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Website Education Center

Unless otherwise noted, the articles in the blog have been written by Susan Metoxen, the owner and lead developer for White Buffalo Websites. Susan is an Adjunct Instructor at Saint Paul College in the Computer Science department. She has extensive experience supporting small businesses and has an MBA from the University of St Thomas. You can learn more about Susan at SusanMetoxen.com, her resume website, and at WebDevStudents.com, her website for students of web development. 

Escaping the Corporate World

By Susan Metoxen | February 2, 2020
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Worried Office Worker

Is it better to work as a freelancer or as a corporate employee? Whether you would be happier as a freelancer or in a corporate job depends on many factors. After working in a corporate job for 30 years, I left the corporate world and became a freelancer. I love freelancing and wouldn’t go back to a corporate job unless was compelled to. However… …I make about half as much money as I made in corporate. …I pay $500 a month for health insurance. …I work more hours than I did in corporate. …The first couple years I lived primarily on savings. …I do not get paid vacations or sick time. …I do not receive any paid training and I need to pay for professional memberships. For me, so many positives out weigh the negatives. I get more sleep now and feel healthier and happier. My dress clothes are in the back of my closet and are rarely used. What…

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Keyword Strategy Tool for SEO Copywriting

By Susan Metoxen | December 19, 2019
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SEO with rocket

The most difficult part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is deciding on the right keywords for your SEO copywriting. Before you begin copywriting, your first task in improving your SEO is to find your keywords. If you try to work on SEO without knowing the right keywords to reach your audience you will have limited success. It would be like navigating on a camping trip without a compass. You need to know your keywords or you will get lost along the way. The keywords are the key phrases that customers will use to search for you on Google and other search engines. The key phrases you choose need to be an intersection of the service and product you provide and the words that customers use to search for you. In order to choose the best key phrases, you must put yourself in the shoes of your customers and see yourself as they see you. In other words, your goal is to…

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10 Reasons To Take Web Fundamentals/HTML (CSCI 1450) at Saint Paul College

By Susan Metoxen | December 19, 2019
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Students standing around a computer

Read our 10 reasons why you should study web development. Susan Metoxen, owner of White Buffalo LLC, is an instructor in Web Development at Saint Paul College.

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SEO Copywriting for College Admissions

By Sara Robbert | December 11, 2019
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As enrollment in private institutions decreases in the US, admissions teams are looking for the best ways to find potential students. College admissions teams across the country are asking, “How can I increase my college admission?” The most effective modern-day strategy for getting your university in front of college-bound students is to enhance your online presence through SEO copywriting. SEO copywriting includes choosing the best keywords and optimizing your website content for those keywords. This will make it clear to Google and potential students why they should explore your college.  Specialization in College Admissions When hiring for copywriting and website development it’s ideal to hire someone who knows your industry. I’m Sara Robbert, copywriter & editor at White Buffalo Websites. Over the course of my career I have worked for five years in the admissions office of private colleges. Three of those years were in full-time work as a Senior Admissions Counselor. These years deepened my knowledge of the admissions world…

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Up-Sell, Cross-Sell and Related Products in WooCommerce

By Susan Metoxen | November 10, 2019
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shopping cart on a computer screen to symbolize ecommerce

Confused about how to use the Up-Sell, Cross-Sell, and Related Products features in WooCommerce? You are not alone. It can be challenging to wade through the differences among the three options and know which is the right one to use for your products. One of the reasons why WooCommerce is the best eCommerce solution is because it provides powerful tools for increasing sales…for FREE. Up-Sell, Cross-Sell and Related Products are built into the Core of WooCommerce without the need for additional plugins. Used correctly, the Up-Sells and Cross-Sells in particular can be powerful tools to increase sales. What are Up-Sells, Cross-Sells and Related Products? Up-Sells are used to entice the customer into purchasing an upgraded model. In other words, they up-sell the customer. Since the customer has not yet chosen the primary product, the WooCommerce places the Up-Sell products in the obvious location – on the product page. Cross-Sells are used to offer additional items related to the primary item.…

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Writing for SEO

By Susan Metoxen | September 11, 2019
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Three scrabble tiles spelling out S E O

Quality Writing Helps Your Customers Find You on the Web Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of adapting a website to increase the number of website visitors. Search engines, like Google and Bing, are looking for quality information on a web page in order to decide where to put it in search results. Their search bots read the words on the page to decide what your webpage is about. They judge the quality of the information on the web page and decide where it should fall in the search results. For example, say your company sells wedding cakes in Nome, Alaska. Six other bakeries in the area also sell wedding cakes. When an engaged couple types, “wedding cake Nome” into the search bar, you want your company to be at the top of the list. Improving the quality of the words used in your website will move your website ahead of the other six websites that sell wedding cakes.…

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Shared Hosting vs. WordPress Website Hosting

By Susan Metoxen | September 11, 2019
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A website is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies for businesses. The cost of shared hosting vs. WordPress hosting varies dramatically from $3 to $45/month. You should understand the pros and cons of these different options when choosing a website server. Shared Hosting For $3-$15/month, a website can be placed on “shared hosting.” At White Buffalo Websites, we offer shared hosting to our customers at no cost. We currently host over one hundred business and student websites through shared hosting. It is important to read the fine print when looking at servers that are advertised at a lower price. To purchase a server for $3/month, you are often required to purchase five years of website hosting. You are free to leave this host before the five years are up but you won’t get your money back. Most shared hosting plans come with a cPanel which is a benefit. This makes it simple to set up email for employees and…

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Choosing the Right WordPress Theme

By Susan Metoxen | September 11, 2019
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Buffalo in a beautiful green field

“Do I want a Page Builder?” When I first started making WordPress websites, the advice I generally about choosing a WordPress theme read went something like this: When you make a WordPress website you can either start with one of the free themes or purchase a premium theme. There are many wonderful themes to choose from for your website. Well, that didn’t turn out to be the best advice for me. I used a number of free themes, and each theme has a major learning curve on learning how to use it. I soon saw the value of using paid premium themes, but when you use one, all of the extra features add to the confusion of how to use it. If you start with the free version of a theme and upgrade to the paid version, most of the time you lose your theme settings. Plus, purchasing a theme isn’t a one-time purchase, you need to renew it every…

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Risk Management in WordPress: Techniques to keep your website up and running

By Susan Metoxen | July 29, 2019
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Do you love the idea that WordPress is open source? That it comes with a built in CMS (Customer Management System) that allows you to make changes to your website without a developer? That so many additional functionalities are capable in the WordPress community…often for free? We all love WordPress! That is why WordPress powers 1/3 of the World Wide Web. But there is a downside to WordPress as well. WordPress is a combination of the WordPress Core, the theme you add to your website, and the various plugins you add for additional functionality. What this means is that when there is a failure, it is very hard to know who to call for help. There will be some finger pointing among the theme developer and plugin developers. Of course, if you are using the free version of the theme or plugins, the only place you can call for help is your website host or your web developer, if you…

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Shopify vs. WooCommerce

By Susan Metoxen | July 26, 2019
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Which is the better eCommerce solution? This article compares the two eCommerce systems with which I have had experience, WooCommerce and Shopify. WooCommerce and Shopify are the two biggest players in the eCommerce website market. When I first had the opportunity to make eCommerce websites, I read several articles online to decide on an eCommerce system to use. My initial research in 2015 brought me to choose Shopify as the best online eCommerce solution. I called Shopify and talked through the website I planned to make on their platform, and the customer service staff were very helpful. Shopify is developer friendly, and they helped me set up a developer account so I could make staging websites for my clients. And at only $29 a month, the price was right. A few years and several websites later, I was less sure about Shopify. Every time a client needed an additional feature on their website, their monthly invoice went up. One client…

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