It’s all about your business

I’ve been in Santa Cruz County since 1981, designing and maintaining websites since 1996. You can be confident of my skills (yes, I’m delighted that your nephew builds websites, too!)  because as a business owner myself, I want to help you grow your business. Melody Sharp Web Design has developed more than 125 sites–from standard HTML to WordPress CMS–but specializes in collaborating with smaller clients and nonprofits to give them a unique and successful online presence.

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Bloated Servers Hurt Your Business

Many hosting company are getting bought out by big corporations and/or are just getting greedy. Add to that, it takes me three times as long to develop a WordPress site on GoDaddy because I have to wait for their bloated servers to respond. Yes, their customer service people are great; however, it’s all about being visible online all the time.

Many developers are actually refusing to work on GoDaddy sites! I have a lot of nonprofit and small clients…so I understand why people don’t want to have to “migrate” their sites to another hosting company. Yes, it’s a pain. On the other hand, I’ve monitored many client websites and can prove that their sites go down for 20 minutes and longer. People won’t be able to view your services if your site is down…so slowness and downtime can hurt your business. What to do?

cruzioWhile Cruzio costs a bit more, if you want to support local, why not use their services?  You can walk right in and talk with someone, too.  Always nice.Use Cruzio.

wpengineDo you mean business with your site?  wpEngine costs a bit more but worth the expense with superb customer support, built for WordPress clients. Get 4 months free hosting with WP Engine. Use code FASTSITE on shared annual plans. Expires 9/30/15..

smallorangeA Small Orange is inexpensive but still provides good service and you can scale-up and buy just what you need.

Getting Mobile Friendly

mobileYes, we all need to be mobile friendly since people are moving from desktops to doing everything on their phone.  And, of course, Google says your site won’t show up in searches on mobile devices if it’s not built for mobile.

Nice article link that explains the differences between Mobile Friendly, Mobile First, Responsive Design, Adaptive Design and Separate Mobile.

Getting Set Up With Google Local

google-localGoogle has been working to make things easier for people who want to verify a local business on Google but that doesn’t mean it isn’t time consuming and frustrating! Add to that, when trying to help a client set up their local business, Google sets up all kinds of roadblocks in an effort to make sure they are communicating with the rightful owner.

To add your local business to Google My Business, you must have a mailing address and meet their quality guidelines. Local Google+ pages are designed for businesses that serve a particular locale. Local restaurants, hotels, dentists, hardware stores, plumbers, or repair shops, for example, are eligible to create a local page.

If you’d like to promote a brand, product, organization, or any other entity without an address, you should instead create a brand page.  It’s a four-step process.

You know your business best, so the most cost-effective method is to follow this link.

You will first need to get verified by Google

verifyWhat is a verification code? Google verifies individual businesses primarily using one of two methods: phone verification or postcard verification. In each case, Google sends businesses a unique 5-6 digit verification code, either by postcard or over the phone, so that they can confirm the business owner’s affiliation with this business. Once Google has verified that affiliation, you will be able to provide users with accurate, up-to-date business information. Each verification code sent is unique to your business account and the particular listing for which you’re requesting verification.

If you choose to engage with a third party (like me and my colleagues) to help manage your business on Google, Google says you should not share your own verification code with us. Your code is unique to your business account and should only be used by that account. In order to share management of your business’s listing with a trusted third party, follow these steps: Verify your listing and enter your verification code into the dashboard yourself; don’t give your code to any third parties. Once you’ve completed verification, you can add a trusted third-party partner as a manager of your page. You may then choose to transfer ownership of the listing to that third-party.

To verify a local business on Google you need to navigate to Google My Business.

If you need my help, the best way is for us to arrange a phone chat (831-685-8318) so that you can follow the steps on your own computer and all the right emails are recognized within your software.  Please email me with any questions or to set up a convenient time when we can set aside some quality time to take care of this.