Your website produces green house gases!

coal-burning-electricityScientists have begun calculating how much electricity is consumed by the internet. It requires a great deal of electricity to keep all the servers and routers in climate controlled environments. Most electricity is still generated by the burning of coal. Generating that electricity creates CO2. Already the internet emits more CO2 than aviation. Worldwide only a small fraction of electricity is produced with clean renewable methods. Turns out the larger your website the additional traffic also creates more CO2.

I found this site that will calculate your site’s “emissions.”

Here is Thrive’s score:Website Carbon Footprint

I optimized the image down to 16% of its original size.

So optimizing your website will make your customers happy to use your fast site and it’s good for the environment!

Web Design vs. Web Development

Design vs Development

I believe it’s important to understand the distinction between web design and web development. Individuals can be both designers and developers but it takes time and experience. No two people have the same education or career path. We all acquire skills in a variety of ways. At the most basic level, however, I think one is more of an artist and the other more engineer.

Web Designers often have a graphic design background and training in design principles like color, contrast, balance, and variation. They often use tools like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Great web designers may have studied something completely different, though. Maybe a physician has a solid understanding of computers and medical systems and is offered a job to consult with software developers. The developers need an expert on medical procedures to ensure their website has accurate information and is easy to access during an emergency. The physician becomes an amazing web designer.

Web Developers often have a computer programming background. They’ve learned computer programming languages like C+, JavaScript, HTML, Java or CSS. They know databases and how to retrieve and organize data for a mobile app or website. A web developer can build complex websites by integrating different software and databases.

Web developers can customize! There are usually several products to chose from if you need software to support your unique website or business. For example, there may be a dozen tools to add a restaurant menu yet not one is a perfect fit. A web developer can add necessary data fields and enhancements to help you run your business. Most importantly, a web developer will make sure a website is coded properly so it loads quickly, works well on slow connections, doesn’t drain your battery, is secure from hackers and is accessible to all users.

There is a marketing firm here in San Diego that has created some absolutely beautiful websites for their clients with restaurants. Unfortunately, the sites take forever to load and look pretty bad on a mobile phone. If you look at this firm’s team page you see the staff is comprised entirely of designers.

This question is not a debate of good or bad, better or best. The world needs creative people with good ideas and people with technical skills to build things. If you need a website you want an individual or team with a good balance of design and development skills. It’s not enough to look for gray hairs. Ask lots of questions and poke around in the portfolio of a potential web firm. Click on the links and check out how the sites look AND how well they perform.

WordPress Themes Can Kill!

No, really, it’s true. If your website takes forever to load you’ll end up losing visitors and business. That can kill your bottom line.

If you haven’t updated your WordPress in a while there is a really good chance your theme is the problem. Commercial themes from online marketplaces are usually loaded with extras trying to be all things to all people. Often those extra plugins come with a limited license making them difficult to upgrade later. I’ve seen designers spend hours and hours trying to find the perfect theme for a client. A theme is just a frame that binds the styling with the functions. An experienced WordPress developer can build whatever you need without a special theme.

Websites are a collection of code, styles, images and video. Your web browser has to go grab all those pieces and assemble them. It’s important that those files are as small as possible and loaded in the most efficient manner. Sometimes older themes will grab the pictures last. This leaves big white spaces making you think nothing is happening. New themes know all the tricks to get the important stuff first and the rest later. A well-designed site might look complete while still putting together the bottom of the page.

My theme of choice is called Astra from Brainstorm Force. This theme is lean, flexible and fast as lightning! I don’t mean to sound like a Stepford Wife when I describe it, but I love Astra. Are a dozen websites a big enough test to be objective evidence? Every site I’ve converted to Astra has gone from a D or F speed rating to a B or better without doing anything else to it.

Talk to me about optimizing your slow website before your theme kills your business!

XML Sitemaps included on all our sites

When we build a site there are dozens of steps we take to ensure your site is built correctly and visible to google and your potential customers.  These technical features are the kind of details a web developer will understand over a web designer.  A sitemap is mandatory because it tells search engines like Google and Bing what pages and information are on your site.  The more they know the better your visibility. This is also part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

An effective sitemap is formatted in Extensible Markup Language (XML).  XML is a series of tags that structures information in the same way a spreadsheet does.  You’ll probably never see your sitemap but rest assured we’ve taken care of it. This is just one of many features you can expect when you work with Thrive Web Solutions. At the end of the day you will get incredible value.

WordPress powers 1/3 of ALL websites!

I Love WordPress

New data from shows that WordPress continues to gain momentum as the #1 Content Management System. The closest rival has 3% of the market.

This growth means that more developers will invest their energies to make innovative add-ons (called plug-ins in the WordPress community) and WordPress will just better and better.

We’re dedicated WordPress experts. We can build whatever we can conceive of to meet the needs of your business. We’ll also teach you one-on-one how to use the admin tools so you can become adept WordPress users yourself.

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