The Power of Mobile

Many designers today are faced with new challenges in the web world – MOBILE!!! I scream this because it is not an entirely new requirement, but it is becoming more and more of a necessity.  But mobile isn’t just a page that is developed using something like JQuery Mobilewhich is one of the better tools out there for mobile styling — it is, and can be, an entire set of css styles applied to the whole site using the browser signature as an entry point to identifying which style sheet(s) to apply. Well, that sounds pretty simple. But, if not handled correctly, the entire site may not react appropriately and a visitor’s browser may render the styling incorrectly based on bad coding.

I don’t really have a best approach answer to the dilemma that programmers face. There are many programmers out there who know a lot more than I do on the best practices of presenting a mobile page… So, I am not here to tell you the best approach.

Then why even write this….???

Because this is my blog and I can write what I want… OK, that’s a bad answer. The reason why to write this is to teach you with my mistakes (many I still haven’t corrected – even with my own site) and hope we can all learn together.

Mobile is here to stay – deal with it

I’m not the foremost expert on mobile design, but I am one to follow the trends.  Since the iPhone was released, it changed the way people used the internet. Not only did the iPhone put the power of the internet into its owners hands, but it actually changed the way the people interacted with the internet.  So, to get to the point – how can you use this to your advantage? Simple… You don’t have to redesign your entire site to make it mobile friendly, but to embrace the power of these devices, the smartest thing one can do is ensure that content that puts the user in your selling space (retail, service, etc.) needs to be mobile friendly.  At least friendly enough to allow the user to map your address or click to dial your phone number or get to your home page without too much that will kill a mobile connection.

Please don’t follow my lead though… I have yet to optimize my page as I am instructing you to do so. I have my reasons. The main one is, most people looking for web design probably don’t do it on their iPhone (but I work OK on an iPad). But people looking for sites that provide an immediate service, like a retail store, are going to want certain information on their mobile immediately. And as I said, the most important thing is to present them with information on how to find you.

To be continued…

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Why Facebook

Wow Facebook…

What can I say? I get it, but then again, I don’t. What a remarkable creation – don’t get me wrong, it has changed the way people structure their lives. It has also created a new avenue for digital marketing, brand recognition, and creation of possible fame.

Why does it work?

Facebook has created a network of so many users, it has become the most acceptable way of “keeping in touch.” Gone are the days of late night phone calls, emails, and even text messages to introduce the days of “yeah – I saw it on Facebook” (insert teenage girl voice)… You see, it’s almost as if a Facebook post is your friend telling you directly what happened when in reality, all of her “friends” find out about it as soon as they read their wall posts.  As I said, I get it… But I really think of it as more of a tool than a way of seeing what Cindy had for lunch and where she plans to go next.


The funniest part of it all is that if I want to keep in touch with my mom (I’m only using this as an example) I better have a Facebook account and she would actually have to want to be my Facebook friend and then I would be able to see what she is doing (or at least what she is willing to share). “Yeah, I heard your mom was going to be…” (insert teenage girl’s voice) – Wait! How did you know that? Did you talk to her??? “No, I saw it on Facebook…” Oh, guess I missed that one.

Is Facebook for me?

Me personally – I don’t play around with it.  Sure, I can have my own farm or even my own mob (and I’m sure there are a million other virtual things I can do), but I see it  primarily as a tool to create a brand.  I think I will let my teenage cousins be the pack leaders on this… But have fun with it.

— Watch Castle and hope for another Serenity movie (sorry – just a random thought).

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Do I Need a Website?


Many individuals and businesses today lack a web presence.  As an individual, there is no need to have a personal website – unless you are your own brand. But as a business, it is 100% necessary. Here’s why…

The web is the place to go for today’s generation of customers.  Many believe that if a business does not have a website that the business is not as credible as the businesses that do.  In addition, a website is an easy place to get information quickly about the products, services, or other value that your business offers.  Google is much more than a search engine, it is now a term used to describe an action to retrieve information.

What many business owners do not realize is that users do not just find your business by searching for the category in Google and other search engines (although a fully optimized site for search will improve your customer exposure) most often they look specifically for you…

What’s in a name?

It is amazing how much your name may be specifically searched or very often typed directly into the address bar.  Let us assume you own a local construction company and you are in Denver, Colorado. A user may search “Denver Colorado Construction Company” and receive hundreds or even thousands of pages of results.  While being at the top of that list is extremely important (and a good website developer with some SEO knowledge can help you get there), it can also be costly, high maintenance, and very difficult to compete with the multitudes of national companies, large local companies, and those that are willing to pay the price.  But, if you have effective advertising and a name that customers may recognize, many users will go straight to the address bar of their favorite browser and try to find you without even performing a search. Or, they may search specifically for your name.  The reason why is simple, there are too many other companies to weed through in order to find the company the user is seeking.  But, this does mean that your reputation and other forms of advertising must deliver a message.

Let us revisit our Denver construction company… In our example, the company could be called Honest Guys Construction.  Maybe the company was able to register (or something close to that). Well, a customer hears of this company or sees a truck with the website and they either search for “Honest Guys Construction Denver” or type (or into their browser.  Now, they have most likely found the site with very little effort.  The second web address (or URL) in blue would actually redirect the customer to the primary URL.  It is good practice to try to register variations of a domain.  The cost is very minimal but will provide more avenues to locate your business.

Back to why…

We have talked about finding you and creating credibility as the two major reasons why a website is necessary.  And, in today’s environment where users have cell phones that are more powerful than the computers of 5 to 10 years ago, more and more users are locating business on the fly.  This means that if they can find your site and you have up to date contact information, they can find you immediately while your service is on their mind.

The next time you are thinking about a product or service, watch your own actions.  Are you looking for the business on the web? If yes, think about what you may be missing if you do not have a website. If no, then think about why you are not… Is it because you are not web savvy? Is it because you do not think you’ll find the business? Or is there some other reason why you personally do not search the web? In today’s market place, I assure you that those that are going to make the decision to make the purchase for your product or your service are very likely looking for you on the web.

The best part of all is that a website can actually cost very little and continue to be kept up to date.  It doesn’t have to be overly flashy or have the latest and greatest technology (although some of the newer technology is necessary)… It just has to be there and be available.  Also, the more up to date the content, the better your chances of gaining and maintaining customer interest.

Get Started Today!

Why wait…??? If you have an old or outdated site or no site at all, we encourage you to get started today.  You can read this to help get started. No matter who you choose to develop your website, just make sure that you have a web presence!!!

Possibly more to come…
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Custom Web Design Vs. Templates

When it comes time to create a website for yourself or your business, you may decide that a template is an easy DIY way to gain web presence, but is it hurting or helping you?

Don’t get me wrong, there are hundreds of millions of great looking templates out there and many of them will fit your aesthetic tastes and may be “easy” to put a few lines of text and images into – and they may even be free… But, what you end up with is a site that is cookie-cutter and very constrained – meaning that you cannot alter the layout (unless you are experienced), you may not be able to easily change colors, and most likely formatting is pretty much locked down.
Custom Web Site Design can be affordable if you take the time to review all of the costs associated with it.

  1. How much is your time worth?
  2. How important is it that you convey an image that mimics your marketing plan? Does this translate to brand recognition and thus revenue?
  3. Once you have a site, how will you keep up with current trends to keep your audience interested?
  4. SEO – how does a template maximize your exposure?

And, there are so many more that you may know of that we don’t…

Templates can be good… They can also be a good basis to spark design ideas. But don’t let yourself get caught up in the “one size fits all” or “one design fits all” category just to save a few dollars.  After all, what you save in design and programming costs of a web developer may not save you time or allow you the flexibility you want.

So, templates can be cool, can give you an idea of where to start, and can be very simple or complex… But before you take that route, purchase or install a free template, work with a designer.  You may be surprised how affordable and insightful it can be.

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