Mobile friendly websites

You’re aware of the April deadline by Google where they said that after the 21st their rankings would take into account whether your website was mobile friendly or not and if it wasn’t they would downgrade your site.

Unfortunately there are still designers who are providing new sites that don’t pass Google’s test.

Make sure yours isn’t one of them – Check here

I collect buts

Have you noticed how many sentences involving websites include the word ‘but’ somewhere near the middle of the sentence? Well, just as other people collect butterflies I collect these ‘buts’, deal with them humanely then mount them on a pin and add them to my collection. Here are a few examples:-

  1. “I like my website design BUT I think the background colour should be a bit lighter
  2. “I want to blog, Facebook and tweet BUT I just don’t have time for all three”
  3. “I like WordPress BUT I’m worried about security”
  4. “My website describes my products and services BUT I want to be able to sell them online too”

Here’s how I dealt with these ‘buts’:-

  • “I’ll just add a bit of css to the sylesheet to lighten the background”
  • “There’s a plugin that automatically publishes your blog articles to Facebook and Twitter. I’ll add it to your site”
  • “There’s a security plugin which detects brute force login attacks on your website and blocks them. It will block individuals, networks and even countries”
  • “Secure online shopping is a feature of modern WordPress websites and is so popular that WordPress bought the company offering the main software used for online shopping”

So, bring me your ‘buts’ and I’ll add them to my collection.

No ‘buts’ were hurt in the writing of this article.


Free Business Advice

With every wetherbyweb website you will receive free business advice.

How can I offer this?


Before becoming a full-time web designer I clocked up more than four decades as an export sales and marketing manager with more than a dozen companies. I left each one with higher profits or or higher turnover (or both) than when I started.

I also managed a German subsidiary company for two years, bringing it back to breakeven after a long period of lossmaking.

Even if my product experience doesn’t directly relate to your activities it shows how I can adapt to the demands of widely differing markets.

So ask me for a website and I’ll throw in the business advice for free.


A beer festival promotions concept that works

Are you planning a new beer festival and looking for a winning formula?

wetherbyweb can offer an integrated package comprising a CMS website, Facebook page and Twitter account that combine to attract sponsors prior to the event and visitors on the day.

The CMS (Content Management System)  uses WordPress to provide a website that can be managed easily with little prior experience, includes an easy-to-update Blog to keep your followers up to date and feeds your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) with news and updates automatically.

All for a cost of less than a £1 a day. Your domain name comprises and there are no additional hosting fees.

Here are the viewing figures for the years 2012 – 2014, showing how site visits peak in the run up to the festival:-

Beer festival viewing figures

See what a succesful site looks like at



That’s the nickname given to Google’s latest update of its search algorithm whereby mobile friendliness of a website is assessed as part of its search page rankings.

It has been well publicised ahead of Google’s recently passed deadline of 21st April for taking mobile friendliness (or rather lack of it) into account.

The move has come about as a result of the change in people’s browsing habits and Google’s wish to provide relevant search results. Apparently more than 50% of websites are now viewed on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. If the websites have not been optimised for mobile devices then the user experience is likely to be disappointing with the need for horizontal scrolling, screen pinching, and links that are so close together that it is difficult to choose the right one.

There are other solutions but ideally you need to make your site design responsive. This means that you have one website design and the site’s style sheets (css) detect the device and format the information displayed accordingly.

If you are not sure whether your website is mobile freindly you can test it here:-

If it fails you or your web designer need to fix it. If you need any help or advice, get in touch

The Teddy Bear Syndrome

Have you ever struggled to solve a problem and then sought help from someone else. In explaining the problem to that person the solution becomes obvious to you.

You might as well have explained the problem to a teddy bear as the other person.

That’s the teddy bear syndrome!

I’m being stalked by a black wheelie bin

It all started when the refuse collectors trashed my wheelie bin and it got swallowed by their compactor. They don’t tell you they’ve done it. They just slope off and leave you to find out. So I rang the council and they said they would deliver another bin in four weeks time (four weeks! – don’t they have any in stock?). They said I could put my rubbish in black bags and they would still collect it. Except they didn’t. They just stuck a label on the bags saying because they weren’t in a bin it was excess rubbish and they weren’t going to take it away. Yah boo sucks!

If you ring them up to complain, one of two things happens. Either you choose the wrong option and you’re led up a call-centre blind alley where they ask you lots of automated questions but you never actually speak to a human and the call ends abruptly. Or you get through to a human being who has been trained to be sympathetic and non-confrontational but won’t actually do anything, suggesting you wait until the next collection date a fortnight away for it to sort itself out. They say that they don’t have any authority to do anything else but won’t connect you to someone who has.

The answer is to go straight for the jugular and ring the complaints department. Eventually you reach someone who actually promises action but it still doesn’t happen because he goes on holiday and nobody else follows up to check if the action has been taken. But you should persist and eventually, about a week or more after your original complaint a very genial chap called Greg takes the rubbish away and provides you with a replacement bin that has suddenly materialised.

But what has that got to do with being stalked by a wheelie bin you say (unless you’ve lost interest and gone back to Google to find something more interesting to read.

Bear with me!

Part way through this process my resolve began to falter and I considered buying my own wheelie bin. So I visited various websites and found that the going rate was about £38 for a 240 litre bin. Ever since then every website I’ve visited that subcribes to Google Adsense features a black wheelie bin staring out at me like a Dalek in a black plastic burkha. It’s becoming a bit unnerving though. We know it happens and if we are philosophical about it, it’s the price we have to pay for relatively inexpensive Internet access.

I just wish there was a feedback option where you could tell Google that the council has finally delivered a new bin or that you have ordered one or you’ve decided that you want a green/yellow/brown bin and you can stop following me now – please.

In the meantime I feel that I am being stalked by a black wheelie bin that stares out at me from every website I visit

Inline CSS

I am amazed at the number of websites that place their CSS inline in each page rather than have a separate css file accessed by each file. Separating style from content results in faster page loads and a better Google ranking.

It’s a standard feature of a #Wordpress website or blog. Ask for more information….

What you get for your money

A wetherbyweb ‘WordPress’ website will provide you with a combined website and blog which will be integrated with your Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts.

Posts on your website will automatically be tweeted, posted and posted respectively. Advice will be given on your content to improve SEO. The design will be selected from an existing theme, modified if you wish or a bespoke theme will be designed. One of the two main SEO plugins will be installed to improve your search engine ranking. Over time your operating system files and plugins will be kept up to date on a weekly basis, ensuring the maximum security level for your site.

All for an affordable monthly fee

Improve your site’s security

When you installed your WordPress website did you accept the default administrator name ‘admin’? If you did you have compromised your security by 50%. All a hacker has to do now is guess your password.

However, all is not lost. Here are a few simple steps that will regain that lost initiative:-

  1. Create a new user with a name that will be more difficult to guess.
  2. Give that user administration rights
  3. Change your ‘admin’ to a subscriber only

Jetpack widget

If you have cut your teeth on a website before moving to a self-hosted website you will be familiar with Jetpack which is installed by default on their websites.

You can now install Jetpack, the most complete WordPress widget on your own website and have the following features at your disposal from ONE widget:-

  1. Visitor stats  – via
  2.  Publicize – Use social media to publicise your site’s posts
  3. Notifications – Monitor and manage your site’s activity
  4. Subscriptions – Allow your users to subscribe to posts and comments
  5. Post by email – Publish posts to your blog directly by email, perhaps from your smartphone
  6. After the deadline – spelling, style and grammar check
  7. Gravatar Hovercards – pop up business cards of your users’ profiles
  8. Contact form – Insert one anywhere on your site
  9. Widget usability – Control what pages your widget appears on
  10. – shortlinks for easier sharing of your posts and pages
  11. Shortcut embeds – videpos and more from Youtube, Vimeo and Slideshare
  12. Custom CSS – without modifying your theme
  13. Extra sidebar widgets
  14. JSON API
  15. Mobile push notifications – on your mobile device

Write a post once – broadcast it three times

Do you write your blog article, then switch to Facebook and write it again and then log into Twitter to publicise either of them concluding with the addition of a link?

Want to do it only once?

Add the Social plugin by Mail Chimp to your WordPress website and broadcast an article at the push of  a button.

You can publish to more than one Facebook or Twitter account if you wish. Just add them to the admin page.

Enough time saved for another cup of coffee