Biggest Mistakes of DIY Websites.

There are many DIY Website these days and many business and individuals who are using them to develop their websites as a way to save an extra buck. The truth of the matter that many eventually realize is that DIY are much more expensive than hiring a professional designer at the end of the day.

There are many reasons that you should consider which you can read more here.

There are many mistakes out there but we shall cover just some of our top 6 that we have been able to observe:

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is very crucial for all website. If your website is not easily found by Google, then it is as good as it not being in existence. This is usually the best way for your clients and potential clients to be able to find you online. When this is done well you will be able to rank Highly and in turn will translate to an increase in your website traffic. More often than not DIY Websites never really offer SEO so you will have to piece together the puzzle of this perplexing practice on your own.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is very crucial and important for one to be able to gather crucial statistics about their websites. One is able to know where the origin of visitors is coming from, the devices they use, gender etc. These statistics is crucial as one is able to tailor make their products so that it meets the right clientele. This is one service that is not enabled in DIY Websites yet it very crucial and relevant.

Free Templates.

The templates that come with most DIY Websites most times are extremely basic and cannot be easily modified. This is usually very limiting as you are not able to customize the website to meet your personal or business needs. Most times one has to make an additional purchase in order for them to unlock the premium features of the template. A professional will be able to make all the edits even to a premium template so that it doesn’t look generic but is completely customized to your needs.

Responsiveness

More than 80% of websites these days are accessed from Mobile devices. When you are designing your website, you need to ensure that it first is responsive and can open on any device without losing it’s feel before developing on for your browser. Many at times DIY are not designed with mobile first in mind hence when you finish your website when you go to mobile you have challenges with the layout.

If you decide that are up to the task to tackle this process of designing your own website, there is a big chance that you will be left extremely disappointed with the outcome of all your hard work. Finding out that your site doesn’t display properly (or at all) will leave you kicking yourself for not hiring a website designer in the first place. If you want to see your website reaching your intended clientele, then DIY websites is definitely not the way to go.

If you on the other hand want your website to truly represent you, your brand, and your company, then you need to hire a website designer. Contact Us Today.

 

Increasing Your Website Traffic

There are more than a billion live and active websites in the world. This in turn shows that you already have immense competition but one thing to remember is that you are not in competition with everyone. Your goal is to get more people in your target audience to visit your site. Below are some simple ways to increase the amount of traffic that you are getting to your website.

Optimize Your Website Content

This is the key step for any website. If you want to truly increase website traffic, you first ought to ensure that your website content is optimized. Otherwise, the traffic will be fleeting and only temporary.

Have a Social Media Presence

Having great content on your website is not enough and hoping that people find it – you have to be proactive. One of the proven ways to increase traffic to your website is to use social media channels to promote your content. Share your content on your social media pages i.e. Facebook, Twiiter and Instagram among others.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), will increase traffic to your website in two ways. Initially, there’s on-page SEO. This deals with refining each page of your website with the right navigation, keywords, headlines and so on. Next is off-page SEO. This is about the same things off the pages you control. For instance, guest blogging, forum commenting, and anything that you can do to get reliable links back to your website.

Focus On Mobile Usability

Serious about driving traffic? Then you need to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. Use Google’s Page Insights Tool to check the friendliness of your mobile layout and see if it conforms to guidelines. You should also make sure that all your posts and content are AMP-specification ready.

Engage In Influencer Marketing

This is a great way to get your message out to millions of people without having your own large audience. You can leverage influencers on Twitter, Instagram and any number of other social networks. Find people who are entrenched in your niche or industry and reach out to them. This won’t be cheap, but it could potentially bring you droves of customers and sales in the near term.

Post Content to LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become much more than a means of finding another job. The world’s largest professional social network is now a valuable publishing platform in its own right, which means you should be posting content to LinkedIn on a regular basis. Doing so can boost traffic to your site, as well as increase your profile within your industry – especially if you have a moderate to large following.

Link Internally

It is just not enough that you get other sites to link back to you but you also need to improve on your internal linking structure. When you create and publish content on your website, be sure to keep an eye out for opportunities for internal links. This not only helps with SEO, but also results in a better, more useful experience for the user – the cornerstone of increasing traffic to your website. This also helps one to be able to read even more of your published articles

Learn from Your Analytics

Use tracked links for your marketing campaigns and regularly check your website analytics. This will enable you to identify which strategies and types of content work, which ones need improvement, and which ones you should not waste your time on.

Securing Your WordPress Website

Securing your WordPress website is extremely vital especially if it is your source of daily income. You would not want your website to down at any moment as you might lose clients and business.

WordPress is one of the best platforms out of the box, for website development, but there’s more you can do to keep your site safe from creepers with malicious intent. There are a number of security enhancements that are easy for one to implement and can be performed manually in a few minutes to spare. Others simply require installing a particular plugin some of which one will have to part with an extra buck.

If you’re looking to create a secure site, choosing WordPress as your platform is an excellent way to start. It’s not only a flexible, powerful platform for building websites — it’s also remarkably secure out of the box.

Some of the few key things to do, include:

Update Regularly

Every good software product is supported by its developers and gets updated now and then, but WordPress is updated very frequently. These updates are meant to fix bugs and sometimes have vital security patches.

When you fail to update your themes and plugins will cause you to be in some serious trouble. Most of the hackers rely on the mere fact that people can’t be bothered to conduct regular updating of their plugins and themes. More often than not, they exploit bugs that have already been fixed.

So, if you’re using WordPress products then update them regularly. Plugins, themes, everything.

Delete Dormant Plugins

Plugins that are not in use ought to be deactivate and deleted immediately. Some hackers take advantage of these dormant plugins or themes as they are a vulnerable point as times one will not even update them.

Bonus: By cutting back on plugins you aren’t using, you’ll also improve your site’s performance.

Back Up your Site

Ensure that you make regular backups of your WordPress site. A backup of WordPress data and files can play a crucial role in an emergency. If all else fails, you won’t have to start from scratch! There are a number of plugins that can be used to make regular website backups

Schedule your backups so you won’t forget them, and do a test restore from time to time.

Database Passwords

A strong password for the main database user is a must – the one WordPress uses to access the database. As always, use uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters for the password.

Choose the Best Hosting Plan You Can Afford

Your WordPress site is only as secure as your hosting account. If it’s running an old, vulnerable version of PHP, it won’t matter what you do to secure WordPress.

It’s essential that you choose a hosting provider that prioritizes security. Some of the features that you should look for are:

  • Support for the latest PHP and MySQL versions
  • Account isolation
  • Web Application Firewall
  • Intrusion detecting system
  • Proactive updates and patches
  • Fast server monitoring
  • Daily backups

Remove your WordPress version number

Your current WordPress version number can be found very easily. It’s basically sitting right there in your site’s source view. Here’s the thing, if the hackers know which version of WordPress you use, it’s easier for them to tailor-build the perfect attack. You can easily hide your version number with a security plugin, one of the best to check out is iThemes Security.

Change the WordPress database table prefix

Once you install your WordPress site you will notice wp- table prefix that is used by the WordPress database. I recommend you change it to something unique.

Using the default prefix makes your site database prone to SQL injection attacks. Such attack can be prevented by changing wp- to some other term, e.g. you can make it mywp-, wpnew-, etc.

If you have already installed your WordPress website with the default prefix, then you can use a few plugins to change it. Plugins like WP-DB Manager or iThemes Security can help you do the job with just a click of a button. (Make sure you back up your site before doing anything to the database).

There are very many other ways to secure your site. These are just but a few but be sure to contact us so as discuss more on how to design and develop a secure website. Email Us Today

Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media for Business

Social Media has become a MUST have for many businesses these days. Whenever potential clients are looking for a new product or service, they generally start their search on social media, not only to learn more about your brand, but also to see what others are saying about a brand or business. They also go online to also make comparison of the different prices, which assists with decision-making.

There are many strategies that different companies are trying out to make them have an edge. Not all of these strategies are effective if not implemented well.

Do’s:

Understand your Customers.

Tailor your social media pages to your consumer base, and not on your own personal interests. The harsh reality is that your consumers don’t care about YOU. They care about what you can do for THEM.

Keep Track of Time. 

Analytic helps you understand what are the best times to post on your social media pages. Find out when your followers are most active on social media and post during those time frames. Most social media site have these tools, an example for Twitter there is Twitter Analytic

Great Customer Service.

Great customer service can make or break a company. Happy customers are more likely to come back and establish a loyalty to your brand. Not only will these customers be loyal to you, but they will also be your best brand ambassadors by word-of-mouth advertising. That’s the best advocacy you can ask for! We can attest to this we have grown through this kind of advertising.

Be Active but don’t over-do it.

It is great to be active on social media, but be cautious not to overwhelm or annoy people with so many posts. Two problems that could arise include: 1) Too much information can cause your followers to stop following your posts, and 2) Your posts can get lost within their news feeds and they won’t see the content that could be really valuable to them.

The Do Not’s:

Don’t like your own posts.

Of course you like your post. You posted it! But don’t “like” or “favorite” your own material. Encourage your employees, however, to share and like the material that is posted. Your employees can be your brand’s greatest ambassadors.

You don’t have to connect with everyone.

Just because someone follows you, doesn’t mean you have to follow them back. Think of it as choosing who you surround yourself with in real life. Before you follow back, think of how it will reflect on you. Is this someone who would represent you and your business in a good way if consumers saw that you were associated with them?

These are some of the Do’s and Dont’s that you can be able to work. If you can think of what else we can add onto our list do let us know

Web Development Trends

Web Development Trends For 2017

Technology changes constantly, so to be at the top of your game as a web developer, it’s vital you’re keeping up .

Web development is progressing at incredible speed these days and trends that were hot in 2016, today will be considered nothing less than archaic. Users are having more control and power and companies are shifting their services according to the user needs, which may be unpredictable.

Here are some of the trends that we have observed through this year:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is something that is shaking the modern IT world the world over. Companies are competing against each other to hire the best talent in the industry.Google and Facebook are some of the companies who have well implemented AI and this is through face recognition. The importance of AI is explained by the fact that it allow devices to act independently aka without manpower and this leads to increased efficiency, accuracy and overall better user experience.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things is all about making devices smart and enabling them to communicate with each other. Looking at this with regards to website development we perceive a time where apps will be developed to allow for remote control of even homes. We are seeing smart homes being developed where everything will be controlled from your phone/tablet.

To learn more on Smart Homes

Rise of  JavaScript

JavaScript has been rising since 2016 and its rapid growth allows developers to work on chatbots, virtual reality and many other trending things.

The language grammar and efficiency of writing the apps were improved and overall, JS is now the most popular language among full stack developers.

Bots

We are used to boring and old-fashioned bots but 2017 seems to level them up. Now bots are intended to become more personalized in order to provide better user experience, which, again is a huge marketing advantage.

Bots are now able to react more “human-like” and give personalized advice, for example, during shopping. Developers are trying to eliminate the feeling that you are talking to a machine and instead, turn the conversation with a bot into fun and useful process.

Attributes of Successful Designer

There are many attributes that make one to be considered a successful designer, and they go beyond design skills and a good eye. There are many more people looking for designers, you must have all the skills needed to excellence to thrive within the industry.

Business-Savvy

You need to remember that in-spite of visual details involved, you need to remember that design is a business. Your personal preference and opinions come second to the project goals and what the client has stated. When we talk about being business-savvy means making only the decisions that are good for users (and therefore business) – and that starts with knowing how.

Communication Skills

They need to be able to learn how to communicate with your client effectively. Designers needs to be to able to engage the client clearly and have a clear understanding of project objectives. They are able to come to an agreement of the task at hand and agree on the modalities.

Creativity

They need to be able to think out of the box and have innovative ideas. The approach taken by designers to projects, should be unique and one needs to be able to get more than they expected.

Confidence

If you are lacking in confidence, your clients will lack confidence in you. Clients can easily see a lack of confidence like that kid could see dead people in a film. Don’t try to fake confidence. Build confidence.

Strong Work Ethic

A designer if he or she wants to attain success then he or she must analyze this aspect that there is no shortcut of success and hard work is the only way of obtaining long-term sustainable success. Successful designers are required to follow work ethics according to the needs and demands of their workplaces.

Listening

Designers are listeners. Take time to listen, we are able to understand what exactly the client wants instead of making assumptions.

Good designers are able to listen to others wants and make sure that a product delivers what people truly want and are willing to spend their money on. Good designers listen.

Conclusion

If you follow these simple pointers among many others you will be successful. Your clients will notice the exceptional attribute about yourself and they will definitely spread the word and will lead to more future clients and projects.

Creating an Effective Corporate Blog

Creating an Effective Corporate Blog

Corporate Blog… What Is That?

A corporate blog is one that has its own voice, seeks to answer questions that readers might have been puzzling with, and with each post written there is a lot of value addition. This leads to a huge readership depending on the content written and in turn leads to conversion of some readers into customers/clients.

Some of the things to consider for your blog include:

Choose a Blogging Team

Select a professional who is competent, knowledgeable and comfortable writing about the areas that you cover in your industry. Experience with online writing and an understanding on how to frame and structure your articles, is important.

Be open to Criticism

You are bound to receive criticism from the audience, you need not be scared of it. Many organizations do not open the comments section of their blogs. This is a great opportunity for you to create an engagement with your audience and to prove your expertise in the field.

Outline a Comment Policy

Note, by opening up your blog for full feedback (which you should), you will get a variety of comments — constructive, complimentary, hateful, and spam. Preparation is needed for this and you need not to take it personally. It would be great to always make a point to ensure that no one strays away from the discussion.

Track Everything

You’re probably accustomed to tracking everything, and your blog is no different. If your blog is a page on your website, make sure your current web analytics tools are set to track your blog posts too. Google Analytics, is one of the best analytical tools, it’s free with an easy-to-use interface.

Promote your Blog

It would great to ensure that your client and potential clients know that you have a blog. Share the URL of your blog posts or blog page on your social media sites, newsletters, advertisements and even through word of mouth.

This is the best way to build an audience for your website and keep them wanting more. Get behind the quality work that your team is putting into the blog and promote it.

6 Things Your Website is Missing

Chances are, that you already have a company website that is up and running, and listed on several directories. This is great as it allows people to have the chance to locate you easily when they go online, with this there is some information that one expects to find in order to continue with further engagement or not.
You need to ensure that your website is updated, so people check the correct and accurate information. We have put below a small list of things that we believe need to be taken into consideration as soon as possible.

About Us Page:

This is one website page that usually has the highest number of views of all pages. This is page is an opportunity to build trust of your organization stating how long you have been in existence, leadership structure, and also at times the values the company stands on. Include information on this page that will make people to be confident that you are not a briefcase company

Contact Information:

This information is very vital and has to always be accurate and up to date. The telephone number should be active and preferably mobile numbers if available. If in any invent you have changed physical locations it is also very important to change it on the Maps. It would also be great to have your number at a location that one can easily and quickly see it.
Reviews/testimonials from past or current clients:
You may not know the importance of this but it is a great way of showing new and prospective clients that there are people out there who can attest to your product or service. It might seem like something very minor but it has the potential to draw business to you.

Mobile Friendly Design:

Smartphone users are the majority of the current website traffic. The website that you have MUST be mobile responsive and not static. The number of people glued to their smartphones is ever increasing. Ensure that they have an exceptional experience on your website while browsing.

SEO:

Search engines will always produce your highest quality prospects because they represent people who are actively searching for the products and services you offer. Make sure your website has a customized search engine optimization strategy in order to boost your site’s search performance.

Call to Action:

This is usually the best way to collect information from you potential clients visiting your website. Calls to action are offers in the form of buttons, banners, or graphics that prompt people to continue down a conversion tunnel. Calls to Action are both directly and indirectly related to traffic (or the lack of it), and missing even one chance at a Call to Action is a big missed opportunity.

How to give honest feedback without frustrating your designer

Developing a beautiful and professional design for your website or marketing material will involve collaborations. One thing to note is that the parties are bound to have different perspectives at some point. Communication lines need to be open at all times so that to ensure that the designer is able to achieve the desired outcome. You can check our blog post what you need to know before engaging a designer HERE.

Over the last couple of years, we have had the pleasure of working different types of clients, from the most amazing to those who have been a nightmare. Below are some of the tips that we have been able to learn to make the engagement process to be as smooth as possible:

Be Specific

You need to have a clear understanding of what it is you want done by the designer. Take time to think through the product, even go ahead, and put it down on paper. Nothing is as frustrating as, “This is not what I wanted”, “You didn’t understand what I wanted”, “I can’t accept this” or “I’m not impressed”. When you are able to point out what you liked automatically shows the designer the things you do not because you will probably leave those out.

Don’t Panic

There are many great designer but know that they also at times cannot hit the marked that you wanted on the first go. When this happens, it would be great to communicate to the designer without most positive feedback. This is the time to go back to the design brief, make the necessary changes, and await for the outcome. Key thing is communication.

Be Open Minded

The client many at times would want things in a particular way, although at times it would be good to be open to new ideas and changes recommended by the designer. The designer has expertise and the ideas that they offer might actually prove to be helpful in achieving your set target. Testing out new ideas is beneficial in the end.

Impossible Requests

The goal for any designer is to meet the clients design brief and see your thoughts come to reality. This in turn means that your brief has to be sensible and tenable. Not everything that you want can be achieved some are just plain impossible. There are designs, colors that may not work together and sometimes not everything can fit in one design

Be Original

In your industry one of your competitors might have done something that you like, do not copy them. Designers are there to help in this process. Let your competitors work only act as a reference point of what the final product ought to accomplish.

Conclusion

There is nothing wrong with asking your designers to do a lot, that is their job. However, sometimes even design cannot solve every problem. In the end, be sure to celebrate and enjoy the moment and write a positive recommendation for the designer J

 

When Is the Right Time for Rebranding?

Rebranding is a common business practice that many major companies have been practicing for years. Many at times as the consumers of the brand we might not be able to notice the changes made unless it is major makeovers. A good example of a company in Kenya that has done a major rebrand is Orange Telekom to Telekom.

The brand that you have developed is the core identity of your business: a collection of all the values, ideals, characteristics and the personality traits of your company reduced to a single set of recognizable standards. Brands at times go through crises, it mostly during these times that many tend to rebrand to be able to reinvent themselves.

The following are some of the telltale signs that your brand is probably ready for an update:

Failure to differentiate yourself from Competition

Branding is all about having a competitive advantage over your competitors. When you realize that, your brand seems to disappear in the sea of many competitors it is time to think about rebranding. You need to have brand that is unique and stands out.

Brand Reflection

A great brand communicates a definite message to your current customers, potential customers, and just visitors. You need to have a brand that attracts people to your brand and keeps them always coming back. If you also have a products/services that no longer appeal to the market it would be high time to shelve and identify which new ones to incorporate

Old image is obsolete

You could be in need of a rebrand simply because your old image is obsolete. Design trends change quickly, and in the span of a decade or two, the fonts, colors and shapes that seemed cool at the time could be laughed at in the modern era as nostalgic leftovers.

Targeting a New Demography

An effective brand created is one that was developed specifically for a specific target audience; this helps a brand become more relevant. Once you set a target audience for your brand you need to be able to evolve along the same lines. A brand that targeted towards young men will not be appealing to middle aged women.

 

 

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