Are websites over engineered?

Having gone through a literal nightmare with some sites we are migrating, I have to give a totally biased point of view and say yes! In my view, it’s ridiculous to have a website that is over 2GB on any server, anywhere, if you are a small business. And yes, you’re right, they were all on the cheapest, scummiest hosts that you can imagine and the clients wondered why their sites were always crashing – go figure!

Just in the last week, we have migrated sites that range between 7GB and 23GB – madness right? Just from a performance perspective – that’s some serious weight for servers to navigate and give great response times. One prospective client’s home page has over 100mb of video and images – imagine downloading that little lot on your mobile!

When looking at modern day websites, it’s not uncommon to come across some (a lot!) that are totally over-engineered. They are filled to the brim with massive images that slow down loading times, unwieldy navigation built with a plugin that takes an age and a half to load all the javascript for the snazzy menu’s that look more like a website within a website if you ask me, videos embedded directly on the page, and unnecessary motion graphics that do little to enhance the user experience. I dread to think the power these sites use with their umpteen query loops, 115 images to make one animation and so on.

Unless you’re a photographer or graphic artist, images should be there to enhance, not destroy your users experience.

Bride and groom at a very flashy wedding! Sparkles abound!

But who are these extravagant elements really impressing?

Certainly not the user, they are outta there if they have to wait more than a second or so to see what they searched for come to life! More often than not, they serve the ego of the website owner or designer rather than fulfilling a practical purpose. Unpopular opinion I know but, there you go…..

It’s time to strip away the flashy distractions and get back to basics. The web was initially intended as an informational resource designed to deliver results efficiently. Do you truly need that spinning animation or an oversized logo that dominates the entire page?

The answer is a resounding no.

What you need is a well-crafted website that prioritizes efficiency, user experience, and accessibility.

With the onset of regulations in Europe mandating website accessibility, it’s become more important than ever to ensure that your online presence is inclusive and user-friendly. Functionality should always take precedence over extravagant design elements that only serve to complicate optimization for speed, search engines, and user interaction.

As AI-driven search capabilities become increasingly integrated into search engines, websites that are accessible and primed for action will undoubtedly outperform those burdened with excess and unnecessary embellishments. It’s time to prioritize a clean, user-centric web design that not only resonates with you but also appeals to your potential customers.

So, bid farewell to embedded videos, oversized images, and superfluous design features. Instead, focus on creating a website that is accessible, efficient, and tailored to the needs of your users.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask!

In the realm of web development, it’s easy to get caught up in the allure of extravagant design elements and flashy features. try to remember that the primary goal of a website is to provide information efficiently and effectively. While a spinning logo or oversized graphics may seem impressive at first glance, they often serve little purpose beyond stroking egos.

As we navigate a landscape where accessibility is increasingly prioritized (legally and rightfully) and search engines are becoming more AI-driven, we need to focus on creating websites that are user-friendly, fast, and optimized for success.

By embracing a clean, functional design that puts the user experience first, you can position your business for growth and engagement.

So, let go of the unnecessary frills and complexities. Opt for a streamlined approach that prioritizes accessibility, speed, and user interaction. Your website should not just be a reflection of your brand, but also a valuable tool that serves your audience effectively.

Prioritize functionality, and watch your online presence thrive in today’s competitive world.

As a company and website developer, we are always working towards making our own site and others more accessible, it is definitely a work in progress, but, at least we are trying, right?

WordPress 2 Shopify

WordPress 2 Shopify

WordPress to Shopify

Is WooCommerce not for you?

You have a WordPress and Woo site, it kinda works but it really isn’t easy for you to run. You want to get the best out of your products and you heard Shopify is a great alternative but, everything is set up now in WooCommerce. With all the updates, minor issues like things having to be manually updated nearly everyday – well, Shopify looks like a good alternative. How can you get the same design (which you love) and all your products into Shopify with the least amount of aggravation and the least cost – well, here’s how….

Convert your WordPress Website to Shopify

Consolidating your online store management into a single platform like Shopify, instead of juggling between WordPress and WooCommerce, can offer significant advantages for your business.

WooCommerce to Shopify

By transitioning to Shopify from your high-performing WooCommerce site with variables, grouped products, and abandoned cart email funnels, you can streamline your operations and enhance efficiency.

With Shopify, you have the capability to replicate the functionality of variables and grouped products seamlessly, ensuring continuity in the organization and structure you have already established on WooCommerce.

Shopify equips you with powerful tools for creating email funnels, such as abandoned cart recovery sequences, enabling personalized and targeted customer engagement – all within one platform.

Migrating to Shopify allows you to transfer your existing setup effortlessly and leverage its user-friendly interface and advanced features to optimize your e-commerce operations.

Managing product variations, setting up complex product groupings, and refining email marketing strategies become more streamlined and efficient with the flexibility and scalability that Shopify provides.

We offer the option to customize themes to align with your branding and design preferences.

Collaborating with our team to build a Shopify theme that mirrors your current WooCommerce site design ensures a seamless transition for your customers while benefiting from Shopify’s advanced e-commerce capabilities.

By centralizing your online presence on Shopify, you can maintain consistency in brand identity across platforms and capitalize on a unified solution for managing your e-commerce activities. This consolidation not only simplifies your workflow but also enhances user experience and drives business growth, all within the robust Shopify platform.

Our expertise in Shopify theme development ensures that your online store retains its design elements while taking advantage of Shopify’s responsive and user-friendly back office.

We aim to help you elevate your online presence and achieve your business goals effectively within a cohesive and visually appealing online environment.

Consider the benefits of consolidating your online store management and the potential for enhanced efficiency and growth and get in touch with us today to discuss your WordPress to Shopify Transition.

What is DMARC, SPF and DKIM and why is it important to all website owners?

DMARC, SPF, and DKIM are all email authentication protocols used to help prevent email spoofing and phishing attacks.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) is a policy that specifies how email receivers should handle messages that fail authentication. It helps ensure that legitimate emails are delivered to the recipient’s inbox while fraudulent emails are either quarantined or rejected.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is a protocol that allows domain owners to specify which mail servers are authorized to send emails on behalf of their domain. This helps prevent spammers from sending emails that appear to come from legitimate domains.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is a method for validating the authenticity of an email message. It allows the sender to digitally sign their emails with a private key, and the recipient can verify this signature using a public key published in the sender’s DNS records.

Implementing DMARC, SPF, and DKIM protocols is important for all website owners because it helps protect their domain reputation, increases email deliverability, and reduces the risk of their domain being used for malicious purposes. By ensuring that emails sent from their domain are authenticated, website owners can build trust with their recipients and maintain a secure communication channel.

How can we help you figure this out and help stop your emails bouncing around the internet?

We can assist you in setting up DMARC, SPF, and DKIM protocols to ensure that your emails are properly authenticated and comply with the updated email sending and acceptance rules of Gmail and Yahoo.

Here’s how We can help

Assessment: We will assess your current email authentication setup to identify any gaps or issues that need to be addressed.

Configuration: We will help configure your DNS records to implement SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for your domain.

Monitoring: We can set up monitoring tools to track email authentication results and provide insights into any authentication failures.

Compliance: We will ensure that your email authentication protocols meet the specific requirements of Gmail and Yahoo to increase the chances of your emails being delivered to recipients’ inboxes.

Testing: We can conduct tests to verify that your emails are passing authentication checks and reaching the intended recipients successfully.

By working with us, you can ensure that your email communication is secure, reliable, and compliant with the latest email sending and acceptance rules of Gmail and Yahoo, ultimately improving your deliverability rates and enhancing your sender reputation.

What if you had access to a Digital Concierge?

Image of a thumb pressing a concierge button in a hotel, in the background is a superhero image.

Question: How does a Digital Concierge help clients with website building and digital solutions such as social media, graphic design, and copywriting?

Answer: A Digital Concierge provides personalized assistance to clients in their website building and digital solution needs.
They connect them with real people who are experts in social media management, graphic design, and copywriting and manage that process so you don’t have to.

These professionals work closely with clients to understand their specific requirements and create tailored solutions that align with their brand and goals. Whether it’s designing captivating graphics, crafting compelling copy, or managing social media campaigns, the Digital Concierge ensures that clients receive high-quality services from skilled individuals.

By offering a human touch to digital solutions, the Digital Concierge enhances the client experience and helps them achieve their objectives effectively.

In an ever-evolving digital landscape, navigating the intricacies of websites, social media platforms, and online marketing can be a daunting task. The demands of maintaining an effective online presence can often feel overwhelming, leaving many individuals and businesses struggling to keep up with the latest trends and technologies.

This is where having a digital concierge, like Somebody’s Hero, who can handle all the complexities on your behalf, becomes invaluable.

Working in the digital space requires not only technical expertise but also a deep understanding of the ever-changing digital landscape.

From creating visually appealing websites to engaging with customers on social media, there are countless tasks that demand attention and finesse. For those who lack the necessary knowledge or time, the digital space can quickly become a source of frustration and confusion.

Enter Somebody’s Hero, your very own digital concierge. Just like a personal assistant, this hero takes care of everything for you. They become your guide and advocate in the digital world, ensuring everything runs smoothly and effectively. With their expertise, they streamline processes, eliminate technical hurdles, and allow you to focus on what you do best – running your business.

One of the significant advantages of having a digital concierge is the ability to stay ahead of the curve.

They possess an in-depth understanding of the latest digital trends, tools, and strategies. They keep a watchful eye on industry changes, ensuring your online presence remains fresh and relevant. Whether it’s implementing new features on your website or crafting engaging social media campaigns, they have the knowledge and expertise to adapt and evolve with the digital landscape.

And of course, a digital concierge takes care of the time-consuming tasks that come with maintaining a strong digital presence. From managing your website’s content to monitoring social media accounts, they handle the day-to-day responsibilities, saving you valuable time and energy. This allows you to focus on core aspects of your business, like developing products or providing exceptional customer service.

In addition to expertise and time-saving benefits, having a digital concierge like Somebody’s Hero brings peace of mind. Imagine the relief of knowing that someone is watching over every aspect of your digital presence, ensuring it remains engaging, responsive, and secure. With their proactive approach and ability to troubleshoot issues swiftly, they act as your shield, safeguarding your online reputation.

Ultimately, working in the digital space can be a challenging endeavor.

The constant need for innovation, technical know-how, and effective communication can overwhelm even the most tech-savvy individuals. However, by enlisting the help of a digital concierge like Somebody’s Hero, these challenges become opportunities for growth rather than sources of stress.

So, why not consider having your own digital hero? With their guidance and support, you can rely on the knowledge that your digital presence will shine, allowing you to reap the rewards of a well-executed online strategy.

Take the leap and let Somebody’s Hero be your trusted ally in the sometimes difficult to navigate digital world.

When free becomes unsustainable

When free becomes unsustainable

peppercorn in a bowl with a mortar and pestle in the background

Often times, we as professionals get to use amazing free software and resources to do our job AND to work towards making a profit.

Some of these free to use resources are among the 60,000 plugins and extensions available on the Open Source Project that is WordPress for Plugins and Themes.

Some are free stock photo sites like pexels and even on WordPress images, OpenVerse, free Canva accounts and when checking whether we have done a great job on speed optimisation we use GTMETRIX.

Very recently GTMETRIX decided that enough is enough – you get 5 goes in total to test out your speed optimisation efforts and that is it!


Now, to be honest, I never really understood the reasoning behind the free account. It’s an awesome service used by many hundreds of web developers – professionals who charge for their services and now, I am seeing complaints across the social mediums that basically say – WOW! GTMETRIX are now charging!?????

In my usual British (sarcastic) way I posted in a particular favourite Facebook group of mine for web and creative people, a comment – it got a few laughs.

Image with text saying: People who charge for their services complaining that a service that is useful to measure their success, charges fo rtheir services, What a world we live in.

Which is great – some of the comments were also full of other free resources that do the same thing, some were critical of the now NOT free GTMETRIX and some pointed out its actually quite cheap at $5 a month for a few checks and balances – which is great and all but, it got me to thinking, why don’t we as a group of professionals want to pay for stuff that makes us more professional?

It got me looking at my stack and the costs of that too.

Monthly costs across all my services

Hosting websites for me and my clients $500.00 a month
Canva $11.00
Adobe Creative Software $60.00
Accountancy $350.00
Staffing $4,000
Outsourcing $1,000
Insurance $85.00
Banking $100.00
Email Marketing software $100.00
Various page building software licenses $40.00
Various Collaboration software (Click Up, Atarim etc.) $100.00

That comes to a fair amount right? Over $6000 a month! And, I run a very tight ship….

Just to keep the doors open in this small but effective company serving over 200 plus customers.

So, now I look at it in the cold light of day – another $5 is a lot, right?

In the group I was talking about earlier there are Nine Thousand members – mostly Web Developers, Creatives and Copywriters with a few do it yourself people too. I imagine most have similar costs to cope with – yet, clients often say to me – why does it cost so much to have a website?

The answer, is above.

Could I trim down costs – sure. Would I give as good a service if I had less staff, used less outsourcing, less access to paid premium software – That’s a hard NO!

Do we make a profit – Yes. Do we make much – Not really, We could do with more profit for investment in education for our staff, we could do with having a few months cashflow to get us over the age old excuse of Oh, its the holidays, no one gets paid in December or at Easter or its Summer so the accountant/BookKeeper is away – and so on and so on.

Effectively, I see Web Developers and Creatives suffering from cash flow issues, they can’t get paid enough and on time for a variety of reasons. I see extra costs coming in, every single day – that free plugin you downloaded doesn’t have the function you need to complete the job and your client isn’t willing to pay for it as you said you could do it in the price.

And that is why GTMETRIX charging as little as $5 to use their services that were once free – hurts just that little bit more than it should. Although I agree with them charging of course – All companies should be able to charge a reasonable amount to provide a valuable service!

So, next time you ask your web designer why they are so expensive or can you just do me a favour? You might like to ask them what their costs are to be able to do a great job for you. Costs of being there for you are often ignored because we as humans have tunnel vision and only see what we can see in front of us.

Having dealt with Web Developers and Creatives for decades, I can tell you from personal experience – their charges are pretty reasonable considering what they bring to your table.

There’s a reason these monthly charges are called peppercorn payments – Being a web developer is a grind!

Launch your dream restaurant in your local area – the ultimate guide to restaurant success.

Launch your dream restaurant in your local area – the ultimate guide to restaurant success.

Opening a restaurant is an exciting and rewarding endeavor, but it can also be a daunting challenge. However, with careful planning, a great concept, and a solid strategy, you can turn your dream of owning a successful restaurant into a reality. In this ultimate guide, we will provide you with valuable insights and practical tips to navigate the process of launching your dream restaurant in your local area

A large, steaming plate of moussaka sits atop a beautiful, sky blue plate. The layers of eggplant, ground beef, and creamy béchamel sauce look so realistic, you could almost reach out and take a bite. The top layer is sprinkled with a generous amount of melted cheese and toasted bread crumbs, adding a crunchy topping to the dish.
  1. Find Your Niche:
    The first step to restaurant success is identifying your unique selling proposition. Research your local area and identify any gaps in the market. Consider your target audience, their needs, and the type of experience you want to offer. Finding your niche will help you stand out from the competition and attract a loyal customer base.
  2. Develop a Solid Business Plan:
    A well-thought-out business plan is crucial for securing financing and mapping out your road to success. It should include a clear vision, market analysis, financial projections, menu development, marketing strategies, and operational plans. Seek guidance from industry experts or use online resources to ensure your business plan is comprehensive and realistic.
  3. Location, Location, Location:
    Choosing the right location for your restaurant is vital. Look for areas with high foot traffic, easy accessibility, and a target market that aligns with your concept. Consider factors such as rent, parking availability, and proximity to other businesses that can drive traffic to your establishment.
  4. Create an Irresistible Menu:
    Craft a menu that reflects your concept, highlights local flavors, and caters to the preferences of your target audience. Offer a variety of dishes, including vegetarian and gluten-free options, to accommodate diverse dietary needs. Experiment with seasonal specials and regularly update the menu to keep customers coming back for more.
  5. Build a Stellar Team:
    Hiring and retaining skilled staff members is crucial for providing excellent service and creating a positive atmosphere in your restaurant. Seek individuals who are passionate about the industry, possess strong interpersonal skills, and share your vision for the restaurant. Invest in training programs and foster a supportive work environment to encourage employee growth and loyalty.
  6. Embrace Technology:
    In today’s digital age, it’s essential to leverage technology to streamline operations and enhance customer experience. Invest in a user-friendly POS system to manage orders, payments, and inventory effectively. Create an online presence through a professional website, social media platforms, and online reservation systems to attract customers and build a loyal online following.
  7. Provide Exceptional Service:
    Outstanding customer service should be a top priority. Train your staff to deliver attentive, friendly, and efficient service that exceeds customer expectations. Encourage them to establish personal connections with guests and actively seek feedback to constantly improve your restaurant’s offerings.
  8. Implement Effective Marketing Strategies:
    Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to create awareness and attract customers to your restaurant. Utilize social media platforms, email marketing, local partnerships, and targeted advertising to reach your target audience. Engage with customers online, respond to reviews, and offer promotions to encourage repeat business.
  9. Monitor and Adapt:
    Regularly evaluate your restaurant’s performance by monitoring key metrics such as revenue, customer satisfaction, and online reviews. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments. Stay up to date with industry trends and adapt your menu, marketing strategies, and operations accordingly.
seabass with capers and green beans

Launching a successful restaurant requires dedication, meticulous planning, and a passion for the culinary arts. By following this ultimate guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and strategies needed to turn your dream of owning a restaurant into a thriving reality. Embrace the challenges, stay true to your vision, and provide an exceptional dining experience that will keep customers coming back for more. Good luck on your journey to restaurant success!