Better Website - Lee Drozak, Web Strategies and WordPress Design

Themes and Plugins You’ll Find in My Toolkit

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Things in your toolkit, WordPress themes and plugins.

Have you decided on WordPress for your website but have become overwhelmed by the amount of themes and plugins available? The beauty of WordPress are the amount of developers who have created themes and plugin, some free and some not. Themes are a great way to get started on the design and plugins help you add much needed functionality especially if you're a non-designer. But choosing the correct combination is often times stressful when you're not in the trenches everyday. And you need to decide if free can work or should you invest in premium. My process, like many other...

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Adding Protection To WordPress For A Secure Website

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Are you worried that your site will get hacked or overtaken by questionable characters? WordPress powers 14.7% of the top 100 websites in the world because of its popularity has become a target for spammers and hackers. You want to protect your investment in both WordPress and your site, so it's critical that you block these hackers and lock down your site for peace of mind. There are many plugins out there that will do this job for you but choosing the right one is a decision most don't want to have to make. That's why I'm introducing you to...

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Are 404 Errors Really That Bad?

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are 404 errors really that bad?

Do you panic when you see a 404 error page on your site? Oh, the dreaded 404 error page that we've all encountered at one point or another. You know that one where you're right in the middle of finding the perfect solution to all the worlds problems, and then there it is – the page not found message. If you've never encountered a 404 page, you're a unicorn and I admire you but let me give you a formal definition according to Wikipedia. The website hosting server will typically generate a “404 Not Found” web page when a user...

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Do This One Thing Before You Create Your WordPress Website

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before you create your website.

How many of you have started to create your website with one person in mind? No, not you, but your ideal client. Your website needs to do one thing, reach the person who needs your solutions. When I first stated my business I was too afraid to narrow down my perfect clients and so I operated as a generalist. But in doing in that I took on some crap clients and projects that I absolutely hated. It wasn't because the people who were coming to my website and connecting with me were terrible people. It was because they were the...

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DIYing Your WordPress Website? Do These First.

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Are you DIYing your website?

Are you creating your very first WordPress website? You know the DIY version where you pick a theme, add some content and site back waiting for traffic. But it never appears and you not happy with the results. Keep reading as we talk about the three things you MUST do to start your WordPress project. Creating a WordPress website is getting easier and easier with the popularity of page builders, drag and drop options and the upcoming Gutenberg changes. But that doesn't mean that you buy a theme, set up WordPress, add your content and stop creating. Let's talk about...

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Designing Your Website – 5 Things You Should Know

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Designing Your Website.

Looking to hire a web designer or don't know where to start when designing your website? Keep reading to be in the know for five things that will help you start your website project. I remember when we bought our first fixer-upper house. I was handy, and crafty, and savvy, but I was so out of my league on some things. There was no plan, no strategy, and no timeline. Big mistake. This was way before HGTV and other fixer-upper shows were popular so the hubs and I winged it. That strategy cost us extra money but more importantly lots of...

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Website Clutter: Clean Up the Chaos On Your Website

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Do you have website clutter?

Website clutter is real and can affect how your visitors interact (or not) with your website. I have a friend who operates in what she calls organized chaos and it’s amazing what she gets done in a day. When there is a lot going on around me (repetitive loud noises, fast moving things, and clutter, oh the clutter) I get easily distracted and tend to forget what was happening at the moment. That happens a lot in the digital realm and the distraction includes clutter and chaos on websites. According to web credibility research from Stanford, 75% of users admit to making judgments...

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Resources to Easily Optimize Your WordPress Site

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Easily Optimize Your WordPress Site.

These last few weeks I talked about creating a good user experience on your website including optimization tips to keep your site running lean and mean. When its time to optimize your WordPress site there are some apps and plugins that come in handy to make the job easier. I'm sharing my favorites tools that I have in my virtual toolbox. Some of these links are affiliate links and I may make a few shekels from them but that's not why I'm sharing them with you. Most of the resources offer free versions or trial runs so you can make sure they...

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User Experience Should Be Step One of Your Design Process

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Are you focused on user experience?

Let's start with the obvious and something others are not telling you, your website is not about you it's about your user, and that's why user experience should be top of the planning checklist. Your website is the chance to show off what you're all about including the solutions that your visitor went to Google (or any other search engine) for in the first place. You want your site to be the place your customers go for information, useful content, actionable advice and to buy. Them, not you! You can tell if it's working by watching your interactions, engagement, and...

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WordPress Site Speed Optimization With These Three Tips

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what are you doing to optimize your site>

Slow sites suck, and worse they drive people from your website because nobody has the patience anymore. So if you're site takes forever to load you need help with WordPress site speed optimization, this article is for you. Before we dig in there's some pre-work to get you started. Test your site speed using a service like GTMetrix or Pingdom. A speed test will give you a starting point to improve your site. Here are three easy (and quick) tips to help with speeding up your website. 1. Do a plugin audit Slow sites usually have too many ineffective plugins. Notice I...

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Improving Your Sales Page, The More You Know

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Is it time to improve your sales page?

Before we talk about improving your sales page let's talk about the difference between home pages, landing pages, and sales pages. Each has a function and a purpose which are different in small ways. Your homepage has a primary object to inspire visitors to get to know and trust you by inspiring you to go to another page to find out more. It is the hub to funnel your visitors through your site to satisfy their informational needs and provide solutions to their problems. A landing page is a little different because it is where we land when the visitor...

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Three Things That Should Be Above The Fold on Your Home Page

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finding key things to include above the fold.

We're talking home page layouts today. Take a look at your home, do you have several ways you can get inside? Me too but I don’t always have keys to access all those ways so I rely on my garage door opener. Even when I go out with someone else, I take my door opener to get back in. Why because that’s the easiest access point for me. But the hubs, although he has keys, and usually I’m home working in my office, so he just wanders through the front door. Because for him that’s the easiest access point. And...

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Five Free Commercial Font Sites You Need To Know

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Five Free Commercial Font Sites .

Fonts can certainly give your website personality and flair, but it’s important to realize that all fonts available on the internet are not web-friendly or free of charge. Commercial font sites are favorites of web and graphic designers for their client projects to add visual flair to their creations. There is a difference between a font and typeface with typeface being a set of letters, numbers, and other symbols or the overall look of the characters. The collection itself is what is considered the font. So essentially the typeface is the design collection, and the font is the digital file. And...

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Font Choices: Find the Best For Your Website

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there are many great free fonts.

Ever try to find that perfect font and then you end up down the rabbit hole of font choices and selections? Every day new typefaces make their way to the web. But not every font, no matter how cute, is right for your website. When picking the perfect font(s), you have to think about a few things. Readability and design are a given, but you also need to consider load times and acceptable use.   I remember when I first started in business, I didn't give a second thought to fonts for my website. I didn't consider what they would look like across...

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Why Page Speed Matters. 3 Things Your Need To Know

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page speed matters for all devices.

Think about the last time you landed on a website, and it took forever to load because the page speed was turtle slow. Did you stay? Or are you impatient like me and moved onto something else? If your bounce rate is high or your traffic is non-existent, this may be a problem for you. To provide a more user-friendly experience, you need to make sure your page speed is fast.   A little while ago the hubs and I went to this newer and trendy microbrewery. It was average busy, with the line out the door. That happens with...

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7 Things Your Must Do To Keep Your Site Maintained

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You Need To Keep Your Website Maintained and Secure.

You Need To Keep Your Site Maintained and Secure. I recently got a new car because I lease and my lease was up. The reason that I lease is that the hubs and I like a new car every few years because mechanics we are not. I can change the oil and the tires, but that's the extent of my car maintenance knowledge. So knowing I'm covered by warranty is essential in my book. The best thing they ever did for cars was to add the maintenance reminder icons on the dashboard. Now I don't ever have to think about...

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Non-Techy Way to Improve Your Site Navigation

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Non-Techy Way to Improve Your Site Navigation.

Have you ever gone exploring, only to come to a neat little town and have no idea where to go or what to find because there are no street signs? Worse yet, there are a bunch of “things to do 5 miles this way or 3 miles that way” and you wonder which way you should go. Ugh! That’s how your visitors feel when they visit your website, and you’re spewing choice after choice at them without any real direction. If your website visitor can’t find the answer to their problem or what they’re looking for quickly, your website is...

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Before Your Build Your Website, Do These Things

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before you build your website do these things

Are you ready to tackle the project to build your website on your own or are you willing to bring on your favorite designer? Either way, there are a few things you need to know that will make the process easier. And… let's face it. It will keep you from going totally bonkers! The process reminds me of my days as a house flipper. You don’t just go in and start tearing things apart (well, you might if it's your first rodeo or you REALLY like to tear things apart!). To make things work better, though, you need to do...

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5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Website Now

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5 simple steps to improve your website.

Have you neglected your website for so long that it looks like it should be part of the way back archives? Taking steps to improve your website is the first step in attracting more clients. For years, I flipped houses with the Hubs. We were lucky that when we looked at a house, we recognized that a little TLC would make a difference in it being appealing and not. The same thing can happen to your website. The best piece of advice we received was to be sure it had curb appeal, or you'll never get anyone in the front...

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Basic HTML That Everyone Should Know

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HTML every blogger should know.

When starting with website development and design the first thing taught is basic HTML. Things like centering, bold, paragraphs come in handy when hand coding a styled website. With the advent of the visual editor, anyone can now do styling on their websites. While I'm not saying this is a bad thing if you want to DIY your website you need to know the basics of HTML to make the easy fixes. Start your coding knowledge at the beginning Before we begin, do note that you need to be in the HTML window (also known as the text tab for you...

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