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Why your website needs WordPress.

As a web development firm, we constantly need to be researching, testing and evaluating new technologies and how these can transform into solutions.

These days we have to worry about blockchain, #fakenews, security intrusions and so much more, but many of these items still don’t impact the majority of small businesses.

One of the items that our team spends the most time on are reviewing different CMS (Content Management Systems) that could be deployed to serve the typical small business. When we say the typical small business, generally these are companies with 50 or less employees, with websites that are not tied to complicated database/intranet type functions, or which are used to power apps. Really these are websites that generally serve as the forward facing part of the organization’s web presence.

Now, while these sites may not do anything terribly fancy from a technical standpoint, they are visually appealing, play nice on a variety of devices, and form a core part of the overall marketing strategy.

With so many option likes Wix, Weebly, point and click builders, and even Google’s machine built websites, not to mention the future possibility of AI building your company’s web presence, why would you anyone jump into using something like WordPress? Whether you are using an out of date website, looking to launch your first site, or are just doing some initial research, here are a few points to consider:

1. Reliability

The last thing any small business owner or manager needs to hear from a customer is that “Your website is down” or “The contact form on your site doesn’t work”. WordPress isn’t perfect, but it powers nearly ONE-QUARTER of the Internet’s web pages. With approximately 1.3 Billion pages in existence, WordPress helps the majority of the Internet to just work. If it’s good enough for high volume sites like The New Yorker, it will probably do just fine for you.

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2. Features

WordPress began as a blogging platform, but is now used to do some really cool, really crazy things. Personally, our firm built v1 of a business planning app in WordPress, uses it to power Realms of Adventure LARP (a great Live Action RPG), and to drive SocEnt Magazine – a news site for social enterpreneurs & social enterprise. This is achieved through the use of plugins (of which many exist), or where needed, by writing custom code. Either way, for the typical small business, there is very little that WordPress can’t do.

3. Design

Nobody wants a website that is difficult to use, creates a poor user experience, or is just plain ugly. If you’re hearing the dreaded “Your site looks like it’s from the 90’s and won’t work on my iPhone” don’t panic – WordPress has thousands of themes to choose from, and customization is always possible.

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Overall, your website needs to be something that your company is proud of. If this isn’t the case, contact us to get started on the great website that you and your customers deserve.

How do I use twitter to promote my business?

How do I use twitter to promote my business?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]How do I use twitter to grow my business?

Everyday, the number of smartphone users is increasing, along with the number of social media users. Businesses that do not master effective use of tools such as facebook, twitter, and Google+ will be left behind. Consumers now use a variety of resources to carry out research before purchases, or simply to view opinions on products and services. Not sure if twitter is right for you? Chances are pretty good that it is right for at least 1 of your competitors.

So, where do you create an advantage for your business? By understanding what twitter means to your marketing efforts and then using it effectively. Here are 3 simple things for getting started:

1. Build your followers
Start by importing your existing contacts, if you have a facebook account, post on your wall letting your friends know that you are on twitter now. Once your twitter account is live, look for interesting and like minded people to follow. Be sure to use the #MyFirstTweet hashtag, and every Friday keep an eye out for #ff – Follow Friday. By using this, you are putting it out there that you are looking for new followers – just remember that there will be other new users, so be sure to reciprocate.

2. Research hashtags
Hashtags help other users to find your content, and also allows twitter to index the popularity of content. Hashtags have become so popular, that facebook and Google+ now pick them up and use them for metrics. Just remember, don’t over do it, and don’t send out tweets full of nothing but hashtags. This leads me to the next point…

3. Be short and to the point
twitter is a great way to grab the attention of a wide group of people for a short amount of time. This is mainly possible because everything from your tweets, to your profile and Direct Messages (these are private messages to your followers) is limited to 140 characters. You will need to remember to be efficient (so attach pictures to help tell the story and send a clear message!) and get your point across. You can always use twitter to send someone to another site, like your facebook page, so that you can tell a more complete story. Imagine that you are writing headlines – you just need to grab someone’s attention.

Here is an example:

Be sure to join us for our next monthly meeting. It will be held at Bob’s Pizzeria at 8AM. This is a great chance to network with fellow business owners! yourlinkhere.com

This is way too long. To send the same message in 140 characters, try something like:

June 18 at 8AM – Biz Centre meeting @bobspizzeria – networking and fun! #smallbusiness yourlinkhere.com

Same message, and about 30 characters left. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time. Practice makes perfect.

And remember, if you really get stuck, just get in touch for a free Social Media consultation.

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Do I need a responsive website?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]On April 21st, 2015, Google updated its dreaded search rank algorithms. This means that it’s criteria for determining which websites are shown at the top of rankings was drastically altered. What does this mobilegeddon mean for small business owners? It means that if your website is not responsive – i.e. does not display well and clearly on smartphones and tablets, then you are in big, big trouble for three key reasons.
[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”30px”][qodef_blockquote text=”If your web presence is not responsive, then you are already on Google’s naughty list.”][vc_empty_space height=”30px”][vc_column_text]1. The web is going has gone mobile.

Each day there are more mobile users. The web is no longer a tool limited to computers, and it won’t take long until mobile devices are the predominant way to access information online. Smartphones are easier to use than PCs, cheaper, and growing at astonishing rates in emerging markets. In short, mobile is not just some fad that will go away.

2. We love our phones.

Sure, some of you reading this may decide that you hate being perma-connected, but for the most part we love carrying around Google Maps, checking facebook on the go, sending the occassional E-Mail (even though to the younger generation it seems archaic), sending texts if we need to, and some of us even use smartphones to make phonecalls (yes, I was born before the 1980s). With all of this convenience and functionality, it’s no wonder that smartphones are not going away.

3. Google will punish has started to punish you if you are not mobile friendly.

Like it or not, and whether your visitors use mobile devices or not (which they most than likely all do), this has already happened. If your web presence is not responsive, then you are on Google’s naughty list, just waiting for one of your competitors to overtake you. This is not a good place to be, but can be overcome.

Not sure how responsive your site is? Still have questions or need help? Contact us for a free consultation.

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why having a facebook page isn't enough

Why having a facebook page isn’t enough

why having a facebook page isn't enough
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Facebook is a fantastic communication and marketing tool. Of all the social media out there, it is probably the one best suited for direct sales. Many companies have a facebook page, and the price (free) is certainly right. And as long as non one has claimed your identity, you can even have a nice vanity URL – like facebook.com/LuchaComics. So, why would you need a website? Here’s 3 good reasons (although there are many more) why a facebook page falls flat up against a stand alone page.

1. facebook Isn’t an E-Commerce Platform

facebook does some awesome stuff, and is probably the best social media for actually making a sale within the platform. Having said that, even with new facebook stores, you will run into limitations. If you have actual widgets (be they physical or digital) that you want to sell, even a simple wordpress site can give you so much more, and can be had for very little. You can gain the ability to collect and database leads, build a newsletter list, integrate feeds from other social media platforms such as twitter and Google+. facebook is ever growing, and things can always change, but remember, while a facebook page is a must to increase your exposure, it cannot be your only online presence if you really need to make that sale.

2. facebook can only be customized so much

facebook pages have evolved a great deal, and I do need to give credit where it is do. facebook is constantly adding new features, and there is quite a bit that can be done with some work. Having said that, you simply can’t get in there, change themes, tweak CSS, and really make it your own.

3. Just about everyone else has one

Probably the most important reason – most of your competitors have one. Even worse, let’s say that a prospective client googles you, and finds a domain with your identity, that belongs to a competitor. Apart from losing a prospective sale, it can cause a lot of confusion for customers, fans, or anyone just wanting to learn about you.
[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”30px”][qodef_blockquote text=”Don;t forget, there are other high-engagement social media sites out there, like Pinterest.”][vc_empty_space height=”30px”][vc_column_text]These are just 3 simple reasons why you really need your own website. Not sure where to start or what you need? Just get in touch, and we will get you on your way!
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