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What Types of Updates do I Need to do on my WordPress Website and How Often?

Once your WordPress website is built and live, you have a few options: you can consider the project of building your website “complete” and “all set” and just let it sit there supposedly doing it’s job on it’s own, or you can view your website a living, marketing arm of your business and keep it up to date!  If you would like to have your website up and running, preventing hacking as much as possible, then you should choose to keep the website up to date.

What does it mean to keep my website up to date?

There are two areas to keep up to date on your WordPress website:

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How to Choose a Web Developer for your Website

Choosing a website developer can be tricky.  It’s not like choosing a plumber to fix a leak, or an attorney to help you out with an issue.  There are not a lot of people you can ask for a reference, so normally, one would go online and choose from the look and feel of the developer’s website, or get a reference from an agency like Thumbtack. How do you know if this developer is going to do the right thing by you?  Most of us are not technical enough to know if they did a good job or a bad job, until a problem springs up.

Questions to ask a potential web developer

We put together this list of questions you should ask your web developer. If they hesitate answering any of these questions, you should move on. This is a BASIC list of low expectations you should have for someone who will build your front face to the world.

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Setting up your website for good SEO

SEO: Search Engine Optimization.  This means optimizing your website so that search engines know what your company is all about and will return your page when people search your key words on the Internet!

There are things you can do to your website to optimize your site.  Setting up your website for great SEO is a great idea when you are in the beginning stages of building your website. That is not to say you can’t add nice SEO content later, but it is really great if you can begin with a clean slate and build your site with this in mind.  
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Hosting Plans – Do They Matter in Terms of Speed?

One of my clients, Web Corner Stores,  has many ecommerce websites using WordPress and Woocommerce selling rug pads like all Wool Rug Pads.  We noticed that when we launched the original websites, they sites were slow.  Moving from page to page was slow and loading the home page sometimes took 10 or 15 seconds!  This really is not acceptable!  At that point, we had a shared hosting account, and realized that we needed something a little faster.

We found Rackspace’s Cloud Sites, which was reasonable priced for many sites and had a guaranteed uptime, which mattered a lot to us. So we moved all the sites. After a while, we realized that again the sites were slow!

Do Hosting Plans Control How Fast Your Website Is?

Now we are in the process of moving to Rackspace’s Cloud Server hosting and the result is night and day.  Before the final move, I did some screencasts so you can see for sure the difference.  This is what I did:
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How to Choose a Host

I always get this question from clients and friends and acquaintances:  who should I use for hosting?  How should I choose a host?  Should I host my website at my company?

There are so many choices the answer to this is like saying, “What kind of apple should I use for baking in my apple pie?”  Sure, there are certain considerations for the apples:  are they firm?  mushy?  tart?  sweet?   large?  Many people have different opinions on this.  But, if you choose an apple, bake it with some nice brown sugar and spices with a super buttery crust, it will come out pretty good and people will love it.
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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Now that you have your web site created and up and running, you’d like to climb higher in Google’s rankings. This can be a daunting task. There are companies out there that can help you with your SEO, but here are some things you should try first before calling in the big guns (with the big price tags).
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Website Process

**Update:  This post is several years old. We have a new process now. Contact us to learn more

The process of creating a web site can be exciting and fun, and also a lot of work. The general process of creating a web site or refreshing a web site is below.

The amount of time that a web site will take from start to finish depends on many factors, including how motivated the client is, how productive the client is, time of year (vacations), etc. For your reference, approximate times are given to complete each task. It should be noted, however, that some websites come together very quickly, as the client has much of the information prepared in advance.
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