There are few things as frustrating as posting an image to your website or social media, only to have it appear blurry in the final product. But with some app size requirements and the overall visual appeal of photos on a website, resizing is a necessary evil. So what’s a poster to do?? Here are three ways you can resize pictures easily with beautiful results.

Canva

If you’re not already using Canva, you should be! This free app will make you look like a pro when it comes to creating just about any kind of graphic. Use their pictures, your own pictures, emojis, color blocks  – you name it. You can literally create anything starting from scratch or using a Canva template.

One of the features we love best about Canva is the image resizing. Simply choose the format of the picture: Instagram post, Facebook banner, website image  – all of the formats you could want are loaded and ready for you. Upload your photo and pop it into the template. Stretch or shrink the image to fit the given size parameter and download. Voilà! You’ve got a crystal-clear image in the perfect size for your project.

iPhoto

If you have a Mac, you already have iPhoto to edit your pictures. It’s particularly nice if your backup is going to your computer so that all your iPhone photos are going automatically to iPhoto!

To resize an image, open iPhoto and click on the image you want to resize. On the right side of the screen, a menu of options will pop up. You’ll be able to enhance colors, add filters and of course, resize your image. Click and drag the bars to crop or change the layout of your picture – or type in the parameters of the photo size. Check out this post from The Social Report to see the current social media photo size requirements.

Windows Editor (for PC)

Similar to iPhoto, your PC comes with photo editing software as well. Start the same way by opening the picture you want to resize. Click either the edit button or the crop logo, both will take you to the photo editor. Using the dots in the corner of the picture, slide to the adjusted shape and size. You can also use “Aspect Ratio” to have the app create a frame for you to then fit your picture into. Simply click and move the picture around inside the frame to get the right position.

Want some more “how-to” tips? Click on over to our post about Google Console and why your website needs it.

As the Hammersmith team has created new and exciting websites for our clients, we began to see the growing need for those websites to be maintained and supported. Our clients were thrilled with the site build results, but didn’t have the time or the know how to keep their sites in tip-top shape on their own. And so Hammersmith Support was born to fill a new need for our clients.

What Is Website Maintenance / Support?

Have you ever researched when exactly the internet was started? It’s a mess of answers, depending on what one would consider the actual “internet” (the conception v modern day usage). Some date it back to 1983, some 1990 when it was more widely used. Either way, that is a substantial amount of time. And think of how far the internet has come; from dial up to now being able to DIY your own websites, to social media… the list goes on and on.

Given that timeline, it’s interesting that website support and maintenance is still in a toddler stage of growth. For all the material available on the internet, it’s amazing that many consumers are just now looking to other companies to maintain and support their websites. Many companies have overlooked security updates and patches, ignored malware attempts to corrupt data, and leave site content stale and not updated – all important aspects of website maintenance.

Why Is Maintenance Important?

As the internet continues to evolve, so do the hazards for users. Security breaches and malware being two of the most urgent risks. Each of these can bring down your site, or worse, can steal data and or identifiable information about your customers. This is an increasingly high risk for sites using ecommerce. Even sites that only generate leads are at risk of customer contact information being stolen. The risk of malware corrupting your site and taking it offline is a huge risk, especially those businesses dependent on their site for sales.

On the less scary side, website maintenance and support is crucial for businesses that can’t or don’t want to do the work themselves. Imagine needing to update your product information, pricing, run an update – all while handling the other time sensitive issues of your business. It’s hard to prioritize when everything feels like a top priority.

How Hammersmith Support Solves this Issue

Our goal at Hammersmith Support is to provide comprehensive service through preventative maintenance and client driven content updates. Our preventative maintenance includes site security updates, site backups, optimization and premium site hosting.

This two prong approach ensures that your website not only run efficiently and safely, it’s also up to date with your content changes – a winning combination. Click here to see the Hammersmith Support service packages.

It’s amazing how many options are available to companies needing to build a website! Professional companies vary widely, as does the cost to build a website. And the do-it-yourself versions? The platforms, hosting, and services are all distinctly different, too. So how does an owner make a decision about which direction to go? Here is some food for thought when it comes to choosing whether you should try to go it on your own or choose a company to build your site.

DIY Websites

There are a few things to consider when it comes to building your own site. The first and most important is how much time and effort you want to put toward building a website yourself. Some questions to consider: are you technologically savvy? A quick learner? Able to work through issues on your own? These are all good questions to ask when evaluating how much time it may take you to build a site on your own.

Next, evaluate which platform to use to build your site. There are many options out there – everything from building with straight code to using templates, some with support, some without….again, the right answer has a lot to do with how much time you are able to dedicate to the build. Things to consider: how much support does the platform offer with your package? Is hosting included? A content delivery network? Security updates? Application plugin availability?

Professionally Built Websites

A professionally built website comes with its own questions, too. Not every company is the right fit for every customer. Some may provide more than a small business needs, others may not provide enough. Questions to ask when looking for the right fit; what exactly do I need my website to do (ecommerce, blog, evolving portfolio)? What are my ongoing needs (maintenance, content updates, security)? What is my budget for both?

Finding the right fit in a website build is crucial to developing and maintaining a successful site. Being open and honest about what you need for your business, along with being realistic about the ongoing services your site needs, should land you in the right place.

At Hammersmith Support, we strive to ensure that our clients are provided with the best combination of listening to their needs and educating them about the areas they are less familiar with in order to develop and maintain the most successful website for their business.

What is website hosting? If you’ve ever built a website, or even needed support for your site, you’ve probably had to answer the question “where is your site hosted?”. To break it down, a website host is a service provider that administers the technologies and services needed for a website to be viewed on the internet. It’s kind of like a rental space for a business – except it’s the virtual space for your website.

Why Does the Site Host Matter?

Where your site is hosted matters for several reasons. First, not all hosts offer the same kind of services. It’s kind of like shopping at a grocery store verses a convenience store. They both sell food, but the quality, variety, and selection vary widely. Each website host is different, offering varying levels of security, plug in applications, reporting, support and more.

And those differences? Can be a deal breaker. Take for example the content delivery network; if a potential client clicks on your URL….and waits….and waits…and the site loads oh-so-slowly, the chances of them sticking around until the site loads are slim to nil. A great CDN will ensure that no matter from where a person visits your site, it will always load quickly and completely. Another potential deal breaker? Security. That all important “s” in “https” is a Secure Socket Layer. It’s the security guard for your site ensuring that your visitor’s information stay safe. Even if you don’t take credit card information, your site is still vulnerable to hackers stealing contact information. Or even general malware that takes your site down. Which is why good security is important for all websites.

Why Hammersmith Uses WP Engine Host

At Hammersmith Support, we exclusively use the WP Engine Hosting. It is the best value for the price by including sturdy basics like Global Edge security, a managed content delivery network and award winning support. For us, WP Engine Hosting is the perfect partnership for us to support our client’s websites because we know we are managing our client’s sites with a top of the line product.

Ready to Get Started?

Click on our link to get started with the best, WP Engine hosting.

salmon color block "what is SEO" in white lettering Hammermsith Support

You’ve certainly heard the term SEO thrown around – especially when it comes to your business website. But you may have been left thinking, “What is SEO and why do I need it?”.

The Breakdown

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization – so think Google, Bing, Yahoo – any site you would go to for searching information. These engines crawl through all of the websites on the internet and rank them in order to deliver the searcher the best, most accurate results for their query. Search engine optimization means the organic or natural return of a website based on a query – i.e. without advertising or other paid for processes.

Why It’s Important

So why is it important to have natural or organic results from a search engine? In a word, good SEO is free. It means without paying for advertising, boosts or anything else, your website will be in the search results of a query. Of course you could pay for these returns, but if your site is naturally appearing, it’s more likely that your site will get a look from the searcher because it most closely matches what they are looking for. And a happy searcher is just good for business. Plus, you’ll save on your bottom line.

How to Improve SEO

To improve your site’s search engine optimization, start first by enrolling in Google Search Console. This free app will show you how Google is analyzing your site and pinpoint any areas of the site that are possibly not being categorized correctly by a search engine. Second, give search engines lots of fresh information to crawl through. Search engines won’t continually re-analyze a site, so creating new content to be evaluated is key. Update product information, add a blog, video blog, and or new images often to keep the crawlers working. Lastly, make sure all your videos and image information are completed – alt text, caption, description and title are all analyzed by search engines, so don’t miss an opportunity to give more important information.

Have you heard of Google Search Console yet? GSC is a free service offered by Google to help monitor, track and troubleshoot your website on Google searches. Basically, it helps you update your site to improve how Google sees your site. Why is that important? Because even if your site is live and being updated, it may not be indexed on Google correctly. Not searchable = lost leads.

Who Needs GSC and Why?

Do you have a business website? Do you know where your traffic is coming from and or how to improve it? If not, GSC is definitely for you. Even if your hosting site offers insights into traffic on your website, it likely does not offer the level of detail that GSC can offer about that traffic. In addition, being able to troubleshoot how your site is viewed by Google is important because even if you think all the right pieces are there for Google to evaluate and index your site, there maybe an issue where the search engine can’t or won’t index your site. GSC help you find those issues, fix them, and get Google crawling your page accurately. Searchable = leads will find you!

Google Search Console is also great way of tracking which sites are linking to your website. It helps to detect some security issues like malware and hacking as well as optimize your ranking on Google.

Let Hammersmith Help

Is all this information a little out of your wheelhouse? Or maybe just one more thing you don’t need on your to do list? No problem. That’s where Hammersmith Support comes in. Our maintenance services offer enrollment in Google Search Console as well as working with the service to maximize your site’s presence on Google. We’ll enroll your site into GSC and monitor changes that need to be made to make sure your site is maximized on Google searches.

The next level of service after a website build should be support. Why? Picture this; you build your dream home with all the beautiful details you’ve always dreamed of: paint colors, finishes, stunning kitchen – the works. You live in the house and love it, but you never change a light bulb. Patch a hole in the wall. Water the plants. Put up security lights. Within a few months, the house is a mess – the lights don’t come on, the plants are dead and someone broke in the back door. Suddenly your dream home is a disaster.

Just like caring for your home keeps it in a beautiful state, so does consistent support for your website. Scheduled checks and scans ensure that your site runs smoothly and securely. At Hammersmith Support, our monthly site maintenance support process encompasses:

  • WordPress core and plugin updates that include the oh-so-important security patches
  • Adding client-generated fresh content
  • Lead testing
  • Analytics review through recording traffic

While each of these is important on its own, the components work together to create a system:

–> Fresh content through blogs and/or updated product information creates new information for search engines to evaluate, which means better SEO

–> That content brings potential leads that are given the opportunity to sign up for a newsletter or submit their email for a free download

–> Analytics and lead testing shows us which option got more of a response, the newsletter or the free download, and changes are made accordingly

–> Lastly, all of these processes are done safely because the site has up-to-date security

The end result is a process that allows the business to more efficiently target customers and achieve higher conversion rates. More customers with less work? That’s a winning combination.

First, welcome!

We are excited to introduce the reimagined Hammersmith blog. Here, we’ll be diving into the specifics of our business, as well as bringing you our take on industry changes and trends. We’ll also share our mission of supporting our clients’ businesses through their online presence and our community through pro bono work, which is something so important to us.

Now, on to maintenance…

When it comes to small businesses creating their websites, rarely is site maintenance part of that thought process. And why would it be? Getting a site up and running is a huge undertaking and checking it off your ever-growing to do list is a major accomplishment.

But what happens when there is a platform update? A security issue? What if you forget to renew your domain name and the site goes down? Even worse – what if it’s your busy season and you’re left trying to juggle a solution AND run your business?

That’s where website maintenance is essential. It allows you to be confident that your online presence is in good hands and focus on what you do best: running your business. Hammersmith Support provides behind-the-scenes, comprehensive website maintenance that keeps your website running smoothly by performing regular site backups, security and malware protection scans, and site optimization. To help keep your site’s content current and relevant, we submit your site map to the Google Search Console and post content updates as you request them. Our maintenance packages keep your site in good shape. And if something unexpected does happen to your website, instead of panicking, you simply call in the experts who know you and your site, have a real-time back up ready, and are adept problem solvers.

You may use maintenance hours to keep your site’s content fresh and up-to-date. With Hammersmith Support, when you need changes made, you simply send an email to the team. No fussing with remembering how to do it yourself, or worse, making a mistake in the process. Hammersmith Support offers simplicity and peace of mind for your business’s online presence.

If you’re maintaining your own business site, what are your concerns? Functionality, security, SEO…all of the above?