At Hammersmith Support, one of our core values is to give back. Every year, we choose a local charity to assist through website support services, pro bono. Our goal is to further their mission by enabling their online presence to be everything it can be.

#LoveUp Foundation

Our current pro bono client is the #LoveUp Foundation. This Phoenix-based charity is a “jack of all trades” when it comes to assisting children in the foster care system. We use that phrase because of all the amazing services #LoveUp Foundation offers to children in foster care. Their services range from entertainment at a Diamondbacks game, to holiday parties complete with an overwhelming amount of gifts for deserving kids, to supporting teenagers as they “age out” of the foster care system. These teenagers are thrust into the real world with little support and the #LoveUp Foundation is happy to help them get the supplies they need for a new home, job opportunities, and more.

Why They’re Needed

The #LoveUp Foundation has an ever-growing population of kids who need help. Why’s that? Because the stats on children in the foster care system are staggering:

  • Over 438,000 children are in the foster care system across the United States
  • 20,000 children annually “age out” of the system at 18 years old
  • 1 in 5 of those children will experience homelessness after the age of 18
  • Fewer than 3% of foster children earn a college degree
  • 1 in 4 children in foster care will experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

How You Can Help

It’s hard to read those stats and not wonder how to get involved! #LoveUp Foundation has several ways for us to do so. They’re always in need of monetary donations, but you can also volunteer at an event for the kids. Your business can participate in the Arizona State Corporate Tax Credit, which is a dollar for dollar credit to the donor. And maybe the easiest way to help is to purchase a #LoveUp Foundation t-shirt, the proceeds of which go towards funding the various projects that #LoveUp Foundation is working on. Not only does this help underwrite the costs of the foundation, but it also helps to spread awareness about #LoveUp Foundation, which is critical in supporting this valuable charity.

Want to learn more about our commitment to service in our community? Click on over to our Giving Back page to find out our “why.”

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.

We absolutely love working with Jena and Blush Cactus. Jena’s vision for branding and marketing focuses on not only stunning visuals but also loads of other creative resources, as well as strategy planning for your business. Being like-minded women entrepreneurs, Hammersmith Support and Blush Cactus make the perfect team. We hope you enjoy learning about Jena and her company as much as we have.

Tell me a little about you – Where did you grow up? What inspires you?

I’m the owner and creative force behind Blush Cactus Boutique Design Studio. Like many people here in the greater Phoenix area, I’m a transplant. I grew up in a small town in South Dakota, went to college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, and eventually settled here in AZ a little over 8 years ago.

As a business owner, I’ve learned the importance of personal development and it’s a big source of my inspiration and what keeps me going. I love listening to podcasts and reading books about business and self-development and I’m passionate about helping other creatives like myself navigate starting their own businesses or work it in supplementing their full time job with freelance. I love what I do, and I love helping others succeed doing what they love, too.

Why did you decide to start Blush Cactus?

I’ve been a graphic designer for over 12 years and a business owner for 5 of them. Originally my business started with my name on the door – Design by Jena. I know, so creative! But as my business has grown, I realized the need to scale my business and it isn’t just me doing all the work any more! I love being able to collaborate with other creatives to provide my clients with a variety of services I couldn’t do by myself, and also do it with the best of the best talent in their industries.

Soon we’ll be offering an online course that will help other creatives start their own businesses, coaching them how to get clients as well as the money they deserve. My hope and goal is to also create a community where creatives can find support and guidance from other people who are doing what they do. It can get lonely being a business owner and wearing all the hats, so having a community to lean into will help others feel like they’re not alone and have support. I’m super excited about that!

What is unique about your style and product offering?

I have a passion for making things beautiful and delivering an end result that the client didn’t even know they wanted or needed. Our team helps clients brand their businesses from the inside out, and create the all the supporting design assets to go along with it. A brand is so much more than a logo: it’s knowing who your customers are and how you want them to feel that makes a big difference. I care deeply about the success of my clients and operate by a set of values that is never compromised. It’s our secret sauce for creating loyal customers for life.

What advice would you give other women business owners?

Never stop learning! Find a mentor who you look up to – whether it’s books, influencers in your space, or even someone in-person who’s further along than you. Surround yourself with people who are doing big things and learn from them. Keep your eyes open for opportunity, but also learn the art of saying “no” when it’s appropriate. Take time to care for yourself and fill your own cup – as business owners we can get a little carried away working ALL the time (because we love it, duh!), but it’s just as important to take time off and regroup. Your creativity depends on it! Remember community over competition – it’s more important to be supportive than to try and compete to be the best. And remember that people will never forget the experience they had with your brand, so lead with that.

Follow and Connect with Jena and Blush Cactus:

www.cactusblush.com

@blush.cactus

https://www.facebook.com/blushcactus/

e.jena@cactusblush.com

p.480.540.7794

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.

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?