Category: WordPress

What’s the best thing you can do for your WordPress site?

Update, update, update!

Why update WordPress?

Typically, a WordPress update will improve the features and functionality of your site, or may even introduce new ones. More importantly, updates reduce the vulnerability of your site. (Why? Because authors post the changes they have made for the update, hackers can target these vulnerabilities in old versions of WordPress or WordPress plugins)

How to update your WordPress site?

You can manually update your WordPress site yourself. All you need is your login information. Once you login to the backend of WordPress, you will see notifications that there are updates available. Click on one of these notifications or go to Dashboard > Updates. However, before you update, it is strongly recommended you make a full backup of your site. In case any issues arise during the updates, your site can be fully restored to working condition (not sure how to make a full backup of your site? Keep reading, Exakt Marketing is here to do that for you!).

Don’t have the time to make the update yourself?

When you hire Exakt Marketing to update your WordPress site, you will receive a copy of a full backup of the most recent version of your site. Once your site has been completely backed up, one of our team members will make all the available updates to your site.

If you are considering starting a new website or redesigning a current website for your business, you may want to think about one of the most common complaints: updating or making changes to the website. Typically, websites are written in HTML/CSS coding which is essentially a different language and unless you have coding experience, it can be overwhelming to even look at. This means every time you need to make a change to your website, you will need to contact your webmaster and rely on them to make the changes for you. This can be tedious, may not happen as quickly as you would like and, if you have many changes and updates, can get expensive! What’s a good solution? WordPress! Not sure what that is, continue reading to find out:

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free content management system used to create websites.

What does that mean?

The WordPress platforms gives a user (that’s you) the ability to login to a backend interface and manage the content on their website. Because of this, WordPress is a great solution for our clients that need access to their website files to be able to make updates and edits without ever touching (or seeing) any HTML code. The page and post editor is similar to Microsoft Office’s Word platform, allowing the user to utilize simple editing buttons to make changes to their content.

What are other benefits of WordPress?

1. WordPress is continuously updated, this means you will continue to receive improved features and securities to prevent hackers.

2. WordPress is built to be customizable and most WordPress themes now have a responsive design, making your site mobile and tablet friendly.

3. WordPress allows for easy implementation of SEO, getting the word out to search engines and bringing people to your site.

4. WordPress was originally created as a blogging platform and therefore comes fully integrated with a blog. This means you can easily add new content to your site (improving your SEO rankings). Learn about other benefits of blogging in this article by our team member Emily.

5. Integrate your social media platforms easily and in a variety of ways. From Facebook and Twitter feeds to LinkedIn badges, there are countless plugins to choose from. Read about how Exakt Marketing uses social media to build a brand.

6. With WordPress there is no limit on content so your website can grow as your business grows.

7. Set up multiple users to allow others to access your site. With defined and limiting access roles, you can assign who has access to what parts of your site and what they can do. This can come in handy if, for example, you have multiple team members who will be blogging, you can allow them access to the blog but not to the administrative settings of the site.

8. Extend the functionality of your site with plugins: millions of plugins exist covering a variety of topics and features and new ones are being created every day. With WordPress plugins, the possibilities are endless.

*BONUS TIP: For security purposes, make updates when they become available, but only AFTER making a full backup of your site. And change your password every few months, but be sure to use STRONG passwords.

Interested in a WordPress site or want to learn more? Contact Exakt Marketing!

Out of the Basket Gifts creates one of a kind corporate and speciality gift baskets. In their words, “Our number one goal is to provide our clients with custom, personally made gift bundles that are filled with useable items from top to bottom and that are made of high quality products.” However, even though “basket” is in the name, they don’t use traditional baskets in their orders, “we incorporate a useful base that centers on the theme of the gift. By using innovative bases for our bundles it makes the gift giving experience fun and reusable.” (- www.outofthebasketgifts.com) So when Rachel and Debbie, the owners of Out of the Basket Gifts, came to Exakt Marketing to develop the brand of their new company, we had to think “out of the basket”.

When considering Out of the Basket Gifts’ brand development, our goal was to incorporate the fun, playful feel of the gift baskets, while also keeping a corporate appeal, because the target audience includes corporate industries as well as family and friends. We also wanted to show a visual of the “out of the box” personality of the company. These details were to be displayed through the combination of a graphic icon and clean typography.

Out of the Basket Gifts branding by Exakt MarketingThe resulting icon (shown to the left) uses a base shape of a square with two opposing rounded corners, creating a modern “O” shape. A square was used as the negative space  to show something unexpected. Shading was introduced to create a 3-dimensional illusion, the hard diagonal lines play tricks on the eye, pushing the corners “in” and “out” as your eye traces the shape. The base shape is repeated again, smaller and “outside” of the larger shape, the literal display of “out of the basket”.

Out of the Basket GiftsThe typography was kept clean. A san-serif font, was used for the company name and tagline, while the ampersand (&) in the middle brings back in the playful feel of the gift baskets.

The branding was expanded as we explored the marketing materials Out of the Basket was interested in on the web and in the realm of print. It was important to keep the branding consistent, yet new and fresh, across the different collateral. Along with using the same colors and fonts, the base shape was used to create a decorative patterning on the business cards, facebook page and website (shown at top of post). Brand consistency puts a “face” to the company and allows all their materials to be recognized as part of an overall system, a key component to a successful brand.

If your company is interested in branding or rebranding or any of the items mentioned in this blog article such as logo design, business card design, website development or wordpress customization and social design such as Facebook and Twitter, please contact Exakt Marketing today!

example of responsive website design on range of devicesAs we predicted in our past blog post, Website Design Predictions for 2013 Trends, responsive website design is quickly becoming an important trend in website design and development. Responsive design refers to the way a website visually appears and functions across a range of devices. Desktop and laptop computers are no longer the only screens on which we can connect to the internet. Mobile phones and tablets are becoming more popular in people’s homes and businesses. Does your business have a responsive website?

At Exakt Marketing, we are now including in our focus of website design and development, responsive functionality. WordPress is a content management system that we use frequently to build websites for our clients because it gives them access to edit their website freely. Responsive design is trending in the WordPress community as well. Themeforest.net is a great resource for beautiful and full functioning WordPress themes. While recently scanning the multitude of themes available, I began to notice that nearly all the new themes are built to be responsive.

However, themes are not the only aspect of a website that need to be responsive. WordPress plugins need to be mobile friendly as well. Unfortunately, most plugin authors do not seem to note (yet) whether or not their plugin designs are responsive or mobile friendly. This means, you must be careful about what plugins you have activated on your site and you must test your site across multiple devices to ensure that everything is appearing and working correctly.

I personally experienced a mobile plugin mishap while working on Out2EatLocal.com, a product of Exakt Marketing that provides restaurants with quick and affordable websites using WordPress. Within the site, I had some content set up in tabs and accordions using the WP UI – Tabs, Accordions, Sliders Plugin. I liked this plugin because it has a variety of colors and styles to apply to your tabs and accordions. However, when testing my site on the mobile device, the tabs and accordions were NOT visible! Luckily, I found TheThe Tabs and Accordions by TheTheFly. Not only did these tabs and accordions function correctly, they appeared and functioned on the mobile device too!

So, my word of advice, constantly check your site on mobile and other devices throughout the development of the site. Don’t panic when you run into a snag. Contact Exakt Marketing if you are interested in finding out more about responsive website design and WordPress.

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