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.
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.
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.
Programming (HTML, CSS, PHP, etc)
Mac and PC
Adobe Creative Suite
Microsoft Office (including Access)
Slack, Asana, other collaboration tools
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:
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).
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.
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
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
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.
What is your preference? And if you’re a client and are now realizing that your website was built with two spaces and you’d prefer a single space between sentences, or vice-versa, please just send us an email so that we can make the necessary adjustments.
Personally, I’m not sure which is better, I just enjoy watching people argue about it. From my angle, this is a generational thing. I attended grade school in the 90's and early 2000's and two spaces after a sentence was standard at the time.
Message from Nate:
I wasn't aware of Google's Grant program for nonprofits to advertise on the Google Adwords campaign - in general - until just recently. So this is a two-part post, for my clients. One is to announce that this program exists for nonprofits, and the second is to announce that Google recently made changes to the program.
Is your nonprofit organization involved with the Google Ad Grants Program? Contributor Pauline Jakober shows how you can benefit from the recent ad changes with a few creative tips and workarounds.
This past December, Google communicated changes to its Google Ad Grants program. If you’re a nonprofit or an agency working on behalf of nonprofits, these changes may apply to you.
Some of the changes are good, but others may create new challenges for you. In this article, I’m going to briefly walk through some of the new rules and then detail a few strategies and creative workarounds you can use.
I want to take a quick moment to reiterate why I love Open Source software so much. Not only is open source software free to use and customize to your liking, you can also run it on almost any hosting server. You could even host it on a server in your basement if so desired.
I recently noticed that the “Captcha” field on my website’s comment form was still showing the old “V1” anti-spam check:
Rather than the newer, friendlier format:
The solution, which actually came as a surprise, was quite simple. All I had to do was update the “K2 Component” in my site to the latest version and generate a new API key for the new “V2” Captcha. And it just so happens that the developers behind K2 took the effort to make the latest version of K2 (released in 2017) compatible with Joomla 1.5, which dates back to 2010.