Website ADA Compliance

Lawsuits targeting businesses with websites that are allegedly not ADA Compliant are on the rise. This trend started a few years ago and the first round of suits were filed against large companies like Dominoes and WinDixie, claiming that their websites were inaccessible to people with disabilities. Courts have upheld these claims, leading to a rash of new lawsuits. In fact, these types of cases have rapidly grown in the last few years from 815 in 2017 to over 3200 in 2019. (more…)

The Difference Between a $500 Website and a $5000 Website

We all know that the old adage, “you get what you pay for,” is true in a lot of instances. When it comes to buying a house, it’s likely true. The size, age and location of the house will largely determine its cost and the newer, bigger houses in prime locations are going to cost more.

But when it comes to buying services, this saying is not always accurate. We’ve probably all had instances where we felt we overpaid for sub-par service. In many cases, buying a service, like a haircut, an hour of life coaching, or the creation of a website has more to do with WHO you buy it from than what you are buying. You can buy a $20 haircut at SuperCuts or you could pay $150 or more to have it cut by a well-known stylist in a larger city. Is the more expensive haircut better? Presumably it is, though in rare instances you might find a rising star of a stylist who is charging a low price because the market hasn’t yet figured out how good they are. So, you might get lucky and get something close to the $150 haircut from someone who is unknown but talented and only charges $20. 

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WordPress vs Webflow, Wix & Squarespace

There are so many tools and platforms available today for creating websites that it can be difficult to sort through the options. Whether you are a small business owner or manager trying to figure out the most cost effective way to build your website, a marketing director trying to decide on the best platform for your company, or someone considering a career in web development, it’s helpful to understand the pros and cons of the various options available.

There are literally thousands of tools and platforms for creating websites, so we will focus on just a few of the more popular ones. Also, we will not dive into a detailed analysis of every feature in each platform. Instead, we will consider the high level differences in approach that each platform takes and when you might want to use one versus another.

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The Hidden Costs of GoDaddy WordPress Hosting

GoDaddy has long been known for being a low-price leader for purchasing domains and web hosting. This is part of the genius of their marketing. By breaking up all of their offerings into their smallest components, each component appears to be inexpensive. In addition, they offer 20-25% discounts off this pricing in the first year, to make costs appear even lower.

However, you can rarely get away with only the basics, so by the time you add up everything you need, you will quickly find that GoDaddy’s hosting is not as cost-effective as many believe. 

For example, say that you wanted to host a basic WordPress website and you needed 3 email addresses for your business. GoDaddy’s base pricing for this is $6.99 per month and you get free “business email” with that. The total first year cost: $83.88. 

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NDIC Response to COVID-19

Dear NDIC Customers, Partners and Community,

Amidst the uncertainty and concern that COVID-19 has brought into our lives, both from health and economic standpoints, we wanted to reach out and let you know that our hearts and thoughts are with you.

After we took stock of our own situation and ensured that our team was safe and our business could continue to be operational, our next thought was how we could help our clients and community. Things are changing so fast that ideas that we had only days ago already seem meaningless, however one thing is clear to us – communication is key during times of uncertainty.

As consumers of other company’s products and services, I imagine we can all relate to the need to know basic things like “Are you keeping normal hours right now?”

So, as companies, it makes sense for us to have a strategy to communicate to our clients regularly and efficiently in response to the rapidly changing business environment. The obvious way to do this is through our websites so we don’t have to do it dozens of times per day via phone or email. This only works, however, if the message on our websites is obviously new and up-to-date, so it doesn’t leave any doubt about whether the information is current.

A great solution for this is a thin colorful horizontal banner that displays at the top of your website. We have identified a free WordPress plugin that makes it easy to add this to your site. You can see a sample of this banner on our own site at https://www.ndic.com. The plugin is called Popup Maker and you can find it here. If you would like help implementing this, please let us know. Also, if you need assistance sending an email blast to customers, we can help with that as well.

There is so much information and speculation going around right now that it can be difficult to know what is accurate. The best we can do is to try to use reputable and authoritative sources and to question and double-check any information that we can’t clearly trace back to reputable sources. Social media can be a boon during these times to keep us connected and informed but misinformation, both innocent and intentional, spreads just as readily on social media as factual information.

Please be safe and stay healthy.

Masen Yaffee, President
New Directions In Computing

The Pros and Cons of Commercial WordPress Themes

One of the great things about WordPress is the thousands of high quality themes available for the platform. What is a theme? A WordPress theme defines the look-and-feel of your site, or its design. The theme contains a specific set of style sheets and templates that determine the fonts, colors, styles and layouts of the pages within a WordPress website. Themes in WordPress can be installed and activated, rapidly transforming the way your whole site looks, much like a paint job and window tinting can transform the look of your car. The car interior and engine remain the same, but it looks very different on the outside.

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Who Is Visiting Your Website? Anonymous Visitor Detection Software Review

Why Anonymous Visitor Detection

If someone visits your website and does nothing but read a page or two and leave, can you figure out who they are? Historically, the answer has been no because web browsers like Chrome are designed to be secure and not give away personal information, unless the visitor explicitly fills out a form and provides that information. In other words, unless someone buys something from your website, or fills out a form that requests personal information, you have no way of knowing their name, email address or other personally identifying details. Since only a fraction of your site visitors will ever fill out a contact form, many website owners are missing out on the vast majority of website leads that come to their site.

The information that can be collected by your website without a visitor’s consent is limited and includes the IP address their computer is currently assigned, the page they visited, the date and time, the type of browser they used, and the type of computer they are on. From this basic information, Google Analytics can discern an amazing amount of data such as what country your visitors are coming from primarily, or what is the most popular page on your website. However, none of this tells you who the person is or gives you any way to contact them in the future.

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How to Speed Up a Slow WordPress Website

Optimizing WordPress at a coffeehouse

The speed of your WordPress website is important for SEO and also for retaining site visitors and converting them to prospects or customers. Various

studies by Google, CloudFlare and others have consistently found that bounce rates go down and conversion rates get better as site speed improves, sometimes dramatically. For example, according to Google, as page load time goes from 1s to 5s, the probability of a visitor bouncing increases 90%! *

Before racing down the road of optimizing your site speed, we recommend that you read The Problems with Google PageSpeed Insights so that you are certain you are measuring the performance of your site by the correct metrics. If you are just using the “grades” that Google and other site speed tests provide, you may be mis-informed. The only true metric is page load speed.

If you have a WordPress site that is slow, here are some ways you can improve its speed. The list below is not comprehensive and different sites will have different reasons for why they are slow, but we’ve ordered the list in terms of what we’ve found to have the greatest effect on speed, with the most impactful at the top.

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How To Prevent Your WordPress Website From Being Hacked

Microsoft Windows has the largest worldwide market share of all operating systems. As a result, it’s also the number one target for virus writers. If you want your virus or malware to infect the most number of computers, you would logically write it for Windows.

Similarly, WordPress has the largest market share among web platforms worldwide. And, like Windows, it’s also the number one targeted platform for hackers. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use WordPress. It just means that you need to take precautions to ensure that your site is secure. We’ve helped secure hundreds of WordPress websites and helped fix many hacked sites over the years. Following is a discussion, based on our own experience, of the most important things you can do to keep your site from being hacked. This is not a comprehensive list of everything you could do, but rather a highly selective list of the things we believe will make the most difference in keeping your site secure.

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Don’t Listen to Everything Google Tells You

In the last post on Google PageSpeed Insights, we discussed the problems with that tool and how the advice it gives is interpretive and not always beneficial from either a user experience standpoint or a search engine ranking standpoint. In this article we look at a newer tool by Google, TestMySite. TestMySite purportedly analyzes the speed of your website from a mobile device.

Google is very focused on mobile search these days. In fact, because mobile search now exceeds desktop search, they are actually ranking your site more on its mobile characteristics than on its desktop ones. So there is no question that your site needs to be mobile optimized both in terms of user experience and load speed. Google’s tools are supposed to help you with this. Only they don’t! (more…)

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Website ADA Compliance

Lawsuits targeting businesses with websites that are allegedly not ADA Compliant are on the rise. This trend started a few… more

The Difference Between a $500 Website and a $5000 Website

We all know that the old adage, “you get what you pay for,” is true in a lot of instances.… more

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