What It Takes to Work from Home or Remotely
As most people probably know, the government is suggesting that businesses have their employees work from home if possible because of current health events. This is a daunting prospect for many people who have never tried working from home or have tried and failed.
If you’re being told to work from home, you don’t have to be afraid that it won’t go well. There are a few ways of making it successful to the point where you’ll never want to go back to the office again!
Make an at-home work space for yourself. It can be as simple as setting up your dining room table for you to work at or as complex as creating a home office. This designated space will keep you focused and in the right mindset for work.
Give yourself enough time. Don’t let yourself get distracted by chores and other household issues just because you’re at home. You’ll be more productive if you block out enough time in your schedule to get work done.
Get the right equipment. If you don’t already have the right laptop or computer for work, you should get one. When you have the right equipment, working becomes easier. Even if the equipment might be pricey, it’s worth the costs because you’ll be able to get your work done and show your employer that you are capable of and committed to working from home.
Stay in touch with your boss/manager/employer. Oftentimes, when you hear of people who are told they aren’t allowed to work from home, it is because they did not stay in contact with their superior. When you stay in contact with your superior about the status of your work, you prove yourself responsible and productive. It is likely that over time your superior will tell you that they really valued your updates and that you have proved yourself responsible enough to work independently without having to check in any longer.
Rely on your coworkers. If you need help from your coworkers, don’t be afraid to ask! It is likely that whatever job you do, you aren’t a one man band. Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean you have to now treat your job like you’re all alone. If you get help from your coworkers and help them in return, everything will keep running smoothly and get done.
Stay up to date with news and clients. Being out of the office doesn’t give you an excuse to be disconnected. Not only does staying up to date simply keep you informed, but you can apply the knowledge you gain to your work.
While working from home requires some adjustments, it doesn’t have to be painful. If you would like more advice on working from home, we have many employees with experience who could share their guidance. Contact us at [email protected].
1, 2, 3, Say “Instagrammable!”
Building Business in Difficult Times
- Tell your story. What has your business accomplished? What is your business’ passion?
- Invite a prospective client to try your business’ services/products.
- Provide what you have committed to provide and, if possible, provide more than was promised!
- Be as eager to buy what your business needs as you are to sell what others need. This continues the process of building relationships.
Remediating Search Engine Rankings
White Hat Versus Black Hat SEO
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- the name of their business and how the history of that name
- a description of its services and products
- a description of its ideal client or customer
- its intended geographic reach
- a statement of what will make the business unique in its market niche
- Keyword research to identify the phrases that people might use to find the business online
- Content development to include keyword-rich text
- A mobile friendly, quick-to-load website
- Optimized pages in local maps and review sites such as Google My Business (Maps), Yelp, etc.
- Online reputation monitoring and coordination
- Email marketing
- Pay per click marketing
- Social media marketing (selection of specific strategies such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, etc. depending on ideal customer demographics)
Setting Your Price
Lowest Price OptionConsider being the lowest price competitor when:
- You know for certain that you can sustain the price for a long time.
- You know that your competition can’t come near your prices because their overhead and other costs are higher and they don’t have the funding to offer your price or lower.
- You know that another competitor can’t enter the market and offer a lower price.
- Prospects who are shopping for your services/products may think yours are substandard in quality because prices are associated with quality in your industry.
- There is a competitor who has the funding to drop below your lowest possible price. A competitor who has adequate funding can drop their prices just long enough to get your customers to switch. This will make you raise your price or force you out of business.
Highest Price OptionConsider being the highest price competitor when:
- You have at least one success story that you can share. If you have done the same work for a previous client and can tell a prospect that you significantly contributed to that client’s success, you can command a high price.
- You know that you and your services/products are worth it. Prospects can sense confidence. They’ll believe you’re the best if you believe it.
- There are enough prospects for you to sustain your business.
- You can sustain the level of service and quality that your price promises.
- There are too few prospects to buy your services/products. You could become too dependent on those few.
- You’re not confident that you are better than your competitors and you have no story to tell of past success.
- You don’t yet know how to sustain being the best for a long period of time.
Middle Price OptionConsider being a middle priced competitor when:
- You want the greatest flexibility in pricing.
- You don’t have a great success story to tell right from the beginning.
- You have no desire to make huge waves amongst your competitors right from the start.
Pricing to the Level of ResponsibilityThere is a practice that I call “pricing to the level of responsibility.” This practice involves charging higher-end prices. This practice is good for a business to implement. When a business is implementing this practice and is charging a higher price for their product/service, prospects will believe that the business must be the best because it charges a higher price. The logic is that if a business has the courage to charge that much, then there must be a reason, so they deserve the business. This logic can carry on into a contract. A prospect might believe that because they are paying a company that much money, they might as well use all of its services/products and listen to its representatives. By doing so, they believe they aren’t wasting all the money they’re spending. They are also giving the majority of control to the company, which means that projects can be completed in a timely manner without hiccups caused by overhead. This practice should never be leveraged simply to secure a high price. The customer would see through that and become offended. This practice is very helpful in cases in which the customer needs to have a strong commitment to the project. Pricing to the level of responsibility encourages both the customer and the vendor to work together as a team, which will lead to a successful result. When a business defines its pricing, it can confidently communicate with prospects and customers. Clarity around pricing helps set a positive tone for the business/customer relationship. The earlier a new business can set its pricing, the faster it can become successful. For more information contact Elizabeth Paulsen at [email protected]
Why We Build Websites in WordPress
According to a W3Techs survey, 35% of the world’s websites use WordPress.1 This is more than 12 times as much as the second most popular content management system, Joomla, and 22 times as much as popular competing website creation tools Squarespace and Wix.2 This same survey also shows that WordPress is still the fastest-growing content management system on the web, so it does not look as if it is going away any time soon.
This is not due to having the best codebase; WordPress is notorious among programmers for its outdated reliance on globals and its unintuitive loop system. These make it easier for different pieces of code to conflict with each other. WordPress is also known for its limited plugin system, which is inefficient when compared to more modern approaches, such as Composer.
There are many competitors with cleaner code than WordPress, such as SilverStripe or Symfony. However, none of them have the complete, intuitive UI WordPress has that makes it easy to use for both programmers and clients. As the programmer who co-founded Stack Overflow and Discourse said, “the UI is the application.”3 Having a system that is easy to use for clients or less-technically-proficient people is important for balancing division of labor and keeping development cost fair. Often, clients cannot afford every change they need done to be completed directly by a programmer, so it is more economical to use a UI for simple changes. That way clients can save the money to use the programmer later on for more technical issues, like speed or security. The purpose for technology, after all, is to save people time.
For technology, popularity can be an advantage by itself, especially for open source software. It means there are more eyes watching it and more minds thinking about it. No matter how clean a piece of software is, it will always cause users obscure errors. Dealing with these errors is much easier when there is a large community of people who have likely run into the same errors and can give answers and solutions.
The same concept applies for plugins and themes. WordPress’ popularity gives it a greater variety of plugins that can serve many more needs than less popular environments. Also, you will be less likely to fall victim to hacking if you stick to popular plugins that are supported by professional organizations with good reputations. Whereas obscure plugins, thanks to their obscurity, can hide exploits for years without anyone finding them.
Because WordPress is popular, it is that much easier to find developers with years of experience working in it. While we love working with our clients for as long as we can, we understand that sometimes clients need change. Sometimes clients become so big that they need a developer dedicated fully to their company and need to take their work in-house. It would be much harder to find a developer who could easily catch up to where the old developer left off if they had to work in a lesser-known content management system. When we take on a client who already has a website, it is usually much easier to update and improve it if it is already in WordPress, than if it was made in an older, lesser-known system.
To give an example of the extra attention WordPress gets from large, professional organizations, Google themselves are dedicating an engineering team to help make WordPress faster.4
Unlike site builders like SquareSpace or Wix, WordPress still gives developers complete control over the website. This makes it easier to apply security and speed optimizations site builders that SquareSpace or Wix do not allow. Site builders like these are closed systems locked behind a paid service, which can give peace of mind to non-developers because the service handles security issues. However, since these websites are generated, they are usually not well made. These websites have redundant code and resources that take longer to load, which can hurt SEO because search engines prefer faster websites. They also do not allow advanced security features like security headers and content security policies, which can better protect websites from hacks, such as cross-site scripting hijacks.5
In contrast, WordPress is open source software you host yourself, so you can change just about anything you want. This means that the unsavory elements of WordPress can be patched up. Do you prefer the flexibility and efficiency of Composer in Symfony? You can implement Composer inside your WordPress theme and get most of the same benefits. Meanwhile, WordPress’ wonky loop systems and awkward, wordy methods for adding stylesheets can be hidden behind clean, object-oriented interfaces.
With greater control over clients’ websites, Cascade e-Commerce Solutions Inc. can make them more personalized to fit the specific needs of the clients in both design and functionality—websites that go beyond cookie-cutter templates. CeSI websites are unique, professional, and accessible.
For examples of some WordPress websites we have made, explore the following case studies:
- ^ “W3Techs – World Wide Web Technology Surveys”. W3Techs. 2019-12-01. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
- ^ “Usage of content management systems”. W3Techs. 2019-12-01. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
- ^ Atwood, J (2005-08-24). “The User Interface Is The Application”. Coding Horrors. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
- ^ Robbins, M. (2018-02-05). “The need for speed: Google dedicates engineering team to accelerate development of WordPress ecosystem”. Search Engine Land. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
- ^ “Cross-site Scripting (XSS)”. Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). 2018-06-05. Retrieved 2020-01-10.