All posts by Brandon Devnich

WordPress Plugin Review: CAPTCHA Pro by BestWebSoft

Now, I’m not one to endorse a third party all that often.  I’d rather write my own code, and endorse MYSELF!  That’s the proud coder in my speaking.

But that said, I wanted something that worked, and didn’t have time to write a “skill testing question” captcha solution for the comments section and login box for the back end of wordpress.

I had installed the free CAPTCHA solution from Best Web Soft in my wife’s site, and a couple of others, over the last month.    Spambots were driving me INSANE, and I didn’t want to activate the Akismet plugin (call me cheap).

Well, the CAPTCHA plugin from BWS was the best zero dollars I ever spent.

And then I went and installed BuddyPress for our own forum here at i3dTHEMES.com — good grief, within hours of it going up (without any incoming links), I had spammers signing up and creating profiles with links back to their own site.

Do the people that set up these spam bots have nothing BETTER to do with their time?   Ugh.  I guess the answer is it helps them, so it must be worth the time and effort.

In any case, I didn’t want them on my site.  And I thought, hey, lets get this CAPTCHA solution from BWS working on in BuddyPress and bbPress.  Turns out, that extension is a part of their Pro version.

Seriously, I didn’t hesitate on the $9.95 price tag.  Ten bucks to save a huge headache?  Probably less than the extra large bottle of Tylenol I’d need to get from the local drug store if I didn’t get these spammers dealt with.

Took less than a minute via their checkout and VOI-freakin-LA, it’s installed.

And I didn’t have to swallow a pill, just a $10 charge to my CC.

Thanks BWS (no affiliation WHAT-so-ever).

If your website isn’t mobile ready, you’re going to be in trouble.

iStock_000023413279_Small
If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you’re going to be in trouble!  Mobile phones are ubiquitous, and as time progresses, those that don’t have a mobile friendly website are going to miss out on a HUGE potential.

Seriously, the last thing anyone wants to hear is that there might be something that they haven’t done that could be negatively impacting their business.

We get those too, those moments of “oh crud” (or other expletive) .  Your temperature rapidly rises, your heart beat causes your vision to swim a bit, and you wonder if you can go hide in that back office long enough for the problem to go away… but it never does.

Luckily, those don’t happen too often.  But wouldn’t it be great if someone could tell you, BEFORE those moments happen, what you could do to avoid the trouble.

I’ll tell you a little story about this one such topic, with regard to the mobile web.

Earlier this month, my wife, who owns a busy little flower shop, says to me “I really want you to make my website mobile friendly!” — I’m sure you all love doing what you do at work, when you go home too.  I had already dragged my feet for the last six months.  A real great hubby hey?

I could come up with a dozen excuses: by the time the kids are in bed I’m too tired, the yard needs tending, I have to fix the fence, I have to clean the gutters…

the gutters?

really?

Who really wants to do that?!

Well, you can tell that I wasn’t particularly motivated to refit her website (which I had designed some 7 years previous when mobile devices were not ubiquitous like they are today).  But, the time had come.  Ugh.

Let me just say, I love my wife.  She is an incredible motivator.  🙂

A few hours later, and a lot of feedback from my sweetie (who had a vision on how it should look), we had a working home page, catalog, and wedding photos gallery.  Hot damn!

Now here’s the kicker.  Her “mobile usage” was already at about 37%.  Her “bounce rate” was about 54%.  Considering she had a pretty successful online presence already, I wasn’t quite sure how much of an improvement making her site mobile friendly would have on her overall business.

Less than a month later, her bounce rate is down by 4% points (that is HUGE), and the percentage of mobile users is up by 7%!!  Now, here’s the thing.  Those mobile users were possibly going to already come to her site anyway, but likely “drop off” because the site wasn’t mobile friendly.

Or not.

You see, google takes a look at your site and if it is mobile friendly, and someone is “googling” for something that you might come up for, if you HAVE a mobile friendly site, it is much more likely that google will rank your site HIGHER than if it wasn’t.

And THAT was what happened this last month.  Her search engine results position went UP.

That’s right, UP.

And, with more traffic, and lower bounce rate, her business is up this month.  Now she’s complaining that she’s too busy.  Sorry sweetie.  🙂

Let me say, I’m kicking myself that I hadn’t done this update for her sooner.

So, the moral of the story is, if you haven’t invested the time and money in re-vamping your site so that it is mobile friendly, you’re doing yourself an injustice.

Suck it up, and get it done.

The gutters can wait.

For reference, we have fantastic mobile friendly website templates and wordpress themes.