It’s that time of year! The time for spooky stories…and website design is full of scary stories! It’s true – everything from disappearing domains, to ghoulish website hacks, and hauntingly bad website hosting too. Many of these stories involve a website designer who delivers a website and then – dun dun dun – THEY’RE GONE!

At Hammersmith Support, we’re different from the ghostly website designers of these spooky stories. And we want to share with you what makes us different.

Established

Founded in 2010, Hammersmith Support has focused on growing within the community. Our team and our business are established in our community by serving on several boards and organizations across both the Phoenix and Nashville areas. Helping to foster our community in need, as well as our business community is a key part of who we are. Each year, Hammersmith Support chooses a nonprofit to provide a year of website maintenance pro bono. This dedication to service in our community means we’re not going anywhere!

Core Values

When Heather Locke founded Hammersmith Support, she was sure to define the values that her business would be built upon. Customer service is just one of those values. That service carries through from the initial meeting with clients, through the site build, and after launch as well to keep your website maintained and running smoothly. Because our business centers on providing our clients with exceptional service for years after their website is built means that we’re no ghosts!

Depth of Team

As Hammersmith Support’s client list has grown, so has our team. Providing exceptional service to our clients is our goal and having a strong team is the only way to get the job done right. Ensuring that we have the right people in the right positions is essential to providing great service for our clients. Our team values effective communication and fosters a sense of urgency when it comes to resolving issues.

Let’s Talk

If you’ve been ghosted by a website designer, or if reading this makes you feel that Hammersmith Support is the right designer for you, let’s talk. Schedule your complimentary 30-minute consultation and let’s talk about how Hammersmith Support can help you.

We are excited to bring you our client highlight for UMOM New Day Centers in Phoenix, Arizona. You may remember that UMOM was featured last year in the Hammersmith Support blog when our team assembled welcome baskets for the families seeking services at UMOM. This fantastic organization works to end homelessness by offering temporary shelter, services, and affordable housing to those in need.

We asked Cassidy Penney, Director of Marketing and Outreach for UMOM, to share with us how their website is utilized for their organization, and how Hammersmith Support maintenance has been beneficial for them. Here’s what Cassidy had to say:

What Are the Most Important Functions of Your Site for Your Organization?

Really there are two areas of focus with our website:

1) Information for people seeking help.  We want our website to have good information, be easy to use, and be helpful for people experiencing homelessness and looking for resources.

2) We rely on the generosity of our community to power the life-changing work we do at UMOM. When we send letters to our donors asking for support, our website must be easy to navigate and it must be able to process payments easily. Sharing client stories and information about our services is also important so donors can see that every dollar makes a difference.

What Made You Reach Out to Hammersmith Support?

“I learned about Hammersmith through a welcome basket donation drive that the company did for UMOM last fall. When the website maintenance needed to be implemented, we wanted to support a business that cares about our community.

What are the Biggest Benefits You’ve Seen After Working with Hammersmith Support?

“Peace of mind that I have experts available to help any time I need help!

I know that during big campaigns, our site will work properly and be able to handle the traffic. When I have questions about back-end formatting, Lisa is always just a call away and so very helpful. The help and support I receive is so much more than I expected!”

So, what exactly did Hammersmith Support do for UMOM? Here’s a breakdown of the process that we use for all of our clients, and how we personalized it for UMOM as well.

Maintenance

First, we performed general maintenance on the site. This included platform and plugin updates, done one by one to ensure the integrity of the site was maintained. Maintenance also includes checking the security certificate on the site, enrolling in Google Search Console and Google Analytics as well. Each of these steps will keep the website healthy, secure, and ready for business.

Hosting

As a Hammersmith Support maintenance client, UMOM enjoys the benefit of hosting through WP Engine. Our Hammersmith Support dedicated server affords our clients faster load times for their pages. Quicker loading times mean that UMOM’s overall bounce rate is reduced, and potential donors aren’t lost to long wait times. Images load more quickly, and so does vital information and donor forms as well.

Testing

One of the big areas that we worked on for UMOM was testing the various forms, including the donation section. We wanted to ensure that each form was not only capturing the correct information but also being sent to the correct person so that it could be recorded accurately. This was an essential step to capitalize on the donations during Giving Tuesday.

We Can Help Your Organization Too

Hammersmith Support can help your nonprofit or business too! Schedule a complimentary 30-minute meeting and let’s talk through your questions and see how we can get your business or organization’s website in tip-top shape. Curious about other maintenance steps you can take for your website? Download our “10 Tips for Website Maintenance to Keep Your Site Running Smoothly.”

In July, we announced Hammersmith Support’s expansion into Nashville, Tennessee. This growth is especially exciting for our founder Heather as it’s a bit of a homecoming for her. As the Tennessee office continues to develop, so has our Tennesee network. This week we are excited to introduce you to Lucy Miller of Tennessee Women Connect and to let her tell us more about the upcoming event in October (we’ll be there too!).

Lucy Miller TN Women Connect Hammersmith Support

Tell Us a Little About You.

Born and raised here in the Nashville area, I LOVE this city and all that it offers for my family and me. After moving around throughout the first part of our marriage, my husband Knight and I are raising two amazing kids, Will (8) and Reese (6), and couldn’t be happier with the opportunity to do that here in Franklin. We are immersed in life in Franklin with our family, friends, church, and sports! I hate to miss a day at my gym, Burn Bootcamp, and am always excited to help my real estate clients find a home or sell their homes. I am energized every single day by my TN Women Connect events and ladies who are connecting with so many. I’m so excited about what is to come for TN Women Connect!

What Can You Tell Us About the Tennessee Women Connect Event? What Are You Most Excited About?

This TN Women Connect LIVE event is going to be a great day full of information about how to learn and grow our businesses as well as tons of opportunities to connect with other women in business. Our topics include social media, branding, time management tips, and productivity advice. Our keynote speaker, Gigi Butler is speaking about her story of success, trials, and how to be fearless in your business. I am so excited about these things but most of all the opportunity to bring more women together. The magic that happens when real relationships are made is so amazing to see. Every single event shows me this and this LIVE event will be no exception. And, it is going to be so fun too!

Talk to Us About Your “Why” and How That Motivated You to Start TWC.

As a local realtor with Zeitlin Sotheby’s, I was searching for the right kind of networking opportunities for me. Something different and something fun. I started Tennessee Women Connect really just for the opportunity to create a different kind of networking group for myself. I was looking for a group that was made up of women who were wanting more opportunities, more collaboration, ways to learn from each other, and always support. At Tennessee Women Connect we truly strive to have an abundance mindset. We do not cap industries or have exclusive rights for people who do a certain thing. We are for all women excited to connect with others. I am truly passionate about providing these opportunities for women to connect and to comfortably be themselves…going after their dreams. I am thrilled to see what we can do with this group and grow to allow more women around the middle Tennessee area to grow as well.

What Is Unique About Your Style and Product Offering?

We are unique in that not only are our networking events fun and at local businesses, but we are a collaborative group that is truly excited to work together and cheer each other on. Our events range from lunches and happy hours to brunches and one-off meetings to get to know each other more. We have had several speaker events designed to teach skills and a big opportunity for this on October 21st!

What Advice Do You Have for Other Entrepreneurs?

When I started TN Women Connect, I had an idea of what I thought the organization could do (organization loosely…it was just me planning a networking happy hour), but then I let my visions and my goals grow as we did. I let my heart dream of what it could become and I was open to opportunities to grow and ways to pivot. I certainly did not have all of the tools that I would eventually need to grow it but I knew I would figure it out on the way. And I have. The growth we are seeing and the ways we are meeting those needs have been direct results of connections made throughout the last 2 years and the determination I have had to make it happen. My advice is to go for it. Don’t wait until you have it all figured out…get started and figure it out along the way. Make connections with others that will not only lift you up and encourage you but challenge you to go after more, do more, and keep achieving. My circle of influencers and friends/family are one of the most valuable things I could have asked for. Bringing Jenna Griffith and Ashley Fitz in as my leadership team has been the key to our increased success and growth in new areas.

Come and Meet the Hammersmith Support Team!

We are very excited to host a booth at the TN Women Connect LIVE event on October 21st. Come meet the Hammersmith Support team as we would love to get to know all of you too!

It’s hard to believe, but the holidays are right around the corner! And with the holidays comes Giving Tuesday – this year it will be on November 30th. Started in 2012, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving kicks off five days of giving back to our communities. The movement has evolved to be a promotion for donating to local nonprofits, in addition to volunteering. There are several organizations that compile a list of nonprofits for donors to discover, or nonprofits can accept donations through their own sites. With that said, is your site ready for:

  • An increase in traffic?
  • Smooth, secure transactions?
  • Explaining your mission to appeal to donors?

Here are four areas of your website that can be checked prior to any large influx of traffic to ensure that your site is running smoothly and you are able to complete all transactions too.

Load Time

With more traffic comes increased loading times. On average, a user will not wait longer than 3 seconds for a page to load. Don’t let potential donors bounce off your site! Prepare for increased traffic by updating your host, adding a Content Delivery Network to your site, and making sure that your site is up to date. This should include plugins and platform updates to ensure that your site is loading quickly enough to keep donors on the page.

Security

Unfortunately, organizations that are out doing good in the world have to worry about the security of their site – hackers don’t discriminate. Keep your site safe from being corrupted and your donors’ information safe from being stolen! Be sure that your security certificate is up to date – if you’re unsure, check your URL. If there is no “s” in “https” or you have a broken padlock in the address bar, then your site isn’t secure. Check with your hosting company to get an SSL certificate added. Next, be sure that your platform and plugins are up to date. Plugins, themes, and the version of WordPress on which your site runs all require regular updates in order to be secure.

*Added bonus – a secure site is great for boosting your SEO!

Testing

It may seem silly, but one of the easiest ways to know if your forms work or how your site looks on a mobile device is to test it out! Go to your website as if you were a visitor. Do you see all of the essential aspects? Fill out the form(s) on your site – do the notifications go to the correct email address or are they ending up in your spam folder? Is the correct confirmation message popping up after submitting? Even go as far as making a test donation to perform an end-to-end test of the donation form, ensuring that the donation processes completely.

Content

Before Giving Tuesday is the best time to take a close look at your content. Have you had any staffing changes that need to be updated? Is your mission and purpose clear to potential donors? Do you have any updated images that can be added? Do all of your images have complete information? These are just all examples of places to start really examining how the content on your site looks. And it might be the perfect time to start that blog! Blogs are a great way to share long-form content, images or videos, and updates about what is coming up for your organization.

Hammersmith Support Can Help

If all of this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry, we can help! Many of these tasks can be fulfilled by one of our website maintenance packages. Set up a complimentary 30-minute meeting and let’s talk about your business website needs and how Hammersmith Support can help make this Giving Tuesday one of the best yet for your nonprofit!