November 16, 2017
Over time you could find that the luster and shine of your website have faded. This is normal, especially with the constant change and advances in design, technology, and trends. For the most part, there is no need to panic! If you have kept your website updated, all your content is relevant and your website is mobile friendly than you can work with a developer or a designer to make subtle changes to bring your websites aesthetic up to date. Here are a few things you might like to consider to help your website stand the test of time.
A big part of design over the years has been minimalism. A minimalistic design will never go out of style. Overcrowded websites saturated with colors, pictures, and design elements are a trend that died out years ago. These aspects of a website can make the overall look and feel seem dated. Sticking with clean lines, a good amount of white space and carefully chosen pictures can prolong the period of time needed before you have to update the design of your website.
We touched on minimalism, but your color choices should also reference your business and branding. If your branding is and logo is green consider using a dark green color for headers, borders, and links. These minor changes help your customers recognize your online branding. Small splashes of color, carefully planned can stay stylish for many years to come.
Content is always going to be one of the most important aspects of your website. A consumer wants to be able to find the relevant information in a simple and concise manner. Keep your website content as minimal as possible without losing meaning. For the most part, a potential client will not want to read an entire page of information for each product you have on offer. Try to limit most descriptions to one paragraph.
These are just a few of the simple things that can be done quickly to bring your website into the modern online environment. For more information or to begin a project click here.
November 09, 2017
When you are working with a web developer or even building a website on your own, there will come a point in the project that you will need to host your website. There are two options when it comes to hosting a website, you can either buy a server and use this to run your website from or you can purchase a hosting plan. Self-hosting may seem like a good idea until you really look at this option and all of the drawbacks. For a small business trying to host their own website the potential risk, cost and headache can be more of a burden than a benefit.
Let's look at a few of the biggest differences between self-hosting and a web hosting plan.
Knowledge: If you have decided to go the self-hosting route, you will need to prepare yourself for all of the intricate and crucial technology, codes, maintenance and database languages that come with owning a server. For the most part, this can take months and years of study and practice. If you are purchasing a hosting plan from a web developer you are not going to personally deal with any of the backends. Your developer and the hosting company should be able to handle anything that comes up in a quick an timely manner, they know how to deal with the common issues and troubleshoot larger ones.
Security: This is one of the biggest issues a self-hosted website will run into. You will not have peace of mind no matter what. A small business is incapable of monitoring their server at all times of the day. You will be open to hacks and be risking yours and your customer's personal information. With a web developer hosting plan, the web developer is often partnered with a larger company that has employees that monitor the security of the server, has the finances to invest in advanced firewalls and security algorithms and a team that offers 24-hour support.
Up-time: With self-hosting, unless you have invested in backup generators and backup servers you can not guarantee your website is up an running. If you have a power outage you could be offline for hours or days. If a power outage flickers your server could become damaged or corrupt. Without a backup server, you could lose your website to a plethora of accidents. With a developer hosting plan, you have the peace of mind knowing that your website should be up and be running 99% of the time.
For more information about web hosting or to purchase a plan click here.
Source: Q Digital Studio
November 02, 2017
There are few things during the year that people look forward to as much as the holidays. Though stressful we as consumers and customers love seeing the lights, the decorations, and the festive colors. With the rise of e-commerce and website based purchasing going through the roof, as a small business owner, it might be a good idea to maximize the holiday exposure and consider adding festive touches to your website. Specifically the homepage of your website.
There are a few simple things you can change on your website to really invoke the holiday spirit! Here is a small list of some of the quickest and easiest changes!
- Header and titles are an easy thing that can be adjusted to fit the holiday spirit. One of the easiest changes is the color of your header and other titles text on your homepage. Though most designers now shy away from the overused traditional colors of red and green and tend to lean closer to the softer golds, silvers and other beautiful metallic colors. If this does not fit your websites aesthetic try using a darker red or a darker green.
- Images should be clean, classy and minimalistic. You should shy away from over stimulating and busy photos. Classical and beautiful styled images with warm representations on happy families, hot cocoa, and cookies, or elegantly displayed bobbles.
- Borders and banners, though usually should remain the same, you can adjust them to a softer more holiday appropriate color. Only do so for the season and quickly have them returned to normal as soon as the season has come to and end.
These are just a few ways you can update your website for the hilidays without having to totally change everything about yout website. Rmeeber that many times less is more. If you are having to many issues or struggling to update you website you can alway seek out help! To start a project or just ask a few questions click here.
Source: Modern Soap Maker
October 26, 2017
As the holiday season quickly approaches many small businesses are scrambling to create holiday-themed advertisements and promotions. During the hustle and bustle, many small business owners are likely forgetting some of their most powerful tools in their tool belt. Your website and social media are two sources of some of the best and cost-effective sources of advertisements. SO how do you go about making the most of these tools without breaking your bank?
First, you should create a banner that will easily give out any necessary information such as the discount offered the dates your sale will be running and any terms or conditions that are relevant to your sale. Simplicity and minimalistic designs are a popular currently. Make sure your images are of a good quality and that your banner is not cluttered. Put your banner up a couple days before your sale begins and make sure to quickly take it down as soon as your sale ends.
Next, make sure you are updating your social media platforms often and accurately. Begin a few days before your sale or discount promotional offer begins. This will give you social media followers a chance to plan for the promotional offer, put away a few extra dollars and let others know about the event. This informs your client base and in turn, could inform by word of mouth other potential clients.
Finally with all this prepped and ready, before you launch your campaign make sure you double and then triple check all the information on your banner and planned social media posts. If you expect you will have an influx of customers during the period of your sale, you might want to hire some seasonal staff, make sure you are properly stocked on backs, business cards, and other necessary items. Remeber to plan out all of these things. It is never good to underestimate. Find a comfortable medium that will not cause you undue monetary harm, but still enough to last for the whole of the sale.
These are just a few of the things that you can do as a small business owner to help boost your holiday season sales! For help with your website, you can click here!
October 19, 2017
Throughout the lifetime of your website, you will find that over time your branding can become dated and relatively old looking. This is normal and you will need to occasionally update branding and the design of your website. If it has been a long time since you have updated your website you may be in need of a total rebranding. This sounds like a huge undertaking but if you follow some simple steps you can be surprised how easy and straightforward a reading can be.
The first thing you are going to want to do is research. This includes things such as gathering customer opinions, getting third-party input and discussing a redesign with a professional web developer or designer. You want to make sure you get a strong idea of what you want to do while in your research phase. You should take the time to look at pricing, time frames and even look ing multiple professionals who can successfully complete this project.
Next, you should make a concise plan. If you are working with a professional web developer you will want to sit down with them and work on estimating the time each phase of the redesign will take. Write out these estimates as a guide with deadlines. Before the project begins you will need to provide your developer/designer with all of the information, content, and pictures they will need in an organized collection of files and folders.
Finally, you will need to actually start the project. Do not micromanage your redesign team. Work with them to achieve your goals, and keep them on task. Remember that as long as they are meeting their deadlines and the work is being quality controlled you do not need to be overly involved. Many times a small business will hire freelance individuals for this process, a freelancer can be busy so as long as their projects are being completed your position is that of a final approver.
Be careful and remember that as the project progresses your plan is what the project is being based on. Additional work that is not previously agreed upon could change your overall cost and time to completion.
For more information or to start a project click here.
October 12, 2017
Every small business owner is well aware of how important it is to have a website. In the modern online world, many have chosen to build their own website. Sometimes this can be a great way to save money. Many times, since it is not a professionally built website it is lacking in a few of the essential details that should be on every small business's website. Here are a few things that you need on your business homepage to elevate it!
Navigation: Your websites navigation bar should be easily found and simple enough that anyone can use it. You can be creative to a degree but make sure you have a few people test it out before you make your website live. If you are not sure or your navigation is hard to use you will find that a potential customer will quickly click away from your website.
Contact information: Every website should have basic contact information. Many small business owners who create their own website often times forget one of the three major contact information categories. You need to have your address, an email and a telephone number. Each of these needs a static spot on your website, either in your header and footer.
Sign-up: A great deal of online marketing is done through email and e-blasts. If you do not have a newsletter sign-up box on your homepage you are missing out on a lot of potential email addresses that you could be used in future advertising campaigns.
Social media: With the rise of social media, every major company and a majority of small business are taking the time to create and manage social media accounts. Social media is running the world currently and a good social media presence can change your company for good. Make sure you have your social media accounts linked either in your header or footer.
These are just a few things that a website could be lacking. One of the best ways to make sure your website is the best ti can be is to hire a professional either to create or manage your website. To find out more or to start a project click here.
October 05, 2017
There are few things that can ruin your business and online brand as bad as losing your domain. Your entire website is at risk of simply disappearing in the blink of an eye and someone sitting behind a random computer screen anywhere in the world could have bought your domain. Your domain can now be turned into any website the new owner wants or held for ransom! You could have to pay out money to get your websites name returned to you!
For the most part, this does not usually happen. WIth the majority of domain hosting companies, there is an automatic renewal function that will charge your credit card annually. It is always a smart decision to allow this automatic renewal.
Now if you are like a human you may make mistakes. You could have changed your bank or lost your credit card and forgot to update your information with your domain agency. For many of us small business owners this mistake can be quickly rectified. For larger businesses, it could be horrible. Believe it or not companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Heinze have all made these mistakes and luckily it was resolved for the most part.
Sadly with Sorenson Communications, this is not the case. The company provides telephone and other communication services to the deaf, hard of hearing and speech disabled persons. For nearly a week all of the customers who relied on Sorenson were cut off from their services. The FCC stepped in to investigate and found that this mistake was completely avoidable. Because of this Sorenson was fined $3 million!
Though unlikely that you losing your domain for a few days will cost you millions of dollars, you should always update your account. Keep your card information accurate and you should never have to worry! For more information or to start a web development project click here.
Source: Naked Security
September 28, 2017
Some aspects of managing your website are simple, straightforward and relatively easy. Small updates to your contact information, uploading photos and blog posts are all updates you or an employee can handle in a few mins to a couple of hours depending on what is needed. Larger updates such as PayPal integration and design changes should be handled by a professional. You could have serious consequences if you begin to poke around in your website code without proper training. There are some solutions to these issues that you can try.
Training: You can always have a web developer professional train you or an employee in the basics of your website. Over a few days or weeks your web developer should be able to explain the backend of your website. How to add pages, pictures, and blogs. During the training try to make sure your developer sets aside a decent portion of time to explain the adjustment of headers and footers.
Codes: Most professional and proficient web developers will section off their actual codes that make up the basic framework for your website. When discussing the initial creation of your website insist that they label individual sections. Labeling can save you time and money if you have to have another web developer fix an issue. Do not force your web developer to spend time trying to teach you basic coding. The likely hood of your web developer having used multiple coding languages on your website is high. Each coding language is a lot like an actual spoken language. Unique, hard to teach quickly, and time-consuming to learn. If you wish to have a proficient coding person on hand, contracting your web developer or invest in courses for an employee or yourself.
Simplicity: If you keep a clean and simple theme and design throughout your website you will find that editing, updating and cleaning old information is much easier. An organized house is easier to tidy than a messy one. Keep a minimalistic approach throughout your entire website and you will bypass the need for constant professional assistance.
These are a few things that can help you keep your website from becoming a burden on your time, money and business. For larger problems, you should always get the help of a professional. If you are a small business that can not spare the time a freelance web developer may also be a wise decision. For more information or to start a website development project click here.