Dartmouth Woods, Attorney Risa FreemanDecember 5th, 2014

We are pleased to announce 2 New projects in the works. We will be doing a revamp of a site we have managed for many years, Dartmouth Woods. Dartmouth Woods is a luxury apartment complex in Dartmouth Massachusetts. We are also pleased to announce we are building a new site for Attorney Risa Freeman of Quincy Massachusetts.

Collins, Loughran & Peloquin, P.C.July 16th, 2014

Congratulations to Collins, Loughran & Peloquin, P.C. on the launch of your new website!! CLP are seven attorneys engaged in the full-time practice of labor employment law on behalf of municipalities and other employers, and education law on behalf of schools.

Technology:  PHP, MySql
CMS: WordPress
Design Note: Responsive design

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 4.47.26 PM

Updating WordPress & Plugins: BEWAREApril 7th, 2014

beware-wpOne of the reasons clients love having a WordPress site is the ability to do a lot of things themselves.  Great, right?  Why then do I preach that you need professional management with WordPress?

Because there are some treacherous roads you need to cross.  Namely, plug-ins and WordPress updates. When you log into your WordPress dashboard you’re typically greeted with what plugins need to be updated and if there is a core WordPress update. Because they’re basically automatic updates you go ahead and do them. 9 out of 10 times this works fine.  The 10th time however you blow away your website entirely or screw up functionality or display.

Here are 3 cases that illustrate my point:

Case number one:
I had a simple WordPress point release. I had done this update to 20 other sites. But on this one site I clicked update and all of a sudden the screen went white. Nothing, zero, zilch, ugatz.  Site was gone. Fortunately, I back up my sites on a regular basis, and in this case had just taken a full backup. Getting it back was not as easy as you might think even with backup plugin. Restore failed. I was forced to FTP the backup files to the site. Luckily this took care of it and the client site was only down for a matter of minutes.  But, imagine Joe client who doesn’t have the skill set nor the ability to get their site back, their business literally could be crippled for days.

Case number two:
I had a notification that an e-commerce client had an update to their UPS plug-in. Seemed like a very simple update, according to the documentation. I made the update, to the site did some testing. It seemed to be okay. But, I was wrong. When you added something to your cart, you got a PHP fatal error. Again, luckily I had just taken a backup and could restore the plug-in to the prior version.  If not, a business which relies almost 100% on their website would have been down. While I am not a genius, I do know how to backup properly and I do know how to restore. And if push came to shove I had the whole site backed up on my server daily. So I could’ve gotten the client back up and running relatively quickly.

Case number three:
I have a client which uses a web calendar. The plug-in update came and again seem pretty minor. Well, this update actually disabled the backend.  You could not get to the dashboard! And now luckily, again I knew what to do and once I disabled the plugin I could go back and grab the backup and again restore the old version. If not, the client would have been out of luck.

Bottom line:
Managing a WordPress site is not as easy as they make it sound. There is a lot of things you need to know in order to keep it running smooth 24/7/365. So make sure you have someone on your side helping you manage your website. That doesn’t mean you can’t do certain tasks yourself and save money. But you need someone in your corner to help you, especially in those times when you have problems. Not to say that that experts don’t have problems as well, we do. But part of being an expert is knowing how to solve those problems which at times can seem insurmountable. If you need help with your website management, please contact us at RooSites. We are happy to help.

LawnCraftNovember 22nd, 2013

RooSites has signed on to build a website for a startup company, LawnCraft of Easton Massachusetts.

Beginning operation next year, we will have their web presence is place by early 2014.

Welcome, and thank you for your business!

WordPress: Custom Theme or Purchase?September 3rd, 2013

With WordPress one of the key questions you have to ask yourself is should I have a custom theme built for my website or should I use a premium theme that I can purchase?

My answer depends on a few things:

  • What type of business are you in?
  • What is your time-to-market?
  • Budget

Depending on your answers, I can come up with an option for you.
Type of Business
I always think people in creative fields should lean towards more custom themes. For instance, I look at some website designer’s website and I see a purchased theme, to me that doesn’t seem quite right. I mean if your selling your creativity, you should at least show you are creative, right? However, for many professions, or small businesses, a premium theme is fine. There are thousands, and with some customizations, you can make it your own.

Time to Market
If you are in a rush to get a site done, then your answer is simple, go with a nice premium theme which will cut the time down by 60-70%. If you have months, then you can consider a custom design. As the design process takes a couple of weeks on average, and building a custom theme can add a few weeks, you can see where time to market is considerably longer.

If you have a small budget, then go with a premium theme. If you have $2000 and up you can consider the custom design route. The reason is that having designs created takes time and money. And coding a custom theme can take weeks, which is where the cost adds up.

So, I know you are going to ask, what do I prefer? Well, in a perfect world, a custom, unique theme is what I prefer. But in reality, the things we spoke about come into play. Budget and time to market are so important. Whichever way you go, you can have a great site. If you aren’t sure, then ask me. I am happy to help you decide.