Well, as you can see, I have finished a redesign that has been in the works for some time. The project was put on the back burner as some other things came up that we had to deal with. But, everything is now complete and should make the site run better than ever.
As part of this big summer update, I decided to totally rebuild the code on all current client's website in a way that should make them more faster, have better function and be more streamlined. As a byproduct of this process, these sites have also received a mild redesign. Examples of this can be seen in the new website menu featured above.
There will be more updates in the near future, so stay tuned.
Well, it's time for another “Webmaster Tip.” Previously we covered why it is a good idea to trust a professional with your company or promotional website needs. Today, I would like to answer a question that I have heard over the years more than anything else: Why does my local business need a website or online presence?
Over the years I have had a lot of small business owners from various walks of life ask me that question. And usually it is followed by a this statement or one quite similar: I do just fine with the customers that walk in the door. But is that the truth? Are things just fine the way that they are? Has your business or promotion grown since then or stayed the same.
Sadly to say, most of those same business that I mentioned are no longer operating and their doors have closed permanently. And those that are still in operation have indeed stayed the same both in size and growth. That's not to say that they have all ended up that way, but the vast majority have. Would things have been different had those individuals answered differently? Would they still be in operation. That I can not tell you for sure. But what I can tell you, is that they would have had the tools to grown in new ways to survive at least for a longer period of time.
Let me be blunt here. There is no doubt that the country is in the midst of a recession. And this region has been hit harder than most. As I drive through downtown, these days I see more and more empty windows along the sidewalks where there used to be stores filling the streets. And those of us that live around here know that the economy in Southern Oregon is already quite fickle. If the customers are unhappy or you miss the tourism or sunny season, your business can struggle for the remainder of the year. Getting through those slow months can be a real challenge. And that's where an online presence can really come in handy.
Not only will it help your company or promotion reach the customer base, but reach a wider audience that has not seen what your business has to offer. In the old days it was easy. Your storefront gets listed in the phone book, perhaps you bring in some advertisement in the local paper, radio or television and get the word out hoping that you can get some people in your doors. These days, things are a bit more complicated. Sure those same options are still there, but less and less people read the newspapers, televisions are equipped wit the ability to mute or skip commercials and people have learned to tune out any advertisements in general. And that listing in the phone book? It's reaching less potential customers each day.
Why? Because of the invention of the smart phone. Why bother checking the phone book when you can search online? Why even have one come to your house when you can simply search your area? In fact, a growing number of residents no longer even have a land line and only carry cellular numbers. Leaving those only listed in the phone book right off the list.
And with this growing dependence on the internet, word of mouth the old fashioned way is a thing of the past. No longer do people sit around the vending machines talking about their latest find. No, they can spread the word faster now, telling not just their co workers, friends or family, but everybody that they know through just a few keystrokes across facebook. A discussion can a little something like this:
Hey I found this great business or service in town today
Great, so where is it? Do they have a facebook page? Website?
In general, people want to see the place they are going and what it is about before they commit to making a trip these days. So if your online and social media presence is lacking or missing, you can miss out on a much bigger potential customer base than any traditional source would have given you.
Let me put it this way. How many potential customers can you depend on passing by your door each day? A few hundred perhaps? How many may see or hear your ad on the radio or television? A couple thousand? But the vast majority of people in today's world have a smart phone and most of those have access to facebook and the internet. Many of which practically live their lives around it. Just look how many posts that can flood your feed about somebody's cat, child, or favorite food or place to eat.
So, in today's market, if you don't have a place to reach those customers, you just might be hurting yourself in the long run.
I have been a webmaster now for a very long time. And, in turn, I have talked to a lot of people about building them a website for their business. Some say yes and others no, but there is a third group that I see quite often that does not see the point of even having a website or hiring somebody to make and run a professional page.
Today, I would like to talk about “why should I hire a professional?” Well, that is a good question and I am going to give you as many reasons why trusting a professional, like myself or other webmasters, is a better idea than going the alternate path
1) Functionality – Sure, you can give that son of that friend of yours 200 dollars to make you a page. And based off of his style and experience with graphic design and digital art, I am sure that you just might end up with a very stylish page that looks very pleasing to the eye. But will everything work as intended?
Will all your links, images, databases and videos point to the appropriate file locations, look right, display or align properly? And what happens the moment that you find something that is not quite right? How do you get a hold of this individual? A call to your friend? Sorry, my son is back at college now. He is busy
2) Growth – Let's say that this individual gave you a website that does work. The style is everything that you like and it conveys your business message perfectly. Or you visit a template site and you craft a page that you are happy with. What happens then?
Is there somebody there to show you how to grow your company with an online presence? How to take advantage of social media and how to gain a following through facebook, twitter and search engine listings? I would venture to guess that many of these times the answer would be a no. And that is quite sad considering how important that the online business marketplace is in today's world.
3) Professionalism – Sure, you can get away with making your own site with these templates or hire somebody who is going to save you a lot of money to make a site on the side, but at what cost? And will it hurt your business? Some people may think that it doesn't and that their online viewership is not important, but in today's age it is quite vital.
When you are looking for a business service to say repair your car, your home or build you a product, what do you do? Most people head to their phone and computer and check to see if that company has a website, facebook account and just who they are. Gone are the days of just checking the phone book and making calls. Why? Because you can get a whole lot more information with just a few finger clicks and see just who you are potentially hiring.
In fact, many people, myself included, don't even receive a phone book and online searching is the only option to finding a business or service. So, if your store or service is unlisted online, that leaves you outside the view of a lot of customers.
4) Your Business Image – Related to my previous point, what you put on the internet is just as important, if not more, than having nothing at all. Let me explain:
Over the years, I have seen a lot of businesses that have had the same same website for five or even ten years. Many of them designed off some of these ready made designs that are painfully outdated, look unprofessional and have missing features when it comes to today's internet. Sure they have a website, but it serves no purpose and both their website and business has remained stagnant for years, or is gone all together. Why is that? Because a resource that could have been used to bring more customers in, showed them what those businesses were about and a place for interaction to their customer base was more of a burden than resource.
Think of it like this: When you open a storefront, you want to put your best foot forward. Successful companies hire designers, make plans for their layouts and try and make the most professional store that is both pleasing to them, but also their customers that gives them the best way to find products, see them on display and make them want to buy those products or services. You want a growing business, so your storefront is important to you.
Sure, your website and social media may be out of site and you can't physically touch it, but it is still a storefront. The big difference is the scope. While your physical store has one location set to attract the most customers in your city, those online services have millions of fronts. Thousands in your own town alone.
And you want to put your best foot forward to those millions of people walking into your store if you want them to stay and make a purchase either from your site or your local store. And if you want the best chance for those same customers to come back, it's far more important to be professionally crafted than save some money.
Let me finish off by asking you this. We wouldn't hire somebody unqualified to repair our car, work on our house, or build us a store so why be willing to do that with a website? I know that I wouldn't
As of yesterday, a new website project that I had been working on for some time officially launched. The website hosts a brand new web comic series titled "Mika's Cafe."
This site functions around the Wordpress application. This offered many advantages as well as challenges in the developmental process.
Over the last few days, I completed both a front and back end overhaul to the untapped website. Included in this overhaul was a featured image and gallery system that makes adding images a much easier process than previously
Over the last week or so, I have been making various graphical updates to the website that I think improve the overall design.
I have also been working on several videos on the youtube channel. The next step is to get the videos to update here to the website more cleanly. Hopefully I will have the system ironed out by the end of the week.
Until then, happy gaming
Well after several months of work, several ditched design concepts, coding issues as well as family matters, the new website is fully ready to be launched. Hopefully the work that has been put into this will help both the website and channel in the long run.
On top of this, another website that had been previously built will also be seeing a full relaunch this week. I will post a link there after everything is finished
New Design And Client Code Revamp
Webmaster Tips Article 1 - Why Hire a Webmaster
Jimmy Kimmel responds to Youtube Gaming Anger
Madden 16 New Features: Parody
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