Is Installing Plugins Bad? How They Can Secretly Harm Your Website Performance

There seems to be a plugin for everything these days… ones that better protect your website against spam, optimize your media file sizes, and ones that even allow users to make their own custom avatar. It may be tempting to download that plugin that promises to fix your current issue, but have you may have asked yourself: is installing plugins bad?

So… Is Installing Plugins Bad For My Website?

The short answer: sometimes. While there are plenty of useful plugins, playing around with them willy-nilly usually leads to issues. 

But why? 

Plugins add tables and sometimes lots of data to the database and they don’t always remove them when uninstalled. This is a great way to invisibly bog down your website, as there is no indication to the administrator to what is happening. 

Curiosity Killed the Load Speed

Plugins will also often add new image thumbnail sizes (and again, don’t delete them on uninstall) and this can quickly turn into a situation where your WordPress Admin is adding 20-30 (or more) individual thumbnail images for each image you upload. This adds tons of ‘invisible weight’ and hinders your website performance.

Sometimes plugins, even though they are in the WP Plugin Directory, are poorly built, not created by reputable developers, and/or have been abandoned by their makers. Some indicators of this are: less than 10,000+ active installs, low or no ratings, and not having been updated in over 6 months.

Tips For Installing Plugins the Smart Way

Now that you know that installing plugins can negatively impact your website performance (even when uninstalled), you’re probably wondering the best way to go about this moving forward. 

Here are some of our suggestions:

  • Don’t install plugins unless you absolutely need to use it. Having some level of curiosity and trying a plugin out to see if it does what you think it should do is ok, but always avoid installing plugins “just for fun”.
  • Be 100% sure that you require a plugin to do the job; most of the time we can add in custom functionality without the need to install a load-increasing plugin.
  • Do not install a plugin that hasn’t been updated in over a year. This can have very serious security implications, as the WordPress Core gets updated very regularly (sometimes monthly). If a developer hasn’t taken the time to keep their plugin up to date in the last year, you 100% do not want to have that software running on your website.
  • Seriously consider the first two bullets if the plugin you want to install hasn’t been updated in under six months. Six months is a grey area… sometimes developers let things go a little too long, but they will get to it. However, a lot of times, this is a sign that the plugin has been abandoned.
  • A big “tie-breaker” on all of this is ratings and active installs. Unless you have a very good reason to ignore this rule, we suggest not installing a plugin with less than 10,000 active installations and mostly 4-5 star reviews. This is up to you, but this last one a lot of times helps make the decision on the previous two bullet points.

My Website Already Has Too Many Plugins…Now What?

If your site already has multiple plugins that you are unsure about, or you don’t have a real use for them, you might feel a little overwhelmed right now. 

Worry not. 

Contact us for a free website audit – this will give you a detailed report on where your website performance currently is. 

Our web developers will take a look at the issues tied to plugins and will be able to make the necessary repairs. This will add many benefits to your website such as faster load speed, a better platform for preventing issues later on, and an overall better user experience. 

Now, who wouldn’t want that? 

We hope that this information will save you time and stress in the future, and as always, we are here to help you with all of your website needs.

What is Digital Marketing? Why You Should Hire a Local Company?

Digital Marketing can mean a lot of different things in today’s world.  From search engine optimization to social media marketing it can include a lot of important matters. Did you know that 87% of customers say brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent customer experience? When it comes down to it what can a local digital marketing agency do you for and how can it help your business?  An agency can help you navigate the ins and outs of the constantly changing world. So, what exactly could do a Fort Collins digital marketing agency for you?


Improve Your Business

Digital Marketing Agencies can help you evaluate your company’s marketing needs and develop a personal strategy to help you maximize web traffic and profit.  As a Fort Collins digital marketing agency, we can work with you personally to improve your websites efficiency and productivity. We will help you define your exact target audience and analyze your customer’s behaviors in the buying journey.


Measuring your Success

One of the best advantages of hiring a local agency is being able to measure your success.  When a company runs a digital marketing campaigns, you are able to see how much you invested, how much you got in return and how many conversions your campaign helped create.  You can measure your success over different time periods, success of different ads and what type of advertising works best for your business. You can then use this data to learn even more about your audience to improve future campaigns.


Different Aspects of Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing covers anything from search engine optimization, website development to online advertising such as Pay-Per-Click.  Having an optimized website is your chance to make a good first impression with your consumers.  As a Fort Collins digital marketing agency you need to know what pictures, colors and content to use to stay attractive to your customers. According to Adobe, 38% of people will stop interacting with a website if they find the layout to be unattractive.  A Digital Marketing agency can help you optimize your site for mobile users, create an attractive layout, and ensure the site runs smoothly.


How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Agency?

Depending on what sort of results you want from working with an agency, there are many different factors to consider when choosing a local agency.  You want to hire an agency in Fort Collins that gives you full transparency in the services they are going to provide and how they will do it. There are some agencies out there that will hide the fact they own your website after building it for you, so if you ever leave them you lose ownership of your site.  You also want to insure you chose an agency that is credible. Read through a companies’ testimonials and reviews before choosing to work with them. A good marketer will be able to evaluate a client’s industry, social media and online presence and then suggest an effective strategy. Overall you should choose a company that aligns well with you as a person and/or business.  Marketing is supposed to be fun and lighthearted for the business owners. Make sure the company your working with is fun, friendly and worth talking to in every meeting.


Why Choose iPoint for Your Fort Collins Digital Marketing Needs?

Here at iPoint, we take pride in the fact we can work personally with you to customize your digital marketing experience to your liking.  When you come to iPoint you aren’t just a client, you are part of the iPoint family. We will insure you are happy with your results and work personally with you every step of the way to make we are always on the same page.  Many bigger companies have so many clients they are not able to give you a personal relationship with a marketer. At iPoint, we are a small creative team but can create a customized plan with you and insure you never will feel out of place giving us a call at (970) 266-0703 to get started.


9 Digital Marketing Tactics for 2019

With every new year, there is always plenty of new things: new ideas, new tech, new moments, new predictions of the future, new trends, and more newness. With all this, it is easy to think that most of these new ideas aren’t worth learning and that they are just fads that will past. We decided to dedicate our first blog post of 2019 to 9 digital marketing tactics you can no longer ignore in 2019. Still don’t believe us? We have the stats to prove it.

  1. Chatbots—Maybe you’ve noticed when you visit some pages on Facebook, the messenger box comes up and in it there’s a message that offers you answers to questions you could possibly have. With 1.4 billion people interacting with chatbots, it’s easy to see why businesses are starting to save majorly. People like chatbots because they’re responsive, give answers quickly, and never lose patience.


  1. Personalization—we truly hope you haven’t been ignoring this one as it proves time and time again how valuable it is to marketing. Even 96% of marketers believe that personalization is a main driver in the customer- business relationship. In email marketing, personalized emails are 3 times better than just blast emails.


  1. Video marketing—Now we know this can seem like a lot of work and expensive with having to buy a new camera, but hear us out, some of the best cameras we have seen are in your pockets right now! That’s right, your phones. By creating captivating videos, you give your brand more shareable content that works to get your name out into the public. With 52% of consumers saying that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchases, why wouldn’t you want to use the strategy?


  1. Influencer marketing—Sometimes word of mouth is the strongest marketing tactic you can use. People feel others are more trustworthy other than the brands themselves. So even if you can get clients to vouch for your products and services, you are likely to do better in future sales.


  1. Social Messaging Apps—Here’s one that might seem like new and scary territory but hear us out. With 1.3 billion monthly users actively using Facebook Messenger, wouldn’t you want to market your company’s services where your potential customers are spending their time? It also gives you a way to personalize you marketing message just a little bit further.


  1. Visual Search—With this new way of searching, users can get more specific results that brings users to your products. Pinterest has even started using this new searching method for users to take a picture of something they like and then they can learn where they can buy their own, something that can be used for most businesses!


  1. Voice Searching—Did you know that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by the year 2020? Better get used to the changing technology because it’s coming quick. For example, Domino’s allows customers to make their orders through Alexa. Just think about how you can start using voice searches to help customers find your products or services more easily.


  1. Social Media Stories—There is no doubt about it, social media is continually growing and will only get bigger. Now with the platforms adding “stories” your business can show insider videos of what it is like in your office or show off your products. It allows people to feel closer to your brand and continue building those important relationships you’re always looking to build.


  1. Artificial Intelligence—From analyzing consumer behavior, search patterns, and other data, it is easy to see why AI is going to be an important tool for businesses. You can understand how consumers find your products, and that is really important information to have to make finding your products simpler. AI can help optimize your customer service and give you an edge against competitors.

We know some of these strategies seem like a lot to do, but they will only help your business grow and be more relatable.

As always, if you ever have any questions feel free to reach out to any of our digital marketing specialists. Happy New Year!

Break the Content Rut

Whenever you are learning about how to engage customer, turn leads into clients, and get a bigger brand recognition, a common piece of advice is to put out new content. Whether it is posting on social media or keeping a blog post, content is king. We get it, writing isn’t always everyone’s strongest skill and sometimes that is only half the challenge. There have been times where we cannot even come up with what to write about. That’s why we decided to come up with a blog post that gives you some tips and ideas on how to always be coming up with fresh content. Maybe you’ll even be able to tell what tips our favorite ones are to follow.

    1. Educational Content: We know you have some industry geniuses working for you. Tap into their knowledge and create some pieces with some tips or tricks that readers might be interested in. This idea is extra special because you can use those postings to boost your SEO efforts because the information probably has to do with your service. Readers also always love learning new things.
    2. Guest Posts: posting on social media outlets or on blogs is a great way to partner with other businesses and share your knowledge. This can give your business a cool and new edge by giving readers new information that they might not find anywhere else. You and the partnered business can reach new readers and maybe make a couple leads that way. What’s even easier about this, is that you can use an old post that’s done well for you in the past. There will be new viewers, so no one would know that it was old. This way you and your partner both get new content with little effort.
    3. Case Studies: Here’s a chance for you and your business to showcase your best work. Turn it into a case study. People will love to read about the choices you made and why you made them. This way your work gets shown off a little bit and it’s easy to write about something you’re passionate or proud of. You might already even have this information stored on your website or somewhere on your server—again, making content creation easy for posting this week!
    4. Behind the Scene Looks: Here’s where you can show your viewers what happens in your office on the daily. Maybe it’s just posting the killer music playlist you all listen to. Showing pictures of your weekly team summer BBQ (hmm, that sounds familiar), or even showing off team members can create a stronger relationship between your brand and your clients. People feel closer to you if they know what is going on in the daily life of your office. This also gives the opportunity for other team members to take part in content creation by writing posts about themselves. It’s exciting to get everyone involved.
    5. Cat Pictures (yeah…we’re serious): Here’s an idea that can bring some joy to everyone even on the worst Mondays. These posts can be memes, pictures of your employee’s pets, or just silly videos. They make people smile and they help break up the content heavy content you are pushing out. Also, who doesn’t love a good cat picture?

We hope these content ideas help you out the next time you are finding yourself struggling to come up with sometime to post about. Are you still looking for more ideas? Check out this link here that has over 50 ideas of content you can post about! As always, you can always reach out to us if you have questions or are in need of some digital marketing content creation help.

How Google Trends can help Boost your SEO Efforts

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is so widely common now that it has almost become a buzzword. But the reality of it shows that effective SEO can be difficult. What keywords are most commonly searched? When are the peak topics? When should you post your relevant content? There’s a lot of thought that goes into search engine optimization but now Google Trends has made it even easier to be successful. Google Trends is a website that analyzes the popularity of top search queries in Google Search across various regions and even languages! The website uses graphs to compare the search volumes of different queries so it’s easy for you to understand and help you make the right SEO decisions. We have a couple ways that you can use Google trends to help make sure your content is optimized.

  1. Using seasonal trends to create and optimize your content– Through every year there are certain trends that follow consistent seasons. This also helps you come up with content to publish throughout the year, so you don’t run out of things to say. Google Trends is the tool to use to know what key word searches re most popular at specific times of the year. You can even know what day it’s most popular so then you know what day to post the content.


  1. Know what content to publish– We have all been in a funk before where we just feel we are out of content ideas. Google trends has a trending search tool. This way you know what topics have been searched for the most within the past day. Boom. Content to write about-easy! What makes it even better? You can filter the search to specific categories or industries.


  1. Know the cause of dips in organic traffic– traffic drops. It happens to everyone. But is it the keyword ranking? Could it be the content? It is difficult to know sometimes, but not anymore thanks to Google trends. You can check the top keywords your post ranks and check the popularity of them to know when you need to update your posts


Google Trends is a great tool to use when planning out your Search Engine Optimization. There are also many more ways to use the site. Looking for more information? Check out this other article from HubSpot. If you are looking for more SEO help, be sure to give us a call at 970-266-0703 and a specialist can let you know what they think is best for your business.

A Guide to Goals in Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Social media is ever growing. It provides multiple ways for people to stay connected to one another. With the ever-growing platforms, it is easy to see why companies want to join in. it allows them to connect with possible customers all around the globe. Social media can help businesses create strong brand images, stronger connections, and sometimes even a fan base. So the question always starts: how do I create a powerful social media marketing campaign that will reach my target audience? We came up with some goals to always keep in mind to set you on the right path.

  1. Improve Brand Awareness- When you come up with a great campaign, you want people to know about it. That’s why posting the campaign on different platforms is so important in social media marketing. You can increase your scope of reach by using different platforms. Once people find your campaign on one platform, they are more likely to seek you out on other platforms to try and get to know the business better. Which only helps you find more leads.


  1. Connect with your Audience– Social media is all about connecting. It is important to create these connections through your postings. Even if it just a “like” or a “share” of your post. People are talking to you and expressing that they are connecting with you. You can further this connection by finding ways to get people to connect with your brand as well from your posts. Coca-Cola did this with the “Share a Coke with…” campaign. Customers were able to connect with the product because the bottles had their names, or someone they knew and care about name on the bottle.


  1. Increase Website Traffic– People are known to having little patience and losing interest quickly, so if you have a chance to get more people to your site willingly, you need to take it. It’s good practice to having your URL in your bio of each platform. This gives customers an easy way to find your site and will help avoid any confusion that could irritate them.

Here’s just a couple of quick goals to keep in mind for your social media marketing campaigns. If you’re looking for more information on creating successful campaigns, you can reach out to us here at iPoint or read more from this article in HubSpot click here.

The in’s and out’s of Inbound Marketing

It seems like every day there is a new type of marketing. There’s digital marketing, social media marketing, sales marketing, and so much more-but have you heard of inbound marketing? We know keeping up with marketing trends can be exhausting, that’s why this week we are talking about inbound marketing (odds are, you might already be doing it!). Let’s get started with a simple definition: inbound marketing is creating content designed to attract qualified prospects, convert them into leads, and then hopefully new clients or customers, and then grow your business.

Seems simple enough, right? I mean you’re already an expert in your business, now it is just a matter of putting your expertise into content that is easily given to those searching for it. Once people searching for similar content to you start looking at you as an expert in the industry, they’ll look to you for products or services and then begin to become brand fans of yours and hopefully use you and recommend you. Inbound marketing becomes a win-win because you’re giving out relevant content, clients are finding a new great business, and word is spreading about your business which helps you grow as well!

So, the question comes: how will people see the content I create-or- where should I put it? Well, here is where social media marketing comes in (see our previous blog for more information on social media marketing). If you have reaching people through ways of social media platforms, then you have a great start of where you can put your content. This is a way to create one-to-one relationships with people. You can give out content important to your industry, talk to clients about their needs and wants, and keep up with other important things going on in your industry. By placing some important content on your social media platforms, you’re also allowing the information to be shareable. Once people start sharing your content, then multiple things happen: one, people are educating themselves on your content, two, people are leaning about your business, and three, people are recommending your business. If social media platforms are something you need help with, be sure to reach out to us. We have industry experts that can help you take your business down the right path with digital marketing, so you can then easily begin your inbound marketing practices.

Another place where you can begin displaying your content is in a blog. That’s right. Blogging is a very powerful tool. It allows you to display your content in an easy to read manner and gives you opportunities for search engine optimization. You can add multiple links and key word searches in your blog that bring possible leads to your website to learn more about you. This also allows search engines to know what content you’re writing about and allow them to place you at the top of searches so people looking for relevant information can easily find it. Curious about learning more blogging techniques? We have experts for that.

Marketing is a powerful tool used in all businesses and that’s why there are so many different types of marketing. Inbound marketing is all about the right content getting to the right people, at the right time. It can be a little intimidating but once you get it down, it will only help your business grow. Be sure to check out iPoint and we can give you a consultation on what you need to begin your marketing efforts on the right track.

Top 3 Social Media Platforms for your Business

The biggest trend we’ve seen this year for small businesses is ensuring their social media platforms are up to date, provide compelling content, and that they interact with their clients. Everyone knows that customers service can make or break a business, but most people didn’t expect that to go into social media usage too. It’s true though. Social media interactions with clients and other businesses show people that your business is relatable, truth worthy, and even loyal. We get it, social media can be a lot. This week’s blog post if here to tell you about the top three social media platforms you should be using to get you started.

  1. Facebook

Facebook is an American online social media and social networking service company based in Menlo Park, California. Its website was launched on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes.

Now, everyone knows about Facebook. But it is still growing to this day. People are always using the site to learn about new businesses for their needs. You can check reviews, reply time, what the services each business offers, and which of your friends has used the business before. Facebook is also a quick way to speak to the community, so you can make sure you are always engaged with what is going on.


  1. Instagram

Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook, Inc. It was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and launched in October 2010 exclusively on iOS. A version for Android devices was released two years later, in April 2012, followed by a feature-limited website interface in November 2012, and apps for Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 in April 2016 and October 2016 respectively.

Images are everywhere, and they are attention grabbing. This is one of the biggest reasons why Instagram boomed so quickly and gained such a huge amount of users. Be sure to use this to your advantage. You can show the community what your business sis about, what services you offer, and all about your employees. People are then able to relate more to your business and are more likely to call on you when they need something.


  1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business and employment-oriented service that operates via websites and mobile apps. Founded on December 28, 2002, and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking, including employers posting jobs and job seekers posting their CVs. As of 2015, most of the company’s revenue came from selling access to information about its members to recruiters and sales professionals. As of April 2017, LinkedIn had 500 million members in 200 countries, out of which more than 106 million members are active. LinkedIn allows members to create profiles and “connections” to each other in an online social network which may represent real-world professional relationships. Members can invite anyone to become a connection. The “gated-access approach” is intended to build trust among the service’s members. LinkedIn participated in the EU’s International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles.

This site is a great way for your business to speak to other business professionals. You can find new job applicants, see what’s happening in your industry, or even keep up with your past employees and employers. Remember, networking is everything, so it is very important to keep in touch.


Still a little weary about always updating your social media calendars? Have no fear, for here at iPoint, we have social media specialists that can help you come up with content and let you know which platforms are best to make your business grow! Come check our Social Media services page.

Why Pay Per Click is Important to your Business?

Figuring out different ways to advertise your business can be frustrating. There are so many different options out there and advertising can get expensive. At iPoint, we have Pay per Click campaigns that are made for your business so you aren’t paying for what you don’t need. Still not convinced? Read on to learn more about PPC.

What is it?

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising allows you to drive targeting traffic to your website and only pay for actual clicks to your site. It allows for maximum exposure while you control the amount you want to spend on your marketing campaign.

But my business doesn’t need to be advertised globally…

PPC campaigns can be set to only advertise regionally or globally depending on your business needs. You can even review the effectiveness of your ad campaign through ad reports.

What does an iPoint PPC Campaign look like?

Your campaign may be sued as a supplement or replacement for organic search engine optimization. PPC campaigns will quickly bring visitors to your website. You may want to run a PPC campaign during the initial months of organic search engine optimization. iPoint’s PPC experts obsess about results and send custom monthly reports, giving you analysis on exactly how your campaign is performing.

What does iPoint’s PPC services include?

We create accounts with your preferred pay per click engines such as Google AdWords, Yahoo! Sponsored Search, and Bing Microsoft adCenter. We also use proven methods to select optimal keywords based on pay per click analytics and natural search engine optimization reports. You are provided with full access to reporting and campaigns, so you know exactly what is happening with your PPC campaign. To top it off, we monitor and research your campaigns to determine when to vary your keyword and ad copy strategy and/or increase or decrease your budget to fully optimize your campaigns.

Pay per Click doesn’t need to be scary. We have the experts to answer your questions and make sure you are on the right path! Give us a call or visit our web page today to learn more about how PPC can help your business grow.

Millennials and Local Listings Management: 3 Fast Facts

Millennials: the largest, loudest and most tech-savvy generation to date. Every industry is investing considerable marketing dollars in learning as much about America’s 22 – 36 year olds as possible, and it’s no wonder why. Here are three fast facts about the Millennial generation.

Fact 1: Millennials are powerful.

With over $1.3 trillion in buying power, Millennials have more spending influence than any other generation. They’re an even larger population than the Baby Boomers. Their influence on the economy will be huge once they reach prime spending years.

Fact 2: Millennials are connected.

They’re the most social generation to date. The average Millennial consumer spends 25 hours online weekly. Most spend at least 7 hours a day on social devices like smartphone, laptops, and tablets.

Fact 3: Millennials are reading online reviews.

This drive towards digital has affected the way Millennials shop. According to a study by BOXT, 80% of Millennials never purchase a product without reading online reviews first.

Millennials consider online reviews more credible than digital ads. They would rather buy a product recommended to them by a friend, family member, or stranger than one recommended by an ad. Most read at least six reviews before buying.

So, where are Millennials reading your company’s reviews before spending?

Social networks force businesses to communicate more authentically than on traditional review sites, which appeals to Millennial’s desire for relationship and connectivity.

This has caused a shift away from online review sites like Yelp and Angie’s List and toward apps like FourSquare, Facebook, and Instagram. These social networks provide Millennials the opportunity to vent their frustrations, share their excitement, and receive immediate feedback from friends on purchasing decisions.

Millennials have more money, provide more feedback, and establish more connections with companies than any generation to date. Are you doing everything possible to secure the best reviews for your products?

We can help.

Our Local Listings Management services provide proactive listing updates that monitor, analyze and re-optimize your business information.

By logging in to your personalized dashboard, you can make a custom review to email customers. This  can then be published directly online. Our Social Chatter tool gives you a summary of what people are mentioning about your business on social media outlets. Another useful feature shows you what images are being publicized by apps, maps, search engines, directories and social networks in connection with your business.

If your business is going to continue to thrive, you need to reach Millennial audiences. We can help you use business reviews to make this possible.