Amy Andrews - November 16th, 2011
Some web frames and Flash cannot be viewed on iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices at this point, so if you have a navigation that is made with Flash, we would just restructure it to be plain text links
Test to make sure all images look good and remove, replace, or update images that do not
Restructure pop-out menus so that the navigation works properly
Reduce large text size
Look at your website colors and make sure they are easy to read on a mobile device
It is important that your website is working properly and it is easy to read the content on a mobile device. Content like your phone number and address will most likely be the number one thing people search for on their mobile devices as well as blog posts or support pages. It's important that your contact page, supporting pages, and blog look good and are easy to read on mobile devices so your visitors do not get frustrated when viewing your website on their mobile device.
According to the IDC (http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23028711) "By 2015, more U.S. Internet users will access the Internet through mobile devices than through PCs or other wireline devices." This statistic alone would make me want my website to be easily accessible on mobile devices.
Shawn - September 17th, 2010
One of the hardest things for a small business owner to do is to differentiate themselves from their competition. But what’s the one thing that we see all too frequently? Pre-made website templates that make them look like a million other people.
To add insult to that injury some template providers break down the designs into categories so there’s a selection of real estate templates or ones “specially designed” for florists.
So what templates are your competitors gravitating towards? The same ones you are because they contain the industry specialized sections that you need and that same pool of stock images.
So here are your biggest issues with pre-fab website templates:
Visitors will probably judge you by how professional and creative your website is (or is not)
You’ll lose that edge, the distinction that you want associated with your brand and company
One size doesn’t fit all
You always get what you pay for
The most popular pre-made templates (one of which you'd probably choose) are used on thousands of other websites (and can be easily recognized by potential customers who are browsing your industry in search of a resource)
Your creative options are vastly limited and everything you do must conform to the pre-made template design
While it’s true that expense is usually the number one reason that business owners flock to the template-style websites, the face of your business is the one place you shouldn’t skimp; what you’re paying for is a first impression.
You need to use better, stronger, slicker tools than your opponents to set yourself apart. And if you stand out from the crowd, you need never look back.
Shawn - September 8th, 2010
While content is king and professionally designed websites are the best way to show your clients what you’ve got; videos are an excellent way to bring even more life to your site.
We’ve seen examples of videos used to the extreme and they can really lose their effectiveness, but one of the most influential ways you can use videos on your website is on your testimonials page.
Testimonials in general can really be powerful if they are genuine because people do like to read what other people’s impressions are about your goods and services. But the video testimonial brings an entirely new dimension to that power. A potential customer actually gets to hear the enthusiasm in your customer’s voice; they’re not just reading a string of exclamation marks!!!
We’ve worked with customers who even go so far as to create a testimonial montage with graphics and music and really create an impressively professional show of it.
In addition to using video for testimonials, they are also a great way to demonstrate how products operate and of course to provide tutorials.
We saw a website that sells trailer hitches and they embedded a comprehensive video on exactly how to connect one to a truck. The installer held up every piece of the assembly kit so the buyer got a really good look and feel of the item they were ordering online.
Besides getting to see what they were getting, they were also able to see for themselves that it was in fact something that could be installed in under 15 minutes. If you combine a how-to video on your website with e-commerce capabilities, you’ve really got a comprehensive way to give your customers a comfort level and put a face on your company.
There are seemingly limitless options on how you can leverage video. How are you guys using video on your websites?
Shawn - August 3rd, 2010
Do You Need a Website for Your Business?
It’s not just because we run a website design company in Tampa Bay that our answer to that question is “yes!” The need for a website for your business is probably as important as having a stack of business cards on hand to give to potential clients.
The reasons to have a website are pretty straightforward:
Because people Google everything
Because it’s the most efficient way to present your credentials and services in one easy- to-update venue
Because every other business has one
As small businesses grow and turn a profit they can start to afford things like PR professionals and marketing strategies to improve their business.
But with I guess probably no exception, whether you run Joe’s Plumbing or Walmart…the website is your hub: the storehouse for your goods and services detail, your case studies, your testimonials; and it can also provide a platform on which people can pay you.
Websites are available in zillions of sizes and shapes; they can be extraordinarily complex with all kinds of built-in blogs and bells and whistles or they can be a basic template that is customized with your colors and logo and a Home Page, Services Page, and a Contact Us Page.
If it is designed correctly from the beginning, a website can grow with you. Easy to use content management system (CMS) add-ons will also enable you to tweak your content to reflect changes in business scope and to keep your verbiage current.
Basically, there’s nothing static about a website. It’s not a brochure that you create and print and then have to update and reprint and re-disburse. Websites can be optimized and edited and can keep pace with your target audience.
A website is a living/breathing thing, just like your business. It can be adapted and it can be enhanced, but you can never be without one.
Shawn - July 27th, 2010
We recently had the opportunity of attending the second Front-End Design Conference right here in Tampa Bay! There are quite a few reasons why we enjoy attending these conferences. Most importantly, we feel it's our duty to support events in Tampa Bay that are related to our industry. Most people are quite surprised at the amount of talent we have here in Tampa Bay! Secondly, it's always great to network with others, hear some great speakers, and get reinvigorated!
This years event marks the second Front-End Design Conference. We attended last year as well. Dan Denney and his family/team did a wonderful job putting together this conference. I'm always amazed at the speakers he's able to bring in from all around the world for this event. We had a great time, as always, and are eagerly looking forward to next year's event!
Here's some of the slides from the keynotes at the conference for those that are interested: