Mickey Mellen

The Top 7 Reasons Why 2019 was a Great Year

I’m going to miss 2019. It’s hard to say what the “best” years are, but in terms of growing a business, this one was pretty darn good. I’ve been trying to figure out why it was good, and I’ve come up with seven reasons. 7. Uber This is relatively new for me, but I’ve started taking Uber to some of my off-site meetings, and it’s been shocking good. It’s not that I mind driving, or that the Uber drivers are all perfect, but having that few extra minutes to catch up with life is so wonderful. A great example of this was just a few weeks ago. I went to the Northeast Cobb Business Association luncheon, and I took an Uber back to the office. Along the way, I caught up with messages that I had missed in the past 90 minutes during the luncheon, sent out a few quick replies, […]

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GreenMellen’s 10 Year Anniversary

Today marks GreenMellen’s 10th anniversary, which is amazing to me. It’s been an incredible ride, and I’m thrilled with how our company has grown over the years. The Beginning To start, though, it really goes back about 15 years. Back in 2004, I tried WordPress for the first time, and it’s become a more critical part of my life and business every year since then. In fact, it’s still the core technology that we use in our company today. Later that hear, I was hired on at Mt. Bethel UMC to be their web guy, and Ali was brought on as an intern a year later. In 2008, Ali left her job at the church to start her own design company (and her old site is still up!). I left in 2009 to focus on web development, and we quickly realized we’d need each other’s help to get things done. […]

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The Guide to Getting More Links to Your Website

If you’ve thoroughly researched search engine optimization (SEO), you’ll learn that getting other sites to link to yours is a critical piece to ranking well. Google’s original PageRank algorithm was all about understanding the link structure of the web, and it instantly made Google the best search engine in the world — and it wasn’t even close. While Google has now gone far beyond links, and they don’t matter as much as they used to, they’re still a significant part of their algorithm. As a general rule, the more reputable sites that link to you, the better off you’ll be. However, over the years, spammers have worked to game Google’s system, so you need to be careful about how you go about this. Gone are the days of just automatically submitting your site to 10,000 directories and calling it good, but if done carefully, link building can still be hugely […]

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Why Your Website Needs SSL By July 24, 2018

On July 24, 2018, the Chrome 68 update is due to be released, and any website that has not adopted HTTPS/SSL encryption (with the green padlock by their website address) will be marked as “not secure.” Over the last year, SSL is something we’ve talked about a lot at our Meetup, and now is the time you need to add this layer of protection to your website. Get the scoop about the Chrome 68 update, how it will impact your site if you’re not protected, and what you can do you incorporate SSL correctly. What is the Chrome 68 Update Google has been warning website owners for years to get SSL certificates for their sites, and this new Chrome release will clearly mark websites without them as “not secure.” Here’s an example of how unprotected sites will look in the address bar: Since Chrome is the most popular browser, it’s […]

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SEO Success Stories

I first started dabbling in SEO for some personal projects back in 1999, and we’ve been soaking up knowledge and keeping up with Google’s changes ever since.  The SEO category of this blog has hundreds of posts dating back as far as 2005, so this isn’t something new for us. To show you some of what we’ve done, here are some clients that have done very well over the past few years. A home builder in Atlanta We have a full post about this one, but an Atlanta-based home builder saw a huge rise in traffic after we launched their new website. Their organic traffic from Google for the three months prior to launch was 548 visits. In the three months after launch it rose to 3354 visits — a 600% increase! Results this dramatic are not common, but if things are done correctly you can see quite a rise. […]

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WordPress now lets you blog in Google Docs

While the native WordPress editor is pretty solid, and can be easily enhanced with tools such as Markdown, many people still prefer to write their posts in other software and then copy them over to WordPress. If you’re in that group and love Google Docs, you should be quite happy about a new Chrome extensions from Automattic (the parent company of WordPress). The new Chrome extension (found here) will connect your WordPress.com or Jetpack-enabled self-hosted site with Google Docs. You can write your post in Docs, then click and copy it over to your site as a draft. While ease of writing might be a great feature for some people, collaboration could be even bigger. WordPress can be a bit clunky when trying to share drafts, and Google Docs makes it much easier. Images One of the biggest problems with copying and pasting from other sources, such as Word, is […]

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How Not to Handle Marketing Automation, Courtesy of AutoNation Ford

We’re big fans of marketing automation at GreenMellen. It can be a powerful tool in your arsenal, if you have the time and money to invest and do it right. If you don’t take the time to do it right, you may end up like our friends at AutoNation Ford. As we saw years ago on Twitter, car dealers are always looking for a shortcut. Our money tends to go to dealerships that are full of humans, but they all do their best to take humans out of the equation. This post isn’t intended to slam AutoNation Ford — they’re a fine dealership (not great, not horrible), but their use of marketing automation goes back years and is simply pitiful. Let’s start in 2010 when we were shopping around for a new Ford Explorer for my wife. This is the nice email I got from Carl, asking about the “Ford […]

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No One is Going to Watch All of Your Slides

There’s been a lot of talk in the web design community over the past few years about the effectiveness of “sliders”; those images that change from one to another (and another, and another) at the top of many websites. We’ve debated the usefulness of sliders going back more than three years, but we’ll talk about that in a minute. Your Electronic Sign Driving to work each day I pass Custer Park, an excellent soccer facility in our community. Like many other businesses, they recently added a digital sign in front of their facility so they could easily share messages with people driving by. Also, like many other businesses, they seem confused as to how they should best utilize the sign. Learn how the cloud based digital signage software works. (Custer park is used for a lot of YMCA soccer games; our local YMCA has issues with how to best utilize […]

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Setting up Google’s AMP Project for your website

The Accelerated Mobile Pages (“AMP”) Project, led by Google and hundreds of other publishers, looks to make dramatic changes to how mobile content is delivered to your phone. This short video explains the ideas behind the concept. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrpkFROqR0Q Sounds great, doesn’t it? Here’s how to get it going on your site. Already done? If GreenMellen helps manage your website on a monthly basis, you’re already set! The one exception is clients who rely on Google AdSense and other ad networks for revenue, as those don’t play nice with AMP quite yet, so we’ve left it off your sites as we explore the best solutions for you. For everyone else, your AMP setup is already taken care of. The main plugin The basics of getting started with AMP are very simple. Just grab this plugin and install it and you’re done! All of your blog posts will now be AMP-enabled. To […]

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55% of hacked WordPress sites are via plugins – how are yours looking?

According to a recent article from the great folks at Wordfence, over 55% of hacked websites are due to a vulnerability of a plugin on the site. Even the most basic site typically has a handful of plugins on it, so what can you do to keep yourself safe? See below for some tips. Vet quality plugins When choosing plugins for your site, there are things you can do to help ensure that you’re using a quality plugin that is unlikely to cause problems. Here are some things to look for: How many times has it been downloaded? How frequently is it updated? How often does the plugin author respond to issues in their support forum? A big problem is when a plugin becomes abandoned and new vulnerabilities aren’t addressed. With over 40,000 plugins available, this happens quite often. It’s for this reason that we encourage you to not always look […]

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The Google Design Resizer and a bookmarklet to make it simple

Google has just released a nifty Design Resizer to help quickly test your website in various mobile sizes to help check for responsive issues. It’s similar to the excellent viewport resizer Chrome extension that we’ve used for a while, but it doesn’t require any kind of browser extension. To make it even better, we’ve created a simple bookmarklet for you to use so you can click a link on any website and instantly view it in the Resizer tool without having to type anything. Take the bookmarklet here and simply drag it up to your bookmarks bar –> Resize If you’re not sure what a “bookmarklet” is, or how this tool might be useful, check out the short video below:

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Meetup Business Panel: Learning from those that do it well

GreenMellen invited three local WordPress-focused business owners to join us at our most recent Meetup to discuss various aspects of owning a business. Fill out the form below to check out the full recording of the Meetup and learn answers to questions such as: How did WordPress impact the growth of your business? What is your strategy behind pricing? How did you grow your business to where it is today, and where are you going from here? How do you find new clients? Meet our awesome business panel: Mickey Mellen is a partner at GreenMellen Media and lead the discussion. GreenMellen is a five person digital marketing agency that has been using WordPress for many years and uses it when creating all of their new websites. Aaron Reimann is the the co-founder of Sideways8, a WordPress design and development agency. Sideways8 has been continually expanding their team and Aaron shared his thoughts […]

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Meetup: The Creative Side of WordPress

GreenMellen invited five local designers to join us at our most recent Meetup to discuss processes, best practices, tips and strategies for designing WordPress-based websites. Fill out the form below to check out the full recording of the Meetup and learn answers to questions such as: Why do you like designing with WP? How do you steer clients in the right direction when they inquire about web design? What is your design process? What are some resources you use for inspiration? How do you stay up to date with trends? How does messaging impact design? What do you see as the future of web design? Meet our awesome design panel: Ali Green – Co-owner and Creative Director of GreenMellen Media. A gifted problem solver, Ali is able to convert a daunting mix of wishes, ideas and technical requirements into elegantly simple outcomes by clarifying client goals, stimulating their strategic and tactical thinking and solving […]

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What is the dark web and why should I care?

You may have heard about the “dark web” here and there, but what exactly is it? It’s any set of web content that can’t be accessed through a normal browser, the most popular of which is Tor. Tor is a browser built on Firefox, and allows you to access “.onion” sites that normal browsers can’t find. Using Tor, it’s virtually impossible for a website to know who you are, because every move you make is routed to various servers around the world to make you difficult to track down. Similarly, any .onion site is hard to pin down, because the address doesn’t take you directly to an IP address, but bounces around as well. Here is a great TED Talk from Jamie Barlett that explains more about it and why he feels it will become much more popular in the near future: Despite the misunderstanding and anonymity surround the dark […]

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Meetup: Build your own starter theme

Aaron Reimann and Diana Nichols walk you through building your own starter theme for WordPress. Work along with us, or just listen to learn more about the ins and outs of WP themes. Session One will cover setting up a development environment such as MAMP or WAMP and Git. Tools mentioned: GitHub theme Great CSS Framework Editor If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or feel free to post in any of our online WordPress groups. Upcoming events February 11, 6:30 pm: Introduction to SSL Certificates for eCommerce February 18, 11:30 am: Designers: The Creative side of WordPress February 25, 11:30 am: Business Panel: Learning from those that do it well Other resources

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