WordPress Themes Without the Complexity

wordpressThe Right WordPress Theme for Your Website

There are literally tens of thousands of WordPress themes, and at last glance there were over 11,000 just on Themeforest alone. Others like MOJO Marketplace is a huge marketplace for WordPress themes, services and plugins. They currently offer over 1100 WordPress themes themselves.

cRaZy fast websites

Navigating through all those themes can be daunting, yet at the end of the day, every webmaster just wants a website that is easy to find, immediately captures its visitor’s attention, draws them deeper into the site and performs really, really well. Like cRaZy fast.

Who needs extra complexity?

Who wants to trust their non-profit, e-commerce store or online magazine to just any ol’ theme? Not you, not me, not anyone. Websites are already complicated enough without adding another level or dimension of complexity to the process.

Hostirian allows its clients to install the theme of their choice

This is why Hostirian offers robust themes to its web hosting clients in multiple platforms, and allows them to install any theme of their desire.

One of the reasons we allow for the installation of any theme on our BUSINESS and WORDPRESS DEVELOPER PLANS is to give our clients unlimited flexibility in the design of their sites. The collection of themes that are available have been used by millions of webmasters, website developers, photographers, organizations and creative professionals to present a highly sophisticated appearance to their websites, combined with unparalleled functionality.

We recommend Elementor

Can’t find a theme you love or just want to enhance the one you have? We recommend joining over a million users who use Elementor, the #1 WordPress Page Builder.  It’s significantly faster than other site builders as it allows you to design on the front end with immediate, real-time results. It’s also FREE and OPEN SOURCE, and it does not force you to learn code. Need it to display well across multiple devices? It’s underlying source code is compact and optimized for every device and screen.

Use in combination with your favorite theme

Use Elementor with your customized or favorite theme. Elementor allows you to change your themes and still keep all your designs. Elementor can be used to design any page or custom post type on WordPress.

Design is paramount

As we continue to enhance our web development offerings, we’ll look to emerging trends that promise to deliver the design look and style for real value-add and agility for our clients. Why? Design is a paramount element of any website, regardless of the code or method to create it.

Separate your website from the competition

Every website developer and business owner is forced to compete with their rivals to offer a compelling online user experience, where the intuitiveness and aesthetics of their sites favorably separate them from their competition. In essence, your visitors are judging your site against the site they just left.

What about SEO?

Will the design, functionality, aesthetics and value-add content of your website help you in SERPS (search engine results pages)? Absolutely, YES. Fantastic looking sites are the very basis of incredible digital experiences.

Hostirian is here to help

At Hostirian, we are committed to arming our clients with the information and tools they need to develop the best sites possible. We’re definitively excited and looking forward to all the fantastic looking websites our clients are going to build. As always, we’ll continue to scour the Internet looking for new methods to assist our clients to do what they do best, and that is to run successful businesses.

Networking Champions Do This. Do You?

Networking-Champions

Here’s a networking tip for when you’re out and about spreading the word about your new business. Instead of chatting briefly and exchanging business cards, ask this, “If I were talking to someone who needed your services, what should I say to them?” This gives them the opportunity to give you their 30 second commercial touting their business. Everyone loves to talk about themselves and their business.

Ask for ten of their business cards

Then ask them for 10 of their business cards instead of one. Why? Because it says to them that you’re interested in networking with them, instead of just marketing to them directly – like every other sales rep they’ve ever met. It sets you apart.

Reaching their sphere of influence

When you think about it, everyone has a sphere of influence. When you say word of mouth is the best way to grow your business, how do you get that prospect or client to spread the word about your business? It all starts by showing an interest in their business, providing solutions that help them, and above all – great customer service.

They just said, YES

You’ll never be able to reach their sphere of influence on your own. Ask them for referrals (their sphere of influence) immediately after the sale. They’ve just said YES to your product or service. They know, like and trust you. Take it one step further. Ask them to let the person they just referred to you know that you’ll be calling.

Ask for the referral

All sales reps know that you have to ask for the sale. The same principle applies in networking – you have to ask for the referral.

Avoiding WordPress Pitfalls

Avoiding-WordPress-Pitfalls

My gosh, there must be a thousand tutorials on how to set up WordPress, but most of them miss a few key points that can spell trouble down the line. I’ll list a few of the more important things to look for, but this is far from a complete list.

Poorly written themes and plug-ins can wreak havoc on your website

WordPress core files won’t typically cause any issues unless webmasters don’t keep pace with their revisions, but poorly written themes and plug-ins certainly can and frequently do create havoc. Why?

Not all themes and plug-ins are created equally

Thousands of different individuals and vendors have created plug-ins and built custom themes to improve the functionality and look of WordPress websites. Unfortunately, some are better coded than others, and many do not stay current or compatible with updated versions of WordPress (which we all know happens a LOT).

Before you start performing Internet speed tests, check your plug-ins

When you have, for instance 15 plugins installed on your site, and something bizarre kicks up its crazy head, like response time slowing to a crawl, many times it isn’t the server causing this issue, or the speed of your Internet connection. It’s one plug-in or theme throwing rocks as big as boulders at your site.

Easter Egging

How do you know which one is the culprit? More often than not, unless a Google search uncovers a common problem across multiples sites, the way most recommended is to turn off your plug-ins one by one and re-test. It’s called Easter Egg troubleshooting.

Selecting the right plug-in

When you’re analyzing which plug-in to install, you’ll be presented with its version, the author’s name, when it was last updated, what version of WordPress it requires, which version of WordPress that it’s compatible with, how many active installations there are and its average rating from one to five stars based on total reviews.

You’ll also see its description, installation instructions, frequently asked questions (FAQ), screenshots, reviews and a link to its Homepage.

What to look for

Of course, the most important of these is its description. Does it add functionality to your website? From there, I recommend checking when it was last updated and is it compatible with your current version of WordPress.

What do the reviews say?

Read a few of the 5 star reviews AND the 1 star reviews. Sometimes, a one-star review will point out something that completely disqualifies using it on your site. Some examples:

  • TERRIBLE SUPPORT
  • Extremely slows down MySQL
  • Or the plugin was the main problem on my site.

Don’t forget to check how long ago that review was written. Maybe that issue was addressed in later revisions.

Themes, on the other hand, are a different breed

Just on Themeforest alone, there are over 11 thousand WordPress themes ranging in price from free to over sixty dollars. Most of the themes display their version numbers, and are updated just like WordPress from time to time.

Take note of total sales and comments

Some themes have sold thousands of times, but that doesn’t mean your website will look like any of the others. Most themes are highly customizable.

What you’ll need to look for is whether that theme is high resolution, is it widget ready, what browsers is it compatible with, what software versions of WordPress is it compatible with, what plugins will it work with, is it mobile responsive, is it well documented and what files are included.

Most themes have Live Previews

Absolutely look at some of your prospective themes in live preview mode. Be aware though that the images on that demo are generally not included and only serve as placeholders for presentation purposes.

If on ThemeForest, was the author of that theme an Elite Author

Has that author’s work ever been featured? And do they offer extended support, and if so, at what price? Does that author respond to support requests quickly and are his answers professional and value-add.

Don’t forget categories of themes

Thousands of WordPress themes have been written in different categories such as corporate, retail, entertainment, education, wedding and technology. You name it – there’s a category for it.

Pitfalls – smitfalls! You’ve got this covered now.

PS: Many of the issues created by coders can be overcome by simply hosting your website on an insanely fast web server, like Hostirian’s PCIe NVMe servers. They’re six times faster than SSD servers and many times faster than the server you’re probably using now.

A Key to Selecting the Right Operating System to Host Your Website

Right-Operating-System

Are you confused when presented with which operating system to choose when selecting a web hosting provider’s hosting packages? You’re not alone. And no, it doesn’t matter what operating system you have on your desktop or work station – they don’t have to match your hosting platform. You can be using Windows 7 on your desktop and Linux on your web server. So what are the key guidelines to select one versus the other?

Applications make the difference

On a shared web hosting platform, both operating systems are normally priced the same. If you’re leasing a dedicated server though, Linux is open source (free) and Windows is proprietary to Microsoft applications that require license fees. If you need services like Active Server Pages (ASP), MSSQL, MS Access, Visual Basic or remote desktop, these applications are Windows specific.

Are Linux servers more secure?

I see this brought up quite often in comparisons and the answers are all over the board. Very simply, the answer is NO. Both operating systems can be locked down tight. What I generally see are providers that only offer Linux platforms stating that Linux is preferred.  Both support a wide range of software applications, languages and databases.

Control panels for operating systems

Control panels do vary by operating system platforms with cPanel frequently offered for Linux versus Plesk for Windows. Of the two, cPanel is more popular, but both are comprehensive.

CentOS is popular, but there are other flavors

There are different flavors of each operating system: with Linux; CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu and others, and with Windows; 2016 Standard and Data Center Edition.

My recommendation is to match your specific requirements to the Operating System that best fits your website. If in doubt, call us – 800-615-9349. We can help.