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Pexels Partners with WordPress.com to Create a FREE Stock Photo Option

By David Innes, RealBasics.com | September 5, 2018

Great news WordPress users! Struggle to find Stock Photos no more!

Have you ever had the difficult task of finding the perfect (yet free) stock image for your website or blog? I know I have! Even at this very moment I don’t know what the image will be for this post. Will it be an interacting office image like the one on the great WP Tavern article here? Or will it be whatever image from Pexel I can find that has to do with computers and pictures? Can you search “Stock Image” in a stock image site? Questions for a later day, I’m sure.

The geniuses at WordPress.com and Pexel have now partnered to create a free, diverse, and vast library of stock images right in your media bank on WordPress! For many websites and blogs, this is an upgrade everyone’s been anticipating. The feedback on the library has been overwhelmingly positive so far and WordPress.com users have already downloaded more than 1 million images since the free stock image library was introduced.

WordPress.com users can access the images via the Add Media button.  Try it today!

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Blogging about Blog Posting for Blog Posts – What to Really Blog About!

By David Innes, RealBasics.com | June 4, 2018

Blogging Got You Down?

Worry not! Real Basics knows your pain!

Blogging on a weekly, monthly, or even daily basis is a lot to take in! Researching, writing, and re-writing all while keeping up your business seems impossible, but a recent article on contentequalsmoney.com lays out the simple question, “I’ve set up a business blog, now what?” Well, let’s look into specifics:

How do I come up with new ideas for every post?

The answer is a lot simpler than you’d think! Instead of writing about what you personally think people want to read, make your experience a little more scientific with the Google Keyword Planner. Start simply by searching words or phrases associated with your brand, products, or services your business provides. When Google provides this list to you, just pick and choose keywords to make your topics of blog posts! This method gives your blog posts the relevance to your readers because you’re now appealing to what they’re searching. The Keyword Planner also lets you build out charts to track keywords and phrases. Once you’ve built your keyword search structure, you can dive deeper into bidding on Google Adwords to boost your visibility online! We know this is a daunting task knowing how and what to spend your money on, and Real Basics is happy to assist in building your campaigns!

Find your Audience

Chances are, there’s a blog out there similar to yours. While that may be discouraging to think about, it’s actually a good sign. It means there’s an audience for you! Your business would not be successful if it wasn’t for you being able to sell your product to an audience, whatever type or group of people that may be. The 2nd best way to know what your audience is interested in, is to look into what the big blogs are talking about! Seeing what kind of opinions bigger blogs have makes it easy to agree or disagree with them in your own writing.

We know blogging is hard and knowing your audience is a lot of work! Real Basics can help you manage everything on your website from SEO, search words, blogging topics, style upgrades and much more! Learn about all our services HERE

Happy Blogging!

 

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Do You Need Customer Testimonies on your Website?

By David Innes (Admin) | May 9, 2018

The Best Plugins to Showcase Your Business Reviews

Customers are key to any business! Using the customer voice is a great tool to help your potential customers look into other’s experiences. Showcasing these reviews can be tricky connecting to review sites like Yelp or Google reviews. Here are some great plugins from an article by WPBeginner for WordPress to help show your best customer reviews!

  1. Testimonial Rotator is an easy to use WordPress testimonials plugin. It allows you create a testimonial carousel and add rotating testimonials anywhere on your website.
  2. Easy Testimonials allows you to add a customer feedback form on your website, so you can collect testimonials. You can also manually enter testimonials from your WordPress admin area.
  3. Strong Testimonials is one of the most customizable WordPress testimonial plugins. It comes with multiple display options including testimonial slider, grid layout, masonry layout, single column layout, and more.
  4. WP Testimonials is a simple yet highly customizable testimonials plugin. It allows you to easily add testimonials and sort them into categories and tags.
  5. Testimonial Slider offers a modern WordPress testimonial slider with an improved user experience. It comes with a slider as well as plain list layout.

 

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Can Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace, other Site Builders “Do” SEO as Well as WordPress?

By David Innes (Admin) | April 26, 2018

Can other Site Builders do SEO as well as WordPress? Instead of saying yes or now let's ask some questions instead.

Most of the SEO pros I know gripe, that compared to self-hosted WordPress websites, site-builder platforms like Wix and Weebly are a nightmare both to work with and in terms of search-engine indexing/ranking results. Wix, Weebly, and other partisans (and paid staff!) naturally bitterly object that they are too just as good as WordPress.

My assessment is that many sites built with those other platforms underperform because they’re built by beginner or untrained site owners who may no know the first thing about doing SEO correctly anyhow. It’s also possible those platforms don’t have the sort of internal assessment and bulk-update tools that mature WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO, etc. have. That would tend to bias SEO pros.

Oh, and site builder platforms may or may not be very good at adding “seo” facilities (actually more like social-media) like Facebook pixels, Pinterest verification, etc.

The good news is once a platform reaches a certain saturation point Google’s likely to teach its AI how to spelunk through the kind of ugly, unstructured HTML and Javascript salad some page builder sites use to make things “what you see is what you get” for authors. So at least in principle you probably can make sites that Google can parse and rank.

But why argue, especially since all platforms (including WordPress) are constantly evolving?

Instead let’s ask questions that should help assess any platform’s SEO potential:

  • Can you customize which categories or tags are set as the default?
  • Can you customize ecommerce product URLs (are they clean and human readable or are they code salad like “?prod=c78485311”)
  • Can you add customized meta description to all pages including ecommerce product pages?
  • Can you customize page titles for all post types including product pages?
  • Can you add the kind of targeted microcoding Google uses to create rich Google Cards in search results?
  • Can you add the kind of metatags and validation scripts social media platforms require to work well?
  • Can the platform provide correctly formatted images for social-media banners, default images, etc?
  • Oh yeah, and do they provide individual permanent links for blog posts that don’t evaporate the bottom entry when a new one is added the way (can’t remember which) one of those platforms notoriously does?

If yes (cough*WordPress*does*cough), and if it can do those things in a standardized and efficient way then cool beans. Otherwise?  Maybe not.

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What to Look for in a Woo Commerce Theme for a Seamless Web Store

By David Innes, RealBasics.com | April 10, 2018

Your Web Store needs Woo Commerce

This word has confused and worried Business Owners for over a decade now with online shopping being a pinnacle of a wide range and functional website. If you have things to sell, you’re most likely going to need a functional online store. Before we get into the best themes and looks for your online store, first let’s explore what Woo Commerce really does and how it plays into your online business.

What is Woo Commerce?

A great tutorial from ithemes explains Woo Commerce as a plugin that integrates easily with your existing WordPress site, turning your site into a fully functional WordPress e-commerce website with just a few clicks. With the plugin’s booming success since it’s launch in 2011, it now currently powers over 99% of WordPress e-commerce websites in the US, Canada, and the UK. The best part though? WooCommerce is designed to make getting started as easy as possible, with a simple installation and setup to get your e-commerce store up and running in no time!

Themes, Themes, & More Themes

Choosing the right theme isn’t always easy. When new and old businesses alike look for a theme for their website, here’s a few tips on what you’re looking for from a great article by Envatotuts:

  • Attractive Design – On top of looking good, your chosen theme should be appropriate for your audience and the type of products you sell. For example, if you sell clothes or toys for children, use a theme that has a playful look and bright colors.
  • Continued Updates and Support – Choose a theme that is well-supported and maintained to avoid any possible conflicts when WooCommerce or WordPress itself as they release their updates.
  • Custom Functionality – if you know that you will require custom functionality like sliders, custom widgets or different layout possibilities, choose a theme that already has those features integrated.
  • Responsive Design and Fast Loading Time – Keep in mind the increasing use of mobile devices and look for a theme that has responsive design and loads fast.

Learn more about what to look for and great suggestions on Woo Commerce Themes here.

Still too much for you to take in? No problem!  Real Basics can help you set up with Woo Commerce or any online store for your website. Give us a call today to get set up with a FREE Consultation and get your website selling!

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How Do You Avoid Website Sameness?

By David Innes, RealBasics.com | March 6, 2018

 

Beautiful TV commercials, high tech web ads, you’ve seen all the different build-it-yourself website services like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy, and so many more. They only sell you all the benefits of a serverless site making it seem like you have all the power to make your website unique. However there’s one problem with that thought, the sites are not unique! A recent article by CSS Tricks explains how entertaining the serverless sites can be in terms of a theme you can choose.

A few examples are:

And this one:

 

So what’s the moral to these entertaining images? The best thing you can do to avoid this website sameness epidemic of serverless sites, is to make your site yours! You don’t want your site to look like all these typical businesses. RealBasics loves to not only give you control of your website, we want you to own it! With the services of RealBasics, you get to own the site. You or your staff can easily update and extend it how you want it. We just give you the resources and set up the layout. If you have an old site and want to update and make it look modern, we can do that too! We don’t want your site to fall into the design hole of “sameness”. We’re here to really make your site uniquely yours.

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HELP! When Should you Hire a Website Developer?

By David Innes, RealBasics.com | February 13, 2018

 

Though it isn’t always at the top of every business’s priority list, building your website is an important step to take your business to the next level. Your website is the face of your business online and it should make a good impression to your clientele. A great article by WebConfs.com explains why you may be in desperate need of a Web Developer like us!

Tackling a website is a hefty task for an unseasoned business owner. The internet users have no time or patience for poorly designed, poorly functioning websites. To help with this task, here are 5 signs it’s time to hire a Web Developer.

 

     1. You have an outdated website design

The look and feel of your website are very important so that you can get together an attractive design to engage your visitors better. Attractive Designs helps get repeat visitors and build loyalty to your brand!

2. You’re not ranting well on Google or having success with SEO‘s

Search engine optimization is very important for websites to rank on Google. SEO leads to organic traffic and business. In order to rank well in Google, your website needs to be optimized as per SEO guidelines that a Web Developer will be happy to follow for you!

     3. Site Navigation is confusing 

Site Navigation can make or break your website. WebConf.com mentions “If a page doesn’t load within 3 seconds, you risk losing a visitor. A professional website developer will be able to evaluate your site and determine exactly what needs to happen in order for it to speed up.”

     4. Problems loading your site in a timely manner

Users prefer websites that are fast and efficient. No one has the time to sit around waiting for your website to load slowly. Even in terms of a good SEO ranking, Google prefers a website that has a high load speed.

     5. Site is not Mobile friendly

One of the biggest demands that your website will have is that the site should be responsive by all means. Your website should work properly on all devices, whether desktop, laptop, mobile or tablet.

 

If your website ails from these above issues then it is a collective sign that you need to hire the services of a web development company like RealBasics.com that can help improve your website! Give us a call to learn more!

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The Best and Most Useful WordPress Plugins for your Site

By David Innes, RealBasics.com | January 31, 2018

Plugins, Plugins, Plugins!

WordPress sites are by far the easiest and best performing website platform, but WordPress has so much more to offer with plugins! The world of plugins can be overwhelming at first, but once you see what you need on your site, it’s a lot easier to do the research for the right one. Here are a few of the highest rated plugins for WordPress and what they do for you:

  1. BackupBuddy

First and foremost, your website needs a safe, reliable backup plugin. Ideally, you want something that’s easy to use and fast to finish. Any website has the possibility of issues like hacks, malware, user error, deleted files and more. Having a current backup of your WordPress website is critical for protecting your website. BackupBuddy is here to help.

   2. Gravity Forms

Need a contact form for your site? Gravity Forms is here! This plugin allows you to build custom contact forms quickly with no technical skills required. You can also schedule forms to appear and disappear at certain times, create order forms with pricing fields, and even build a form that creates user-generated WordPress posts on your site. Definitely the best form plugin to use!

      3. Sucuri

Securing your site is a top priority for business owners. Sucuri’s web application firewall is probably one of the best protection you can get for your site. They monitor and protect your site from DDoS, malware threats, XSS attacks, brute force attacks, and basically every other type of attack.

      4. Yoast SEO

SEO is a big deal, we all know it. Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress plugins to have for your site. It allows you to optimize your site for search engines. While SEO’s as a whole can be daunting, WP Beginner has a great article on how to install and setup Yoast SEO

      5. WooCommerce 

WooCommerce is the plugin that revolutionized Ecommerce for WordPress. This plugin lets you sell anything with total control for developers and store owners. It’s easy to use and showcases offerings in displays with multiple configurations. If you want to sell products on your site, this is the plugin to use.

 

The world of plugins is still a bit daunting to the un-trained hand. However, the best part of every plugin mentioned so far, is that we know how to use them all! RealBasics can help your site by setting up and customizing plugins to fit your every need. Give us a call today to set up a consultation and let us help your site!

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Does Your Website Have a Blog? In 2018, it Should!

By David Innes, RealBasics.com | January 15, 2018

 

It’s 2018, what are you waiting for?

Blogging can often seem like a daunting task or one that seems like it would take up too much of your business’s or personal time. However, a recent article by WPExplorer.com gives us 10 reasons why you should start a blog with WordPress! Here are some top reasons:

  • Blogging is easy
  • You can improve your writing chops
  • Learn new information and skills each day
  • Make Money! There are lots of ways to make money with blogging.
  • Become an Authority on your subject or business

Now that you’ve decided to create your blog for your website, where do your start? ProBlogger.com has some great suggestions on their website for how to start a blog.  The best part of all this? Say you’re still on the fence about putting the time in to start a blog, RealBasics can help! We’ve got writers specifically able to blog for businesses and their websites. Don’t fear starting a blog in 2018! One way or another, embrace blogging this year for you and your business.

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Where do your Stock Images come from?

By David Innes, RealBasics.com | January 3, 2018

Stock photos for websites are one of the toughest aspects of putting together your complete package online. With any good website, you will always find great, high quality images. These kind of images can unfortunately cost you greatly when using services like AdobeStock or ShutterStock. However, a recent article from wptavern.com highlighted a few awesome sources for FREE public domain images. Here are a few worth looking into for your next Stock Photo need:

  1. Pixabay

2. Gratisography

3. Viintage

4. New Old Stock

5. Pickup Image

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