November 2018 - YasTech Developments
Web DesignWordPress

Can You Manage Your Own Website?

It’s the question you’re all here for. As we help you understand what it takes to properly manage a website in-house, please keep these kinds of tasks in mind:

  • Updating blog posts
  • Changing images
  • Adding new pages
  • Adding new projects
  • Adding new features
  • Lead generating
  • Conversion Tracking
  • Updating themes / plugins
  • Etc.

So, can you manage your own website? The short answer is “yes, of course!” However, the long answer is “yes, but…”

The but here is a big one, and it depends on these questions:


1. Is managing your website an effective use of your time?

Does this scene sound familiar:

You add “Create Blog Post” to your mile-long to-do list. Months go by, and there it is: still at the bottom of your list—staring at you. You’re too busy worrying about your bottom line, so it sits yet another month.

I see this all too often. If this doesn’t sound like you, though, great! Just read on to the next question.

 

2. Do you have the knowledge?

Managing a website is not something that can be fully learned in a one-hour training session. I’ll give you an idea of the types of knowledge you’ll need to have with the following questions:

  1. Do you know the ins and outs of the content management system your website is built on?
  2. Are terms like pages, posts, links, navigation, jpeg, png, sections, themes, and plugins foreign to you?
  3. Do you have to keep emailing your web design company and asking, “How do I do ________?”
  4. If something on your website breaks, can you fix it in a matter of minutes?
  5. Is this what you want to do to your computer after trying to update your website?

via GIPHY

3. Are you equipped with the tools for hosting?

Hosting a website involves a dedicated server that doesn’t turn off. Do you have a computer in your office that can be on 24/7? What happens in a power outage? What happens if it floods?

We use cloud hosting, which makes use of different servers in different places to ensure as little downtime as possible. You can make use of these same services, but it can be tricky for a non-developer to investigate and fix issues that may arise.

If you answered no to any of these questions, you may not be equipped to fully manage your own website—and that’s okay.   

Hiring a professional web design team like Yas can take your website from being outdated to a revenue generating machine. Get in touch with us for more information by visiting our website or giving us a call at 306-249-9609, or emailing us at info@yastech.ca.

 

Guest BlogMarketing

4 Things that Ruin a Headshot

Guest Blog by Kevin Appl, Appl Photo

Professional headshots are an amazing marketing tool for you, especially considering most prospective employers, casting directors, and potential clients will Google you before deciding to connect or not.  We all know the value of an exceptionally well done profile photo.

Since I’ve done about 90,000 professional headshots in Saskatoon, here are a few things that I’ve learned will ruin an otherwise great photoshoot.

Let’s start at the top and work our way down.

1. Hair

Styles change, trends come and go faster than you can say “backcombed bangs” three times in a row. Our studio recommends not debuting a new hair style on the day of your shoot.

Often times for men, we recommend getting a haircut 3-5 days before the session just to let the hair grow back a little bit so it still looks clean, crisp and not fresh out of the barber’s chair new.  

For women it’s the same basic idea. If you’re colouring your hair, stick with a colour you’ve had before to make sure you’re happy. If you don’t colour your hair often, there’s the risk of roots showing or one area of your hair looking slightly more faded than the rest.

2. Makeup

Let’s be honest here—this is one area that has a tremendous impact on the results of the shoot.   We strongly recommend having your hair and makeup professionally done at a salon that you trust. If that’s not an option, the next best thing is to apply your makeup about 15 to 20 percent heavier than you normally would in an everyday scenario.  

Between the studio lights and the slight flattening effect of different focal distances of lenses, it’s vital to add a little extra contouring and shape to your face for the best results. Again, just like with hair, now is not the time to experiment with new techniques or trends.

Something to consider—makeup isn’t only for women. Sometimes men have slightly greasy foreheads or uneven skin. Even a hint of powder is a good thing.  Modern times, guys—it’s ok to wear a hint of makeup on your skin.

3. Clothing

The first rule we have at our studio: bring enough options. It’s not unusual to change your mind at the last minute in regards to the jacket or dress shirt you’ve brought. We like to suggest 2-3 options for flexibility.  

It’s very important to avoid wearing anything that has super bright colours, patterns or logos. The emphasis of the photo needs to be on your face and not the distracting polka dots or the giant eagle logo on your shirt.

Darker or neutral colours that complement your skin tones are the best. Typically, it’s best to avoid yellows, pastels, and pinks for headshot photos—they often aren’t as well-received in a professional situation.

In regards to jewelry, simple is better. If you’re unsure, bring options to the studio and we can decide if that beautiful statement piece necklace is a good fit for your outfit. Scarves are a nice alternative and can be used in a pinch to add a little accent of colour.

Men should avoid wearing wild-patterned ties (if at all). Its distracting visually and can date the image quite quickly, too.

4. Lack of Communication and Unreal Expectations

Trust your photographer to sweat the small details and work on posing with you. Having fun, making a silly face during a test shot or cracking jokes helps relax both parties, and relating to the camera becomes easier at that point, too.

Micro managing, being exceptionally hard on yourself, or just generally being in a negative headspace essentially ruins any shoot chemistry. It’s imperative that you communicate where and how the images are ultimately going to be used.

If it’s for an acting portfolio, it’s clearly going to be different than a law office or a LinkedIn photo.  Often times, a headshot needs to be versatile enough to be used in an advertising campaign or on a billboard, too.  

Those are all things that need to be discussed. Get out there, have fun, and smile!

——————————————————————————————————————————

Kevin Appl is a Saskatoon-based commercial hybrid photographer/videographer with 10+ years in the industry. His specialties include headshots, product photography, architectural images, real estate videos and video business profiles. When he’s not obsessing about learning new audio and visual media techniques, he enjoys spending family time with his wife and toddler son watching episodes of Paw Patrol repeatedly.

Find him here: http://applphoto.com/

 

SEOWeb Design

PHP 5’s End of Life and Your Website’s Security

On December 31, 2018, PHP is dropping support for the popular version 5.6. This means they will no longer be releasing security patches to fix new problems and exploits that emerge. This will affect an estimated 60-75% of all websites on the internet, according to reports by zdnet and w3techs.

Support for 7.0 also ends in December, but this will have much less of an impact, as updating 7.0 to 7.2 is very simple and shouldn’t require a rebuild.

What is PHP 5?

PHP 5 is a programming language like Javascript, C++, Python, and more (with some differences for those of you readers who are coding-literate).

It was released nearly 15 years ago, and in that time it has grown to become incredibly popular online. Many of the most popular web platforms use PHP, and a lot of them were either created or matured during that period. WordPress, Joomla, and Magento are just a few of the major systems online dependent on PHP.

With the introduction of PHP 7, previous versions will be considered obsolete. This programming language exists in the back-back-end, and communicates with your website’s database directly.

PHP End of Life

Why is PHP 5 Ending Support?

Consider this image. In 2004, when PHP 5 was created, this is what your computer likely looked like, this was your MP3 player, and YouTube wasn’t even invented yet.

How many of these things do you still have? When was the last time you upgraded your phone? Technology has changed drastically since 2004, and PHP’s newest versions have introduced innovations not supported by its older versions.

This end-of-life was just a matter of time, but it won’t be without its consequences.

What Does This Mean to Me?

If you’re a regular consumer of web content, it probably won’t affect you too much—the websites using PHP 5.6 aren’t going to suddenly stop working. However, it may change the way you think about shopping online or entering personal information into a website.

Hugely popular software platforms that end support are prime targets for attack. There are likely many exploits that will be, or have already been identified by hackers. After all, an open bank vault is easier to rob than a locked one, right?

Website: If you’re a website owner, reach out to your provider. If you’ve been considering an upgrade, now is the optimal time to do it, especially if your website handles the personal information of users.

Search Engine Optimization: At the end of the day, Google wants to show their visitors only the most trustworthy websites. If they see that your website has been infected, or even that it’s vulnerable, their algorithms are more likely to bury your listing deep in their search.

Though there aren’t many action items a non-developer can take from this, you can feel free to reach out to us here at Yas. Whether or not we host your website, we can let you know if your website is using PHP 5 and provide you with some options for protecting your assets. Give us a call at 306-249-9609, email us at info@yastech.ca, or go to our contact page.

 

Extra Sources:

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/wordpress-php/277067/

http://php.net/supported-versions.php

https://www.zdnet.com/article/around-62-of-all-internet-sites-will-run-an-unsupported-php-version-in-10-weeks/

https://w3techs.com/technologies/details/pl-php/all/all

 

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