Surveys, text notifications, online payments… taking a look at Gravity Forms add-ons

For those that haven’t yet come across it, Gravity Forms is a WordPress plugin that let’s you easily add forms to your website.  The form on my contact page is created using Gravity Forms.

It’s pretty useful in it’s own right – just as a contact form.  But I thought it might be useful to highlight some of the more exciting things that you can do with the help of some of Gravity Form’s add-on modules:

Continue reading >>

New resource – high quality photos for free

A new (to me at least) photo resource popped up just recently… Unsplash – 10 new high resolution, creative commons photos every 10 days; free to use commercially.  You might find it easier to browse through the archive.  Thanks to Alison Thompson for sharing this one. Also – Getty Images – Embed Tool (Non Commercial Use only) Getty have released 35 million images for use through their Embed tool – useful for blog posts perhaps.  This was covered recently on the BBC website.  It does come with a bit of a caveat, as you can only use images via… Read more »

Where are you now & what does success look like?

This post is Step 2 of my series of blog posts, ‘Running a successful website in the real world’.  Click here for more information.

The purpose of this post is to gain some idea of what your website is achieving for you at the moment, and working out what success looks like – it simply means that you’ve then got some measure of how the time you are investing in your website is paying off.

It’s easy to get bogged down in this sort of thing, so I intend to make this post very short, sharp and sweet, so we can move on to the important point – achieving success! Continue reading >>

Who controls your business?

I recently read an article on Copyblogger that resonated rather.

Count up the number of times you’ve been told that social media is really important for your business.  You must be on Facebook, you must be on Twitter, etc etc.  It’s all pretty overwhelming for a new business owner.  But for some, it’s a quick and easy alternative to an expensive website.  It’s a good way of marketing direct to their target market.

And even for a more established business with a professional website – “it’s still a better way of marketing direct to clients” they say.  And so Facebook gets updated while the website remains the same as it did 3 years ago.  Continue reading >>

A free alternative to Akismet?

I recently blogged about anti-spam solutions, and mentioned that I was testing the Anti-spam plugin on my website, in place of Akismet. Just a very quick update – so far, so good! I’ve not received any spam comments through, and aside from the possibility of any false positives (genuine comments getting blocked – my test comment came through fine), it looks like this might be a viable alternative. Next step: cancel my Akismet subscription, check that doesn’t make any difference, and then see how it goes in the long term.  $5/month isn’t a lot, but it’s still $5 well saved!

Could you use these techniques to double your enquiries too?

Back in October 2012, one of my clients, Linda Jeffreys from Orchard House Interiors, emailed me: “I need to talk to you about optimising my exposure on the search engines I think. Perhaps we could book a ‘phone call if you could suggest a time please.” I’d originally built Linda’s website back in 2011; it had been working well for her, but she wanted to improve rankings – without throwing huge amounts more money at the website.   Results A year and a bit later, and these are the results (click on any of the images below to enlarge): No.1… Read more »

What do you want your website to do for you?

The answer to this question will determine what you in turn, will need to do for it.  As there is no such thing as a free lunch; likewise there is no such a thing as a free business-generating website. The amount of value you anticipate getting out of your website will help you decide how much time and/or money to put into it. This post is Step 1 of my series of blog posts, ‘Running a successful website in the real world’.  Click here for more information, or click here to go straight to the action point.   Your business… Read more »

Running a successful website in the real world

I can divide my clients broadly into two main groups: those who generate business via their website and those who don’t. What makes the difference?  How do you move from ‘website-inertia’ to a position where you have a professional, up-to-date and business generating or business supporting website?   Note This isn’t one of those blog posts that is going to present a quick-fix solution which guarantees unbelievable increases in enquiries and sales.  If there is such a quick fix (I haven’t found it yet), I don’t believe it’ll be an enduring one. I intend to take an in-depth look at… Read more »

How to stop wasting time dealing with WordPress comments

Spam comments almost invariably go hand in hand with a blog.  I could talk for ages about how sad it is that individuals and groups of individuals are using their time in such a way. But we’re here to get a job done, and so this blog post is about solving the problem: Preventing spam comments even reaching you For any spam comments that do get through – how to detect what is spam (I hate it when I see that one of my clients has mistakenly published a spam comment on their blog). See my update on using the… Read more »

Wishing you a very Happy Christmas

Almost the end of 2013!  A big thank you for all your support this year, it really is appreciated. I hope you have a lovely Christmas and my very best wishes for 2014. Sarah p.s. Hexagon will be closed over Christmas.  I will be back in the office on Monday 6th January 2014. p.p.s. you might just have noticed… my new website is finally live, I hope you like it.  Still loads more to add, but I’m so thankful to get it done in time for Christmas, it’s been a long time coming!