I‘ve been in Santa Cruz County since 1981, designing and maintaining websites since 2002. 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 hundreds of websites—from standard HTML to WordPress CMS—but specializes in collaborating with smaller clients and nonprofits to give them a unique and successful online presence.

Melody Sharp Web Design is small enough to give you one-on-one service, yet well-connected enough to recommend other local professionals for larger projects, including project managers, marketing people, logo designers, programmers and search engine optimization gurus. We collaborate to offer content creation, blogging, SEO, SEM, e-mail marketing, Web analytics and social media.

Google Analytics and Google Search Console

Understanding analytics is important to any SEO strategy and there are resources that will help. Google Webmasters Tools (GWT) is a valuable (and free!) resource that helps users uncover information about their site and those who visit it. Within GWT are two...

Why do I need to update PHP?

Your WordPress site will be faster and more secure. I recommend my clients be sure to host their WordPress sites with "Managed Wordpress," an upgrade that offers better security and automatic updates.  Your hosting company doesn't offer it?  Then get new hosting. In...

Yes, You Gotta Have an SSL certificate

Time is precious...so who wants to burn through hours of drudgery making websites more secure?  Well, in this case, we have no choice.  Starting last July, Google now marks all sites that haven't adopted HTTPS as not secure.  To make matters worse,...

WordPress Website Hosting Nightmares

Unfortunately, most small, reliable hosting companies are getting swallowed up by the big guys. These boutique companies start out with great service and tiny monthly fees. Then, they get bought out, enter into greedy price wars, and things start to fall apart.  And...

SEO: What should you do first?

I first encountered Joost de Valk at one of the early WordCamps in San Francisco.  He struck me as a smart, good guy; willing to provide plenty of insights.  During the ensuing years, I've seen his free plugins grow into a whole set of various free and pro...

Getting Set Up With Google Local

Google 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...

Study of SEO Ranking Factors

I use a software called SemRush when working with my business partners on Search Engine Optimization projects. They just did a survey and revealed some interesting new insights into how Google rates one website higher than another. The main goal of the study was to...

WordPress Just Gets More Popular

Grousing with a colleague recently, as web developers often do, about all the "you'll have a website up and running in a few minutes" ads on TV (not really true, frankly).  Those "hosted" solutions can be the right choice for, say, a photographer who just wants to...

Why WordPress Sites Need Maintenance

One of the reasons I attended a recent WordCamp in Sacramento was to find out how WordPress as a Content Management Solution is faring and whether other "hosted" solutions are gaining traction. When WordPress got started in 2003, it was hailed as a minor miracle for...

Wordcamp Sacramento 2016

Spending the weekend at WordCamp. Lots of good stuff but here is one presentation that is valuable for anybody who wants and/or builds websites. Profitable Website Development: The Oreo Cookie Strategy WordPress is a complicated application software.  It's a CMS....

Santa Cruz in 1955

So sweet..yet somewhat frightening, too.  Yes, things have changed here since 1955.

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...

Getting Mobile Friendly

Yes, 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...

The Downside of Living in the Redwoods

We live in one of the most beautiful (and expensive) places on earth.  In our case, we actually have a creek in the backyard on Polo Drive.  "Polo" Drive?  Yes, no polo ponies lately but the area was named thus because Sugar King Spreckels used the property for his...

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Before and After

Websites are always a collaboration...and what a pleasure!  Here's a new client with a tutoring business.  She provides very reasonable tutoring to get kids learning and up to grade level.  She didn't have a logo, so I sent her to one of my business partners and Hedi...

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In Development Right This Minute

Working with a diverse group of clients right now:   Local non-profit (WordPress site), therapist (standard, HTML), blogger (WordPress), tutor (standard HTMl) and artist (standard HTMl).  What fun! My colleague Hedi created the wonderful logo (right) for English and...

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New Stuff From Adobe MAX for my clients

Just returned from a remarkable Adobe Conference.  We learned about something called Abobe Business Catalyst, which might just be a very useful tool for some of my clients who want to start using "The Cloud" instead of worrying about upgrading software, especially...

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Tom Petty’s Blueprint for SEO Success

Get found locally by your customers – even on cell phone searches. 97% of the businesses in the USA are small businesses. Your customers want to do business with local businesses, so how can you get found? Get to the top of Google Places (maps) and beat your...

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