WordCamp Philly 2018 takes place this weekend at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. WordCamp Philly is the premiere WordPress-related technical conference in Philadelphia. The two-day event at the University of the Sciences is full of learning and networking opportunities. The first day, Saturday is the main conference full of useful talks and great networking. Sunday is Contributor Day, where attendees can learn how to contribute to WordPress, the open source project.
If you don’t plan on attending, but still want to see what’s going on, follow the hashtag #WCPhilly on Twitter.
If you are going to be there, be sure to say hi!
Our company profile video is done! We’re so excited about how it turned out. Our client and good friend Joe Monzo of Monzo Media Productions did a fantastic job showing the essence of what Goldstein Media is all about.
We’d to hear what you think about it.
Post your thoughts below.
Thanks again Joe!
Goldstein Media is a small agency, most of our team is remote. So when it got time to move out of the basement and into a “real” work environment, coworking spaces were at the top of the location list.
Not being in Philadelphia, but in the suburbs, coworking spots are far and few between. When Stacks Co. Workspace opened its doors at the beginning of the summer, I knew it was the place to take Goldstein Media to help it grow.
Officially opened in June 2018, Stacks Co. is located in the heart of Doylestown Borough, which is a fantastic location. Another bonus to moving into Stacks, was that some of my associates moved in as well. Our graphic/web designer, Jenn took a spot, as did Shawn and Travis from ESC Marketing Group. Both groups we deal with almost exclusively.
In addition, since being in the space, we’ve made connections with other independent creatives like Ryan from Hectare Media, who we now use for graphic design, in addition to Jenn.
Coworking is an interesting concept. Essentially you grab a desk and work, but you get much more than that. You get a community of people who are all in similar situations and willing to collaborate on projects and help with ideas.
I’ve known about coworking since Indy Hall opened its doors in the ‘00s in Old City, Philadelphia. And with giants like We Work how can you not know about coworking.
What I love about Stacks Co. is the personal, friendly nature. Jon, the curator of the space does a great job making sure we’re all comfortable and feel welcome.
If you’re interested in taking Stacks Co. for a spin. Swing on by and say hi. Stacks is located at 54 East Oakland Ave. in Doylestown.
Every year for the past 3 years, WordCamp Lehigh Valley has hosted a fantastic WordCamp. This year is no exception.
There are more first-timers were there and that’s very encouraging. Especially since WordPress now powers 30%+.
A big topic this year is WordPress 5.0 the new Gutenberg editor. I have a love/questionable hate with this change. I love the new editor for blogging and writing content, but I’m still on the fence for laying out content for static pages.
Time will tell.
If you have a chance to go to a WordCamp, I suggest you do. The community is great and very accepting.
Some great slides from today’s WordCamp:
Note: Read to the end for a link to some great accessibility resources.
508 accessibility compliance might not apply to non-federal Websites, but accessibility still matters to every corner of the Web.
The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect. Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web. — Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.
Per the 508 compliance rules, Federal government Websites needs to be accessible to all citizens. As a practice, non-federal sites should do their best to accommodate the Americans With Disabilities Act (ACA) as well.
What Makes A Website Compliant?
According to the W3C. Web Accessibility is the following:
Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. More specifically, people can: perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web contribute to the Web
Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including:
Web Accessibility Isn’t Just for Those Who Are Disabled
Web accessibility can help people beyond those who are disabled. Mobile responsive sites make sites accessible on different sized screens. This benefits everyone who uses the Web on their phone’s browser.
Other non-disability related benefits to an accessible site include:
- People using mobile phones, smart watches, smart TVs, and other devices with small screens, different input modes, etc.
- Older people whose abilities are changing as they get older
- People who have limitations that are temporary like broken arms or when they can’t find their glasses. (The latter happens more than you’d think)
- People in situations where they are in bright sunlight or who can’t listen to audio due to where they are.
- People with bad connections to the Internet.
The W3C States:
There is also a strong business case for accessibility. Accessibility overlaps with other best practices such as mobile web design, device independence, multi-modal interaction, usability, design for older users, and search engine optimization (SEO). Accessible websites can have better search results, reduced maintenance costs, increased audience reach, and demonstrate corporate social responsibility (CSR).
With All This In Mind, How Does Your Site Stack Up?
There are all types of tools out there that can show you what’s wrong with your site from an accessibility standpoint, but it’s also important to know what you’ve done right and how to replicate it.
The A11y Project has some great resources to check out.
If you’re still stumped or need help implementing what you’ve read, give us a call today.
This is a major call-out to those site owners who haven’t heeded the search giant’s warnings about Secure Socket Layers and HTTPS.
So What Is SSL and HTTPS?
SSL is a security certificate that encrypts traffic coming from your visitors browser going to the site’s server. You can tell a site is using SSL when you see https://yourdomain.com instead of http://yourdomain.com. For some time now, Google has been on a crusade to make the Internet more secure. This includes making sites that use SSL rank higher for similar keyword than their non-SSL counterparts.
But I’m Not Selling Anything. Why Do I Need My Site To Be Secure?
That’s a great question. Here’s a few reasons why:
- Google is making a big stink about it and will call out your site in Chrome
- It’s a ranking factor and will help your search engine optimization efforts
- People will start looking for HTTPS in the URL bar in other browsers as this push by Google becomes more and more important
So What Are The Next Steps?
This can be very terrifying to the non-Web-oriented Website owner. The best advice we can give is contact your IT or Web person to have them either install a purchased SSL certificate from a place like NameCheap or GoDaddy or get a Let’s Encrypt FREE SSL certificate.
Once you have your certificate installed on your site, you’re going to want to have someone do a security audit to make sure everything is running through that certificate and there isn’t any holes leaking out around the SSL certificate.
This Is All Too Much For Me. I’m Totally Freaking Out!
Take a deep breath and breathe. If you have nowhere to turn, contact Goldstein Media and we can help you out.
In our last blog post we wrote about the new rules having to do with 508 compliance. After some very reputable sources disputed our claims, we are issuing a clarification.
We are sorry for the confusion we’ve caused.
Onward To The Clarification…
As with many things written by the government the information about 508 compliance was a bit confusing. We mistakenly believed that all sites, federal and otherwise, would fall under the 508 compliance guidelines. We were wrong.
But there is something all Website owners need to be aware of. Just because the 508 compliance rules don’t apply to non-federal sites, it doesn’t mean that having a non-compliant site with errors is ok to ignore?
Recently Blue Apron, a large “assemble your own dinner” business, was sued and lost in court because their site wasn’t accessible and up to ADA standards.
Once again, we apologize for spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) about the 508 compliance rules. But we’re still asking you the same question….
Is Your Site Accessible To Everyone?
Need help figuring out how to make it accessible? Drop us an email today.
As of January 18, 2018, all technology that falls under Section 508 is be required to meet new ADA accessibility standards. And guess what? Websites fall under the Section 508 standards. Companies with Websites not compliant with the ADA regulations could leave themselves open to expensive lawsuits (ie. Blue Apron – PDF, Karl Grove’s database of similar litigation).
So What Exactly Is Section 508?
Section 508, an amendment to the United States Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973, is a federal law mandating that all electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the federal government be accessible to people with disabilities. 508 Compliance,involves making a website which can be used by people with disabilities (ie. limited vision or blindness, deafness, seizure disorders, etc.)
Tell Me More!
More, More, More Info!
The guidelines are broken down by four main principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. Under each, there are guidelines that provide specific goals a website strive to meet.
Under each principle, there are guidelines with specific goals for websites to achieve. Under each of these guidelines, there is criteria to test the success of a site.
The grades are A, AA, or AAA. The more A’s the more conformity to accessibility, AAA is the highest. Section 508 only requires a business to meet an A and AA grade to be compliant..
With all the complexity associated with making a site accessible it is important to do it right to avoid any penalties and fines.
To find out how your Website stacks up and to get a free Website audit, get in touch with us today.
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to do a promo video for my digital marketing agency, Goldstein Media, with Joe Monzo of Monzo Media Productions. The experience was amazing, but also overwhelming.
Let me explain the overwhelming part…
Just seeing the process Joe goes through to make an awesome video for his clients was incredible. The amount of gear that he used and the eye for detail, well all I can say is that I’m impressed.
But that got me thinking. Does all video need to be that advanced and involved? The short answer is not really. It really depends on what message you’re trying to get out to the world.
You Already Have A Video Camera On You… Use It
You know that little, thin, rectangle that buzzes in your pocket? Yea, your phone. It’s also a video camera. And a damn good one at that. Pick it up and just start recording. The videos don’t have to be long. Heck short and sweet is better with today’s attention spans being what they are.
Every time I put out a video, I get a call from one of my clients asking how I did the video. He’s a great guy and hopefully will read this piece.
There are many different types of videos. The Monzo ones that are highly edited and intricate. And then the videos that are done on your phone and just get a message across.
Both are great to do and have in your marketing arsenal. They serve different purposes and that’s okay.
So what are you waiting for, get out there and record some video.
WordPress powers 30% of sites on the Web. With this much market share there are quite a bit of plugins to enhance your WordPress experience. Below are 15 of our favorites. Some are paid-to-use, some are free and pay for more features, and others are completely free. All are worth it.
- Ewww.io Image Optimizer (Paid) (http://ewww.io/)
This is a great plugin for optimizing your images for optimal performance in bulk.
- All In One WordPress Migration (https://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-wp-migration)
Backup Buddy is great, but sometimes on less powered servers, you need something more flexible. AIOWPM does the trick.
- Feedzy RSS Feeds (https://wordpress.org/plugins/feedzy-rss-feeds/)
A great plugin for displaying RSS feeds from different sources on your site.
- Divi Booster (Paid) (https://divibooster.com/divi-booster-the-easy-way-to-customize-divi/)
Use Divi? Wish there was a few more features, or an easier way to customize the framework? Look no further than Divi Booster. It’s worth every penny.
- Wordfence Security (https://www.wordfence.com/)
The big dog in keeping your site secure. Track who’s hitting your site in real-time and lock down the intruders. There is so much to this plugin, it’s insane.
- Schema Creator by Raven (https://wordpress.org/plugins/schema-creator/)
With Google and other search engines preferring more data about your site. Using this plugin allows you to embed all kinds of useful data into your pages and posts.
- WP External Links (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-external-links/)
Nothing’s worse than having an external link not open another window or browser tab. This plugin makes sure that doesn’t happen.
- Email Encoder Bundle (https://wordpress.org/plugins/email-encoder-bundle/)
Most people want to share their email on their sites, but spammers scrape them and spam you. This plugin encodes your email address links.
- All In One WP Security & Firewall (https://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-wp-security-and-firewall/)
Like WordFence, but a bit less bulky on the server, this plugin gives you tons of security features to make sure your site stays secure.
- Gravity Forms (PAID) (http://www.gravityforms.com/)
One of the best form plugins on the market. Hands down.
- GDPress Tools Pro (PAID) (http://www.dev4press.com/plugins/gd-press-tools/)
Lots of useful and neat admin tools. Many you never knew you needed.
- Jetpack by WordPress (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/jetpack/)
Adds additional features to your WordPress site from the makers of WordPress, Automattic.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-seo/)
Hands down the best SEO plugin on the market. The free version is fantastic, the pro version is even better.
- W3 Total Cache (sometime has issues with Backup Buddy) (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/w3-total-cache/)
A complex plugin, but it speeds up your site and makes it blazing fast. Make use you read the documentation.
- miniOrange 2FA – (paid) (https://www.miniorange.com/2-factor-authentication-for-wordpress)
Every service is implementing two-factor authentication. Now you can have it on your site.
Do you have a favorite plugin? We want to know about it! Post it in the comments below!
© 2017 Seth Goldstein & Ashley Owens