Blogs about Website Design, SEO, Inbound Marketing and Much More!

From Created By Danielle

Create a Comprehensive User Name and Password List

November 9, 2016
Even if you do not have a website yet, or if you have a website and are looking to for a website designer or developer to help you freshen it up, you are going to need to keep an accurate list of all your usernames and passwords to save yourself and your web developer a lot of time (and headache!). In this blog we are going to discuss what makes a good password, what accounts you will need to keep a track of and a trick of mine to keep my passwords unique, memorable and safe.   This is the seventh blog in the “How to Prepare to hire a web designer: blog series” If you have just joined me, maybe you would like to read the first blog in this series “Make sure you understand your business first”  or any of the following in this series before continuing! Be Realistic About Your First Edition -Think Minimum Viable Website (MPW) Consider A Number of Experts How to Analyse Your Competitor’s Websites Determine Your Keywords (Search Terms) Pay For Your Own Domain Name And Hosting   Passwords You need passwords for everything, from your bank accounts, emails, social media, doctors, gardening club and more! It feels like everyone is asking for a password and your head feels swamped with trying to remember different ones. It is all too easy to fall back on same ones you have used for years! In 2016, these are the top ten commonly used on the internet – do you see one of yours? Password 123456 12345678 1234 Qwerty 12345 Dragon Pussy Baseball football If so, you should change your password as soon possible – but of course not before you finished reading this blog, you might learn a thing or two. The reason these passwords are not good enough to use for any of your online accounts is that it will only take someone less than a millisecond to hack your account. Once they are in, they can infect your website files, create a back doors, take down your site or steal your identity and more. Let’s learn how to make a strong but memorable password. How To Make A Strong Password You Will Remember. As the xkcd comic above suggests, you shouldn’t just replace number for letters, this isn’t strong enough. My recommendation on how to make a password, is to think of at least four common unrelated words and link them together. such as: Fork garden cherry africa Then include a few special characters, such as: %Fork&garden#cherryafrica Not only is this password hard to crack, the combination of odd words linked together with special characters make it easy to remember. Handy Hint: If you have lots of passwords to create and remember you might want to consider using something like LastPass  it helps you generate and store passwords in a secure online vault. Where you can access it from anywhere in the world from your computer or phone. All you have to do

Pay For Your Own Domain Name And Hosting

March 20, 2016
A lot of new clients come to me with same woe: they have no idea how to access their existing hosting or domain name. And in the normal course of events you wouldn’t need to access these – but if you ever wanted to make changes to your site or completely overhaul the site, you will need this information to pass on to your developer. It happens to a lot of people that they unknowingly get their developer to register their domain name and arrange their hosting and now they have no idea how to access it to pass on the information and wonder why they are getting large yearly bills without understanding what it is all about. Even worse, sometimes there has been a fallout with the previous developers or they are simply unreachable (or retired). All’s not lost, as we are generally able to recover it and transfer ownership to the rightful owner but you have to keep in mind, it may slow down project timing and sometimes added costs in tracking it down. By arranging your own domain name(s) and hosting, you know you own it outright, with no hassles and ensure you are getting the best deal by getting billed directly from their respective companies and ensure there is no extra costs from people arranging the hosting and domain names for you. The team here at Created By Danielle is a true believer in owning everything yourself. It might mean learning some of the technical lingo to get a better understanding of what you want but I am sure your website designer or developer can help guide you through the process. In this article we are going to discuss how you go about selecting a domain name and purchasing it and we are going to learn about hosting and what you should look out for there.   This is the sixth blog in the “How to Prepare to hire a web designer: blog series” If you have just joined me, maybe you would like to read the first blog in this series “Make sure you understand your business first”  or any of the following in this series before continuing! Be Realistic About Your First Edition -Think Minimum Viable Website (MPW) Consider A Number of Experts How to Analyse Your Competitor’s Websites Determine Your Keywords (Search Terms)   How To Buy A Domain Name Now, let’s get down into the nitty gritty on how to buy a domain name. There are several steps you need to think about along the way. Including deciding what domain name you want, what market you are targeting and where to buy it. In this chapter, we are going to learn how you can take control of your domain name. What is a domain name? A domain name is like a street address, it is the address to your website. It is a unique address that helps identify you and/or your brand on the internet. A person uses your domain name to

Determine Your Website Keywords (Search Terms)

December 28, 2015
Most people think that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a thing to do once your website has been built. However, I beg to differ. It all starts with your domain name and stems down from there into your headings, page content and images. You should know beforehand what website keywords you are wanting your website to target before you even start writing content and the website gets launched. Today we are going to talk about how you can determine your keywords to help you focus your website content and ensure you get an overall picture of the type of content you are going to create and not end up repeating the same keywords for each page.     This is the fifth blog in the “How to Prepare to hire a web designer: blog series” If you have just joined me, maybe you would like to read the first blog in this series “Make sure you understand your business first”  or any of the following in these series before continuing! Be Realistic About Your First Edition -Think Minimum Viable Website (MPW) Consider A Number of Experts How to Analyse Your Competitor’s Websites   What are website keywords? When I mention keywords they are key words and phrases within your web content that make it possible for people to find your site using search engines. It’s not one particular word used over and over again. It is a group of words or phrases that mean the same thing used throughout the content. That way, search engines can figure out what your content is about and so your content shows up when people search for whatever you write about. Just using the same exact words over and over again would make search engines think you are ‘keyword stuffing’ (using the same keyword repeatedly) and penalize your site. Now you have the basics down, it’s time to start planning your content. How to Plan Your Website Content 1. Create Search Term Goals Discovering your search term goals is a crucial step to any website’s SEO strategy. It will help you define your website, discover competitors’ terms and most importantly give you control over how people discover your website. For this first step I want you to write down as many keywords / search terms you expect your potential clients or customers to use to search for your company on the internet. For the remainder of this worksheet, we will call these terms focus keywords.   For example: If I was a tour company in based in Taupo, New Zealand, I would write down the following items (don’t forget to include any local terms such as Taupo): Tours, New Zealand, Travel, Adventure, Mountain, Taupo, Lake, North Island, South Island, Beach, Extreme, Beautiful Country etc   By now you should have a healthy list of focus keywords. For the second part of this exercise, I want you to write down as many synonyms associated with each individual focus keyword as you can think of. For

Be Realistic About Your First Edition

June 10, 2015
Be Realistic About Your First Edition – Think Minimum Viable Website (MPW)   How To Apply The principle Minimum Viable Product (MVP) To A Website.     This is the second blog in the “How to Prepare to hire a web designer: blog series” If you have just joined me, maybe you would like to read the first blog in this series “Make sure you understand your business first” before continuing!   You may have heard the term Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and its association to tech company in Silicon Valley. Startup companies tend to use this principle to create a product with the least amount of investment as possible, so they can start measuring, gathering data and exploring what their audience likes and dislikes. This is a very powerful idea, saving them time (and money) on building useless features.   But what if we applied this principle for website brief? What if you could build your website on the bare minimum to get by then add features over time? You could get a website that is both cheaper and more effective, because you are only adding things you know will work.   What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)? A Minimum Viable Product is the smallest possible product/item you can build to deliver the a solution to your customers. Think highest return for little investment, whether that investment is time or money.  Now lets apply this definition to a website.  By creating a MVW (minimum viable website) brief and understanding what your first edition should be, you ensure that you are not asking website designers or developers to quote on the project far beyond the core of the basic functions.   How to create or design a Minimum Viable Website (MVW)? With the definition of a MVW in mind, we need to work out how to understand what would make your company’s website function at the least amount of investment possible. Below are four steps to consider when creating your MVW brief.  1. Create an Essential List Go ahead and write down all the items you think are essential to your company’s website. Here are some question to help you get started. Think about whether you need a full website or just a landing page? Do you want a unique custom theme built or would an existing theme work for now? Does it have to integrate with another system?  Example: We had a client who was determined that they needed a custom booking system for their motorcycle tour company. After showing them the different free or paid systems available to them we were able to give them a lower quote based on what they really needed at the time.   Need more help in the planning stage: Hire CbyD to consult with you for a minimum viable brief from as little as $200.   2. What is important to the functioning of your website. Now that you have created an essential list, you can think about all the different functions of
SEO Tips

WooCommerce SEO tip: prevent duplicate title tags

May 11, 2015
Your page title (the one you see in the browser bar) is undoubtedly one of your most important sources of SEO keyword juice. Your page title reflects the one true the title of the current page, and it is not easily obscured from search bots, so Google quite naturally lends a lot of weight to it. Conversely, if you have multiple pages with the same page title, you are making it harder for search engines to distinguish between pages and to figure out for what search terms the page is relevant. Products with duplicate titles If you run a webstore that sells multiple versions of the same product, it can be hard to avoid duplicate title tags. For example, a website that sells gem stones may sell multiple blue sapphires. The owner of the website can get more specific, like Australian blue sapphire, but there is a limit to how creative you can get. If you go so far as “The first Australian blue sapphire we found in May 2013”, you are losing sight of the fact that you are trying to accurately describe the contents of the page. The result? Google Webmaster Tools will tell you off for having duplicate titles: Noindex? Your first knee-jerk reaction might be to only let Google index the most recent stone. This will get rid of the duplicate titles indeed, but you lose all autority of the older page. What if somebody has linked to this particular stone in their blog, or on their website? You don’t want to lose this ‘credential’, just to avoid duplicate titles. Index! The solution in the end is simple, because every one of your products does have something unique to them: the SKU! Adding your product number in your title still doesn’t give you extra unique keywords for your identical products, but it gets rid of the duplicate titles, without sacrificing your backlinks. tl;dr Adding the SKU to your page title with Yoast WordPress SEO If you are using Yoast WordPress SEO (which is awesome), this fix will only take 5 minutes. Your WooCommerce SKU is stored in a custom field called _sku. To add the SKU to your title, go to your SEO Titles & Meta settings and look for the ‘Products’ post type on the Post Types tab. In the ‘Title template’ add %%cf__sku%% to display the SKU. If you are not sure where, put it right after %%title%%. Save your settings, and done. You fixed all your duplicate title tags in hardly a few minutes.

How To Get Your Business Onto Google Maps

April 12, 2015
Ever wondered how people got their business show up on Google Maps at the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)? Or have you ever tried to find a company’s address on Google Maps only to find out they weren’t listed? Google Maps is a fantastic “free” marketing tool, as it makes your company findable in so many different ways. Not only are you at the top of SERP’s*, but you are searchable locally on google maps, have all your business details located in one directory and also allow for reviews via your companies Google+ business page. In this blog, I will explain the benefits of putting your company details onto Google Maps and give you a step by step on how to get your company listed. *depending on how many businesses in your area with the same name or business type. The Benefits of Being Listed On Google Maps There are endless reasons to why your should list your company. I am only going to talk about a few today. Local Search for Business By being on Google Maps means your potential clients are able to be search for you locally. This can improve the foot traffic to your business premises and help your website improve on its local search results. Connect With Your Customers Customers can view your company page, and quickly get an idea about your company culture and how you can help them. Not only that, once they have finished with your services, they are able to leave you a review. Get Directions to Your Company Location When you are on the road heading for a meeting but you forgot to look up the address, Google Maps can help your customers get accurate directions straight from their phone. It’s 100% Free Marketing! Just being on Google Maps boosts your company beyond your competitors if they are not already listed. You are easy to find and your (potential) customers can get accurate and up-to-date information about your companies services and operating hours – all for free! What are you waiting for? How To Get Your Business Onto Google Maps The Tutorial: Here is a step by step tutorial on how to get your company onto Google Maps and set up a Google+ Page. If you already have a Google+ Page I will also explain how to merge your verified Google+ Page with your existing page. 1. Get On Google Click on this link https://www.google.com/business/ and click on the buttom “Get On Google” 2. Find Your Business You should see a map that fills your entire page, in the search box enter your company name. Does your company name and address already appear? If you haven’t already submitted to Google Maps you shouldn’t be able to find it. Then go ahead and click on “I have correctly entered the name and address”. 3. Add Your Business Details Fill out your business details, make sure they are 100% correct or Google Maps will not be able to send
Remaintenance

About Remaintenance Service

March 20, 2015
 About Remaintenance Service We are developers and designers that love working with WordPress. We found that almost every WordPress website suffers from the same problems, like: Outdated versions because of theme or plugin conflicts Lack of a maintained backup system No consistent checking of uptime or performance No protection against hackers and viruses Let’s face it: maintaining a WordPress website can be a hard and tricky job. It distracts website owners from running their own websites and in the end costs them heaps in lost revenue. Even most WordPress professionals find it a chore. That is why most maintenance contracts only include problem solving when you request it yourself. That makes no sense! You get a maintenance contract so you don’t have to worry about your website functioning correctly. Now you still have to look for the problems yourself. As web designers and developers ourselves, we developed techniques to make website maintenance both quick and reliable. We started offering our clients a support system right from their WordPress backend, and they loved it. We started pro-actively scanning and regularly checking our clients’ websites for broken links, performance, uptime, etc. and our clients loved it even more. In the end, it turned out to be what we do best. Our clients loved our maintenance and support so much, they started referring their friends to us for maintenance and support. Over the years we have perfected our maintenance and support services and are offering a single maintenance package now, which is Remaintenance. With Remaintenance, our WordPress and SEO experts continuously and pro-actively check if your website is still up to date, functioning correctly and showing up in the search engines optimally. We will look out for problems and potential pitfalls for you, so you can focus on running your business online.

Stripe for Freelancers

February 27, 2015
One problem I repeatedly faced working with international clients with oompf different currencies is getting their money into my Australian bank account. I sell my services for being quick and responsive, and waiting a week for a deposit to land in my bank account was not helping. The solution: Stripe. Clients from all over the world can now pay me using their credit card and I can get to work for them as good as instantly. Best of all, it only took me less than 30 minutes to set up. See it in action here: https://payments.createdbydanielle.com/. For those of you that don’t know it, Stripe is the awesome online payments start-up from the US that takes all the hassle out of setting up online payment gateways. Their pricing is simple: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. That works out to be quite a chunk, but with currency conversions and rates for international transactions, it usually works out just about the same. But isn’t Stripe for online shops? Don’t I need a developer to set it up for me? Nah. All you need is a WordPress install somewhere. Here is how I implemented it: Optional: Set up a (sub)domain for your payments. I put my payments on a seperate subdomain from my website (payments.createdbydanielle.com) for various reasons, but you can integrate it with your website completely if you want. The steps below assume you will have a WordPress install dedicated to your Stripe payments. 1. Get an SSL certificate. I got mine included with my hosting plan at WebhostingPad, but you can get one for as little as $20 / year at the SSL Shop. (Note: don’t skip the certificate! I recently got a candid demonstration on how easy it is to sniff out unencrypted internet traffic. You don’t want to be the site that got your clients skimmed!) 2. If you haven’t already: install WordPress on your payments (sub)domain. (Not going to elaborate on this one 😉 ) 3. Select a theme that fits your branding. I used the same theme as my main website at createdbydanielle.com. This is a major advantage, because it makes the payment gateway more trustworthy to my clients. But you could use any professional looking theme, and add your logo and colours to make sure your clients know it’s yours. 4. Install this plugin. To accept user-entered amounts (and payments in multiple currencies) it will cost $29. For the time and money it will save you, it’s definitely worth the dough. 5. Create a page that explains how the payment gateway works and that it’s secure and all that. 6. Drop in the Stripe shortcode. This will create a button that your clients can use from anywhere in the world to pay you with Visa or MasterCard safely and instantly 🙂 7. (Optional) Create different pages for different currencies. I considered coding in a dropdown for multiple currencies or automating it in another way, but didn’t think it was worth the time. Using Duplicate Post I

What I Did Wrong In MailChimp

February 27, 2015
Since the start of using MailChimp I have been seeing a consistent slide downwards on the click through rate of my newsletters. The other day I was kicking around in MailChimp, admin area and decided to investigate using the MailChimp newsletter analytics why this was happening. What I discovered shocked me! The layout of my MailChimp newsletters are fairly simple. As you can see in the screenshot below, I have my logo, a feature image, a title, snippet of the first paragraph, a read more button and several other photos down one side to show my trusted readers a bit more insight to what they are going to read about once they hit my website. From looking at the MailChimp analytics, I could see that 90% of my reader clicked the “Read More” button after the introduction text. However, about 10% of my interested readers never got to my website. I could see they attempted to click the feature image, the post title and my logo! As you can imagine, this was a shock to me. I never even thought to have a link in my title, but it makes complete sense! Now, more I think about it the more I can not believe I never done it in the past. How you can find out this information within MailChimp Just log into MailChimp Click on your latest newsletter Click on report > Links > Click Map My Mail Chimp Conclusion: Since making this change, I now have the peace of mind, that no matter where the people click, they will either get to my website or to the article in questions. My click map now reflects this.

Five Best Practices for Creating an Awesome Portfolio

February 25, 2015
Whether it’s for a graphic design, architecture or photography website, they are all the same – it’s a portfolio and you are trying to generate clients. A portfolio is important, it gives potential clients an insight into you, your style and your past projects. I can never deliver the best results for my clients without a bit of research. Each project I tackle I try to become a mini expert, finding out all the latest practices and techniques. This not only helps improve my skill set, but also it ensures I can give the best advice to my clients.. Below is a list of design flaws I discovered when performing my research. For each point I have included a best practice to turn these flaws around into winning portfolios. After this project, I took a long hard look at my own portfolio and made my own adjustments! 1. Using Small Thumbnails There are a lot of design portfolios that use very small thumbnails to showcase their range of projects. Not only do you not get to see the overall picture of the project it doesn’t help entice the viewer to look into the project further. Increasing the size of your thumbnails allows people to get a clearer overall picture of the project. If they like the style, colours or layout of that first image, it begs them to open that page and learn more about that particular project. Maybe it’s a similar project and they get encouraged to hire you! Extra bonus: This also helps with lowering your bounce rate! 2. Inconsistent Work You might be just starting out and feel like you have to grab every job that comes your way. But in reality, being a “Jack of all trades” can confuse potential clients. They might see some design work but tons of photography and decide that you do not design logos anymore. If you think you have two separate types of work you should have two different sites that focus primarily on those topics. 3. Tiny Project Screenshots There is nothing more frustrating than opening up a project and finding the project images are tiny! Think, like a potential client, what do they want to see? Large images! They want to see the whole project and the finer details. They want to know that they can trust you to pull off their project and that you will worry about the little things. You just can not see this using tiny weeny screenshots. 4. Lack of Details A lot of portfolio websites just have brief descriptions about the companies the work was done for. What’s wrong with that you ask? Well, it’s fine to have a small company profile, but you should put it towards the end of the write up about your project. Potential clients want to read a good description of the project, what you did, how you did it and if there was a problem, how you solved it to improve their business. Think about these
Tips

Why you should get a Gravatar and how to get one

February 16, 2015
A Gravatar is a Globally Recognized Avatar. An avatar is an image of you that appears beside your name when you make comments on posts or blogs. Gravatar is a service that lets you use a single avatar for many, many different websites (most WordPress sites, for instance). This means you don’t have to set yet-another-avatar on every single website you post on. It’s a fantastic tool, to help identify your posts on blogs and web forums across the web and quickly identify who is communicating with you.  Primarily it is attached to your email address, so when you log your name and email to a comment, your gravatar automaticly makes an appearance! However, if you haven’t assigned a picture to that email address, nothing will show and you will see the “Mystery Man” or a number of generated funny pictures instead.    Why is it good to have an avatar? Here are three points that should make you consider setting yourself up with a recognizable avatar or review your old one. 1. Branding Developing your brand is not just about logos and business cards. Creating an avatar not only shows you in a professional light, but also proves there is a human behind the logo.  2.Developing an Audience Commenting on blog posts generates conversations, and people quickly can start associating your image with your topic. Then if someone emails/messages you, you can quickly identify them as someone you have had a conversation with already.  3.Creating Authority When you focus on your particular niche and talk about it in different forums, people quickly associate your image with it. Next time they think about that, your image will pop into their minds. And reversely: your posts will carry the authority of your previous posts, because people will recognize it’s you!  How to I get a Avatar? Creating an avatar on Gravatar.com is easy – just follow these instructions and you will have your spunky looking face next to your comments.  First off, you either need to log into Gravatar.com with your WordPress.com account or create a new account. To create an account with WordPress.com (don’t confuse it with WordPress.org) you need your email address, username and a password. Login or Signup here Once you are signed in, you will arrive on your manage gravatars page, which looks something like this: This is where you can add new email addresses, upload a different image and a few other things. Once you have assigned your email address and uploaded your picture, you are set to start interacting around the web. What kind of photo One of my favorite gravatars on the web is Sarah Gooding’s. She writes for WP tavern about WordPress and BuddyPress among many other things. I personally think her gravatar picture is ideal as it  is professional, bright and her t-shirt has WordPress on it! Straight away I get the impression that she has something to do with WordPress. Your Gravatar, should encapsulate everything you want to say about you.
Remaintenance

Dedicated WordPress Professionals

February 7, 2015
UPDATE: Remaintenace has closed, but I do have several website maintenance packages available to suit your needs.   We are a team of dedicated WordPress professionals that can maintain and support your website for you, pro-actively and personally. Every month we will actively perform WordPress and plugin updates (and test them), keep an eye on your website’s security, uptime, performance and search engine status and let you know how it’s doing. On top of that, you get up to 4 hours of personal support from our experts every month. Let us look after your website so you can focus on your business for only € 249 per month. In our work as WordPress designers and developers, we found that most businesses waste a tremendous amount of time and energy on broken link checking, performance and uptime monitoring, cleaning up spam comments, creating and restoring backups and other regular maintenance tasks. Not to speak of the budget wasted restoring and securing a website after being hacked. That is why we are offering our specialized WordPress maintenance and website care service. We will spend our time worrying about the performance and security of your website, so you can focus on maintaining your brand online.  
Remaintenance

Support From Your Own Dashboard

February 3, 2015
UPDATE: Remaintenace has closed, but I do have several website maintenance packages available to suit your needs.   Support from your own back-end To be able to maintain your website the best we can, we have developed a custom plugin that we use to monitor your site and stay in touch with you.   The Remaintenance plugin: Reports Imagine having your personal assistants right inside your own dashboard. Our dedicated team regularly checks your website for you and reports back to you right from the comfort of your own WordPress dashboard. Whether it’s a bug we fix or an SEO improvement we make, you will get a full report that won’t get lost in the noise of your inbox.   The Remaintenance plugin: Immediate Support As long as you are logged in, we are only a mouse click away. At any time you can contact us through the support tab and even include a screenshot on the spot. The Remaintenance plugin: Secure There is no more need to create a user for your web developer and send it to him unencrypted over e-mail. The Remaintenance plugin automatically adds your site to our secure site vault so we can access your website when we need to and nobody else will be able to.    
Don't miss a single thing, click here to sign up to our newsletter!