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It’s true, code is poetry. Well, that’s what WordPress would like.

Unfortunately, if something bad happens to your website, the only poem you’ll be reciting is something like ‘oh WordPress, you’ve made me depressed….’.

It doesn’t though, have to be this way.

I’ve had clients in the past, that I had told to take their business elsewhere, simply for the fact that they considered their website was really just a part-time thing, that would look after itself.

To give you an example, I was contacted by a client who’s website had been out of action (it was broken) for approximately 8 months. That is eight months that people could have thought they were out of business, or considered that their business was ‘that bad’, that is wasn’t ‘worth’ the time of day.

Websites break. That is the reality. It could be that a vulnerability was found in your contact form (for example), and a fix may have been issued. Hackers can ‘easily’ locate websites that are not updated regularly, and exploit them through a ‘back door’ vulnerability, such as my example of the contact form. Simple updates can resolve problems, and prevent data breaches and theft of customer, or business information, such as credit card details, addresses, etc.

What price though, do you put on this information?

Website management should be an integral part of your online presence. You service your car regularly right? You mow your lawn? Go to the doctor? Well then, you should be vigilant regarding your website’s health, and ensure it’s functioning properly.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be introducing a monitoring service, that shall compliment my Auditing and Security services.

There may be figures that I’ve splashed around, but I believe the number I’m going to settle on, is $99 per month. This amount will include in it, a basic audit and security check, as well as plugin updates and general website health checks.

If you’re new to my site, there is one thing you may notice. I don’t hide from the fact that I’m not cheap, and am not concerned about people leaving when they see the price. The one thing I’m proud of, is the fact that I’ve managed to do this work as a freelancer for so long, without the need of looking for work – in fact, I turn more potential work away, than what I actually do.

I made a choice a few years back, to work on my own terms, and the reality is, at the end of the day, you are the one that decides whether to use my services, or not. I have no intention of competing with anyone on price, or comparing my skills to anyone else.

The decision to offer monitoring services was simply to allow me to focus more on the Auditing and Security aspect of my business. I’m currently engaging with several developers to come on board and help grow my business to the next level. Judging by the amount of work on offer at the moment, I believe people are now accepting (and embracing) WordPress is the future of personal, small business and e-commerce websites.

For your sake, I hope you choose to ensure the security of your website. Obviously, I am not the only person that can help you – there are a few people out there. Be sure to choose a WordPress Professional, someone that understands code, not someone who ‘just’ stumbled upon WordPress and decided ‘I can do this’. They’ll take your money and run.

You have a choice, choose wisely.

If you are interested in having your website monitored, or need to ask something, please contact me.

All that hard work, and you’ve just given it away, for free. Or have you?

One thing that any developer faces constantly, is plagiarism. We spend countless hours building websites for clients, just to have some (or all) of the content we create, stolen by some low life, looking at benefiting from our hard work.

When someone is paying (well really costing, YOU) $88 an hour (going up to $100 per hour on January 1,2019), for me to create not only a decent website, but provide a ‘story’ for their site – that is, to word their ‘about us’, ‘services’ (etc) pages to create a unique website that encompasses their business and services to the public, to then have that information stolen, is theft, plain and simple.

People think (about themselves), oh wow, “I’m really stupid (obviously), and cannot think of what to write, I’ll copy it from another website that describes what I want people to think I do”, that is, content that was created by a professional, and PAID for by someone else.

We could just end it there, but it doesn’t end there.

If for example, I create a website for a plumber, and the site looks good, content is great, it’s fast loading and the client is happy and they have some SEO (search engine optimization) work done to boost it’s presence in search engines like Google, all that hard work could come undone after search engines like Google, send its’ bots to the new website and find out that ‘identical content’ (re plagiarism) is all over the website, all because someone copy and pasted (stole) the content from another website.

If Google, for example, deems that the original work is the plagiarized content, that website gets punished, through lower ranking – if it ranks at all!

If you have a website built by another developer, and THEY are responsible for ALL of your content, and THEY copy and paste content from other websites, YOU have wasted your money. On the flip side, if you’ve provided content that YOU stole from other websites, and tell the developer to use it, once again, YOU have wasted your money.

Google, is a pretty smart company. They employ fantastic techs, that develop great, innovative code that picks up on work that is so obviously plagiarized. There are tools available online to not only find out if your content was copied from another website, but there are also tools to report this to most search engines.

What do I do to combat the possibility of someone copying my content? Well, the moment I build a site, I submit that sites’ content to Google (being the major and superior search engine), and Googles’ bot take a snapshot of my work. If Google discovers that my content is copied TO another website, it won’t rank THAT website (punished). Simple. That’s just one way to protect your content.

Knowing that a website will suffer in rankings due to copied content (plagiarism), if your developer OR you decide to go down that ‘I’m not creative, nor professional enough to care’ route, well, you’ve wasted your money.

The only time you wouldn’t have wasted money, is if EVERYONE knows your website, and they just go to www…….

Well, we all know that not everyone knows you and your website, and if they did, why have the website built WITH the copied content?

There are no shortcuts to building websites. Paying a company good money, to NOT be ranked – and by being ranked, I’m not talking about being on page 100, is just crazy. Well, if you’re willing to do it, I guess YOU are crazy?

The upside to people plagiarizing content, is that if, for example, site A is copied by site B, C, D, E, F, G H etc, Google (for example) will automatically know and rank higher ‘site A’, because they automatically know that site A is the most authoritative site, BECAUSE it is the one everyone is copying!

So then, what is the point of doing it? Well, some people just have websites built to make themselves look good, to try and fool others into believing they ‘actually’ do something. These people, are considered con-artists.

If, on the other hand, you are legit and believe it will give you a short term (matter of days) boost to rank your site, so be it. Websites are a long term, on-going investment.

This is why I don’t need to advertise, it’s why I don’t need to worry about ranking high, although I do for certain things. Google understands that my content is unique. I build fast websites, that look good, function well, and most of all, work for my clients.

At Crain, our motto is simple;

Think. Be Different.

This is why I can afford to be selective, choosing to work only with clients that allow me the freedom to do my thing, and they are more than happy to pay me for my services. I’m not in this ‘game’ to make a quick buck, at the expense of others.

As I stated earlier in this post, there are tools to combat plagiarism. You may find the article below on Shout Me Loud interesting – they have some very interesting posts. There, you”ll find out how and where to report the websites that are stealing content from you.

If you are reading this out of pure interest, thanks for reading, and I hope it was useful in some way.

If you are reading this and are wondering ‘how do I know if a website is copying content?’, simply highlight a sentence and right click with your mouse (I use Chrome), and simply click onto ‘Search Google for…..’ and if it’s copied, Google will provide the results.

Perhaps, it’s even good to highlight some of your own content occasionally, if you notice a drop in rankings – it may be that someone copied your content, and ‘you’ are being punished in rankings.

As always, if you need to contact me regarding any WordPress issues, contact me using the contact link at the top of the page.

Ever wondered how people calculate what they are worth, per hour, or per job?

Due to being asked about why I charge $88 per hour (minimum 3 hour blocks), I thought it would be interesting to ‘investigate’ and finally answer this question.

OK, let’s get to it.

First up, I’d like to say that I’m not the highest paid WordPress Professional. There are many freelancers like me, that took it upon themselves to build their own name / brand, instead of working for another company, for a lot less money – resulting in more hours needed to work for the same money.

In the beginning, it is hard – no doubt. YOU need to chase work, often working many more hours for roughly the same money you’d earn working as an employee – or less!

The best advice I could give you (if you’re deciding to go down the freelancer road), is to have a willing partner who can see and understand what you are ‘trying’ to do, and support you, both morally and financially. My Mrs is the best.

My hourly rate has not changed in about 3 years. As of January 1, 2019, I am actually increasing it to $100 per hour (minimum 4 hour blocks).

Demand for my ‘skills’ are increasing due to the fact that more websites are being built with the WordPress Platform, both privately (blogs) and Business Websites, both static and eCommerce.

Being skilled in numerous coding languages is an obvious benefit. I learned basic HTML, CSS and JavaScript about 20 years ago, and followed this up with with PHP and SQL a few years later. I’m also quite ‘fluent’ in JQuery, JAVA, Ruby and Python to a lesser extent. There are pro’s and con’s with all languages. Some developers will absolutely love one code, and hate another, but in reality, they ‘can’ work together if you know how to implement properly.

Obviously, the deeper the understanding of ‘how’ the WordPress Platform works, the better.

To be a successful WordPress freelancer, you also need to know about a large number of plugins, how they ‘work’ and how to customize them, if need be. With new plugins being released every day, and existing plugins being updated regularly, there is a lot of work you need to do to stay on top of the game. BUT, if you enjoy it, it’s not a problem.

Right, the nitty-gritty of this post – MONEY.

There are websites that will give you an idea of what current rates are for freelancers, such as Hello Bonsai. Hello Bonsai gives you some options to choose from, see below.

As you can see, I’m actually on the lower end of what the going rates are. I believe (although cannot be certain), if you’re paying $140+ per hour, you are probably also paying for graphics etc. Personally, I just stick to what I do best – WordPress.

Is there a ‘demand’ for work at $120 per hour? Absolutely. BUT, as I’ve stated above, knowledge of various coding types and plugin (customization) is a must. My rate incorporates the knowledge and understanding of numerous coding types and plugin development, allowing me to do the work of, lets say 3 or 4 people. If you were to go to a Web Dev company offering what I can do, your website will cost you $200+ per hour. On that basis alone, I’m cheap.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I do get stuck on something, but it’s easy for me to pick up the phone, send an email or get onto a forum to help me solve a ‘problem’. That’s on me.

Instead of just taking my word for it, visit wpmudev to find out more of what I’ve screen-grabbed below, about Pricing Your Services.

If you visited this blog because you found it via Google etc, thanks for visiting.

There are lots of resources out there that allow you to judge what you should charge / pay (if you’re a client). Some people may have differing opinions on how to charge, and that’s fine. I haven’t been short of work for a long time, so I guess I’m doing something right?

Again, everyone will have their own ways to calculate their worth, with regards to WordPress freelancing. If you are just starting out, may I suggest that you work for an organisation for a few years to gain more of an insight into the industry, and gain some contacts. I did it the hard way, which isn’t bad, but at least I can offer the advice now.

For the record, I am contacted by at least a dozen people each week, wanting to know if I can help them. I can, but I’m up front about what I charge, and they say no thanks. It’s interesting to note, that some people have gone off and had work done by others, only to ‘come back’ when their website ‘breaks’. Sometimes I’ll help them, most time, I say no.

When you can choose who you work with, you know you’ve done something right. Word of mouth in this industry is supreme.

If you are looking at getting into this line of work, I wish you well, and if you require further help, please get in touch. If you came hear to read my thoughts and find out about how and why I charge what I do, I hope you now understand.

Like always, if you have a question, contact me.