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.
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:
I want to take a brief moment to write up some important points to consider when dealing with securing digital communications.
Many of these items have come to light after Edward Snowden (bravely) came forward and contradicted what Obama told Leno: “We don’t have a domestic spying program.” As you are (hopefully) well aware, this is 100% false.
With all of this in mind, I am compiling a list of 4 things that anyone, not just industry-professionals, can do to protect themselves against such spying:
Nate Covington, owner of Covington Creations, LLC, will present:
Free Marketing & Technology Seminar
Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce
Important: This seminar is for Chamber Members only! If you are not a member, join today!
In order to allow for safer electronic communication, I've finally set up my own PGP encryption for sending email.
Don't ask for your privacy. Take it back.
"Mass surveillance is illegitimate. I'm taking steps to take my freedoms back and I expect governments and corporations to follow in my footsteps and take steps to stop all mass government surveillance."
Below is my PGP Key...
First and foremost, your website needs to be up to snuff. Is it search engine friendly? Does it look presentable? Is it up to date? Does it work on iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices?
All of the following services are going to link back to your website so put your best foot forward.
“Now, people are calling and saying they found my site through an internet search.”
- Chris Pip, owner of CP Construction
We recently rebuilt this website for a local contractor and wanted to share the results.
In the 7-10 days after Hurricane Sandy hit our area (Northeast PA), we were entirely without electricity and cable service. As a web developer, this would have assumedly resulted in a general lack of productivity. Luckily, we had just switched from AT&T to Verizon a few months prior, so tethering is included with our data plan. And, just last summer, we had our generator hard-wired into the house. So, unlike most of my clients and colleagues who were waiting for services to be restored, I was able to keep plugging away. I certainly wouldn't want to work off of my cell phone's data plan on a regular basis, but in a pinch, it works great. Now, if only Verizon would let me talk on the phone and tether at the same time (cough cough)...
I've written previously about the importance of maintaining control over your website and wanted to post this follow-up. In addition to having your site's domain registration in your company's name and billing, you also want to have your hosting account in your company's name and billing. The reason? You are able to choose who works on your site without moving your site to a different server. Have a falling out with your web guy? Or he/she simply fell off the face of the earth? No problem, you have control over the hosting account. Change the password and find a new consultant to work with. Give them your new password.
As much as I personally despise the growing popularity of social services like Facebook and Twitter, they are excellent mediums for a 'normal consumer' to be heard by large corporations. In the past, a single consumer would only be able to make phone calls and write letters, short of funding their own advertising to publicly shame a company. With today's popularity of Facebook and Twitter, and the equally growing pressure for corporations to engage with their customers, it offers a lot of incentive for companies to resolve issues with customers. Here are some of my own personal tips for getting good customer service.
With a "responsive" mobile-friendly template, we are able to use a standard CMS-driven site, and by using additional style sheets (CSS), re-flow your site onto smaller screen sizes.
For more information, or to get an estimate for building "responsive" technology into your existing site, contact us today!
This is a video walkthrough of a Joomla 2.5 site that I set up and did a bit of configuring / customization... for demonstration purposes. I have been building sites with Joomla for over 4 years and am listed in the Joomla Resource Directory as a consultant.
Like I've discussed previously, just because the Joomla team releases a new version of the software, this does NOT mean that you are obligated to partake! For me, I've still got dozens of clients still using the Joomla 1.0 platform, so it's worthwhile for me to keep these sites running. And, part of my pitch for using Joomla CMS software is because it is OPEN SOURCE. So, attached below are a few files that I've compiled:
If you're running a business, you probably use good ole' stamps and envelopes for a variety of purposes: checks, invoices, direct mail, letters, etc. The last time I sent out a direct mail piece, it consisted of a personal letter, a small trifold brochure, and a business card. I sent 1000 of them, which translated into two boxes of 500 envelopes from Staples. The cost, just for envelopes? About $70.
Article: If you're a sole-proprietor or small business and need to get your name out, and anything like me, you've spent a considerable amount of time building and pruning your personal and business contacts. In marketing terms, this may be your most valuable asset: your customer base. These people know you already, and are (probably) the most likely to refer others to your and your business.
This is an administrator module (installed via normal Joomla 1.5 extension installer) that has been rearranged and customized for sites primarily running K2 for content management. [Based on: Admin Menu K2 on JED]
If you look at the screenshots, you'll see that I've moved a number of things in the control panel - users, modules, components, global configuration... I've moved these things based on my own personal experience building over 100 Joomla sites and training each client personally to make changes on their own.