The Silver Maple Web Advantage

Do you want your website built with WordPress so that you can easily update it yourself in the future? WordPress is a good content management system, but there can be issues with using plug-ins as part of the development.

  1. Plug-ins are often developed by students or developers who are creating them on a part-time basis – if they stop updating and maintaining them for any reason, the plug-ins may stop working when WordPress is updated, which could render parts of your website inoperable – and the original developer may no longer be available.

  2. Plug-ins are often generic – they may achieve PART of what you want to achieve but not quite everything.

  3. Most free plug-ins are like samples, to get full functionality you may have to spend more money for a “full-version”. You may also be required to pay a yearly fee for updates.

 So how is Silver Maple Web different

Unlike many “web developers” in the market, I am an experienced programmer.

What does this mean?

  • I can customize plug-ins to get the exact functionality you need to achieve the result you want.  I can also fix a plugin that stops working after a WordPress upgrade.

  • In many cases what some plug-ins do can be done with a few lines of code built into the CSS or PHP of your theme.

  • I have experience writing WordPress plugins. Chances are if you need a specific functionality, others probably do as well. I can write a custom plug-in for you. If it’s something that other web site owners will benefit from, the cost to you will be minimal as it will be a plugin that I can share with others in the WordPress plug-in repository.

  • I write themes, I don’t just modify an off the shelf theme or add a child theme.  I can build a theme to your exact specification.

 So when you are looking for the right person to develop your website, show them the information above – ask them if they have the Silver Maple Web advantage. Do you want a website that “sort of does what you want” or does “exactly what you want”.

Ask prospective developers how they will handle the challenge of getting you back on-line if one crucial plug-in fails after a WordPress update and the original developer has moved on.

 You are going to be in business for a long time – make sure your website has the staying power you need.

 

Is your website development like making sausage?

Like sausage, do you want people to watch your website being made?

is your website development like making sausageHow would you feel if a guest came to your barbecue and said they’d bring the hot dogs or sausage? Pretty good right? Okay, if said guest arrived with all of the materials to make the sausage and meat grinder and proceeded to make the sausages in front of you and the rest of your guests how would you feel? Not so good, right?

Yet, many people let “developers” build their content management website live, on-line where potential clients can see the website in progress. They may see a coming soon message on the front page, links that don’t go to anything, links to pages that have “lorem ipsum” content. It’s kind of like watching sausage being made.

There are some things that people shouldn’t see being made – sausage, cat food, canned chicken, fish processing – and your website is one of those things.

It isn’t the most professional form of website development.

Professional website development involves:

  1. your developer building your site first on their computer,
  2. moving it to a private “staging area” that only you and your developer have access to for review, tweaking and approval and then,
  3. taking it live on the server at your web hosting service where it is now visible to search engines and the world.

It’s kind of like your guest bringing the sausages ready-to-cook and throwing them on the barbie where you and your guests can savour the scent and hear the sizzle of the cooking sausages just before you enjoy them.

Silver Maple Web promises you professional website development. No one is going to see your website until you feel that it is ready for your customers and potential customers to view. And we think that’s a pretty tasty prospect.

Is your website fresh or stale?

Is your website fresh or stale? Is it an 8-Track Tape or a MP3We meet people all the time, whether they are service providers or networking contacts and when they hear we do web development they say, “oh, I have a website; it was built 15 years ago so we don’t need one”. When asked when they last updated it, they have a puzzled look and say “update? not since it was done”.

Really? A 15 year old website is promoting your business online – that is if people can find it – because I guarantee you that if your website is 15 years old and nothing has been done with it since it was released, search engines are going to have a hard time finding you in a Google search. Not having fresh content gets you pushed down in search results. Continue reading

A WordPress Website for an Author

Helping a writer with WordPress

A question about WordPress on Linkedin + a phone call + design and coaching = a happy client

Cover for the book Laughing IS Conceivable
I was on Linkedin one day a couple of years ago and decided to do a search in the Answers section on WordPress. I came across a question by Lori Shandle-Fox where she asked if it was better to have a self-hosted WordPress blog or to have it hosted on wordpress.com.

Never being one to not offer my opinion, I replied adding my two cents. I was surprised to get a reply asking why when she read my reply she understood what I was saying and all the rest of the responders spoke in “geek speak”. That was flattering. Continue reading