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Posted:
Feb 12, 2015
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soul secret service

Posted: February 12, 2015

Soul Secret Service is dedicated to assisting you in getting your creation, project, music, business or idea out in the world.

Over 15 years experience in Website Design, Graphic Design and PR.

 

WEBSITE, BLOG DESIGN and SITE MAINTENANCE

I create and maintain WordPress based sites.
WordPress based sites can be created so you can add content yourself.
Standard html sites require myself or someone else to make changes to the website.

Basic SEO (search engine optimization) is done on all sites including adding Google Analytics, submitting a sitemap and verifying your site with Google. Individual SEO is done on each page and post on your site to encourage more traffic. I can optimize for other browsers as well.

*More about the difference between WordPress and a standard HTML website
View my Portfolio to see some of my work.


GRAPHIC DESIGN | PRINT DESIGN

Full service graphic design and print production.
View my Portfolio to see some of my work.


PR and MARKETING

Social Media Marketing (Facebook, Twitter, blogging), Support and Consultation.


EMAIL NEWSLETTER MARKETING

Print and Email Newsletters using services like: Mail Chimp, Constant Contact and others.


PRINTING YOUR BOOK, MAGAZINE OR BROCHURE

Books, Magazines, Printed Materials of all kinds and Merchandise can be created and sold on your site at no cost except for the base cost of the product. I can assist you in getting your images, logo etc. formatted for these services, creating a store and embedding this on your site.

• CreateSpace
LuLu
CD Baby


eCOMMERCE

Integration with Paypal, Amazon, Create Space, Lulu, CD Baby and others.


HD VIDEO PRODUCTION & EDITING

Music Videos, Conferences, Commercials, YouTube Videos, Educational/Instructional Videos.
I work with Brian D. Hardin on video projects http://www.briandhardin.com

Posted:
Feb 1, 2015
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Artist Network

Posted: February 1, 2015

Soul Secret Service is happy to provide this list of other experienced artists to assist you with your project.

These are talented people.

*Note – All of these artists are independent freelance artists and are not employees of soul secret service. Check out their websites and contact them directly for more information about their services and rates.

GRAPHIC  ARTISTS

Jud Kramer
www.judsonkramer.com/

Deborah Gordon
www.dinkydragon.com/design/illus.html 

Jacob Devaney
www.designofthetimes.biz/ 

Danny Hamilton
www.dantuccinardi.com

—-

WEB  DESIGNERS

Ellie Zenhari
www.elliezenhari.com/

Jud Kramer
www.judsonkramer.com/

Jacob Devaney
www.designofthetimes.biz/

Deborah Gordon
www.dinkydragon.com

—-

ILLUSTRATION

Deborah Gordon
www.dinkydragon.com

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VIDEOGRAPHERS  &  EDITORS

Brian David Hardin
www.knewways.com/services-2/

Alison Fast
https://vimeo.com/fastonfilm

Kiff Kilpatrick
www.euphorianproductions.com

Cassidy Rast
http://cassidyrast.com/
—-

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Susan Weingartner
www.susanweingartner.com

Ellie Zenhari
www.elliezenhari.com/

Brian David Hardin
www.knewways.com/?page_id=735

 

 

Posted:
Jan 1, 2015
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WordPress is Better

Posted: January 1, 2015

 The Difference Between WordPress and Static HTML Websites

Why is WordPress better than a static html site?

• Once your site is setup, it’s easy to add content yourself. You are not reliant on someone else getting your last minute content up there . You can add updates yourself.

• Google sees the site better out of the box (98% of all searches are done on Google), you have more control of your site and it simply offers interactive elements that a regular html site does not always have. Not that they can’t be added in some way, but with WordPress they are integrated directly within its blog infrastructure. This blogging infrastructure or platform can be used for websites.

WordPress is the number one content management system.

 Basic SEO plugins can be added along with social networking (standard in WordPress Themes now) to make it easy to get connected.

 Many WordPress “Themes” (the basic design and infrastructure) are what is called “Responsive” which means they adapt to devices such as phones, iPads and other hand held devices; sizing down to be compatible. Regular HTML sites do not do that unless they are specifically coded for that.

WordPress allows for Comments on Posts if you like, creating an integration with site visitors that is not easily done with a regular HTML site.

There are multiple authors/access levels/logins possible.

• Allows for a website feed off the site that people can subscribe to. You can also add subscription plugins to your site or integrate with newsletter services such as MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact etc.
That’s your mailing list!

 Content is easy to share.

 Every Page and Post can have its own Title, Description and key words (tags) for SEO. Search engines are interested.

• About Hosting: Make sure the hosting you get has automatic installation for WordPress on your server. This just makes it easy! Also check and make sure they are wordpress friendly and knowledgeable. One hosting company I really like is Siteground. They have 24/7 chat and unlike most hosting companies, they keep an eye out for any malicious files appearing on your shared server and let you know to remove them. Other hosting companies I’ve worked with are Godaddy.com, Wpengine.com .

 As time goes on you you may want to change the basic design or theme of your site.  Making a theme change is relatively painless (make sure to backup your site files and database beforehand). Once the new theme is loaded, the design changes across the board on every page and post.
*Note you may have to spend some time getting it all looking right once you change the theme as sometimes there are differences in setup and look.


Maintenance of WordPress Sites

Things to keep in mind.

The WordPress infrastructure updates several times a year and it is suggested you keep your site updated. Also plugins must be updated monthly. These updates are necessary to keep your site as free from hacking as it can be.

• Sometimes your Theme will need to be updated too. Make sure you save any custom CSS you have added to your site before hand if you are not using a Child Theme or the Simple CSS plugin. I like to have a text document with any custom CSS handy as well just in case.

• There are security plugins you may want to use like: Bulletproof Security, Brute Protect and Sucuri-Scanner. There are many out there see what works best for your site and theme.

If your site is hacked
I recommend getting the people at Sucuri to clean it up. Hacks are pretty insidious these days and removing the hacked code is tricky. Eventhough you think you got it all, there can still be a script that re-initiates the hack later.

• It is necessary to backup your site and database whenever you update your WordPress so you have a solid backup that you can always revert to. Doing this can be a bit of a hassle but believe me if it ever happens that you need it, you will be so glad to have those backups. Backup of the files themselves can be done through your FTP. Normally you backup the database either through your hosting account (SQL database) directly or you can install a plugin to assist you. Check the WordPress Plugin Directory.


Theme Resources

Themeforest
They check out their Theme designers. I usually try to go for themes that have had a good amount of sales. If someone has only one theme they’ve created and only a few sales, just know you will be the guinea pig for that theme. So I always try to buy themes from long established theme creators who have a good amount of sales. You can easily see that information on the site.

Audio Themes
Great selection of themes for musicians.

Organic Themes

Woo Themes

 


Basic Training and more

http://videos.wpbeginner.com/

https://www.wp101.com/tutorials/

http://wordpress.tv/

Lynda.com has many free tutorials

http://wpapprentice.com/courses/free-wordpress-tutorials/

http://chrislema.com/category/elearning/


WordPress Expert Advice from Coders

http://chrislema.com/


WordPress Community

WordCamp
Meet other WordPress creators, admins and gurus!


Additional Resources

http://wordpress.meetup.com/

WordPress Plugin Directory

http://herenextyear.com/35-reasons-why-wordpress-website-is-better-than-traditional-web-site-for-your-business.php

http://repcapitalmedia.com/wordpress-vs-everything-else-why-wordpress-its-usually-your-best-bet/

http://marketingartfully.com/2010/05/18/difference-between-small-business-websites-versus-wordpress-blogs/

Posted:
Dec 30, 2014
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The Creative Process

Posted: December 30, 2014

The creative process is collaborative. My goal is to create your project where your likes and sensibilities are taken into account coupled with my experience. Here’s a basic overview of how we can work together.

Step ONE

DISCOVERY & QUOTE

In this first phase I will get an understanding of what your needs are and provide a quote of the time required to complete your project. Quotes are provided as a range of hours I estimate your project to take. A deposit will be required to begin your project.

 

Step TWO

DESIGN

Here I create preliminary designs and fine tune the direction we are going with your project.

 

Step THREE

PRODUCTION

In this phase the ideas will be presented to you. Here we will fine tune everything including color, photos, fonts etc. Once you sign off on the final comps we move to the “mechanical” or completion phase.

 

Step FOUR

FINAL/MECHANICAL FILES

Final printable files are created for your printer or final website files are uploaded to your FTP. This phase involves giving everything a final check to make sure all the files are in the right format and color space, all alignments are correct, and everything is to spec. etc. This is giving the whole project a basic once over before finishing. For websites this involves testing the site to make sure everything is working properly and backing up the site and database.

 

*At every stage of the process you are kept up to date on how much time has accrued.