Author Topic: I fix websites (and I build them, too)  (Read 6720 times)  

Offline Nate Hoffelder

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I fix websites (and I build them, too)
« on: November 01, 2017, 09:12:04 pm »
Greetings and salutations.

Got a problem with your website that just won't go away? Want to rank higher in Google?  Would you like to know which of the WP bookshelf plugins is the best? Or do you want to move your site to a new home?

I can help. I've been building and fixing Wordpress websites since 2010. I know a hundred and one tricks for fixing and speeding up a website, tricks that I will explain as I work on your site.

I offer free critiques where I will tell you exactly what to change to make your site load faster, look better, and be more secure. You can have your tech do the work,  or I can do the work - promptly, and with a smile.

And I also build websites in addition to fixing them.  Everyone builds author websites, but I have also branched out and started making publisher websites. If you want a website for your publishing imprint, I can make it.

Here's one I put together over the course of a weekend: Third Body Press



You can contact me through KBoards, via my website, or by email.
website: https://the-digital-reader.com/contact
email: [email protected]

I look forward to working with you!

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    Offline Nate Hoffelder

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #1 on: November 03, 2017, 04:42:22 am »

    Offline Ann in Arlington

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #2 on: November 03, 2017, 04:46:05 am »
    Welcome to Kboards!

    You're welcome to promote your relevant business, service, product or website here in the Writers' Cafe!

    Now that you have an official thread, you'll want to add your listing to our Yellow Pages Listing, found here:https://www.kboards.com/yp/. The listing is free to KB members and is completely self-service; you can add and edit your listing from the page.  More information on our Yellow Pages listing can be found here.

    In your thread here, we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar:  you may have this one thread about your service and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time.  New threads about the service will be removed.  Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again to post to.  And, you may not make back-to-back posts to the thread within seven days.  If someone responds (such as this post), you may reply but otherwise must wait seven days, thanks! Also note that very short or one/two word posts with no meaningful information, are discouraged and may be deleted at the moderators' discretion.

    Note that members are allowed to provide civil and honest feedback about your service to this thread, and you may respond in a civil manner. In particular, members may have questions about how the service works, what you get for your money, as well as concerns about whether or not it might violate Amazon ToS.

    Disputes between you and clients should be handled off site.

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    Offline Nate Hoffelder

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #3 on: November 06, 2017, 06:26:37 am »
    Thank you for the heads up, Ann. I am listed in the yellow page section on KBoards, but I only recently started this discussion thread.

    I wanted to give authors a place where they can ask tech questions of a resident expert. I've been doing my own tech support since 2010 and there is little I don't know about fixing websites.

    In addition to answering questions, I also offer free website critiques (design, content, and tech). So if anyone hs a question or concern, hit me up.

    Offline Nate Hoffelder

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #4 on: November 16, 2017, 01:53:51 pm »
    I know of seven Wordpress plugins that authors can use to create a bookshelf of their work. I like Novelist, but a lot of authors like MyBookTable. Both plugins will make sure you include all the necessary details.

    But these plugins don't met everyone's needs; some authors use pgae builder plugins like Content View or SiteOrigin's PageBuilder.

    Offline Scarlettletters

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #5 on: November 16, 2017, 03:02:44 pm »
    Do you have a portfolio showing any more websites that you've designed?

    Offline Evenstar

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #6 on: November 16, 2017, 03:20:15 pm »
    Can you answer questions about weebly as well as word press?

    Offline Heather Boyd

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #7 on: November 16, 2017, 04:49:21 pm »
    Ooh! I have a question about my wordpress.org site. A weird bit of code suddenly appeared on the bottom of my pages and posts. It looks like formatting code [  but I don't know why its showing up. Its not changing the front end view (as far as I know) and it duplicates each time I resave the post or page. Only see it when I look at the coded view of the page. And its not on all pages yet. I did change my theme a little while ago, but to be honest I'm not sure what to make of it. I have Wordfence Security plugin working on the site and it says I'm clean, and my other plugins are up to date. Any thoughts?


    Regency Romance Can Never Be Too Hot!
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    Offline Tizzy

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #8 on: November 16, 2017, 04:59:59 pm »
    Ooh! I have a question about my wordpress.org site. A weird bit of code suddenly appeared on the bottom of my pages and posts. It looks like formatting code [  but I don't know why its showing up. Its not changing the front end view (as far as I know) and it duplicates each time I resave the post or page. Only see it when I look at the coded view of the page. And its not on all pages yet. I did change my theme a little while ago, but to be honest I'm not sure what to make of it. I have Wordfence Security plugin working on the site and it says I'm clean, and my other plugins are up to date. Any thoughts?

    The server you're hosted on could be infected with a virus that is in turn causing this. However, that's unlikely with WP (or, if it was to happen, it likely wouldn't be noticeable by you.) Could you show us the code?

    Offline Nate Hoffelder

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #9 on: November 16, 2017, 05:12:17 pm »
    Do you have a portfolio showing any more websites that you've designed?

    Yes.
    https://the-digital-reader.com/portfolio/

    Offline Nate Hoffelder

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #10 on: November 16, 2017, 05:18:51 pm »
    Ooh! I have a question about my wordpress.org site. A weird bit of code suddenly appeared on the bottom of my pages and posts. It looks like formatting code [  but I don't know why its showing up. Its not changing the front end view (as far as I know) and it duplicates each time I resave the post or page. Only see it when I look at the coded view of the page. And its not on all pages yet. I did change my theme a little while ago, but to be honest I'm not sure what to make of it. I have Wordfence Security plugin working on the site and it says I'm clean, and my other plugins are up to date. Any thoughts?

    What is the code, exactly? Where is it?

    My first thing would be to google the code, and then Google parts of the code, and see if this leads me back to the developer (or, worst case, the hacker).

    I'd also run the site through this to see if it had been hacked. (You have Wordfence, yes, but sometimes hackers still get through.)
    https://sitecheck.sucuri.net/

    Offline Heather Boyd

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #11 on: November 16, 2017, 05:34:56 pm »
    Nate, I never considered googling the code. Great idea. From doing so I've discovered it might be an issue with using Safari browser with the Pinterest extension (not the bookmarklet) added. Other sites have had the same issue and have the exact same code as mine. I've now removed the extension and hopefully that will fix it.

    Link to the topic for anyone interested. https://wordpress.org/support/topic/invisible-html-for-background-image-appearing-at-bottom-of-postspages/

    I'll be back to report if the problem returns.

    Thank you Nate and Tizzy too.


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    Offline Loosecannon

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #12 on: November 16, 2017, 06:41:55 pm »
    Two thumbs up for Nate. I have interacted with him over the years about various KDP / Nook Press technical, biz stuff, etc. He knows what indie publishers need and he is one of us.

    Offline Nate Hoffelder

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #13 on: November 17, 2017, 04:03:42 am »
    Can you answer questions about weebly as well as word press?
    I can offer a critique but I'm not as familiar with Weebly's quirks so i might not be able to answer tech support questions.

    Offline Nate Hoffelder

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #14 on: November 23, 2017, 03:19:17 pm »
    So I am allowed one post a week, and I can use it to pitch my services, post a testimonial, or provide useful info.

    I'll take the third door, Monty, and share a couple useful tips. The first is for authors with Wordpress sites, and the second is for everyone.

    I don't know if you've heard, but the next major Wordpress release (5.0) will feature a radically new interface. It's called Gutenberg, and in the long run it means that every menu you see now will look and act very different (think Mailchimp, only ten times as complicated).

    If you want to see what's coming, you can try Gutenberg now as a plugin. If you hate what you see, the official release is going to have the option to switch back to the older menus (so we've been told).

    The second tip has to do with website security and the Chrome web browser.

    A future version of Chrome is going to warn users when the form they are about to fill in is on an insecure webpage. Users will get this warning when the page has HTTP, not HTTPS. (This was supposed to have happened in October, in fact.)

    If you have a site, you will need to make sure it uses HTTPS and that it is actually secure (this is more complicated than it sounds). If your site is on Blogger, Squarespace, Wordpress.com, SiteGround, or WPEngine, this is either an easy fix or has already been taken care of for you. If your site is hosted elsewhere, the first step is to contact your hosting company and ask them about this.

    Do let me know if you need help, or have  a question.

    P.S. I recently started a series called Tech Tools for Authors. Here's the first post.

    Offline Scarlettletters

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #15 on: November 25, 2017, 04:28:39 am »
    This may be like asking "How much does a house cost", but how much would a wordpress site like this one cost, or do you have a price range for website design?

    http://authorjdaniels.com/

    Offline Nate Hoffelder

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #16 on: November 25, 2017, 05:08:29 am »
    This may be like asking "How much does a house cost", but how much would a wordpress site like this one cost, or do you have a price range for website design?

    http://authorjdaniels.com/
    The price is usually between $300 and $600,

    Offline Nate Hoffelder

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #17 on: December 01, 2017, 09:29:12 am »
    Here's a quick & dirty guide to switching a Wordpress site to HTTPS (including a few secrets no one thinks to tell you).

    Most WP sites (about 75%) can switch to HTTPS in three steps:
    • get and install an SSL certificate
    • switch site address (in the WP settings menu) from HTTP to HTTPS
    • install and configure the SSL Insecure Content Fixer plugin (start with the lowest setting, and increase it until the site is secure)
    That will work to secure most WP sites, but it is only about half the job.

    Changing from HTTP to HTTPS can break external services. For example:
    • If you use Google search console, you'll need to make a new entry for the HTTPS website address
    • Switching to HTTPS will make your existing social share counts drop to zero, and you'll need to use a plugin like Social Warfare or AddToAny to recover the shares
    It's hard to say what will break when switching a site to HTTPS, which is why we usually have to check everything.

    Offline Nate Hoffelder

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #18 on: January 09, 2018, 12:29:16 pm »
    I had a busy month in December. I helped over a dozen authors with their sites, and also wrote handouts on explaining how the average user could speed up a WP site (PDF), and make it more secure (PDF).

    My schedule is freeing up in the last week of January, if anyone needs help.

    Offline Nate Hoffelder

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #19 on: January 23, 2018, 04:35:47 pm »
    If you are looking for a site where you can spread the word about your ebook sale, I just posted a list of 70 site:
    https://the-digital-reader.com/2018/01/21/nates-big-list-free-paid-book-promotion-websites/

    Offline Nate Hoffelder

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #20 on: March 05, 2018, 08:05:36 am »
    It's been busy this past month. Between updates, upgrades, and building new sites, I've hardly had time to participate in the forums here at KBoards.

    If February had a theme, it would be Bluehost, because this one hosting company causes more problems than any other. That's good news for me given that I get paid to fix the problems, but it's not good news for my clients, which is why i usually recommend against using Bluehost.

    But I have decided the theme for March will be more positive. I'd like to publish more educational posts on my blog. For example, I just published a post on how authors can benefit from automation, how and why you should delete your Twitter history, and I also dove into how sentiment analysis could one day tell you what readers are feeling.

    If you have a question, whether it's how to do something, where to find a service, or what a certain error message means, please let me know. I'd be happy to answer it for you.
    « Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 08:36:50 am by Nate Hoffelder »

    Offline Evenstar

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #21 on: March 13, 2018, 02:36:57 pm »
    I know you don't do Weebly sites, but any idea how I make a pop up box appear on mine? I can't see anything I need to click to make that happen. Is it normally an app I need to buy or something (not a very technical person, but I love learning so I like to know how to do all these things myself).

    Offline Nate Hoffelder

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #22 on: March 13, 2018, 02:43:23 pm »
    I know you don't do Weebly sites, but any idea how I make a pop up box appear on mine? I can't see anything I need to click to make that happen. Is it normally an app I need to buy or something (not a very technical person, but I love learning so I like to know how to do all these things myself).

    It depends on the pop-up box.

    If it's for a mailing list, you can create the form on, say, Mailchimp. Build it as a pop-up, and then copy the code so you can embed it in the header of your Weebly site.

    What are you doing with it?

    Offline Remington Kane

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #23 on: March 13, 2018, 07:09:47 pm »
    Nate knows what he's doing. He fixed a problem I had in no time flat. He's my go-to guy for tech problems.

    Offline Nate Hoffelder

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    Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
    « Reply #24 on: March 14, 2018, 06:39:58 am »
    Nate knows what he's doing. He fixed a problem I had in no time flat. He's my go-to guy for tech problems.

    Thanks! You're so kind.

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      Offline Evenstar

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #25 on: March 14, 2018, 11:18:51 am »
      It depends on the pop-up box.

      If it's for a mailing list, you can create the form on, say, Mailchimp. Build it as a pop-up, and then copy the code so you can embed it in the header of your Weebly site.

      What are you doing with it?

      Ah, thanks. I was looking for a way to build it on the site. Okay, I'll go and see what I can learn in mailchimp. Thanks Nate  :)

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #26 on: March 14, 2018, 01:59:56 pm »
      Ah, thanks. I was looking for a way to build it on the site. Okay, I'll go and see what I can learn in mailchimp. Thanks Nate  :)
      Glad I could help!

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #27 on: March 22, 2018, 12:29:43 pm »
      I have a special offer for KBoards members. I recently picked up a volume license for the MalCare website security plugin for WP sites on sale really cheap, and I am passing them along at cost (plus the Paypal fee).

      I have 4 lifetime licenses for MalCare available for $11 each. This includes a firewall, malware scanner, and malware removal. Here are some reviews to help you make up your mind:
      https://encrypted.google.com/search?hl=en&q=malcare%20review

      This is a good deal, and here's the catch. You can install the plugin but you cannot manage it. I have to manage from my account on the MalCare website. That is not ideal, but for $11 I think we can live with it.

      At the very least it is better than the competition. Godaddy, for example, charges you $5 a month for basically the same service - and they will try to con you into paying for security even if you don't need it. This is a one-time cost, and if it doesn't work out for you, yes, I will refund your money.

      If you would like one of the license, please send me a DM.

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #28 on: May 08, 2018, 07:31:19 am »
      Hi all,

      It's been a busy month since I last updated this topic. I've learned a few lessons from getting my first flyers printed, and found a nifty way to automate my social media posts.

      Oh, and here's something new: I'm going to start holding an AMA (ask me anything) here in KBoards on Thursday. It's going to be a kind of clinic where I answer tech questions about websites and related topics, so if you have a problem please let me know.

      But that's not the important news today.

      I am starting a website concierge service where, for a flat monthly fee, I maintain and update your website, and advise on tech products that you want to use. This is mainly for Wordpress sites, but I can help with other platforms. My support plan includes regularly scheduled backups, updates, and security checks., and I will also host your site on my server if you like.

      The service will cost $50 a month when it launches. If you would like to join the beta test, please send me a DM.

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #29 on: May 17, 2018, 11:05:35 am »
      Want to see something cool?

      Over the weekend I taught myself how to make links that, when clicked, open a share box on Twitter or Facebook.

      Here's one example. Go on, click it.

      BTW, when I wrote last week that I'd hold an AMA or clinic on Thursday, I meant every Thursday. Today I will be hanging out on KBoards  until 4 pm eastern (for the next couple hours). If you have a question about websites, I am here.

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #30 on: May 24, 2018, 06:39:57 pm »
      I was so busy today with helping clients with last minute GDPR compliance that I forgot to show up today. (I finished my compliance over the weekend; how about you?)

      I come bearing gifts: a comprehensive list of apps you can use for market research and to track your sales. (This list is the most complete one online.)

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #31 on: June 01, 2018, 08:04:05 am »
      It was a busy week for me, folks, and I wasn't able to make it here on Thursday.

      As always, I am here with helpful info if you have a question. In the meantime, I recently published a post with useful marketing ideas you can try in your spare time.

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #32 on: June 08, 2018, 02:10:51 pm »
      *gasps* *crawls closer*  *wheeze* I don't know about you, but I didn't think I would survive this week. 

      A tip: WP security plugins might have their settings reset when updated, which is why you should check them regularly. (I found this out when someone tried to hack my site on Wednesday.)

      As always, I am here to help if you have a question. In the meantime, I recently published a post that lists tools you can use for market research and for generating sales reports.

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #33 on: June 14, 2018, 07:21:02 am »
      Happy Thursday everyone!

      A tip: If you share something on your FB author page, and someone likes it, you can invite that person to like your page. This is a neat trick, but I'm not sure you should use it because I have been told FB will use the invite as an excuse to start showing your page updates to that person until they choose to opt out.

      It's been a fun week for me; I've just moved one of my mailing lists from MailChimp to MailerLite. The latter costs less, and has better automation (it's past time I adding a welcome email, and the MailChimp option just didn't look very good). BTW,  I recently wrote a post on essential mailing list tools; one of the tools I think we should be using is a welcome email (it helps establish a connection with subscribers).

      Have a good weekend!

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #34 on: June 21, 2018, 08:03:13 am »
      Good morning!

      I had a tech tip all ready to share this morning, but that went out the window when I heard an important rumor.

      I'm told Amazon is going to merge Createspace into KDP Print, the POD service Amazon launched a couple years ago. I am still trying to confirm the rumor, but have you heard anything?

      If you have reliable info, I'm dying to hear it, but either way, have a good weekend!

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #35 on: June 30, 2018, 02:56:35 pm »
      Happy Saturday, everyone!

      The important news this week includes:
      • The US Supreme Court ruled that all online sellers will have to collect state sales tax
      • Author accounts are still getting hacked on Createspace (and according to one report, also KDP)
      • Amazon has banned a bunch of book stuffers from KDP

      Tech Tip: Have you heard about Macincloud? This is a service where you can lease a "virtual" Mac online. Authors can use it for things like uploading ebooks to their iBooks accounts.

      I am, as always, here if you have a question.

      P.S.  These are the kinds of things I cover in my newsletter.  You can sign up for it here.


      Never mind ;D.  --Betsy

      « Last Edit: July 20, 2018, 06:41:56 am by Betsy the Quilter »

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #36 on: July 11, 2018, 07:25:44 am »
      Happy Wednesday, everyone.

      It's been a busy couple weeks building sites and learning new things. For example, I just found out that you can lease a Mac online. This is a good way for authors to gain direct access to iBooks without investing in a second computer by buying a Mac. (I love finding new tools like that, don't you?)

      I don't want to bore you with too much talking about myself, so let me simply add that I am always here to answer tech questions, whether they are website related or not.

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #37 on: July 19, 2018, 08:59:26 am »
      I read the most interesting tech support question yesterday.

      An author wanted to know how to get notes out of the Kindle iPad app. This is something I know well, which is why I could tell the author that the Kindle iPad app collects your notes and highlights in a "Notebook". There's one notebook for each ebook in the app, and you can send that notebook to someone as an email attachment.

      The author needed this info in order to get their beta reader's feedback, and I thought authors here might want to know this trick as well.

      As always, i am here if you have a tech question.  You can also find me in my new FB group, The Help Desk.
      « Last Edit: July 19, 2018, 09:10:40 am by Nate Hoffelder »

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #38 on: July 27, 2018, 10:51:19 am »
      It has been an eventful week at chez Digital Reader, and I have important news to share.

      First, I had to find out the hard way that Amazon automatically reconnected my Goodreads account to my Kindle account when I set up a new Fire tablet. This inspired me to publish a post about enhancing the  security and privacy of your Amazon account.

      But as frustrating as that was, it's not the big news today.

      I am in the late stages of setting up a website concierge and hosting service, and I am looking for authors who would be willing to help me work out the bugs.

      • Bronze - $100 per year for hosting and basic maintenance (theme, security, and plugin updates)
      • Silver - $25 per month for hosting and up to two (2) requests for tech support, changes, and new features
      • Gold - My ultimate support plan - $50 per month for hosting, tech support, and unlimited changes, new features, and updates

      If anyone wants to find our more about the concierge services, or wants to sign up for the beta test, send me a PM or leave a commen. I will get in touch.

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #39 on: September 12, 2018, 05:33:41 am »
      Hi all,

      I'm so busy working with authors that I haven't had a chance to get back here in the past month. (For example, I just finished updating a client's site to HTTPS: www.remingtonkane.com.)

      If you would like some free advice, here's a tech tip that was inspired by a common oversight.

      Quote
      Stellar content can make or break your blog or podcast, but people have to find your site first, which is where SEO plugins like Yoast come in. Not only can you use it to set keywords for Google, you can also make subtle tweaks that will make your links more appealing on social media and in search results.

      Here's a guide to setting up Yoast: https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/10/02/save-169-setting-yoast-seo-plugin-author-website/

      While you are at it, make sure you take the time to set up an account in Google Search Console for your site, and add the sitemap. Google can no longer be trusted to find your content simply because it's on your site. Seriously, I just found out that one of my sites had vanished from Google because apparently the sitemap stopped working.

      Have a good week, and please do think of me if you have a question about your site!
      « Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 05:40:27 am by Nate Hoffelder »

      Offline My_Txxxx_a$$_Left_Too

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #40 on: September 12, 2018, 05:47:40 am »
      Content removed due to TOS Change of 2018. I do not agree to the terms.
      « Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 02:53:10 am by WasAnn »
      I've been told that my signature is too long, so here is the BLUF. Don't click anything if you got here via Google. Your data is now theirs.

      No, I do not agree to the TOS. I didn't sign up under it and don't agree. Further, you don't own any of my stuff. Period. I'm overwriting and deleting it all, and I highly recommend you who are reading this do the same. Focus on that which gives good Google-Fu.

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #41 on: September 12, 2018, 06:35:03 am »
      Following with interest. I'm to the point where I need my site re-designed to update modern sensibilities (oh, how quickly tastes change!). When you re-do a site that's already set up, do you do it so it's easy to add books, or adjust small things like newsletter popup image, etc? My biggest issue with my current site is that it's easy to mess it up doing very small things.

      I try to make it easy to do future updates and changes, yes, but sometimes the site's theme gets in the way.

      One thing I like to do is use the MailMunch plugin for sign up forms. This plugin can tie into just about any newsletter service. When it comes to books, I like to use a bookshelf plugin like Novelist. These plugins have you fill out a form with the book's details, and then automatically displays that info as a book page, series page, shelf page, etc.

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #42 on: September 20, 2018, 08:17:05 am »
      Good morning, all. This morning I am putting the finishing touches on www.JerriWilliams.com It has a custom home page, second blog section, and other subtle improvements.

      Soon I'll have time to work on your author site; what would you like me to do?

      ***

      First impressions count. Stellar content can make or break your blog, but if your site lacks basic branding like a logo then chances are your visitors won't stay around long enough to be impressed by your brilliantly written posts. Even simple logo and blog graphics that you made in a few minutes in Canva can mean the difference between your site looking like it belongs to a professional rather than a hobbyist.

      Do you know what also helps your blog look more professional? Filling out the details on your user account such as your bio and your social media accounts.

      Many website themes will use those details to automatically display an about the author section after your blog posts. That  blurb is a great opportunity for you to introduce yourself to first-time readers by telling them more about the person behind the keyboard, and it would be a shame to pass that up.

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #43 on: September 20, 2018, 01:57:47 pm »
      Nate - I know a lot of us might like to keep a thread with you in it for future reference. You might want to take a look at where those in kb are migrating to now that it's imploding. Also, please note the new TOS and be careful what you post, since they have blanket ownership over what's posted and derivative works created with it. Just a head's up. You do good work.
      I saw the new terms. I'm not worried - it's just the usual boilerplate.

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #44 on: June 25, 2019, 02:38:08 pm »
      Want to see something cool?

      I just started a new project called "Author Website in a Box". It's still in beta, but I think it's ready for feedback.
      https://the-digital-reader.com/2019/06/22/introducing-author-website-in-a-box-beta/

      I don't know that I explained it very well in my post, so let me see if I can explain it better this time around.

      There are services like Weebly which charge you a monthly fee to build your site with their tools. Then there are developers who will sell you a WP theme and leave you to figure out how ti install it and set it up.

      Author Website in a Box is neither of these. Instead, AWinaB is a complete Wordpress website bundled into a single file that you can download and install. It comes with the plugins you need, dummy content you can replace with your own, and a home page that you can rearrange or edit to suit yourself.

      you can see it here: http://dummy.authorwebsiteinabox.com

      AWinaB is a free download, and it will always be a free download. But if you need help installing it, hosting it, or modifying it, my services are available.

      Offline kswalker

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #45 on: June 25, 2019, 04:17:00 pm »
      I've been building websites as a hobby for years, but there's always something new to learn as the tech keeps changing. Just by skimming your site, I found a solution to a problem I was wrestling with yesterday. So thanks for the free advice!
       
      Kristen S. Walker | Writing blog | Newsletter

      Offline boxer44

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #46 on: June 25, 2019, 06:58:49 pm »
      Nate:   Sent you an email to your gmail account, if you still have it??   B

      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #47 on: June 25, 2019, 07:13:48 pm »
      Nate:   Sent you an email to your gmail account, if you still have it??   B
      I got it

      Offline Riven

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #48 on: June 27, 2019, 07:08:07 am »
      Hi Nate, I really like your 'author website in a box' concept. I need to create a website for a new pen name and I've been putting it off, but your dummy author website has all the features I'd want and it looks like far less hassle than starting from scratch with my own Wordpress site once again.

      When I was reading through your blog post, one line from your caveats caught my attention so I thought I'd ask about it:

      Quote
      (I also gave myself an admin account, but that is intended strictly for emergencies.)

      Does the above mean that you have administrative access to any website created using your 'website in a box'? I can understand why you'd set it up that way considering you're in the business of creating and maintaining author websites. And I'd also guess that you don't necessarily know a particular website was created using your 'website in a box' unless someone specifically points you toward it?


      Offline Nate Hoffelder

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      Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
      « Reply #49 on: June 27, 2019, 07:51:31 am »
      Does the above mean that you have administrative access to any website created using your 'website in a box'? I can understand why you'd set it up that way considering you're in the business of creating and maintaining author websites. And I'd also guess that you don't necessarily know a particular website was created using your 'website in a box' unless someone specifically points you toward it?

      Theoretically, I do have admin access, yes. 

      I need to rephrase that section, because what I did was simply leave in the account I use to build and update the original site.  It's there because I needed it for building the site, and I call it out so people will know they can delete that account once they take over.

      And no, I don't know that a site is using AWinaBox until someone tells me, or I come across it accidentally.


      KBoards.com

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        Offline Riven

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #50 on: June 27, 2019, 12:03:17 pm »
        Theoretically, I do have admin access, yes. 

        I need to rephrase that section, because what I did was simply leave in the account I use to build and update the original site.  It's there because I needed it for building the site, and I call it out so people will know they can delete that account once they take over.

        And no, I don't know that a site is using AWinaBox until someone tells me, or I come across it accidentally.

        Thanks for clarifying! I'm looking forward to trying it out.

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #51 on: July 05, 2019, 10:13:07 am »
        Here's a problem that literally only started happening yesterday, so I'm not sure if all the affected parties are even aware of it yet.

        If you know someone with a WP site on Hostgator, and the site is down right now with the following error message, I know how to fix it.

        Fatal error: Arrays are not allowed in class constants in .../wp-content/plugins/jetpack/vendor/automattic/jetpack-sync/src/Modules.php on line 31

        I have seen this twice now, and it turns out the problem is that the site is running on an old version of PHP. My friend's site was running on PHP 5.4, and once I updated to PHP 7.0 everything was fine.

        If you know an author with this issue, please do share this solution with them.
        « Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 10:19:42 am by Nate Hoffelder »

        Offline kswalker

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #52 on: July 05, 2019, 05:57:55 pm »
        WordPress stopped supporting PHP 5.4 in about 2017. Regardless of your host or if you have experienced issues yet, you should probably upgrade to 7.0 at least. (They support up through 7.2 right now, just updated mine a week ago.)
         
        Kristen S. Walker | Writing blog | Newsletter

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #53 on: July 05, 2019, 06:03:36 pm »
        WordPress stopped supporting PHP 5.4 in about 2017. Regardless of your host or if you have experienced issues yet, you should probably upgrade to 7.0 at least. (They support up through 7.2 right now, just updated mine a week ago.)

        I was very surprised top see that someone was running a server on 5.4. And yes, everyone really should upgrade to at least 7.0.

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #54 on: July 18, 2019, 08:27:59 am »
        Are you using the Pretty Links redirection plugin on your site?  If so, you should go update it now.

        The 3.0.0 release on Tuesday introduced problems that crashed sites. Wednesday's 3.0.1 release fixed this issue.

        BTW, if you are wondering why you should use a redirection plugin, yesterday I wrote a post expounding on the value of plugins like Pretty Links.
        https://the-digital-reader.com/2019/07/17/why-to-use-a-link-shortener-redirection-plugin-on-your-website/

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #55 on: August 12, 2019, 04:37:46 am »
        The big news for me this week: I've started posting instructional videos for my Author Website in a Box project that show how to do things like change the menu or create a blog post.

        http://authorwebsiteinabox.com

        Author Website in a Box is my solution to the problem of setting up an author website. It is a self-contained author website that can be installed with a single click, and comes with a pre-built home page, bookshelf pages and all the other parts you need.

        Here's the demo version of the site:
        http://dummy.authorwebsiteinabox.com

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #56 on: August 21, 2019, 04:41:59 pm »
        Tech tip: When you are troubleshooting and have eliminated all the possible causes of a problem, start eliminating the impossible causes.

        I just found a bug in a post on a WP site that was caused by the user account that authored the post. Seriously, changing the author made the bug go away.

        Yes,  you would think that is impossible. It still happened.

        Offline Silly Writer

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #57 on: August 21, 2019, 07:17:50 pm »
        I hired Nate to fix some bugs in my website, and upload new covers, change some things around. He finished SUPER quick, did a great job, and great to work with. I told some fellow writers about him and more than one gave him a try with the same results.

        Highly recommend... I'm paying him for his monthly concierge (?) package. It works out great for me, as when I need someone, I need them quick--and I need someone I can trust. There may be months I need nothing at all, but it all comes out in the wash for the months I do and only pay the same low monthly fee. I'm really happy with it.

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #58 on: August 26, 2019, 06:40:51 pm »
        I hired Nate to fix some bugs in my website, and upload new covers, change some things around. He finished SUPER quick, did a great job, and great to work with. I told some fellow writers about him and more than one gave him a try with the same results.

        Highly recommend... I'm paying him for his monthly concierge (?) package. It works out great for me, as when I need someone, I need them quick--and I need someone I can trust. There may be months I need nothing at all, but it all comes out in the wash for the months I do and only pay the same low monthly fee. I'm really happy with it.
        Awwww, thanks!

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #59 on: September 01, 2019, 03:51:53 am »
        Want to see something cool?

        A few months back I started guest blogging over on The Book Designer on the topic of author websites. I'm now up to 4 posts in the series:
        https://thebookdesigner.com/author/natehoffelder/

        My long term plan is to turn this into a book.

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #60 on: September 30, 2019, 01:24:13 pm »
        The fifth post in the series on newsletters was published over at The Book Designer last week (see my last post).

        I've been so busy that I had forgotten to show up here; nevertheless, I do have a useful tech tip for you:

        If your website is telling you to update PHP but provides no details on how to do that, here's a trick I learned. Google "PHP update" + your hosting company's name, and you will usually find instructions on how to do the update, and a link to the relevant settings menu where you can do the update.

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #61 on: November 10, 2019, 05:31:39 pm »
        Here's a tip for those in the midst of NaNoWriMo: If you set up an automated cloud backup, you don't have to worry about losing files.

        Here's how I set up the backup for my working files:
        https://natehoffelder.com/blog/how-to-create-a-live-backup-of-your-working-files-using-google-drive/

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #62 on: January 10, 2020, 03:11:47 pm »
        My latest side project is an event calendar site that covers the DC region. I built it the AWinaBox project as a base:
        https://novawritingevents.com/

        I had already been maintaining a calendar for a local writing club, but I decided to spin this out as a stand alone site after I saw a similar site that covered the Richmond VA region.

        BTW, if anyone want to use this site as a template for a site covering author events near you, I do have a template you can download.

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #63 on: February 19, 2020, 10:08:32 am »
        Are you going to a writing conference in the coming months? I am; in fact, I am speaking at the Maryland Writer's Conference, and I will exhibit at the WIRO Books conference in May.

        How about you?

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #64 on: August 08, 2020, 02:14:48 pm »
        Are you going to a writing conference in the coming months? I am; in fact, I am speaking at the Maryland Writer's Conference, and I will exhibit at the WIRO Books conference in May.

        How about you?

        hahahahaha

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #65 on: August 08, 2020, 02:17:39 pm »
        Here's a piece of tech advice I had to learn the hard way.

        Always delete inactive or unused plugins. They may be disabled, but they can still slow down or crash your website. No, seriously, this tip was inspired by the time I had t fix a website after a caching plugin - which had been disabled - decided to start caching the site again while it was still disabled. This conflicted with a couple other plugins, and crashed the site.

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #66 on: August 22, 2020, 03:10:24 pm »
        #Tech Tip

        Do you miss writing at a coffee shop? I have a solution!

        Coffitivity is a web and iOS app that replicates the ambient background noise of coffee shops. It is intended to boost your creativity, and help you work better.
        https://coffitivity.com/

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #67 on: August 29, 2020, 02:18:08 pm »
        #Tech Tip

        Boook.link is a service that will find all the places on the web where your book can be found. Just enter your book's ISBN, and they will crawl all the major retail websites (including print, audiobook, and ebook) as well as WorldCat, GoodReads publisher sites, and more.

        Offline Sandy J Hartwick

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #68 on: August 31, 2020, 09:58:59 am »
        Hi Nate,

        I am interested in your help. Please contact me. You should already have my email, as I am subscribed to your newsletter. My site is sandyjhartwick.com

        Thank you!

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #69 on: September 05, 2020, 02:49:46 pm »
        #Tech Tip

        Did you know that you want to share a newsletters by first clicking on the "View in browser" link in the top right corner, and then sharing that page? (This works with most  newsletters.)

        Offline Heather Boyd

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #70 on: September 06, 2020, 04:41:27 am »
        .... I do have a useful tech tip for you:

        If your website is telling you to update PHP but provides no details on how to do that, here's a trick I learned. Google "PHP update" + your hosting company's name, and you will usually find instructions on how to do the update, and a link to the relevant settings menu where you can do the update.

        You are an absolute legend for sharing this tip. I haven't known what to do about this for quite a while. Problem solved now. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!


        Regency Romance Can Never Be Too Hot!
        Heather Boyd | www.heather-boyd.com | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter | Bookbub

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #71 on: September 06, 2020, 05:16:26 am »
        You are an absolute legend for sharing this tip. I haven't known what to do about this for quite a while. Problem solved now. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

        You're very welcome!



        Edited to remove additional self-promo. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca
        « Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 04:12:42 pm by Becca Mills »

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

        • Status: Jane Austen
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          • Nate Hoffelder
        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #72 on: September 12, 2020, 05:02:47 am »
        #Tech tip

        Did you know you can turn the webcam in your laptop into a document camera?
        https://www.mccormick.northwestern.edu/news/articles/2020/08/back-to-school-hack-shares-students-handwritten-work-and-teacher-response-in-real-time.html

        What's really cool is that a makeup compact works just as well.

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

        • Status: Jane Austen
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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #73 on: September 19, 2020, 02:49:07 pm »
        #Tip

        Are you by any chance looking for more things to do online? Sarah Nicholas has a weekly newsletter where she shares online events for readers and authors.

        I read it every week, and I think you should to:
        https://sarahnicolas.substack.com/

        Offline Nate Hoffelder

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        Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
        « Reply #74 on: September 26, 2020, 01:52:53 am »
        #Tech Tip

        If there's one thing I have learned while doing tech support, it's that hosting companies never post complete instructions. So if you followed their instructions and still can't make something work, it honestly might be them, not you.

        Here's how to develop the right mindset to identify the missing part of the instructions:
        https://natehoffelder.com/blog/never-tell-everything/

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          Offline Nate Hoffelder

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          Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
          « Reply #75 on: October 03, 2020, 04:54:52 am »
          #Tech Tip

          If you need to wean yourself off of social media so you can get more work done, there are browser extensions you can install that will either block specific sites, cut off your web access entirely, or block specific content.

          Earlier this year I installed a couple extensions to block myself from seeing the Twitter home page and the FB news feed. (This did not work out for me the way I intended, but I do think it has been a net positive.)
          https://natehoffelder.com/blog/how-i-stopped-wasting-time-on-twitter-and-facebook/

          Offline Nate Hoffelder

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          Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
          « Reply #76 on: October 10, 2020, 05:18:04 am »
          #Tip

          Few people like hard-sell tactics, but you do still need to sell yourself to your website's visitors. Here are six key elements you need on your home page to win over new visitors.
          https://medium.com/@user_666/the-6-key-elements-of-a-high-converting-website-home-page-920a182e650d

          Offline Nate Hoffelder

          • Status: Jane Austen
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          Re: I fix websites (and I build them, too)
          « Reply #77 on: October 17, 2020, 06:54:35 am »
          #Tech tip

          Setting up a bookstore on an author website can be relatively easy. All you have to do is set up an account at a service like Payhip or Gumroad, and integrate that service's buy buttons into your site. These services will process the payment, and deliver the ebooks.

          I wrote a post on this topic this week.
          https://the-digital-reader.com/2020/10/16/how-to-set-up-a-bookstore-on-an-author-website-the-beginners-guide/

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