Nate Covington

Nate Covington

Strategic Technology Consultant

I build custom websites that are easy for my clients to manage on their own.  Every month, my work is seen and used by over 100,000 people.  I am available for hire with building new web sites, and on an as-needed basis for help with updates, consulting, new features, training, etc…  

Sometimes, it's easier to explain what you do by what you don't do: I am not a graphic designer.  I am not an artist.  I don't like talking to people about colors, and how they make them feel.  I'm a programmer.  I'm the guy who builds the websites.  I make them work well.  This implies that my projects will typicaly involve a 3rd party graphic designer, or a "stock template" (off the shelf design).

I work with directly with business owners to build streamlined, effective web sites.  I also work with advertising agencies and marketing consultants on their clients' sites. 

The large majority of my projects are built using Wordpress, Drupal, and Joomla, although I also support Magento, OSCommerce, and almost any other open-source platform.  If you are interested in hiring me to build your next web site, please use the quote request form.

Experience

Covington Creations, LLC (CEO)
Builds and maintain web sites for small and medium businesses, mainly in the PA/NJ/MD area. Main focus is customizing open-source content management systems, frequently working with graphic designers, photographers, copy writers, and project managers to produce and implement cutting-edge web applications. Over 15 years of programming experience.

Mangos, Inc. (Internship in Account Management)
As an intern with Mangos, an award-winning full-service ad agency, I assisted account managers with competitive research, worked alongside creative directors, as well as various designers, writers, and managers. Worked within all three major departments – account management, creative, and production.

Education

Graduated from the Marketing Program at Shippensburg University with a BSBA.  During his final semester, was hired by the College of Business to redesign the school’s web site.  Coursework included a concentration in sociology, psychology, and art.

Expertise

Technical Skills
Programming (HTML, CSS, PHP, etc)
Open-source Software
Graphic Design
Photography
Google AdWords

Software Toolkit
Mac and PC
Adobe Creative Suite - All Versions (incl. CS6)
Microsoft Office - All Versions (including Access)

1.  Sign into your Google My Business management area here and confirm your Google account is properly managing the business on Google Maps:

https://www.google.com/business/

 

2.  Install the Google My Business app one your smart phone.

Out of the box, Drupal can email you notifications whenever there are security patches available.  These are some common questions that I receive from my clients about installing these patches: 

 

Should I go ahead and click update?

If the security updates are for Drupal "Modules" then yes, you can install the updates right through the Drupal admin panel.  For updating the Drupal Core software, this needs to be done at the server-level (hosting account). 

Since Google has phased out old recaptcha (v1), some of our clients reported that their old Joomla 1.5 installs are suffering - getting spammed, now that they no longer have a decent captcha available.  While we realize that Joomla 1.5 sites should be upgraded to the latest version, not all clients are willing, or able to afford this.  

Thursday, 28 February 2019 17:30

How to Report Google My Business Spam

Here’s how to submit a Google My Business spam complaint:

  1. Click here to head to the form (you’ll want to bookmark it as it’ll soon become your best friend)
  2. Read the guidelines linked to in the form’s introduction carefully. This is what the Google staffer reading your form will judge your complaint against, so you need to make sure what you’re claiming is misleading or fraudulent is specifically at odds with something in these guidelines.
  3. Enter your information. Even if you’re a local marketing consultant or agency representing another business, you’ll need to enter your name and email address.
  4. If you’re submitting just one complaint, select the fraudulent content in question (Title, Address, Phone number, or Website) and add the public GMB URL in the field below. (More than one type of content to complain about? Sorry to say this, but it appears that you’ll have to submit multiple forms).
  5. If you’re submitting more 1-10 complaints about different businesses but the same content type, select the content in question and then add multiple URLs by clicking ‘Add additional’ after you’ve added the first.
  6. If you’re submitting more than 10 complaints about different businesses but the same content type, you can use the form’s bulk CSV upload feature to submit a spreadsheet of all URLs (up to 100).
  7. Now for the fun part: write, in detail, why the content is malicious or fraudulent. I can’t stress enough how important the level of detail is. Google Gold Product Expert Ben Fisher championed those who gave great amounts of detail when submitting spam to the GMB forum in a recent webinar, and we can only assume that Google’s own team require a similar level of detail. Write clearly, professionally and respectfully, and be make sure to refer to how the subject of your complaint is contravening the aforementioned Google guidelineswhere possible, to make the Google staffer’s job a little easier. If you’re reporting multiple incidents of spam, it makes sense to have those exhibiting the same bogus characteristics (e.g. keyword stuffing in business name) grouped together in one complaint to save you having to submit multiple reports.
  8. Take one last look through the completed form.
  9. Rub a lucky rabbit’s foot.
  10. Click ‘Submit’.
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 14:16

Payroll Processing Service Review: Gusto

I recently started using Gusto payroll processing service and wanted to share a quick review.  I think it's a great system.

For $45 + $6/employee / month it gets you weekly direct deposit, it keeps track of vacation time, overtime, bonuses, tips, deductions, AND all of the employer / employee taxes.  Plus it integrates with my Quickbooks software, I can download a simple IIF file each payroll and Gusto plugs all of the data into Quickbooks.  Plus, Gusto handles all of our W2 and employee data, so I don't have to worry about it.  

You may have noticed a red warning message in your Joomla admin panel saying something like this:

Error
We have detected that your server is using PHP 5.6.x (or PHP 5.4.x or PHP 7.0.x) which is obsolete and no longer receives official security updates by its developers. The Joomla! Project recommends upgrading your site to PHP 7.1 or later which will receive security updates at least until 2019-12-01. Please ask your host to make PHP 7.1 or a later version the default version for your site. If your host is already PHP 7.1 ready please enable PHP 7.1 on your site's root and 'administrator' directories – typically you can do this yourself through a tool in your hosting control panel, but it's best to ask your host if you are unsure.

Thursday, 01 November 2018 16:13

Yelp vs Google: How they deal with fake reviews

I recently heard a story of a business that got caught with fake reviews on Yelp. They were also an advertiser spending thousands of dollars a month on ads. When they got caught, Yelp canceled their ad account and told them they would be demoting the listing’s ranking for 6 months. After that time, they would re-evaluate, but there was no guarantee that things would go back to how they were before. Yelp’s stance on fake reviews couldn’t be more completely opposite of Google’s. Here are a few ways they differ when it comes to approaching businesses caught with fake reviews:

1. Yelp issues a ranking penalty, Google does not.

2. Yelp stops the business from advertising, Google does not.

This is a free "K2 Content Module" template override for the Joomla component K2 that can be used with any Joomla 1.5, 2.5, or 3.x site. 

Download the template override files attached to this post and upload them into your Joomla template here:

/templates/your-template/html/mod_k2_content/

So the full path will look like this:
/templates/your-template/html/mod_k2_content/C2-Optimized/default.php

This video demonstrates how to use Joomla and K2 to deliver email notifications to your contact list using Mailchimp - you can specify in Mailchimp how frequently (monthly, weekly, etc) and on which day and time you want the emails to be delivered. 

 

The video below will demonstrate how I used Joomla + K2 to build an advanced, custom home page layout using regular Joomla modules.  This customization and technique will work on any Joomla 1.5.x, 2.5.x or 3.x site.  

Download the template override files attached to this post and upload them into your Joomla template here:

/templates/your-template/html/com_k2/

So the full path will look like this:
/templates/your-template/html/com_k2/home-override/category.php