Nate Covington

Nate Covington

I build websites that build businesses. 

Every month, my work is seen and used by hundreds of thousands of people.  I am available for hire with building new web sites, and managing existing sites, help with updates, consulting, new features, training, etc…  

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.  

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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.

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

Software Toolkit
Mac and PC
Adobe Creative Suite 
Microsoft Office (including Access)
Slack, Asana, other collaboration tools

I noticed that after installing the Joomla 3.6.4 security patch, the background color of the /administrator control panel login screen changed.  It seems that with today's release of Joomla 3.6.4, and ease of which the exploit can be executed, it's really bad timing to make it so easy for hackers to see whether or not a site has been patched.  This latest Joomla exploit allows for a person to do two things:

I just encountered an issue after upgrading a client's site to Joomla 3.6.4.  I was presented with the following error message on both the front end and back end of the site:

Error displaying the error page: Illegal mix of collations (utf8_unicode_ci,IMPLICIT) and (utf8_general_ci,IMPLICIT) for operation '=' SQL=SELECT id, home, template, s.params FROM #__template_styles as s LEFT JOIN #__extensions as e ON e.element=s.template AND e.type='template' AND e.client_id=s.client_id WHERE s.client_id = 0 AND e.enabled = 1: Illegal mix of collations (utf8_unicode_ci,IMPLICIT) and (utf8_general_ci,IMPLICIT) for operation '=' SQL=SELECT id, home, template, s.params FROM #__template_styles as s LEFT JOIN #__extensions as e ON e.element=s.template AND e.type='template' AND e.client_id=s.client_id WHERE s.client_id = 0 AND e.enabled = 1

I received another "Is this legit?" questions from a client today, and wanted to share so that others can also avoid this.

These people are combining “SEO” with “Registration” in their tactics, which is total shenanigans… it’s like a mechanic telling you that your car needs a new muffler bearing.  There is no such thing. 

I was recently frustrated when trying to find a freely available, open source responsive slider / slideshow plugin for Joomla K2 items.  It seems there are plenty available if you are willing to pay, but for something this simple, I figured I would roll my own and share. 

Notes:

  • This particular example is for using the K2 Joomla component, but the same overall concept will apply to any type of module that supports the standard Joomla template override structure.
  • Since it's hand-coded, it will apply to all versions / platforms of Joomla: 1.5.x, 2.5.x, 3.x
  • See "attachments" area for downloads, including the flexslider library, readme, template override, and new CSS.
  • Click here for demo

Directions:

=============

1.  Add the following jQuery and FlexSlider script to your template’s index.php file:

Background:

From the dawn of time, Google has provided you the exact keyword queries people have used to find your site. So, anybody that goes to Google, types in a keyword combination and winds up at your website, Google has told you the keywords they’ve used to find that. And that’s highly valuable information because you can use those keyword combinations to optimize your site around to get even more people to your site.

Well recently, they stopped doing that, and this was a big hit to a lot of people. But today, I’m going to show you three reports that Google has started including inside of their analytics dashboard, that can help you get around this, to identify what keywords people are using to find you, and to optimize your site around those keywords. So, let’s get going.

I put this video together to discuss some of the similarities and differences between Joomla, Wordpress, and Drupal.  In particular, I set up some sample content in a "plain vanilla" installation of each platform, and examine the underlying database structure.  Too frequently, I find myself reading peoples' opinions about which of these platforms is better than the other, and I can't help but think to myself, "You're just saying that because you learned (insert platform name here) first." 

If you already have a site built using one of these platforms and want to hire me, I'm happy to play the role of consultant.  If you don't have a site and want to engage me to design & build it, I can do that, too.  (I generally don't find the database structure by itself to be enough of a reason to switch from one platform to the other, but that's also an option if sufficient reasons exist.)  Get in touch today!

[Update 10/27/16: Apple has discontinued this model]

A client recently hired me to set up his new laptop for him.  To make a long story short, he needed a Macbook Pro with a non-retina screen.  He wanted something with plenty of storage space.  He also wanted a solid-state hard drive (SSD).  He also wanted a new computer with a warranty.

My solution?  Let's get started.

First, let's take care of the "oh, but this will void your warranty" argument.  No, it won'tHere is another article.  In a nutshell, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 states that a company can’t require you to upgrade with OEM parts to retain the warranty.

Thursday, 18 February 2016 14:55

Recommended Free Software: uBlock and F.lux

fluxF.lux
(Windows, Mac OS X, Linux)
www.justgetflux.com

Does the computer screen ever hurt your eyes?  Do you have trouble falling asleep after using the computer? That's because your screen settings are optimized for daylight hours.

f.lux fixes this: it lets you control the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day.  It's better for your eyes and sleep cycle.


ublockuBlock
(Firefox, Chrome, Safari)
www.ublock.org

Too many ads on your favorite websites?  Tired of YouTube video ads?  With uBlock, ads are a thing of the past!

Thursday, 18 February 2016 14:54

Newsletter: 2016 February

Greetings from the Poconos! We have some new features and options we’d like to share with you:

To zoom, or not to zoom?

I recently had a conversation with a client regarding their “responsive” (mobile-friendly) website. They were requesting “pinch and zoom” capabilities to enlarge photos.

Tuesday, 07 July 2015 19:20

Introducing the new reCAPTCHA!

We recently received this announcement from Google, they are replacing the "old" reCaptcha system with a newer, smarter, easier to use system.

Many of our clients have asked about adding a reCaptcha anti-spam mechanism onto their site's contact page (get a quote form, etc) and our advice was typically as follows:

  1. Avoid adding a reCaptcha field at all costs because it makes it more difficult for legitimate people to send messages through your site.
  2. Typically, we start by adding a security mechanism called Project Honeypot onto the site, which blocks malicious visitors based on their IP address. 
  3. If blocking malicious IP addresses still doesn't cut down enough on the amount of spam that is sent through the form, then we look into adding a reCaptcha system.

Focus Areas

360-Degree Campaigns
Affiliate Marketing
Analytics & Data Reporting
Automation
Blogging

Brand Development
Brand Identity & Standards
Brand Messaging
Brand Positioning
Brand Strategy
Content Development
Content Management
Copywriting
Corporate Communications
Creative Direction
Differentiation
Digital Marketing
Employee Engagement
Executive / Stakeholder Communications
Graphic Design
Key Messaging
Integrated Marketing
Internal Communications
Public Relations Management
Public Relations Strategy
Social Media Marketing
SEO & Optimization
Storytelling
Strategic Planning
Visual Communication
Web Design + Development
Web Maintenance & Updates

UI/UX
Workflow Process Engineering

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Web Design, Development, Consulting

We tend to ask the questions that need to be asked, and think of the details that nobody else does. We anticipate needs, find solutions to difficult problems, and bring order to complex situations.

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Search Optimization & Local SEO

Hire us to optimize and manage your overall online presence, ranging from Google Maps and local business listings, to on-page SEO and optimization. 

Optimization Plans & Pricing

Security Updates & Patching

White glove monthly maintenance for your Wordpress, Drupal, or Joomla site.

Maintenance Plans & Pricing