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)

GMB has a handful of new features and some best-practice confusion. Contributor Sherry Bonelli clears things up and answers five frequently asked questions on fake reviews, random people changing your listing and more.

Not only does your Google My Business listing increase your chances of showing up in the Google Local 3-pack, but when your business is searched for by name, Google often shows a Knowledge Panel that displays detailed information about your company.

These details are pulled directly from your GMB listing, as well as from information Google finds from other online sources and user-generated content (like third-party reviews, Q&As, user-suggested information and so on).

Friday, 06 July 2018 13:30

Contact

Covington Creations, LLC

Nathan Covington, CEO
PO Box 403
Mountainhome, PA 18342

570.595.3956 office
570.576.7497 mobile

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When it comes to building a website, the biggest problem that people generally face with software like Wordpress, Drupal, and Joomla is there is so many different ways of building a particular ‘section’ of a site.  

You could build your “Meet the Staff” page using one “Article” in the CMS and list out all of the staff member’s head shots, names, titles, and descriptions in one big long page… or, you could create a custom content form for staff members that allows you to enter each bio as a separate article with fields for their image and each piece of information about them.  This type of decision makes a huge difference once you add a few dozen bio’s into the site and then decide to change something.  It’s not fun going back through them all, one by one.  

I just switched from the regular Apple Mail app, which I had been using daily since 2008, to Thunderbird.  I had been having problems with Apple Mail's program's "message tagging" feature, which I used for marking which emails I had to respond to.  This feature became a daily nuisance, and after repeatedly calling Apple's tech support and jumping through all sorts of hoops, I finally decided to try Thunderbird.  What a breath of fresh air!  And yes, Thunderbird is Open Source software.

I've got the following Thunderbird plugins / extensions installed:

  • ImportExportTools (for importing messages from Mail.app)
  • Send Later
  • Manually sort folders

I also disabled the "Lightning" plugin because I don't want to use Thunderbird for managing my calendar.  For this, I'll continue using Google Calendar (via Apple's Calendar.app).  

Saturday, 30 June 2018 18:36

ALMOST Switched to GoDaddy Hosting

Historically, I've recommended GoDaddy for domain registration services to my clients because they were the cheapest. However, GoDaddy's hosting plans were a general pain to work with: they provided limited resources like CPU and memory, the database servers were isolated and slow, and they didn't include my preferred hosting account control panel software, cPanel.  This is now included with GoDaddy's economy hosting plans, which is the main reason that I decided to give them another look.  I actually intended on making this switch - I had GoDaddy provision 3 separate hosting plans at a rate of 3 years for $89.64...

I recently started receiving these email notifications from Google about certain sites becoming indexed as "mobile first" - and wanted to write a quick post for those who are curious and want more information.

Basically, this is a non-issue and something you can essentially ignore if your site is built using latest, common practices.  This mainly becomes an issue only for sites that are not mobile friendly (e.g. desktop only) - or, for sites that have both a desktop and a mobile site.  For my clients, I've never built a "mobile only" site - I always build proper, responsive websites that are inherently mobile friendly.  For some of my older clients, this may be the push that finally drives you into a modern, responsive (mobile friendly) website.

Squarespace Review: 
You may have noticed Squarespace ran a few ads in this year’s Super Bowl.  It was quite a surprise to me.  In the last month, I’ve had one client switch their site over to Squarespace (they’ll be back), and a new lead come to me, flat-out asking me to ‘rescue’ them from the Squarespace platform. For these reasons, I decided to share a few of my thoughts.

Warning: This is another article in my “Why I Love Open Source Software” series.  

Saturday, 23 June 2018 15:35

Stripe Payment Processing Review

I have been accepting payment via PayPal for over 5 years through my website.  I recently decided to start offering “real” credit card processing options and want to share my findings.

I recently found a nice, unobtrusive, free “Live Chat” widget that can be installed on almost any site.  It’s called Tawk.to and you can see an example on my site.  You can use it to monitor website visitors in real time, optionally initiate a chat with them, monitor your support staff chats, and more.  I’m using the free version, but you can also upgrade to remove the branding.

Learn more:  www.tawk.to 

Thursday, 21 June 2018 15:29

Free Website Monitoring with Uptime Robot

Another free service that I found recently is Uptime Robot.  You can use it to monitor your website’s uptime and receive alerts if it finds a problem.  The free version monitors up to 50 sites and checks them every 5 minutes.   

Learn more:  www.uptimerobot.com