All Systems Go? The Importance of Post-Launch Support to Your Website

All Systems Go? The Importance of Post-Launch Support to Your Website

Congratulations! Your web site is now live! … But wait, is that it?! Maintenance is essential to keep your website working and up-to-date. It needs constant attention and nurturing. There is a lot of work that goes into creating highly appealing and functional websites. And the work does not end for you or your website designer when the site is launched. It is never all systems go. There will always be room and opportunity for improvement. You need to keep your users engaged and coming back for new and relevant information. Below are the top four reasons why you need post-launch support from your website designer. 1. Stay fresh. Keep your content current. Add new blog posts. Create new pages. Adjust a homepage slider. Whatever it is, your website’s appeal needs to continue to improve through new and custom functionality. 2. Update everything. Your CMS. Your themes. Your plug-ins. Whatever you have for your backend and whatever you put on it, there will always be pending and necessary updates. 3. Squash bugs. Hackers crawl the Internet for weak and unsuspicious victims. Keep your website bug-free. 4. Analyze progress. Hopefully you set up systems in place (like Google Analytics and SEO) to track metrics and increase visibility on the Internet. You must know your traffic sources. You must understand the user experience analysis. The Internet is in a constant state of changing. Keep up. Always be ready and capable to evolve with the world around it. Using a website designer’s post-launch program will help your system...
Eenie… Meenie… Miney… Mo..

Eenie… Meenie… Miney… Mo..

Four Keys to Picking the Perfect Theme for Your Website WordPress is the top content management system (CMS). With the thousands of themes out there, it can be overwhelming, frustrating and downright confusing. Do you just go with the really pretty theme on the demo? How about that theme with the fancy name? Or the one that looks super easy to use? Definitely NOT! Here are four keys that will help you to pick the perfect theme for your WordPress site. Identify the Purpose of Your Website First, define what you want and what you need for your website. What is the purpose? There are many categories… business, eCommerce, multimedia driven, magazine or newspaper, personal, portfolio showcase, or maybe you just want a simple blog to share your thoughts and experiences. Whatever the purpose of the site is it is essential that you are clear on what the website is for to pick the right theme that will match your contents. Recognize the Functionality of Your Website This next step is just as crucial as the first one. Your answer will correspond with your website’s purpose. For example, does it need to have a membership or maybe an eCommerce functionality? A membership site is used to protect certain pages and contents exclusive for your members and subscribers and an eCommerce site is used for selling products. Compare Back-end Features and User-Friendliness Now that you have identified the purpose of the site and the functionality you want, you should take figure out the back-end. Unfortunately, with most themes you won’t know how the dashboard looks and how easy it is...

3 Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring a Web Design Firm

The newest guide in the Farm to Browser Series is available for download now: “3 Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring a Web Design Firm”  reveals exactly what you need to avoid when hiring a web design firm. Written by a former senior Web Project Manager, this advice will save you money, help you get better results, and make your new website more useful and valuable over its life. Click here to download.  ...
De-webbing The Web: Understanding Website Design

De-webbing The Web: Understanding Website Design

Not good with computers? Having trouble understanding your website builder? Confused by how templates and themes are related? Here is a simple guide to help you start understanding the basics of website design.   Templates As a set of pre-designed webpages, templates create a consistent design and layout for a website. They are generally built with HTML and CSS coding. Often used with a Content Management System (CMS), they contain both structural information (how a website should be set up) and stylistic information (how a website should look). Themes Themes create the visual design produced by the content, layout, colors, typography and style of a website. Customization of a theme may be possible but not guaranteed. Features and functionality that do not come with a theme can be added in through various plug-ins. Choosing your theme highly depends on the type of website you want for you business. For example, if sell goods and services online, you will want to choose to integrate e-commerce tools and capabilities. Responsiveness The number of web surfers using mobile browsers (not using a desktop or laptop) has been increasing drastically. Therefore, it is important for businesses to have so called “responsive” websites. Web designers create responsive websites that dynamically resize themselves to any browser window size, all the way down to a small mobile screen. These responsive websites are easy to read and navigate on any mobile or tablet device, resulting in less resizing, pinching and expanding, scrolling and panning. Front End and Back End The front end is the website that is publicly seen on the internet. It is usually made up...
Free WordPress Themes: The Cost of ‘Free’

Free WordPress Themes: The Cost of ‘Free’

It is very tempting to use something that is free. There are an overwhelming amount of free WordPress themes out there. However, what might be free for you now, you will pay for later in frustration, time and money. A lot of websites offering free WordPress themes try to attract users with their “free” offer, only to try to get them to buy their premium themes. When deciding between a free WordPress theme and a premium WordPress theme you have to pay for, it is important to figure out what you want to achieve with your website. Smaller personal blogs or portfolio websites may be perfect with a free theme because it is quick and inexpensive. However, businesses (especially the ones that require e-commerce tools) should be using a premium theme. Most importantly when making that decision, you need to think about what kind of appearance you want to give off to your website visitors, customers and users. Most of the free WordPress themes have a footer that displays the name of the website where you downloaded it from. This looks like you didn’t put a lot of effort and money into your professional website. Here are some pros of using free WordPress themes They are good to use with personal blogs. They are free! If you do buy a premium theme and it is not what you were looking for, then it could be hard to get a refund. No money is spent on hiring a website builder. There is a lot of online community support through different forums and websites. You can experiment and figure out the...