Owner's Manual & Important Login Info

Does keeping track of login info leave you frazzled at times? Welcome to the crowd. I try to use the Keep it Simple approach as much as I can. That's why I include a Manual WITHIN your site, that only those with Administrator rights can access. It contains important info about your site, things helpful to your webmaster, and lists of important logins used for the site and online marketing, such as Dropbox, Yelp, Search Analytics, etc. You can easily add/modify info as time goes on