MerlinFX http://www.merlinfx.com.au Online Wizardry Tue, 14 Mar 2017 01:58:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.merlinfx.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/cropped-10170_Merlin_Youtube_Banner_Logo-32x32.png MerlinFX http://www.merlinfx.com.au 32 32 Is your web presence offering amazing value? http://www.merlinfx.com.au/web-presence-offering-amazing-value/ Tue, 31 Jan 2017 06:01:33 +0000 http://www.merlinfx.com.au/?p=4272 When was the last time you asked yourself if your business’s web presence is offering value to your customers and clients? If you haven’t attempted to answer that question lately, you’re neglecting your duty to yourself, your employees, and your stakeholders. This is because business success in today’s society is increasingly tied to the value…

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When was the last time you asked yourself if your business’s web presence is offering value to your customers and clients?

If you haven’t attempted to answer that question lately, you’re neglecting your duty to yourself, your employees, and your stakeholders. This is because business success in today’s society is increasingly tied to the value of your web presence.

Even if you’ve previously sought to measure the strength of your web presence, your methodology may be too limited or too outdated. This is because assessing your web presence involves a hodgepodge of considerations that act as a moving target. Technology constantly evolves, and with this evolution comes the necessity to adjust the means by which you measure your website’s:

1. SEO performance

2. Search engine visibility

3. Content strategy

4. Email efforts

5. Social media endeavors

If you evolve the manner in which you analyze the above, you can increase website visibility. And with increased website visibility comes more visitors, which can lead to more customers and greater sales.

With your bottom line on-the-line, so to speak, there’s no better time for your business to experience the benefits of a Web Presence Audit.

A web presence audit is more than Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for your business site. Instead, it’s a potent, comprehensive solution delivering powerful research and analysis of your web presence.

Even better, web presence audits like those offered by our friends at ReachLocal come with thoughtful, actionable recommendations on how you can move forward and improve your site. ReachLocal understands not everyone at your company is a whizkid tech superstar, so every recommendation is written in plain, clear English.

Here’s a little more about what your business’s web presence audit will include:

Professional Analysis. Again, this is more than a little SEO tweaking. Your web presence audit will come stocked with sophisticated analysis of your digital marketing efforts, content strategy, search engine visibility, and more.

Actionable Recommendations. Packed with actionable advice, your web presence audit will put your company on the path to increased visibility and the potential for greater sales.

Meeting. Still worried about digesting everything that’s included in the audit? You’ll meet with a  ReachLocal contact that’s will clarify any of the findings in your report.

Now, here’s the best part:

Our unique partnership with ReachLocal affords us the opportunity to offer you all the benefits of their web presence assessment service at zero cost.

That’s right. FREE.

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How is your Digital Footprint performing across the web?

We've partnered with ReachLocal. An award winning Premium Google Partner.

Learn more about ReachLocals' incredible ReadEdge: Lead and Call Tracking
Web Presence – It’s More Than Just a Website!

Most people associate web presence with their business’s website. But it’s actually more than that. A lot more. Here are some things to consider when thinking about web presence:

  • How does your business look when people search for you online
  • Is your website friendly to mobile web users? (Of course it does!)
  • What’s your presence like on social media and local listing sites?
  • Is your website structured with core SEO components to help it show up in local search?

If you haven’t attempted to answer that question lately, you’re neglecting your duty to yourself, your employees, and your stakeholders. This is because business success in today’s society is increasingly tied to the value of your web presence.

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Why We Suck at Email Hosting—And Why Most Developers Do, Too http://www.merlinfx.com.au/why-we-suck-at-email-hosting-and-why-most-developers-do-too/ Thu, 12 Jan 2017 02:04:23 +0000 http://www.merlinfx.com.au/?p=4131 Clear a few minutes from your schedule. Trust us, you’re going to want to read this: We’re not the best at email hosting. There, we said it. Heck, we kind of suck at it. But here’s the thing: Most developers suck at email hosting, too. This is despite the fact almost every available web hosting…

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Clear a few minutes from your schedule. Trust us, you’re going to want to read this:

We’re not the best at email hosting. There, we said it. Heck, we kind of suck at it. But here’s the thing: Most developers suck at email hosting, too. This is despite the fact almost every available web hosting package right now offers email hosting.

Now, there’s something very useful you can take away from this frank honesty, and that’s the following:

Google Does It Better.

Read on as to why.

What Does Google Offer in the Email Hosting Space?

Sure, there’s a host of popular alternatives including ZoHo Mail and Office 365, but they aren’t our proverbial cup of tea.

Instead, it’s Google that’s won our hearts with their powerful, attractively-priced suite of services for email, calendar, and more. For only the cost of a cup of coffee—AUD $5.00 a month per user—Google serves up sublime email hosting across multiple devices, complete with a veritable boatload of available storage.

Coffee’s great for drinking, sure. But nothing peps you up like knowing your five dollars are singularly powering your business communications.

Google’s suite of services, also known as G Suite, offers a bevy of email-related features as well as additional perks, including:

Unlimited email accounts for all staff, served through Gmail on your branded domain.

  1. 30 GB of storage space—not total, for each account!—offered across both Google Drive and Gmail.
  2. Google Calendar services for the management of your schedule.
  3. Google Groups for discussion monitoring.
  4. Google Docs support for real-time collaboration with staff.
  5. Video conference support for as many as 15 participants simultaneously.
  6. Full mobile device support.
  7. Complimentary, 24/7 phone, email, and chat support.

Oh, and concerned about security?

Don’t be. G Suite sports robust security. Authorised Google Reseller Nathan Stanfield of Stanfield IT says the following:

"Even though it is based in the cloud [Gmail from Gsuite], it comes with robust and well-tested security. In fact, it is an enterprise level security so it offers maximum protection for your communications as well as the most sensitive of documents.”

- Nathan Stanfield

Here’s Nathan and Stanfield IT waxing poetic on the merits of G Suite.

Take our word for it, too. Here at MerlinFX, we heavily utilize G Suite every day in our business operations. We adore the flexibility and reliability the entire suite of services provides—particularly the cloud-based automation, which can be integrated to really take a load off your shoulders.

Something incredible to mention before we go any further: If you’re a non-profit and every $5 really, really counts, you’ll be stoked to learn that the advantages of G Suite are now available for free thanks to the tech giant’s Google Apps for Non-Profits initiative.

And as we all know, you can’t beat free.

A Deeper Dive Into G Suite’s Benefits

Whether it’s $5 or $0, going with Google is a no-brainer—especially in light of the fact it’s simply a poor idea to rely on your web developer for a typical webmail account.

One benefit of G Suite we have to take a moment to fixate on: Your mail is never tied to your website.

Why does this matter? Let us share a hypothetical with you:

You have your email hosted with your web developer. All your online services are hosted together in one seemingly convenient space. Suddenly, an unexpected, cataclysmic event  occurs, and your domain provider—the same entity that serves up both your web and email hosting—goes down, wiping out your website, email account, and all backups.

Sadly, the above isn’t a fanciful bedtime horror story. It really happened. Domain provider DistributeIT went down, and thousands of websites and email accounts went with it. Permanently.

Fortunately, at MerlinFX we were unaffected. Our safety was a product of how we handle our technical communications—we never put all our eggs in one basket. Instead, we always host websites and email accounts separate from where our domain is registered.

And again, your business should, too.

While the safety of your assets and resources is paramount, it’s more than just that. G Suite offers a host of benefits, both email-related and otherwise, including:

  • No need to move your mail if you want to move your website (which can be a real pain in the britches!).
  • Your email won’t go down if your site does.
  • Advanced speed, security and flexibility thanks to the sturdiness of the Gmail platform.
  • Anywhere, anytime collaboration thanks to Gmail’s cloud-based structure.
  • Generous file storage.
  • No annoying, intrusive ads.
  • Robust mobile apps for iOS, Android, and more.

 

If you’re interested in further details on all of the above G Suite benefits, you can refer to Nathan’s Stanfield IT piece here.

Making the Move to Gmail and G Suite

We’ve been enjoying G Suite for years, and it’s likely time you and your business make the move, as well.

If you’re hoping to enhance the professionalism and productivity of your business or organisation, G Suite can deliver the efficiencies necessary to make it all happen.

Consult your IT department on making the switch. And if you don’t have an IT department or desire a specialist, don’t hesitate to contact Nathan at Stanfield IT today.

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Why Most Privacy Policies Are a Ticking Time Bomb http://www.merlinfx.com.au/why-most-privacy-policies-are-a-ticking-time-bomb/ Thu, 12 Jan 2017 01:40:11 +0000 http://www.merlinfx.com.au/?p=4135 This page may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small fee (not even enough my coffee and cake) if you make a purchase using the link. Let’s dispense with the pleasantries and say this: Most privacy policies are terrible. They either intentionally obfuscate information and policies to keep them from the user, or…

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This page may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small fee (not even enough my coffee and cake) if you make a purchase using the link.

Let’s dispense with the pleasantries and say this:

Most privacy policies are terrible.

They either intentionally obfuscate information and policies to keep them from the user, or are so unintentionally obtuse and confusing that the user—and often, the employees at the company in question—can’t decipher what everything means.

At MerlinFX, we admit we’ve been guilty of using standard privacy policies in the past, and for the longest time we endured their shortcomings.

But no longer. Now, we use Iubenda. And it’s made a world of difference.

The Advantages of Iubenda

Whether written by the business or an outside entity, many privacy policies are so cluttered and indecipherable that they’re a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. Inevitably, consumers are going to feel “duped” and threaten some kind of action against an entity that served them a garbled, unintelligible mess of legalese they never understood.

However, Iubenda gives both businesses and consumers peace of mind through a simple yet sophisticated new approach to privacy policies.

Iubenda privacy policies are optimized beginning-to-end for easy reading. Despite this, the policies still act as sophisticated technical and legal documents that are fully up-to-date with contemporary sensibilities and technologies.

How is this possible, you ask?

Iubenda ingeniously solves the privacy policy riddle by offering two different pages, or “views.” The first view is constructed with plain English (a la Creative Commons image rights policies), while the second policy view separately incorporates all the dense legal jargon that shelters businesses from disputes.

Iubenda works to keep their privacy policies up-to-date, and we were thrilled to get our own privacy policies for MerlinFX and Content Kitchen established through Iubenda in less than five minutes!

 As you can see through our policy examples listed above, Iubenda clearly details how customer data is used and what services are collecting it. There’s dedicated sections to each data-collecting entity involved—Facebook, Google, etc—with analytics processing information and direct links to associated company policies included.

And the above is Iubenda’s greatest attribute—the dedication to transparency.

Transparency is crucial in our increasingly complex digital world, and Iubenda is built directly on the principle that we must all strive to live and thrive in a truly transparent world.

How Does Iubenda Work?

Iubenda incorporates an easy-breezy, three step process:

  1. Add the name of your business’s website, application, or Facebook app.
  2. Disclose the services you are utilizing and the data you’re collecting.
  3. Link or embed.

We’re not playing around—that’s it. As we mentioned, here at MerlinFX we were able to get our own privacy policy up and running in only five minutes.

Does Iubenda Support Australia?

Indubitably!

Iubenda models its legalese in accordance with the strictest privacy requirements found worldwide. More specifically, the team at Iubenda routinely review Australian privacy laws (such as the new APPs). In fact, Australia is one of the most closely-monitored countries.

How Do I Get Started With Iubenda?

Ready to jump in? Fantastic. We think you’ll be thrilled.

There are both free and premium tiers of Iubenda currently available. Prices for the premium tier start from only $9/per month.

Learn more about Iubenda’s privacy policy plans today!

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Why your website MUST be responsive http://www.merlinfx.com.au/why-your-website-must-be-responsive/ http://www.merlinfx.com.au/why-your-website-must-be-responsive/#respond Tue, 20 Sep 2016 06:24:39 +0000 http://www.merlinfx.com.au/?p=3811 Responsive design is becoming the next big thing in the field of website development. It solves a number of problems for website owners, and delivers plenty of benefits to the users. What are the advantages of utilising responsive design for website development? Here's the answer. Effortless Navigation User-friendliness matters a lot. Responsive design offers the…

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Responsive design is becoming the next big thing in the field of website development. It solves a number of problems for website owners, and delivers plenty of benefits to the users. What are the advantages of utilising responsive design for website development? Here's the answer.

Effortless Navigation

User-friendliness matters a lot. Responsive design offers the benefit of minimal learning curve and clarity for all users. The website navigation is absolutely effortless, and adjusts according to the screen position of the user's device. By keeping all the required features in mind, like minimum need of re-sizing and scrolling - your website is built for every single possible device including desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones.

Consistency

Stick with the exact same style across your website. No need to change layouts or to re-position the content. Doing this offers a pleasant user experience and a consistent experience across all platforms, browsers and devices. Not just that, consideration is also given to making the design suitable for Apple Retina displays. Takes care of everything!

Excellent Usability

If a website isn't flexible enough to adjust according to the user's requirements, it won't be perfectly "usable" and the user will stop browsing through the website. Making your website highly usable is the sole purpose of responsive design, and this is achieved by focusing on mobile devices first, and then scaling the website for larger devices like PCs.

Peace Of Mind

Nowadays, device type, screen size and resolution is totally out of the question. Developing highly adaptable and flexible layout is the new way to build a website. This offers peace of mind to you, the website owner, and assures you that there's no need to look for other solutions when it comes to website design. A responsive website is totally future-proof.

Focus On Content

Strengthen your online presence by focusing on content that's effectively structured, targeted, and delivered to every customer segment. Content is the most valuable asset of your website, and you should not compromise with shifting your focus on fancy layouts and imperfect solutions. Your responsive website will serve the same content on every device, and in an appropriate layout which makes it readable to the user - the target of your content delivery.

It's Essential To Have A Responsive Website

Responsive design is no longer a need - it's a necessity! With tablet and smart phones outnumbering the desktops, it's crucial that you have a responsive website. We will help you figure out the best possible navigation options and deliver a personalized experience to your customers. If you think a responsive website is what you wanted, get in touch with us now!

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Benefits of quality web design http://www.merlinfx.com.au/benefits-of-quality-web-design/ http://www.merlinfx.com.au/benefits-of-quality-web-design/#respond Tue, 20 Sep 2016 06:13:09 +0000 http://www.merlinfx.com.au/?p=3807 Nowadays, customers use the internet as their preferred place to find information and meet their requirements. Therefore, in order to grab the customers’ attention and generate traffic you need to ensure that your web design is of the highest quality. A good website is primarily a combination of clear combination, quality content and good design…

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Nowadays, customers use the internet as their preferred place to find information and meet their requirements. Therefore, in order to grab the customers’ attention and generate traffic you need to ensure that your web design is of the highest quality. A good website is primarily a combination of clear combination, quality content and good design which impresses your customers. When a good amount of traffic flows to your website, it helps you gain popularity and make more profits.

Benefits Of Quality Web Design

Professional Business Image

A unique style in the design and layout of your website gives your business a more professional and stronger status. Using an appropriate and classy layout is a very effective way of projecting a good image to your clients. When users see high quality images, striking logos, suitable colours, proper fonts, original content and complete information on your website, they will trust your company and give you positive ratings and reviews.

Exposure To More People

A great website design is a very effective way of introducing your products and/or service to more people. When users are impressed by the good quality of your website they will spread out the word instantly. This ensures that other people will always hear the good things about your company or business. Therefore, you will get more traffic and sales than ever before.

Usability

A good website should be quite easy to navigate. Your potential clients should not experience any trouble such as spending too much time on the site before deciding where to go for more information. Ensuring that your visitors are not frustrated by a slow website or other annoying things that distract them is a good way of preventing them from clicking away onto another site.

User Friendly

Great website design combines aesthetics and efficiency in a memorable way that ensures your clients always come back. Users are more likely to bookmark a user cantered website that has useful content. This will ensure that your clients keep coming back.

Value Of Your Products & Services

A good and professional website does not look cheap to your potential clients. Nobody wants their website to look cheap mainly because this would reflect negatively on the value of the products and services they offer. When people think that you have invested and worked hard for your website, they are also likely to associate your products and services with professionalism and premium value.

Corporate Colour Representation

Colour is one of the most powerful and important tools of website design. The colour choice determines the style, purpose and emotion that your website creates. Cool shades are best suited for clean cut and professional sites in order to achieve a cool corporate look. For instance, cool colours stir up trust, authority, and establishment. Most corporate websites create value and emotions that help show what the company is all about and the type of products they sell. Therefore, you should always ensure that the colours you choose for your website send the right message to users.

Company’s Character & Personality

Character and personality is mainly about the user experience. Customers look for pleasant, fun and unique experiences when dealing with businesses. Understanding your character is identifying the type of user experience you offer. Character encompasses many key elements such as attitude, language and respect. Quality website design provides numerous advantages to the company and its reputation. Due to the stiff competition among businesses in today’s world, it is vital to ensure that your presence is felt on the web in order to captivate and impress the potential customers.

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Can YOU update your website easily http://www.merlinfx.com.au/update-your-own-website/ http://www.merlinfx.com.au/update-your-own-website/#respond Mon, 19 Sep 2016 08:32:27 +0000 http://www.merlinfx.com.au/?p=3788 Unable to edit your website? In this article I discuss a practice that some web developers still do with the only intention in mind is for them to make more money doing something for you when you should be able to do this yourself. I am referring to the practice of disabling basic functionality, in…

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Unable to edit your website?

In this article I discuss a practice that some web developers still do with the only intention in mind is for them to make more money doing something for you when you should be able to do this yourself.

I am referring to the practice of disabling basic functionality, in this case the Editor.

Personally I cannot see any GOOD reason to do this. None whatsoever.

The editor is baked into WordPress, why remove it?

I am referring to making simple editorial changes to your content, whether to a page or blog post on your website.

Let's take WordPress for example. Out of the box it has an Editor baked in allowing you to make simple content changes as required.

The other week a colleague contacted me requesting assistance to see whether their client's website was broken and why they couldn't easily add content. They were able to add simple things, but they had to do it by knowing a little bit of HTML. Contacting their web developer yielded no assistance. I wonder why? My colleague was HTML savvy and could edit the site, business I am sure the developer was missing out on.

Why would they make it so hard for the customer in the first place? This practice makes me mad. There are bad seeds in every industry that bring us down. I abhor this practice.

Here's the thing, I'd say less than 1% of business owners out there know how to edit HTML. The entire reason for having an Editor is so you do not have to.  The other beauty of the Editor feature, especially in WordPress, is it takes what you type and converts it to is compliant HTML markup - fancy terminology for the correct way to write HTML so a browser will read it.

I love my food and love making food analogies. Put simply imagine getting a hot apple pie out of the oven but surprise there is no apple inside. It promised to be a hot apple pie with apple. That's no fun. I'm deflated. No amount of whipped cream will make it better.

So too with your editor in your website. If this is missing, it's game over. There simply is not apple in your hot apple pie.

Now you can expect several things to happen:

  • You will have to pay for simple website updates
  • You become disillusioned about web developers and websites
  • You lose interest in your website as it is not easy to update
  • Your website looks old and stale
  • Your competitors gain an advantage over you
  • Your website doesn't convert as it gets little traffic due to lack of love you show it
  • You start to not like web people

Not all web people are cut from the same cloth.

This is where it gets interesting

There could be a couple of reasons for the web developer to do this. The web developer:

  • believes you are not smart enough to use the built in Editor to add content; or
  • they figure by disabling the Editor you will not be able to add content and will need to request them to do it only to get charged for something you could have easily done.

I believe it is the latter. By confusing the bejesus out of you when it comes time to edit your website, you figure it is all too hard and you relent and ask them to do it.

If it is either one, they're a dinosaur developer. What computer user has not grown up using Word or a similar tool. Word is far harder to use than a Website Editor! Period! Especially the built in WordPress Editor.

Depending on the changes you want, let's say it's a grammatical change or a new paragraph you wanted to add, on a WordPress website this should take you less than 5 minutes to do.

BUT because they have disabled the key feature of your website it now costs you:

  • more time / delays
  • more money
  • more effort than you need to do
  • you have to hire them or someone else to make a simple change

All just to make a simple change. This practice infuriates me no end. You are now beholden to the whim and availability of your developer. Ka-ching!

Now I do not begrudge web developers making money. We all have to eat. But making your customer jump through hoops to do simple stuff is plain wrong. If you are a web developer and you are reading this - there a more ways to derive your income in really taking care of things your client cannot do.

Provide massive value

  • Add value where you can
  • Make it easy for them to edit their own content
  • Provide training videos
  • Offer Coaching Calls or Training Webinars
  • Put on a Workshop
  • Let them edit their own content!
  • It reduces your support requests and it makes for happier clients.

In the world we currently live information is instant. I blame Google for this. Where almost anything you want to do or find out is at your fingertips and seconds away it is making us very impatient.

When you make your clients jump through hoops or when it comes time to get a new website or get that referral you will not be their favoured web developer.

This is the standard WordPress view in Editor mode.

merlinfx_with-editor

 

This is the non-standard WordPress view with the Editor disabled.

merlinfx_without-editor

Why We Want You To be able to publish and make your own website changes

We've been developing websites for 15 + years. We've built our own CMS (content managements systems) to using off the shelf platforms like DNN (Dot Net Nuke) to WordPress. WordPress is our CMS of choice.

We believe it is by far the easiest platform to use and develop with. I just love the community around WordPress and the relationships nurtured. There are some amazing WordPress plugin developers and programmers out there.

The one thing that absolutely takes the fun out of what we do is Support. We have to provide it since there a million moving parts from your PC to the web server and everything in between. We're expected to know it all and when the proverbial hits the fan - we are the first ones to be called - even when the issues resides elsewhere. Unless you have your own IT Department - the first person you contact is your web guy or girl.

Support sucks the life out of you and takes us away from doing the fun stuff or playing *cough* testing shiny toys.

The other thing is we want you to publish. Publish more blog posts. Show off your Authority. Get your content shared. Give more value. Get More traffic. Get more Leads. Make more Sales. Thrive.

 

Things You Should Know

  • Get it in writing. Make it part of your contract with your developer that you will be able to edit your own content. That the editor WILL NOT be disabled. That you want to be able to use the Editor as it was originally intended by the developer of WordPress, That you want to be able to create headings, add links, highlight content via bold, italics or underline. That you do not want to have to edit your site via HTML to add content. DEMAND this.
  • Understand that some things will be out of your control if you do need style or layout changes. These kinds of changes need to be done mostly by your developer. Unless of course you are using a Page Builder tool with your website. (we have one of those too!)
  • Do they have a Training Manual or Training Videos to cover the basics? If not, can they point you to some videos they  recommend. Telling you to look on YouTube or Google is a cop out.
  • What is included in their Support terms?

 

With great power comes great responsibility

Peter Parker aka Spiderman.

There are several other levels of access in WordPress higher than the Editor Role that you can get. Just because they exist doesn't mean you need to have that access.

Through our years of using DNN and WordPress, without fail when we have provided higher levels of access the client inevitably tinkers and break things. It's just a universal law. It will happen.

Just like when you tell a kid to not touch the fire. Guess what? They touch it. The remedy? Remove the object of desire so they never touch it.

Like in WordPress we provide the minimum level of access we believe you need - Editor. Next level is Administrator. This is, as far as I am concerned, the Developer's Level.

There are other layers above that which is FTP / cPanel. Unless you want to move or want to have a look behind the curtain this is why you want this access.

  1. Behind the curtain is pretty boring and
  2. If you want to move - no developer likes you moving - unless you are a problem child and we're happy to see you go, but more often than not, losing a client is like losing a limb. Part of you dies inside. Well that's how I feel. It's like we failed somehow - and I HATE failing.

Anyhoo onto nicer thoughts:

  1. Understand that if you request this access your developer can no longer control or guarantee the integrity of your website.
  2. They have developed it to an inch of its life and your website is a delicate balance of code and awesomeness.
  3. If you tinker it could cost you all sorts of issues from allowing the site to get hacked, parts if not all of it deleted.
  4. The cost to repair or replace will take time and cost you.

Here is an analogy. You love cars but are you a mechanic? Do you cut your own hair or do your own taxes? Most likely not. Then there is no need to tinker. Leave that to us.

BUT do you need to ask permission from your car dealer to drive your car? No. What a ridiculous notion. So too with your website. You need to drive it and you do not need our permission to do so. We want you to drive it.

Things You Should Do

If you find yourself in this position of not having an easy to use website to add a blog post or page or just edit it as you need to then:

  • Check out using WordPress - make the change.
  • Demand your web developer unlock your editor to allow you to do it. If they have developed the site in a way that by using the editor it will upset the balance of their feng shui code then you might be stuck with what you've got.
  • If you are about to take the web development journey - make sure the developer develops your site around the Editor not the other way round.
  • Take the BOLD step and ask your developer why you cannot make simple editing changes including creating a blog post or adding a page and being able to edit the posts or pages without needing to know HTML.

Taking that step is brave. Some developers believe they walk on hallowed ground and how dare you question them. Believe me, I've seen this. They do exist. So weigh up whether you think you have a good relationship before you ask. It may come off as antagonistic to those developers with a delicate ego.

It's the main reason we stopped developing in DNN and moved to WordPress. The WordPress community is amazing, supportive, sharing and incredible vs DNN. That's another blog post.

Now you know it is not broken. It's been disabled. You are complimenting them but showing them up at the same time.

If they do not revert this practice and turn this on for you or do so and bill you for the privilege that was there in the first place.

Like ordering the Apple Pie only to be told the Apple is extra? But it's a freaken Apple Pie! Even if it is implied you can edit your own website, make sure you get it in writing.

You could start like this:

"Hey [insert developers name here], 

Trust you are well and business is good. 

Just wanted to check-in and say that I am getting loads of compliments from my clients and friends about my website. Thank you!

The one thing one my clients are asking me to provide, is helpful articles on the [insert your product or service here] that we provide. I would but my site is so darn hard to update. 

I am aware other colleagues can easily update their own WordPress website. Is my website broken?

I have loads of articles I want to write and share with my audience that I need to be able to simply log in and post.

Can you take a quick peak for me and let me know if my site is broken or turn that feature on for me please.

Thanks, 

[you]"

"I/We/You can easily edit my own website, add Pages and Blog Posts using the built in features of WordPress including the Editor to do so. That I need not know any HTML to update my site content."

Then you will know if the writing is on the wall. Shop around and ask questions. Get ready to move when you feel you need to.

A foot note here: The one thing that annoys me too is programmers who build a website purely on how it looks without considering the end user who will have no clue how to edit their own website. My simple instruction to my own programmers is - Make it so the client can edit the website easily. They need to be able to use the features baked in without needing to come to us to make it happen.

Boy have we stopped using programmers because of this very simple request.

Not sure whether you have the power to edit your own site? Shoot me a screen shot of your WordPress Editor and I will able to tell if your site is not doing what it was baked to do.

Keep baking delicious content and delivering your secret sauce.

If you have something to add or a story to share. Please comment below.

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Travel Charm http://www.merlinfx.com.au/travel-charm-2/ Sun, 17 Jul 2016 07:56:26 +0000 http://www.merlinfx.com.au/?p=3768   Beautiful original photography lovingly compiled from their trips abroad. Makes we want to pack my bags tonight and fly away tomorrow! Live Life To The Fullest You only have one life to live so why not live it to the fullest? Dream big, make plans and never, never give up on your dreams to…

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TravelCharm-min

 

Beautiful original photography lovingly compiled from their trips abroad. Makes we want to pack my bags tonight and fly away tomorrow!

Live Life To The Fullest
You only have one life to live so why not live it to the fullest? Dream big, make plans and never, never give up on your dreams to travel the world.

The back end sports the usual ease with which to build the website. Create layouts and easily publish content.

Travel Charm includes Call To Action components easily created in the free version of ONTRAPages.

The site was built using our Magic Box solution and not one to take credit for something we didn't do, the client built this site themselves.

Website

 

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Magic Box http://www.merlinfx.com.au/magic-box/ Fri, 15 Jul 2016 04:15:45 +0000 http://www.merlinfx.com.au/?p=3749   Magic Box is our development layer we place over our WordPress websites we deliver. Magic Box is totally responsive and we throw in a bunch of extras we feel are essential in building great websites that are easy to use, insanely secure and a joy to work with. The site showcases the layout of…

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Magic Box

 

Magic Box is our development layer we place over our WordPress websites we deliver.

Magic Box is totally responsive and we throw in a bunch of extras we feel are essential in building great websites that are easy to use, insanely secure and a joy to work with.

The site showcases the layout of numerous designs ready to go and the beauty of the Page Builder built in is we can tweak any design to make it your own or start from scratch depending on your budget.

Website

 

Magic Box Lon

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AVCAT (Australian Veterans’ Children Assistance Trust http://www.merlinfx.com.au/avcat-australian-veterans-children-assistance-trust/ Fri, 15 Jul 2016 04:05:17 +0000 http://www.merlinfx.com.au/?p=3734   "We are very thrilled with the new website. Therese tells me that you have been responsive to our ideas, patient and great at teaching Therese what she needs to know and do during the development stage. Thanks again." - Joan Hughes, Chief Executive Officer A rebuild for one of our long term clients, AVCAT.…

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AVCAT

 

"We are very thrilled with the new website.

Therese tells me that you have been responsive to our ideas, patient and great at teaching Therese what she needs to know and do during the development stage.

Thanks again."
- Joan Hughes, Chief Executive Officer

A rebuild for one of our long term clients, AVCAT.

The Australian Veterans’ Children Assistance Trust is a national independent charity helping the children and grandchildren of ex-service men and women to a better future through tertiary education. Through the generous support of the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs, ex-service organisations, corporate sponsors and private donors, we provide scholarships which assist recipients to obtain the tertiary qualification they need for their chosen career.

The AVCAT site was built using the Magic Box framework on top of WordPress.

An easy to use page builder with numerous features that are all mobile responsive.

This site sports a stylish count down timer for their next intake of prospects for scholarships.

An easy to update blog and CTA (Call To Action) blocks that can be easily moved, saved and changed globally.

AVCAT wouldn't be possible without the dedicated staff, Board and Donors providing amazing support. The Donors advertising area is powered by a built in advertising portal that tracks impressions and clickthroughs of the logos as well as PDF reports if required.

Website

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ConnectFX – Content Creation & Automation http://www.merlinfx.com.au/connectfx-content-creation-automation/ Wed, 08 Jun 2016 08:01:33 +0000 http://www.merlinfx.com.au/?p=3655 Where to start with this massive project. Don't be fooled, there appears to be little in the number of pages but there is plenty in this site. ConnectFX is the training company for MerlinFX. Currently ConnectFX provides Full Day Implementation Workshops and soon an entire online 6 week course. The aim of the site was…

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CFX

Where to start with this massive project. Don't be fooled, there appears to be little in the number of pages but there is plenty in this site.

ConnectFX is the training company for MerlinFX. Currently ConnectFX provides Full Day Implementation Workshops and soon an entire online 6 week course.

The aim of the site was to be simple and clean with a bunch of fancy gears turning in the background.

The Call To Action forms are powered by Ontraport. We are Ontraport Certified Consultants. So embedding these was a no brainer.

Behind the scenes there are some smarts we'll outline now:

  • Facebook Pixel
  • Ontraport Tracking
  • Stripe Payment Gateway
  • Sniply integration
  • Hot Jar surveys
  • Canva
  • Plus a few secret sauce things.... that allow loads of versatility.

Naturally it has insanely great security plus the entire site has SSL.

Website

 

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