We hope you enjoy reading the MEANit blog with all the guides and tips. If you want our team to help with your web presence click here

The articles here will give you everything you need to plan, design, develop, market and maintain your website, if you have the time required – Enjoy.

Gutenberg WordPress Editor launch December 6th 2018 –

Wordpress.TV Gutenberg Editor WordPress released its new Editor, called Gutenberg, in December 2018, to coincide with the release of Wordpress version 5.0.  Unlike the classic editor, possibly basic editor stroke word processor that is in Wordpress now, Gutenberg will allow for the creation of better looking rich posts content, without the need to edit CSS or html. It allows the building of pages, using drag and drop ‘Blocks’, in a more visual way, much like visual composer or other drag ‘n’ drop editors. This will make it easier to add other media too, such as images and video. Each iteration of WordPress 5.0 will probably come with a set of pre-designed blocks to get you started and no doubt many developers will develop many more Block types. Instead of using shortcodes to add to your website, you will be able to select suitable Blocks.  Java script is heavily employed to ensure Gutenberg is intuitive and it comes with its own set of styles.

Will Gutenberg kill other Page Builders?

No, the main page builders are already adapting to work with Gutenberg to offer added value. But Gutenberg will make it more ‘natural’ for WordPress website webmasters to use Blocks, so it will become second nature to drag and drop these blocks of pre-written code in order to create or insert content on a page. The better page builder companies will simply enhance their product to work better, so the advent of Gutenberg is keeping them all on their toes. As with most WordPress updates, this is a very useful addition, but as usual it will confuse the novice or amateur user, whilst being a very easy to use tool for the professionals such as webmasters, developer and digital marketers. Read the WordPress Introduction to Gutenberg here. And find loads of Gutenberg news and tutorials here.

Gutenberg issues to watch out for.

Shortcodes
If you elect to use Gutenberg as your Editor look out with styling issues or conflicts within your current design them. If you can use a staging site you could add Gutenberg as a plugin to a copy of your site. Then you can look through the site to see if you need to do any css style changes to sort out and problems with your font or colours. Also check all your plugins, as there may be an issue with some short codes, which could affect the look of your page. We use gravity forms and WooCommerce short codes. Then ensure that all your plugins are actually working correctly, test the functionality such as Contact Form and Comment Box etc. If you come across actual code appearing on the website page, then you need to address this. Gutenberg does have a facility to preview any short code you may want to add.

Confusion – user challenge
The addition of the Gutenberg editor offers a great new visually attractive facility to users/editors, but many will be comfortable with the default classic editor. They may not want to move, but over time the classic editor will only be available as a plugin. It will stop being supported and simply be phased out. Users will have to move sooner or later. Gutenberg will support short codes and advanced custom fields, so it will provide all the functionality of the classic editor along with all the visual aspects of drag ‘n’ drop. Try reading the Gutenberg Handbook here to understand a bit more about blocks and how Gutenberg will help editors, create better pages.

WordPress Website Page Builders

DIVI
Beaver Builder
Elementor
Visual Composer
MotoPress
SiteOrigin Page Builder
Brizy
BRIX
Live Composer
WP Bakery Builder
Thrive Themes Builder
Oxygen
Conductor
Pootle
Fusion Builder

All these Page Builders all do the same things, allowing you lay out your website. They allow you add blocks, modules, sections, rows or elements. This bits are like the lego bricks that make up your website. In to these blocks you add your content as in text , images, videos etc.
The companies who develop these builders are continually trying to improve their product, to add more functionality, to stand out above their competitors. 

Which is the best WordPress Page Builder ?
We have our own current favourite, but that could change depending on the one we feel is best at any specific time. Currently,we work mainly with DIVI,but have some client websites in Elementor and some using Beaver Builder. If you ask any web design agency, they will tell you which page builder they think is best. Generally, this is the one they are familiar with and probably prefer for that reason.

Do you want more traffic?

Hi, at MEANit we help 40 ‘Professional Services Businesses‘ to be effective online annually. Will your business be one of the 40 in 2022?

MEANit-Web-Design-Agency-Michael-MacGinty

Written by Michael MacGinty

Michael is a well known speaker, author and coach on how to use the web to grow a business. He is also WP Elevation certified as a Digital Business Consultant.
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Get a clean, fast, mobile friendly, custom designed website that ticks all the boxes. By focusing on the essentials we can get you an online presence that makes a big positive impact on your business without investing a fortune initially. Build your brand and grow your audience with a Mobile-friendly, WordPress website typically 5 to 10 pages, along with all the training provided, so you can grow your site yourself over time, adding your own content and Search Engine Optimisation to get you found in Google search results over time

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And we can add in the critical Search Engine Optimisation, so your website ranks well in Google. Plus a full written plan for your team to follow..

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Optional items include: Keyword Research, Keyword Mapping, Competitor Analysis, Monthly Support Plan and ongoing SEO services.

Strategic Website

You probably have an underperforming website, but realise you need a better web presence. One that will consistently generate the ideal pre-qualified leads and work you really want.
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A Web Presence Checklist, for the senior partner

12 things to oversee the web presence for your legal practice

LinkedIn including company profile page and personal profile for you and all employees. Post some articles about your services, giving some useful advice, sharing insights or sharing industry news. Connect with logical potentially good connections. No sales pitch, just hello with a short line to make the connection, like swopping a business card at a networking event. Read our Linkedin Guide.

Facebook – keep it a basic entry for the practice just to turn up in Facebook in search or get reviews. You could use it to get reviews from people who spend a lot of time on this platform. Or use Facebook to advertise your services, if it is right for your target market.

Website focusing on the services that you want to specialise in, the ones that make you the most margin and that you are happiest to deliver. Bear in mind that you can offer services that you do not personally have to deliver, but make you margin. You do not have to deliver you do not necessarily have to be involved in the process whatsoever. Who is responsible for your SEO Search Engine Optimisation? Read our Guide.

Include SSL – This is the little padlock that appears on the top left corner, to indicate the site is safe. This is not just for eCommerce websites.

Google Business Profile – Have you got one? Is your Google Business Profile profile populated, as in photos, service details, opening hours, blog items, reviews. Independent Google Reviews are fuel for your practice. Get as many as you can. Remember to reply to every single one of them. These are happy clients or people who are in need of attention. Read our Guide.

NAP – Include nap NAP everywhere that you write your address, search Google to see where you appear and ensure the NAP is exactly the same everywhere, including the Eircode.
Do any Google search of your name in an ‘Incognito window’ to see what people see on their computer when they do a search of your company. Whilst you’re there also do a search for solicitors in your town or area. Also do a search for the legal services that you want to promote in your area. Such as conveyancing in Dundalk or conveyancing solicitors in Dundalk.

Recruitment – Your website can also be used for finding new team members, rather than going through the expense of recruitment agencies. This tactic would generally be known as being a part of your overall content marketing strategy. This is where are you create content on your website that will attract people who are looking for certain things. Whether that be a specific legal service or a job in a legal practice that looks attractive to them.

Google Page Insights is a tool that is free and will give you an idea of the speed of your website. Google gives a lot of weight to a fast loading website, especially on a mobile view. Websites are being measured by Google more and more for their mobile view as a key metric.

Google analytics is also free and will give you an idea of the number of people travelling to your website visiting your website on a monthly basis. Use the overview to see how many people visit your website on a monthly basis to see if it’s going up or down. Google Analytics is a great tool but having a high numbers visit your website does not guarantee a conversion to a customer. In order to get conversions you continually need to add content and optimise content and compete with whoever your competitors are. A very simple search for a legal practice in your area will show you who is ranking number 1, 2 or 3. These are the competitors or people you’re competing with, so you need to be better than them. Read our Guide.

Google – With Google Ads you can spend a fortune easily. So if you want to use this platform, get to understand it or engage a specialist. It can be very useful in the short term or to use whilst you are working on your website and SEO. Read our Google Ads Guide.

Conversion. However, bear in mind even if you are number one and you get click through so people visit your website when they land on a page on your website. You have to work on the content in order to get them to convert from visitor to customer. This is your user experience as in UX through your User Interface referred to as the UI.

Reports – Ensure someone is producing a monthly report to measure the numbers. As Peter Drucker said “What gets measured gets managed — even when it’s pointless to measure and manage it, and even if it harms the purpose of the organisation to do so”. Ensure you get a Google Analytics report. And ideally have a report created, so that you can see the numbers at a glance.

Conclusion:
As a senior partner you do not need to do all of this work. This is not what you’re qualified to do and could be way below your paygrade. Unless you engage someone who can deliver a high return in the long term and needs to be well compensated in the short term. Get a proper Digital Marketing Plan drawn up.

However, somebody has to do the work. It would be good if you could use some of these tools to see if the person, practice manager or web agency is doing a good job with your investment.
The bottom line is the practice should be kept busy. And ideally be able to recruit enough staff to deliver services. As a senior partner if you allocate a half hour every month to review these basic reports, you will then be in a position to see what is being done on your behalf.

Read the monthly reports from your Digital marketer. And if needs be, have a conversation about what needs to be improved. The Digital marketer will need a budget to do the search engine optimisation or create graphics for the website. And possibly doing advertising on LinkedIn or Facebook or anywhere where your potential customers are hanging out. Without sounding like an ambulance chaser you can have your content found when people do a search for chiropractor or osteopath or bad back or medical negligence. Get ahead of the curve.

How much time, hassle and money would it save you to have any and all advertising done online through your own website by a competent specialist agency?
Also posted here.

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