Customer Tales: Jennifer Carello DeRosa of Toto Coaching and Toto SEO (formerly TechCare)
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“Your website is only as good as its backup…”
…says Jennifer Carello, Founder of Toto Coaching and Toto SEO (formerly TechCare) who has designed and developed hundreds of client websites. She believes that clean and easy navigation is imperative to a good website
Toto Coaching and Toto SEO have just turned 2 and as a speaker, coach, instructor, web designer, and developer, the company’s founder Jennifer DeRosa knows only too well the intricacies and challenges behind creating successful and appealing sites.
An accomplished Novell engineer based in Florida, Jennifer has trained in some of the acclaimed technology institutes in the New York area and at MIT. Her eye for detail and enthusiasm to keep up with the rapid changes engulfing the technology sector is what has helped her in designing unique and customized websites for her clients that meet their specific needs.
Having started out in the mid 1990s when mostly Notepad and HTML were in use, Jennifer feels that while the technology itself has become quite complex, it allows you do a lot more things than you could have ever imagined at an earlier time.
“Back then, the internet was still fairly new, and everyone at that point used a dial up service. Animated gifs were the “in” thing. I thought writing the html back then was pretty simple because the pages were pretty simple. Since the 90s, so much has changed. Now we can use CSS to modify our sites, which was not available back then. We build sites in databases which are much more complex. So I have to say things were much simpler back then,” she explains.
As someone interested in introducing children to the latest technology for better learning, Jennifer has gone out of her way to help students develop their digital footprint.
As a web designer working in the industry for over 25 years, what do you think has changed in the field over the years?
Years ago, the person who built your website could also be the person who built your server in your corporate environment, and possibly also the person who installed your phone system. Technology was lumped into one category since there was so much less of it. Nowadays, you have to specialize in something particular. Not only do I have to just design and produce websites, I need to be an “expert” in one or two technologies. There is so much to know that there are very few people who can know everything. I think this is the biggest change in the industry.
What, according to you, are the key elements in successful web design and development?
First and foremost, the thing which will make your website successful is a clean and easy to use navigation. Visitors to the website want to find the information that they need quickly and easily with the least number of clicks. If a person “gets lost” on your site or has trouble finding information, they will not come back, and therefore, you have lost a potential customer. Of course, good design is intriguing and helps, along with great photos and imagery, but most important is navigation.
What is the one back up problem that you would like to solve?
The biggest challenge when choosing a backup program is the restore process. You can have the best backup in the world, but if you cannot restore the backup, it is of no use. Likewise, if it takes a web developer hours upon hours to restore a site, the labor costs outweighs a paid service if used even once.
Why do you think WordPress backup is important?
I have had a handful of clients who have been hacked due to outdated software on the backend of their site. Some of these clients had no backup at all. These clients have had to spend quite a bit of money getting their site cleaned – by having a developer comb through files and database entries for rogue software injections from being hacked. If they had had a backup, a restore would have been painless and quick. As I say, your website is only as good as it’s backup. If you have not been hacked, that day may be coming. Don’t be surprised.
How do you use blogVault and what is it that you like about it?
I recommend blogVault to all of my customers. Many of them sign up for the service. I have used blogVault to restore sites after getting hacked, and also to move sites from one domain to another. Using blogVault for that purpose is amazingly easy. I like that the files are backed up off site, not on your own server. I like that you can test a restore of your site on their servers, or download your backup. I also really like that a month of backups is kept which is important if you need to go to a backup from a while ago. The support is also top notch; I have only the best things to say about the support. I love the one click restore feature most of all. This is the biggest benefit of blogvault.
What do you like the most about WordPress?
I love WordPress because it is easy to create pages, menus, and to make global changes in just a few clicks. With flat HTML pages, if you would like to make a global change, in many cases, you must touch each file on the website. With WordPress, you can save hours upon hours in mundane programming and spend time on the more important things such as embellishments, content and design.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced with WordPress?
I think WordPress is great because there is so much development to extend the software. Many people in all parts of the world who would never have a chance to make a living can create themes or plugins and have success. On the other hand, many of these people write something fantastic and then “disappear”, so that when another piece of software is updated and their software breaks, it can sometimes be difficult to find these people or get support. So WordPress is a great thing because of this and also a difficult thing because of this.
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