6 Really Easy Things To Do To Update Your Existing Website

Are you worried that your website might be out of date?

If it’s more than about 4 years old, it’s probably due for an update.

Doing a total overhaul can be a daunting task. Depending on your skills, interest, and pocketbook, this might be a job for a professional. But there are things you can easily fix yourself.

1. Fix broken links

Broken links are frustrating to visitors and search engines don’t like them either. Check them using a tool like Deadlinkchecker.com to scan a page or your full site then return a list of broken links for you to correct.

2. Add an SSL certificate

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates used to be expensive and generally only necessary if you were selling products on your site. However, search engines and browsers are requiring them much more frequently. You might also have noticed an “UNSAFE” website page error message if you try to visit a site without an SSL certificate.

What is an SSL: A simple description

Image by waldiwkl from Pixabay

If you are looking your friend in the eye,  you know whose hand you are shaking.

But if you were in a dark box, you might not be sure of that. You might hear that person say a few words and be more sure. But you couldn’t really be certain.

The SSL certificate is kinda like a friend, trusted by both of you, insuring that YOU are shaking the hand of the person you think you are shaking.

If somebody visits your website and it’s been secured with a certificate, then they can be sure they’re looking at what you put there.

This only protects information between your browser and the web server. It does not protect email.

Most hosting companies will provide a free LetsEncrypt SSL Certificate, generally available on the cPanel.

3. Add, check, and/or update your site maps

There are two kinds of site maps:

One helps search engines find all the content on your site and indicate which pages are most important. It’s not easily accessible to visitors.

Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress is one easy way to build it straight from your content.

The other kind of site map helps visitors find  content that might not be obvious in your navigation. If your site is small, you can build one of these by hand, listing all titles/links of all the content you want visitors to find.  (For example, you might not need them to find a “thank you for subscribing” page.)

There are several WordPress plugins to build an HTML sitemap visitors can use. I’ve used the Simple Sitemap by David Gwyer been pretty happy with it.

4. Every Page Needs a Call to Action

People tend to do what you tell them to. So don’t say “Consider calling me.” Say “Call me at xxx-xxxx”

Click to Call is an easy addition and does just what it says. Adding a link to every place your phone number shows up let’s people who are checking your content on a mobile device just click the number and automatically call you.

Read this other article: Use a CTA not only to get people to contact you or buy something but also to lead them thru your site. It could be a link to the next page/article you’d like a visitor to read.

Don’t help visitors leave your site by not telling them where to go next!

5. Are your social links relevant?

It seems that everybody understands the value of Social networking. So including links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc seem like an obviously good idea. HOWEVER, if you never post to those platforms, or you only post family pictures, etc., it’s probably of no value to your website visitors and only gives them an easy way to leave your site. If you don’t have content of interest to your website visitors, don’t share social links. OR make a separate account for information you’re posting there that relate to your business.

6. Use a contact form not your email address

There are several advantages of using a form over just providing an email address.

options for contact form
  1. Many people don’t really know what they want to ask or say. So a form can help to formulate a question. A few of my choices are shown at left.
  2. Posting your email address on line can lead to robots or other bad actors gathering your name and email address to use send your spam. And perhaps worse, using your name and email address in a campaign to trick other people into believing an email or a request (for money!) are from you!
  3. To me, most important, is that every email that comes to me from my website has the SAME SUBJECT LINE and the SAME From address. So I never miss an email sent from an unrecognized address missing a subject line or perhaps just saying, “Hello.” I toss those emails unopened.

Need help?

Your website is not like a stack of brochures in the basement. It’s a living document. It can be updated and changed at will. But if you’re in a quandary…

There are three ways I can help. Let’s talk about it. The best way to get in touch with me is thru my contact form.

Image Copyright Scam!

A client got an email this morning threatening legal action if they don’t take down copyrighted images (which are most certainly theirs).

So many reasons to figure out this is a fake

No last name for the photographer.. and a rude ending threat to legal action. It includes a link to download a file. I confirmed the fake-ness on the WedgwoodInsurance blog

And here’s what tipped me off to check more:

  1. Is the grammar right? Is the spelling right? Is it especially rude in the first email you got?
  2. Is your whole name there?
    On this one, not only is a real name not used in the opening, but also there is no last name of the photographer.
    Just like if you get a message from “your bank” that does not say, “Dear First and Last Name” (Obviously, your real first and last name). If the sender does not have access to the simplest of information, why suppose s/he has more sensitive info?
  3. Be very afraid of attached documents, especially if they don’t really know who you are. Sometimes you can tell by just HOVERING your mouse over the link and it doesn’t look the same as what you see on the visible link.

Hi there!

This is Melisha and I am a professional photographer.

I was confused, frankly speaking, when I recognised my images at your web-site. If you use a copyrighted image without an owner’s approval, you should be aware that you could be sued by the copyright owner.

It’s illegal to use stolen images and it’s so low!

See this document with the links to my images you used at mysite.com and my earlier publications to get the evidence of my copyrights.

Download it right now and check this out for yourself: Link left off here

If you don’t get rid of the images mentioned in the document above within the next few days, I’ll file a to your hosting provider informing them that my copyrights have been severely infringed and I am trying to protect my intellectual property.

And if it doesn’t help, for damn sure I am going to take legal action against you! And you won’t receive the second notice from me.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Mystery Christmas Music

This story has nothing to do with websites or website design.

It’s family tradition that I can’t really identify as anything more than a mystery. But I think it’s a good story and one that should be shared so that maybe, just maybe, the right person might know how much we are tickled by it.

2021 Update

Straight no Chaser: Christmas Cheers

What fun! We continue to be baffled and blissful!

2020 Update

Christmas mystery 2020

This year it came in a corrugated cardboard folder on a memory card. I love the ingenuity of all this!

A Holly Dolly Christmas!

Thank you, truly Secret Santa!

2019 Update

Our annual Christmas album arrived yesterday in a plain envelope with a plain stamp. (Read the story below for the full details). It came first as a quadraphonic album, then CDs, then flash drives.. and now a memory card!

We still don’t know where or from whom it comes, but it sure is a great tradition!

2019 makes 43 Christmas albums in our mystery collection!

Read the corollary and our story below.

But first: this corollary to our story:

Ed Clinch of Peoria, Illinois had a decorated coconut mysteriously delivered to his house every Christmas from 1948-1996.

monkey coconut head
This is not one of Ed Clinch’s coconuts. But you get the idea

If your math is a bit rusty, that’s 48 years!  It came by donkey, by the mayor—twice, by ambulance on a stretcher and by parachute, to name a few scenarios.

The last one was delivered to his grave. He died at 82. He never knew who was behind it. (Don’t believe me? Check it out.  Search Ed Clinch Christmas Coconut)

At the our house,  for the 36th time in as many years, we found Christmas music mysteriously left for us on our porch on Christmas eve.  That’s 36 Christmas albums… probably a better collection of Christmas music than most brick and mortar record stores.

Record Player
Here’s our story:

We moved into our first house December 22, 1975. We were young. We had a big empty house. We got the biggest tree we could find to help fill that vast empty living room. That year we knew where, and from whom, all our  gifts came from.

But the next year, on our front porch wrapped in a Korvette’s shopping bag—a long-gone local department/discount store with an exceptionally fine record section—we found a brand new copy of Handel’s Messiah by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir recorded in quadraphonic sound!

We had a pretty good stereo system. We were, after all, newly out of college where stereos were a particularly important marker of something or other.  In each place we lived, by then apartments or dorm rooms, the stereo was the first thing to be unpacked and the last thing to be packed. Music should be available at all times and in all places.

But we did not have quadraphonic sound.

We did not know where the record came from.  I knew it couldn’t have been Joe because quadraphonic records were expensive, and as newly-weds, why spend money on a record we couldn’t fully appreciate?

The next year, the record appeared again.

When we moved to Mississippi, the record came  wrapped in brown paper, postmarked Baltimore. But no other markings.

There was a CD before we had a CD player. Then there was music ripped on a CD or a memory stick.

Over the years there have been classical recordings, contemporary recordings, country music, traditional music, choirs and single performers.  Annapolis Brass to Maryland Consortium to the  TransSiberian Orchestra and everything in between.  This year it was a bizarre mix of songs including Dominic the Donkey and White Christmas by Iggy Pop!

Generally we find it on the front porch, but it’s been on the back porch and it’s been tossed under a bush.  Sometimes there’s a knock on the door—a rather tentative one—so nobody thinks to rush to see who’s there. But mostly there is no signal.

This year, my husband spied a young African American kid walking up the street, paying  no body any mind—certainly not out of place on our street.

We have some suspicions.

The exCIA agent neighbor? The father of a kid who lived on my block growing up and who now also lived in Baltimore? (both now sadly dead and missed) Somebody from my job at Bethlehem Steel? A friend of Joe’s from school? Or work?

Each year we review the possible benefactors.  We just don’t know.

It is a wonderful family tradition.  We talk about it often in hopes that whoever is doing this knows how much we enjoy the game and the prize! And maybe someday it will be nice to know who’s doing it.  But not today.

Kerch McConlogue signature

And thank you!

Only 22 downloads?
What’s the value of that?

The number of downloads have to be WAY higher for .03% to amount to anything of value!

Answer: I don’t know.
But is it worth the time and money to produce?

I have recently completed a high volume month for a client.  These numbers might not be that big for other people, but for this site 70K+ visits in a month is HUGE.

Everyday thru the month of October, they posted a short post. It included

  • a  pdf of the content (carefully constructed  from Word for consistency across all 31 posts),
  • a jpg of an  infographic plus
  • a pdf of that infographic.

That’s three downloadable bits of content. (Yes, I know, a visitor could download the image without a separate link, but that’s what the client wanted.)

SO every day, those three bits were uploaded to the media library. Links to that content was included in two separate locations, similar to the image above. (Additionally, each post included a picture of the author and appropriately sized images for Facebook, Twitter and Instgram. But that’s not part of my story here.)

The client was sure people would want to print out this content and distribute to their offline audiences.

I have thought for  a long time that that’s pointless. Visitors will read on the screen or not. They will share, via social pathways, or not. But the days of printing out fliers to sit in your office and hope somebody will take or read them are long gone.

Here’s what I have learned by tracking in google analytics looking at all the visits from the wp-content/uploads folder.

Out of 75,825  visits, just 22 downloaded any of the pdfs or graphics provided.
That’s .03%!

Notice of rant

I am not fond of producing Word docs and printing to PDF format, especially when there is the very real probability that somebody will find the wrong information in the wrong place and it will have to be reproduced, reuploaded, and relinked to existing content. That’s just me whining and if you don’t mind paying for that, great. But my grandmother told me “once and done” was the idea. And I try to adhere to that rule.

What was the client’s cost for me to spend that time? Let’s don’t talk about that.  What was my husband’s payment for listening to me grumble for the month?  Let’s don’t talk about that either.

End of rant

Sometimes downloads are the right answer

Look, there are reasons for somethings to be downloadable.

Instructions for anything you have to do after you walk away from your computer. Like recipes and instructions for DIY projects. But NOT stuff you’re reading on the screen and then you’ll walk away.

If people want to print out your content, they’ll figure out how to copy and paste from the screen to a text document or they’ll push Cntrl + P and take what they get.

Just remember this:
The numbers have to be WAY higher for .03% to amount to anything of value!

Pattern Library for the NonDesigner

Here (will be the link) to the video presentation.

Below is the code for my pattern library including some css to go along in the Customizer.

Blank pattern library page with css following.
Break these two files apart for use.
Kerch McConlogue
WordCamp Philly 2020

This page includes a plain standard pattern page.
The only styling in this pattern code is the addition of .callout

Page code starts below

<!-- wp:html -->
<figure class="wp-block-table color-table"><table><tbody><tr><th>New colors:</th><td style="background-color:#4d7dbf"><span style="color:white">#4d7dbf BLUE</span></td><td style="background-color:#e27c24">#e27c24 ORANGE</td><td style="background-color:#e0c128">#e0c128 YELLOW</td><td style="background-color:#51833d"><span style="color:white">#51833d GREEN</span></td><td style="background-color:#DFE8DC">#DFE8DC med green</td><td style="background-color:#EFF4ED">#EEF4ED Very light green</td></tr></tbody></table></figure>
<!-- /wp:html -->

<!-- wp:heading -->
<h2>this is an h2 in content</h2>
<!-- /wp:heading -->

<!-- wp:heading {"level":3} -->
<h3>This is an h3 in content</h3>
<!-- /wp:heading -->

<!-- wp:heading {"level":4} -->
<h4>This is an H4 in content</h4>
<!-- /wp:heading -->

<!-- wp:paragraph -->
<p>Note: h2 entry-title is the one that shows on archive pages! reduce that size to about .85em</p>
<!-- /wp:paragraph -->

<!-- wp:paragraph -->
<p><strong>Chuck</strong> <strong>Norris</strong> can slam a revolving door. <a href="https://www.loremipsums.nl/lorem-ipsum-origineel/chuck-norris-ipsum/"><strong>Chuck</strong> <strong>Norris</strong></a> can have his cake and eat it, too. <strong>Chuck</strong> <strong>Norris</strong> is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs</p>
<!-- /wp:paragraph -->

<!-- wp:separator -->
<hr class="wp-block-separator"/>
<!-- /wp:separator -->

<!-- wp:buttons -->
<div class="wp-block-buttons"><!-- wp:button {"borderRadius":0,"style":{"color":{"background":"#e0c128","text":"#224270"}}} -->
<div class="wp-block-button"><a class="wp-block-button__link has-text-color has-background no-border-radius" style="background-color:#e0c128;color:#224270">this is a button #e0c128</a></div>
<!-- /wp:button --></div>
<!-- /wp:buttons -->

<!-- wp:paragraph -->
<p>button color is as shown, text color is #224270</p>
<!-- /wp:paragraph -->

<!-- wp:separator -->
<hr class="wp-block-separator"/>
<!-- /wp:separator -->

<!-- wp:heading {"level":3} -->
<h3>Following is a block quote</h3>
<!-- /wp:heading -->

<!-- wp:quote -->
<blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p><strong>Chuck</strong> <strong>Norris</strong> can slice meat so thin is only has one side, When <strong>Chuck</strong> <strong>Norris</strong> sends in his taxes, he sends blank forms and includes only a picture of himself, crouched and ready to attack.</p><cite>Chuck Norris</cite></blockquote>
<!-- /wp:quote -->

<!-- wp:separator -->
<hr class="wp-block-separator"/>
<!-- /wp:separator -->

<!-- wp:pullquote -->
<figure class="wp-block-pullquote"><blockquote><p>This is a pull standard pull quote. I don’t think it should be full width with “stop” lines top and bottom.</p></blockquote></figure>
<!-- /wp:pullquote -->

<!-- wp:separator -->
<hr class="wp-block-separator"/>
<!-- /wp:separator -->

<!-- wp:paragraph {"className":"callout"} -->
<p class="callout">I prefer a call out that's styled with class:   callout</p>
<!-- /wp:paragraph -->

<!-- wp:separator -->
<hr class="wp-block-separator"/>
<!-- /wp:separator -->

<!-- wp:paragraph -->
<p>The chief export of Chuck Norris is Pain Chuck Norris is the reason you turn a light on when you enter a room. There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of animals Chuck Norris allows to live Chuck Norris received an electric shock, the result was Tron Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding Police label anyone attacking Chuck Norris as a Code 45-11… a suicide, Fool me once, shame on you. Fool Chuck Norris once and he will roundhouse you in the face.<br></p>
<!-- /wp:paragraph -->

<!-- wp:separator -->
<hr class="wp-block-separator"/>
<!-- /wp:separator -->

<!-- wp:media-text {"mediaId":49,"mediaLink":"http://www.snibbles.com/patterns/45-2/galilei/","mediaType":"image","mediaWidth":40} -->
<div class="wp-block-media-text alignwide is-stacked-on-mobile" style="grid-template-columns:40% auto"><figure class="wp-block-media-text__media"><img src="http://www.snibbles.com/patterns/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/galilei-1010x1024.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-49"/></figure><div class="wp-block-media-text__content"><!-- wp:paragraph -->
<p class="has-large-font-size">Resize the text in the sidebar and vertical align in block editor above</p>
<!-- /wp:paragraph --></div></div>
<!-- /wp:media-text -->

<!-- wp:heading {"level":3} -->
<h3>This is an unordered list</h3>
<!-- /wp:heading -->

<!-- wp:list -->
<ul><li>ul style=margin-left: 45px;</li><li>Chuck Norris can win a game of Connect Four in only three moves</li><li>There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of animals Chuck Norris allows to live</li></ul>
<!-- /wp:list -->

<!-- wp:heading {"level":3} -->
<h3>This is an ordered list</h3>
<!-- /wp:heading -->

<!-- wp:list {"ordered":true} -->
<ol><li>So these are my replacements. A dandy and a clown.</li><li>The future revolves around you, here, now, so do good!</li><li>I hate computers and refuse to be bullied by them.</li></ol>
<!-- /wp:list -->

/* CSS code starts below  */

/*  Add your site colors here */
#4d7dbf; BLUE	
#e27c24; ORANGE
#e0c128; YELLOW
#51833d; GREEN	
#DFE8DC; med green	
#EEF4ED; Very light green

h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6 {
	clear: none;
h1 {
.entry-content h2, h3 {
/*h2 titles in archives*/
h2.entry-title a {

ul li, ol li{

/*  I prefer a callout so I don't use this*/
 * .wp-block-pullquote blockquote {
.wp-block-pullquote blockquote p{
.wp-block-pullquote blockquote cite{display:none

	position: relative;
  display: inline-block;
.whosaid,.wp-block-quote cite {
.callout {
	padding: 2em;
	border-top:2px solid #e27c24;
	border-bottom: 3px solid #e27c24;

I keep losing my cursor

I work for myself alone at home mostly… the dear husband (DH) is also here. So my schedule and life are not much different since the social distancing started.

But already I’m bored.. AND I learned this cool thing, which I’m sharing now.

How to change the size and color of your cursor (on a PC)

Mac link is here

(A picture of which I can NOT include in a screen shot.. because all the captures block that out.. but here you go.)

  1. Go to Start button in the lower left corner of your screen
  2. Then click the gear (Settings)
  3. Choose Ease of Access (you might have to scroll down a bit)
  4. Then choose Cursor & Pointer to adjust the size of the pointer and the color!

Mine is now bright green and slightly larger.. so I can find it on any one of my three screens!

And because I was bored, I made this image.

What will happen if I click that button?

When people know what will happen next, they are more likely to go along for the ride.

I don’t like to get in a car and randomly drive. I don’t necessarily need to know exactly where I’m going: it could just be “let’s see what’s up this road.”

When people know what will happen next, they are more likely to go along for the ride.

I don’t like to get in a car and randomly drive. I don’t necessarily need to know exactly where I’m going: it could just be “let’s see what’s up this road.”

But if you’re giving me directions, you better tell me where the end point is.
If all I have is “turn right here, then turn left there” I’ll have a very hard time following along. It’s just the way my brain works.

It’s similar with Call to Action buttons.

I want to know what will happen if I click.

  • Will my credit card be automatically charged?
  • Do I have another chance to review my order?
  • Will this link open in a new tab?
  • Will it download a PDF or a Word document?

CTA a single command, an action word.

Click this and that will happen.
Tell me what I’ll get for sharing my contact information.

  1. Write a title/tag line in big letters: What is the purpose of the button?
  2. Then show the button — which should be big and obvious and in a color used specifically for buttons.
  3. And then a short explanation of what will happen next, or what you’ll get if you click the button.

Check out this great article and infographic at DigitalInformationWorld.com about using CTAs.

Want help figuring out your best Call to Action

Head over to my contact page…
even if you’re not sure what your questions are.