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

Building optimized sites has always been a major part of our strategy: they are easier to maintain, easier to upgrade, and they load more quickly.  I have never built a site using only Flash, and have always built sites using HTML-and-CSS based navigation menus.  They are search engine friendly and easy to expand or rearrange.

With that in mind, I have recently come up with a few other ways to speed things up.  A faster site will generally rank better in the search engines, plus it will have less people abandoning the site while waiting for it to load.

A Discussion Drupal vs Joomla Theming

I think this might be my first post specifically about Drupal.  I’ve been using Drupal for a few years now, but as many know, I’ve been a Joomla guy for a lot longer.  One of the nice things about Drupal’s theming structure is their “content” is rendered as a regular block.  So, when you’re managing blocks in the admin panel, you can assign a contact form block to the content area block area, and it shows up right below it.  No need to tweak the template files create a new block area (in Joomla speak, a module position).

First, a bit of clarification because my clients frequently ask this question: what’s the difference between "social icons" and "social sharing icons”?  Social icons are links to your company’s social pages, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN.  On these pages, people can directly engage with your organization by posting photos, asking questions, and the like.  

Social SHARING icons are visually similar as well, they will typically include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Google+, Pinterest… these are used for sharing content from your company’s website on your site visitors’ social media accounts (newsfeeds, or pages).  When your site’s visitors share your content throughout their social circles, it translates into free exposure for your content.  Assuming that you are producing relevant, high-quality content, this should translate into increased revenues, profits, and market share for your organization.

Before we begin, yes, K2 does have its own, built-in comment functionality.  And yes, there are plugins already built and available for this.  The reason I like this solution is twofold:

  1. K2's comment functionality, while has many useful features (Captcha anti-spam, email notifications, admin approval process), people seem to like using Disqus because it supports logins from multiple accounts (Disqus, Facebook, Google, Twitter).  K2's inbuilt commenting feature can be set up to allow comments from anonymous visitors, which opens up your site to comment spam.
  2. I don't like installing an entire plugin just to accomplish one little thing.  While I'm sure the plugin works, you have more customization / control when you handle the actual code.  This is similar to the plugins that allow you to add Google Analytics to your site - maybe it's just a pet peeve of mine - but I'd rather edit a (single, easy) file than install a new extension, which is a potential security risk.

I've been a Photoshop user for almost 10 years now, and it's slightly embarrassing to say that I've finally figured out how to create a keyboard shortcut for "crop."  I've been using keyboard shortcuts the entire time, for things like copy, cut, paste... but I always felt like I was losing valuable time to reach for the mouse, go to the Image menu, then down to Crop.  

Do you have a mobile or responsive site? If not, on April 21 you may find it harder to rank in Google’s mobile search results.

Google announced algorithm updates that will have a “significant impact” on mobile search results worldwide for mobile searchers. The update improves rankings for sites that provide a mobile-friendly experience to searchers on mobile devices, and, by association, demotes sites that do not.

I noticed that the XMap for Joomla plugins are no longer available so I am posting them here.  

Monday, 23 February 2015 21:49

Beware of Phone Scam: Windows Support

Just received a call from "Windows Support Tech" and the guy tried to pull one of these Support Scams referenced here and here.  It's surprising that they are still trying this scam, years later.

This guy called from "Suzan Champagne" - number 1-450-623-7415

Tuesday, 10 February 2015 21:33

Winter 2015 Newsletter

Hello again, Nate here… I realized I haven’t sent out an e-newsletter since 2012, so hopefully you’re ready for my next one by now.

Important: USPS Shipping Calculations

You're probably aware that the changes UPS and FedEx introduced to their rates at the end of the year now take into account "dimensional weight" instead of just actual weight. Most merchants will be receiving their first invoices under the new rating in the next few weeks and some will be in for a bit of a shock. At the very least, you’ll want to test your eCommerce checkout process to make sure that USPS shipping rates are still working. As with any software update, things may go wrong, so it’s best to check for yourself.

Important: Sites Not Sending Email

We’ve noticed that some hosting companies are making changes to their servers’ configuration that relates to sending email. Most of our clients have not been affected by this, but occasionally, these server changes prevent a site from sending out email messages. This applies to sites that have contact forms, member/client/employee login systems, and eCommerce stores. Since the server-setting change only affects email, your site will appear to be functioning, but messages will be undelivered. Please check your own site by sending yourself a message through it and confirm that the email notifications are sending (and receiving) properly. Note that submissions are also generally stored in a database, so we can typically recover any data that would have been missed.

Friday, 05 December 2014 05:00

How to go on Vacation when Self-Employed

One of the most difficult things about being self-employed is taking a vacation.  It requires much effort to strike a healthy work-life balance.  Many of my clients rely on my fast turn-around time for making changes to their websites, and are frequently adding time-sensitive special offers and the like.

Every year, I manage to take a few long weekends and sometimes an entire week... below are some of my practices for handling such an event:

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