Web Design in Greenville, SC

 

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Archive for 2013

Best WordPress Caching Plugin For Beginners Hands Down – Quick Cache

best WordPress caching pluginWhat’s the best WordPress caching plugin?

Nobody cares about site speed. Well, you should. Did you know that if you have a slow loading site that Google will rank you a little (or a lot) lower in the search engines? Of course no one knows how much it affects your ranking because its Google’s formula. The fact is…it does.

Today we are going to introduce you to a little plugin called Quick Cache. Quick Cache is a WordPress plugin that allows you to literally install, turn on and have your site load faster for your visitors.

How does it work?

The Quick Cache caching plugin allows your website to serve up a “cached” version itself instead of having to load every item in the site every time.

Why do I need it?

Simply put…Your site will be faster, Your visitors will have a better browsing experience, and you will rank higher in the search engines (may only help you one spot…but hey…it helped).

Wrapping Up

We have reviewed a ton of caching plugins for WordPress. While there may be one that offers an insane amount of features, Quick Cache works great straight out of the box. All you have to so is turn it on. We have tested Quick Cache against other caching plugins and tested with GTMetrix. Quick Cache gets a better score and the Cohesive seal of approval.

Open Image In Photoshop Straight From Your Firefox Browser

We do a lot of searching for images to get inspiration for image and web design ideas. One of the things we do is open photos into Photoshop that we find on the internet. A tool that we use to simplify this process is called the Open With Photoshop Firefox Add-On. It allows you to right click on an image and open it straight into Photoshop without having to save and then open. This process helps a lot. You can see a screenshot of how it works below. If you don’t have this add-on for Firefox, you should go get the Open with Photoshop Add-On.

Open Image In Photoshop

Web Performance Test | How To Test Your Website Speed and Load Time

Why should you conduct a web performance test?

At Cohesive, we want to make sure that our clients have cohesive websites that load as fast as possible. There are a few reasons why you need to test your website speed and make sure that your site is loading fast:

Visitor Retention or Conversion Rate

Your website visitors (who are mostly potential clients) will not stay around waiting for a website to load. There are plenty of other fast-loading website out there the serve up the same information, products and services. To make sure that your competition doesn’t capture your customers, make sure you don’t give them a reason to leave your website.

Google Loves A Fast-Loading Website

Search engine optimization isn’t just about optimize everything on a page such as meta tags and image alt tags. You should also pay attention to the off-site elements such as site load time. Google does. Google actually factors in site speed in the ranking equation and, all things equal, if your competitors site loads faster…they will probably rank higher than you in the search engines.

Generate More Revenue

If you are selling products online, the difference in a sale on your website could simply be 0.5 seconds in load time. A while back, Marissa Mayer of Google shared some very compelling research results at a Web 2.0 conference. In essence, she stated that an additional delay of 0.5 seconds to page-load time caused a 20% drop in traffic. Think about 20% less customers and 20% less sales. It makes a difference.

What is the best tool to test my website’s performance?

Pingdom Tools Website Speed Test

Website Speed Tool

Website Speed Test Feature Overview

  • Examine all parts of a web page – View file sizes, load times, and other details about every single element of a web page (HTML, JavaScript and CSS files, images, etc.). You can sort and filter this list in different ways to identify performance bottlenecks.
  • Performance overview – We automatically put together plenty of performance-related statistics for you based on the test result
  • Performance grade and tips – See how your website conforms to performance best practices from Google Page Speed (similar to Yahoo’s Yslow). You can get some great tips on how to speed up your website this way.
  • Trace your performance history – We save each test for you so you can review it later and also see how things change over time (with pretty charts!).
  • Test from multiple locations – See how fast a website loads in Europe, the United States, etc.
  • Share your results – We’ve made it easy for you to perform a test and share it with your friends, work colleagues or web host.

How it works

All tests are done with real web browsers, so the results match the end-user experience exactly. We use a bunch of instances of Google’s Chrome web browser to load websites, record performance data, and so on. Test your site speed from dedicated Pingdom servers.

GTMetrix – Website Speed and Performance Optimization

Website Performance Test

GTMetrix is one of our favorite tools at Cohesive. It will highlight the goods and bads of your site and server performance so that you can really focus in on the problematic areas.

Test your site speed right now with GTMetrix.

Wrapping It Up

From Google to visitors to sales, it is more important than you think to pay attention to your site performance. Make sure that you take 3 minutes and conduct a web performance test as quickly as you can. Checkout the web performance test overview video below…

 

Flagfox | An Awesome Web Tool for Mozilla Firefox

We just found this awesome web tool. It is a plugin for mozilla firefox that allows you to see what city a site is hosted on the internet. It is called “Flagfox”.

Download Flagfox here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/flagfox/?src=external-geoip.flagfox.net

For instance our servers our in Houston, TX. Check out our Flagfox here: http://geoip.flagfox.net/?ip=174.120.224.230&host=www.cohesivewebdesigns.com

WordPress Howdy | How To Change WordPress Howdy To Welcome In The Admin Bar

WordPress is a great platform to build on when building a website.  It is so easy to customize every single aspect of its appearance. Yet some things can stump you if you don’t have the extreme knowledge of PHP or how to use the WordPress functions.php file correctly.

We’ve created this short simple tutorial on how to change WordPress Howdy to Welcome in the top right hand corner of your dashboard.

What is WordPress Howdy?

In the WordPress dashboard in the top right hand corner, there is a Howdy message before the username located here:

wordpress howdyAfter you alter the WordPress howdy code, it will look like this:

replace howdy

WordPress Howdy To Welcome In Seconds

The simplest way is to download our WordPress Howdy To Welcome plugin that we created today.  If you want to do it the hard way, then follow these steps:

First you want to locate your theme’s functions.php file and open in with a text editor or a program like Adobe Dreamweaver.  Then paste the following code:


function replace_howdy( $wp_admin_bar ) {
$my_account=$wp_admin_bar->get_node('my-account');
$newtitle = str_replace( 'Howdy,', 'Welcome,', $my_account->title );
$wp_admin_bar->add_node( array(
'id' => 'my-account',
'title' => $newtitle,
) );
}
add_filter( 'admin_bar_menu', 'replace_howdy',25 );

If you would like it to say something other than “Welcome,” before your username, then simply replace “Welcome” with the words you would like.

Save your functions.php file and you are done!

Pay It Forward

If this tip was helpful for you, do us a favor a post a link to it on your blog and social networks.

Happy Coding!

Remote Desktop Software Review | Cohesive Web Design

Remote Desktop Software Review

remote desktop software reviewAre you looking for a way to work from outside the office? There are plenty of remote desktop solutions out there that offer the ability to connect. Cohesive Web Design uses remote connect software everyday and has performed a remote desktop software review of several outstanding options for the ability to connect to your computer from where ever you would like.

Our Unbiased Remote Desktop Software Review

1. LogMeIn

LogMeIn is a free remote access service that allows you to add computers easily through the online dashboard. After you setup your computer online, you can connect to it with a password through the online panel. The best part about this is there is an iPhone app that allows you to control your desktop computer remotely.

2. Join.Me

Join.Me offers the ability for you to give someone else access to your computer if you need help or simply need them to review your work. You can also request access from someone else. You simply go to Join.Me in your browser and request or share an access code.

3. TeamViewer

Teamviewer is a nice little program that is packed with features. Teamviewer has the same unattended access as LogMeIn but also allows you to do other things like share files. TeamViewer also has an iPhone app but you have to know the ID of the computer you are connecting to.

Conclusion

Our top choice for unattended access is LogMeIn. Our top choice for quick access is Join.Me. After performing this remote desktop software review, there may be more software that comes available so feel free to share with us!

Convert More Visitors Into Leads with Effective Website Design Techniques

Convert More Visitors Into Leads with Effective Website Design Techniques

You could be losing out on valuable website sales. There are a few simple design elements you may not be aware of on your website. Here are 10 of the best tips for converting more visitors into leads using simple web design techniques.

1. Placement

You want to make it easier for your visitors to find your contact information. Be sure to put the number, email address and other contact info at the top of your website. People read from left to right and top to bottom so usually the logo goes on the left side of the header and the contact details on the right side.

2. Search

People are busy. They do not have time to be browsing your website all day searching for information. To make your website more effective, add a search box at the top of your website so that your visitors can type in a few key terms and find the information they are looking for.

3. Navigation

For this one, I refer to the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) method. You want to have a simple navigation structure so that your (busy) visitors can easily find what you are looking for. Make sure to have a navigation menu at the top of your site and a simple navigation menu at the bottom as well. Include clearly labeled links to the visitor knows where the link will take them.

4. Content

Most visitors scan a website for information. Again, they are busy and do not have the time to actually read information. Use high quality, relevant images to communication your message. Use bullet points, subheadings, block quote and other methods that will divide up the content for an easier, more concise read.

5. Colors

You want to make sure to use the colors that are associated with your brand to tie your image together. You can use 2 – 4 colors on your website. Creatively use color on the items that you want to stand out. For example, if a color in your logo is orange then make the hyperlink color orange to stand out and be cohesive with your branding. Adobe has a great site called Kuler that allows you to pick a great color scheme.

6. Consistency

All elements of your website should be cohesive and consistent.  The colors, fonts, and overall style should match. If you have two different styles on different pages, visitors may think they are on a different website and leave all together.

7. Call To Action (CTA)

What is the goal of your website? Call your number? Fill out a form? Buy a Product? It needs to be clear to your visitor what you would like them to do in terms of action. “Click Here For A Free Quote” is a call to action that prompts the visitor to click for a quote. “Call Now For 20% Off” tells the visitor to call now and they will receive 20% off their purchase.

8. Mobile & Tablets

According to Google Research, 83% of consumers make a buying decision before entering the store. That means that it is extremely important that your site looks great across mobile and tablet devices.  There are a couple of ways to accomplish this…you can get a mobile website or utilize responsive web design. Responsive website design allows your website to automatically reshape itself based on the screen it is being displayed on. For example, when someone views your website on an phone, items are stacked on top of one another and resized to fit in the width of the screen. The biggest advantage of this type of design is you only have to update your information in one place.

9. Social Media

Social Media is becoming a signal to Google that you are a popular entity. It is important that you put your social media links on your website so people can “like” your Facebook page, “follow” your twitter feed or give you a +1 on Google+. Having a fan base on these social networks will allow you to quickly push out information to your fans.

10. Analytics

Make sure that you install a site statistics program on your website to track where your visitors habits. The most popular form of statistics program is Google Analytics.  Google Analytics allows you to see what sites your visitors are coming to, what keywords they are typing in to find your website, what screen size they are using and even see where they are located geographically.  These metrics are incredibly insightful, allow you to analyze your visitors and tailor your website experience for existing traffic.

About The Author

Cohesive Web Design works with local businesses in Greenville, SC and surrounding areas to create affordable and effective websites. We help get you found by more customers with SEO and online marketing strategies.

 

Why is web design critical in the growing business market in Greenville, SC?

The Realm Of Web Design in the Greenville, SC Market

Greenville, SC is 9th on the 10 Fastest Growing Cities list. It is gaining more people, more customers, and more competition. It is now or never for your business. Stay ahead of the curve or get left behind. If you are a local business in Greenville, SC you know exactly what I am talking about. Business has gotten extremely competitive. Let’s look at some options to stay ahead of this thriving business economy and answer some questions about web marketing that you may have…

How can redesigning my website help?

1. A beautiful website can set you apart from your competitors and give you the edge to gain their customer.

The fact is, your competition is spending money on their website because they understand that to redesign your website it is inexpensive and necessary.  I’m sure you have seen a website that looks like it is from the 1990′s and were repulsed.  The same may be true with your website for your visitors. The majority of the time when you redesign your website, you will see an immediate increase in response from your existing traffic.

2. If you design your website to be responsive, you will reach more customers and make more sales.

Mobile is the future. That’s all there is to it. And you know why? Individuals can take their mobile devices with them on the go. No so true for a desktop.  They will browse and search on their mobile devices for the best service provider. If your website does not look good on a mobile device, you can kiss that customer goodbye.  make sure your site looks good on all platforms even tablets.

3. You will establish a more trustworthy image on the web.

The better image you have when people visit your website, the more likely they are to purchase or at least contact you.  Make sure that you have an attractive presence so you can “attract” more inquiries via telephone or contact forms.

4. Customers will want to link to your website, because they like it, and that will help your search engine rank.

If you build a nice looking site with useful information, people will want to link to you on their blog or on the social networks. They will help you spread the word about your website and services. The saying “many hands make light work” hold true here. There is no way that you could spread the word about your company easier and more effectively than 100 of your customers.

Conclusion

It is very important to spend money on the proper web presence. If you would like to see some great examples of websites that employ responsive web design, head on over to our sister company Cohesive Web Design to check out their work.