Social Proof: How to Get Reviews and Testimonials from Clients

Collin StoverMarketing TipsLeave a Comment

This is a follow-up to my Rock-Star Testimonials post. The advice in that post is still valid, and I encourage you to read it. I wanted to add in another tip, and this one is perhaps the simplest of all: When is the best time to ask your clients for a review? Simple answer: When they are happiest with you and your services. Any time you receive an Email back from a client where they’re telling you how happy they are, how impressed, etc…it’s time to ask for a review. In the past, I would simply ask clients to send me that review via Email, or I would use one of the tips outlined in my previous post. These days, because reviews are so important to Google and getting people to trust you, I actually ask them to post the review directly to Google. Make it easy for them…find your link by Googling your … Read More

ManageWP Review: Manage Backups and Updates Across Multiple WordPress Sites

Collin StoverWordpress BasicsLeave a Comment

As a part of my no-contract website maintenance programs I have been offering free “off the clock” back-ups and updates on a weekly basis for a while now. I was managing these back-ups individually with the plug-in UpDraft Plus, which was fine in the beginning…but managing dozens of sites individually is just asking for something to go wrong. Plus, it’s a pain in the butt going around to dozens of WordPress sites to update them and set up backups. I needed a better solution. Introducing ManageWP: A tool for easily managing multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard All of my member’s sites are in ManageWP, which allows me to back-up daily instead of weekly, and update all of these sites with the click of a button. ManageWP has lots of features, which I am going to go over one-by-one in terms of what I have found to be useful and what I have … Read More

How to Properly Use Heading Tags in WordPress

Collin StoverSEO TipsLeave a Comment

Last week, we talked about how to use emphasis to improve your Website copy in under 10 minutes. This week, we’re going to talk about how to properly use heading tags within WordPress. If you’ve used WordPress, you’ve probably seen the “Heading” formatting in the post creator: What are these for? How do you use them correctly? That’s what this post is about. What are heading tags for? You might think that these headings serve just to make text bigger and bolder. While they do this, that isn’t their primary purpose. The primary purpose of heading tags are to create a “hierarchy” on the page…to organize your content. How to use Heading Tags in WordPress: Think of your “Heading 1” as the main idea for the entire page. It’s the biggest heading, so it’s the biggest topic. There should only be ONE heading 1 on your page – and this is usually … Read More

ActiveCampaign: An Inexpensive Alternative to Infusionsoft and HubSpot

Collin StoverMarketing TipsLeave a Comment

Hey everyone! This is a video I made a while ago about ActiveCampaign, which is an awesome CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and Email Marketing platform that has many of the features of Infusion and Hubspot without the cost or confusion. My ActiveCampaign review and comparison video has gotten a lot of attention on YouTube recently, so I thought I would share it here as well. ActiveCampaign Comparison and Review (ActiveCampaign Compared to Hubspot and Infusionsoft): If you’re interested in ActiveCampaign, consider signing up with my affiliate link here (it doesn’t cost you any extra, I just get a % of your subscription if you decide to sign up). If you would like help setting up ActiveCampaign, this is something I help members of my No-Contract Website Maintenance Plans with.

How to Improve your Website Copy in Under 10 Minutes

Collin StoverMarketing Tips, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

Copywriting can be pretty mystifying, especially if you don’t consider yourself a “writer.” Not to worry! Here’s a simple way that you can take your existing Website copy and make it infinitely better! Usually, when a client comes to me, their pages look something like this: There’s nothing wrong with what’s written. In fact, this is the copy that is on my Website right now. How to Improve your Website Copy to make it easier to read Here’s the secret: Most people are skimmers. Your average person is not going to read everything you write. That’s why we use emphasis by bolding, italicising, and underlining…as well as create headlines like the one above (How to improve your Website copy…) Here’s the same copy, modified to include emphasis: A lot easier to read and skim, huh? The best tip I can give for writing and improving your own copy is to “pull out” our emphasize the most important parts of the … Read More

How to Prepare my Website for the GDPR

Collin StoverAnnouncementsLeave a Comment

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU regulation that is about to go into effect on May 25th. I’ve gotten a lot of questions from my Website Maintenance members about it recently, so I thought I would send out​​ a general FAQ for GDPR (holy acronyms). FWD to any fellow Website owners. Disclaimer: I’m a Web Designer, not a lawyer. ​​I’m basing most of this advice off of guides I’ve read online. You could find this same advice with a Google search. It shouldn’t be taken as legal advice or a comprehensive guide to the GDPR. Does GDPR affect me if I don’t live in Europe?​​ If you do business or collect data from anyone in the UK or EU, this affects you.​​​ When does it go into effect? May 25th, 2018. Will “Brexit” affect the way Britain implements the GDPR? When Britain splits from the EU, they … Read More

How to know if your WordPress site has been hacked.

Collin StoverWebsite SecurityLeave a Comment

I’ve shared stories in the past about clients who came to me with Websites that were hacked and they didn’t even know it. So how does one know? First of all, you are never too small to have your WordPress site hacked. The first step is to just look at the site. Is it up and functioning? Check. Many times when a Website is hacked, the home-page immediately goes down and is left blank or replaced with a hacker’s page. The next step is to Google your site. Sometimes a Website that has been hacked will be found out by Google before it’s found out by a “normal” person. If you see any weird characters in your site description or Google says “This site may be hacked,” then there’s a chance you’ve been hacked. Next, be sure to install a security plug-in and run a malware scan. This will search … Read More

How are most WordPress websites hacked?

Collin StoverWebsite SecurityLeave a Comment

According to WP Template, 51% of WordPress Sites that get hacked were done so via an insecure theme or vulnerable plug-in. Keeping your themes, plug-ins, and WordPress itself up-to-date is the #1 thing you can do to secure your WordPress site, by far – and it’s clear by the numbers why that is. When a plug-in updates, it is usually for two reasons: To add new features, and to improve security. As technology advances and hackers get more sophisticated, plug-in and theme authors as well as WordPress have to stay ever-vigilant and secure their “code.” If their code is insecure, so is your Website. So essentially, when you fail to update your Website, you are allowing the potential for hackers to force their way in through insecure code.  When you see the little orange “update” button in WordPress, click it. You should update anything there as soon as possible – … Read More

Let’s Go Phishing – How a thoughtless click almost costed an event planner her Website.

Collin StoverWebsite SecurityLeave a Comment

I recently received a frantic text from a client who was sure she had messed up. She received an Email on her way out the door, supposedly from her Web host. It told her in rather-official looking (at first glance) language that they had received a request to cancel her Email account, and that if she didn’t want this to happen in 3 hours she needed to click the link. Urgency took over – she was on her way out the door, didn’t want her primary Email to be cancelled, and it looked like the Email had come from her Website or host. She clicked the link, and then after thinking about it for a while, changed her hosting password and gave me a call. Luckily, she caught her hasty mistake in time and nothing else came of it. She forwarded me the Email, and sure enough – had she … Read More

Why would someone hack a “small” Website?

Collin StoverWebsite SecurityLeave a Comment

Take this lesson: You are never too small to be hacked. In fact, the smaller you are, the easier a target you appear to be for hackers who have various motivations. Think of a wild savannah cat, like a lion, chasing a gazelle. Who does the lion usually focus their attention on? That’s right, the scrawny little guy with a broken leg. It’s kind of a gruesome picture, but that’s how many of these hackers view these small Websites. They’re easy-pickings because small business owners oftentimes just don’t know how to protect themselves, and they’re too busy wearing a billion hats sometimes to notice. You’re that gazelle with a broken leg. I told the story in a recent blog post of a client who came to me with a site that was already hacked and she didn’t even realize it. Over the next several weeks I am going to be … Read More