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.

 

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

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.

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.

 

 

Web Hosting

Choosing a Web Hosting Company

Choosing a web hosting company for your website can be an easy process as long as you take into consideration the key factors to getting good service. Several companies offer the service both locally and internationally, some costings maybe similar but in the details is where there is a huge difference.

Some of the key things to consider when making this ultimate valuable decision include:

  • Reliability

The company should have a record of having no down time and being operations 24/7/365. It would be unfortunate to have a hosting company that experiences a lot of down time; hence, clients are not able to access your website. You can be able to know more about this when you get to read the testimonials.

  • Customer Service

Currently we always need to ready for the inevitable. No matter how good your web skills, or how reliable the hosting company, there will come a time when something will go wrong, or you will need to ask a question. When this time come, you cannot to be able to get in touch with your host provider at any time of day or night. Consider where the host company location, whether they have a live chat platform on their website, and functioning number or email address.

  • Purpose

Depending on your website and the content, which you have, will dictate how much space you should be able to purchase for your website. If the website that you are putting up is for fun, you can consider getting a free hosting, which unfortunately has advertisements. If the website on the other hand is for business, paid hosting is the way to go

  • Pricing

Web hosting packages differ wildly in price across different providers. You can easily decide to choose the cheapest package but as the old adage, “Cheap is expensive in the long run”. Always look at the features offered with each package that informs most times the price charged.

  • Scalability

This is looking at how possible is it for one to increase their allocated space when need arises. You would want a hosting company that is open to this so that in the event you miscalculated on the size of space you initially bought you have freedom to make adjustments. While many providers offer that ability, many make upgrading easier than others do.

  • Security

Security has become big business and with the ever-growing potential of being hacked. It is paramount for hosting with a provider that takes this very seriously

  • Reputation

Lastly, another factor to consider, and potentially one of the most important, is the hosting company’s reputation. Websites should have testimonials, clientele or statistics that can demonstrate customer satisfaction. It is helpful to look at hosting forums to see what people are saying.

Conclusion

There are many more things that you can consider before making that decision to purchase your hosting package. Therefore, before you click, Buy Now, make the following considerations so that you will not have to regret later. Feel free to consult us in the event you require more information concerning the same.

 

Website Re-Design

Signs Your Website Needs Some Re-Design

There are many varied reasons that would lead one to consider re-design of their website. When you realize that the number of websites views has reduced it is high time to reevaluate your website and see the changes.

Some of the reasons that could lead to loss traffic include:

  • Outdated Information

When your website is not up to date with new information, it can lead to miscommunication of Information. This can in turn lead to loss of clients, it will also send a wrong message that you do not care so much about your website or you are too busy to do it. There could also be changes in the team, board and other subordinate staff that are still displayed as active members

  • Evolution of your Brand

Over time companies rebrand with the changing times. Most times, you will find that the existing website still represent the old brand hence can be confusing. When rebranding happens, the website should also reflect the new brand and embrace latest technologies.

  • Navigation Challenges

User experience is very important to everyone who visits your website. If people have a great experience, they are likely to share the same with their family and friends. There ought to be clarity when one visits the website on how to access information.

  • Responsive

Most of the old website where not responsive hence, their display on other devices such as mobile phones and tablets will not be so appealing. Considering most websites are viewed on these devices, it is best to update your website appropriately

  • Lack of Natural SEO Traffic

When you realize that your website gets literally zero natural traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, then something is definitely wrong. You need to look at your website structure as that could very well the problem that is leading to no website traffic.

  • Lack of Blog

Blogging has become a great way to draw traffic to your website. If you do not have a blog, it is high time that you included one and started sharing information relevant insights with your audience.

  • Audience Evolution

The people who viewed your website a couple of years back are not the same ones viewing it now. You need to be able to change with times and move accordingly. You always need to reach out to the new audiences, with new and updated content and offers that appealing to the market.

Time for Action

How many of the above, have you checked off? Then it is high time you considered redesigning your website. Contact Us Today for a free consultation on the changes that your website requires and we can be able to start working on them as soon as possible.

Seven Reasons why your business needs a Professional Website

Seven Reasons Why You Need a Professional Website

Any business that wishes to be competitive in the online or offline market must have a professional website. Internet has become the leading resource for people to find information, with business research being a leading reason to perform a search on the web.

The following are some points to consider:

  • Your Customers Expect it

Many people currently are always looking for products and services online. A great percentage have smart phones hence they will be searching online for different suppliers and vendors of products. Without an online presence, you will tend to lose on this huge chunk of potential customers. If you do not have a business website, today’s digital-savvy (and impatient) customers may look elsewhere.

  • Online brochure

You website tends to act as a brochure hence saves you spending a lot of money creating physical brochures to distribute to people. This is a more cost effective method, and will save you as an organization a lot of money.

  • Wider market reach

A clean, professional and modern website is an effective way for one to have a wider market reach. There are no limitations to the audience whom you can reach and this in turn increases your customer base. If you in turn have content that is shareable, it in turns will drive more traffic onto your website

  • Accessibility

Websites are available to both your regular and potential customers, 24/7/365 providing them with the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed.

  • Saves on Valuable Time

Providing information to your customers is not an easy thing and requires a lot of time. When you have an online catalogue, you can provide lots of information about your products and services. Once the website is up and running the information is always available for their consumption at any time they need it.

  • Portfolio

You have a platform, which you can use to be able to display your past projects to your potential clients. This helps show credibility that the company has been around and that there are clients who can attest to your quality of work.

  • Customer Service

This is also a platform of providing advice to customers about questions that have been frequently asked before. When you include an FAQ page, adding articles or uploading newsletters to answer all your customers’ questions you can keep them up-to-date. The best way to provide them with value added service than by sharing information on your website.

Conclusion

Your website can be a very powerful tool that can bring more leads and clients to you with minimal effort. In order to do that, your website needs to present your business in the best light possible.

Are you in need of a Professionally Handcrafted Website? Contact Us Today.

What makes a Good Landing Page Design?

What makes a Good Landing Page Design?

Coming up with an amazing landing page is usually very tricky for most developers.

The sole reason for creating Landing pages is getting website visitors to convert to the next stage in the buying journey. You need to come up with a definite goal of what it is that you would want some to see as soon as they click on your domain name. Landing pages are unique depending on the industry that one is in, one standard thing though it has to be captivating.

Designing a successful landing page requires some detailed planning and creative testing.

Some of the things to consider when creating your Landing Page:

  • Goal

What is it that you want the visitors coming to your website to be able to view? Do you want them to download something? Do you want them to fill out a form? Newsletter sign-up? Once you determine what it is, you want them to do then you are off to a great start

  • Know your Competitors

Really its three questions: Who am I competing against, how are they succeeding, and how can I copy their success? Once you are able to answer the above questions, you can borrow ideas from them, and improve on what they are doing to have an edge over them

  • Audience

It is good to have an understanding of whom you are trying to capture with your page and communicate to their exact needs and wants. Get into your audiences head and know how they think and what want and offer them exactly that.

  • Call to Action Button

What will be the title of button and where will this button or rather where will it lead someone. It is worth noting that In the case of Mozilla Firefox, when they changed their call-to-action from Try Firefox 3 to Download Now – Free, it outperformed the original call-to-action by 3.6% and had a confidence level of over 99%, resulting in 500 more downloads during the time of the test.

The button ought to be big, bright, and visible and has to stand out so that the website visitors can easily notice it.

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