Nu Smile Dental Website

I just did an upgrade to the Nu Smile Dental website. It’s for a Ramsey NJ Dentist who’s taken care of me and my kids for around 7 years. I used the Elegant Themes Divi which is my latest “go to” WordPress theme. After 6 years professionally building WordPress websites i can say without hesitation that this is the easiest theme ever to use. The drag and drop page builder is the best.

I had hosted the HTML version of this site for a couple years. The owner paid a company big bucks to build a custom website (it cost as much as a car) and the monthly hosting fees were unbelievably high. When she quit their out of line pricing scheme, they did not offer to save the website that she had paid for. Instead they gave it to her sawed up like a jigsaw puzzle in a box. I copied the original website and added a royalty free image and it stayed that way for a couple years.

Ramsey NJ Dentist

Now I have to figure out why Google will not let it rank for the key phrase Ramsey NJ Dentist. I did nothing with the SEO for years so I’m not sure if there was some kind of violation of the Google Webmaster Tools Guidelines but I’m looking into it. The dentist hired a company to do some advertising for her and they may have done something that caused the problems.

I’m just getting the new site into my Google Webmaster Tools account along with Google Analytics and the newest version of Google Local A.K.A. Google Places A.K.A. Google + local.

For now, Google is listing all the new files for the new website and that’s a good healthy start. More soon. Later !!

Avada Theme Showcase

I’ve built hundreds of sites with StudioPress themes. Dozens of sites with Elegant Themes. And around 20 using ThemeForest Themes. And now I’m going to implement the biggest selling theme of all time from the ThemeForest line… Avada. With almost 70,000 sales they must be all over the blogsphere. But they’ve been reluctant to maintain a showcase where developers could get ideas and highlight their work if they wanted… until now… Avada now has a list of themes they put in a blog post for their initial showcase.

http://theme-fusion.com/knowledgebase/avada-showcase-sites/

 

Avada Theme Showcase

Avada Theme Showcase

 

Lots of great implementations here. Especially the creative use of the Revolution and Layer Sliders. I personally use Revolution sliders because after I bought about 4 Layersliders, I found out they did not work on some versions of Mac OSX. Yeah I found out the hard way, after I implemented them. So anyway here are some of the BEST implementations of Avada that were represented in their showcase. They gave me all kinds of creative ideas for my next project.

 

e Pixel Media

e Pixel Media

e Pixel Media

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Fash Cam Creative

Fash Cam Creative

Fash Cam Creative

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JL Recruitment Pte. Ltd.

JL Recruitment Pte. Ltd.

JL Recruitment Pte. Ltd.

Built with WordPress

I started building attorney websites on WordPress years before any of the big box legal marketing firms. And there are dozens of reasons why. In good conscience, like a Doctor who is trying to do the right thing for a patient, I just can’t recommend old style HTML sites anymore.  WordPress websites from Web Design WorkPlace look stunning, they give clients control over their own content, and they rank fast because Google loves WordPress. They are supported by an active community of world class experts who take security and functionality very seriously.

You Can’t Tell It’s WordPress

Web Design WorkPlace can convert any website you’ve ever seen into WordPress and you won’t be able to tell the difference. It can look like anything you’ve ever seen on the internet or anything you’ve imagined. There are a lot of styles that are standard such as the “blog” style. That style has blog pages that act as articles on the home page and it may have a sidebar on the right or left sides… or both. Some people think all WordPress websites have to look like the original “blog style”. Not true. We’ve used WordPress to make hundreds of individual and unique looking websites.

WordPress Gives You Control of Your Content

With old style HTML sites you needed a programmer to change any of the content. Then you had to use an FTP program to upload the new changes up to the server. Who wants to do that? The person who wants to do that obviously is the person charging you money for every change like that. It’s a waste of time going back and forth with a programmer as well. WordPress lets you add / change / or delete content by logging in, editing the page or post, and clicking the “publish” button. It’s as easy as that – literally.

WordPress Ranks Better on Google

The structure of a WordPress website is exactly what Google likes to see. Many of the pages are interlinked and there are easy to follow pathways for Google and other search engine spiders to follow. WordPress websites make it easy to alert Google when new pages are added. And they work with Google Analytics flawlessly to exchange data between your hosting company and your website and Google. Google loves WordPress and they usually show their love with PageRank.

 

Responsive WordPress Themes and Why You Need Them

Just when you thought technology was standing still for a minute… it was improving all along. And the latest improvement to WordPress is responsive technology. We can now design a website so it automatically reshapes itself to fit on a handheld or a tablet or any sized display automatically. It does not just make itself look like it’s under a magnifying glass or something like that… it divides into blocks and lines up vertically on a handheld screen.

Do you need responsive? Yeah. You need this. More and more people surf the web with handhelds and tablets every day. Having a website that automatically detects them and reshapes the site to conform perfectly to their environment just makes sense. It costs more to build this way but in the long run it’s worth it. This is the future of WordPress web design.

The first responsive design I ever used was Bill Erickson’s “Driskill” which is based on the StudioPress Genesis Framework.

http://demos.studiopress.com/driskill/

To see what responsive is… go to Bill’s demo site and grab the theme by the lower right corner and drag it to the left. See how the different design elements center themselves on the available browser width as you make it smaller until they eventually wrap under each other in a programmed order to make sense for the user?

I’m partial to StudioPress Genesis because they have in my professional opinion the best technical staff and technical support. Although there are many great companies out there now like Elegant Themes and Woo Themes and dozens of great companies on ThemeForest which are all top shelf and World Class. StudioPress has continued to roll out more and more responsive themes since Driskill, and Elegant Themes genius design guru Nick Roach converted 10 of his Elegant Themes to responsive:

 

Here is a link to all 10 of Elegant Themes responsive themes http://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/category/responsive/

You can see 17 StudioPress Genesis Themes that are all responsive using their theme chooser here:

http://www.studiopress.com/choose-theme

And here is the ultimate link dealing with responsive design today… you can test any site in cyberspace by going to this StudioPress page and enter it’s URL:

http://www.studiopress.com/responsive/

That will allow you to see exactly what the theme looks like at various screen sizes. Brilliant. Typical for StudioPress but nevertheless simply brilliant.

Now if you have not seen enough here is a well researched article highlighting the best WordPress Themes of 2012 and I’m surprised at how many I’ve already used… check this out if you need a little eye candy:

http://bloggingexperiment.com/best-wordpress-themes

So if I was to recommend a responsive theme I can tell you I’ve rolled out projects with these themes and been happy with the support and the very professional results:

StudioPress Driskill by Bill Erickson

StudioPress Legacy by Wes Staham

StudioPress Agency – a stock Genesis theme

StudioPress Streamline – stock Genesis

And you want to see 13 pages of mind blowing responsive WordPress designs on ThemeForest? Check this out:

http://themeforest.net/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&term=responsive&categories=wordpress&sidebar_redirect=true

 

 

 

 

WordCamp NYC 2012

I’m old enough to remember Jackie Gleason saying “And awaaay we go“.
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I’m really looking forward to attending this one. The last one I was not at and the one before that I was called away with a family emergency. And the 2009 one I was one of the organizers and I got a lot of cool WordPress gear. Yeah – I might try to volunteer to be an organizer again… but this time I just want to go and relax and enjoy the show.

At this point there is a call for speakers… they want local speakers before people from outside the NYC area I believe but if you want to speak contact he NYC WordPres Meetup group at: http://2012.nyc.wordcamp.org/2012/04/05/call-for-speakers/

 

Another Top 3 Google Ranking !!

google-number-2-2012-04-10
Our client Martin Colin LLC just climbed to a #2 ranking for a very competitive attorney phrase. We have to congratulate Bill Martin especially for the great job he’s done with the content. Nothing tricky about this ranking… he earned it by making a lot of excellent content.

Google is looking for certain indicators or “signals” to help them rank web pages. Their goal is to provide the best quality search engine results to users. So when a website in a very competitive genre gets to the top 10 or the top 3, they are doing a lot of things right.

WordPress helps attorneys get higher rankings on Google

WordPress does a lot of things that Google recommends and that old style HTML sites don’t do very well. One of those things is interior linking or getting your pages linked together internally in an intelligent way. WordPress also makes it easy for attorneys to add their own content. This is so important in today’s laundry list of items that Google is looking for in terms of positive signals.

Building a Law Firm Website Correctly is Half the Battle

The big box vendors will tell you that the website costs as much as a new automobile because they sell links from Lawyers.com or Justia.com or Findlaw.com as part of their package. Well you don’t have to drop a fortune buying links from the big box vendors to have a great site that ranks well – or in this case better than the more expensive competition. It’s because the “on page” SEO factors that Web Design WorkPlace can build for you are more than half the battle to good rankings.  And the content is even more critical in today’s ranking environment. Do the big box vendors links help the clients that buy links from them? Yes to a degree… but not as much as before. Google looks first at the on page factors and then on the external factors like links to rank sites.

Remember these words of SEO Wisdom from Web Design WorkPlace founder Mal Milligan

“If you build it correctly, the Google Spiders will come.”

 

 

 

 

WordPress vs Old Style HTML – an Example

I’ve have a site called “Domain Star” that first went online October 9, 2004. That’s according to the Way Back Machine. It’s at http://domain-star.com. So for years it was an HTML site and it did OK with Google searches but it never ranked anything except a Google PageRank 0. Here is what it looked like for the last few years:

Domain Star HTML Version

Not too bad really. I build it using Dreamweaver CS3 using one of their built in CSS templates. I got all the graphics from one of my favorite free and public domain spots: the NASA image gallery. So every page was hand tuned for SEO manually where I inserted the tags myself like old school. And I had some text on every page and some links to the site… and I used it thousands of times myself during each year to purchase and maintain way over 1200 domains that I bought through the site. But there was a nagging problem. The fat zero I always got from Google for my PR.

A couple weeks ago I built a new site for it on WordPress using a great Nick Roach Theme called Chameleon and it had an optional “roundabout” slider. Really beautiful to look at. I used the all-in-one-seo plugin to configure my SEO and I only manually configured the homepage. I even added 4 or 5 affiliate links on the sidebar for my favorite themes and hosting partners. (Not that I will ever make a penny from them – lol). Just as an experiment for some laughs. The end result…

I went to Google PageRank 1 within 24 hours.

That’s service for you. That’s one of the many powers of WordPress and that’s why I switched to building WordPress sites commercially in 2008. One of my favorite things to say in the business is that “Google Loves WordPress“. Yeah, so true. One of the biggest reasons I instantly was promoted is that the interlinking on a WP site is so good. It’s got what some in the business call “linky goodness“. Plus the site looks incredibly good. This is a top professional theme right now. Take a look here:

Domain Star WordPress Version

So my point is that WordPress is better than old style HTML for dozens of reasons but this is clearly one of the best. Google rewarded a site that had been online for 7 years with PageRank just because I converted it to WP.

 

Thanks WordPress !!

 

 

WordCamp Philadelphia 2011

WordCampPhiladelphia is arriving shortly on November 5th and 6th, 2011. It’s being held at Temple University in:

Alter Hall
1801 Liacouras Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Click the image below to go to Google Maps…

Temple University Alter Hall

Temple University Alter Hall

I just signed up to attend and I’m looking forward to my first WordCamp since NYC in 2010. On my last WordCamp I helped Steve Bruner as an organizer. I got lots of great “GeDunk” from Jane Wells and Steve for helping out. And a lot of my friends showed up to harass Corey Eulas who was doing his first Camp speaking session.

So this time it looks like Corey is going to speak and another mutual friend “Sam I am” Sam Napolitano is speaking, and another mutual friend Brad Williams too. I hope they are all scheduled for different times.

Here is a link to the speakers page: http://2011.philly.wordcamp.org/speakers/

I’ve seen Brad Williams speak at 2 NYC WordPress Meetups and also at one of the NYC WordCamps. He’s a very engaging speaker and his knowledge of WordPress is incredible. In March I watched him describe the process for creating a WordPress Plugin. After the Meetup I went in and fixed a plugin I had been using where the original author was unresponsive.

Brad wrote 2 books that are great sources for anyone who gets under the hood building WordPress websites. I bought the first one (Professional WordPress) and last night at the meetup I won the next one (Professional WordPress Plugin development) !! I’m one of those guys who buys a copy of every book ever published about WordPress and this is the first time I ever got a great brand new book that I was going to buy anyway for free.

Don’t get me wrong, I love reading books and everything, but I don’t just read books, I sort of abuse them. Every page gets written on, I underline and write blocks around key parts, I earmark and fold pages down for super important information. Then I go over them again a couple months after I finish them to do lookups. And I throw them out after 2 or 3 years when they are dated. I’m much kinder to Lynda.com video training… lol.

Here’s a link to the WordCamp page and hope to see you there… Regards Everyone !!

Mal

WordCamp Philly 2011

WordCamp Philly 2011

 

 

Timthumb pwnd

Nick Roach is one of the premier WordPress designers of all time and his brand of premium themes can be found at Elegant Themes. I’ve owned an unlimited access pass to Elegant for 3 years and I’ve used them on rollouts a few times. Nick Roach has really pushed the envelope for the WP design world and I’m glad to see his brand get more recognition and a bigger following as time passes.

A couple years ago some of the [now older] Elegant Themes and bazillions of other WP Themes from other vendors started using a game changing script called “Timthumb” (sometimes referred to as Tim Thumb) to automatically resize images. It allowed a WordPress editor to upload an image and display it in a blog post, but also to automatically resize it for the homepage thumbnail saving incredible amounts of time. Tim Thumb finally got pwnd and any security problem in the WordPress world is taken super seriously. The bottom line to all my administrator friends is search your containers for older sites that run with Tim Thumb and update everything ASAP.

Here is the letter I got from Elegant Themes tonight…

Hello,

You are receiving this email because you are an active member of ElegantThemes.com. In the past, our themes have used a popular image re-sizing script called Timthumb (http://www.binarymoon.co.uk/projects/timthumb/). The script is used by millions of sites and is quite popular in the WordPress themeing community. That being said, it was noted yesterday that a vulnerability exists within certain versions of the script (http://code.google.com/p/timthumb/issues/detail?id=212), and therefore this vulnerability may also exist in your theme (depending on when you last updated it). While that author has provided a fix, it is highly recommended that you update all of your EelgantThemes themes to their latest versions. The latest versions of our themes no longer utilize the timthumb script and therefore are not subject to this security hole.

Regardless of when you last updated your theme, I would strongly suggest that everyone update their themes to the latest version and insure that the timthumb.php file and your /cache folder has been removed. To update your theme and remove the file, simply delete your current theme via the Appearances > Themes section of the WordPress Dashboard. Then you can re-download the theme from the members area and re-upload it normally:

https://www.elegantthemes.com/members-area/documentation.html#installdashboard

The latest theme versions require that your thumbnail images be hosted on the same domain name where WordPress is installed. If you were previously using timthumb.php to allow external image source by editing the file’s $allowedSites array, then these thumbnails will no longer function.

Before updating the theme, make sure that you are using the latest version of WordPress. I would also disable all of your plugins temporarily before doing any update to insure that no compatibility issues exist. Remember to always keep WordPress, your Themes and your Plugins up-to-date to help protect yourself against any vulnerabilities.

I am sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.


Best Regards,
Nick Roach
www.ElegantThemes.com

 

Google Site Verification for WordPress StudioPress Genesis Users

I’ve bought unlimited developer’s licenses for all three of Brian Gardner’s WP theme companies starting with “Revolution”. I build a business around these themes and the best in industry support that StudioPress is world famous for.

Their top of the line product is a WordPress framework called Genesis. When you use Genesis, you have a multitude of “child theme” options that allows WordPress and Genesis to be continuously updated without having a negative impact on your child theme. Genesis has a lot of features built in that are not native to basic WordPress installations, and the Genesis control panel add-on to the WordPress Dashboard is one of those features.

The Genesis control panel makes life easy for users that want to add their sites to Google WebMaster Tools. When you have a verified website in “Tools” you can access Google Analytics and Google Places. All this is free for now but many in the industry have suggested these excellent tools may not be free in the future. In any case I would highly recommend you use them as they provide a lot of SEO data that otherwise would cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to get with a 3rd party option.

Here is the YouTube version of the instructional video:

Click below to get the Screencast version of the instructional video:

Google Verify Process for StudioPress Genesis Users

To login to Google WebMaster Tools, I usually start by logging into Gmail.

From there, I pick the account pulldown menu and choose “account settings”. This gets me to my main Google Accounts screen.

From there I can pick “WebMaster Tools”.

WebMaster Tools will allow me to choose an option “add a site” and then I can type in the website URL.

From there Tools will offer several methods to verify:

  • create an ascii HTML file and upload it to your website root folder via FTP or SFTP.
  • add a meta tag
  • do a DNS change and add a text field they supply
  • add Google Analytics

StudioPress Genesis users will go to the “alternate methods” screen and pick “add a meta tag” which will look something like this:

<meta name=”google-site-verification” content=”2Ec_TpSNzlAj3TmVTjOqG6IbtQPW7r489pZpDYrpqTA” />

OK at this point login to your WordPress website and from the main Dashboard pick the “Genesis” option to get to the Genesis Control Panel.

On the lower right corner of the screen there will be options for “Header / Footer Scripts” and the top section there is to add tags and links to the wp_head section. That’s where we paste the verification string… the “meta tag”. Then we go to the bottom of the page and do a save.

Mac users can hold down the command key and PC users can hold the control key and you can click on the website name at the top of the WordPress Dashboard to open a new window with the website at it’s homepage. From there using FireFox, you can do a View / Page Source to get under the hood and look at the HTML code that makes up the page. From there I go back to the browser menu bar and choose Edit / Find. I look for the string meta and I keep clicking the next button until I get to the “google-site-verification” string we saw earlier.

<meta name=”google-site-verification” content=”2Ec_TpSNzlAj3TmVTjOqG6IbtQPW7r489pZpDYrpqTA” />

OK from this point we know the meta tag is in the homepage under the hood in the HTML and we can go back to WebMaster Tools and click the botton that says “verify”. Google will not give us a fancy message that tells us the verification worked, but they will let us immediately into the account to work with the data.