Category Archives: Website Software Systems

Keep Your Site Secure by Updating WordPress-315

Keep Your Site Secure by Updating WordPress

Keep Your Site Secure by Updating WordPress-315
If you’re relatively new to WordPress, chances are a notification of a new version that you should upgrade to has you break out in a cold sweat. Even if you’re a WordPress expert, you might wonder if your plugins and theme will work on the new version, and if or when you should upgrade.

The truth is, it’s a good idea to  use the latest version of WordPress and here’s why:

Stay Ahead of Hackers

WordPress is the world’s most popular website platform. So it stands to reason it’s a major target for hackers. If they can hack into one WordPress site, they can potentially access thousands.  Hacking a version of WordPress or a plugin is increasingly vulnerable the older the versions of WordPress and plugins you are using. If your security isn’t strong and up-to-date, you could lose your whole site.

WordPress is open source, which means the WordPress community at large contributes to the code. There are many people who know WP’s strengths and weaknesses. While the majority of the WordPress community is helpful and generous, there will always be a few that look to take advantage of any bugs and holes.

Wait too long to update your site, and you run the risk of having a loophole that could be exposed and thus the potential of losing control of your site. If you don’t keep your WP, theme, and plugins updated, and you process payments or store customer data you may be exposing your customer’s information to hackers.

What To Do Before You Update

You should backup your website before making any drastic changes. Just in case things don’t go according to plan. Tools like Updraftplus make this a fairly straightforward process.

In fact, it’s always a good idea to backup your site on a weekly or at least monthly basis. Because you never know what will happen.

Keep your plugins, theme, and framework up to date also. While minor WP updates may not affect the functionality of your plugins, a major update to WordPress may interfere with the functionality of your plugin.

How to Update WordPress

Updating WordPress is fairly easy. Chances are, you’ll receive an email notifying you of the update. Don’t worry about cost; the updates are free.

When you login, there will be a link on the home screen. After you’ve backed up your site, click the link and follow the prompts. Once the update is done, you’ll still need to update plugins. Then your site should be safe from malicious attacks until the next update rolls around.

Most updates go smoothly, with no downtime. But it’s always a good idea to schedule your updates for times when your site is not busy, just in case there’s a problem.

Need help and want this taken care of for you?  Let us help!  Digital Hill offers a security service where we can take care of updating your site and ensuring it has the latest versions and plugins needed.  Contact us today!

 

 

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E-Commerce Website for an Online Chocolate Store_ The Nut Shoppe Chocolates-315

E-Commerce Website for an Online Chocolate Store: The Nut Shoppe Chocolates

E-Commerce Website for an Online Chocolate Store_ The Nut Shoppe Chocolates-315
The Nut Shoppe has satisfied sweet tooths in Goshen, Indiana for over 25 years. Their new website, www.thenutshoppechocolates.com, connects the Nut Shoppe with even more customers.

The site is as much as a delight as their confectioneries. A gallery with mouth-watering treats sits on the front page. With the search, navigation bars and item bag, customers can navigate the site quickly. Nuts, chocolates, and other products are organized so that customers can easily find what they’re looking for.

Along with an attractive design, the site has 2 features that are perfect for both the Nut Shoppe and the customer.

E-Commerce

E-commerce stores help extend a business beyond its physical location. Therefore, customers can purchase gifts, mints, chocolates, and ingredients online in the E-Commerce store. Carefully arranged by category, products are presented with a picture, description, price, and size options.

As they shop, their orders can be accessed through the item bag (represented by a stylized shopping bag). If they want more raspberry creams, they can change the quantity right in the shopping cart. When they are ready to buy, they can simply hit the “Checkout” button, fill out the form, and have their treats shipped.

The business has full control over their store. They can add new products. Product descriptions and prices can be updated as needed.

CMS

A content management system is a back-end tool that makes managing a site much easier. Pictures, SEO, navigation links, pages, and the footer can be changed to whatever the Nut Shoppe desires.

E-Commerce Website for an Online Chocolate Store_ The Nut Shoppe Chocolates-1

Digital Hill’s CMS is perfect for the nontechnical user who wants to skip coding and get straight to business. With a CMS, multiple users can login in from anywhere and update the site. Site maintenance becomes streamlined as content management becomes collaborative and simple.

Want to quickly edit a product page? The CMS allows someone to modify a particular portion of the page without changing the others. This allows admins to keep the site’s appearance and themes consistent. The Nut Shoppe isn’t reliant on an outside vendor for site management.

E-Commerce Website for an Online Chocolate Store_ The Nut Shoppe Chocolates-2

Designed by Digital Hill, thenutshoppechocolates.com, is an attractive E-commerce website that is simple to navigate, quick to edit. It’s ideal for The Nut Shoppe to showcase their products worldwide.

The Nut Shoppe is just one of the companies that Digital Hill has built a site for. Check us out at Digital Hill’s site for more information on our web design, CMS, and other solutions.

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Affordable Small Business Website - ApplianceTech-inc.com-315

Affordable Small Business Website – ApplianceTech-Inc

Affordable Small Business Website - ApplianceTech-inc.com-315
In the modern world, virtually all businesses need an online web presence. When searching for information regarding a company or product, the first place many people will look is via a Google Search. Websites, however, can seem like a big hurdle, especially for a small business.

Designed by Digital Hill, Appliance Tech Inc.’s new one-page website is simple, affordable, professional and manageable.  It takes helps you overcome the website hurdle with a website that meets all your small business needs.

Small Business Website Features

  • SEO tools – SEO is a determining factor on where a site ranks in Google. SEO also affects the amount of site traffic. The SEO tools (accessible through the CMS system) allows content creators and admins on the site to customize site metadata, domain names, keywords, H tags, and page titles according to the best SEO practices.
  • Responsive design – As a mobile responsive site, ApplianceTech-Inc.com offers a great user experience on any device, mobile or desktop.
  • Simple CMS System – There is no need to know how to code with this back-end system. Digital Hill’s CMS system puts control of practically the entire site into the hands of the page’s admins. Editing of the image gallery and contact form are easily performed. If the business wishes to add an about page, for example, it can be accomplished in a matter of minutes with site-appropriate templates.
  • Contact Form –  Visitors can get more information, purchase services, or leave a comment, can use the contact form.

A Good Example of Starter Site

The website design is simple and straightforward, providing visitors with an attractive and easy-to-navigate layout. The image gallery takes up much of the page and is effective in showing potential clients technicians in action. Thus serving as a preview of the services provided while immediately providing a link to a contact number. The footer and navigation bar give the site more branding power with the logo, social media profiles, phone number and to-the-point copy present.

ApplianceTech-Inc.com is a good example of a starter site. Featuring ease-of-use for both the customer and the business managing it. Digital Hill’s CMS system provides the tools to expand a site as needed. The one-page site serves as Appliance Tech Inc.’s portal to a much wider audience and customer base. Small businesses looking to get on the internet quickly and cost-effectively can look to Appliance Tech Inc’s example. This website offers all a small business needs in an online presence without the high costs.

Powerful Website Systems: CommodoreHomes.com - 315

Powerful Website Systems: CommodoreHomes . com

Powerful Website Systems: CommodoreHomes.com - 315Commodore Homes’ new site helps visitors get to the home of their dreams faster. Specializing in modular home design, Commodore Homes needed to put the tools to design and customize homes into the hands of customers. Therefore, we built powerful website systems: commordorehomes.com with the user in mind.  The website includes these advanced tools designed to improve user engagement:

InHouse Experiences

Interactivity and control are main features of Commodore’s site. Utilize the InHouse Experiences tool to see and create the house you want to be built.  Hence, interiors and exteriors are under your control as you customize roofing, stories, flooring, and other options. There are so many categories and combinations for you to choose from, for example, opt for the Blanco Romano countertop and the brushed nickel hardware.

Starting with the exterior, the site guides you through design, step-by-step. While you design the exterior, you are presented with the options of choosing roof angles, shutters, front doors, and sidings. As you click through your selections, the picture refreshes to show your updates as you go.

Next, we head into the interior, you choose the floorplan (with bedroom and bath plans) you envision. Then go on to design your kitchen with numerous choices in hardware, flooring, countertops, appliances, and cabinets.

From curb appeal to stylish interiors, you are free to fully customize the look and feel of your home. Exert your personality over your new home with InHouse Experiences.

Builder Tools

Both Commodores and builders have access to the site’s extensive set of tools. With builder and dealer tools, builders and site admins can:

  • Use logins to access information and resources about the homes they offer
  • Manage, edit and add to modules
  • Create new displays
  • Add more categories
  • Embed InHouse Experiences to their site

Customer Accounts

A Customer Account allows you to save your configurations and floor plans as you modify your project. Creating the account is as simple as filling out a few fields (password, address, email) in a form. As you complete the form, you will be prompted to provide a zip code. The zip code and address you enter will be used to search for Commodore Builders in your area.

About Commodore Corporation

One of the largest builders in the United States, Commodore Corporation is a manufacturer of modular homes that cost much less and provide more customization than traditional site built homes.

Moreover, Digital Hill’s newly designed website for the Commodore Corporation provides a diverse range of customization options from specialized website tools. Visitors coming to CommodoreHomes.com can come with a vision and leave with the home of their dreams.  Best of all, the Commodore team has the management web tools to be able to update, control and manage all these advanced features.

Need a robust website that performs multiple types of tasks? Contact DigitalHill.com we can help.

New Manufacturer Website_ NPWTools.com - 315

New Manufacturer Website: NPWTools.com

New Manufacturer Website_ NPWTools.com - 315

The tech revolution has changed the way you operate and manage your business. Digital marketing has reduced marketing and operation costs and increased returns on investment when used efficiently. To succeed, your website and digital marketing must follow a specific set of best practices which have worked over and over again for high ranking websites.

Nicholas Precision Works (NPW)

Founded in 2014, this family-owned business specializes in the manufacture of carbide cutting tools. They provide high-quality carbide cutting tools. With almost 200 years of combined cutting tools knowledge, NPW craftsmen design, manufacture, and help fulfill all your cutting requirements whether you’re in the medical, woodworking, automotive, or aerospace industries.

NPW has top quality processes, equipment, and craftsmen who deliver reliable and repeatable tooling at affordable prices. NPW will help you succeed in your custom tool manufacturing, and precision regrinding processes. They practice stringent in-process inspection and a thoroughly comprehensive final inspection to make sure you get only quality products. They’re always precise and strive relentlessly to meet all demanding quality requirements.

Content Management System Website

Since NPW is still a startup business, they contracted with Digital Hill to build them a simple, custom website with an integrated CMS system for making web page updates. The site is entirely interactive for visitors and is easily navigated and mobile responsive. The redesigned responsive website will help NPW customers to get all the information they need about carbide cutting tools on all devices including smartphones, tablets and computers.  At the same time, NPW Tools has ability to make image and content edits on the site to keep it current themselves going forward, a win-win scenario.

NPWTools.com is a Paralax website. This means 1 longer page contains all the site informational pages. It’s a clean look that’s easy to navigate, works simply and looks beautiful.

Since NPW experts mainly specialize in the manufacture of high-quality carbide cutting tools and not managing websites, they need a clear and easy way to make updates on their websites themselves. Thus, the Digital Hill CMS website system is an ideal solution for them. They’re able to maintain an excellent website with an admin dashboard that’s intuitive and easy to use.

Do you need a new mobile responsive website? Digital Hill has CMS experts who will redesign your site with CMS tools to enhance the optimal productivity and functionality of your site.

website management system

Website Management System Case Study: City of Goshen

website management system

The city of Goshen came to Digital Hill needing more than just a new website; they needed a website management system.

Old Website and Previous Pain Points:

1. Not Easy to Update

They were unable to update the previous site on their own. Every time they wanted to change or add something a web developer had to be involved. It was difficult to make timely updates and add new information to the site, not to mention the cost of continually hiring a web developer.

2. Not Mobile Friendly

The previous City of Goshen website was not mobile or tablet friendly. In 2015 Google and Bing changed search engine rules and sites that are not mobile-friendly are penalized and forced down in the search engine results. The need for the city to update their website was urgent.

New Website Management System

Planning Ahead with Website Software

More than simply getting a new website, the City of Goshen and wanted to be proactive in their thinking and figure out how all of their various city departments could be involved in website updates. They also wanted to give their departments unique user access points so that each department could control the content in their areas of the site.

Digital Hill has extensive experience in building content management systems with robust tools. These sites go beyond the simple WordPress sites that many have used in the past. Digital Hill created a website management system that allowed for the City of Goshen to:

  • Control user access to department pages.  Specify, which admins can add/edit content on specific pages of the website.
  • Allow private pages accessible by specific site users/employees.
  • Use a custom calendar system where events and event agendas could be uploaded easily and kept current at all times.
  • Have a “Report An Issue” feature to allow residents to report issues of several types and allow the city to communicate quickly with residents reporting issues.
  • Manage the different areas for reporting issues. Each issue is then sent to the appropriate department email address for the fastest response time.
  • Add/Edit/Create Photo Galleries and add images to showcase city items.

The city of Goshen now has a website management system that enables them to:

  • Keep city residents up-to-date
  • Residents can contact specific departments within the city and receive follow-up information quickly

The backend interface lets city leaders manage:

  • Who can add information to the website
  • What type of information can be added to the website

Efficient communication is key. It’s an example of a forward-thinking approach to the use of the web by a city government.

website management system

Page content editor area with the ability to add pages or change content and images on a web page.

Includes ability to manage employee access to certain folders and documents on the website.

Includes ability to manage employee access to certain folders and documents on the website.

gallery

The city can manage multiple galleries with photos in each, and create new galleries to showcase areas of the City.

More advanced website software tools are becoming in demand as city governments, organizations, and businesses understand the value of the web for rapid, up-to-date communication and the ability to complete business administrative operations on the web.

Calendar, Meeting, and Event Management system for informing the Community

Calendar, Meeting, and Event Management system for informing the Community

Today’s websites must have these features:

  • Easily manage website content and make quick updates to content
  • Add new pages/posts
  • Give multiple users their own unique access to manage specific areas of the site
  • Potentially have a private area to manage secure information and documents
  • Deliver a good web experience to visitors whether they’re on a mobile smartphone, tablet, or computer.

The tools that make this possible are 

It’s all about the tools to meet your specific business needs and goals.

This post is part of our ongoing series: What We Do On the Web, which showcases our more advanced web software and “backend” systems.

Often the websites we build are like an iceberg.  What you see on the public side “above the waterline” is really only a small portion of the tools and power that make up the full iceberg/website software system!