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Website Maintenance: The True Cost Of NOT Looking After Your Website

Your Go-To Blog Revealing The *Real* Cost of Not Having a Website Maintenance Plan

I get it, website maintenance probably wasn’t something you considered for your business expenses.

And a lot of people don’t know until they own a website that it needs proper care.

Think of it like a car…

If you service it every few months, you help it run smoothly and avoid any costly repairs.

But if you don’t and you ignore the warning signs, you’re going to break down and the repair costs are going to be HUGE.

And you know what’s just like the broken-down car?

A website that’s not doing its job properly!

THAT is what’s really going to stunt your sales. You might not realise it yet, but not maintaining your website can create a ripple effect down the line.

In this blog, I’m going to go into 4 reasons why you need a website maintenance plan and what it’s really costing you and your business.

Are you ready to have your mind blown?

1. You Compromise Your Security

When someone hacks your website, it can be an expensive ordeal.

And a security breach can destroy all of your hard work in seconds!

To avoid this, keep your website updated.

Website maintenance plans that include regular updates can drastically decrease the likelihood of you being hacked.

That’s because plugin developers are constantly releasing new security patches. And although you might think your website is fine, you’re making your website vulnerable to attack if you don’t update your plugins regularly.

2. You Lose Business

The experience your customers have when they visit your website is crucial.

And an old, slow, outdated website is going to cause customers to RUN.

Not only will it likely cause sales to drop, but it might also hurt your brand and reputation in the long run.

And you know what that means….

People are going to go to your competitors instead.

So you’re going to be losing your well-deserved sales and money.

You put your heart and soul into your business, so don’t treat your website any differently. 

3. Your Time is Devalued

What are you going to do if something goes wrong or maintenance is needed?

When you’re looking after your website, you’re keeping on top of the resources that are in use. And as your business grows, your website will naturally start to scale.

You need to stay on top of this.

Keep in mind that just because it’s you doing the work, doesn’t mean it’s “free labour.”

Your time is valuable too.

And all the hours you spend maintaining the website or on Google trying to find a solution to your problem could be spent elsewhere. Your focus should be on your strengths, and growing and scaling your business.

To prove the point, divide your hours by the amount of time spent on your website. 

How much is it *really* costing you?

4. You Have Performance Issues

Much like a pot plant, your website needs to be regularly looked after.

There are constant updates being released for new features, security patches and they can’t be ignored.

As a business owner, it’s essential that you run these updates, because they’ll ensure that your website is functioning optimally.

Otherwise, you might find your website becoming laggy, unprofessional, and unclean.

Technology is a fast-moving world and you need to keep up with it.

Am I right?

I hope this blog has helped you understand the *real* cost of not maintaining your website and has inspired you to start looking at some website maintenance plans.

As a professional web developer, I’m aware, website maintenance can be a time-intensive process. 

And even with the right plugins to ensure efficiency… 

It can still be a full-time job!

That’s why investing in a website maintenance plan can give you peace of mind.

Do you need help with your website maintenance?

Feel free to get in touch.

I’m always happy to offer my advice to anyone who needs it. 

How Outsourcing Website Maintenance Can Help Your Business Grow

Your Go-To Blog Revealing How Outsourcing Your Website Maintenance Could Be The Best Decision You *Ever* Make

You’ve bought the domain, created your business website, and hit publish. 

Now, all you have to do is sit back and watch the money roll in, right?


Website creation is only the beginning.

Having a website maintenance plan is essential to keep your business website flowing in optimal condition. It’s important to check things like:

  • Site speed
  • SEO ranking
  • Security vulnerabilities
  • Plugin, theme, and core updates

And more.

But many business owners, like yourself, might not have the time (or know how) to conduct regular web maintenance checks. So that’s where outsourcing your website maintenance can help!

In this blog, I will show you how outsourcing website maintenance can help your website grow. Keeping your company relevant, professional, and on its way to greater things.

1. It Saves You Time

Outsourcing website maintenance means you can spend your time where it really matters.


That means you don’t have to spend hours trawling through tutorials when there’s a professional there to do it for you.

You can invest your time into your strengths, ensuring every other aspect of your business runs smoothly.

2. It Increases Your Profits

How much will your website cost you if it goes down? 

Asides from the potential loss of revenue, you can also face a loss of reputation which in turn can affect your bottom line.

  • Your sales drop.
  • Your customers bounce.
  • Another industry leader takes your place.

That’s why it’s so important to outsource to someone who can look after your website.

So you can have peace of mind.

Knowing that if your site ever does go down, you can rest easy knowing you have a professional to help you get back online asap.

3. It Gives You More Security

Security breaches can be expensive.

As a business owner, you MUST do all you can to protect your and your customers’ data.

If customer information like credit card and contact details are leaked, it will be a huge reputation loss for your company. 

So treat any personal information with the utmost care.

And you know how you can do that?…

By hiring a professional! 

Although you can never fully guarantee a website to be 100% unhackable (hello Optus 2022), if you hire someone to look after your website they can implement security measures to make it just that bit harder.

4. It Keeps You Up-To-Date

Technology is a fast-paced world, there are new technologies being rolled out every single day.

Outsourcing website maintenance means you and your website have access to the latest tools and technologies. 

Meaning your business is able to adapt to the latest changes and your site is accessible to all users at all times!

An essential when you’re running a professional business.

5. You’re Able to Monitor and Track

Tell me, how do you know your website is accessible to users? 

The answer: With website analytics

When you track your website analytics, you’re able to get website performance reporting on a regular basis to ensure it is aligned with your goals and you’re continually able to grow.

You can check things like:

  • Page views
  • Conversion rate
  • Average time on page

So you can get into the real nitty-gritty of what makes people stay and what makes people go.

I hope this blog has helped show you how outsourcing website maintenance can help your website grow. So you can expand your business and be confident your website is doing the best job possible.

Do you need help or advice about your website maintenance?

Feel free to get in touch.

As a professional Canberra-based web developer, I’m always happy to offer my advice to anyone who needs it. 

How Many Plugins Are Too Many Plugins and How To Find the Best Ones

Revealing the Real Answer to Your Plugin Questions and Helping You Build a Professional, Efficient, Business Website

As a web developer, I’m often asked…

“How many WordPress plugins should be installed on a website?” 

But for me, the real question is:

How many plugins are too many?

Because, in reality, there isn’t really a thing as “too many plugins”. As long as they all have a distinct job role and don’t impact your website’s site performance.

In this blog, I’m going to break down the purpose of a plugin and how to determine whether you really need them. Plus explain how you, as a business owner, can filter through the options and find the perfect plugins for your website.

Let’s begin!

What Is a Plugin?

Let’s start at the beginning.

A WordPress plugin is like an app for your website. 

It helps you add new features and website functionality without the need for code. Enhancing the capabilities of your site, and making it run exactly as you want it to.

There’s a plugin for just about ANYTHING!

  • Contact forms
  • Online stores
  • Security
  • Search Engine Optimisation

You name it.

The only limit is your imagination.

Do They Really Slow Your Website Down?

There’s a general myth that if you have too many plugins your website won’t load quickly. 

While there’s some truth to that it’s not quite as simple. 

Sometimes we need plugins for specific functions. 

So when choosing, you need to weigh up the benefits of each new plugin you install and determine what it will bring to your website.

In other words…

It’s all about the QUALITY of the plugins you choose.

For example, you can have dozens of high-quality WordPress plugins running on your website without any issues. But if you choose poorly and add one badly coded plugin into the mix, it can slow down your website tenfold.

How To Choose a High-quality Plugin

1. Check the Reviews

What do other people think? Do they look credible? 

If the developer has a strong reputation and consistently puts out good products, the chances are that the plugin will be good.

2. Check When It Was Last Updated

Keeping track of when plugins are updated is a great way to stay on top of how active the plugin is. It’s important because a neglected plugin could add problems to your site.

So by choosing a frequently updated plugin, you’ll be increasing the efficiency of your site.

3. Check Any Active Installations

If people are interested in the plugin, you’ll see a spike in the download number around the days when an update is released. 

So if the growth in download numbers is sluggish around this time, you can assume that the updates weren’t received well.

4. Check if the Support Forum Is Active

Premium plugins often offer full-time support from staff who work to make the plugin better. While free plugins generally have an open forum for questions where you can see how people have responded.

Good support means you can ask any questions and get an answer quickly. Meaning if anything goes wrong or needs your attention, you can get it sorted ASAP.

I hope this blog has helped you determine how many plugins are too many for your website. And hopefully, you’re on your way to building the efficient, professional, business website of your dreams!

Do you still need help or have questions about this topic? 

Then feel free to reach out to me at any time here.

As a professional Canberra-based web developer, I’m always happy to give you any pointers or advice if you need them.

5 Transformative Ways To Automate Your Business Through Your Website

Showing You How To Automate Your Website To Free Up Time and Streamline Your Business Processes.

Your website is your superstar.

Not only does it showcase your products and services, let visitors find information, and help you connect with potential customers. But it can also do a WHOLE lot more work for you behind the scenes.

That’s right! 

Your website is that super-loyal employee you’ve always wanted.

And in today’s digital age, automating your business can streamline your processes and help you stay ahead of the competition. 

So if you’ve been wondering how to automate your website so you can free up time and meet your website’s highest potential, then you’re in the right place. In this blog, I’ll go through 5 ideas you can use to skyrocket your business practices.

Ready to learn?

1. Online Booking and Scheduling

Gone are the days of back-and-forth emailing.

Allowing your customers to schedule appointments online can save you time and money. 

By integrating a booking and scheduling system into your website, customers can schedule appointments independently without the need for calls or emails. 

My favourite app to use is Calandly

Just punch in your free hours, embed the calendar on your site, and your visitors can book with ease, aligning their availability with yours. Decreasing your workload and improving customer satisfaction.

2. Automated Emails

Did you know, you don’t have to write every email out by hand?

Automated emails can save time and help you stay connected with customers. 

By setting up automated emails for things like order confirmations, appointment reminders, follow-up surveys, and booking packs, you can provide a better customer experience and improve your overall efficiency.

Keeping your customers in the loop and feeling involved.

3. Chatbots For FAQs

Tell me, what are your most frequently asked questions?

Do you hand write out an answer to each person who enquires about the same thing?

If you don’t have one already, an FAQ page can be a huge time-saver, providing the answers to the majority of your most-asked questions

And by integrating a chatbot into your website, customers can get answers to their questions quickly and easily, without the need for human interaction. 

Reducing the workload on your plate and providing a better customer experience.

4. Automated Payments

To get people to pay through your website for your products and services, you can implement an online payment system that integrates with your website.

A payment gateway is a service that processes online payments. 

Depending on what you’re selling, platforms like WooCommerce, Thrivecart, or Stripe can help you. Just make sure to choose a payment gateway that’s compatible with your website and provides secure payment processing. 

Each platform integrates differently but most will have documentation and support to help you get setup.

Typically involving installing a plugin or adding a code snippet.

5. Build Your Mailing List with a Lead Capture

Sure, this one needs time investment initially.

But once you have it up and running, it’s a super powerful tool to get potential customers to sign up for your mailing list.

  • Step one: Create a valuable piece of content, such as an ebook or exclusive video, that’s relevant to your target audience. 
  • Step two: Offer this content as an incentive to subscribe to your mailing list.
  • Step three: Place the lead capture form prominently on your website, such as in the sidebar or at the bottom of blog posts.

P.S. Don’t forget to use a clear CTA.

So, have your questions about how to automate your website been answered?

I really hope this blog has given you an insight into how you can harness the power of your website and use it to streamline your services. And that you will put some of these in place to free up your time and make your life easier.

Want to have more subjects like this explained in an easy-to-digest way?

Make sure you sign up for my newsletter! 

That way you can make sure you’re always in the know. Plus be the first ones to find out about my new services or offers. 

I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

5 Must-Have WordPress Plugins You NEED for Your Next Business Website

Showing You Which Basic Plugins Are Beneficial for Your Website and Explaining What They Bring to the Table

Welcome to the world of WordPress.

A place that contains enough plugins to satisfy your business needs AND your wildest imaginations.

With over 50,000 plugins to choose from, you might find yourself thinking…

“How do I narrow down which WordPress plugins I actually need?” 

It’s overwhelming, right?

That’s why I created this blog. 

I’m going to reveal to you the 5 must-have WordPress plugins you need for your business website. 

Explaining why I love them and what benefits they’re going to bring to you and your business. It’s a great place to start if you know you need to install plugins, but are unsure which ones will actually bring you benefits.

Here we go!

For Optimisation: WP Rocket

To have a streamlined website, optimisation is a MUST.

Optimising your website improves user experience, reduces your bounce rate, and increases your conversion rates. 

And this is where WP Rocket comes in.

This popular WordPress caching plugin is loaded with a range of features to help speed up your website and improve its performance. 

Including caching, minification, lazy loading, database optimisation, and more. They all work together to help your website load faster. 

Reducing your server load, and improving user experience.

For SEO: SEOPress

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is essential to make sure your website’s seen.

With proper SEO optimisation, your website can drive traffic from search engines. Funnelling visitors to discover your products and services.

SEO Press is a powerful and user-friendly WordPress plugin that provides a range of features to help improve your website’s search SEO. 

Think on-page optimisation, social media integration, content analysis, and much more.

And its user-friendly interface and powerful tools makes it a good choice for both beginners and advanced users who want to improve their website’s search engine rankings and visibility. 

For Backups: UpdraftPlus

Even though your hosting should be doing daily backups, I TRULY believe you can never have too many backups (including off-site backups).

It might just save your whole business! 

Here’re a few reasons why I love using UpdraftPlus:

  • It’s easy to use with a simple and user-friendly interface that allows you to back up your website in just a few clicks.
  • It allows you to schedule automatic backups, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to back up your website manually. 
  • There are multiple backup options, including backing up to cloud services like Google Drive or Dropbox, as well as locally to your server or computer. 
  • It’s super easy to restore if something goes wrong with your website.

And by using Updraft, it means you can ensure that your website is always secure and protected against data loss.

For Security: Wordfence

If there’s one plugin that you MUST install…

It’s a security plugin!

Don’t scrimp when it comes to the protection of your website. You need a WordPress security and firewall plugin to scan for malware, block suspicious activity, or monitor your website security.

So you’re protected from any unexpected attacks.

Lucky for you, this is the specialty of Wordfence. 

They’re constantly collecting data from websites all over the world. Helping them learn how to spot threats, how they work, and what’s new on the block. Meaning they’re always looking out for you and your business baby.

By using Wordfence to protect your website, you can say NO to security threats and ensure that your website remains secure.

For Spam Prevention: CleanTalk

The minute you put your website on the internet is the minute you become vulnerable to spammers.

And if you’re finding keeping up with the comments is wearing you out, CleanTalk is going to be your guardian angel.

It’s here to help keep your website squeaky clean. 

You can customise your spam protection settings to suit your needs, and the plugin will automatically block any spam content that it detects.

Its cost-effective pricing plans make it a good choice for website owners who want to protect their websites from spam and unwanted content. And although it has a small charge of $1.50 per month, in my opinion, it’s 100% the best option out there.

And that’s a wrap!

I hope this blog has given you the starting point you need to create an efficient, optimised, streamlined website. 

Introducing you to the world of WordPress plugins and the benefits they can offer you. If you find you need more advice about plugins for niche functions, get in touch here! 

I’m always happy to help and offer my advice.

P.S. If you need more help with subjects like this one and want to be in the know, join my email list to stay updated. 

5 Important Essentials You Must Check Before Publishing a Website

Helping You Roll Out a Professional Business Website You’re Proud to Call Your Own

Your heart’s beating out of your chest as you hover your mouse over the ‘publish’ button.

“Shall I? Shan’t I? Is it really ready?”

CLICK. You make your move.

It’s out, it’s done, for the whole world to see. 

But then panic strikes as you remember… “I forgot to do X, Y, and Z!”

However, if you’re here, I’m assuming you don’t want to let this happen.  

Because you understand that once you hit publish, your website is accessible to everyone on the internet. And you want it to be free from any avoidable mistakes.

In this blog, I’m going to take you through my 5 important essentials to check before publishing a website. So you can announce your website feeling confident everything is in its place and good to go.

Read on to get started.

1. Is Your Copy Error-free?

There is nothing worse than clicking a website to be faced with a minefield of typos, grammatical errors, and misspellings.

Proofreading your content will prevent this.

Helping you avoid making mistakes and sending your visitors fleeing to your competitors’ websites.

Have you heard of Grammarly?

Just download the free Chrome extension and it’ll pick up any mistakes as you write in your Google Docs, emails, Facebook posts, or any other app you use.

TOP TIP: Have someone else read through your site with ‘fresh’ eyes.

Sure, AI apps like Grammarly can help. But sometimes there are mistakes that can only be picked up with the human eye.

2. Are You Consistent with Colours and Fonts?

Just like everything else, your website needs to be consistent. 

  • Choose a set size and be vigilant to uniform your headings, subheadings, and body
  • Pick colours that allow for easy reading and represent your brand
  • Make sure your font choices remains consistent throughout

These little things make a HUGE difference to the look and feel of your website.

Because for visitors to trust you, your website needs to look streamlined and professional. 

Not slap-dashed and rushed.

3. Did You Check Your Loading Speed?

Slow loading speeds are guaranteed to send your visitors elsewhere.

Because who has time, in this day and age, to wait around when there are dozens of competitors elsewhere who will have the info available in a flash?

Don’t worry.

If this is a problem, I have tools available for you.

There are several websites you can use to help you, but my preferred ones are GTMetrix and Page Speed Insights

With these, you can see how your site performs, reveal why it’s slow, and discover easy optimisation opportunities.

4. What About Your SEO Ranking?

A search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy is a process of planning and implementing steps designed to improve organic search rankings. 

  • Are you regularly adding new content? 
  • Have you submitted your site to Google? 
  • Have you done your keyword research? 

If you’re unsure about SEO and want to learn more about how to rank, I’ve written a blog all about it. plus how long it will realistically take. 

Read the blog here.

5. Is Your Website Functional?

Try putting yourself in your visitors’ shoes and see how easy you find your website to navigate through.

  • Can you find the info you’re looking for?
  • If you need help, is it easy to find a contact form?
  • If you’re buying a product, can you find where to purchase it?

By allowing your users to navigate through your website easily, you are creating a user-friendly environment. 

In other words, a place where people want to stay and find out more.

And that’s us done and dusted.

Publishing a website doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but it does have to be fine-tuned and ready to rock. Hopefully, this blog helps you achieve that. And roll out a professional, error-free business website that you’re proud to look at.

Do you want more website advice like this in the future? 

If the answer is yes, I highly recommend you sign up for my newsletter HERE! It’s full of easy-to-digest website advice you’ll love.

5 Tips to Create an Effective User Experience Strategy

Offering Advice About How to Reach Your Target Audience by Planning a User Experience Strategy That Works

You’re here because you want to create visitors into potential leads.

And if there’s any one piece of advice I can give you about creating an effective user experience strategy, it’s this:

Please your visitors, NOT yourself 

It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of what looks pretty or cool to you at the time. But it’s SO much more than what looks good to the eye. You have to figure out… 

  • Who you’re talking to
  • What they care about
  • What functionality your site needs to offer them

Because by thinking about these points in detail, you’re going to harness the power of positive user experience. 

Turning those fleeting visitors into repeat customers. 

In this blog, I’m going to teach you how to design with your target audience in mind. How to identify your audience. And how to reach out to them by planning an effective user experience strategy that works.

1. Define Your Target Audience

Your target audience refers to the specific group of people who are most likely to buy your product or service.

They’re often dictated by age, gender, income, location, interests, etc. And depending on what you sell, your target audience can vary.

For example, you might have a t-shirt business. 

Your target audience would be broad since men, women, and children can all wear your t-shirts.

But if you own a kids’ clothing business, your target audience is going to be more niche. Limited to parents, friends of parents, and kids themselves.

It’s important to define your target audience so you can determine what messaging and design elements will resonate with them. So you get a clear idea of the ‘who, what, why, when, and how.’

Check out this blog if you want to learn more.

2. Identify Your Consumer

Understanding your audience is crucial to choose the right design elements.

  • Who are they?
  • What drives them?
  • What are their beliefs and values?

We’ve already established that creating a persona is a great way to understand your audience.

But did you know market research paired with client interviews can give you better insights into what your potential customers think and value? Offering important information about which sources your audience uses and trusts.

Leading to my next point…

3. Research Your Competition

By evaluating your competition, you can get a clear idea of where your company stands.

Because you’re seeing what works and what doesn’t.

And this is VITAL when creating an effective user experience strategy.

Look carefully at your competitor’s websites to see what they have in common. What seems to be the common denominator that makes them successful?

Let me stress, we’re NOT here to copy their business model!

We’re here to gain inspiration. To see what works. And to see different approaches to similar products and services. 

4. Plan Your Layout

Now we get to the fun part…

This part is all about colours, layout, and images.

For example, pictures are a really neat way to break up text and add visual interest to a page. Colours can influence the mood and perception someone has of your product. And the way your copy is formatted can guide the viewer’s eye to certain points.

Think about how easy it is to navigate around the page.

Would you be able to find everything you’re looking for with the click of a button?

5. Surprise Your Viewers 

When you put a smile on a visitor’s face, you’re more likely to turn them into a customer.

It’s a FACT.

Think of how good it feels when your best friend knocks on your door, out of the blue, with your favourite food in their hands.

It feels amazing, right?

Can you add that same feeling of delight to your website?

I hope this blog has helped you have a clearer idea of how to develop an effective user design strategy for your business website. Giving you inspiration and making you feel more confident.

If you still feel a little unsure about putting these tips into practice, feel free to reach out here.

As a professional Canberra-based web developer, I’m always happy to offer my advice to anyone who needs it. 

So do not hesitate… I mean it! 

And if you need a little extra help, or are interested in working with me, check out my services page here

Now tell me, how will you design with your target audience in mind?

This is Why Website Navigation Design Is More Important Than You Think

Revealing Three Easy Ways You Can Make Sure Your Website Visitors Have a User-Friendly Experience. Every. Single. Time.

How many times have you left a website because you couldn’t find what you were looking for?


Yes… I thought so!

I hate to break it to you, but your website visitors aren’t willing to trawl through a messy website. They want everything easily mapped out in front of them. 

So they can find their desired information in SECONDS.

That’s why in this blog, I’m going to reveal three super easy steps you can take as a business owner to guarantee your website navigation design is clean and concise. Ensuring your visitors are there to stay.

Why Is Website Navigation Design SO Important?

Navigation does more than help us move from one page to another…

It helps us understand the relationships between individual pages on a website.

By understanding this, you can allow your website visitors to access the information they want as quickly as possible. Presenting an enjoyable, intuitive layout everyone will LOVE to use.

Why do you want this?

Because it’s ultimately increasing trust, and letting your visitors learn more about your products or services. 

Meaning, in the long run, you’ll have a reduced bounce rate and increased sales.

1. Limit the Number of Menu Options

Less is more when it comes to website navigation design.

Keep your menu minimal, with a maximum of five or six items. By doing this, your visitors can process the information and reach their desired pages faster.

If you really want to fit in more items without clutter, think about sub-menus.

This means breaking your pages down into sections using a dropdown menu. So when your visitors hover over one item on your menu, a list of options show up that they can choose from. 

This keeps it MUCH cleaner and easy to get around.

2. Use Short, Concise Words 

Too many words are confusing.

Keep it relevant.

That way both humans and search engines will understand.

Once you know which items will appear on your main menu, think strategically about how to label them. Your biggest priority is clarity, so try to refrain from using creative copy and keep it simple.  

For example, instead of “Examples of Work” use “Portfolio” instead.

Do you see how it’s clear, short, and to the point?

The aim is for your navigation to be foolproof.

3. Include a Call To Action Button

A call to action (or CTA) is like an instruction to your visitors, encouraging them to take an action. 

For example,  “Call Us” or “Book Now.” 

It makes it easy to guide your visitors to where you want them to go. Encouraging them to interact with your website and get to know your brand more

Think of it like a shortcut to your destination of choice.

Because if you’re anything like me… I know after devoting all that time, money, and effort into creating your beautiful website, the LAST thing you want is for your visitors to leave without taking any action. 


This is your chance to honour your hard work and encourage your visitors to take action, rather than just snooping around and leaving your site. 

Having well-thought-out and clear CTAs are a simple and effective way to generate conversions and boost sales.

Do you need help setting up your website?

Or perhaps you have a few more questions about your website navigation design?

I hope this blog has helped inspire you to create a kick-ass website navigation design strategy. But if you’re still in need of any advice or have a current website you’re interested in updating, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

I’m always happy to answer any questions you have! 

How to Make My Site Load Faster: 4 Top Tips From a Website Developer

A Professional Guide to Combat Your Question of “How to Make My Site Load Faster” in Four Simple Steps

You’re here because you KNOW that time is of the essence, right?! 

Performance plays a huge role in the success of any online venture.

And a website that’s optimised for speed, not only enhances the user experience but can also help to boost your search engine rankings.

But even after conducting your own research, you’re still left defeated with the same question of…

“How to make my site load faster?”

Because no matter if you run a startup website or you’re an established online business, you know page speed matters.

That’s why in this blog, I’m going to share with you the top four easiest ways to make your website load faster. Meaning you can maintain a tip-top, responsive website your potential customers will LOVE.

Ready to learn?

1. Optimise Your Images

Do you know all of those beautiful stock photos you see on Pexels and Unsplash? 

They’re MASSIVE.

And these high-quality image files often mean your website’s going to take an eternity to load.

One of the easiest and most simple ways to increase page loading speeds is to compress and optimise your images before you upload them onto your website. 

By reducing your images’ file size, you can reduce their ‘weight’.

Ultimately helping your pages load more quickly. 

If you’re unsure how to reduce your image file size, don’t worry. I’ve outlined all the steps in this step-by-step guide for you to follow.

mockup of how to optimise images for your website freebie
Download the Image Optimisation freebie here.

2. Regularly Check Your Website

Regular maintenance is a MUST to make sure your website is up-to-speed.

That’s why it’s important to do regular checks, to make sure you catch any issues before they become a problem.

“How do I do that?”, you ask.

There are several websites you can use to help you, but my preferred ones are GTMetrix and Page Speed Insights

By running your website through tools such as these ones, you can see how your website is performing, reveal where it’s slow, and where it can be improved.

3. Use a Solid Website Host

Your hosting service is like the foundation of your website.

So that means, in general, what you save in money you lose in site performance

That’s why it’s SO important to choose a great hosting provider from the start. It needs to be speedy, reliable, and STRONG.

If you’re looking for a suitable host, be sure to check out my favourites, Cloudways and Flywheel.

looking down on laptop with wordpress dashboard on screen

4. Minimise The Use of Plugins and Bloated Themes

Not all plugins and themes are created equal. 

And too many plugins on your site can slow it down.

That’s why it’s important to only use as many plugins as necessary. 

Yes, it might be hard to whittle them down! But your website speed will thank you in the long run.

Plus, plugins or themes that are outdated or aren’t well maintained can pose a security threat too. 

Introducing potential compatibility issues that’ll hamper your performance.

I recommend reviewing the plugins you have installed, to evaluate whether they’re actually necessary.

I hope this blog has provided you with some great advice and helped clear up your site-speed dilemma.

Making that question of… “how to make my site load faster” a thing of the past!

Which tip was most effective in speeding up your website? 

Let me know in the comments section below.

If you’re still having trouble with page loading speed or just need some professional advice, get in contact with me here.

I’m a Canberra-based Web Developer, who’s dedicated to helping your business grow. That means I’m always happy to answer any questions and lend a helping hand to guide you in the right direction. vs What’s the Difference and Which One Is Best for You?

Your 5-Minute Guide To Put an End to the Confusion of vs

Did you know and are two VERY different platforms?

Yup, you better believe it! 

Those three little letters following the period make a huge difference to your website and if chosen incorrectly, could impact the success of your business in the future.

If you’re thinking “Oh my goodness, what do I do?!” right about now…

Don’t worry!

Because in a few minutes, it’s all going to become clear. 

In this blog, I’m going to compare the differences between vs so you don’t have to. Bringing you the clarity and confidence you need to find the right platform for your needs.

Ready to dive a little deeper?

What Makes Them So Different? 

Besides sharing the ‘WordPress’ branding, there are some significant differences to be aware of. 

The key one…

Who gives you the most ownership of your website and the most flexibility to make it your own.

1. An Introduction to… is a self-hosted, open-source component of WordPress that powers millions of websites across the globe.

When people refer to ‘WordPress’, they’re probably talking about this one. is 100% free for anyone to use, but to get going you need to purchase your domain name and web hosting separately.

You can install any plugin or theme, customise it to your heart’s content, and really, do just about anything you want. Meaning it’s at the forefront when it comes to scalability for your business. 

2. An Introduction to… is a limited version of that has been simplified for a different demographic. 

When you have a website with you don’t control the server or the hosting… does.

Because you don’t fully own your site, it’s great for personal blogs as it’s super easy and simple to set up.

However, if you’re a business website that wants flexibility and scalability, you’re very limited with what plugins and themes you can add, and how much you can customise and scale your website.

So, How Do They Compare?

1. Cost

When you’re building your business, money matters. 

So naturally, investing in your website is going to be no different. is totally free. But you’re going to have to do some research into domain names and hosting to find the best place to ‘store’ your website online. 

My personal choice is Cloudways, and I use it for the majority of my clients too. They have great support, affordable plans, and great performance. is all integrated. 

They have free and paid options depending on what you need for your website. And because everything is included within the platform, there’s no reason to pay for any extras. 

What you see is what you pay!

2. Hosting

When you own a website you have to ‘rent’ part of the world wide web to store your website’s data. 

Think of it like renting an apartment…

You need a place to put all your stuff, right?

The web host (or landlord) is responsible for maintaining your web server and ensuring you get the fastest speed possible. requires external hosting, which means more work and research to find a suitable place. 

But because of that, you have more scalability, more choice, and more power.

While lives on the WordPress servers (it’s self-hosted), meaning you just have to think about designing your site… And that’s it!

If you’re looking for a suitable external host, be sure to check out my favourites, Cloudways and Flywheel.

3. Security

Did you know is the most hacked CMS due to its popularity?!

But don’t fret.

Although this statement is true, with you have the power to put your own measures in place.

If you’re proactive and keep on top of site maintenance, you’ll put yourself at a much lower risk of being attacked. Plus there are SO many great plugins available to ensure your site is super safe from hackers.

On the other hand, is dependent on the security of the platform.

Meaning, because everything is integrated, you put your faith in

4. Themes

If you’re anything like me, your ability to customise your website and bring it to life is a HUGE deal.

You want the ability to brand your website and make it your own, right? has THOUSANDS of themes that you’re able to customise further with code. You can even make your own custom themes too.

In other words… The possibilities are endless.

While has fewer themes with limited options.

If you do want to make your website a little more personalised, you must have an upgrade. And even so, you’ll always have to keep the WordPress branding within your site.

5. Plugins

Plugins are a crucial aspect of building WordPress websites.

They allow you to add additional features without touching a single line of code and customise your website to your heart’s content. is KING when it comes to plugins.

With over 60k plugins in the WordPress repository, there’s an almost endless choice of functions. Plus, you have the ability to install third-party themes on your own.

However, only has plugins for business and eCommerce plans. 

Meaning you’re much more limited in what your website can do.

6. Support 

When you’re building your first website, the right support is essential. has no official help desk.

However, there are thousands of paid and free resources online. As well as group forums and dedicated support for individual plugins

On the other hand, has access to email and live chat support.

This means you can be a lot more confident to fix any problems that might occur with the help of a professional.

7. Monetisation

Last but not least…

It’s the BIG one.

How much potential do you have to scale your website? tops the board here.

Yes, it can be monetised and you take the FULL profit. Meaning more ability to scale, grow, and develop your business in the future.

While can be monetised, a percentage of the earnings go to Meaning you’ll always have to give away a part of your potential earnings. 

Which over time, can add up to a LOT.

The Verdict

Sure, is great for casual bloggers or those using their websites as a hobby. 

But ultimately, if you intend to make money with your business, self-hosting a website with is the best choice available to you. As it offers you a powerful array of tools to build any type of website you want.

Now tell me, has this blog cleared up your vs questions? 

Let me know! 

If you’ve been thinking about setting up a website of your own but still need some advice, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me

I’m a Canberra-based Web Developer, who’s dedicated to helping your business grow. That means I’m always happy to answer any questions about the process and provide advice tailored to your individual business needs.

Front-End vs. Back-End Development: What’s The Difference and Which One Do You Need?

A Guide To Help You Understand The Differences and Find Out Which Branch of Web Development Is Best For Your Business

Tell me, do you often find yourself asking –

“What’s the *actual* difference between the front end and back end of a website?”

If that’s you, you’re not the only one! 

When you’re new to the world of coding, terms like front-end, back-end, and full-stack development can be SUPER confusing. 

That’s why in this blog, I’m going to delve into the main differences between front-end vs back-end development so you don’t have to. 

Bringing it back to basics so you can find out which services you need for your business.

What’s Web Development?

Put plainly, a website developer builds and maintains websites for the web. 

Front-end development and back-end development are two different types of web development, while full-stack is a combination of the two.

Sometimes these three separate career paths can feel muddied in the tech world, but each has its own distinct role.

Back-end developers are focused on data, modeling, and the ‘unseen’ parts of a website. Front-end developers help build what users interact with and see. And a full-stack developer does some or all of the above.

Let’s delve into them a bit more…

What’s Front-End Development?

If you’re a front-end developer, you build with the user in mind.

Your job is to code and bring to life the visual aspects of a website. Focusing on what the user sees when they visit your site. 

You make sure your site is easy to interact with while functioning smoothly. 

Front-end developers build things like:

  • Buttons
  • Layouts
  • Graphics
  • Navigation
  • Animations

What’s Back-End Development?

If you’re a back-end developer you focus on the side of the website users can’t see.

While website visitors don’t directly interact with the back end, they indirectly interact with elements these developers work on by clicking on parts of the webpage.

You manage storing and arranging data, while also ensuring the front end is functioning well. 

Back-end web developers work on tasks like: 

  • Building code
  • Troubleshooting
  • Debugging web applications
  • Database management

So… What If You Want To Do Both?

Well, then you hire a full-stack developer!

In web development, there’s often not a black-and-white distinction between front-end vs back-end development. 

That means front-end developers end up being the ‘jack-of-all-trades’ and learn those additional back-end skills, and vice versa.

Basically, as a full-stack developer, you’re responsible for the entire flow of the visitors’ experience, from start to finish.

And although you can’t master everything to do with front-end and back-end development in detail, you can pick and choose the parts of the front and back-end development you enjoy. Creating a well-rounded knowledge that will help you create some pretty awesome websites. 

So tell me, has this blog helped you figure out the difference between front-end vs. back-end development yet?

If you’re reading this thinking  – 

“Sure, this is all good info. But how do I actually hire a developer to help me?”

Then look no further, my friends!  If you haven’t got a tech expert you go to already, I specialise in building WordPress websites from scratch. Whether you need a brand-new website or a complete website refresh.

And if you do decide to work with me, all my packages come with two months of free hosting and maintenance, custom video tutorials, and an awesome coming soon page.

If you still have questions, feel free to get in touch.

I’d be happy to guide you on your way and give you any advice you might need.

Animated GIFs on Websites: How To Say No To Slow Loading Speeds

Explaining How and Why You Should Optimise Animated GIFs on Websites So You Can Keep Potential Customers Engaged

Did you know, even though GIFs are a super popular file format for animations, they weren’t actually created for this purpose?

Instead, GIFs were originally designed to hold more than one static image. 

This meant, in the days before WiFi, it made transferring files super FAST.

Today, they’re used all over the internet…

  • In our group chats
  • Across our social media
  • Even on our websites

That’s why it’s important if you end up using them on your website, you know how to optimise your GIFs so they don’t create too much lag.

In this blog, I’m going to show you why and how you should optimise animated GIFs on websites. Offering you some options you can use to eliminate the page bloat. Meaning you can keep a reactive and snappy website that will keep visitors engaged. 

Why Should You Optimise Your GIFs?

First things first… 

Performance matters when designing your website.

Sure, GIFs are an effective tool to capture your user’s attention. But because GIFs weren’t originally designed for animation, they’re not such an effective tool for keeping your website speed up to scratch.

That means, if your website is too GIF-heavy, it’s going to lead to poor user experience from sluggish load speeds.

Causing your potential customers to bounce and head elsewhere.

How To Stop GIFs Slowing Down Your Website:

1. Lessen Your Use of Animated GIFs

Lessening the use animated GIFs is the number one piece of advice I can give you that’s going to make a significant impact on your page load speeds.

Only use GIFs when absolutely necessary.

I get it.

You’re probably thinking… “How do I choose ONE, when there are SO many good ones?!”

It’s going to be a hard decision to make. 

But once you cut them down, your website speed and your potential customers are going to love you and your responsive user experience.  

2. Change Static GIFs to PNG Files

There are two kinds of GIFs: 

  1. Static (unmoving images and simple graphics)
  2. Animated (moving images created through time delays) 

Both take up a large amount of space compared to other file formats.

But did you know PNGs can be compressed 5-25% smaller than GIFs?

That means, if you have a static GIF on your website, converting it to a PNG file (another type of image file) instead can relieve your website of some of its bloat.

Plus, changing it over is super simple and free!

Just use a website like this one to upload your image. Press the conversion button and let the website do the rest.

3. Compress Animated GIFs Using Lossy Optimisation

Lossy optimisation… What the HECK is that?!

In short, lossy optimisation reduces file size by permanently removing data from the original file.

This method is known as irreversible compression.

But the data loss isn’t usually noticeable.

Lucky for us, animated GIFs use lossy optimisation.

And since the human eye won’t usually see the difference. Fewer colours are used and that means the overall size of the GIF becomes much smaller.

Check out this blog to find out more and learn how to compress your GIFs.

4. Consider HTML5 Video Instead 

Because GIFs were never meant to store video, too many of them will slow down your website.

But there is an alternative we can use…

HTML5 video!

By converting your GIFs to HTML5 before you upload them to your website, your animation can be up to 95% smaller. Using a fraction of the space your original GIF would use. 

Use a converter website like this one and let it do the hard work for you.

So tell me, has this blog cleared up your questions about using animated GIFs on websites?

Let me know! 

And if you’ve been thinking about setting up a website of your own or need some professional advice click HERE and get in touch with me.

I’m always happy to answer any questions about the process and provide advice tailored to your individual business needs.

Landing Page vs Sales Page vs One Page Website: Which One’s Best for Your Small Business?

A Guide To Help You Decipher The Differences So You Can Build Your Small Business Website With Confidence

You’ve got a brilliant small business, you’ve been working diligently on your products and services, and now comes the tricky bit…

“What kind of website best suits my business needs?”

And this is often where people get stuck! There’re so many terms and phrases in the web development world that, at first, seem to mean the same thing. And you know which one’s I see get confused ALL the time?

A one-page website vs a landing page vs a sales page.

If you’ve heard these terms before and you’ve been pondering about setting one up to promote your products or services, I highly recommend reading this blog to compare their differences. 

Come with me as I get down into the nitty-gritty of what makes them unique. 

1. The Landing Page

In short, a landing page is a standalone web page that potential customers ‘land’ on when they click through from an email, ad, or another digital place.

It aims to capture information from contacts in exchange for something of value.

That could be things like:

  • Customer names
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers etc.

Gathering info for a specific, short-term goal. Such as building up your email contacts via a newsletter or sharing your new free eBook. 

The intent of a high-value landing page is to collect visitor information and gently nurture these leads over time.

So you can build up a consistent customer base that lasts.

2. The Sales Page

A sales page is something a little different…

Although often confused with a landing page, a sales page actually ‘sells’ a product or service. Rather than an exchange of information for something of value, your aim is to make a transaction.

If you’ve ever purchased an online course, software, or high-ticket product, you’ve probably seen a sales page.

It has a deep underlying strategy to convert viewers into customers. 

Meaning you and your web developer have done in-depth customer research to learn what underlying pain points your audience has. And you’re working with them to create an irresistible offer to encourage people to pull out their credit cards.

3. The One-Page Website

Last but not least, we get to the ‘one-pager’.

This is a simple website with no additional pages like About, Contact, or Services

I find it’s often confused with a landing page or sales page because they kinda look similar! They can sometimes have a menu, but instead of transporting you to another page, they bring you down the webpage in a long-scrolling layout.

Often they’re popular with small business owners, because, unlike a landing page or a sales page that’s in addition to your main website, they’re super quick, simplistic, and affordable to set up. Containing everything important your customers need to know. 

Plus they’re WAY easier to maintain when content needs to be updated.

BEWARE: A potential drawback to look out for is the impact it can have on your SEO score…

Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is a multitude of factors that all work together in your website to make Google notice you. Google LOVES multiple web pages and consistent new content, so because of that, your website might not be as visible to potential new customers as it could be.

So tell me, has this blog cleared up your landing page vs sales page vs one-page website questions?

Let me know! And if you’ve been thinking about setting up any one of these or need some professional advice click HERE and get in touch with me.

I’m always happy to answer any questions about the process and provide advice tailored to your individual business needs!

Your Breakdown Guide: What Is An FAQ Page and Why Do They Matter?

Your Guide To Why FAQs Are So Important To Your SEO Strategy and How To Write A Kick-Ass FAQ Page For Your Website

Does your website have an FAQ page yet? If not… it definitely should.

“Why?” you ask. 

Because it’s a business investment! Not only does it save you money and time in the long run, but it also boosts your website’s organic traffic and provides a wealth of advice to your customers.

If you don’t know already, FAQ stands for frequently asked questions.

In this blog, I’m going to give you a brief overview of why an FAQ page is so beneficial for your website. And answer your questions of “what is an FAQ page?” and “why do they matter?”

Read below to find out more.

What Is an FAQ Page?

Imagine receiving 5 emails a day enquiring about your working process…

You spend at least 20 minutes typing out a personalised answer, only to open the next email and find the same question.

Now imagine only ever having to type out that answer once! Cutting down your admin time and directing potential customers to your FAQ page on your website. Amazing, right?

*Cough cough* Introducing the FAQ page…

Your FAQ page is your business’s hub of essential information.

You (and many other business owners) repeatedly get asked the same questions by potential customers. An FAQ page allows you to cut out the repetitive emails and provide a central place where visitors can find the answers they need.

Helping users navigate your site and build trust with you over time.

What To Include In Your FAQ Page?

So, first things first… 

It’s essential that an effective FAQ page is constantly updated to keep it relevant. It needs to be an accurate representation of your business at ALL times.

Some things to include are:

  • Common Questions: Gather common queries your customers have asked you in the past and include them in your FAQ page.
  • Categories: Use categories to organise questions related to specific topics that customers may search for.
  • Links: Add links to blogs or services on your site FAQ to provide additional details and improve SEO.
  • Precise Answers: Your potential customers are there for a reason. So keep it short and to the point.

Why Is An FAQ Page Important For Your Website?

Benefit 1: It Boosts Your Organic Traffic

An FAQ page offers an amazing opportunity, not only to provide answers about your business, but also general questions about your industry.

That means people who may not even know about your company but who have questions about your industry, might find their search query on your site via Google. Clicking through, learning more, and being exposed to your site and services.

TOP TIP: Do keyword research to find trending searches in your industry and use your FAQ page to provide answers.

Benefit 2: It Saves You Money

Tell me, how much time have you spent typing out emails and answering phone calls? 

Now think if you had one webpage you could direct people to instead… 

It’s a game-changer, trust me!

With a quality FAQ page to answer common questions, you can spend your time helping with more complicated issues and putting your energy where it matters most.

Benefit 3: It Improves User Experience

A user-friendly website is key!

Because no matter how clear and well-organised you think your website is, there’s always room to improve in whatever you do. And an FAQ page is one more step in the right direction. 

Instead of sending people to browse through a few pages looking for the right answer, an FAQ page gives visitors a central place to find the answers they need. 

And who doesn’t love an easy-to-use, transparent company that goes the extra mile for its customers?

How To Create A FAQ Page?

Now let’s get to the good stuff. 

Here’s my guide to how to build an FAQ page from scratch:

  1. Brainstorm questions you’re commonly asked by customers. But also questions that will help people learn more about your business, products, and services.
  2. Where possible, optimise these questions for SEO and allow them to be searchable (SEMRush and Google Keyword Planner are awesome resources for this!)
  3. Write some compelling copy that encompasses the first two steps.
  4. Create a new page on your website (depending on how your website is built this will vary). 
  5. If your tech skills allow it, add FAQ Schema. A specialised markup you can add to your webpage’s code that contains a list of questions and answers. It allows Google to read the markup and use it to generate an intriguing snippet.

So what do you think?

I hope this blog has helped inspire you to create a kick-ass FAQ page for your website and answered your question of, “what is an FAQ page?!”. If you’re in need of any advice or have a current website you’re interested in updating, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

I’m always happy to answer any questions you have! 

3 Reasons Why You Need to STOP Using Linktree In Your Instagram Bio

Your Go-To Guide To Help You Effectively Direct Traffic to Your Website With Your Own Custom Linktree Alternative

Picture this… Your favourite Instagram account posts an incredible photo, enticing you to read the caption. 

As you skim through, your eyes flicker over the words…

“Link in bio to find out more!”

If you’re running a business Instagram account, you’ll know that this “link in bio” trick is essential for driving your audience to your site from social media. But imagine a world where you NEVER have to go through third-party apps like Linktree to market your content ever again.

A place where an effective Linktree alternative allows all that traffic to right slap bang into your website, no questions asked!

Increasing your traffic and giving you an extra boost in Google’s search results.

What *Actually* Is Linktree?

Instagram’s link in bio can feel limiting when you want to highlight multiple website pages. So being able to link key destinations and share them via a single URL is groundbreaking for small businesses. 

With Linktree, you’re able to make your Instagram ‘link in bio’ a clickable URL that you can add to your profile section.

Meaning you’re able to direct your followers to your website, product page, content, or some other significant page through the free social media plug-in.

So, What Are The Linktree Alternatives?

Let me share something with you…

Did you know every time someone clicks the link in your bio via Linktree, you miss out on direct traffic to your website? 

That’s why I often ask people, why would you want to pass YOUR traffic to a third-party app and miss out on juicy rewards? Stop rewarding Linktree and start rewarding yourself. You worked hard for your business, and your website deserves the best chance it can get to boost its visibility in Google.

How do you do that?

You create your own custom Instagram Links page!⁣

Why Should You Create Your Custom Instagram ‘Link In Bio’ Page?

1. You Get to Increase Your Website SEO

Search engine optimisation (SEO) helps your website grow, see which content resonates most with your audience, and provides you with vital stats to keep your website on top.

When you use a third-party app like Linktree, it creates a bump in the road. You’re unable to access all the data available because it’s not yours anymore! It belongs to Linktree and the analytical data they share with you is limited. 

It doesn’t tell you:

  1. When a link was clicked on – so you can’t match it with the Instagram post you published.
  2. When a visitor reaches Linktree but drops out – so you don’t know how much traffic you lost via Linktree instead of the actual content.

2. You Eliminate That ‘Extra Step’

Social media is about resonating with your audience and getting you at the forefront of their mind at various stages of their journey.

With one intention in mind…

Get them back to your website so they choose to buy from you.

Linktree adds an extra step in the journey that just doesn’t need to be there. When you create a custom Instagram link page, you’re providing the most direct route possible between possible customer and product. Cutting out the fluff and keeping them on track.

3. You Get to Stay on Brand

The free version of Linktree has very limited branding opportunities and this can be frustrating if you want to keep your page on brand.

When your branding is lost mid-journey, it can cast doubt in the back of your audience’s mind. 

“Why does this look so different from everything else I’ve EVER seen?”

Sure, you can upgrade to a paid plan with Linktree, but why would you when you can build your own for free!

With your own custom Instagram ‘link in bio’ page, that doubt is eliminated. Seamlessly transitioning your audience on your branding journey to build more trust, more loyalty, and more credibility.

So tell me, is this blog inspiring you to create your own custom Instagram links page yet?

If you’ve been thinking about using a Linktree alternative, I hope I’ve opened your eyes to the world of opportunities a custom link page can give you!

And if you ever think, “YES, I want to set up my own custom Instagram links page… But I don’t know how” click HERE and get in touch with me.

I’m always happy to answer any questions about the process and provide advice!

5 Signs To Look Out For: The Benefits of a Website Redesign For Your Business

Your Go-To Guide To Help You Understand The Benefits of a Website Redesign and What It Can Bring To Your Business

When you set up your business, one of the first things you think about is, “What will my website look like?”

You go to great heights making a super sleek professional website and at the time, it’s a masterpiece.

But as life moves forward, the priority of your website is pushed back, and suddenly, your state-of-the-art website isn’t so state-of-the-art anymore. Instead, it’s five years out-of-date, not optimised to today’s standards, and is not doing your brand the justice it deserves.

84% of consumers think having a website makes a business look more credible, so it’s a no-brainer to utilise its power to bring your business back into the limelight.

Come with me as I explore the FIVE most common signs to look for when deciding whether it’s time to update your website. Plus what the benefits of a website redesign can bring to your business.

1. It’s Not Reflecting Your Brand Anymore

As your business grows and develops, things can often change.

  • Perhaps you want to focus on a different ideal client?
  • Perhaps you’ve changed your branding colours?
  • Perhaps you’ve decided to direct your business in a different direction?

Whatever it is, it’s vital your website is an accurate representation of your brand now. 

That means your branding has to be consistent across all platforms (such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, AND your website) to maintain a professional appearance.

2. It’s Not Mobile Optimised

In today’s society, we treat our mobile phone like it’s an extra limb.

So if your website is outdated and not mobile-friendly, you’re ruling out A LOT of traffic.

Responsive design ensures that your website adapts to whatever device a user is using, making it a positive experience for everyone. 

One of the main benefits of a website redesign means you’ll open yourself up to more people and ultimately direct more traffic to your website. In turn, you’ll be able to connect with more potential clients and customers!

3. It’s Not Bringing in Leads

It’s all well and good to focus on a good-looking website, but it also needs the content to match. 

So if you’re struggling to find leads, it’s time to revisit your landing pages, calls-to-action, and conversion paths and see where you’re falling short. If you don’t give visitors a clear idea of what you want them to do (in other words, a strong call to action) they probably won’t stay on your site for very long.

Be direct about what you want people to do when they come to your site.

TOP TIP: Check out your Search Engine Optimisation and see if you are ranking for any keywords. If Google can’t find you, then it’s very likely your audience can’t too!

4. It’s Very Slow To Load

When your website is slow to load, you’re directing your audience STRAIGHT into the hands of your competitors.

If you’re unsure why your website’s slow, there’re actually several aspects of your site that can cause it to be slow such as:

  • Unnecessarily large images
  • Huge video files
  • Bloated code
  • Inefficient page builders 

And much more!

By staying on top of your website’s loading speed, you can make sure your audience stays engaged and doesn’t end up elsewhere. 

5. It’s Hard To Navigate

Not everyone has the patience to jump from one page to another to find what they’re looking for.

Bad navigation can HUGELY affect your bounce rate, and therefore the number of people who choose to do business with you. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your website’s easy to get around.

After all, you built your website for your audience, right?

And the benefits of a website redesign show you care about their experience. Building up trust and loyalty, and the likely hood of increased business.

So what do you think?

I hope this blog has helped show you where your website might be in need of an update and has opened your eyes to the benefits of a website redesign. If you’re in need of any advice or have a current website you’re interested in updating, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

I’m always happy to answer any questions you have! 

Do any of these reasons ring true for you?

Shopify vs WooCommerce: Which One Is Best For Your eCommerce Store?

Helping You Break Down The Major Differences So You Can Figure Out Which Platform Is Best For Your eCommerce Business

You’ve decided on your product, you’re about to set up your online eCommerce website, and now lies the million-dollar question.

Shopify vs WooCommerce… Which one’s really best? 

Well, the truth is, it depends. 

There’s no doubt setting up your business’ website is going to be one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. That’s why choosing the right eCommerce platform that fits your business needs is crucial to your success.

In this blog, come with me as I explore how Shopify and WooCommerce compare in a battle of the eCommerce platforms. Delving into the main features of each platform so you don’t have to. 


So What’s The REAL difference?

While Shopify is said to power over 800,000 online stores, WooCommerce is said to be the plugin of choice for  93.7% of WordPress stores

But they both have very different approaches.

WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin that turns any WordPress website into a powerful online store. It’s an open-source platform, making it free to install and highly customisable.

Shopify is a little simpler. 

It’s a fully hosted all-in-one commerce platform that cuts out the need for technical knowledge. You only need to buy one of their available packages and you can start monetising straight away. 

1. Ease of Use

If you want a platform that cuts out the technical jargon, Shopify is the platform for you!

It takes care of the technical side and every aspect is included in your plan (such as hosting, security, domain, etc.) Plus, you don’t have to install or update any software either.

With WooCommerce, there’s a much steeper learning curve. And as it’s installed in WordPress, you need to source your own domain and hosting, plus consider other factors (like maintenance) that’ll need to be dealt with.

WINNER: Shopify

2. Cost of Running

Although Shopify is good if you want a simple website, the more complex you get, the more your monthly fees will increase. That’s why it’s more suited to smaller operations.

For more complex stores, WooCommerce is most likely a cheaper solution overall.

The software itself is free to install and with that, it’s highly customisable. Plus there’s a HUGE variety of extensions that are reasonably priced if you need them.

WINNER: WooCommerce

3. Versatility

Part of setting up an eCommerce website is making it look AMAZING!

When you buy a Shopify package, you have access to a directory of over 70 free and paid themes to choose from. Customising them is simple and it’s possible to do it without any help.

But if you want a design that’s never been seen before…

Then WooCommerce is where it’s AT.

Because WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, the sky’s your limit when it comes to customisation. And there are thousands of free and paid themes, that can be customised further with a bit of coding knowledge. Plus you can go the drag-and-drop builder route for an easier way to customise without needing to code.

WINNER: WooCommerce

4. Online Support

If you’re not techy, the amount of support available can be make or break.

Shopify is the most user-friendly of the two. It has 24/7 online support to walk you through any issues via phone, email, and live chat. Plus an enormous database of FAQs.

WooCommerce has free public assistance for individual plugins and features, and you can get dedicated support from plugin developers. However, this can make it harder to navigate and much more time-consuming.

WINNER: Shopify

5. Search Engine Optimisation

Both platforms will always help you make sure your products are appearing in front of the right people.

Shopify has a great range of SEO apps in its App Store and you can optimise your content when building your site.

But WooCommerce is much more powerful.

Because it’s part of a WordPress website, you have increased control and the ability to implement more complex SEO strategies. You’re able to install an SEO plugin (free or paid) specific to the job making it much more effective. 

WINNER: WooCommerce 

And there we go!

I hope this blog has been able to break down the five major differences I’ve found between Shopify vs WooCommerce.

If you’re thinking about setting up an eCommerce store with WooCommerce and need some friendly advice, then get in touch now. Or if you’re interested in creating a custom website, take a look at my WordPress designs to get some inspiration.

I’m a Canberra-based web developer who is always happy to help anyone who needs it!

How To Make More Money Selling Online: 5 Powerful Signs It’s Time To Move From Etsy To WordPress

A Guide To Open Your Eyes To The World of WordPress and Explain How Breaking AWAY From Etsy Might Be What You’ve Been Looking For

You poured your heart and soul into creating your online business and decided to market your products on one of the biggest small business platforms there is…


At the time, it was cost-effective, easy to set up, and full of promise.

But now you’ve established your foundations and you’re making a consistent monthly income, your mind is looking at how to make more money on Etsy and expand your brand.

In this blog, I want to explain to you how looking beyond Etsy can be a turning point for your business. Come with me as I delve into the power of what a WordPress website can do and the signs to look out for that mean it will be revolutionary for you and your brand.

Read on to find out more!

1. You’re Tired Of Charging Less

Do you find because there’s so much competition, you’re forced to reduce your prices to have any chance of selling?

When small brands come to me to set up their own website, this is one of the biggest things they have in common.

You want to charge the premium prices you deserve, right?!

Why WordPress: Having your own custom WordPress store means you can charge whatever you like and NOT have your listing next to your competitors.

2. You’re Done With Paying Selling Fees

Every fee you pay is potential money out of your pocket, so it’s only natural you want to keep them to a minimum.

Here’s a breakdown of Etsy’s selling fees:

  • Listing Fee: $0.20 on each product listing
  • Transaction Fee: 5% of each transaction
  • Payment Processing Fee: 3% + $0.25 per transaction

When you think about it, that’s a lot, right?

The answer of how to make more money from Etsy, could actually be weighing up the costs and deciding if it’s worth breaking away.

Why WordPress: When you build your own WordPress website many eCommerce software (like WooCommerce) don’t charge transaction fees, so you take home MORE of your profits.

WooCommerce itself is free to install. Meaning the transaction fees you pay depend on the payment integration you choose to use. For example, if you decided to take payment via Stripe, their fees are 2.9% + 30c for international transactions, or you could choose to only accept bank transfers that have zero fees.

3. You Want Your Own Brand Identity

When you list your items on Etsy, you’re listed next to your competitors with no branding to help you stand out.

That means no recognition, no familiarity, and minimal opportunity to build brand loyalty.

Why WordPress: By building your own site, you’re able to differentiate yourself from the competition and make it less likely that customers will look elsewhere. Building up a brand that stands out from the crowd.

4. You Want Your Store To Rank on Google

Building your own WordPress website means you have control of how many eyes see your products (within reason of course!)

Because the thing is, when Google displays Etsy on the first page of search results, it tends to lead to an Etsy search page, NOT an individual store or product.

What I mean is, that by using the power of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), you have the power to choose the keywords you want to try and rank for. And target your ideal audience with more precision.

Why WordPress: Never underestimate the power SEO can have! WordPress gives you the opportunity to market your business effectively using the power of the web and doesn’t stunt its reach.

5. You Want To Take Control

Etsy is a company in its own right, and any shop that exists within the marketplace is under its authority.

Meaning, that as much as it’s your shop, YOU don’t have full control. If Etsy decides your product doesn’t meet their standards, they have the right to remove you and shut down your business. No questions asked!

Why WordPress: When you build your own custom website, you own the rights to your store and are no longer at the mercy of ‘the Etsy Gods’. So feel free to list what you wish and present it how YOU want to.

Is this blog inspiring you yet?

If you’ve been thinking about how to make more money on Etsy and wondering where to go, I hope I’ve opened your eyes! Helping you realise the world of opportunities a WordPress website can give you and your business.

Sure, Etsy is a great place to start and set up your business. 

But as you grow, it’s important the way you market your business does too. So if you ever think, “YES, I want to build my own customised eCommerce store” then get in touch.

I’m always happy to answer any questions about the process and provide advice!

Your WordPress Website Security: The 2 Most Effective Ways To NOT Get Hacked

There’s No ‘Right’ Way To Prevent A WordPress Attack, But There Are Some Steps That Will Make It Much Less Likely

Did you know, according to Manaferra, the number of WordPress websites in 2022 was a staggering 835 million?

That’s insane, right! 

And because of its ever-growing popularity, WordPress has become a prime target for hackers. 

That’s why now it’s more important than EVER to think about your WordPress website security. 

In this blog, I want to share with you the two biggest reasons why WordPress website security gets compromised. And how YOU can put effective measures in place to make sure you’re not in the firing line for a malicious attack.

How And Why Do Hacks Happen?

When you’re a small business, it’s common to think you’re not are at risk of being hacked –

“Why would I get hacked? I’m a small fish in a big sea.”

But for that EXACT same reason, you’re more vulnerable to attackers.

Let’s think about it like this: Your defenses are down. You’re unprepared. And you’re vulnerable to a break-in. If you were a novice cyber hacker, why wouldn’t you attack? It’s almost set up to make the job as easy as possible.

And it’s not just about money either. 

Each hacker has a different motive to hack a website. 

Some are beginners who are learning to exploit less secure sites. Some have malicious intentions like distributing malware or using your site to attack other websites. And others just like to spam the internet for fun!

STORYTIME: The first hacked site I fixed was hacked from enjoyment. I looked up their email and found out there’s such thing as a ‘hackers scoreboard’. For hackers who compete against each other to break records! 🤯

What Are The Most Effective Measures You Can Put in Place?

1. Your Web Hosting 

Web hosting services work by maintaining stable and secure storage spaces where you can ‘host’ your website. 

Your WordPress website security might be more vulnerable if you have a shared hosting plan. 

Shared hosting is where multiple websites are hosted on one server. For example, like putting your jacket in a paid cloakroom.

Hackers can potentially use other sites on the same server to gain access to yours. Just like a person could easily pick up your jacket when ‘looking’ for theirs.

When choosing a hosting provider, make sure to check what security measures they have, how they monitor their server network, and how they respond to any security breaches.

Dedicated hosting is the most secure option but that comes with a hefty price tag. 

And for most sites, that’s not necessary. 

Which leads me to my next point…

2. Making Time For Regular Maintenance 

According to the 2019 Website Threat Research Report, it was reported that 56% of all content management system applications were out of date when a hack happened!

This statement alone shows the importance of updating your website. 

Using an outdated plugin or theme can make your site extremely vulnerable. Because many of these tools are created as open-source software programs, meaning their code is easily accessible and therefore… 

Easily hacked! 

Plugin developers are constantly working on their plugins not only releasing new features but patching potential security breaches to protect your website from being hacked. 

So yes, this is your reminder to always make sure your content management system, plugins, themes, and any scripts you’ve installed are up-to-date. 

How Do I Secure My Website If I’m Not Techy?

So you’re reading this thinking  – 

“Sure, this is all good info. But how do I actually make it happen?”

Then look no further, my friends! If you haven’t got a tech expert you go to already, I encourage you to consider my website maintenance packages

I created them especially to keep your WordPress website security up to date and as reliable as can be. So your websites are MUCH less likely to encounter any of those pesky hackers. 

If you are looking at self-maintenance and hosting, get in touch

I’d be happy to guide you on your way and give you any advice you might need.

WordPress vs Squarespace: How To Successfully Create Your Own Custom Website

Deep Dive Into Two of the Most Popular Website Building Platforms to Find out Which One Will Work for You

Congratulations! 🎉 You’ve decided you want to create your own custom website, you’ve conducted the research, and now you’ve narrowed it down to two options… vs Squarespace.

They’re both super well-known platforms and power MILLIONS of websites each. But both have major differences that may or may not work for you depending on what you’re looking for. So, which one’s for you?

Well, that’s a complicated question.

The best platform for you comes down to what you *really* need, so it’s important to understand what they offer before making a decision. 

In this blog, I’m going to give you the low down of each platform so you can make an informed choice about which one is best for you and your company to create your own custom website. Ready to start the comparison?

Then let’s begin!

1. Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is the process of your website gaining visibility in search engine results pages.

Squarespace has SEO tools inbuilt so it saves the process of learning how it all works, BUT you don’t get anywhere near the level of optimisation available from WordPress.

Being self-hosted, WordPress gives you full control over your SEO setup. And with a wide array of plugins, you can do almost anything you need for SEO. Including being able to determine your site speed with the freedom to choose your own hosting provider.

Squarespace can be expanded if you have coding knowledge. But compared to WordPress, you’re still limited with what you can do.

Winner: WordPress

2. Cyber Security

Due to Squarespace being self-hosted, your website’s security is the responsibility of the company. 

So for those of you who want to set up your site and have minimal maintenance, Squarespace is for you!

WordPress is a different story…

How secure your website is, comes down to how well your site is maintained. One of the BIGGEST reasons WordPress websites get hacked is because of out-of-date plugins. 

Regular updates are a must! But that’s not the only thing you need to think about when it comes to WordPress security. The following also need to be considered:

  • Installing security plugins
  • Using a content delivery network 
  • Choosing a reputable host

TOP TIP: Remember to take regular backups of your site, so if something does go wrong, you’ll be able to restore your website quickly.

Winner: Squarespace

3. Pricing and Subscriptions

It’s that classic question: Which one’s cheaper?

Well, did you know is free? 

However, to have a website you need to invest in hosting and a domain yourself. Domains are generally around 15 to 20 AUD per year, and hosting can be from as little as 2 AUD a month. 

But it can vary greatly depending on which company you choose to go with.

While Squarespace has a very clear pricing plan.

Although not the cheapest, it’s paid monthly or annually and their rates start from around 16 AUD a month. So it’s easy to see how much it will *actually* cost per year to run your site.

Winner: WordPress

4. Design and Flexibility

WordPress and Squarespace have a HUGE variety of themes available both paid and free.

Squarespace falls short with its flexibility. 

Sure, Squarespace templates are beautiful, but you also run the risk of your website looking like it’s just come off the shelf. Lacking its own originality and flare.

While WordPress has the added option of custom design. 

Through coding, access to plugins (software add-ons that allow for customisation of your site), and its virtually unlimited options, you can create your own custom website that’s truly one of a kind.

Winner: WordPress

5. eCommerce

Squarespace offers a practical and easy online shopping setup.

You can easily insert a product page, control your inventory, add product variations, AND manage shipping options.

However, it can be costly, with an increased eCommerce subscription and commission on sales through the site.

While with WordPress, you can create your own custom website and turn it into an eCommerce store with the click of a button. Well… You need to install a free plugin such as WooCommerce, but it’s super easy!

At first, WooCommerce might be difficult to navigate (if not a little overwhelming)

But if you can spare a bit of time and figure it out, it’s a powerful, customisable open-source platform that offers even MORE functionality than Squarespace.

(AND more than Shopify, but that’s a blog for another day 😉)

Winner: Draw!

6. Ownership of Content 

So, who owns what and what can you actually do with your content?

When you set up a website with WordPress, you’re in control of your data.

Meaning it belongs to you and only you! Content that you put on your website can be exported and used anywhere without worry of interference.

A Squarespace site is at the mercy of Squarespace gods! 

They’re the middle man and you don’t technically own your site. So, if you set up a Squarespace site, be prepared for the eye-watering possibility of losing ALL your content. 

NOTE: It is possible to download Squarespace content if you’re tech-savvy and not afraid of a manual task.

Winner: WordPress

7. Customer Support

When you’re with Squarespace or WordPress, you’ll NEVER feel alone.

With every subscription they offer, Squarespace comes with dedicated personal email support, live chat, and a HUGE array of tutorials on hand to help you with any questions.

While WordPress has a big community of resources and tutorials. 

And although WordPress doesn’t have a specific support line, they DO have support for each theme, plugin, and builder. 

The downside is that you need to know who and where to ask for help, which is where it can get a bit technical.

Winner: Draw!

8. The Verdict

Now, I want you to ask yourself a question.

Rather than focusing on what website you want now, ask yourself this: 

“What kind of website do I want 5 years from now?”

If you have minimal needs and crave a website you can ‘lock up and leave’ then Squarespace is going to be the platform for you. But if you want to create your own custom website and have big plans for expansions and development, then WordPress is going to be your best bet.

Now tell me, are you team WordPress or team Squarespace?

If you’re sitting there thinking, “I still don’t know!” or need help deciding whether WordPress is for you, then don’t worry. There are people out there who can give you professional, trustworthy advice… Like me! 😉

As a Canberra web designer, I’m here to help you create your own custom website and lead along the way! Head over to my Web Design and Development page to learn more and if you have any questions get in touch now.

.au domains are here! Everything you need to know!

Attention Australian Business Owners! Did you hear the news? As of 24th March 2022 you can register for .au domain names.

.au is a brand new domain extension available to any individual, business or organisation that has a connection to Australia. So if you own you can register for

.au domains are being marketed as short, sweet, memorable and Australian. Which is great, but what’s more important to me personally is securing a domain that protects my business and brand.

Now I’m sure you’ve got the same questions I had, so I’ve laid out some answers below.

Am I eligible for a .au domain?

If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident or have a business/organisation registered in Australia, then yes.

The auDA website state the only requirement to register for a .au is…

A Person applying for a licence in the .au direct namespace must have an Australian presence direct domain names will be allocated according to the Priority allocation process set out in the .au Direct Priority Rules.

Meaning it’s available to more people. The other domain extensions have more requirements, for example to register a domain you need to be a registered business or company and your domain needs to be directly related to your business.

You can read the all the .au domains’ eligibility requirements here.

Do I need to buy a .au domain?

Nope you don’t, but I would suggest you seriously consider it. If you don’t secure it for yourself then you run the risk of someone else grabbing it. I don’t know about you but I’d be pretty annoyed if someone else bought my domain and started stealing a chunk of my online traffic.

VentraIP makes it a bit of a no brainer as they are offering first year registration for $8.67/year.

Can I keep my existing domain if I purchase a .au?

Yes you can, and I would recommend you hold onto it as well.

How do I register for a .au domain?

You will have 6 months to register for Priority Status from 24 March 2022 to 20 September 2022. During this period anyone can apply for the .au domain at the end of that period if you are the only register then it is yours. In the event of multiple people registering for the same domain auDA has a full Priority Allocation Process outlined (or read the next question 😉 ).

There are a number of online providers you can register through and prices will vary, I would recommend either of the following two.

If you already have your domains registered with either of these providers, the next time you login you will likely be prompted to register your interest.

When you register for your domain you will need a Priority Register Token that you can get from here.

What if someone else wants the same domain as me?

There are 3 potential scenarios on how this can play out.

First you need to know the difference between Category 1 and Category 2 applicants.

  • Category 1: Your domain was registered BEFORE the Priority Status cut-off date of 4 February 2018.
  • Category 2: Your domain was registered AFTER the Priority Status cut off date of 4 February 2018.

So the 3 potential scenarios…

1. There are both Category 1 and Category 2 applicants

This is simple, Category 1 applicants have priority and will be allocated the domain over Category 2.


  • Sally bought on 1 January 2015
  • Bob bought on 1 January 2021

Sally will have priority to register for as she purchased her domain before 4 February 2018.

2. There are multiple Category 1 applicants

This is where it gets complex, if multiple Category 1 applicants register then they must agree amongst themselves who gets it. If they cannot come to an agreement then the domain will remain unregistered until an agreement has been made.


  • Sally bought on 1 January 2015
  • Bob bought on 1 January 2016

Sally and Bob will need to negotiate amongst themselves about who will register the .au domain. If they cannot come to an agreement then the .au will stay unregistered. Every year they will need to renew their application until there is only a single application.

3. There are multiple Category 2 applicants

This is again straight forward, if multiple Category 2 applicants register then it will be allocated to whoever registered their domain first.


  • Sally bought on 1 January 2021
  • Bob bought on 2 January 2021

Sally will be allocated as her domain was registered before Bob’s.

The auDA has outlined the full Priority Allocation Process you can read all about it on their website, and if you’re unsure of what category you are you can check using the Priority Status Tool.

Where can I read more about .au domains?

If you want to read up more than my summary then check out the following resources.

auDA Website – the Godfather of Aussie domains

Afilias – official auDA partner

Google Domains

VentraIP – domain registrar

If you’re on the fence about whether to register for a .au domain I’d say go for it and then reassess down the track. If you want to talk it out with someone then send me a message to discuss.

Is .com or Better for My Australian Business Domain?

It’s a question I asked myself when I first started, and if I’m being honest I agonised over it for hours, days… weeks! It seems like such a simple question… but it’s not. There are so many different factors to consider when choosing the right domain extension for your business. 

Now looking at my domain I clearly went with, but it wasn’t my first choice. I actually juuuust missed out on the .com version… but I’m not going to go into that now, it’s a long story I’ll save for another time.

Everyone you speak to will have a different opinion on whether you should be using .com or for your Australian based business. But it really does depend on you, your business and your business goals.

Before we dive into that we should look at exactly what .com and are, so let’s start there!

What is .com and


.com is a TLD (Top Level Domain) and it’s the most widely recognised domain extension. It was first added in 1985 and it is derived from the word ‘commercial’. This domain extension is one of the original TLDs, the others are .edu, .gov, .mil, .net, .org and .int. is a ccTLD (Country Code Top Level Domain) and is allocated for Australian businesses. There are some rules that apply to owning a domain. But generally speaking, as long as you have an ABN (Australian Business Number) you can apply for a for 1-5 years.

Ok so now that we know the difference between them, it’s time to start thinking about what option is best suited for your business. 

I’ve condensed it down to 4 important factors for you to consider when choosing your domain. They are; where your business and target market are located, if you have plans to scale internationally, is it available to buy and what your budget is. 

Where is your business based and where is your target market located?

If you answered Australia to that, then that’s the first sign you should be using a domain, this is for two reasons:

Trust and Familiarity

Using immediately identifies you as an Australian business. I have seen countless discussions in business groups with people saying that when they see it instils a sense of trust. Not only that, but more and more now people are wanting to support local business, this immediately identifies you as an Australian business as you can’t actually own a domain without an ABN.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

As mentioned above is a ccTLD, and that provides an extra layer of information for search engines to use as a ranking factor for your website. For example, if you are in Ireland and you search for ‘best hairdresser in Dublin’ it is highly unlikely you will see any results with a domain. Google has crawled through all websites and has determined that a hairdresser in Australia with a domain is not a relevant search result for someone in Dublin, Ireland looking for a hairdresser. Since you need an ABN to register a, search engines can be confident that the only people using domains are Australian businesses.

Do you currently or in the future offer your services globally?

If the answer is yes, then you should seriously be considering .com.

We covered earlier that it is unlikely for a domain to be found in another country, .com being one of the original TLDs has a huge amount of power worldwide and has a higher chance of appearing in search engines results worldwide.

Is .com available?

Given its popularity, it is harder to find .com domains that are available to purchase. If you have decided on your business name and you search for the .com and it is not available, well then I guess your decision has been made for you.

You can easily search for domain availability online, my preferred website is GoDaddy to purchase domains and they have an easy Domain Availability Search.

What is your budget?

There are a lot of people out there who make a lot of money from buying and selling domains. To give you an idea of how much money I’m talking about, just while writing this blog post I went to Google Domains and searched for


I know what you’re thinking though why would you pay $5000 for a domain. Two words (or acronyms) SEO and ROI.


If someone went to Google and searched ‘pretty website’, there is a high chance your website would appear on page one of the search results.


That little SEO boost you got, all you would need to do is sell 1-2 websites to make back the investment. 

Now let’s search for the variation of this.

Much more affordable right? Couple reasons for that, first being to own you need to have an ABN. According to as of June 2021 there were approximately 2.4 million active businesses in Australia. That means 2.4 million businesses are allowed to buy this domain, versus .com which is available to everyone and with the current world population close to hitting 8 billion well you can see you’ve got a bit more competition.

Now the second reason, we’re going back to local SEO. Yes it’s still a valuable domain, but it’s only really valuable to you if you have an Australian business or are doing business in Australia.

So those are the things you should be considering when choosing a domain; where you are located, where your clients are located, your future plans for scaling, domain availability and your budget.

What would I do if both were available and both were reasonably priced? Buy both! Why wouldn’t you? 

If you’re still unsure of what is the best option for you and your business I’m happy to chat it through with you. Get in touch via my contact page.


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5 Ways to Speed up Your WordPress Website and Increase Conversion

Having a fast website is crucial to the success of your website. It impacts user experience, search engine optimisation and conversion rate.

How annoying is it when you visit a website and you sit there staring at a blank screen waiting for it to load? Poor user experience is a big no-no with websites. Google did a study in 2017 that found that as page load time went from 1 second to 3 seconds, the bounce rate increased by 32%!

Following on from that, Google have stated on their website that speed is now a ranking factor for search engine optimisation. I don’t care how amazing your website is, Google have literally said they aren’t going to be sending people your way if your website is too slow.

Slow websites also have an impact on conversion rate and this doesn’t only apply to small businesses. The BBC reported that for every extra second that it took their website to load they were losing 10% of their traffic!

Okay, I’ve made my point, we can all agree that speed matters. But the thing is most people are not aware of what the speed of their website is, or how they can improve. I’m here to change that with my top 5 tips on how to increase website speed.

Image Optimisation

Who doesn’t want to spruce up their website with nice pictures to look at, it would get a bit boring if it was only text.

Yet, one of the biggest causes of a slow website is images. That doesn’t mean you can’t use them (I mean I use them), it just means you need to be smart about what you use.

Optimisation is key, I optimise EVERYTHING before upload, those KBS add up. An example of this was a previous client I had who hired me to speed up her website, one of the first things I looked at was the images. She didn’t have a lot on her website but the files were huge!

By following a few simple steps I was able to reduce the image size from 40MB to 3.4MB… that was only 20 images!
Want to know the steps I used to optimise the images for her website? Read the steps outlined below.

Tips for Image Optimisation

  1. Crop to correct dimensions
    If you want to load up a fabulous photo of yourself to put on your about page, and it’s going to be 400×600 pixels. Please tell me why you would upload an image that is 2000×3000 pixels? That’s a whole lot of pixels for no reason. I use Resize Image which is a free Windows App, but you can use whatever software you’re comfortable with. Some free online options are Canva, or
  2. Run through TinyPNG
    Once your image is cropped to the correct dimensions you want to give it a little boost by compressing the image. Enter TinyPNG. TinyPNG compresses your image without losing the Image Quality.
  3. BONUS: Give the image file an SEO friendly name
    While this has no effect on your site speed it’s an important step you should take when uploading images to your website. Make sure you are naming all images with optimised titles before upload. For example, if you are uploading an image of a pink dress rather than keep the image file as IMG_444.jpg you want to call it exactly what it is pink-dress.jpg

Use a Good Web Host

Cheap hosting is the best option for my website performance… said no one ever. I get it, $1/month hosting sounds pretty amazing right? But for what you save in money you are losing in site performance, I’m sure there are exceptions to this… I mean I don’t know any but if you do send them my way, please.

See below for examples of real client sites before and after migrating their website to a better hosting provider.

What’s a good web host? Well, I love and use Cloudways and I recommend them to everyone. I don’t want this to turn into an ‘I love Cloudways‘ post, but honestly, they’re great.

They keep my website and my client’s websites safe, secure, speedy and as an added bonus their support is top-notch!

Install a Caching/Speed Plugin

Cache is the process of storing temporary data for a website, browser, app etc. This is important for websites because rather than loading a page fresh for every time someone new visits your website, caching skips that step and will show visitors a ‘copy’ of a previously loaded screen and as such reduces the load time for a visitor.

Caching plugins are powerful, they give you the ability to control dozens of different settings and as each website is different, each website needs to have different settings configured for it.

Enter my preferred caching plugins:

W3 Total Cache – FREE
WP Rocket – PAID

Install a CDN

A CDN (Content Delivery Network) speeds up the delivery of content to a website visitor, by using a network of geographically distributed servers. What this means is that if your host server is located in Sydney, Australia and someone is accessing it from the US, rather than the data travelling all the way from Sydney, a CDN can deliver that data from somewhere closer in the US.

CDNs are not only good for site speed, they are also an extra layer of security for your website. My preferred CDN is Cloudflare, they have both free and paid plans available.

Regularly check your website

Websites need ongoing maintenance and if you follow the steps above you’re off to a good start. However, it’s worth your time to run your website through tools such as GT Metrix and Page Speed Insights so you can see how your website is performing and where it can be improved.

Having a fast website is crucial to your visitor’s user experience, search engine optimisation and of course conversion rate. Does your site need speeding up? I offer Site Speed Audits to get you started, or if you’re looking for ongoing site management check out my WordPress Care Plans.


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Is Website Maintenance Important? The Answer Is Yes, Here’s Why!

You’ve got your flashy new website, you’ve hit the publish button, and you let it go off into the big World Wide Web. It’s an exciting time… but that’s not the end of the story.

Many people are not aware that there are ongoing costs involved with owning a website.

Think of a website like a pot plant. If you’ve ever bought a plant, you know that it needs to be cared for. You need to water it regularly, keep bugs away and make sure it’s in a safe environment to flourish. A website is much the same, you need to update plugins, themes and core regularly, you need to run security checks to prevent the website from being hacked and you need to keep it in a fast secure environment. Your website needs to be properly cared for so that it can represent your business in the best light possible.

Do you want to be a bad plant/website parent? No!

Plant analogy aside, I’ve listed 5 reasons below as to why you need to give your website regular maintenance.

1. Hacked website? No thanks! 

The number one reason to maintain your website is to decrease the chance of your website being hacked. Not having an up to date website is one of the main reasons websites get hacked. This includes updating your plugins, themes and core. On top of that regular security scans are vital to identifying any potential risks to your website. When looking for a maintenance plan it’s important to check they offer security scans and regular updates.

2. Google will be your best friend

Google loves fresh content, it loves safe websites, it loves fast websites. Regular maintenance of your website means you can keep it up to date and keep it safe, and that will keep Google happy. As a business owner, it is so important to keep a good relationship with Google, if you neglect your website and worse comes to worst Google can, and will, blacklist you.

3. Keep customers, don’t scare them away!

Ever been to a website and it’s slow to load, pictures aren’t appearing, there are broken links and suddenly you’re on a 404 error page. Yikes. Not pretty! Website maintenance means you can avoid these scenarios and keep your customers on your website rather than having them running for the hills.

4. Your website will never disappear!

Well, it’s unlikely and if it does it won’t be permanent. Regular website backups are a vital part of choosing a website maintenance plan. On the off chance that something does happen to your website; it gets hacked or your content gets deleted. Regular backups mean that if the worse does happen then you can restore your website pronto!

5. Value for money 

When you think about website maintenance do you cringe? Does it take up way too much of your time? Time, that you could be spending running your business. By purchasing a website maintenance plan you are handing the reins over to an expert. Their job is to look after your website, keep it safe, keep it running smoothly AND even better if something does go wrong you know it’s in safe hands!

Have I convinced you? Website maintenance is such an important (if not the most important) part of having a website. 

If you’re sitting there thinking “Where the hell do I start?!?!” don’t worry, there are people out there who can look after your site for you… like me!

Head over to my Hosting and Care Plan page to learn more and if you have any questions get in touch!


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Custom 404 Page? What is it and why you need one… like yesterday!

Ever clicked on a link or mistyped a web address and suddenly you’re faced with “404 Error – Page Not Found?” Accompanied by a complicated message explaining the error or just a blank space?

It’s enough to make your eyes glaze over, fall asleep and next minute you’ve exited the page and turned on Netflix… or something along those lines!

What many people don’t realise is that a 404 page is prime real estate! It’s an opportunity to turn website deserters into potential leads.

Continue reading to find out what exactly a 404 page is and why without a custom 404 page you are missing out on this opportunity!

What exactly is a 404 page?

A 404 page is also know as an error page, it’s the page that lets a user know that the page they requested does not exist. That could be due to a broken link, a deleted web page or just a typo.

The message only appears when the browser was able to connect with the server, but the server could not find what it was looking for.

“If it was able to connect to a server how come it couldn’t find what it was looking for?” I hear you say.

First let’s look at basic URL structure…I’ll use my domain as an example There are 2 components to this

  • the Domain Name
  • the Path

The Domain Name is “” and the Path is “/contact”
The Domain Name is how a browser connects to the server, it is your unique address.
The Path is what leads a visitor to a certain page stored within the server.

For example if you were to mistype the Path: this would connect to the server however as the page “conact” does not exist this is when you would get a 404 Error Page Not Found message.

On the other hand if you were to mistype the domain name: you would get a broken link or you might even end up on a completely different website.

Mistyped Domain Name = broken link or different website
Mistyped Path = 404 page

Asides from accidental typos when trying to visit a website, sometimes you can unintentionally click on a broken link. This could be due to a typo on the website itself, or a discontinued product or a page that was once deleted.

By clicking on these broken links, again you will be redirected to the 404 page for that website.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “why don’t you remove all broken links” or “just be careful when typing in a URL”, and yes I agree 100% that should be done, and it’s something that most good web developers should be doing. However at times there can be links that are missed, another website might be linking to a blog post on your website that is now deleted and sometimes it just comes down to human error.

The point is, a 404 page is important and that’s why you should be taking advantage of the prime real estate it offers.

Enter “Custom 404 Page”

A Custom 404 Page is just that, it’s a 404 page that has been customised for your website.Instead of visitors getting a generic 404 page they can get an on brand page with a clear call-to-action (CTA) and reduce the chance of a lost client/customer.Must haves for a custom 404 page

  • “404” message – well duh, just because you can add a CTA doesn’t mean you should forget the reason people have ended up here. Let them know they have ended up on the wrong page, but not to worry you’ll help them find their way.
  • a search bar, ‘return to home’ button or sitemap – give visitors the chance to be able to search for what they were looking for, return to home or use the sitemap for guidance to continue on their way.
  • and last but not least… a CALL-TO-ACTION! …pretty self explanatory

I also want to make the point that this isn’t an opportunity for you to throw ten thousand products into a site visitors face, no – don’t do that! A 404 page still needs to send a message that the site visitor did not end up on their intended page, but you can definitely give them encouragement to head towards your latest blog post, or a new product you are trying to sell.

Ideas for CTAs you can put on your custom 404 page.

  • Direct visitors to your latest product or store.
  • A link to your services page.
  • Links to your latest blog post, if you want more traffic on the latest blog post.
  • An email opt-in to sign up for your newsletter.
  • A free download.

Whatever it is limit it to 1 (maybe 2) you don’t need to overwhelm your visitors. Imagine it… a 404 message, a search bar and a clear CTA all wrapped up in your awesome branding and you’re guaranteed to keep visitors on your website.

Have fun with it!

The best part about having a custom 404 page is that you can have a bit of fun with it!

Check out some of these companies’ custom 404 pages here.


Disney’s 404 page is simple and to the point, but it stays on brand with a bit of humour.

View it here:


BluePath is a Data Strategy Company, they are on brand and showcase what they do by showing a map of reported crimes in Atlanta but then they also inflict humour at the end.

View it here:


Marvel keeps their 404 page theme as well, they have multiple screens so that each time you visit the page it will generate a new character. Head to their site and see what you get!

View it here:

Steve Lambert

I love Steve Lambert’s, it’s so uncomfortable and awkward – but it works for his brand. Along with the big headline announcing it is the “most awkward 404 not found page on the internet” there is a video that goes for a few minutes (I think I tapped out at about 30 seconds), just telling you how awkward this is for you.

View it here:


Omelet is a creative company and it shows on their 404 page. I had to give them a mention for their egg pun… I love puns and you should too! Keeping on brand there is another effect that happens when you scroll on the page… go check it out!

View it here:


Like Disney, the Pixar website delivers a clear message but they stay on brand.

View it here:


Added 3 Sep 2022

A new addition! I stumbled across this fun 404 page this week and knew I had to add it to this list.

Car Wow

The last one I’ll share is from a car buying website in the UK. In addition to delivering a call to action they also have a fun interactive game for you to play! You can give it a go here.

View it here:

As you can see, you can have a lot of fun with a custom 404 page, gone are the days of boring 404: Page Not Found messages. It’s time to win back site visitors and keep them on your website.

Have you come across a cool custom 404 page while browsing the internet, I’d love to check it out so share it in the comments.

Or if you’re interested in having your own custom 404 page, head to my contact page and send me a message!


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Domain, Hosting, DNS, SSL, CMS – what are they and what do they mean?

Affiliate Disclaimer: This article may contain some affiliate links. That means if you purchase something through any of these links, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend tools and resources that I have used personally or come highly recommended.

Domain, Hosting, DNS, SSL, CMS… confused? Don’t worry you’re not alone! I remember when I first started out learning web development it took me a while to wrap my head around all these new terms.

I’m sure you’re thinking “ugh do I even need to know what they are?”.

Short answer: Yes!

Long answer: Yes – all of these things are key components to building a website and although it’s not the most thrilling aspect it’s in your best interest to know what each of them do and how they work in unison.

So let’s dive right in!

What is a Domain?

A domain name is the address of a website, this is the URL that a visitor types into a browser. For example, my domain name is A domain name simplifies online navigation, without it we would need to memorise a combination of unique numbers and characters every time we wanted to visit a website.A domain name is made up of two parts:

  • Top Level Domain (TLD)
  • Second Level Domain (SLD)

SLDs are what make your domain unique, take my domain for example:, the SLD is shannonpayne and the is the TLD

SLD <– [shannonpayne] [] –> TLD

Common TLD’s that you are likely familiar with are

  • .com
  • .info
  • .org

Some TLDs are restricted and you must meet certain requirements to register (must have an ABN).gov (must be a government body).edu (must be an accredited education institute)As of 2020 there were more than 1500 different TLDs.

You can search for domain name availability at GoDaddy or Google Domains.

What is Hosting?

Web hosting gives your website a place to live on the internet. It provides space on a server that stores all of your website’s files (code, text, images, video etc). When someone goes to their browser and types in your domain, it is being directed to your space on the server. Without it, it would be like picking up a phone and hearing the dead tone.

The three primary types of hosting are Shared, Dedicated and VPS.

Shared hosting means sharing a server and all its resources with other websites. Ideal for smaller websites.

Dedicated hosting is a server that is 100% yours. This means you have full control over it and do not need to share resources with anyone else. Ideal for large websites.

On top of that, each hosting provider has varying levels of features, support and specifications within the different types of hosting. Hosting can vary from as little as $1 a month up to hundreds per month. Cheaper is not always better and it pays to do your research to find a host that is suitable for your website needs.

VPS hosting is a single server that has been separated into multiple smaller private servers. So although you are still sharing the same server, you have your own private section that does not share as many resources. Ideal for medium sized websites.

I personally use Cloudways for hosting and I highly recommend it to all clients.

What is a DNS?

DNS (Domain Name Server) is what connects your Domain to your Hosting. When someone goes to a browser and types in a domain name the DNS is what connects the visitor to your host so that they can view your website.

Different web hosts have different DNS specific to them, so if you were to change web hosts you would need to update your DNS to your new hosts details, this is key so that when people enter your URL they are directed to the correct space on the internet.

Without the DNS properly configured people can not access your website. Imagine someone gives you an address to a house party and you show up and the party isn’t there!

What is an SSL?

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is what keeps your website secure. It uses an encryption-based security protocol to ensure the privacy and security of your website. You know sometimes when you go to visit a website and your computer warns you it isn’t safe to visit? That is because that website does not have an SSL. This does not always mean that the website is unsafe, but without an SSL you are risking the chance of visitors turning back when they try to visit your website.

The easiest way to find out if your website has an SSL is to look at your domain. If the prefix is HTTPS it has an SSL, if it is HTTP it does not or alternatively you can enter your domain name into this website and it will check it for you.

All my hosting and maintenance plans have an SSL included, you can get more information here.

What is a CMS?

CMS (Content Management System) is a way for you to build a website without programming skills. Often confused with web hosting, a CMS is software that makes building a website more user friendly. Without a CMS you would need to know how to code to build a website.

Common CMS platforms are WordPress (my preferred), Squarespace, Joomla, Wix – to name a few.

Before choosing your web hosting you need to choose your CMS, as some CMS already have hosting included.

Still confused? How about an analogy (because analogies are fun!).

Say you want to visit your friends home, you get in your car and you type your friends address (Domain) into the GPS. You start driving to your friends’ home along the road (DNS), when you arrive at the location (Hosting) you see their house structure (CMS) and on the front of the door is a lock (SSL) so you know that it is secure inside.

Domain = Street address
Hosting = Location
DNS = Road to the house
SSL = Lock on house (security)
CMS = Foundations/structure of house

I get it, all the jargon can be overwhelming at times! But it is important to have a general understanding of what you are dealing with, and the rest you can hand over to the professionals **cough me cough**.

If you have any questions send me a message or leave a comment below!


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Difference in White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO. *Hint* Black Hat SEO is bad!

White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO refers to the techniques used to improve your websites search engine ranking.

You know how in old western films the hero wore the white cowboy hat and the villain would wear the black cowboy hat? Well, it’s the same with Black vs White Hat SEO.

Black Hat SEO = Bad Practice

White Hat SEO = Good Practice

Black Hat SEO can be tempting for some as it is seen as a quick and easy way to climb up the search engine rankings. However the success is often short-lived, search engines are quick to penalise those that try to manipulate them.

SEO is a long game and White Hat SEO acknowledges that.

The best thing you can do for yourself, your business and your website is to know what tactics to implement and what to avoid. Continue reading to find out more and what you can do to improve your search engine ranking and what not to do so you don’t get penalised.

What is White Hat SEO?

White Hat SEO refers to the correct and ethical way to optimise your site for search engine ranking by following search engine guidelines, focusing on the site visitors and users, and taking a long-term approach.

Follows search engine guidelines

Google literally tells you what to do and what not to do, have a read of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to make sure you’re following the rules!

Focuses on the user

If you are providing useful content for your site visitors, you are likely to get return visitors and referrals. Search engines acknowledge this, by being a source of information you are benefiting your search ranking.

Long-term approach

Ranking higher in search engines doesn’t happen overnight. SEO is a long game, and White Hat SEO acknowledges that. It takes time to build up your website as a reliable source, by implementing best practice every day you will eventually build the authority that gets you one page 1 of search engines.

What is Black Hat SEO?

Black Hat SEO is the opposite of White Hat SEO, it uses manipulative and unethical practices to attempt to rank higher in search engines. It violates search engine guidelines, focuses on search engine crawlers and is about making “quick-wins”.

Violates search engine guidelines

Again, check out Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to avoid Black Hat SEO tactics.

Focuses on the search engine crawlers

The search engine crawlers do not see what the users see and vice versa. They see what is going on in the background, this is where Black Hat SEO techniques come into play which I will cover further below.

Making “quick-wins”

Many people who use Black Hat SEO techniques do not respect that SEO is a long game. They are focusing on how to rank as quickly and as easily as possible, which is not sustainable. It may not always be immediate but search engines do eventually catch up to you and they will penalise you.

White Hat SEO Techniques to Implement

1. Quality content

At the end of the day, this is exactly what search engines are looking for. They want you to provide quality content so that they can reference THEIR site visitors to you! If they are not providing quality content to their users, then those users will not return. It is a domino effect.

2. UX and UI

Build a website that is user friendly and easy to navigate. A site that is well laid out for visitors and takes them to where they need is going to improve bounce rate which is a considered factor for search engine ranking.

3. Mobile-friendliness

Related to user experience, search engines prioritise websites that are mobile friendly. Again they want the best user experience for their visitors. Google has a free Mobile-Friendly Test for you to see if your website is mobile-friendly. For more on responsive design read my blog post here.

4. Site speed

Your site speed signals to search engines that again your site is user-friendly. A slow-loading website is jeopardizing your search engine ranking. To check the speed of your website visit GT Metrix.

5. Proper use of keywords

Do proper keyword research, look for gaps in the market and build your content around those keywords. Don’t keyword stuff when writing your content either, stick to a primary keyword and a few secondary keywords, and make sure your content is legible!

Moz and Ahrefs both have great keyword research tools for you to use.

6. Optimised code

Write lean code and use properly structured code to assist search engines to find what they are looking for. Use proper heading tags so crawlers know what an article is about, use alt tags on your images. If you aren’t sure where to start, enlist the help of a web developer who can ensure your code is fully optimised.

7. Link building

Link building is a way to drive traffic from your website to other relevant sources and vice versa. This can be linking for further reading, linking a related source, linking a relevant document/image/video. It is another way to build your authority, keep in line with White Hat link building and avoid Black Hat practices described below.

Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid

1. Keyword Stuffing

Probably the more common technique people use to get their content to rank higher. By repeatedly using keywords you may be getting noticed by search engines but you are making your content unreadable.

Check out Google’s example of keyword stuffing:

We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at

If your content has a higher percentage of keywords than actual useful information – you’re keyword stuffing.

2. Hidden Text

Exactly as the name suggests, this is hiding your text and links so that the user can not see it but the search engine is picking up on it and so potentially improving your ranking.

There are a few ways this can be achieved:

  • changing the colour of the text to match the page background (i.e. white text on white background).
  • linking a bit of punctuation such as a full stop or comma
  • making the font size so small it can not be seen

If your user can’t see it – don’t do it.

3. Cloaking

Similar to Hidden Text, Cloaking is when you are showing one thing to your visitors and another to search engines. For example, a visitor looks at your page and sees an image, however, a search engine sees hidden text and links coded into the page.

4. Duplicate content

You visit another website that is ranking well, you like their content, you copy it and publish it on your website. We learnt in school that plagiarism is bad – don’t forget that. Search engines won’t look at your site and think “oh wow this is great information”, instead they will think “hmm I’ve seen this somewhere else, this is not useful this is just duplicate content”. Don’t do it.

5. Doorways

Doorway pages are of little use to visitors but are used to funnel visitors to the final destination. Generally, they are keyword rich and can appear useful to search engine crawlers which can temporarily increase your search ranking. However once a search engine discovers it you will be penalised and don’t think you’re safe if you’re a big company either, in 2006 Google penalised BMW for using doorways!

6. Comment Spam

How annoying are spam comments? Most people who have a blog will get spam comments at some point, and you will notice most of them have links. This is a Black Hat technique to build more backlinks to their website. It’s not cool, it’s annoying, and search engines will not like you for it.

These are but a few Black Hat SEO techniques you need to avoid to make sure you are not at risk of experiencing the wrath of Google or any other search engine.

For a full list of Black Hat SEO techniques to AVOID check out the guidelines given by the masters themselves at Google.

Penalties for using Black Hat SEO

With all this talk about how bad Black Hat SEO is, there have to be some consequences for using these techniques.

For starters, search engines will update their algorithm so the techniques you have been using will no longer be effective. Your “quick-wins” have become “quick-loses”.

Examples of this are:

Hummingbird: targeted exact-match keyword targeting and keyword stuffing

Panda: targeted low quality, thin content and spammy websites

Fred: low-value and affiliate heavy content

For more examples read this article here.

These are general updates, however, if you really p*ss off Google you can get handed a manual action that means a real human has looked at your website and said NOPE. This can blacklist a web page or an entire website and you can lose your domain authority. To fix this you need to read the manual action report, fix the issues that have been described and then request a review.

But I bet you want me to name names, don’t you!

Asides from BMW that was mentioned above, here are some other companies that have suffered the wrath of Google!

JC Penney – JC Penney had a paid link strategy to rank better on Google search results. At the time every trending product you searched for you were supposed to see their website at the top. Google penalised them and their website ranking dropped to almost the hundredth position in the search results.

Gourmet Gift Baskets – after outsourcing their SEO, the owner woke up one day to find their site had disappeared from Google. It was discovered that one of the companies managing their SEO had been buying links and as a result, they were hit with a penalty right before the holiday season which ended up costing them almost USD 4 million!

Mozilla – Mozilla was penalised for hosting a webpage that had more than 21k spam comments! Although this wasn’t their fault, it serves a lesson to everyone with a website the importance of managing spam comments. The page lost some of its rankings, however, Mozilla ended up completely removing the page.

Google doesn’t just punish others, they have also penalised themselves FIVE times!

It goes to show it doesn’t matter who you are, how big your company is, Black Hat SEO tactics are to be avoided! You may experience quick-wins and a short time at the top, but search engines will catch up to you and the results can be devastating.

Need help with your SEO? Check out my SEO audits or head to my contact page and get in touch!


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How to: Create a Low Highlight Text Effect Using CSS

I still recall the first time I saw the highlighted text effect. I had only just started learning web development and while browsing the internet one day I came across a blog that had a pretty pink highlighted heading. I remember thinking to myself “hmm how do I highlight text in CSS?” And then thinking that MAYBE one day I would know how to do that?

WELL, fast forward to one week later (no joke), I had just signed my first website build and what was her request? “All headings to have that cool highlighted text effect”. Guess the time had come – I would learn how to do the highlighted text effect!

What ensued was a panicked googling session, bits of information gathered here and there, a lot of trial and error and voila! I had figured out the “cool highlighted text effect”

**hooray – pop the champagne**

I was so excited! This was my first time doing any sort of CSS styling, and it was also the moment I knew 100% I had made the right decision about learning web development!

What many people don’t know is that HTML already has a standard highlight tag, the ‘mark’ tag.

<mark>This is an example of me using the mark tag.</mark>
This is an example of me using the mark tag.

Pretty nifty huh? But what if you want more than the basic (boring) yellow highlight text?

Different colours, thicker line, thinner line, even multiple colours!

Well, say hello to my little friend Cascading Style Sheet (CSS).

I LOVE CSS! Seriously, it’s the best.

There are a couple of ways you can achieve this effect, I think my way is the best (obviously). But the way I am about to show you is in my opinion the most flexible option for width, height and positioning. It works really well and you can achieve any look you desire!

So let’s begin!

Step 1: The basics.

First of all we need to create the section of text that you want to highlight, you can do this to anything you want; headings, paragraph, links, dot points etc. I’ll be using the H1 heading tags.

*HTML has 6 heading tags: H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6. H1 is the largest and should be used for the main headings of a page.

<h1>I love tacos!</h1>

I love tacos!

Step 2: Get specific.

We don’t want to make ALL H1 headings have the highlight effect, so we need to get a bit more specific, to do this we add the <span> tag. The <span> tag is used to group and apply styles to inline elements, you can read up more on it here.

<h1><span>I love tacos!</span><h1>

I love tacos!

You can see the <span> tag doesn’t actually do anything, to add styling to this we need to add a class (the class is what we target to add styling).

<h1><span class="highlight">I love tacos!</span></h1>

Step 3: Style it!

Now that we have the class “highlight” we know what we need to target when we add CSS.

If you’re using WordPress this can be done by either of the following methods:

  • Add it to the style.css
  • Add it in Additional CSS from the WordPress Dashboard >Appearance > Customize

Now the fun part!

highlight {
    background: linear-gradient(120deg, #e4a0a1 0%, #e4a0a1 100%);
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-size: 100% 20%;
    background-position: 0 60%;

I love tacos!

Woohoo! Isn’t that fun?!

Let’s not stop there though! By adjusting the CSS we can do whatever we please!

Thicker? No problem! Just increase the background-size.

highlight {
    background: linear-gradient(120deg, #e4a0a1 0%, #e4a0a1 100%);
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-size: 100% 50%;
    background-position: 0 60%;

I love tacos!

Thinner? You got it! Decrease the background-size.

highlight {
    background: linear-gradient(120deg, #e4a0a1 0%, #e4a0a1 100%);
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-size: 100% 5%;
    background-position: 0 60%;

I love tacos!

What if you want to raise or lower the highlight? All you need to do is adjust the background-position. The lower the percentage the “higher” the highlight.

highlight {
    background: linear-gradient(120deg, #e4a0a1 0%, #e4a0a1 100%);
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-size: 100% 40%;
    background-position: 0 30%;

I love tacos!

And the higher the percentage the “lower” the highlight.

highlight {
    background: linear-gradient(120deg, #e4a0a1 0%, #e4a0a1 100%);
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-size: 100% 40%;
    background-position: 0 90%;

I love tacos!

Step 4: Go wild!

There are endless possibilities for what you can do, I’ll show you a few more!

You can target specific words in a sentence.

<h1>I <span class="highlight">love</span> tacos!</h1>

I love tacos!

You can use multiple colours.

You’ll notice there are now 3 classes (highlight1, highlight2, highlight3), you need to add styling for each of these.

<h1><span class="highlight1">I </span><span class="highlight2">love </span><span class="highlight3">tacos!</span></h1>

I love tacos!

You can do a pretty gradient effect.

<h1><span class="highlight">I love tacos!</span></h1>
highlight {
    background: linear-gradient(120deg, #e4a0a1 0%, #b8e1ff 100%);
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-size: 100% 20%;
    background-position: 0 60%;

I love tacos!

I could go on all day but I think that is more than enough to get you started! Like I said earlier, the highlight effect was the first time I saw what I was capable of achieving with CSS – so it has a special place in my heart!

Want more CSS snippets like this? Sign up to the waitlist for The CSS Vault.

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What Is Responsive Design and Why Is It Important?

Ever visited a website and the layout is all skewed? Images are cut off, the text is too big and the screen jumps all over the place as you scroll? Yeah, that’s not a mobile responsive website!

There is no excuse to not have a mobile-friendly website these days, and most web designers and developers will make a website mobile responsive by default. However it’s important you know what exactly responsive design is so that if you are building your own website or hiring someone to do it, you can ensure your website is mobile-friendly!

mobile responsive design cat squashed
Illustration by Sabreena Katz, Designer at Station Four

What is responsive web design?

Responsive web design is a design approach that allows websites to automatically adjust to suit different sized screens and viewports; i.e. desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone etc.
Responsive design means that you can view a website from any device and it will still look and function just as well as it does on a desktop!

How does responsive design work?

I’ll try not to get too “techy” here.
A typical website is made up of a set of files, generally speaking, those files will include content (text and images), HTML code and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

CSS is how a website is styled, this includes colours, fonts, sizing, layout (plus a whole lot more), without CSS a website would look pretty meh!

HTML only


Psst… I built this super adorable alpaca site during Julia Taylor’s 5 Day Coding Challenge. Check it out here!

To make a website mobile responsive we use CSS to add extra “styling” so that a website not only looks good on a desktop, it looks good on any device!
I could go on… but I said I wouldn’t be too techy!

Now, moving on to the important stuff!

Why do you need a mobile responsive site?

As a website owner, it is in your best interest to have a mobile responsive website. Listed below are 3 reasons why mobile responsive design is important!

Half of your website traffic comes from mobile devices

In Q3 of 2020, reported that 50.81% of website traffic comes from mobile traffic! That is a huge proportion of the market that is accessing your website from a mobile device. If a potential customer comes to your website and is unable to easily navigate, they are going to quickly exit and not return.

The graph above shows the increase in mobile traffic since 2015, it’s only going to go up from here!

Social Media + Responsive Design = $$$

Chances are if you’re using Instagram or Facebook you’re probably doing so on a mobile device.

Picture this scenario: You’re scrolling through Instagram and see a pair of shoes you LOVE! You click the link in the Instagram bio and are met with a website that is a jumble of pictures and words. I bet it doesn’t take you long to exit back to Instagram and keep on scrolling.

Now if you’re a business owner, doesn’t that thought send shivers through your spine? By not having a mobile responsive website you are losing customers!

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention SEO! Google recommends mobile responsive design, and I know they aren’t the only search engine out there – but they are the big boys in the schoolyard!

Google’s aim is to provide quality content to people who use their search engine. They don’t care if you have the most amazing product ever invented, they care that you have an amazing website to display your product!

Check out their free Mobile-Friendly Check to see how your website scores!

So is your website mobile responsive?

There are a few ways you can check;

  1. If you haven’t already done so, head to Google’s free Mobile-Friendly Check and enter your URL.
  2. When building websites or making changes and updates I use Responsive Design Checker. It is a free online tool that allows you to view your website in whatever screen size you want. They have preset sizes or you can enter your own custom dimensions.
  3. Ask your friends and family! Ask them to visit your website on their mobile phone or tablet and give you feedback!

If your website is not mobile responsive and you need some help, head to my contact page and fill in the form. I’d love to help you out!


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20 Funny Lorem Ipsum Generators

Most web designers (or any designer) knows that sometimes there is a need for some dummy text, whether it be using a wireframe to a client or showing a mockup. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m a bit tired of using the same old Lorem Ipsum. Thankfully, I wasn’t the first to think this! There are now so many unique and funny Lorem Ipsum generators out there to suit any project, client or personality.

Before we dive into the fun stuff, some of you may not know what Lorem Ipsum is or why we use it? Let’s cover those first!

What is Lorem Ipsum?

Lorem Ipsum is placeholder text or ‘dummy text’ that is used in the design and printing industry. The text came from a book that was published in 45BC; “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero. However, it was in the 1500s that Lorem Ipsum was first used as dummy text when it was used to make a type specimen book. It has survived 5 centuries and has become an industry standard.

Why do we use Lorem Ipsum?

The purpose of Lorem Ipsum is to create a natural-looking block of text that does not distract the viewer. It has a normal distribution of letters and spacing so as to appear as a paragraph without having anything “readable”.

It can be used to help the client focus on the overall design rather than get distracted by the text, another reason you might use Lorem Ipsum is if the final copy isn’t ready yet.

Lorem Ipsum is great, but let’s be honest it can get a little dry. But thanks to the magical world of the internet there are now dozens of funny, unique (and free) lorem ipsum generators out there to suit all your needs! Cupcake Ipsum – for something sweet, or Cheese Ipsum – for the cheese lovers!

I’ve gathered together some of my favourites (and some more) to give you 20 unique and funny lorem ipsum generators for your next design project.

1. Lorem Ipsum

Well it would be rude to note mention the OG.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

2. Cupcake Ipsum

This is my go-to ipsum generator when working on projects, for all those who want a bit of sugar and sweetness!

Jelly beans gummies sweet sesame snaps cupcake candy canes candy canes tootsie roll muffin. Pastry caramels dragée cake. Powder jujubes liquorice gummies dessert sweet roll cake. Fruitcake jujubes gingerbread ice cream jelly beans gummies. Chocolate bar wafer pastry. Brownie apple pie bear claw brownie brownie candy canes.

3. Cat Ipsum

My second favourite! Perfect for all cat lovers and to use for your cat loving clients!

Purr for no reason eat all the power cords yet meow for food, then when human fills food dish, take a few bites of food and continue meowing yet hit you unexpectedly cat ass trophy or unwrap toilet paper please stop looking at your phone and pet me. Stare at wall turn and meow stare at wall some more meow again continue staring i heard this rumor where the humans are our owners, pfft, what do they know?!

4. Bogan Ipsum

For the Australians out there! Use this ipsum generator to have your clients saying “You beauty!”

Galah down under holden sheila spit the dummy come a bush telly apples boil-over bottlo whinge. Rock up stubby rip snorter you little ripper thongs. Cubby house bludger not my bowl of rice pash bundy sickie bloody oath. Wuss it’ll be bundy rack off tucker-bag bluey spag bol aussie rules footy amber fluid. Spag bol metho grundies full blown bizzo smoko. Tinny vee dub mokkies yobbo porky mate strewth.

5. Pirate Ipsum

For all of those who dreamt of being a Pirate! Pirate Ipsum is another unique option on the list!

Brig booty maroon red ensign mizzenmast barque cutlass squiffy Arr ballast. Spanish Main holystone belaying pin jury mast provost code of conduct rope’s end dance the hempen jig chase coffer. Fire ship Davy Jones’ Locker reef fore capstan Arr pinnace skysail nipper bilge.

6. Coffee Ipsum

Coffee lovers unite! When the caffeine hit isn’t quite strong enough, give it a boost with Coffee Ipsum!

Macchiato, robusta steamed acerbic, crema sugar café au lait a ristretto. Dripper, bar macchiato flavour strong extraction coffee dark cortado. Froth, foam instant et iced and wings. Robusta beans qui steamed roast whipped percolator robust instant. Decaffeinated, affogato aroma dark at half and half roast.

7. Chuck Norris Ipsum

Chuck Norris made me include this.

Chuck Norris once roundhouse kicked someone so hard that his foot broke the speed of light, went back in time, and killed Amelia Earhart while she was flying over the Pacific Ocean, When Chuck Norris sends in his taxes, he sends blank forms and includes only a picture of himself, crouched and ready to attack. Contrary to popular belief, Chuck Norris, not the box jellyfish of northern Australia, is the most venomous creature on earth.

8. Veggie Ipsum

Get your ipsum straight from the farmers market, fresh vegetables to fill your project up!

Beetroot water spinach okra water chestnut courgette summer purslane. Water spinach arugula pea tatsoi aubergine spring onion bush tomato kale pea sprouts fava bean. Dandelion zucchini burdock yarrow chickpea soybean radish artichoke wattle seed endive groundnut broccoli arugula.

9. Bacon Ipsum

More of a meat-lover? Bacon ipsum has got you covered with the meatiest of ipsums.

Bacon ipsum dolor amet tempor enim nisi ut. Buffalo pancetta deserunt, do salami laborum pork chop proident hamburger. Pork loin flank dolore consectetur. Ut ipsum jowl turducken. Qui shankle bacon spare ribs boudin ipsum non. Id burgdoggen ea buffalo reprehenderit.

10. Samuel L Ipsum

It wouldn’t be right if there wasn’t a Samuel L Jackson ipsum, add a bit of badass to your project.

Normally, both your asses would be dead as fucking fried chicken, but you happen to pull this shit while I’m in a transitional period so I don’t wanna kill you, I wanna help you. But I can’t give you this case, it don’t belong to me. Besides, I’ve already been through too much shit this morning over this case to hand it over to your dumb ass.

11. Pommy Ipsum

Aussie slang not your thing? How about some Pommy slang?

Because there was nothing on the gogglebox gutted on his bill middle class absobloodylootely bent as a nine bob note tip-top I bid you good day terribly red telephone box. Hedgehog rambunctious conkers doing my nut in a cuppa unhand me sir chav a tad, ey up duck roast beef bread and butter pudding throw a paddy could murder a pint treacle.

12. Cheese Ipsum

Mmmm cheeeesseee!! For all your delicious and tasty melted goodness.

I love cheese, especially fondue jarlsberg. Emmental cut the cheese babybel bavarian bergkase swiss paneer cheese on toast cut the cheese. Paneer cheese triangles swiss jarlsberg croque monsieur cauliflower cheese feta fromage.

13. JS Ipsum

This ipsum is for the tech geeks out there, random bits of JavaScript that appears as a whole lot of technical jibberish!

HTTP requests. World Wide Web browsers typically expose host objects representing HTTP request and variable declarations to specify the majority of one object that the standardized in environments that can run locally in JavaScript Components. Modernizr is a tool to extend JavaScript utilities designed for browser.

14. Zombie Ipsum

For the zombie and horror fans out there, good combination of brains and ipsum!

Zombie ipsum reversus ab viral inferno, nam rick grimes malum cerebro. De carne lumbering animata corpora quaeritis. Summus brains sit​​, morbo vel maleficia? De apocalypsi gorger omero undead survivor dictum mauris.

15. Lorem Ricksum

For the fans of Rick and Morty, or in the creators words “the most loved and hated lorem ipsum”.

Are you hungry for apples? ARE YOU HUNGRY FOR APPLESSS!? I’m not looking for judgement, just a yes or no. Can you assimilate a giraffe? They’re not infinite universes left in sync with the show.

16. Ramen Ipsum

Did you say Ramen?!

Salt chicken stock Nagoya vinegar rice yuzu spinach toasted sesame seeds kamaboko Asahikawa rice tsukemen yuzu abura soba yuzu Tokushima Nissin instant cup ramen pork cubes Nissin instant cup ramen.

17. Online Dating Ipsum

The ipsum generator that pulls it’s content from online dating profiles.

Going to the gym I have a crush on someone who shares my sense of humor tattoos. Making lasagna from scratch knowing the difference between their/there/they’re new friends just looking to have some fun mountain biking, Indian food ethical nonmonogamy home brewing going to the gym video games.

18. Batman Ipsum

For the Batmaniacs, this ipsum generator uses direct quotes from Batman movies.

This isn’t a car. Bruce Wayne, eccentric billionaire. Hero can be anyone. Even a man knowing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy shoulders to let him know the world hadn’t ended.

19. Baseball Ipsum

Any baseball fans here?! If you can’t get enough of the game this combination of baseball-related words will help you out!

Left on base lineup bat petey red sox alley left fielder starter. Strike zone grass foul pole stretch wrigley reds off-speed cardinals. Fall classic umpire plunked count basehit bush league outfielder. Catcher wins inning rubber game moneyball, series squeeze hardball. Grass at-bat home robbed tossed rotation cork loss hit by pitch.

20. Lit Ipsum

Snippets from classic literature, Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice, Dracula and more!

By eleven o’clock the next day we were well upon our way to the old English capital. Holmes had been buried in the morning papers all the way down, but after we had passed the Hampshire border he threw them down and began to admire the scenery.

21. Cheeseburger Ipsum

Bonus ipsum generator (because yum!)

Any day without a cheeseburger in it is a waste. You can find a cheeseburger no matter where you go in the world, so you have no excuse to miss out on the glory that some people can only dream of. Step up to the plate.

22. 2020 Ipsum

**BONUS** (another bonus) The end of 2020 brought the Ipsum generator we all needed!

Lorem ipsum Coronavirus whipped coffee doomscrolling protests. Mail-in vote home quarantini pod disinfect murder hornets. Last Dance Quibi no march madness UFO monolith flatten the curve we can’t hear you. PPE. Zoom call sweatpants Joe Exotic Blursday.

Lorem Ipsum generators are the perfect way to add a big of personality to your next design or publishing project. Whether just for yourself or to get a smile from your client!

Do you know any other generators? Share them in the comments below!


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6 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Website!

6 reasons your business needs a website blog post

Have you ever had these thoughts running through your head?

“A website is too expensive”


“I already have enough business, I don’t need a website”

Having an online presence is essential for your business these days. While many businesses rely on word-of-mouth or social media to retain ongoing work, without a website you are closing your businesses doors to potential growth.

What is the first thing you do when you want to know what’s on the menu at the new café you want to try out, or you want to find a service or product in your area?

You go to your best friend: Google.

If your business isn’t at the other end of that search, you’re losing business.

Whether your business is a brick-and-mortar store, or you already have an online social media presence.


Don’t believe me? Continue reading for 6 reasons that your business needs a website!

1. Gain Credibility

Today more and more people are using the internet to search for products and services. Consumers like to see more information about a business before they buy from them. By not having an online presence you are potentially losing customers.

Now let’s throw some stats in here:

1 in 4 of consumers would stop considering a small business they haven’t dealt with before if they can’t find information about them online.

Source: Telstra Business Intelligence 2020

1 in 5 consumers will stop considering a small business they haven’t used before if it doesn’t have a website.

Source: Telstra Business Intelligence 2020

However it’s not just a matter of having a website, your website needs to be professional, it needs to have up to date information, contact information, product/service details and most of all a Call-To-Action (CTA).

handshake over desk

2. Always Accessible

Once your website is up and running, it is working for you 24/7/365. While you are sleeping it is there answering questions your customers might have and selling your products/services for you.

On top of that assuming you are keeping your website properly maintained, your website will always be there. Having a social media presence is great, but it doesn’t take much for your Instagram account or Facebook page to be deleted. By having a website you are not at the whims of another company deciding to shut down your online presence.

3. Reach more customers

Whether you are a brick and mortar store or already online. Having a website means you can be easily found by potential customers. By building an online presence you are increasing your reach, you can now bring in customers on a national level – even a global level.

Better yet, by having a website that is fully optimised for search engines you are opening up the doors for more people to find you that may not have ever heard of you before.

Now don’t go thinking “but I’m already busy, I’m already fully-booked”. That may be true right now, BUT every business experiences customer turnover. You need to keep attracting leads to keep your business running.

conversation in building

4. Showcase your work

What better way to show your customers what you are capable of than an online space where you can show portfolio items, testimonials/reviews and images of your services/products. People are naturally curious and by giving them a look at what your business is offering it opens more potential leads.

5. Save time!

Every business is different, but something all businesses have in common is the constant back and forth communication with customers. When designing your website you can include prices, availability, services available. By having all of this information readily available, you are not only helping your customers easily find information about your business but you are saving a HUGE amount of time by reducing the number of enquiries.

time saving

6. Keep customers informed

Besides the obvious of showing your customers what your business is about and what services/products you provide. A website is also a place for you to announce promotions, notify customers about new services/products, answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). It is the information hub for your business!

A website is one of the best ways a business can invest in its future. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Check out my Web Design services page for more information or if you’re ready to take the leap, head to my contact page and let’s get the ball rolling!


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6 reasons your business needs a website pinterest image

20 FREE Google Font Pairings

Did you know that there are 992 FREE Google fonts and they’ve been downloaded an incredible 43 trillion times!

Crazy right?

Typography is so important these days and there is a certain art to creating the perfect font pairing.  It is recommended that you use a maximum of three fonts when working on a project. However, with the use of bolditalics, and underline variations, two fonts is usually sufficient.

I put together this list of 20 Google font pairings and the best part is they are all licensed under the Open Font License. This means they are FREE to download and use for all non-commercial AND commercial projects! WOOHOO! 

1. Lora & Bad Script

Download Lora HERE.
Download Bad Script HERE.

2. Ultra & Slabo

Download Ultra HERE.
Download Slabo HERE.

3. Sedgwick Ave & Montserrat

Download Sedgwick Ave HERE.
Download Montserrat HERE.

4. Abril Fatface & Lato

Download Abril Fatface HERE.
Download Lato HERE.

5. Pompiere & Open Sans

Download Pompiere HERE.
Download Open Sans HERE.

6. Sacramento & Alice

Download Sacramento HERE.
Download Alice HERE.

7. Permanent Marker & Raleway

Download Permanent Marker HERE.
Download Raleway HERE.

8. Marck Script & Roboto

Download Permanent Marker HERE.
Download Raleway HERE.

9. Oswald & Merriweather

Download Oswald HERE.
Download Merriweather HERE.

10. Charmonman & Chakra Petch

Download Charmonman HERE.
Download Chakra Petch HERE.

11. Libre Baskerville & Cutive

Download Libre Baskerville HERE.
Download Cutive HERE.

12. Open Sans Condensed & Roboto

Download Open Sans Condensed HERE.
Download Roboto HERE.

13. Amatic SC & Andika

Download Amatic SC HERE.
Download Andika HERE.

14. Clicker Script & Raleway

Download Click Script HERE.
Download Raleway HERE.

15. Courier Prime & Poppins

Download Courier Prime HERE.
Download Poppins HERE.

16. Finger Paint & Lato

Download Finger Paint HERE.
Download Lato HERE.

17. Parisienne & Cormorant Garamonde

Download Parisienne HERE.
Download Cormorant Garamond HERE.

18. Bangers & Antic

Download Bangers HERE.
Download Antic HERE.

19. Cardo & Josefin Sans

Download Cardo HERE.
Download Josefin Sans HERE.

20. Sniglet & Cabin

Download Sniglet HERE.
Download Cabin HERE.

So there we have it!

20 Google Font Pairings for you to use in your next design project, I hope it helps you out!

BONUS: I’ve turned this into a downloadable PDF for you so you can save it to your computer for later.


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What is a Virtual Assistant?

The Virtual Assistant (VA) industry is growing rapidly with more and more VAs popping up every day. Yet if you stopped someone in the street and asked them what a VA was you’d probably be met with blank stares.

No, it’s not another name for Siri or Alexa (unless of course you’re a VA and that is your name). I thought I’d lay it all out for you because that’s how generous us VAs are!

What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)?

To put it simply, a VA is a skilled professional who provides various services to entrepreneurs or businesses from a remote location.

They could live in another country, another city, or even just down the road from the business they work with. However, all work is done online and it is unlikely you would ever meet them in person.

In the early days, VAs were hired for tasks such as calendar/email management, answering incoming calls, drafting correspondence and other general admin duties.

As the virtual world has grown, VAs have grown with it. There is now a multitude of tasks being offered, some of these are:

  • Social Media Management (Instagram, Facebook)
  • Pinterest Management
  • Website Design/Maintenance
  • Blog Writing
  • Content Repurposing
  • SEO
  • Travel Planning
  • Podcast Editing
  • Video Editing
  • Graphic Design
  • Transcription
  • Copywriting
  • E-book Formatting
  • Email Marketing
  • Calendar/Email Management

You get the picture!

Anything that can be done online, I guarantee there is someone out there offering that service. (For a break down of the services I offer click here)

There are general VAs who will work across all industries and there are some VAs with a specific niche such as travel, real estate, health/fitness etc.

VAs are appealing to entrepreneurs and business owners because they find themselves needing help but either cannot bring on staff to their location or they don’t want the costs associated with bringing on staff (office space, supplies, taxes, insurance etc.). Many businesses will hire a VA when they want to take their brick and mortar business to the online world through social media.

VAs can be hired for on-going work or one-off jobs, they can charge hourly or sell packages. This is at the discretion of the individual VA.

So that’s the quick overview of what a VA does! As you can see it is not a straight forward answer, but at the end of the day, VAs are there to help you with the tasks you don’t have time for and to help you grow your business.

If you find yourself struggling with any aspect of your business I’d love to chat about what I can do for you! To get the ball rolling schedule a FREE 20-minute consultation!


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