Mr.D Studios Sites vs. WordPress.com

Mr.D Studios Sites vs. WordPress.com

This one is randomly thrown in because the month is almost over and I wanted to share it with you. I was meeting with a start business here in Pittsburgh earlier this week and the owner asked a question that I wanted to be able to answer as clearly as possible: “What makes a Mr. D Studios Site different or better than a site through WordPress.com Site? WordPress.com sites are free.” It took a longer period than expected to have the man across the table from me understand the difference.  Not that he was dumb, my answer was fumbled. It felt like a bunch of vaguely related terms falling out of my mouth. Although I recovered the ball, I feel like I could have played that game a lot cleaner. It was personally embarrassing. Never. Again. EVER. After educating myself on the difference, it is very simple. Mr. D Studios wordpress sites are custom built for businesses, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, organizations, and people who want a full personal site. WordPress.com is a free hosted blog site. Mr D Studios WordPress Sites do not belong to me, Mr. D,  or the Studios. It is owned by the client. They own it because they paid for it. There are no limits to content, themes, plugins, and modifications. There is are the costs of designing, developing, and hosting the site. WordPress.com sites are “free”.  “Free” means there is a catch. If you have a WordPress.com site, there are catches. Ads are posted to the sites, without permission unless you pay to be ad free. Your site is limited to 3GB for more space you have to pay. If you want you own advertisements, you have to split the profits. If they don’t like your content, theme, or plugin they can shut off you site. With these and many other issues, firmly separate the two. I hope the difference is clearer. A great article that helped me figure it all out is over at WPBeginners, with a solid infographic and pros & cons. Definitely worth a read if you have any questions. ***Another great article for the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org is at Start Blogging Online written by Mike Wallagher. His info graphic is very spot on too.*** Let me know what you think in the comments below, on my twitter or on facebook.        

Owner, Author, Designer, Consultant

Dylan “Mr. D” Roush is a graphic design professional with over 6 year experience. Based out of Pittsburgh,  Mr. D specializes in WordPress design, print design, typography and illustration.
Reflection Causing a Change in Direction

Reflection Causing a Change in Direction

So I have been Broadcasting radio silence over the last several weeks with the blog, and I apologize. The biggest reason for doing so is I have started to change the way i look at business. Although I am a “Creative Consultant” as the market refers to people in my field, I feel that what Mr D studios stands for needs to evolve beyond myself. I recently join Fizzle.co – A very fun and engaging community for modern entrepreneurs – I have started to interact with my core group of potential clients. Fizzle consists of Business owners, entrepreneurs, and start-up companies that are aiming to move forward with a business idea. Many of whom have concerns with starting the collaborative process with a Graphic Design and/or Creative Consultant. For over 5 years now Mr D Studios has been a great outlet for me to demonstrate my skills to potential new businesses. However, with a vast amount (over 20 pages) of feedback from the business owners in Fizzle, I have come to realize I missed the boat.  

Every single person who gave me feedback in someway or another made one key point:

What can you do for me and/or my business directly?

  So over the last several weeks and the next few coming up, I will be working in my spare time to answer this question for new visitors. This will take a back seat of course to my existing customers’ needs. While I have a rough Idea of what this will entail, I am not actually sure how much really needs changed. Please bare with me and Mr D Studios as we start to grow a way to better serve you, the client.
It’s Not Your Service, It’s Your Expertise.

It’s Not Your Service, It’s Your Expertise.

Have you ever heard one of those lines that skews your thought behind something? Regardless of what that something actually is, you suddenly have an epiphany about it. The line that got me recently was:
“No one hires a mechanic because he turns bolts, People hire the mechanic because he knows which bolts to turn.”
I was reading an article on charging clients a fair amount, and it had a comic with a conversation between a client and a designer. Something along the lines of:

Client: “Can you make me a logo?” Designer: “Yes. I will be right back.”

——— ten minutes later————

Designer: “Here you go.” Client: ”I love it, How much?” Designer: “$500.” Client: “500? really? it only took you ten minutes. I am not paying you that much for ten minutes of work.” Designer: “ You aren’t paying $500 me for ten minutes of work. You are paying me $500 for being able to create it in ten minutes.”

For me what that translated to was not the fact that the “client” isn’t paying for the service, they are paying for your expertise in preforming that service. That’s right, your expertise. I know a lot of people who under cut themselves drastically because the client because their new clients can’t afford it. Within reason that makes sense. However, you have to find that middle ground, where you aren’t losing money. Conversely, a clients has to be willing to spend a little money, as an investment in order to make a little money.

Final Thoughts

While I wrote this in regards to design, it applies to any area. Mechanics, Doctors, Chefs, and others. It’s a unique way to perceive the issue, but remember you have built your knowledge about your sector, and probably have business or student loan debt because of it. Why would you undercut yourself to share or use that knowledge? Exactly, you wouldn’t. Please feel free to leave a comment and share this article with a friend in need.

Owner, Author, Designer, Consultant

Dylan “Mr. D” Roush is a graphic design professional with over 6 year experience. Based out of Pittsburgh,  Mr. D specializes in WordPress design, print design, typography and illustration.
WordPress: Security

WordPress: Security

Now that you know what WordPress is, Why you should use it, and why Mr. D studios uses it, we are going to discuss the elephant in the room. Security. Recently WordPress has been under scrutiny because of the security issues it had with older versions. Many WordPress users actually went unfazed because of regular updating of the WordPress core system through the WordPress admin panel. The security issue raised it’s ugly head in November of 2014, However, the bug that created the issue was already solved in WordPress 4.0 which released a month before that issue. WordPress 4.0.1 at the end of November 2014 released with updates, but since the security issue didn’t exist, it contained all the other updates that needed fixed. As WordPress explains rather bluntly in its Release Archive, (where you can get every build back to 0.71 from June 2003)

“none of these are safe to use, except the latest in the 4.0 series, which is actively maintained.”

So why wouldn’t you update the WordPress core? Analysis of WordPress usage at W3Techs.com shows that only 58% of user updated to 4.0 or better. That means that 42% of  WordPress sites are still running 3.9 or earlier. Leaving them wide open to these security issues. The Image Below is the table from their site: Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 1.23.36 PM OK, You have updated the core of WordPress and are still paranoid about security. I get that. This is where the Having options is a great Idea. Plugins and third-party  security service are the solutions to those issues. I recommend the Ithemes plugin,  iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) and Sucuri Security. Ithemes offers Security with their plugin, iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security). With over 4 Million downloads, this is a very strong choice. “Themes Security (formerly Better WP Security) gives you over 30+ ways to secure and protect your WordPress site. On average, 30,000 new websites get hacked each day. WordPress sites are easy targets for attacks because of plugin vulnerabilities, weak passwords and obsolete software.” Themes offers security with regular updates, monitoring, and support if something goes wrong. If that isn’t enough there is a paid pro version. The Pro Version offers another two tiers of features if you really want to put your site on lockdown. Element Themes has written a great overview of the Ithemes Security Plugin here. It is a little time-consuming to set up, but well worth it’s weight. If plugins aren’t your thing, or you want to stack security of your site, then Sucuri Security is the option recommended by Mr. D Studios. Sucuri is round the clock monitoring of a site. They have partnered with many hosting clients to offer unparalleled security for websites. They have a numerous amount of features including:
  • Professional Security Analysts
  • Malware Scanning and Detection
  • Malware Cleanup
  • Website Blacklist Removal and Repair
  • Repair Dirty Blackhat SEO
  • Security Monitoring
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
  • Mitigation
  • Stop Website Attacks and Hacks
  • Malware Prevention
  • Zero Day Response Mechanism
  • Performance Optimization
  • Platform Agnostic Simple Configuration
 
Well worth $100 a year for any business on the internet.  Sucuri also has a comprehensive support staff to help you plan the best option for you business. If you aren’t sure about your site, you can check at Sucuri Sitecheck can might be the best first step to you owning a more secure website. There are Mr. D Studios’ recommendations to help you tighten the collar on your WordPress site, and have a better experience owning and maintaining a website. Hopefully This helped to put your mind at ease with the recent security scare with WordPress.

Owner, Author, Designer, Consultant

Dylan “Mr. D” Roush is a graphic design professional with over 6 year experience. Based out of Pittsburgh,  Mr. D specializes in WordPress design, print design, typography and illustration.
WordPress: SEO and Why to Use It

WordPress: SEO and Why to Use It

What is Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is clean use of keywords and content to increase rankings on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.  Since WordPress uses a “call and response” PHP base, SEO isn’t as easy to use as it is with HTML and CSS. However, there are several options to include SEO into WordPress very easily. The ways that SEO gets added WordPress vary depending on method of creation. Some themes have SEO capabilities built into them. These themes are good, however to what extent the SEO included isn’t always clear. Many designers and developers, including Mr. D Studios, use SEO plugins. The two most used are SEO by Yoast and All In One SEO. Both have a free version, and several levels of premium options. The Studios here uses WordPress SEO due to simpler interface, and what appears as more features in the free version.  

***However it is a matter of personal Preference. ***

  Along side some of the themes and plugins, there are other tools that can help with SEO rankings and keywords.  

Blogging – The blog setup of WordPress is a great way to add extra SEO value to your site. Writing more about your business and what you do or what you know can help drive traffic to your site. Also it can increase keyword rankings greatly.  Best part, it’s free.

Google Webmaster Tools – GWMT is Google’s own way of helping someone analyze a site’s SEO from the search engine perspective. Most Used Keywords, indexing, and structured data and very handy features among other things. It gets better, it’s free too.

Countless SEO Firms –  Perhaps you know some SEO practices, but want to move further with it. Achieve that higher ranking. Having an SEO firm set it up for you is always an option. However, the cost can vary greatly depending on two factors: The depth of requested services and the cost the firm charges.

I am sure there are far more options than I listed, but those are the best ways I include SEO into a wordpress site.  

But what is the point of Search Engine Optimization?

Now that we have discussed the tools of SEO in WordPress, there is one thing to know: What the true point of SEO is. Put simply, The point of SEO is to make what you do or offer more accessible to your audience, by making you rank higher more easily in their searches online. Every business’s audience has one need, and are trying to find a solution. SEO makes it so when they are looking on Google, Yahoo!, Bing, or other search engines, you and your solution come up sooner than your competition. Hopefully thank help to explain SEO at a glance.  If you have any questions or comments let me know via comments, email, or on twitter.

Owner, Author, Designer, Consultant

Dylan “Mr. D” Roush is a graphic design professional with over 6 year experience. Based out of Pittsburgh,  Mr. D specializes in WordPress design, print design, typography and illustration.

WordPress:Why MR.D Studios uses it

Why do I use WordPress for businesses, entrepreneur, non-profit sites.The answer: Options and Speed. If you are reading this, you know what WordPress is. If not I recommend going back and visiting: What Is WordPress.
“The best choice you can make in life is the choice with the most options.”
Makes sense if you pigeon-hole yourself into one thing with no options, then there is no room to change or expand if the situation changes. However, If there are more options you have limitless possibilities. Enter WordPress. As mentioned before, WordPress for Your New Website, offers so many options it’s unreal. With the open organic structure, themes and limitless plugins, a WordPress site can change and rapidly and be modified or updated to meet any need. Let’s look at those three things and see what they mean in detail. WordPress has an organic structure that is universal. It gives what you are building a strong foundation. WordPress provides a stable platform and avid support for you to grow and build exactly how you want to. If it were a car, it is the base model. Themes are a major reason in the options of your site. Themes are like the cosmetic changes to the car. It’s the paint job and body kit.  A theme for a WordPress site not only establishes visual appearance, but it is also what dictates the what the site functions for the user. Certain themes have some capabilities that others do not.  the trick is finding a solid theme that supports your end goal and business persona the best. Lastly plugins. With the scale of the ways WordPress expands, there is no limit on expansion. Even though the theme itself doesn’t contain the every element that you want, Plugins still make it possible for you to add that extra abilities to your site. Complete project management, Social Media Sharing, and custom admin panel appearance are only a couple of the things plugins make possible. Plugins are like the aftermarket parts for your website. With three tiers of options expansion is limitless. It can meet any need that initially, and more importantly it can meet any need that arises. adaptability makes WordPress an organic site that can always be enhanced to give you stronger web presence. All with minimal hard-coding.  The level of easy adaptability and customization dramatically cuts down the time it takes to create a new WordPress site. I use WordPress because i deliver for businesses with a rapid rate of turn around time. Quality product at blazing production speed. WordPress is why I average a 3 weeks  turn around. Together it is a highly adaptable websites that is easy to use and change as your business does. All while providing businesses, entrepreneur, non-profits with a quality results and service. It allows Mr. D Studios as a whole to offer a completely different kind of partnership to businesses. After all, Mr. D Studios is only as successful as the businesses, entrepreneur, non-profits it helps succeed.

Owner, Author, Designer, Consultant

Dylan “Mr. D” Roush is a graphic design professional with over 6 year experience. Based out of Pittsburgh,  Mr. D specializes in WordPress design, print design, typography and illustration.