Keep in touch
You’ve probably already considered social media and email as forms of communication for your business, so here’s a quick overview of our preferred approach:
WordPress based website with a custom theme (always up-to-date, of course). We host our own install on our private servers, but WordPress.com offers hosted sites as well. Have an existing design you like? We can take the overall design and existing content and migrate it into a new, upgraded site. If you’re looking for a change, we can work with you to modernize the design, or create a completely new one.
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA) by Duo Security (because passwords are dead!). While this isn’t required, we’re VERY strongly recommending implementing some form of MFA. Hear about all those sites that got hacked (ITV News, Financial Times, Sky and even The Onion are just the most recent ones)? It’s likely MFA would have stopped those.
- A newsletter plugin for WordPress with a custom template. There are plenty of options here, but we’re going with one simply called “Newsletter” by an Italian developer, since it’s free and lets us change the source code easily whenever we want to tweak things. A lot of other plugins come with fancy themes (for a price), but we usually design our own anyhow so this isn’t a concern for us.
- A authorized user logs into WordPress with their account (MFA: Something You Know)
- Duo Push sends a verification to their phone (MFA: Something You Have)
- Using WordPress’ simple HTML editor, we’re able to immediately start working on a new post. No need to copy/paste from Word, or to learn a new piece of software (e.g. Dreamweaver). If we really need to make intricate changes, we can still edit the raw HTML code. (Even in our own content, I think we’ve yet to need this level of complexity)
- Measure twice, cut once: proof the post a few times…
- Publish the post. Sometimes you’ll need to announce something in the future (or postdate something for the archive) so we can set the date as needed and forget about it, since WordPress handles this.
- We’ve programmed the newsletter theme to pull the latest posts from the site and fill in the newsletter’s content. When we create then mailing in our Newsletter plugin, we can choose to send our entire list, or select a sub-groups based on interest. After a careful review and mail test, we send it off.
Why it all matters
Everything starts with security. We can’t stress the importance of maintaining secure procedures enough. Picking “best-of-breed” vendors and ongoing maintenance helps keep sites up-to-date and secure.
Now our focus is on you…Or more importantly, your TIME.
Blog and Website integration
Keeping your site stocked with fresh content is crucial to your search engine ranking. Our approach allows you and your staff to quickly publish news relevant to your target audience. Don’t know HTML? Doesn’t matter. You’re probably already extremely comfortable in Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Writer. The WordPress editor is a simpler version of these. Inserting photos is as easy as attaching them to an email. If you’re uncomfortable outside of your standard editor, simply copy and paste into Wordpad, then copy and paste into the WordPress editor. (You could skip Wordpad, but this removes and “Word-specific” formatting and helps clean up the entry for the site).
But I have Blogger/Facebook/insert-other-social-media-network-here!
Great! Check out the Jetpack plugin to feed content from your site automatically. This will save you from wasting time on repetitive tasks. WordPress IS a Blogging platform, just much more powerful than others. There’s a reason it’s the dominant platform among the top 100 blogs.
Why should spend time entering a post, then write it again for your newsletter? These plugins take the content (or excerpts) directly from your original post, adds them into a pre-defined format, and with one click you have an email newsletter ready to go.
But can’t I just send from Outlook?
- Outlook, even with Exchange Server, is probably going to start choking after a few dozen emails.
- Some people try batching in small numbers. It’s poor etiquette to list everyone’s email in the To: field. Would you want your email distributed to a bunch of people you don’t know, on an email that you may not be interested in?
- The CC field isn’t any more effective. But the BCC field can flag you as a spammer.
- So you know how to Mail Merge. Not bad, but you’re still dealing with Outlook specific formatting issues. Your readers may end up seeing gibberish.
- CAN-SPAM. It’s kind of a big deal. A newsletter system will handle registration/opt-out/bounces and all the other things you have no reason to learn about. That’s why we’re here.
How do I know any of this works?
You wouldn’t. Oh, right! Except for…