Why Did We Choose the WordPress Platform?

My name is Kerry Townsend and I’ve been building websites since 1995. Back then I was working at Honeywell Aerospace in Phoenix Arizona. I was using a text editor and typing in the HTML & CSS codes by hand to create each page for a static website. This was long before SonFisher Web Studios and before I’d ever heard of a content management system (CMS). Fast-forward a few years, and SonFisher Web Studios has grown into a team of designers and content management professionals, specializing in WordPress for business.

So Why WordPress?

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In 2011 SonFisher Web Studios began looking into another CMS to build new websites while we were still building static HTML and CSS sites. We knew the industry was moving to a platform based system and we wanted to be among the first to offer this to our customers.

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Is Your Website Working For You? Are You Sure?

Can You Tell If  Your Website Works for You?

The question in the title “Is Your Website Working For You?” is too general. What exactly is it supposed to do? You have to know what success plan it was designed to fulfill before you can answer this question. Of course you didn’t plan to fail. So, you wrote out your success plan for the web site and made it a part of your business plan, right? At this question a lot of people become defensive. From first hand experience, most small businesses don’t have a current business plan. In fact most NEVER had one in writing.

So, you’re not alone and I’m not going to tell you that you need to stop and write your business plan before you go any further. The concepts and information here are important to the success of your business. So, read on. But allow me to encourage you to create a business plan that includes the planning of your web presence. And please, do it soon.

Now, it should be obvious that most websites are designed to be some type of marketing tool. Marketing tools produce something measurable. Let me say that again, marketing tools produce something measurable. A website that doesn’t produce something, has failed as a marketing tool. Read More →

A Case Study: When SEO Works Against You

Back in 2007, we had a client who needed a simple static website for her local small business. “Shelly” was thrilled with the design we created for her. The website was basic with location and service details, while the back-end was fully SEO’d.

In 2015, we caught up with Shelly to chat about her website. She told us that over the last year, she hired a SEO company who promised her the moon. Shelly was frustrated because customers were no longer coming to the website and she was looking for solutions. If only half of the promises came true, this would have been a win for Shelly and her business.

Unfortunately, not a single sale came from those services. Thousands of dollars later, Shelly fired the vendor, but that didn’t end her SEO troubles.
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Why WordPress Is A Great Choice

A while ago I read a post titled “Why I Hate WordPress.” The article hit me hard enough to weigh heavily on my mind for quite a while. It talked about how the core code had grown into a large lump of disorganized code that did not follow any of the accepted methodologies and that the core was antiquated. Perhaps that’s partly true.

In spite of the possible truth of that, here are some very recognizable names that are using WordPress today.

  • Techcrunch
  • The New Yorker
  • BBC America
  • Variety
  • Sony Music
  • MTV News
  • Beyonce
  • Ebay Inc

The idea that these, and many, many  more, have chosen WordPress over so many other options is quite a vote of confidence.

I recall working for a very sage fellow a number of years ago. After hearing me complain more than once about the crummy source code I had inherited, he stopped me to say, “Listen, if you’re not willing to join the team that’s going to make it better by getting your hands dirty, then you’re just a heckler. And nobody really likes a heckler.”

After I had time to digest that morsel of wisdom, I could openly admit that I had been a heckler in the past. I hope I’ve changed.

Three major reasons we need to cool our jets and stop our heckling.

  • I doubt anyone can name a more widely used open-source platform for building web sites today.
  • If you’re skills are advanced enough to let you recognize ‘disorganized code’ why not volunteer to help make that code better? It is after all an Open Source CMS built and maintained by an army of volunteers.
  • It works well for millions of non-programmer user types.
  • Unlike proprietary web builders that so many hosting companies have come up with, if you learn how to work with WordPress at one hosting company, you can work with it at any hosting company.

If you’ve chosen a path other than WordPress, so be it. Our choice to pursue WordPress rests upon several points:

  • We like to code in PHP, SQL, HTML, JavaScript and CSS. It’s fun and rewarding.
  • We like being a part of a huge community focused upon one platform.
  • With all of it’s quirks, WordPress is a truly flexible system.

Bottom line. Put a smile on and have fun, don’t be the sad little monkey slinging dung at the funny humans.

You need a website. Why not do it yourself?

So you thought you’d find out more and googled do it yourself websites. From a commercial for WIX.com – “You need a website. Why not do it yourself?” and their home page says “Wix unites beauty and advanced technology to create your stunning website. It’s easy and free.” First I want to say that WIX, among others, does full a useful and needed niche on the internet. But I want to help business owners become informed about how services like theirs fit the small business owner.

So let’s answer the question “Why not Do It Yourself?”

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Reputation Management vs. Credibility Monitoring — What’s the Difference?

You’ve probably heard of reputation management or monitoring. Many online companies offer these somewhat questionable services to help individuals and brands repair their good name online. From bad reviews to social media trolls, keeping your brand’s credibility clean can become time consuming.

Wikipedia breaks down the practice like this:

“Reputation management refers to influencing and controlling an individual’s or business’s reputation. Originally a public relations term, the expansion of the internet and social media, along with reputation management companies, have made it primarily an issue of search results.”

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