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Good and bad e-mails

PHP Update notice (good)
Domain Service Expiration Offer (bad)

I received these e-mails earlier this year. They both ask me to take action. One is genuine the other is spam.

The first, an “Important Reminder” was from a genuine 1and1 e-mail address and explained changes to the hosting at 1and1. Their servers are being upgraded. You are offered the choice of continuing to use older server software PHP 5.5 (for a charge) or upgrade free to PHP 7.0. This is a genuine notice and unless you have a good reason to continue using PHP 5.5 you should make the upgrade by following the instructions.

Here is a screen shot of the top of the e-mail:

The second e-mail, a “Domain Service Important Notice” was from info@ad-1.net, a company I don’t have a contract with. The message claimed there was an expiration date connected to one of my domains.

Misleading e-mails

Reading further revealed the expiration date was on an offer for an SEO package. But the presentation was designed to look like a domain renewal notice.

Here is a screen shot of the top of the e-mail:

If you require advice about any e-mail you receive please do get in touch.

Two new sites launched by Red E

We recently launched two new sites.

Screen visual of Lets Go Scotland website by Red E Web Design east Lothian

Lets Go Scotland

Let’s Go Scotland revamped their portfolio of holiday, long-term and student let properties with beautiful new photography and web copy written to the latest guidelines. Red E provided an easy to use content management system and on-site training.

We ensured the site worked on mobile devices. We worked on the Google Search Console and meta-data on-page SEO tasks to ensure the site has the best chance of reaching its target audience.

Screen visual of Scotland the Bread

Scotland the Bread website by Red E Web Design

Scotland the Bread launched a share offer through a new website developed by Red E. This WordPress/WooCommerce solution also handles subscriptions, donations, courses and retail products.

Developed with a strong visual design in mind from the outset the site fulfils a variety of tasks in a simple and elegant way.

Technologies (selected):

  • WordPress
  • WooCommerce and extensions
  • Yoast SEO
  • MyFonts
  • Updraft Plus

 

Visual Composer and WordPress 4.5 issue

wordpress logo visual composer issue

Towards the end of last month I noticed Visual Composer was causing problems for some customers. The Visual Composer content editing plug-in would not progress past the loading animation. The issue seemed to affect sites running on older versions of PHP (V5.3 or earlier). Updating the PHP version fixed one site. But on two others the problem remained. The affected sites had all been updated to WordPress V4.5 on 12 April and were using bundled versions of Visual Composer. These bundled versions are often several versions behind the latest release as the theme developers need to check them for theme compatibility. So when an update for the uDesign theme appeared on 22 April I tried it on one of the affected sites. It fixed the problem. The change-log for uDesign seemed to confirm the cause of the issue. The uDesign update on 22.04.2016 lists just one fix:

“Visual Composer” plugin (v4.11.2.1) – WordPress 4.5 Compatibility update

UDesign and Visual Composer are great products. But their developers could have saved my clients and me nearly ten days spent looking for answers by mentioning the issue when they first noticed it.

Older Themes and Visual Composer

Older versions of themes using bundled versions of VC which are not being updated are susceptable to the same issue arising from the WordPress 4.5 update. I have found the issue with Organic Themes’ Non-profit theme V3. The solution may be to either purchase, install and configure the latest version of the theme and bundled VC or to buy a licenced version of VC.

Red E Support

Red E found a solution to this issue and applied it to all affected sites as soon as it was available, free of charge. If you think we could help you with your online work please get in touch.

Exact match domains

Lets Talk Print have an unintuitive domain

Domains with an exact match to what the company does (Exact Match Domains or EMDs) no longer have an advantage over other domains in Google. Google took action over misleading EMDs redirecting visitors to irrelevant sites so they now confer no advantage and may even be ppenalised.

So what is the alternative?

Red E worked with Let’s Talk Group to optimise letstalkprint.co.uk for Google. Part of the SEO challenge was to ensure that letstalkprint.co.uk could be found by searching for “lets talk” as well as other more targeted terms such as “printers Dundee”. Let’s Talk Group could not assume people would either remeber their domain name or work it out.

So using Google’s own advice and well known plug-ins for WordPress we succeeded in getting the client’s site to number three in Google for the search term “lets talk”.

The methods the client will use to promote the brand are varied but this SEO task will ensure that a company with a non-intuitive but memorable name is not penalised when customers who have seen the logo but not the domain look for them in Google.

Of course there are many other ways of promoting your website beyond Google esearch results. Red E can provide ideas to help your organisation or business improve its online presence. Call to find out more.

 

Dashboard glitch in Chrome

Google Chrome display glitch

Google Chrome display glitch

There is bug in Chrome version 45 which can cause display problems in the WordPress dashboard. Typically dashboard menu items appear superimposed on one-another or not at all.

Until Google fix this the workaround is to go to chrome://flags/#disable-slimming-paint and Enable the Disable Slimming Paint item.

This issue doesn’t affect other browsers.

I would advise using FireFox until this and other issues such as the invisible code in Text view glitch are fixed.

Service Contracts from RED E

Red E logo, a reversed red capital E

A service contract gives you office hours support for your online activities. These can include your website, newsletters, social media feeds, SEO and retail systems.

A service contract can also ensure that regular tasks are done on time. These might include database exports/imports, analytics reviews, planning meetings and staff training.

Having a service contract from Red E is like having an on-site ICT expert at a fraction of the cost. Contracts start at £120 per month for a nominal four hour support package. This could comprise, for example, around 16 contacts by telephone or e-mail with minor follow up work. Contact details can be given to as many staff as you like and unused time carried forward.

Red E recommends BaseCamp for project management and a BaseCamp project management site is included in each contract. You can use BaseCamp to assign tasks to Red E and even collaborate within your own team on other work.

Please call for more details.

Heartbleed

Famous Australian Sign Camels Wombats Kangaroos

Does the security issue with Open SSL mean your website is at risk, causing a problem or needing fixed?

If your site doesn’t use a secure socket layer then you don’t have to worry. Red E does not have any clients currently using a Secure Socket Layer Certificate.

1and1.co.uk:
Red E uses 1and1.co.uk hosting and their Managed Server or Webhosting package customers are not affected.

Other ISPs:
123-reg.co.uk has not been affected by this issue as their platform does not use the version of the technology that was affected.

GoDaddy patched all core services that were running the affected version of OpenSSL.

Mailchimp is not affected.

As a website user however you may wish to take the advice provided on the BBC website. And changing your important log-in passwords as a user and as a site editor would seem a quick and easy way to get peace of mind.

Keyword goes here

Someone sitting on grass presumably thinking about their keyword density

Someone sitting on grass presumably thinking about their keyword density

Here’s what a recent Spam email had to say about on-page Search Engine Optimisation (keyword also goes here):

First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL. You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1, H2, H3 tags in your article. Your keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of bold and italics of your keyword. There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword.

Assuming their keyword is the word “keyword” then they have achieved 5% keyword density. But since the keyword for this post is also “keyword” Google is by now shaking its little botnet head and sending this to SEO purgatory.

Our advice would be to keep on-page SEO in mind but not at the expense of readability. And remember the last sentence should contain the keyword.

Chart your site’s success with Google analytics

stairs up and down

stairs up and down

  1. Visit Google’s Analytics site
  2. Sign in or create an account
  3. Add your domain name (referred to as a property)
  4. Select Universal Analytics
  5. Select a method to verify your setup:
    1. tracking code which is pasted into each web page
    2. an HTML file which is placed in the root directory of your hosting  – Red E can help with this
  6. Check your site is verified in Google Analytics

From your Google Analytics account you can check sitemaps are working, add more sites, add more users and of course track your site visitors, the devices they use, popular pages etc.

Share the love

Add Social Share and Social Follow buttons to your site with Add This. Red E explains how to share the love.

Wacky pair of lovers to illustrate like and share social media buttons

Like and share

WordPress users – install the Share by AddThis and Follow by AddThis plugins.

Dreamweaver and HTML editors – generate code at the Add This site and paste it directly into pages or templates in Code view.

Contribute users – generate code at the Add This site and Red E will add the code to pages or templates for you.

MailChimp users – add Social Share and Social Follow content blocks. Drag them onto your newsletter and edit the block to display your choice of icons.

Display Follow buttons prominently but put Share buttons after content because you can’t expect visitors to decide to share your content before they have read it.

Track responses in the Add This analytics.

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  • Good and bad e-mails
    Good and bad e-mails
    I received these e-mail earlier this year. They both ask me to take action. One is genuine the...

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Phone: 0786 14 300 14