Since Monday, I have been doing my work experience at Moonshine. I still have two and a half days to go, but I’ve been kept quite busy, it being work experience and all. Seeing that I run my own WordPress site, that I’m tempted to link to but won’t, I was quite keen to learn about what makes a successful website, more keen than I usually am. I was especially interested in learning in a bit more detail about SEO. I came in on Monday to learn that I was to sit in a meeting that went on for definitely more than an hour, I’d say about an hour and a half, to which I contributed little. After that, I was asked to do a wire frame. I had no idea what a wire frame was, how to do one or what it was, oh did I already establish that? Sorry. Luckily, Ollie was instructing me with what to do, so that turned out quite nice. I had lunch and did some scanning in of some stuff, again for Ollie, so he could put the stuff into photoshop, do some photoshop stuff and make some better stuff for some people. However, we quickly got tired of that and made a header for my website, again not linking to it. Then my dad barrelled in and I went home, quite proud that I had made it through the day without embarrassing myself. I entered a bit more confidently on Tuesday and I had a bit more of a writing orientated day, which I was quite pleased with because I find writing a lot easier than most things. I wrote some content for a War Games website for their Warhammer section, seeing that I knew diddly squat about Warhammer, I found that to be a challenge. I also made a spreadsheet detailing redirect links for a furniture website, which was hopefully helpful, and made a web 2.0 blog about furniture to link to it. I also learnt the basics of SEO from Hayden which was something I really wanted to get out of this whole experience. Today, I’ve created another web 2.0 blog, this time for Warhammer, and wrote this big ol’ chunk o’ words. Since Monday, I have learnt about SEO, web design and a smattering of businessey things that I definitely wouldn’t of learnt at school. In fact, I think I’ve learnt more in my two and a half days here than I have since January at school. I was definitely not forced to say that. Joking aside, this has been pretty valuable learning experience. Milo.
So, you’ve got a WordPress website but have no idea on how to use it. This workshop is aimed at those of you who have had a WordPress website developed for your business but have never got to grips with using it properly. We will cover the essential basics such as how to safely backup your site and update to the latest version. We talk about security issues and what to do if it all goes wrong. There will be an introduction to themes and plugins (two of the main things that make WordPress so great). We’ll look at the difference between posts and pages and explore one of the biggest mysteries, “Just what is a taxonomy?” You will leave the workshop with a new found confidence in using your WordPress website, together with some free hand-picked essential plugins.
|Location||Glove Factory Studios|
|Date||Thursday 11th February 2016
9:30am – 11:30am
|Your host||Jeremy Sheridan|
|Number of places||8|
|Price||£35 (inc. VAT)|
We’ve been given an early Christmas present from WordPress with their version 4.4 release “Clifford” – named after the jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown . There’s lots under the bonnet to keep us developers happy (and busy) at Moonshine but one of the nicest features for our WordPress clients is the ability to easily embed your posts and products within other websites. WordPress has supported embedding content from other websites via oEmbed technology for some time. What’s exciting about 4.4 is that other websites supporting oEmbed can now easily add content from your website simply by pasting in a post URL. To see what I mean take a look at one of our previous posts below…
https://www.moonshinenet.com/reduce-your-online-transactions-fees/directly in to the WordPress editor.
So what else has changed in 4.4Great news for developers like ourselves as WordPress has built the REST API infrastructure directly in to the core. In layman’s terms this means greater support for accessing and updating your data in third-party applications such as mobile apps. This is the first part of a multi-stage rollout not only ensure WordPress remains the World’s most popular content management system but also help propel it towards a fully-fledged application framework.
Further strengthening of Mobile First themesThis version comes pre-loaded with the Twenty Sixteen theme, a mobile first style that makes full use of the new built-in responsive images technology. Almost all of the websites we develop now are designed with a mobile first approach. The recent sales figures from Black Friday bear this out with more orders placed on mobile devices than on desktops for the first time ever. If you would like to find out more about 4.4, take a look at this video…
This week saw the launch of a new website for an already established and very busy hobby/gamer website, Triple Helix Wargames. It has been an absolute pleasure working alongside owners Charlotte and Steve whose attention to detail and exacting requirements have made this project a very interesting challenge.
Mobile firstBased on user statistics and market trends for their sector this has been a “Mobile first” development which means this initial designs and UX (user experience) were created for mobile devices. Tablets and desktop views were expanded from the mobile designs. With more and more people browsing the web on their mobile devices we will most definitely be continuing with this approach.
Development platformFor flexibility and future proofing we use WordPress as the framework for the site together with WooCommerce for the shopping module. We did not want the site to look like a typical WordPress site so we created a bespoke design based on our own Nubium theme.
AutomationThe site relies on products going live for pre-order at 10am each Saturday and then move to general sale a week later. To cater for this automation we developed a plugin that would allow the uploading of bulk items directly from a spreadsheet and have them ready well in advance of the release date. At 10am the chosen new release items automatically show on the website, the previous week’s items move to new release and in turn the previous new releases drop in to standard product categories.
Third-party integrationTriple Helix Wargames have a thriving eBay arm of the business. Now that the site is live we are working on integrating both eBay and Amazon sales in to the product management system so that everything can be maintained in one place.
SEO / marketingTriple Helix Wargames have also employed Moonshine to market their website. We have put together an extensive marketing plan to ensure the site rises through the ranks. Charlotte has booked in to one of our free Social Media workshops so that she can confidently communicate with her customers through all the social channels. You can view the site at www.triplehelixwargames.co.uk
Lower online transaction fees from Stripe…This is great news for anyone taking payments online through Stripe. They have reduced their transaction fee from 2.3% down to 1.9% for all UK issued cards, this reduction also applies to American Express. The additional per transaction fee of 20 pence still stands. We integrate Stripe as an option into all our e-commerce solutions. If you wish to find out more about using Stripe to take payments on your website then get in touch.
It has been a long time coming but this week we finally moved in to our shiny new Holt studio. We are still located at the fabulous Glove Factory Studios but now have room to expand the company further and are currently seeking a marketing assistant for the SEO team. If you are in the area then pop in for a coffee. Don’t forget to bookmark the blog to keep up to date with all our news.
We’d like to welcome Hayden Cutsforth to the Moonshine Team. Hayden is expert in all aspects of SEO and will head up our expanding marketing department. He’s well versed in the practical application of on site and off site optimisation as well as analysing data and reporting back to clients on the best ways for them to achieve their goals. Rachel, in her role as Marketing Director, will continue to manage client social media accounts, blogs, web copy and on/off-site editorials and will liaise with Hayden where clients have opted for both forms of online promotion. We anticipate the team growing further over the next twelve months with marketing fast becoming an integral part of our business model. We are moving to a larger studio just downstairs in August which will give us the extra space we desperately need to expand our team further. We’ll miss our lovely top floor studio and we did contemplate (just for a minute) keeping it and using it as a meeting room but hey that’s just excessive!