10 signs you might need a web site redesign

Posted by & filed under website tips.

There are two main groups of people I work with for web development: those who have an existing web site and those who have never had a site.

Those who have never had a web site before very often do not understand the scope of what is involved in developing and maintaining a web site. What they look for in their first web site is not usually what they look for in the subsequent versions of their sites.

It’s kind of like when you bought your very first computer. You didn’t know what you needed, so you relied primarily on recommendations of those who already had one. The next time you upgraded your computer, you knew what was important to you and the focus in your purchasing decision was made on those factors rather than the recommendations of other people.

As you use your site, you figure out what is important to you and your business.

It isn’t necessary to constantly redo your web site, but just as we remodel our homes, upgrade our smart phones, and replace our computers, over time a web site redesign comes due.

Below are 10 signs that your web site might be due for a redesign.

Mobile web site options for 2014

Posted by & filed under website tips.

The online marketing environment has changed dramatically over the past few years.  It’s not just about your web site, it also includes social media.  It’s not just about textual content; it’s also about communicating through images and video.

And it’s not just people sitting at their desk and doing a search on their computer for information and services, but they are sitting on their patio looking for information on their tablets, or on their couch browsing information on their smart TV’s, or looking up information on the run . . . literally . . . through their smart phones.

To be competitive, your web site has to accommodate the browsing habits of your target market.  For small businesses that don’t have an IT team solely dedicated to developing a site and internet applications, the question is how to best do that most efficiently in a cost effective manner.

There are three main options to providing a mobile friendly site for visitors.

Images for use in social media

Posted by & filed under Business Social Media.

Several months ago, I started a new personal blog. Now when you start a new site, there are a few ways you can go to build traffic:  do keyword research and write content targeted for search traffic and link building, network with other high traffic sites in your niche and link building, pay for traffic, or promote your site through social media.

Most people do a combination of all of the above, along with a focus on building their own email list.

I know how to do all that and I do that on other site, but on this sites, I just didn’t want to write with keywords in mind.  I want to write what I want to write about.  Also, some of the topics I write about on this site are things a lot of people would be interested in, but they aren’t searching for.

Since I nixed two legs of a standard traffic building strategy, I had to focus on building an audience through social media sites.  There are a variety of ways I’ve been doing this, but the primary focus has been consistent updates using images.

And it’s worked.

You Only Have Their Attention for a Second

It’s a statement of fact in a culture where a large percentage of the population’s primary form of communication is texts full of abbreviations and hashtags that you only have a few seconds to catch their attention.

You can write awesome content, and you should, but people are probably just going to read the headline.  How many times have you seen a friend share an article on Facebook and by their comment, it is very obvious that they didn’t even read it.

What percentage of shares on your newsfeeds are images?  It may vary depending on the demographics of your friends and fans, but I would put a bet on it being a high percentage.

new shoes new launch

Posted by & filed under Latest News.

I”m sure you’ve heard the adage, “A cobbler’s children have no shoes.”

That has pretty much summed up the condition of this web site for the past couple of years.  In focusing on other projects, both for clients and our own, this site has been allowed to coast.

When someone asked, “Do you have a web site?”  Well, of course, but it was so out-of-date, I hated to send people to it.

When a new client asked, “Do you have examples of work you’ve done?” I had to literally send links because I hadn’t updated the site portfolio in so long.

Making the Decision to Upgrade

Part of the issue was I wanted to redesign and upgrade the site all at once.  During the time I was considering the update, Joomla (which the base site is on) was going through a series of updates.  The major updates usually require some editing to the site template, so I wanted to wait until that settled.

Also, as I have mentioned previously, the biggest issue with migrating a Joomla site through a major update is not the content and the core system itself.  That is usually fairly easy.  Where it gets hairy is all the add on components and plugins.  The time consuming part is looking through all of the existing add ons you are using and checking to see if they are compatible with the new Joomla core as well as with each other.  If not, a new solution has to be found.

The second issue was deciding how to accommodate mobile devices.  Now responsive designs are the accepted standard; however, even as late as 2012 Google was recommending a separate subdomain for mobile.  It wasn’t until 2013 that responsive gained wide acceptance.

Beyond platform and mobile considerations, I went back and forth on the look I wanted to move to.  I actually liked the previous design, it was just starting to look dated.  I actually design two other layouts that were never launched.  The first one was based off the design of this tri-fold display that I really liked.

visual aspects of marketing

Posted by & filed under Topic of the Day.

Today’s topic of the day was on how to incorporate visual elements into your marketing  to pack more of a punch.  With all of the options online sharing options including video sites like Youtube and Dailymotion and image sharing sites such as Flickr, Instagram, and Pinterest, it is almost criminal not to make use of them in your marketing efforts.

Below is a recap of the topics covered if you were following along with us on LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter.