Tag: WordPress

Core Web Vitals

A Guide to Core Web Vitals and What They Mean About Website Health

Google’s Core Web Vitals are a hot SEO topic. The update to Google’s algorithm began in June 2021. If you’ve seen declines in your rankings since this time, read on for a guide to how these changes may impact you.

What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are a way that Google analyzes your website’s user experience. The largest factors in these vitals are page speed and load time. But within these two aspects of core vitals you’ll need to consider:

  1. Largest contentful paint (LCP)
  2. First input delay (FID)
  3. Cumulative layout shift (CLS)

We’ll explain what these three terms mean and how you can improve them to earn back your SEO rankings following this change to Google’s algorithm.

Largest contentful paint (LCP)

LCP measures how many seconds it takes from when a page begins loading to when the largest image or block of text shows on the user’s screen so that the user can interact with the content.

This Core Web Vital does not focus on the time it takes for the full page to load. While that metric is important, it is separate from LCP.

Here’s what you need to know about LCP and how Google reviews it to impact your rankings:

  • According to the new algorithm, your site’s LCP should be 2.5 seconds or faster.
  • Quality hosting on fast servers will be the most essential element in improving your LCP.
  • Poorly sized images or images that are extremely large are some of the biggest factors in your website’s LCP. Scale the images before uploading them to optimize this part of your website.

First input delay (FID)

FID measures the time it takes before a visitor’s first action on the site. Websites generally load from the top down, meaning a user can interact with the website before it fully loads. That way, users don’t have to sit there until everything is ready if they have a general idea of what they’re looking for.

Interactions could be button or link clicks, hovering over a dropdown, using a menu to navigate to another page or several other on-page actions. Google sees this as an important statistic because it provides even more details about the user experience on your website.

Here’s what you need to know about FID according to Google’s algorithm change.

  • Your FID should be 100 milliseconds or faster
  • JavaScript loading is generally the largest factor in FID. Having your website load the JavaScript only when needed can help speed up your FID and avoid blocking interactions on the page.

Cumulative layout shift (CLS)

CLS takes place when elements shift during page load. You might have experienced this when loading a page where an element shows up in one place at first, and then shifts as the page loads. It can be very frustrating for users because they try to click on one thing and end up clicking something else because everything shifted.

Here’s what you need to know about Google’s algorithm change and CLS:

  • Your CLS should be .1 or less
  • Poor coding is the main contributor to this issue on websites. When code is poor, it can change dimensions for images or videos. Or it can keep web fronts from loading.

Unsure whether Core Web Vitals are contributing to your lackluster SEO performance? Contact us for a free quote.

Accept Credit Cards on Your Website

How Easy is it to Accept Credit Cards on a Website?

Whether you operate an e-commerce website or a services website, you can accept credit cards with ease. The demand for simplicity and fast online transactions continues to grow and with that has come website functionality and tools for just about any site.

First, we’ll evaluate your options for accepting payments on an existing WordPress website without having to create a separate cart area using WooCommerce.

1. Stripe Plugin

Stripe is a secure credit and debit card processor. You can add the Stripe Plugin to a WordPress website to accept credit cards for things like ebook downloads.

Users have the option to make a one-time payment or a recurring payment. This feature can be nice for freelancers who have a monthly retainer with clients so they can set up recurring payments. Or, if you offer a subscription to certain content, these recurring payments can enable this option.

2. PayPal

Give users the option to pay with PayPal, a well-known and well-respected online credit card processor. The other benefit of using PayPal is that many people already have an account, so checking out is frictionless.

And using PayPal is great because it sends the user out to their direct site to finish their payment. That way you don’t have to worry about security concerns directly on your website.

Setting up the PayPal button on your website is fast and easy. You’ll log into your PayPal account and choose your button style. Now you can add it anywhere on your site, even multiple places if you have more than one product available for purchase.

3. Third-party Plugins

If you already have merchant services and a processing partner, you can check for a third-party plugin for your website. However, moving to a WooCommerce website might be a better option because you’ll have a variety of options within WooCommerce that you don’t have in WordPress.

There are 63 payment extensions within WooCommerce. From Square to Amazon Pay, you’ll be ready to take any form of payment that’s affordable for you and convenient for your customers.

When Selecting Credit Card Processing, Remember the Customer

Mobile e-commerce continues to grow and expand. With that come new demands for a simple checkout process that helps users avoid finding their credit card and punching in the data for it.

Before you select how you’ll accept credit card payments on your website, consider your customers. Services like Amazon Pay, Apple Pay and PayPal all allow users to make a purchase with preprogrammed information. This way, they don’t have to enter their mailing address or credit card information on a small screen.

If your checkout process doesn’t meet the demands of mobile e-commerce, you’re much more likely to lose the sale. So while some of these services might charge larger processing fees, realize that those fees might be worth it to avoid losing customers.

Website and eCommerce Expertise

If you’re new to accepting credit cards on your website, you should consider discussing the matter with a website and e-commerce specialist.

Kelly Website Design offers more than just website design services. We’re also a team of experts who know how to meet customer demands and create an online experience that keeps customers coming back.

Contact us to get started with accepting credit cards on your website.

How to Accept Cryptocurrency on Your Website

If you’re looking to maximize your website’s earning potential, you might want to consider accepting cryptocurrency.

You might have heard of bitcoin, which is a type of cryptocurrency. Other popular forms of cryptocurrency include Ethereum and Litecoin. As it grows in popularity, businesses that accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment can attract a unique kind of customer.

What Is Cryptocurrency?

So what is cryptocurrency? It’s a form of payment based on blockchain technology. It doesn’t get housed in banks or other types of financial institutions the way other legal tender does. The blockchain holds details about a person or entity’s transactions to keep track of its cryptocurrency available.

Units of currency are called tokens. To earn cryptocurrency, “miners” solve complicated algorithms out in the crypto network. For each algorithm they solve, they add cryptocurrency to the blockchain.

When these miners solve an algorithm, it helps verify transactions, which is why those miners get awarded with a token for their work.

Why Accept Cryptocurrency?

Each month, users create an additional 300,000 bitcoin wallets, proving that cryptocurrency is here to stay and will likely continue to grow. And with those continuously expanding bitcoin wallets, many businesses have chosen to begin accepting digital currency.

Popular companies you might have heard about that accept digital currency include PayPal, Expedia, Microsoft, Reddit, WordPress and Etsy.

Organizations that choose to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies experience these great benefits.

  • Additional customer traffic: people who are involved in cryptocurrencies tend to get pretty excited when a new merchant accepts digital currency. This leads to them helping to spread the word about that business within the community.
  • Repeat customers: when merchants accept cryptocurrency, they show customers that they understand them. This builds a stronger relationship between the business and the customer. This helps build repeat customers.
  • Fast payment processing: because cryptocurrency is a digital currency, transactions are almost instant. You won’t have to wait tons of time for your transactions to process.
  • Improved cash flow and money availability: since payments process so quickly, you can easily withdraw the currency or use it to purchase additional products and supplies for your business. This provides better cash flow for you to operate your business.
  • Lower processing fees: you’ll pay about half as much to process a cryptocurrency transaction than you would for someone to use a credit or debit card on your website.

Ways to Accept Cryptocurrency

The simplest way to accept cryptocurrency on your WordPress website is to use the CoinGate plugin. Even once you have the plugin, you’ll need to go into your settings within WooCommerce to activate cryptocurrency payments.

Within the settings, click the checkout tab, and then CoinGate. On that page, you’ll see a checkbox for “Enable Bitcoin payment via CoinGate.”

Before activating this, just be sure that you set up your CoinGate account and enter your API keys in the settings to ensure your transactions go to the right places. You’ll get your API information from CoinGate in the dropdown under your profile where it says, “API Apps.”

You’ll have the option to customize tons of other settings within your website as well for how you take payments and how you work with them as far as your accounting procedures.

Help Setting Up Your Website’s Cryptocurrency Payments

Kelly Website Design offers website support for e-commerce websites and standard websites. Whether you need to add cryptocurrency payment options or are looking for a fresh design, we’re the team that can help.

Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can get you set up with cryptocurrency.

Website Accessibility

Why Is Website Accessibility So Important?

One in four Americans has some form of a disability. That means that 25 percent of your target audience might not be able to view or navigate your website if you haven’t considered its accessibility.

Failing to make website accessibility a priority can also mean you could face fines and lawsuits from individuals who are unable to access your website.

Let’s review what website accessibility is and why it matters to your business.

What Is Website Accessibility?

Website accessibility is about making sure that all people can “perceive, understand, navigate and interact with the Web.” This includes people with auditory, visual, cognitive, speech, neurological and physical disabilities.

Additionally, those with disabilities should be able to contribute to the web just like anyone else.

An accessible website provides the necessary details for screen readers to describe what’s on-screen for those with visual disabilities, makes it possible to navigate for those who can’t use a traditional keyboard or mouse, etc.

The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative provides guidelines and resources for people who manage websites. These guidelines provide technical specifications for ensuring that a website is available to everyone. These standards are international to ensure that all people can access the web from anywhere.

Why Website Accessibility Matters

Just like brick-and-mortar stores have accessibility requirements, so does online commerce and browsing. Without such guidelines, businesses might miss out on serving a large population of consumers. Here’s a look at why you should make your website accessible.

  1. You’ll expand your customer base. When a person with disabilities visits your site, are they able to browse its contents with ease? Or will they constantly come upon areas they can’t view or understand because you haven’t considered your website’s accessibility? If they get there and there’s nothing there for them, they’ll go to your competitors. And your competitors might be better prepared to serve their needs. Now you’ve lost a customer, which you don’t want to do in today’s competitive landscape.
  2. Lawsuits are far costlier than a website accessibility specialist. In 2018, there were 2,200 website accessibility lawsuits filed. The number of lawsuits continues to rise each year, and companies of all sizes are being forced to pay out large fines and settlements due to their website’s lack of accessibility. In 2019, the Supreme Court ordered Dominoes to pay out a large settlement due to a lack of accessibility of both their website and mobile app. The cost of a lawsuit, even if you win, will be far greater than the cost of making your website accessible now. 
  3. Fewer offline queries. If your website is not accessible, individuals with disabilities might flood your phone lines and get in touch via alternate methods. This can be time-consuming and not have as good of an ROI as website transactions do. Making your website accessible from the start can help reduce these inquiries.

How to Make Your Website Accessible

The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative outlines many rules and regulations for what makes a website accessible. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Adding alt text to all images
  • Ensuring appropriate color contrast
  • Making text resizable
  • Creating keyboard accessible graphs and tables
  • Not timing out forms and fields
  • Not requiring CAPTCHA
  • Using specific link anchor text instead of text like “click here”
  • Keeping error messages clear and concise

The process can be time-consuming and tedious. It’s often a job that’s best for an expert. Kelly Website Design offers website accessibility services to help you stay compliant with the law and welcome all customers. Contact us to learn more.

Website Social Media Sharing

Social Media Website Design Tips and Tricks

Do you know what your website looks like when it’s shared on social media as a link? If not, take a moment and copy and paste the link to your homepage into the most popular social media platforms.

Does a nice image appear and a good description of the page? If not, you need to review your website’s settings. You should never discourage users from sharing your website on social media or make it look unattractive or uninviting to visit your website.

You do have control over what your website looks like when shared on social media. Here’s a look at how to modify these elements and ensure they look great from every angle.

The Social Media Website Image Users See

During your test, you might have seen a default illustration or icon instead of a photo from your website. Or, the social media platform might have used your logo in the image field because that’s the only image on the page.

Social media platforms will look for an image to place there. If none exists, the link will look dull and there won’t be anything to entice the reader to click.

Here’s a look at the dimensions of three of the most popular social media sites that provide link previews.

  • Facebook link preview dimensions are 1200 by 630 pixels
  • Twitter link preview dimensions are 1200 by 675 pixels
  • LinkedIn link preview dimensions are 1200 by 627 pixels

You’ll see that the dimensions are very similar. The best thing to do is to start with an image that’s 1200 by 627 pixels. Create a great design. Then, add some free space to the top and bottom to make it 675 pixels tall, which is the tallest of the three.

This way, when the other platforms crop the image, you won’t lose any important details in the process.

Use that image as the featured image for the page or post within WordPress. This will tell social media platforms that this is the image you’d like to use on social media.

Additionally, you can use the Yoast plugin to see a preview of your link on social media. And in this box, you can also change the social media image to something else.

The Social Media Website Text Users See

The text that social media platforms pull in is your page title. This should be optimized for SEO but also still sound natural to read. Based on your site’s settings, it should also pull over your site’s name after the page title.

The smaller text below that is your meta description, which should tell the reader even more details about the article.

If for some reason you have a page title that isn’t especially compelling when shared on social media but is optimized for other purposes, you can use the Yoast plugin to customize that text as well.

Expert Social Media Website Design

For website optimization from search engines to social media, contact Kelly Website Design. Our team has vast experience helping businesses build an effective online presence.

Add WordPress Podcast

Adding a Podcast to Your WordPress Website

Podcasts are a great way to reach your customers in a flexible way that’s easy for them to consume and understand. This medium is growing so fast that 62 million Americans listen to a podcast at least once a week.

The great news is, adding a podcast to your WordPress website is as simple and easy as managing a blog using WordPress. We’ll explain the ease of posting your podcast episodes on a WordPress website. You have several options for how to manage your podcast on your WordPress website.

Hosting the WordPress Podcast Locally

You can upload the podcast file locally to your WordPress media files to host the podcast locally on your website if you are choosing not to go through a third-party podcast hosting company.

This will slightly limit your exposure as some podcast services provide users recommendations for additional listening that are similar to podcasts they’ve listened to in the past. But it does streamline the process of adding the podcast to your website and allow you to keep it local.

Here’s a step-by-step look at how to add a locally-hosted podcast to your website.

  1. Get the file URL from your uploaded files.
  2. Copy and paste that URL into your WordPress blog post or webpage.
  3. Publish the article.

Your podcast will not have the fancy artwork and player options that it would if you were to embed it from another location. However, you can add that information to the blog article to achieve the look you’re going for.

Embedding WordPress Podcast Episodes

Once you’ve published your podcast episode within Apple Podcasts or another podcast program, you can embed the episode in a WordPress blog article.

Using this technique can be beneficial for SEO as you can post the podcast with its full transcript or at least a decently long description of the content within your podcast. Here’s the easy step-by-step process for posting your podcast in this way.

  1. Get the embed code by clicking share under the podcast episode and toggling to the embed tab.
  2. Choose your player options to adjust the embed code to meet your needs, then copy the embed code.
  3. Paste the code into an HTML box within your WordPress blog and transform the code to “preformatted.”

At this point, you can then add additional text boxes and information about the podcast, if you’d like.

Add a WordPress Podcast Plugin

Depending on what podcast service you use to host your podcasts on, you might be able to get a WordPress plugin to add to the ease and simplicity of publishing podcasts on your website.

These plugins can sync to your podcast station or make it simpler to embed podcasts from these third-party locations. The plugin you’ll use for this way of managing your podcast will vary based on which third-party service you’re using for your podcasts. Do some research into plugins based on your needs or ask your WordPress website developer for more information.

WordPress Website Developer for Podcasters and Other Businesses

If you’re looking to increase your web presence as a podcaster or small business owner, our team can help you set up an outstanding WordPress website that enables you to manage your podcasts on an ongoing basis. Request a free quote to learn more about how Kelly Website Design can support your needs.

Why Your Business Needs Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress Hosting: Budget Hosting vs. a Local Provider

Budget website hosting platforms are everywhere, from Bluehost to GoDaddy, you can host your website for just a few dollars a month. But what you might not know is that these plans are stripped down.

And because these platforms host so many websites, they’re a huge target for malicious activity. That means that your website is vulnerable to outages that the large hosting sites experience. When they go down, so will your website.

The issue that could be affecting your website’s hosting could be as simple as a maintenance error that leaves your website unavailable for hours like Bluehost experienced a few years ago.

Choosing a local WordPress hosting company like Kelly Website Design means you get reliable hosting with a suite of services that help protect your website, provide traffic insights and SEO information to help you grow your business.

Constant Updates, Scans and Backups with Managed WordPress Hosting

In addition to being a more stable WordPress hosting option, Kelly Website Design also offers regular updates for WordPress, your website theme and plugins. It’s important that you don’t blindly update themes and plugins without checking compatibility with new versions of WordPress.

Failing to update the various aspects of your WordPress website can leave you vulnerable to hackers. You certainly want to monitor these updates to ensure you always have the best security and protection for your site.

Not only do we ensure your website is regularly updated, but we also do a daily security scan. This way, we can detect concerns before they become large issues to close security gaps before they become an issue for you.

With Kelly Website Design Managed WordPress Hosting, you also get regular website backups and contact form backups. In case anything were to go wrong with your website, we could get it back up in minutes thanks to these constant backups.

Monthly Reports Included

When you use a budget hosting platform, you’re left to interpret your website data on your own. You might even need to purchase additional software to get the insights you want on SEO and uptime.

But with Kelly Website Design, we provide monthly reports. These reports include:

  • SEO
  • Google Analytics
  • Rankings
  • Backups
  • Uptime
  • Updates
  • And MORE…

Because we’re a local company, we’re easy to reach when you need assistance and we can tailor your website hosting experience to match your needs.

Managed Website Hosting from Kelly Website Design

We offer this outstanding service for just $55 a month. It includes an SSL Certificate and 10 GB of monthly bandwidth. If you need more bandwidth, we can provide an extra 1 GB for $5 more per month.

With us, you have room to grow your website presence without running out of space or experiencing slower website speeds.

Pair our Managed WordPress Hosting with our sleek, conversion-focused website design services and your online presence will be polished, reliable and attractive to prospective customers.

Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can take your online presence to the next level with Managed WordPress Hosting and other website services.

How to Prepare for a Website Design Project

Steps to Prepare for a Website Design Project

If you’re starting a new business or looking to freshen up your online presence with a new website, there are some steps you should take to prepare for the project. While a website designer will offer you guidance along the way, some preparation can ensure the process moves along smoothly and swiftly.

Your website designer will create an outstanding customer experience and an attractive look and feel for your website with an eye toward SEO and simple navigation. Your job will be to prepare the necessary collateral for the website.

5 Steps to Prepare for a Website Design Project

You can prepare yourself and your business for a website design project in 5 easy steps. The more thorough you can be in your preparation, the easier the website project will go, and in some cases, you’ll end up with a better website.

Step 1: Outlining your web pages

Take a moment to outline your website. This is also called a sitemap and helps your website designer create menus and navigation that will fit your website’s structure. Most websites feature a homepage, about page and product/service pages. But you might have additional pages, such as bio pages for your staff, a blog or industry-specific information.

Step 2: Create content for each page

Now that you have an outline for what webpages you want to include, you should start writing the copy for these pages. You can write the content yourself or hire a copywriter to complete your content. Consider breaking your content up into short, readable segments. This will make your pages more inviting. Use headings and bulleted or numbered lists to keep content short and readable.

Step 3: Outline your branding

Before your website designer can create a stunning website experience, they’ll need to know more about your branding. Outline your preferred fonts, color palette, and elements you’d like included in your website. The clearer and complete you can make your brand guidelines, the easier it will be for your web designer to do their work.

Step 4: Create an online folder with images, illustrations and content to share with your website designer

Using a cloud program, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, upload all content, images, illustrations, etc. to a folder so you can share that content with your website designer. Having all this content in final state will make it simple and easy for your website designer to get to work immediately. It’s a good idea to put your sitemap in this folder as well so that your website designer can see how the content comes together.

Step 5: Hire a website designer

Now that you have all your planning and preparation in place, it’s time to hire a website designer. Read online reviews to learn more about the designer and other customers’ experiences with them. Check out case studies and samples of work on their website or portfolio to learn more about their skills and expertise. Ask for specific industry experience if you think that’s important to your project.

Kelly Website Design has extensive experience in creating professional websites and e-commerce stores. Contact us to learn more about our service offerings.

Why Choose WordPress?

WordPress is the #1 Content Management System in the world and is used by the likes of MTV News, TechCrunch, The New Yorker, BBC America, Sony Music, Microsoft News and many more. furthermore, WordPress is simple, free, and includes a multitude of features and customization options. Also, WordPress can be used to create any type of website from a simple blog, to a small business website and even large eCommerce platforms.

WordPress is extremely easy to us and has a user-friendly, intuitive interface. Whether you wan to add new pages, blog posts, images, etc. you will be able to do so in a breeze. The technology used makes it easy and fast to make additions and changes to your website on a regular basis. You can also manage your website from any internet connected computer by using your browser to login to your administrator panel. You don’t need to know any HTML editing and it doesn’t require any FTP software. All of your uploads and changes are done right in the interface.

Built in Blog

WordPress also has a built in blog which you can make changes to without effecting the rest of your site. The blog software is also extremely easy to use. You will be able to setup RSS and email subscriptions as well as post your blogs to all social media platforms instantly.

WordPress is Easily Expandable

The WordPress platform is also designed to be extended with a variety of plugins that make your life easier. There are plugins that allow you to track visitors, create email lists, accept payments, sell products and more. This can all be installed into your site with a click of a few buttons. There is no end to how you can expand your brand new website.

If  designing a website on your own is too daunting of a task, you can contact Kelly Website Design today and we will create the perfect WordPress website design to match your brand and style. We not only do website design, we can also handle your logo designwebsite management and social media marketing. Please use our Start Today! form to get you on your way to a brand new website.

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Kelly Website Design, LLC
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Morton, PA 19070
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