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Small Business Advice

WordPress Updates — The Pitfalls

WordPress updates and website maintenanceSo here’s a a great example of why auto­mating updates in WordPress is only smart for non-business web­sites. As I write this, one of the WP plugins pub­lished by Facebook just released an update with invalid code.

Not just a bug — code so wrong that it crashes sites. Code that wouldn’t have passed basic testing.

I’m sure “Facebook for WooCommerce” will be fixed promptly. However, over 900,000 online shops use it. If they were all running auto­matic updates, almost a million shops would be offline right now.

Other WordPress Update Problems

This comes on top of the GADWP fiasco earlier this year, too. In that, ExactMetrics changed the nature of their popular plugin without warning, through an “update”.

Version 6 of the “Google Analytics Dashboard for WP” plugin was “redesigned from the ground up”.… Read the rest 

Small Business Coronavirus Lockdown Help

Wales is entering another COVID-19 lockdown (as of October 23rd). Folks found this post helpful back in March, so I’m updating it with some new offers.

As small business owners in these dif­ficult times, we need to remember:

  • Adaptability is the small business advantage.
  • Negativity under­mines cre­ativity and planning.
  • Our fam­ilies and teams need to see con­fidence, not fear.
  • Stress under­mines the immune system. Breathe, and calm.
  • Mutual support, determ­in­ation and flex­ib­ility will win.
  • No entre­preneur sur­vives without being able to see hope in adversity. Silver linings may be a razor’s edge at times, but that’s where we find the silver.

Business Reality Check

Choose opportunityMany UK firms pan­icked at the first lockdown, fretting about remote working and scaling back on expenses.… Read the rest 

Want A Free Small Business Marketing Tool?

So Newport is back in lockdown, and Cardiff and Bristol may soon follow. Whatever happens, with everyone now online, this autumn’s mar­keting season will be more com­pet­itive than ever, and there’s no time to waste in getting started. So this seems a good time to mention that I offer a FREE social media dash­board to save tons of time with your social media marketing.

Social media mar­keting doesn’t get any easier. This dash­board helps you to create, schedule and re-use posts across the main social media channels, with a simple cal­endar interface. Just create a few days’ worth of posts whenever you have time, and set them for when your audience are online.… Read the rest 

Top 5 SEO Myths Hurting Small Businesses

Even after over 20 years of search engine optim­isation, several SEO myths seem par­tic­u­larly per­sistent. With so much mis­in­form­ation flying around, it’s no wonder small business owners treat SEO with caution.

It’s one thing to see these myths sur­facing in small business net­working groups. It’s quite another when flaky “SEO spe­cialists” promote them in sales emails.

Yes, I get those emails too. So this is prompted by yet another dodgy “SEO spe­cialist” site review listing fake SEO problems they’d “found”. Whilst real SEO reviews can help, spammers just send out cookie-cutter lists and hope you’ll bite. These can be hard to spot unless you keep up with current SEO best practices.

Asking non-expert friends and col­leagues may feel reas­suring, but unin­formed advice just increases risk.… Read the rest 

Why Cheap Web Designers Often Disappear

Cheap web designer disappearingSo here’s some­thing I left out of my “Why Website Prices Vary” post because it can be a touchy subject. So first, let me say that most web designers I know are superb, tal­ented people who only want to help. That said, the exper­i­enced ones are rarely cheap web designers.

Still, I have just spoken to yet another dis­tressed small business owner. His cheap web designer had left him in the lurch with a broken website and no access to fix it.

Other business owners had told him this was “typical” of “flaky” designers. They all just assumed the worst of our entire industry. Even web designers rarely discuss it, just pointing out that you get what you pay for. Still, it is pre­dictable and avoidable.… Read the rest