All Posts By

Laurie

Salient Theme Benefits

By How To, Resource, WordPress No Comments

If you’re building a WordPress site, you’ve probably heard many different terms from plugins to themes to blocks and more.  It can be confusing and if you don’t know what you’re looking at, or even what’s available, it’s hard to compare.  Many people get sucked in to the “niche” themes, where a company says “We build sites for doctors”.  Well, although that sounds great and has some specific features you might need, it’s very limiting and hard to control functions, features, design, layouts, and more that should meet your specific brand.  And, what you might not know, is that ALL of those elements can be added anyways to meet your brand specific needs and long-term strategic goals.

So, there are many themes on the market out there, and I’ve been through a lot and also been convinced that I “need” something myself.  Learn from my mistakes and years of weeding out bad themes and learn what makes a really great WordPress theme.

  1. Page Builder
  2. Flexibility
  3. Strong theme support
  4. Timely updates
  5. Compatibility with latest versions
  6. Theme configuration options
  7. High performance
  8. Responsive & Retina ready
  9. E-commerce ready
  10. Social media integration
  11. Design Templates
  12. Solid Documentation
Buy Salient Theme Now!Buy Salient Theme Now!

Learning a theme does take skill, but Salient provides page layout templates to help you get started.  Included with every site build is also a training period for me to empower clients to make their own changes.  There are simple visual and editing tools to use where you don’t have to pay my Simply Styled Sites team or wait for us to respond when you see something simple as a spelling error.  Just change it yourself. I’m confident you can do it.  But, don’t worry, I’m always here to help.

Questions to ask when choosing a web company to build your site…what you MUST know!

By Resource No Comments
[vc_single_image image=”1391″ img_size=”full”]

DONUTS!!!

Okay, I know that’s your first thought (it was mine), but isn’t that what grabbed your attention?  A cute design and something savory?

Well, unfortunately, there’s more that goes into choosing the right web development company than one might think.  First of all, we all use similar terms and acronyms you’ve probably heard of:  SEO, CRM, Social Media, Branding, Design, Development, Customization and more.  But what does it all mean and how can one understand enough to compare?  In my opinion, the THREE most basic things to ask are:

  • who’s doing it?
  • what’s their expertise?
  • what does it include?

Although they’re all important, you really need to understand what’s included to determine a consultant’s expertise level.  For example, a client needs social media.  Is that social media page setup for the different social media platforms?  How many platforms?  Will there be links for follow and capabilities for sharing on site?  Will feeds be pulled into website?  Can I push content from site to social media platforms?  Or is it for social media marketing management with ad campaigns and constant content/posts with market research and target analyses?  This level of expertise and time as well as cost varies greatly.  So, be careful when a company is promising to include “social media” in your website development.

How Do you Determine What’s Important?

Well, that’s where experience comes through, and a consultant willing to work with you through the processes and set a GREAT foundation for SEO and growth.  Sure, you need it all…but not everybody’s budget can handle it all at once.  And not everybody’s an expert at “it all”.  That’s why we at Simply Styled Sites align our team with individual experts to handle each aspect.  In order to do it well, and provide best value and quality to our clients, we won’t promise something we can’t deliver.

[vc_btn title=”Meet Our Team of Experts” color=”peacoc” align=”center” link=”url:%2Fpartners%2F|||”]

Why Choose Simply Styled Sites?

Good question.  It’s who you can trust.  We fix a lot of poorly developed and over promised websites that do not deliver.  With our combined expertise in web development, branding and design, SEO, user experience and internet marketing, we will help you through the process and consult with your business to provide the following:

  • Clear User Navigation and Experience
  • Marketed Calls-to-Action and Lead Capture
  • Mobile Responsive sites to fit on any device’s screen size
  • An attractive, branded, custom designed homepage to portray professionalism and taste
  • Clean code and optimized performance for ongoing maintenance and support

Need more help?  No problem, simply CONTACT US or review another great article with more in-depth questions to ask during this process.

Why is keeping your WordPress site updated important?

By WordPress No Comments

Performing Updates

Sure, you see the little notification from your WordPress Dashboard or get emails that updates are
available.  Should you automatically do them?  They work fine on my phone and computer…most of the time.   But what about your website where you run your business?  You’ve probably performed updates to plugins many times without fail.  Great!

But, have you ever had weird words in code display at the top! Or, a 500 Internal Server Error?  Or better yet, the dreaded “white screen of death”?

Maintenance and updates might seem easy to do on your own, but can actually be quite risky. WordPress, themes, and plugins generated by third party developers often cause code incompatibility.  If not carefully managed, performing these updates on your own put your site at risk.  Without proper research, sequence, and technical know-how, one can cause the other to break.  Fixing this can be quite expensive and cause unproductive downtime for your business.

So, Now What?!

You can learn more HERE about performing updates to WordPress.  Or, you can let us at Simply Styled Sites handle it for you.  It’s important to know the proper steps to take, and if a site does break, we can follow the troubleshooting steps to get the site running smoothly again.  Have you ever spent HOURS on the phone with your host company, often times speaking with somebody in another country with a strong accent- trying to explain the EXACT steps you took before your site crashed?  This is zero fun.  Using our Maintenance Plan will insure that we’ll perform those necessary updates and keep your site running smoothly- yes, even if it breaks.  By performing backups, updates, checking compatibility and more, our team will take that task off your hands and give you peace of mind.

[vc_btn title=”Sign Up for Maintenance Plan Now!” shape=”round” color=”turquoise” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fsimplystyledev.wpengine.com%2Fmaintenance%2Fsignup%2F|||”]

Simply Styled Sites’ Favorite Website Trends 2017

By Design No Comments

Well, who doesn’t want to be trendy?  Embrace it, it’s a good thing, and it helps when catering to your users.  As a company with a website these days, when you’re organically searched and found, your website is your user’s first impression.  And when I say user, I mean potential client.  And by potential client, I mean more money for you.  With a hip, current site it’s important to stay on top of the latest technology, trends, and ways websites interact with users.  From design to marketing to psychology, here are a few of my favorite trends for 2017.

[info_list style=”circle with_bg” icon_bg_color=”#4ebfa1″ icon_color=”#ffffff” font_size_icon=”12″ connector_color=”#4ebfa1″ connector_animation=”fadeInUp”][info_list_item list_title=”Brighter Colors & Gradients” list_icon=”Defaults-check” title_font_size=”desktop:22px;” desc_font_size=”desktop:14px;”]such as Instagram’s new logo

[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”Image Overlays” list_icon=”Defaults-check” title_font_size=”desktop:22px;” desc_font_size=”desktop:14px;”]Dark, white, or color overlays are a great way to include a sharp picture, by putting simple writing on top.  Just makes a bold statement for a simple message.  And who doesn’t like puppy feet?  Check our our client, Cincinnati Lab Rescue‘s, site.

[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”Bolder Fonts with Outlines or Images” list_icon=”Defaults-check” title_font_size=”desktop:22px;” desc_font_size=”desktop:14px;”]Try combining a few trends like our clients at Webb-Cleff Architecture & Engineering did.  A dark overylay, with bold cut out letters.  Looks awesome!

[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”More Animation” list_icon=”Defaults-check” title_font_size=”desktop:22px;” desc_font_size=”desktop:14px;”]Maybe just because it’s fun and makes people smile.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”Less Static, More Dynamic” list_icon=”Defaults-check” title_font_size=”desktop:22px;” desc_font_size=”desktop:14px;”]We’re not just “informational only” anymore.  Our sites need to be built with a solid foundation for growth, marketing, and user interaction.  Technology changes so quickly, our need to be adaptable and evolve quickly without having to redo our sites every 2 years.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”Increased interaction and engagement” list_icon=”Defaults-check” title_font_size=”desktop:22px;” desc_font_size=”desktop:14px;”]Just like social media, let’s use our sites as a platform: more signups, more surveys, more comments and discussions.  People like having and expressing their opinions, so let’s increase engagement!  Besides, it’s fun and we all desire to be a part of something.[/info_list_item][/info_list]

WordPress Upgrade 4.7.2 Security Alert

By WordPress No Comments

Learn more about WordPress’s latest security update with 4.7.2 HERE.

To ensure your site always staying up, performing optimally and securely, you might want to consider an ongoing Maintenance Plan with Simply Styled Sites.

We also highly recommend the best hosting platform out there for WordPress sites with WPEngine.  Watch this video to learn more:

Welcome!

By Uncategorized No Comments

I’m Laurie Barron, a creative entrepreneur, and am passionate about combining style & tech to create beautiful, functional, and simply organized websites!  I primarily work with WordPress and can help you build and design a brand new site or assist you in maintaining your current one.

I love establishing relationships with clients and working together to meet your needs.  I can integrate email marketing, social media, subscription plans,  special forms, e-commerce, and more.   With an Accounting & Computer Information Systems degree and over 4 years of building 2 companies, I also can offer advice in business development and entrepreneurship.  There are endless opportunities to customize your site and grow your business, and I’ll help you with suggestions and options to meet your current needs.

I’m looking forward to connecting and creating your beautiful new website!

Laurie