Built in partnership with AgencyForGood

Built in partnership with AgencyForGood

Built in partnership with AgencyForGood

Designed and built in Partnership with JoannaK

Design by JoannaK

Agency For Good

Built in Partnership with AgencyForGood

Built in Partnership with AgencyForGood

Gutenberg Editor too thin? If you have made the jump to Gutenberg on your website (I only just have!) then one of the things that might be bugging you is the width that blocks appear. For some reason they seem to be fixed at just over 500 pixels which doesn’t make much sense to me! Some quick Googling and the scripts below will change all that allowing you to set the blocks at any width you like.

This same script can also be used to add custom styles to Gutenberg’s Editor making them appear like the front end. I will let you figure that but out for now…

First off open your theme’s functions.php and paste the following code.

function guten_setup() {
// Add support for editor styles.
add_theme_support( 'editor-styles' );


// Enqueue editor styles.
add_editor_style( 'css/style-editor.css' );
}
add_action( 'after_setup_theme', 'guten_setup' );

Next you need to create a new css file in your template folder. Put it in a folder within your theme directory called css

Gutenberg Width Editor

Once the file is saved, add

.wp-block {max-width:100%!important;}

Changing the width accordingly to your needs.

That’s it! Done. Refresh your page editor and enjoy some proper screen real estate for editing!

 

This is by no means a complete guide to speeding up your WordPress website, but it will get you started and in a lot of cases do most of the work!

Start by testing your site with GTMetrix to get a baseline score

Click here to load GTMetrix Website Speed Tool

Image Optimisation with Shortpixel

First off is image optimisation. There are a number of options available for your WordPress website. My personal plugin of choice for this task is ShortPixel.

Shortpixel optimises 100 images a month for free but then you have to pay for extra credits. The good news is an extra 15,000 credits is less than £10!

Navigate to the Plugins menu and choose Add New. Search for Shortpixel and install it.

Once installed, you are required to enter an email address to obtain an API key. Like registering some new software.

After entering your email you will be taken to the first of 2 settings pages.

On the first page the default options work well. The only thing I change is the ‘Resize Large Images’ option at the bottom. I like to set a max image size of 2000 pixels (bigger than the average screen resolution) with any images added to the site. A good move if you know images are being uploaded straight from a camera!

Shortpixel Plugin Settings Screenshot

Next move onto the Advanced tab at the top of the page.

The first thing to do is add your theme and plugin folders to the optimisation process to ensure ALL images are optimised on the site.

This is done via the Additional media folders section

Click select folder and browse to wp-content/plugins click add folder.

Do the same for wp-content/themes

WebP Images

Next is web-p images. The new super internet friendly format for images. Its replaces jpg and png etc.

This will depend on your server setup but ideally you want to enable the creation of web-p images and also ‘Deliver the WebP versions of the images in the front-end’ should be enabled using one of the options.

Once done click Save and go to Bulk Process. You need to keep this window open whilst the process runs and it might take a while.

If you reach your monthly quota you will be prompted to pay for more credits. Payments can be made securely through Paypal.

Screenshot of Shortpixel Advanced Settings

Autoptimize and Minifying your site

Sounds complicated right? Its actually quite simple. Minifying is getting all the files (or as many as possible) that make up the site and merging them into one.

This means that when someone wants to view your site, they only have one file to download. Not several.

Go back to Plugins > Add new and search for and install Autoptimize

Once installed Autoptimize appears on the admin bar at the top of your site. Click on it to get to the options and set it up for your site.

Autoptimize Settings to enable

Enable ‘Optimise Javascript Code?’

Enable ‘Aggregate JS Files’

Enable ‘Also aggregate inline JS?’

Scroll down to CSS options

Enable ‘Optimise CSS Code’

Enable ‘Aggregate CSS files?’

Enable ‘Also aggregate inline CSS?’

Scroll down to the bottom and click Save changes and Empty Cache, your done!

Screenshot of Autoptimize Settings

Try testing your site again with GTMetrix.

Finishing up

Its important to check your site and the functionality is still working as expected as these plugins do make some big changes. If there is any problem simply disabling them will revert you back to how the site was.

A common problem can be a script being minified causing it to no longer work. This can be a bit more involving but you need to work out which script file is the problem and exclude it in the Autoptimize settings. Contact me for more help if you get stuck! info@418design.co.uk

 

Looking for a web developer in Skipton?

You have a few choices but as 418 I strive to be the best and have the reviews to back it up.

I can help your Skipton Business, Club or Organisation get online with a bespoke website, hosting, domain registration and email accounts.

Living in Steeton I am local to Skipton and also provide a first class support service long after your website has gone live.

Contact me on 07557 349 707, email info@418design.co.uk or fill in the contact form here

 

 

Agency For Good

Agency For Good

It always amazes me how many of my new clients come to me after bad service from their existing web developer or agency. From slow replies to extortionate pricing the reasons are almost endless.

As my first blog post in far too long, I thought I would list 5 reasons why you might want to start looking for a new web developer!

1. Bad Communication

Communication with your web designer is key. Business is hard enough without having to spend hours or days chasing work. 418 aim to reply to any queries well within 24 hours and can often turn around any new work in a similar time frame. There is no need to wait any longer without reason!

2. Lack of updates

The web is constantly changing and if you have WordPress then keeping the site up to date is incredibly important to ensure you remove the risk of being hacked. Your web designer should of spoken to you about the need to keep the site up to date at the very least. Even better they will ensure the site remains up to date for you although it would be fair to charge extra for this service..

3. Hasn’t spoken to you about Responsive Web Design

Responsive and mobile web design is here and has been now for a couple of years. Whilst the work is unlikely to be completed for free, your web developer should of spoken to you about making sure your site works on all the devices we use to browse the internet today.

4. Over-charging for simple work

We all need to get paid and maybe I don’t charge enough but I have heard of some ridiculous charges for simple work. If you think you are being overcharged, get a second opinion. I along with most other reputable design companies will be happy to answer any questions you have about your site and provide quotations for work.

5. Support after the site is live

Unless your product or business fills a niche or is particularly special, the chances are you will need more than just a website putting online. A good web developer will ensure you know how to use your website to its full potential and take it forward to ensure it ranks in Google and is an asset to your business.

 

Agency For Good – Ethical Web Design

Agency For Good – Ethical Web Design

SEO or search engine optimisation is arguably more important than the build of the website itself. After all, if nobody can find your website, it doesn’t really matter what it looks like!

I always refer to SEO as a big game but a competition is a much better word. Unless your lucky enough to have a truly unique USP or product then you are going to have competition and more than likely, a lot of it.

Luckily there is a fantastic plugin for WordPress called Yoast SEO and using this tool, someone with no prior knowledge of SEO can tailor their pages and make them as search engine friendly as possible.

Login to your website and edit one of your pages to begin working. Down near the bottom of the page you will see a box that looks similar to the one below – handily, its labelled Yoast SEO.

performing basic page seo with yoast in wordpress

The idea is simple. Set a Focus Keyword for the page and use the Content Analysis section to tailor your page and content around that word.

The Focus Keyword is the word or phrase you think its most likely people will use to find your site. In my example I have used ‘Lightweight shoring’ as this is a common term used when talking about the kind of product this site advertises.

Focus Keyword Screenshot

The next section to look at is the Snippet Editor. The snippet is a preview of your page in Google’s Search Results.

The top blue line is the page title tag. You can see this for yourself, its the text that appears on your browsers tab at the top of this window.

The green text is the page urls.

The smaller paragraph underneath is the Meta Description.

To edit any of these simply click the text on screen and start typing. Aim to put your keywords into both the title tag and the page description.

It will warn you if they are too long or too short.

snippet

Finally the Content Analysis Section which will give you hints and tips as to what you need to do to improve your page.

As you make changes the hints and tips will automatically update to let you know if there is anything else that can be done.

If you can get everything in green then great but as long as the overall traffic light symbol has a green light then you are on the right track.

Sometimes due to design or layout its not possible to hit every mark 100%.

Content Analysis - Basic tips for basic page seo

I have written another guide here which explains more basic on page seo, more specifically about how you should format and edit your content.

Heading Tags do exactly what they describe, they tag the headings on your websites page.

They are important for both search engines and PageRank as when used correctly, they structure your page which gives the search bots an overview of the page in one glance.

They are also important aesthetically as they have set styles applied to them which should continue your brand and theme on the website once published.

Don’t be put off by the word tags though! They can easily be applied using the tool bar at your disposal when designing a page on your website as shown below.

2016-02-01_05h31_14

To apply a heading tag to your text simply highlight it with your mouse and choose an option from the drop down box.

But which should I choose?

As you can see in the drop down box. Heading 1 is much bigger than Heading 6 and this is how it should be on your website. There is a bit more to it than that though.

In a nut shell, Heading 1 should be used for the main page or site title. Heading 2 would then be used for further sections within that page.

If those sub sections have further sub sections with a title, then heading 3 should be applied and so on.

This screenshot demonstrates the correct formatting.

Using this method ensures the sites headings and text is uniform across all pages and ensures the pages are structured correctly ready for indexing.

 

In this post I will be explaining what you can expect when your site goes live and what you need to do.

Its a common mis-conception that once a website is live, it will appear in search engines immediately, some of my clients even expect to be the number 1 result for their top keyword on day 1.

Unfortunately that is not the case, the work isn’t over just yet. In fact, generally if you want your site to succeed, the work never stops.

Let me explain a bit about the process of how websites end up in search results in the first place.

google-crawl

The Crawl…

Google and other search engines have a huge number of computers which essentially spend their time scanning or crawling the pages found on the internet. As they go they detect changes to content, new content, new links and even dead links and websites which have been removed from the internet.

Using their own magic and witchcraft (algorithms) they will decide how often a page should be crawled, which pages to crawl and which to index.

Think of the web as a giant spider web with googles bots or spiders constantly moving around the web looking for new strands to traverse and inspect.

This is where your website comes in but there is one catch. Your new web to be crawled isn’t attached to the main web in anyway so the spiders cant get there!

Get in on the crawl

There are a few things you can do to help this. First you can literally tell Google you exist and you can do this in a number of ways.

First and this is good advice for businesses old and new. Make sure your details are listed within Google’s Business Pages. This has the handy advantage of also ensuring your on Google Maps.

The second option is more website specific. Google have a site called Webmaster Tools which essentially lets you fine tune some settings of how your website will appear in search rankings and more importantly right now, let them know the site exists!

One of the most important tools on there for a new website is the ability to submit a sitemap.

A sitemap removes the need for the search engines bots (or spiders) to find new pages themselves. You can give them a map of how to find every page on your site making sure nothing is missed!

The third option is similar to the above and also has some massive benefits for you going forward to manage the site and make improvements.

Google Analytics. Googles Anayltics tool is the go to reporting tool to see just about every stat you can imagine (and some you cant) about visitors to your website. How many unique visitors, how long they spent on the site, which pages they went on and in which order, how they found you. Its all there.

For new websites though, its another great way of letting Google know your out there.

Caffeine-Search-Engine-Optimization

 

Indexing

As you can imagine, the bots and spiders have quite a bit of work on their hands, the web is a rather large place. Some rough figures estimate there are around 571 new websites online globally every MINUTE! Over 2 million facebook shares, 68,000 new blog posts (like this one), you get the picture.

So how does Google index these pages exactly? Remember each search performed on Google.co.uk and similar websites is like starting a little competition.

If you search for ‘web design’ for example, there are a few billion pages (actually, 1,110,000,000 as of right now) all competing to get that top spot in your search results.

Google has to come up with a way of deciding which page is the best fit for you. Which page is likely to give you the answer or result you want.

Now to explain all these would take a few essays (there is a reason people get paid a lot of money for Seach Engine Optimisation work) but I like to explain it like this.

The site that gets the number 1 spot in your search results is the perfect site with a score of 100/100 on the test paper (or at least the closest one to it).

To get to 100/100 there are about 200 questions on the paper. Some of the bigger questions are worth 10 points and you should go for them first. The real top sites though are the ones that go back through the test and do all the smaller questions that are only worth half a point or even a quarter. It all adds up to that final score.

Each page on your site is actually assigned a PageRank and that PageRank is one of the determining factors Google and other searches use when serving up results.

Serving Results

The final stage then is when search engines choose to display your page in their search rankings.

First of all its probably worth noting that if you are selling designer rucksacks for monkeys, your probably going to do pretty well. With very little (probably zero to be fair) competition, you can probably expect your site to rank pretty well.

If your a hair dresser in London. Its going to take some work…OK a lot of work.

Google uses over 200 factors to decide which pages to show first and its up to you to try and shine in those areas.

Again this could turn into an even longer essay but I think I can sum up. Use your website. Post blog updates, case studies, galleries, testimonials. Use social media and local or relevant groups to your website. Don’t plaster your website link all over peoples pages but find a good time and opportunity to let people know about your services or business.

Unless what your selling really is a crowd puller and there is nothing else out there like it, you need to drive people to your website and make it interesting when they get there.

Imagine turning up for a meal somewhere only to find your only choice is 20 different franchises of Subway. They all sell the exact same menu but the manager and staff is different.

All the shops look filthy, the staff look bored and there is nobody else in there. All except one. The lights are on, they are running promotions with performers outside, the staff are all enthusiastic and the place is cleaner than your home. Which one would you go to?

 

 

Over the years as I have built websites I have always encouraged clients to get involved with the editing of the site content themselves. Its important if your site is going to be successful that you keep it updated with fresh content and don’t let the existing content go out of date. So its also important you understand how these things actually work!

The use of tables for layout always provided a relatively easy way for someone with no knowledge of actual coding to create a neat and tidy page with varied layouts.

Unfortunately with the recent introduction of ‘mobile friendly’ or ‘responsive’ design, this is no longer an option.

Why not? I really like using tables!

Tables were originally created to store data but there was a point where they could be used to build entire websites from header to footer. Due to their somewhat rigid structure a new system using a html tag called the div was created (more on that later) which allows for much more fluid layouts not defined by rows and cells.

More recently you could still use a table to create a grid within your site (built with divs) pages, just to create neat and tidy page layouts or to hold a set of data.

Now that we have to worry about screen size. Things have gotten a bit more complicated.

The problem with tables is they don’t really care how wide your screen is. If they need to take up more space, they will.

I have tried to illustrate this below.

Any attempts to squash the table down to size will either result in its content being distorted or, would require the text and images to reduce down to an unusable size.

For this reason tables are no longer a viable options and should really be avoided anywhere on your website.

Next we will look out other options for creating more exciting layouts using classes and divs.

 

This blog will explain the simple process of inserting an image into your post or pages in WordPress.
Read the rest of this entry »

Right from the beginning you need to consider SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. This guide will help you understand some of the basics you need to consider. Another guide will follow to explain parts in more detail. Read the rest of this entry »

Any link going back to your site from someone else’s web page is seen as a kind of vote of confidence by search engines in favour of your website.

It is assumed that if there are a lot of links to your site throughout the internet that your page or website is of good quality and is worth seeing.

One of the best ways to do this and to save you some work is to use Social Networks. Not only are they great for getting your business or club out there to be recognised and seen by people, they are also a great way of spreading offers and if done right, the users of the site will do it for you using the share and re-tweet options provided.

This is almost invaluable as your audience can soon grow far larger than your group of friends and colleagues as people you don’t know share your stories, news or offers across the web.

So, what can you post? Anything! It doesn’t even have to be business related (although it probably helps) but try and find something interesting, a favourite internet comic or video, some local news.

The aim is to get people to follow your account and share your postings. They might not need a hair dresser, website or skin treatment now but by seeing you on their social networks, hopefully they will remember you when they do!

One of the key things to remember when posting to a social network is ALWAYS include a link back to your site.

Never write all your update on Facebook. The idea is to drive people to your site. Simply add an intro paragraph on your Social Networks and link to the main news on your website!

A good tip for Twitter users is to use a web address shortening service. Your limited to 140 characters per Tweet and you don’t want your web address taking up most of them.

To get round this you can use the link below, enter your sites address and it will generate a shorter version of your URL to use on the web.

http://tinyurl.com/

For anyone that came to this site expecting WebfactoryUK, as you can see. We have had a bit of a change. For those that care, let me explain!

Back in 2011 when I setup WebfactoryUK I actually wanted to call my company just Webfactory. No extra UK’s on the end.

Unfortunately the domain name www.webfactory.co.uk was being held by someone who wanted £3500 to release it.

As a new startup that wasn’t going to be an option so I made the decision to go with WebfactoryUK.

Fast forward 4 years to May 2015 where another web design company managed to get hold of the webfactory.co.uk domain name, changed their business name to Webfactory Ltd and began trading under that name with a very similar website to my own…

I contacted Companies House to dispute the new companies name and Companies House sided with me and WebfactoryUK Ltd. Webfactory Ltd would have to change their name.

This still left the domain name under the new companies control and after contact with the MD of the new Webfactory Ltd, they weren’t going to give it up. Even if I used Companies House and made them change name.

This is probably the point where I would normally insert some derogatory terms but I like to think I have taken the higher ground on this one.

There is a dispute process I could of taken with Nominet, the UKs domain registry but this is a long process and can cost £1000’s.

In the end I have withdrawn my complaint to Companies House and allowed Webfactory Ltd to continue.

They paid me a grand total of £350 for the privilege which as you can imagine, doesn’t come close to the cost of a full re-brand and the time its taking to let people know but with no other choice, it was better than nothing.

SO! New (possibly brave) plan.

Name change!

 

It hasn’t been the easiest thing to do, I had grown quite attached to WebfactoryUK in the end and my business has always been through the reputation I have built myself and around that brand name.

It has given me the chance to rethink things and to use what I have learnt over the past 4 years to improve my services even further. So please stick with me!

Sam

MD Webfa..

MD 418Design

 

 

To login to your CPanel where you will find all your hosting accounts settings and features (including the backup system) you simply need to add /cpanel to the end of your web address.

http://www.my-website.co.uk/cpanel

Alternatively you can login via 418’s link below

https://www.418design.co.uk/cpanel

If you don’t have your main account username and password please email me by clicking here. Please note these details are different from your websites normal login.

Once you have successfully logged in, look for the Ark Backups option as shown below.

The Ark Backup system is the core system behind your automated website backups.

ark1

Clicking the Ark Backups option will take you to a new screen which lists all the available backup and restore points.

ark2

To download a backup, on the right, click the blue floppy disk icon.

ark3

A small window will pop up that allows you to customise your backup download. The default options are fine. Click Download.

ark4

Once the download is complete you have a full backup of your online account including website and all emails.

When editing your website you will often need to create link to another page within your site or to another website entirely.

The first thing to do is add the text or image a user of your site will click on to access the link. Something simple like Click here will do fine.

Next, highlight that text with your mouse and then click on the button that looks like a chain link on the toolbar (shown below).

link-btns

Doing so will open a small window with the link options. Here you can locate pages already created on your site or enter a URL if your are linking to another web page.

links

You will also find the option here to force links to open in a new tab or window when clicked. This is highly recommended when you are linking to a website that isn’t your own!

new-tab

That should be it. Click the Add Link button, the window will disappear and your link will be inserted. Save your page and try it out!

Tip – Images can also be used when creating links. Insert an image and click on it so that is selected. This replaces the selecting of the text stage from the above guide.

Troubleshooting – A common mistake when creating links is to not have the text or image selected before clicking the link anchor button. You must have something selected so that WordPress knows what you are trying to make a link out of.

This guide is about some of the main features available to use on the tool-bar whilst adding or editing a new page or post.
Read the rest of this entry »

This guide will explain how you can download Mozilla’s Thunderbird email app, install it on your PC or Laptop and then configure it to send and receive emails. A much better alternative to Webmail. Read the rest of this entry »

On your website, a WordPress ‘Post’ may be used to post news updates, new for sale adverts or to post special offers.

This guide will explain how to add or edit new posts.
Read the rest of this entry »

This cool graphic shows you the different ways you can use Google’s search engine to fine tune the results you get back on every search.

How-to-Google

Save the Whales

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