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I need an affordable website”! Can you recommend someone? I’d love to...but what does “affordable” mean to you?

What exactly is an “affordable website”?

People post on are Facebook all the time asking for someone who can build them an “affordable website” or one that “won’t break the bank.” I always laugh at these posts and get quite irritated. Why? Because what the heck does affordable REALLY mean (to each, individual person)? It’s about as generic/vague of a question… Read More

What is an SSL certificate, why do you need one, and how to add one to your website. By TheEssentialWebsite.com

How and Why to add an SSL Certificate to your Website

You may have heard the terms SSL Certificate or HTTPS. If you haven’t, you’ve probably seen a closed/locked padlock (green in Chrome and Firefox, gray in Safari) or an open/unlocked padlock (gray in all browsers). If you haven’t noticed these padlocks, look up above in your browser, in the address bar. If you see a… Read More

Getting hacked doesn’t just happen to spammy looking websites or websites who use cheap products, it happens to EVERYONE. - TheEssentialWebsite.com

The Case of the nice people who got hacked in an unsuspecting way

Hackers work 24/7 non-stop trying to hack your website We’re not exaggerating here. They are covertly working to get into your website right this very second! Most of the time website owners have no idea what’s happening until one day their website quits working, or they notice odd things on their website, or they start… Read More

The Essential Website's Little Black Book of the Best Courses for Freelancers. Stop wasting time on courses that make promises but don't deliver. We've tried them all and here's what works. TheEssentialWebsite.com

Grab our Little Black Book of the Best Online Courses for Freelancers!

If you’re like us, you’ve spent a TON of time (and money!) on practically every shiny, promise-filled course out there trying to build your business, find the right clients, learn how to do things on your own, and then some. We had to weed through a lot of fluff out there to find courses that… Read More

The right plugins will have your online business looking like the professional you. Get them in your hot little hands (or website) right now. - TheEssentialWebsite.com

Our Top WordPress Plugins for 2017

WordPress Plugins 101 Ah, plugins. Those mystical bits of coding that make magic happen in WordPress. At the mention of the word, most people’s eyes glaze over. And, if you’re not used to being hands-on with WordPress, they can be confusing and scary. If you want or need to get more control of your website… Read More

How to control which images from your website show up on Facebook via TheEssentialWebsite.com

How to Control Which Images from Your Website Show up on Facebook

How many times have you shared a link from your website via a social sharing button at the bottom of a blog post or by pasting a URL into Facebook only to have a cut off, morphed image show up that does not accurately or aesthetically represent your website or business? Raise your hand if… Read More

Get Paid for What you Know

Getting paid for what you know, not what you do

Being a business owner is hard. It’s fun, too. And challenging. And exciting. And frustrating. And a bit of a roller coaster. Whether you’re the business owner or the consumer, you know that price is one of the most talked about aspects of every product or service. Business owners have to price everything they sell… Read More

How To End Day-To-Day Chaos With Effective Systems via Guest Writer Yolanda McAdam at The Essential Website

How To End Day-To-Day Chaos With Effective Systems

Jane believes her business is thriving because she is super busy. Too busy in fact to go on vacation. Her business runs because of her ability to do a multitude of tasks and hold a lot of information in her head. Only she knows, for example, where to locate important documents like contracts, product lists… Read More

Blog or Website - How to Choose and What's the Difference? Guess what - they're really the same, except for a few details. via www.theessentialwebsite.com

Do I need a Blog or Website? What’s the difference?

What’s the difference between a WordPress blog and a WordPress website (or any type of blog vs. website)? News flash! Nothing! At least as far as the structure goes. The differences, however, lie in the purpose of the site. A blog is actually a website behind the scenes. Cool huh? Which one you choose to… Read More

Keep your brain on track and focused on business. Here's how we do it! via The EssentialWebsite.com

How we keep our mind on business…Oooo squirrel!

Keep your brain on track and focused on business. If you work from home like we do, you know it’s hard to keep focused. Heck, it’s hard to focus when working from anywhere! Phone, family, lunch, pets, laundry, Facebook, online sales at Old Navy, ooooo squirrel! So, instead of getting lost in Creative Market (which… Read More

How to Save Time and Be More Productive with Virtual Meetings and Skype. Share screens, instant message and meet however long you'd like with Skype. Plus, it's FREE when meeting computer to computer. | www.theessentialwebsite.com

How to Save Time and Be Productive with Skype

When Skype first started, it was known as a way to talk to people anywhere in the world, computer to computer, for free! It was also a way to call landlines or mobile phones for a small fee by adding credit to your account. These days, Skype is used for so much more than calling… Read More

Get our top 10 pics to find the perfect images for your website. via TheEssentialWebsite.com

Our top 10 picks to find the perfect images for your website (and social media)

Your images are the eye candy of your website. They give your content interest, help explain what’s going on, make things more fun and best of all, give your website stay-worthiness. Too little or the wrong type is boring at best or run for the hills at worst. If the first impression people get is… Read More

5 Creative Ways to Refresh Your Marketing and Increase Sales via www.theessentialwebsite.com

5 Creative Ways To Refresh Your Marketing And Increase Sales

We all know it’s getting harder to stand out online, so the last thing we, as entrepreneurs, should be striving for is more ‘sameness’. If you’ve been struggling to reel in new customers, then the time has come to press refresh on your marketing strategy and try out new tactics. Here a 5 Creative Ways… Read More

Backing up your website is essential! Not, backing up is playing with fire. via TheEssentialWebsite.com

Why it’s ESSENTIAL to Back Up Your Website!

You’ve heard it before…and you’ll hear it again. Backing up your website is absolutely essential! Even though most of us understand why it’s so important, a lot of us are procrastinators or just not sure how/what to do when it comes to keeping regular backups. We totally get it. If you’ve ever had your computer… Read More

5 Ways Facebook Groups will boost your business

5 Ways Facebook Groups will Boost Your Business {and get free access to ours!}

Ok, it’s time. Time to get on board with the Facebook Group craze, that is! Oh, don’t get me wrong, we have been in the craze for a while now. In fact, we have been on a Facebook Group (and social media) rampage for the past few months. I talked about how I fell in… Read More

Jpg vs png - How they're different and why you should care. By TheEssentialWebsite.com

JPEG & PNG – What’s the difference and why you need to know

What’s the difference? The quickie definition of each is: PNG: (Pronounced ping) PNG is short for Portable Network Graphics, which are formatted files that have been compressed with no loss of quality to the image. This is called a “lossless” image compression. JPEG or JPG: (Pronounced jay-peg) JPG is short for Joint Photographic Experts Group… Read More

How to Fall in Love with Blogging and Social Media > Make new friends, get inspired, and more reasons to fall in love with blogging! theessentialwebsite.com

How to Fall in Love with Blogging and Social Media

The inspiration for this post came on a Friday evening around 8pm. I didn’t have any plans and was excited to be staying in and getting some much-needed work done. I had just finished answering a bunch of emails and, even more importantly and satisfying, sending off a wrap-up package to a website client. I… Read More

What is a WordPress theme and do themes confuse you?

What is a WordPress theme and How do You Choose One?

If you’re looking to start a website, hire a web designer and/or learn about web design, then this post is for you. Today we’re going to talk about WordPress and WordPress themes. But first, let’s make sure we all know what WordPress even is. WordPress Back in the day, websites were (and still are sometimes)… Read More

Work Smarter by using Gmail

Connect your business email with Gmail and work smarter!

This post was originally published on the Blue Tail Designs’ blog (by yours truly). This information is very helpful, so we brought it over to The Essential Website. Try it out, it will definitely make email easier for you. It’s time to work smarter. Get rid of webmail Ready to make your life easier? If… Read More

Steps We're Taking to Improve Our Business: Starting with Instagram

Steps We’re Taking to Improve Our Business: For Starters, Instagram

If you’ve already been following us on Instagram for a while, you probably know that we have recently stepped up our Instagram game. Big time! If not, we invite you to start following us today! If you’re not on Instagram or don’t know how it works, we can help! A little background: Like so many… Read More

Feedback survey results, here's what you told us is important! via TheEssentialWebsite.com

When we asked, here’s what you said…

We recently sent out a survey to clients and non-clients alike to find out how we can improve our services, what’s most important to them regarding their website, and where they need a little help. Here’s what we found out: Client feedback [Tweet “We asked our clients & potential clients what’s important to them. Find… Read More

Plan your website's color palette via TheEssentiaWebsite.com

Perfecting the Perfect Website Color Palette

Color, it’s da bomb! When you’re building your new website, choosing the perfect color combination is one of the big-dog processes of the visual design (just like choosing the fonts and images), and getting it right is essential. Good news is, it’s one of the fun aspects of a new website design, too! Is your… Read More

For less than your Starbucks habit (or at least mine) you can protect your innocent website from hackers, malware and crappy web hosts. Our Golden Maintenance Package takes care of daily backups, advanced security monitoring, updates to plugins + more. You can't ignore this stuff - someone needs to do it and we can help. TheEssentialWebsite.com

What’s more important, my site or my Starbucks habit?

Unreal as it sounds…’tis the season for website crashes! We’ve had 5…yes 5 clients whose websites have crashed (some more than once!) in the last month! You’ve guessed it, they’re now letting us secure and maintain their website! Think you can’t afford to secure and maintain your website? Think again. Here’s the short version of… Read More

Knowledge is Power - Know Everything About your Website so you don't get screwed

Website 101: Know the basics about your own website {so you don’t get screwed}

This post was originally published on The Creative Solutions Project’s blog (by yours truly). This information is too important NOT to share, so we brought it over to The Essential Website. Enjoy…and please take a few moments to find out the basics about your own website. It will definitely save you time and stress later… Read More

Maintaining You Website is as Important as Maintaining Your Hair!

Maintaining Your Website is as Important as Getting a Haircut

Wait! What?? What the heck does maintaining a website have to do with getting a haircut? Oooh, glad you asked! Let’s say you have long hair. If you don’t get it cut every so often, it’s still going to look ok on the surface. I mean, you can always just throw it up in a… Read More

How to set up a free MailChimp account via TheEssentialWebsite.com

How to set up a free MailChimp Account

Why you need an email marketing account: Think you don’t? Think again. With an email marketing account, you’re able to easily collect new subscribers from your website and other places. These nice people (and their email addresses) are pretty priceless. They are your clients, potential clients, cheerleaders and fans. Using an service like MailChimp allows… Read More

Now is the time to get your website up and running

Why NOW is the Time to Get Your Website Up and Running (or Revamp Your Current One)

Will you ever be ready? It’s a question we ask ourselves about lots of different things in life: Am I ready to buy a house? Am I ready to get married? Have children? Start my own business? One of our clients actually wrote about this exact question on the topic of whether or not you… Read More

Need some inspiration or motivation? Here are some of our favorite quotes to help!

35 Inspirational Quotes to Motivate, Encourage, and Inspire

We can all use a little inspiration every now and then. So, Pin this page and when you’re having one of those days…come here and get a little courage to face it, motivation to get your buns in gear and encouragement to keep going. Enjoy! “A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all… Read More

Even we hire experts when we need to. Find out what parts of your website build we don't do and who does. via TheEssentialWebsite.com

Even Experts Hire Experts

Specialist: a person who concentrates primarily on a particular subject or activity; a person highly skilled in a specific and restricted field. Do you ever get asked to do things related to your business but, it’s not really your field of expertise? We do. On a regular basis, we’re asked things like: “I need to… Read More

Attitude can change - and drive - everything!

What kind of attitude do you choose?

“One of the most important steps you can take toward achieving your greatest potential in life is to learn to monitor your attitude and its impact on your work performance, relationships and everyone around you.” I grabbed that quote from SUCCESS magazine, and it couldn’t be more true! Attitude really IS everything. And you know… Read More

Is your website mobile responsive? How do you know? Find out at TheEssentialWebsite.com

Is Your Website Mobile Responsive? Here’s how to check.

Look at it on your phone and tablet. Is it easy to read or do you have to pinch, zoom, and scroll left and right to see everything? This could be a sign that you’re website isn’t mobile friendly (technical term = responsive, meaning that the website responds to the device in which it is… Read More

Meet Janet and Stefani of The Essential Website.

Get to know Janet & Stefani – The Online Magic Makers at The Essential Website

Our Story Once upon a time in a 9-5, dreary world…two helpful-creative-adventuresome-go-get-’em [young] ladies named Janet and Stefani decided to follow their dreams. They learned more than they ever thought possible by studying like crazy, listening on the edge of their seats, reading massive amounts of information, and doing their [fun] homework. This newfound knowledge… Read More

Why you need to add alt text and descriptions to your images via TheEssentialWebsite.com

Using Alt Tags & Descriptions for your Images (and why)

WHY YOU NEED IT Ever share things on Pinterest or other social places? Yep, we all do. With this quick tutorial, you’re going to add a little touch of professionalism, make things easy on your visitors AAAND add a little SEO boost to your content! Sadly, this gets skipped over A LOT. Here’s what we’re… Read More

Why SiteGround is our new web host of choice! via TheEssentialWebsite.com

Why SiteGround is Our New Web Host of Choice

One thing is certain about the world of web design and development: To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. ~Winston Churchill The web world has changed so much in such a short period of time. There are an endless number of content management systems (WordPress, SquareSpace, Wix), plugins (a mere… Read More

Are you taking care of your website security? If not, why not?! Website security is an important part of your business. theessentialwebsite.com

The Importance of Website Security & Keeping Your Website Safe

Is your website an important part of your business? Your website is the thing that people use to learn all about you and your amazing service, the thing that sells your products, the way you share your heart, dreams and more all over the world, and dare we say… the thing that could potentially make… Read More

Know who to call when you have questions or issues about your website. It might not be who you think!

Who to Contact When you have Questions About your Website or Email…and What you’ll Expect to Pay

If you’ve ever been to a personal trainer, hair stylist or manicurist, you know you talk to those folks about way more than just your body, your hair and your nails (respectively, of course…but heck, maybe you talk to each one about all three!). For some reason, those pros wear multiple hats – whether they… Read More

The Anatomy of a page and post: content, images, seo. TheEssentialWebsite.com

The Anatomy of a Page and Post: Content, Images, SEO + Checklist!

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just throw some text on a page or in a blog post, hit Publish, and be done? Then, the readers – and clients – would just start flowing in! How awesome would that be? Well, it takes a little more than just throwing some text on a page… Read More

Learn how to set up a Gravatar

How to set Up Your Gravatar

Blog Comment Sections If you’ve ever written, read or even glanced at a blog post, you’ve probably noticed the comments section below the post. Most blog authors (We say “blog authors” vs. “bloggers” because we want you to know we’re not just talking about people who “only” blog. We’re talking about anyone who has a… Read More

Learn the Basics of SEO

SEO Basics

What is SEO & Why Should I care? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The short definition is, “it’s the process of getting traffic to your website through natural/organic search results.” (Here’s the nerdy definition.) Just like any field (such as the medical field), there are experts who specialize in SEO and Google. We’re happy… Read More

The importance of collecting emails on your website.

Why You Need to Collect Email Addresses on your Website

If you have a website (whether it’s a full site with multiple pages or just a blog with all of your posts), you will want to have an email sign-up form highly visible so people can sign up to receive new content from you. Heck, even if you don’t have a website but you use… Read More

The importance of blogging and sharing your blog posts. TheEssentialWebsite.com

The Importance of Blogging and Sharing Your Content

The #1, all-time biggest misconception we’ve seen with business owners regarding their websites is that they don’t feel they NEED a blog. Most people don’t realize how much blogging can actually help and that blogging doesn’t have to always mean writing long, detailed articles/stories/guides/etc. A blog post can be a quote with an image, a… Read More

The Essential Website - Benefits, Details and More. www.theessentialwebsite.com

The Essential Website: Benefits, Details, and More!

TA DA! It’s here! Hello! We are very happy to introduce our baby, The Essential Website! The Essential Website was created by us – Janet formerly of Blue Tail Designs and Stefani formerly of The Creative Solutions Project. Why we’re doing this. Over and over we’ve found many small businesses (or new businesses) need a… Read More

Website Advice - Keep It Simple

Website Advice: Keep it Simple

“A confused mind ALWAYS says no.” – Marie Forleo Think about this statement as it relates to a website for a sec. Let it sink in while you’re reading. The perfect website doesn’t just happen. It takes lots of planning, research, designing (and more), not to mention all of the technical magic that happens behind… Read More

How to prepare for your new website. TheEssentialWebsite.com

Prepping for your Website Design or Redesign

Smart people plan. Amiright?! We plan for weddings, vacations, even what we’re doing on the weekend. As business owners we plan our marketing, sales specials, budgets and more. As smart business owners, you plan everything. You know planning and prepping for your website is the best way to reach your goals by providing a professional… Read More