Other Products & Services FAQ
Many of you already have a WordPress site and you may need help with updates or security or hosting. We offer a range of services that cover most needs. If what you want is not included in the list below then please use the contact form to ask us your questions. For example you may need our WordPress site rescue service. The short answers here are based on actual questions we hear most days and yes – we can make your logo bigger :).
1. Do you offer site maintenance?
Yes. To be safe and secure sites need to be kept up to date at all times. This includes the core WordPress version plus plugins and in many cases themes will need upgrading. We offer monthly maintenance contracts which will typically include offsite backups. Best to think of this as a kind of insurance policy for security and against down time.
2. Can You help me migrate my site to WordPress? or move an existing site to a new server?
Yes – WordPress offers an import tool which can help with the migration of web content from other content management systems. This includes from Blogger, Live Journal, Movable Type, Typepad, Tumblr, via an RSS feed and even from another WordPress site.
Of course if your site is a flat html site we can also migrate that however different tools are required e.g. use of CSV files. We can also move your website from one hosting provider to another if that is needed. (see next answer.)
3. What is involved to move an existing Press WordPress site to a new server?
All the files and the database will need to be copied over. We would install a fresh up to date copy of WordPress core and update any plugins. We also check PHP and Database Server versions to make sure they comply with needed requirements. Once moved and tested we would need to update the domain record to “point” to the new site location and do any clean out of the old server as needed. If the site is complex we may need to install and test a staging version first.
4. Can you check my WordPress site plugins and versions?
Yes of course. Sometimes with business changes you may lose contact with service providers or you may just need a second opinion. We can review the plugins and general setup of your WordPress site and make changes as needed. For example you may be on an old version and that might require a theme upgrade to optimise the performance of your site. Or you may just need a bit of housekeeping.
5. What about security certificates?
Typically the hosting provider will offer a choice of security certificates. These can be free like the ‘Lets Encrypt’ certificate or require an annual fee on top of hosting costs. There are often setup costs associated with installing a security certificate and on complex sites it might take a while to sort out any mixed content issues. if correctly setup on ‘https’ your site will display the green padlock and pass all security audit tests. Note: not all hosting providers will allow you to use free security certificates so in the longer term it may be more cost effective to switch providers.
6. How much will it cost?
Most of the services listed here can be completed in a few hours but the larger the site the longer it will take. In any case we will provide an estimate of the amount of time it will take before we start the work.
7. My budget is limited – can you still help?
All work is estimated ahead of time but sometimes we find complications that change the time needed or budgets are very limited. We always aim to solve the most important needs first and we ration time based on your needs. It may not be possible to fix costs as some projects don’t have adequate planning time allocated. In those cases we would recommend splitting the project into stages and rationing (see earlier comments.)
8. My website needs a refresh?
For existing WordPress sites a new theme may offer a fast and easy way to upgrade. Let us use past project experience to make your refresh experience an easy process.
9. Why would we need to change our theme?
WordPress themes do not all support mobile users would be the key reason. The other key consideration is that as PHP and the underlying technologies such as supporting libraries of plugins may be using newer functions and features. Very old themes might use deprecated functions to call back information and to assemble your website. With newer technologies such as faster PHP you probably won’t get the full advantage of the server platform without some code changes. Often the older way of calling that content is just slower and it may not always work. Also old code libraries will likely contain security vulnerabilities could impact your site security.
10. My website runs too slow on the existing server – what can be done?
Often new sites are set up on a shared host as traffic volumes are unknown. However down the track as a website gets better known and more traffic comes you may need to have your server optimised, swapped out for a dedicated one or a better hosting setup. Sometimes that means a VPS or a specialised WordPress hosting service. We can run some tests and help with assessing server needs as a first step. In some cases the theme and / or plugins may need code changes to optimise the way they work. In simple terms some plugins are more efficient than others. Caching might be part of the answer. Either way we can review the current set up, nominate an alternative and then carry out the changes and / or migration to the new server. Server optimisation can be complex and often “less is more” may be the most effective answer.
11. What can be done to improve website security?
We can do a security audit and make changes to background settings to improve website security and manage ongoing security issues. If your site has been hacked we can find the problem and restore the site depending on what backups you may have. The best way to avoid site breaches is to upgrade security settings which we can help you with.
12. Do you offer design or copywriting services?
We work with a range of specialists including designers, copy writers, photographers and others so we can brief and project manage those partners to get the best results for you.
13. What aftersales support do you offer?
Whenever we are responsible for launch of a new site we will manage search engine redirects, security upgrades and updates and the overall system for the first month. After that we can manage ongoing updates and any backend services for a monthly fee. For the larger projects this is often built in to the project plan but just ask as we can manage any existing WordPress websites.
14. Can I do ecommerce on my WordPress website?
Yes (but…) in our experience setting up and maintaining an ecommerce website is very complex and because of the sheer number of variables involved – such as, payment gateway, freight, currency and deliveries we recommend that you start small and solve all the logistics issues first.
On the other hand if you want a simple checkout for a handful of products and can use PayPal that is much easier. Ecommerce is harder to scale than it looks for many businesses so this requires very careful and detailed planning. In general we recommend the very best top end hosting for ecommerce sites as they need to be more robust and consistently fast.
15. Can you help us with Search engine optimisation?
This is a trick question. WordPress has an architecture and setup that is very search engine friendly. There are also some great search engine plugins. If you have great content and make regular updates you no longer need lots of extra SEO work. In the past there was a whole SEO industry that grew up around gaming the search engines. Google especially has been changing its systems so that many of the old tricks will just not work any more. There are also many spammers out there offering bogus SEO services who are not up to date with the new Google changes and so they often over promise. If your website needs special SEO services we know who the accredited providers are and can work with them to execute a detail plan.
16. Can you help us with making our WordPress site mobile friendly?
The best way to make a responsive and mobile friendly website is to use a theme that already has the extra code built it. There are other options but for any new sites we would always include mobile capabilities in the theme. We can upgrade your theme to a “responsive” one or setup a mobility plugin if the existing is retained.
17. My website looks different on my friends phone or laptop?
The open secret of websites is that they will look and display differently on different phones, tablets, laptops and desktops according to the screen sizes and operating systems used. Chrome on a Mac looks slightly different to Chrome on a PC although they are very close these days. Your web browser is probably Chrome but Safari is used widely on Macs. Firefox and Opera are still around and Edge is also a web browser.
18. How do I get my website to perform well across all the main platforms?
The one word answer is testing. Your developer will use testing tools and then customise the code on your site which registers the combination of platform, browser and screen resolution that you are using. Optimising for the best results takes more testing which is means more time and bigger budgets. Sometimes the difference between an average budget and the larger one is all this kind of backroom testing involving code and design tweaks for performance and compatibility. To most the site may not look much different but there will be more behind-the-scenes work.
19. There is a covid lockdown on and I need to do click & collect?
If you have an existing WordPress ecommerce system we can add extra functions to enable click & collect. If you need to add an ecommerce system that requires more advanced work and can be expensive. Configuring an ecommerce system fully takes planning, testing and marketing time. But yes we can help you with click & collect.
20. What is the best and worst thing about WordPress?
WordPress is the Swiss army knife of content management systems. That is simultaneously the best thing and the worst thing about it. Tech minded folk can do a simple setup but to get the best out of your site for business users it takes much more precision. We often find plugins that have been installed and activated (for example) but never actually setup.
21. What is the best hosting provider / plan for my website?
The answer to this changes depending on your needs. It may surprise you but GoDaddy is is actually quite good now on account of them having a delegate function that allows devs to work on sites in a secure, controlled way. If Ecommerce is important then you need an optimised server which is going to cost more each month. If your site is a personal blog with low traffic then a less than $5/month plan may work but don’t expect any support. Having a server on a data centre in the city where most of your customers are is also very important. We generally work with hosting companies in Australia, New Zealand and the US to provide the best local options. We can also provide hosting outside those locations.
22. What are the best options for payment gateways?
We like Stripe in New Zealand and Australia. PayPal also works but transactions fees are higher. If your ecommerce systems are going to scale up it is worth integrating to an accounting system such as Xero or MYOB. That is more expensive but it will save admin and other office work time later on. We are working on a project that is using a payment page which allows clients to make payments of any amount. When they has been fully tested we will update this list. This would allow clients to make full or part online payments of invoices that you have sent to them.