The always same work steps - for agencies an annoying evil, even in the development of WordPress . How do others optimize their tasks? And which tools do they use? 10 questions to our client and agency partner Daan Bachmann from strong.marketing.
Fast project start
Daan, your WordPress agency manages numerous projects all over Germany. Which features from our Dashboard help you in particular?
The features support every phase of our projects. The dashboard as an introduction is clearly arranged and very easy to use. The DEMO BOXES offer an absolute quick start into the development on a live server. Not every project has the budget for elaborate creative brainstorming and layouting phases with numerous correction loops.
Many webssites are created directly in the DEMO-BOX. Their contents, even if sometimes only with placeholders, are quickly online and can be viewed on different end devices. This helps many customers in the further process.
The automatic, regular Backups have already saved me many a customer project - both during development and afterwards. The transfer of the hosting contract to the customer after completion of the project, if desired, is in a few minutes is carried out. And so far, every layman has done it without instruction.
Another point that makes our daily work much easier: Even after the contract has been handed over, I still have admin access to the BOX system for their entire administration. Yours WordPress Staging allows extensive customization and changes while the Website remains available to the end customer unchanged.
Specialization in WordPress
One of our agency clients said: "Your dashboard saves us a full-time position for a sysadmin". In your view, is that overstated?
It definitely makes our everyday life much more pleasant. The navigation and the entire interface are clearly arranged, logically structured and you reach your destination in a flash. The setup of a new BOX domain including domain and e-mails is done in minutes. Uncomplicated access to all data and functions of a modern hosting save a lot of time with the necessary administrative tasks.
(De)activating or deleting the cache, enabling SSL, FTP access info etc. - these everyday tasks are done with two clicks. Many more settings for servers and can also be WordPress found tidily in the menus. Here your specialization plays a big role: The standard parameters are so well tuned that I rarely have to deal with them.
How do you calculate the added value that our hosting offers you? And what role does our support play?
In time and nerve savings. It's actually priceless. Your support will do its part: Quickly reachable via chat, friendly, competent and so far you have always found a solution - absolute world class. By mistake too many lottery emails sent out of the WP backend and shortly before the heart attack because nothing works anymore while ads are site running on the? Support took care of this and five minutes later everything was running smoothly again.
How do you see the point of RAIDBOXES "performance" from your point of view? Do you have benchmarks there?
WordPress with multi-purposeTheme including pagebuilder and numerous Plugins is a killer for loading time. That ours sites still load fast enough thanks to your hosting. Fast response times, own caching, WebP-support and exactly on WordPress configured servers: We are always surprised again and again, what difference a Change of hosting too RAIDBOXES much. It is not for nothing that we recommend your hosting to all our customers.
How do you make your projects perform as well as possible, also outside of the hosting factor?
There are many factors that influence the loading time. A good estimation and a few instructions give tools like GTmetrix. The most important factor is actually always the pictures. My tips from the practice:
- Fit the images exactly into the layout, i.e. not too large
- Reduce image quality to the necessary minimum (manually in the image processing program or automatically via ShortPixel)
- Offer the .webp format
- Enable lazyloading (Native lazyloading is now largely mature on the browser side)
Fonts are another thing. Not only typographically it makes sense to stick to a clear set of rules and use only a few different fonts and cuts. This is also very important for the loading time: Each font style (thin, bold etc.) is a separate file, as well as all italics. If they are loaded by Google Fonts, as is often the case, then these are several requests. So ideally, you should clearly define the typo in the style guide and then host the selected font files on your own server. For example via FTP upload in wp-contents/fonts.
You say: "Backups have saved me many a client project". What does your backup workflow look like?
The butt of my backside was for example in the development of the new website of Lehner saved. Our task was the technical implementation of a wonderful screen design by headtrick including the development of an easy to use WordPress backend for the customer. New devices, accessories, vacancies, trade fair dates etc. should be able to be maintained by the customer himself after completion.
I decided to use various custom post types, which are filled with a few fields in the backend and displayed in the frontend as laid out. So far, everything worked satisfactorily - until the translation was done. There were problems, because some database entries were not translated from could be translated. And in my attempt to make incompatible WordPress Plugins ones work together, the whole database went down the drain. Fortunately, I was able to rely blindly on my automatic backups to create a suitable Restore version and start over with a compatible Plugin one.
As is well known, one learns from mistakes - but the double bottom net in the form of backups is a blessing. Since a backup is automatically created every morning, our workflow only provides for backups at certain milestones, which then have a relevance for more than 30 days. For example, after completion of the project, before the start of the translation or before the Staging.
WordPress and developing WooCommerce without a test environment can be grossly negligent. How and for which use cases do you use our Staging?
As a thousand times better alternative to the Under Construction Page. When newsites , blog posts or products are created, you can usually do this with a clear conscience on the live-pagesite . Even if the design is not yet perfect site when caching, no one notices it, because it does not appear anywhere.
The situation is different for the revision of global modules such as the header or footer. Or with adjustments that affect severalsites . So that the customers don't notice, we activate the Staging. At Lehner, for example, we have a graphical navigation in the GridLayout on the Startsite . Now that a new product has been added, I have Staging updated this navigation and other affected sites navigation systems on the start page and then switched them live simultaneously with one click.
At WooCommerce and othersPlugins, which store orders or other data in the database ofWordPress , one must be careful: Before going live with the Stagingchanges, a backup of the live data should be made - otherwise, for example, orders are lost, which are Staging received between the activation and deactivation of the changes.
Multilingualism with WordPress
stark.marketing also manages international projects. The point "multilingualism" is WordPress often criticised. How and with which tools do you proceed here?
This depends on the customer's requirements. This site should be understood in different languages, but the quality of the individual translations is not important? Then we gladly use the Plugin GTranslate. Quickly installed and set up, it offers international customers the possibility of having texts translated automatically. However, from time to time this results in incorrect translations, including unintentionally funny errors.
If the translation is to be perfect and we need full control over the content - for example, different images per language - then the best Plugin is still . So it is possible to translate each WordPress site one - as long as the ones used Plugins are compatible. This point should be checked before.
We often work with several people at the same time on the translation of a website , because individual sites posts and posts can be split with the translation management or even assigned to external translators. The nice side effect of a manually translated one site : There is a small SEO Boost.
WordPress and toolset
You use in some of your projects Toolset. Why and what relieves you
the plugin collection?
Toolset is not really a collection - it extends WordPress beyond the boundaries of sites and blog posts. The first step is to create new custom post types. Using Lehner as an example, these are products, accessories and mounts. Afterwards these can be filled with custom fields (name, description, picture). Logical relationships between the post types can be added (product A has bracket B and accessories C, D and E).
Finally, the results can be output in the frontend as desired, for example an overview of all available accessories for product A with pictures and descriptions. If other products now also use Accessory D, then an update of the description in Custom Post Accessory D is sufficient tosites display this on all connected products. This allows much more complex connections and/or simpler user input. In addition, Toolset is compatible with WPML because it comes from the same developer.
A few words about you and stark.marketing?
strong.marketing has been around for seven years and was set up from the beginning as a performance marketing agency (SEO/SEA/Ads). However, as there are many companies whose old web presence would not achieve an ROI (Return on Investment) with a lot of traffic, I joined four years ago as a creative support.
Our main goal is to bring the customer a measurable additional profit. And a great, well converting website is always the linchpin of all online marketing activities. We are also happy to take on corporate design, print and marketing automation for our customers. So they don't have to worry about their online marketing anymore. Thank you very much for taking over so much technical stuff and being always there when there are questions or when there is a fire - so we can concentrate fully on our core business!