Posted In:Web Design and Development Archives - Pligg

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3 Tips for Making Your Dentist Website SEO Friendly

February 21, 2018 - By 
seo friendly

You probably already understand how important your dental practice’s website is from an advertising standpoint.

But did you know that your site also needs to be SEO friendly? It’s true. Your site needs more than a beautiful design to bring in thousands of visitors.

Today’s user relies on search engines more than ever, so it’s in your best interest to follow basic SEO rules and regulations. Should you choose to ignore Google’s latest updates, you may find that your site doesn’t appear in a search engine at all.

Follow these three tips to make sure your site looks great and stays SEO friendly.

1) Simplify Your Site’s Design

A pretty website simply isn’t enough to draw in users. If you’re experiencing a higher than usual bounce rate, it may be time to rethink your design.

Generally speaking, the simpler your site’s design, the better.

Make sure that your text is large enough and easy to read that customers of any age won’t have any trouble reading your copy.

You’ll also need to ensure that your menu design isn’t cluttered. Aside from looking good from a design standpoint, Google penalizes businesses with empty or redundant pages. For a great example of a solid, simple menu design, click here!

Finally, make sure that patients can access your website on any device, including smartphones and tablets. The web generates more mobile traffic than desktop traffic, so take advantage of today’s technology.

2) Incorporate Reviews

When it comes to choosing a dental practice, patients tend to rely on the opinions of other visitors

You can take advantage of the recent review trend by incorporating reviews into your site.

You can dedicate an entire page to reviews and testimonials or add plug-in software to link your website to your My Business, Facebook, or Yelp pages.

3) Focus on Content

Thus far, we’ve talked a lot about design principles and how they can make your site SEO friendly.

But one of the best ways to boost your SEO ranking comes from your site’s content. Creating a blog and creating original, engaging content is a fantastic way to boost a site’s ranking.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. How does one go about creating great content in the first place?

Always create with your patients in mind. Think of some common questions or topics you discuss with your patients and write about them.

You’ll also want to incorporate strong, competitive keywords. This may require the assistance of some outside help, but if you’d rather do it yourself, Google Adwords has a great keyword planner.

Finally, publish at least a few articles a week and maintain consistency. Try and avoid long periods of time without new content by scheduling your content in a content calendar.

Final Thoughts on Creating an SEO Friendly Dental Site

Maintaining an SEO friendly site is going to take a bit of work. But marry these three tips with research on the most recent algorithm changes and your dental site will rank higher in no time.

Be sure to check out Pligg for more great content including marketing tips and downloads.


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Top 10 Best Downloadable Web Design Software

February 13, 2018 - By 
web design software

If you’re not online, you’re falling behind. It’s 2018, yet there are still many small businesses that do not have a website. In fact, there’s a stunning 27 percent who have yet to build their online presence.

Whatever is keeping you from building a website-cost, lack of knowledge, fear of the unknown-it’s time to let it go and find digital success.

Many businesses don’t have the time or budget to hire a pricey team to create a website, so they’re taking matters into their own hands.

We have compiled a list of the most trusted web design software companies and platforms so you can build a great looking site for half the price of hiring an agency.

1. Wix

Wix is one of the most popular web design software choices online. They’re more than their funny ads that pop-up before every YouTube video, they truly build a great product.

Easy to use, affordable, and trusted, Wix has mastered the art of putting the web development tools into the businesses hands.

2. Weebly

Reminiscent of Wix, Weebly makes building a website fun, easy, and affordable. All you need is a great logo, a little creativity, and some good ol’ fashioned elbow grease.

3. Squarespace

Squarespace’s list of clientele truly speaks for itself. For as little as $18 per month, you can create a stunning website that will entice customers to click and scroll.

Maximize your website’s potential with a successful plan of action. Programs like SlickPlan will help you and your team plan out your URL structure, map out content, and design mockups.

4. BoldGrid

WordPress is a popular web platform but its flexibility can be confusing for those of us that are unfamiliar with code. BoldGrid helps businesses navigate through the web development process easily.

They also offer a free demo. Get started today!

5. Bluefish

Bluefish is an all-in-one website builder that allows you to code your own masterpiece. Their design capabilities are what makes this coding web design software standout from the rest.

6. Komodo Edit

Use this easy to use coding platform that’s perfect for beginners to create a website that looks and acts like it was done by a professional. You can download it here.

7. Dreamweaver

If you’re familiar with coding, than Dreamweaver is an excellent web design platform. It’s ability to show live updates and split screens make coding tangible.

8. Macaw

Hailed as the “web design tool of the future”, Macaw allows you to design in a way that’s similar to photoshop. Design in real-time and watch your website come to life right before your eyes.

9. CoffeeCup

CoffeeCup is an intuitive web designer that uses Bootstrap and Foundation to expertly craft websites. Build a responsive site that looks as good on mobile as it does on desktop!

10. Google Web Designer

Bring your ideas to life using interactive HTML5 from the search engine giant that will be ranking it! Google Web Designer focuses on using code to amplify design.

Making the Most of Your Web Design Software

Websites are imperative to be successful in today’s digitally central world.

Before you start building, check out this article and avoid these commonly made website mistakes.


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Top Tips for the Best Law Firm Web Design

January 26, 2018 - By 

Do you want to spend lots of money on your site so everyone can ignore it?

No?

Thought not.

But 94% of users base their first impressions on a site’s design. Mess it up and potential customers won’t stick around, no matter how great your company is.

If you don’t want to drop the ball on your law firm web design, read on to discover our top tips.

Crisp and Clear

The first major tenet of law firm web design – or any web design – is clarity.

Potential clients need to find the information they want as quickly as possible. The average website only holds a reader’s attention for 7 seconds. Fail to make a good impression in that time, and you’ve lost that customer.

The easiest way to lose a visitor is a sloppy layout and bad design. Think carefully about what goes where, and what your customers want to see.

It’s vital that your visitors aren’t digging through sub-menus or stuck with broken tables. Frustration will drive them away quickly.

This goes double for law sites. Potential clients aren’t going to trust a law firm with a messy presentation.

Law by its nature requires attention to detail and organizational skills. If your website is a mess, you’re telling clients you’re terrible at what you do.

Put your area(s) of expertise front and center. That way, potential clients know whether they’re in the right place immediately. Check out how this auto accident lawyer makes their specialist area clear.

Enter the Blog

An active blog presence is a great way to drive engagement on your site. Blogs serve a few brilliant functions for a site:

First, they’re a fantastic promotional tool. Blogs can be posted to your social networks, shared by others, and linked to from elsewhere. They spread your brand in a way that audiences can connect with.

Second, they’re great tools for showing off. Use blogs to share your expertise and give solid advice. Along with testimonials, they’ll prove your firm has genuine experience.

Third, providing valuable content builds engagement with your site. Potential clients will find themselves referred to your site, and they may keep coming back to see your updates.

Use blogs to share tips, give advice, and promote news from your firm. It’ll add dynamic, evergreen content to your site. You can also use it to work with other websites for cross-promoting, which can result in huge gains for both of you.

SEOing is Believing

Great site design is worthless if no one sees it.

In layman’s terms, SEO is the stuff that gets your site noticed by search engines. It’s the reason things pop up when someone Googles a relevant term.

We could fill a separate article with law firm web design SEO, but the important parts are the same for every industry.

Use an online tool to give yourself an SEO checkup. Then pay attention to some of these key features of SEO:

  • Keywords
  • External links
  • Smart URLs
  • Use of tags

SEO will determine whether your site sinks or swims, almost literally. You’ll either bob near the top of the Google search results, or drown in the abyss past page 3.

SEO can be tricky. If you’re not confident in your SEO, there are plenty of companies out there who can give you an SEO makeover, so don’t be afraid to look for help.

Making Contact

It won’t do much good to tell customers all about you if they can’t figure out how to reach you.

Some sites can get away with hidden contact details, so long as their call to action is clear. But for law sites, a contact page and a call to action are often the same thing – you need people to engage directly with you.

That’s why a key element of law firm web design is making your contact methods clearly visible.

It’s common to see a site tuck its contact page away. But for a law firm, you should look at placing it in prime position on the front page. Make your contact form one of the first things a potential customer sees.

Offering multiple contact methods is a great way to increase conversions. Make sure you’re available by phone, email, post – even live chat. Anything that will remove a barrier to communication increases the chance of securing a customer.

Make It Work – For Everyone

Whatever you do with your law firm web design, your site should never gate users off from using it.

Compatibility and accessibility are two tentpoles of inclusive web design. Let’s break them down individually:

Compatibility refers to how well your site runs on different browsers and different devices. Many people now access the web primarily through mobile devices. When designing your site, you need to know that it works on phones and tablets as well as a desktop.

Many web builders include preview options to make sure everything works. But to be certain, it’s always best to check your site personally using your cell phone or a tablet.

Good compatibility isn’t just about whether your site loads. It’s a matter of checking if the user experience is the same across devices. Look for unusable menus, overlapping design elements, or unclickable links.

Accessibility refers to features that make your site inclusive to people with disabilities. This ranges from closed captions on video content to a colorblind mode.

The point of accessibility is to make your site experience equal for people with disabilities. Not only is it a good thing to do, but it shows you’re a conscientious firm – and it also helps you reach the largest audience possible.

Law Firm Web Design – Make or Break

Hard truth: if your website is a failure, you can expect the same from your business. More customers than ever look for services online. If you’re not able to reel them in, you’ll lose them to your competitors. Get your site design right if you want to succeed.

Looking for more web design tips? Make sure to browse our catalog.


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How to Combat Slow Download Speeds

January 22, 2018 - By 

It wasn’t too long ago 56k modems were the norm. Websites and online multimedia were smaller sizes. Back then, a slow download speed was acceptable because the Web was new and exciting.

Dial-up services were appropriate for those times… but everything has changed.

By 2021, we’ll likely use 8.9GB of monthly data with our cell phones. Home browsing and streaming account for about 198GB a month! Imagine this extrapolated when factoring business technology and workforce usage.

Are slow speeds interrupting your online experience or work?

There are several culprits why speeds are crawling. This article will help identify and provide solutions to each.

Slow Download Speed? Check These Problems

A slow download speed is an annoyance to consumers. Slow speeds disrupt workforce productivity and revenue. Slow speeds are a trouble for all.

Here are the culprits…

Wireless Adapters or Cabling

Older wireless adapter cards may not recognize the connection from a modern router. The newer router is likely broadcasting high-speed internet.

Ethernet cables become damaged due to wear and tear. Check the connectors for frays or crimping along with the rest of the cable.

Replace the adapter or cable if needed.

Interference

Interference happens from:

  • Placement — The access point is blocked
  • Appliances — The radio frequencies are overlapping

Try placing the router/modem closest to your connected devices. Else, configure the access points’ settings to broadcast on a different channel.

Hardware Failure/Damage

An electrical surge can damage devices. Connect the devices to a different network to confirm your suspicion. Replace the device if damage is confirmed.

Bandwidth-Sucking Programs and Viruses

Wanted or unwanted services and programs will eat bandwidth. These background processes include:

  • Multiple browser tabs
  • Net-connected viruses or malware
  • Software updates
  • Peer-to-peer downloads
  • Data backups and recovery

Try these to end the problems:

  • Track bandwidth with programs like GlassWire or router firmware
  • Open Task Mangement and close unwanted/unneeded processes
  • Configure startup to avoid booting with programs at launch
  • Suspend tabs with apps like The Great Suspender or OneTab
  • Uninstall unneeded programs or services
  • Scan and remove viruses and malware

Ads and Tracking

Ads and tracking cookies account for a good chunk of website bandwidth. You can stop this extra data usage with ad and script blocking plugins:

  • uBlock Origin
  • Ghostery
  • AdGuard

Malwarebytes or Windows Defender will block unwanted website tracking and downloads, too. Though, consider supporting favorite sites by whitelisting the domain to show these ads.

Slow Download Speed on the Service Side

A slow download speed happens on both ends:

  • Client
  • Service

Most speed problems happen on the client-side. Their fix amounts to configuring software or hardware. The service side is mostly out of your control but there are ways to boost your speeds.

Get a Better Service

Your choice for internet services include:

  1. Dial-up
  2. DSL
  3. Satellite
  4. Broadband
  5. 3G/4G
  6. Fiber

You can toss out the first three because they fail to offer the good speeds. Your best options are high-speed broadband or fiber.

High-speed Broadband

The standard for broadband is 25 megabits a second. Unfortunately, a lot of telecoms use DSL as an excuse to offer “broadband services”. They advertise DSL as broadband because they meet minimum requirements.

Pay attention to the fine print when comparing internet service providers. Ask about their sustained bandwidth versus what’s advertised. Choose the package appropriate to your needs and budget.

Fiber

Fiber, with speeds up to 1Gbps, is coming to the United States thanks to companies like O.B. One Communications.

These smaller companies are tapping into a massive fiber-optic network. The larger telecoms have sat on this technology for more than a decade.

You will need better equipment to handle fiber connections. Take this into consideration when doing the upgrade. Fiber-ready routers tend to cost nearly double to their counterparts.

Negotiate Better Speeds

A dead-simple way to increase your internet speeds is to ask for it.

  1. Call your ISP
  2. Tell them you want better speeds
  3. Say you’ll switch to a competitor if they say no
  4. Wait on hold while they patch you to customer retention
  5. Get a small upgrade to remain with them

The cost to get a new customer is astronomical. Some companies spend hundreds of dollars to have you sign up. Few will give up the monthly returns if what’s needed is a package upgrade.

Negotiation doesn’t always work if the local ISP has a monopoly. But, it doesn’t hurt to try if competition exists.

A Speed Test will Check and Verify Fixes

Bookmark and visit these sites after each fix:

  • SpeedTest.net
  • speedtest.Xfinity.com
  • Speakeasy.net/speedtest

These online services measure download and upload speeds. Verifying after each fix will create documentation if the problem happens again.

The documentation is also important when handling service calls.

You can use the speed test reports to explain bandwidth problems. You’ll also have leverage if service is slower than what’s advertised. This often leads to a talk with the customer retention department and higher speeds!

Sometimes You’ll Have To Deal With It

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do if speeds are maxed by the ISP. Even fixing all these problems may lead to a slow download speed.

Why? Our daily internet habits.

Today, we’re consuming a billion hours of YouTube each day. We’re sharing hundreds of thousands of pictures on Facebook. We’re uploading massive files to work servers. Wearable tech is uploading data every second.

Websites have become bloated with code and multimedia. Our phones are littered with game apps and background services, too.

Change the media consumption if you want better speeds. Else, deal with it.

Vote with Your Wallet to Get Better Speeds

Support your local telecoms to force larger ISPs to adapt. Use your selection to vote with your wallet so the industry remains competitive.

High speed isn’t about Web entertainment.

It’s about having the appropriate bandwidth to realize new ideas. The ideas found only when we’ve achieved greater access to online resources. The entertainment is a byproduct of hard work and innovation.

Consider donating to the EFF. This organization is fighting for our rights to access and privacy. And, incidentally, better internet speeds.

Agree? Disagree? Or, have a tip to fix a slow download speed? Share your thoughts and tips in a comment below.


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10 Mistakes When Setting Up a Website

January 19, 2018 - By 

Having a website is an essential part of any marketing strategy. Your website showcases your products and services to all your potential buyers. No matter your sales channel, they will visit your site.

Your website is a reflection of your brand. Its quality speaks volumes about what customers can expect from your services. All your marketing and sales efforts lead back to this one spot.

Your website is working either for you or against you. You can avoid the major pitfalls and optimize your site with some website 101. First, let’s review some qualities of a winning website.

Website 101: What Every Business Should Know

You need to know what’s at stake in your website design. Poorly designed websites have bounce rates of 70% – 90%. That means up to 90% of potential customers are lost upon visiting your landing page.

The best websites drive visitors with the intent of doing business. These websites are optimized for the right traffic. If they’re designed correctly, they’ll see most of that traffic become conversions.

Your marketing strategy plays a big part in driving the right traffic. But you can improve your site’s SEO and SEM to drive traffic as well. Website quality faces both inward and outward.

You need to choose and register the right domain name for your business. Web hosting needn’t be complicated, but the name is crucial. Some of the cheapest web hosting solutions provide enough resources for small businesses.

The 10 Biggest Mistakes When Setting Up a Website

The most important part of website 101 is learning what to avoid. Save yourself some lost sales by learning these mistakes from the start. You’ll have advantages over your competition as well.

The following 10 mistakes can bring down even the most compelling businesses. Keep these in mind as you determine your web strategy. We’ll share some best practices for developing that as well.

1. Failing to Create a Formal Marketing Plan

Your website is a sales channel. But, it is a marketing asset first and foremost. If your customers are serving themselves, they need a compelling reason to do so.

Your website strategy should align with all aspects of your marketing plan. Customers expect to see the same promotions on your landing page as they do in your marketing content. Involve your website as your marketing strategy evolves.

2. Choosing the Wrong Platform

Ecommerce and website platforms come in all shapes and sizes. Enterprise ecommerce platforms are expensive with hundreds of capabilities. But a Squarespace or WordPress site might be enough, and at a fraction of the cost.

Determine what your needs will be over the next 12 months. If you hope to build in service channels, look for that in a platform now. Replatforming is costly, so get it right the first time.

3. Underestimating the Development Workload

Your business strategy hinges on the development of your website. Most companies underestimate how long quality development will take. Delays can have a cascading effect on all your business plans.

This is an area where you shouldn’t be stingy. Partner with a professional for a realistic design strategy. A professional will help you understand website 101 and optimize all aspects of your online presence as well.

4. Leaving Navigation Untested

Navigation can make or break your website. Enthusiastic visitors who get trapped will leave your site frustrated. Test your site for strong user flow so the right visitors turn straight into conversions.

You need to learn about your visitors. Different visitors want to access different parts of your site. You must ensure there is healthy user flow for them all.

5. Designing an Unintuitive Checkout

Companies who don’t invest in checkout solutions are turning away paying customers. Determine the best checkout solution for your visitors. Run A/B and other testing to ensure you’re not shutting them out.

6. Coming Up Short on Your Content Strategy

Content drives SEO and delights your visitors. Your inbound marketing relies on quality content to drive the right visitors to your site.

You need an ongoing content schedule as part of strategic marketing. You need inbound and outbound links in your content as well. In this way, quality content drives both your sales funnel and SEO.

7. Under-Representing Value and Merchandise

Some companies fail to align their landing page featured content with marketing. Your visitors want to see the products they came for right away.

Your landing page is prime real estate. Determining what content and products to feature should be aligned with marketing initiatives. Don’t waste that space on unimportant content.

8. Failing to Add Customer Service Channels

Companies undervalue website service channels. They think customer service calls will suffice. What they don’t realize is their actually losing sales.

Your visitors expect the convenience of a service channel on your website. They expect your service team to provide immediate help as well. Do this correctly and you’ll drive immediate online sales.

9. Overlooking Your IT Strategy

IT is an afterthought for too many small businesses. They scramble to set up infrastructure after their websites have launched.

You need a plan for performing backups and updates to your site. You need a disaster recovery strategy as well. Failing to support IT resources could jeopardize your entire website.

10. Neglecting to Keep Track of the Latest Trends

Too many companies invest in website design that comes up outdated or stale. Imagine spending all of that money on an undesirable website.

As you begin, don’t look only at your competitors. See what’s trending among website designers. Designers’ trending preferences will be the competitive website designs of tomorrow.

Get the Best Resources for Your Site Development

You’re about to invest time in money in a serious web project. But don’t get started until you’ve learned the latest trends. Include design best practices from the start so you’re immediately up to date.

Visit Pligg for the latest content in the industry. Download website 101 guides and articles to stay up to date. Your attention to detail is your competitors’ loss.


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8 Basic Logo Design Tips For Success

December 27, 2017 - By 
basic logo

A logo can have a huge impact on a business’s success, but it doesn’t have to break the bank.

After all, Twitter’s original blue bird logo was purchased for $15 as a stock photo, while Nike’s swoosh cost $35 in 1972.

Ready to design your own basic logo? Here’s how to get started.

Eight Great Tips for Basic Logo Design

If you’re a new designer or a business owner bootstrapping your own logo, graphic design can seem a little intimidating. It doesn’t have to be.

Anyone can create a great basic logo by following these eight tips.

1. Make Sure It Can Scale

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in logo design is forgetting to plan for scalability.

A good logo is clear, readable, and compelling no matter what size it is. Whether it’s on a billboard or a business card, it needs to carry your message across.

The best way to plan for this is to design your logo in a vector file format, like:

  • .EPS
  • .AI
  • .SVG
  • .PDF

Vector images are infinitely scalable. You can change their size without losing any clarity. Raster files–like .JPEG, .GIF, or .PNG–become blurry when you change their size.

2. Choose Your Font Wisely

When you pick your font, you have a few priorities you need to keep in mind.

Above all else, your font must be readable. Avoid anything with extra flourishes or decorations, since these won’t work on a business card.

Your font should also say something about your brand. Young, creative businesses might benefit from a modern sans-serif font, while traditional companies usually opt for serif.

3. Pick the Right Colors

Your color palette says a lot to consumers. That’s because humans have a psychological reaction to color.

Red, for example, is often seen as energetic. Green can represent growth, while blue often conveys a sense of professionalism.

People’s individual reactions to color can vary, however. It’s more important to match your palette with your brand.

For instance, if you’re designing for a young, agile startup, bright red or orange could be a good fit. If your logo represents an established professional firm, like a medical practice or accounting business, a muted color palette might make more sense.

4. You Need a Focal Point

One of the basic elements of an effective artistic composition is focus. When you’re designing your logo, you need to choose one single focal point that you want your viewers to see first.

For most brands, the focal point is a symbol that represents the business. That could be house icon for a realtor, a video reel for a film studio, or paw print for a veterinary clinic.

Don’t be afraid to get more abstract with your logo design. Consumers respond emotionally even to basic shapes, so you have room to get creative.

5. Don’t Add Too Many Elements

What do some of the most famous logos have in common? Minimalism.

Apple, McDonald’s, Nike, and Twitter all use simplistic shapes and colors to represent their brand. These logos are easy to understand and instantly recognizable, thanks in part to their minimalistic design. They also look great at any size.

Keep that idea in mind during your design process. Too many elements will compete for your viewer’s attention. That makes it less likely your logo will have the impact you want.

Once you’ve chosen your focal point, pare down everything else around it. Remove any text you don’t need, cut down on the number of colors you use, and take away extra flourishes.

You’ll be left with a simple, compelling design.

6. Communicate an Appropriate Message

All logos say something to consumers, whether it’s intentional or not. When you design yours, you need to think about what you want to say.

As we’ve mentioned, your color palette and typography say something to consumers. It’s important that your design choices match your brand’s personality.

For example, eclectic logo elements could be a great fit for a funky clothing brand, but would be a terrible choice for a law firm.

If you’re unsure of the message you need to convey, turn to your brand guidelines.

7. Fits Your Logo in With Your Brand Guidelines

Sometimes, new designers think of a logo as a stand-alone asset. In reality, your logo is just one component of your entire brand. If you don’t have a document outlining your brand guidelines, it’s time to start writing.

In addition to your logo, your brand guidelines should include information on your:

  • Color palette
  • Typography
  • Brand voice
  • Story
  • Icons and imagery

If your logo doesn’t match what’s in your guidelines, your brand won’t look cohesive.

Developing your brand guidelines first can actually make it easier to come up with ideas for a basic logo.

8. You Need Print and Digital Versions of Your Logo

When you’re designing, you’ll need a few different formats for your logo.

That’s why we recommend you download graphic design software before you get started. These programs will be able to generate the formats you need for print or digital projects.

Print Version

To create everything from business cards to banners, you’ll need a high-resolution version of your logo to print correctly. That means:

  • A resolution of 300 DPI
  • A file that is scaled to its actual size
  • CMYK colorspace

Print is a notoriously unforgiving format. If you get one of these specs wrong, you’ll be left with blurry, off-color product.

Digital Version

Web graphics are much easier to get right. Since there’s no physical product, getting the resolution right isn’t as difficult. That said, any time your logo appears on the web, it should be:

  • 72 PPI
  • As small of a file size as possible
  • RGB colorspace

If your logo file is too large, it will load too slowly–or fail to load at all. If it’s too compressed, it might appear blurry online.

Learn More About Logo Design

This article just scratched the surface of basic logo design. If you want to move beyond the basics, Pligg can help. We don’t just cover the latest graphic design trends on our blog. We offer the very best digital downloads to help you create a compelling logo for your business.


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Blogger Hosting Hacks: How to Choose the Best One for You

November 8, 2017 - By 

Are you thinking about starting a blog, but you don’t know where to start?

If you’re aware of the many options for blogger hosting but can’t decide which to choose, we want to give you some hacks.

This article will explain the process and simplify your choice. Read on and get ready to start your blog!

What is Hosting?

If you’re trying to start a website or blog, you’ve probably come across the term “hosting.”

Website hosts maintain configured computers called servers. When you choose a host, you’re renting the space from the company’s servers.

All your website files are stored on the host server.

What is Your Niche?

What is your blog going to be about? Your blogger hosting needs might vary depending on your answer to this question.

Are you thinking about starting a food blog and need your blog to support video? If you’re a photographer, you’ll need to make sure your host package has enough memory to support the graphics and memory.

It’s okay if you have many ideas and don’t know exactly what your niche is. You can always pick a package that will allow you to upgrade and customize later on.

3 Things You Should Consider

1. Price

The price depends on how many features you want for your blog. Hosting can be more affordable than people might think.

For example, BlueHosting offers three different prices for all memberships.

2. Features

Pick a host that will let you have freedom with features as you change or expand your blog.

Limited features could interfere with your creativity.

3. Free vs Self-Hosted

Free hosting might be affordable, but it comes with several disadvantages.

Most free blogs have limited templates to pick from and they don’t look as professional as self-hosted blogs. You also don’t have as much control over add-on features such as software or plugins.

Free blogs have a limited amount of memory. Unless you buy the domain name, you’ll have a www.blog.wordpress.com instead of www.blog.com.

However, free blogs are usually good for beginners because they require little installation. And there are no costs involved, at least not at first.

With a self-hosted blog, you’re completely in charge of everything that goes into it. You have unlimited options for layouts, plugins, and software. You’re also able to freely monetize your blog using ads and SEO optimization.

The cons of a self-hosted website are the initial costs. A new blogger might have to pay for the hosting service, the domain name, and any software.

If they’re going for a more professional look, then they might also have to pay for a layout or theme. Another con is that new bloggers might find the process of self-hosting overwhelming at first.

Ready to Decide on Blogger Hosting?

Remember to pick a website host based on the features you’ll need for your blog.

There are many benefits to self-hosting a blog. Just do your research and pick the best host for your niche.

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more, please visit us for more great life hacks.


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5 Advantages of Hiring a Web Design Service

November 1, 2017 - By 

Every business needs a website. If you don’t have one, it can be impossible to make money. And if you have one that looks a bit clunky, you should know that companies who have rebranded through website redesign have increased their revenue by up to 34 percent.

All of this means nothing if your site isn’t well designed, to begin with.

The best way to ensure a well-designed site is by using a web design service. If you don’t believe it, check out these five reasons why it’s the only way to do things.

Save Time With A Web Design Service

Running a business isn’t easy. A lot of startups and other companies can fail at a moment’s notice.

There are many potential reasons for this. Bad marketing, poor management, and just plain old luck can shut down a business.

But one of the biggest pieces of financial kryptonite is using your time poorly. To that end, you should be doing the things you’re good at that can help your business.

If web design is not your greatest skill, then you should hire a professional web design service to handle the hard work for you.

Get What You Want, Not Just What You Can Do

A good website is seemingly limitless. But if a website is not designed by professionals, this probably won’t be what happens.

You should not have a site defined by its limits. One of the best ways to get around this possibility is by taking advantage of the amazing web design offered by professionals.

Get A High Quality And Professional Look

Your site is your window to the world. For that reason, it’s essential that you treat it with respect.

An attractive website is the only way to bring in customers through the web. And if you design your site on your own, it could look extremely dated.

Master SEO

75 percent of users won’t scroll past the first page of search results. Because of this, it’s essential that your business has a strong and high-quality search engine optimization strategy.

SEO can be handled in a number of ways. And things like creating consistent and compelling content are on you. But if you want to truly succeed at it, you need a well-designed website.

This is because things like load times and page speeds have a strong impact on your SEO performance. So make sure you get help from professionals.

Have A Unique Site

Part of personal branding is having marketing materials that are unique, in that respect, hiring a high-quality web design service for custom built websites is essential to delivering on that promise.

The only way to succeed is to stand out. And only the professionals can help you do that.

Learn More

It’s vital in the business world to keep learning. We offer the right materials and plugins to help you do that.

If you want to learn more about the ways technology can help your business, look at our large collection of software.


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5 Mistakes to Avoid When You Hire a Web Designer

October 18, 2017 - By 

There are now more than 1.8 billion websites on the internet. That means if you want to grow your business, you need to hire a web designer who can help you stand out.

Unfortunately, not all web developers have the experience and qualifications to do the best possible job for you. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when you’re hiring your web designer:

1. Deciding Based Soley on Price

The amount you’ll pay your web designer is an important factor when it comes to hiring a web designer. But it shouldn’t dictate which developer you choose without also looking at many other factors.

If you’re creating a website for your business, it’s going to add value to that business, by helping attract leads and customers.

The lowest-priced web designer may not give you a website that meets all of your needs. Of course, a high price doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get high-quality. Make your decision based on many factors, including how communicative the designer is, their portfolio, your timeline, and price.

2. Forgetting About Maintenance and Future Updates

Regardless of how great your new website looks, and how well it is built, it’s going to require maintenance and updates in the future. Most designers will have a plan in place for these services and offer you a package or hourly rate, but you’ll need to check before you get started.

Without ongoing updates, your website will become out of date and ineffective. SEO is continually changing, and potential designers may need to do ongoing optimization. Check out www.s44seoservices.com.au for more information.

3. Not Thinking About Specialities

No two web designers are the same, and that’s great news. If every website was developed with the same methods and design, the internet would be a boring place.

But when you hire a web designer, you need to consider the type of design they specialize in. For the best results, you should choose someone who has a wealth of experience with your type of website or project.

For example, if you’re looking for a website with lots of bells and whistles, it probably doesn’t make sense to choose someone who has a portfolio packed with minimalistic designs.

4. Not Prioritizing SEO

The old days of “build it and they will come” are long gone. You may have the best-looking website in your industry, but if it wasn’t built with SEO in mind, you’re in trouble.

These days, all websites should be built for both customers and search engines. If you’re not familiar with SEO and web design, be sure to ask any potential web designers how they use SEO to make decisions while they’re designing your website.

5. Choosing Based on a “Wow” Factor

Many web designers use techniques and elements like Flash intros when showing potential clients what they can do. These can look amazing, but in many industries, they’ll annoy potential clients and have them clicking back to the search results.

That’s why it’s important to know what you’re looking for in a website before you get distracted by too many bells and whistles. Remember who will be using your website and keep their needs top-of-mind.

Ready to Hire a Web Designer?

As you can see, there are a few key things to remember when it’s time to design your website.

Above all, choose a web designer with a proven record and a portfolio that matches the type of website you’re looking for.

Looking for some more information about web design and development? Check out some of our helpful posts today!


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What You Need to Know Before Choosing Your Photography Website Builder

September 19, 2017 - By 
photography website builder

Whether you’ve been in the photography field for decades or you’re just trying to make a name for yourself, you need an up-to-date website to show off your body of work.

In this day and age, any old website won’t do. If you want to make a good impression, you’ll need a well-designed, top-notch site that will grab viewers’ attention.

The site builder you choose can make all the difference.

Here’s what you need to know before you choose a photography website builder for your budding business.

How to Choose the Best Photography Website Builder

When it comes to website builders for your photography site, you have seemingly endless options to choose from. Here are some tips for how to sort through your choices.

Set a Budget

Your first consideration when you choose a site builder should be the cost.

Some platforms are completely free, but they usually come with ads and a non-custom domain name.

For the best results, you should expect to spend some money each month on your website.

Pick a Site Builder Tailored to Visual Portfolios

The main purpose of your site is to show off your skills behind the camera. To do that, your photography site needs to be visual.

When you’re shopping for the right site builder, make sure they offer visual portfolio templates. You want your homepage to offer a clear picture of your work—without a lot of extra text.

Opt for a Platform With Enough Hosting Power

Some site builders will limit the number of photos you can host through their platform. If you want to post a lot of high-quality shots, that could become a big problem pretty quickly.

Shop around for a photography website builder that will let you host as many images as you want for a reasonable price.

Make Sure You Can Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly

Your website needs to look great, even on the tiniest screen. That’s because mobile browsing dethroned desktop as the preferred way to view the web in 2016.

Choose a site builder that will automatically handle the mobile-optimization process for you. Make sure your images scale down to a viewable size and that your layout shifts to account for vertical scrolling.

Look for a site builder that lets you use large, tappable buttons instead of hard-to-hit hyperlinks, too.

Pick a Site Builder You Can Integrate with a Digital Marketing Campaign

For your best chance at success, you need to use a solid digital marketing strategy to publicize your website.

A full-service web design firm like OONIE can take the guesswork out of this part of the equation for you. If you plan on bootstrapping it, look for a site builder that lets you track your visits, clicks, and bounce rate.

It should make it easy for you to cross-post your photos on social media, too.

Download Everything You Need to Succeed from Pligg

At Pligg, we offer the latest downloads the internet has to offer. With our help, you can master any subject in no time. Check out our complete guide to Adobe Lightroom and take your photo editing skills to the next level.


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Cyber Security Risks Small Businesses Should Prepare For

September 14, 2017 - By 

In 2016, more than 29 million confidential records were exposed by cyber attacks. Studies at the time concluded that the cost per record stolen in the United States came up to $220 and the average cost per breach was found to be $4 million.

If you’re not scared about cyber security threats, maybe you should be.

Surely, your company uploads thousands of personal and confidential data to the web, whether directly or through a cloud service, every single day.

This poses a significant threat not only to your business but also to your employees. Their confidential records could be hacked, identities stolen, and financial records pulled.

If you’re a small business owner, it’s time to prepare for some very real cyber security risks. Being equipped with the knowledge and power to fight them can prevent a terrible catastrophe and an unbearable financial burden.

Cyber Security Risks Facing Small Businesses

Your company’s intellectual property should be protected at all costs. Approximately 29% of cyber attacks to small businesses are planned cyber-crime. An additional 24% come from disloyal employees.

Follow along if you’d like to know the types of threats your business could be exposed to.

Understanding Your Contracts

The first step for cyber security risk preparation is reading the fine print in all the contracts your business has signed. Any third party provider will issue a contract and it’s important to understand the liability that comes with it.

Read everything. Be aware of how your information can be distributed and whether the company has data breach protection or not. Third party providers consisted of one-quarter of the data breach claims submitted in 2015.

Employee Risks

It is also important to understand how your employees can facilitate an attack. One of the most common ways is through lost or stolen documents, phones, or laptops.

Human error is a huge cause for data breaches. Brief your team on how their negligence can negatively affect the company. In this case, education is your best friend.

A mandatory training should be necessary for every new employee. Restrictions should also be placed on which electronic devices can be removed from the building and which ones cannot.

Digital Downloads

This is another classic attack agenda. Hackers will get your employees to download malware and in a matter of seconds or hours, your entire system has been breached.

The financial loss associated with this type of breach can be extremely significant. Resources need to be poured into legal defense and system restoration. Not to mention that the company will not be gaining revenue while the system is down.

On average, companies lose $100,000 during these ransomware attacks just from the downtime. Click for more information on how to get technical issues resolved within your company.

A Great Step Forward

One of the best ways to prevent attacks is to migrate to a cloud service. You will have better surveillance and perimeters, highly controlled access to data, and cyber security expertise by the provider.

Commonly, the service provider will also do routine auditing to make sure everything is running smoothly. It is likely your small business would not have the manpower or time to undergo these sorts of checks, so a cloud service is a better alternative to physical servers.

Wrapping Up

Now that you are aware of the types of security risks that can affect your company, it’s time to start preparing. The horrific cost of a cyber attack is sometimes unbearable, especially for smaller companies.

Educating your staff and taking the necessary steps to protect your records can prevent an irreversible disaster.

To get you prepared for a possible attack, do some more cyber security research. Learn about data encryption or secure servers to protect your co-workers from suffering from the effects of a cyber attack. The future of your company is not the only thing that’s at stake.


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5 of the Best Graphic Design Software Downloads

September 14, 2017 - By 

Many upcoming artists don’t have the money to spend on expensive graphic design software. If you’re looking to grow your design career or if you’re growing a new business, you’ll need access to design software.

It goes without saying that graphic software, such as Creative Cloud, is well-worth the cost. But there is plenty of free software that gets the job done well.

Want to refine your graphic design skills without breaking the bank? Looking to put your graphic design knowledge to work, even from home?

If so, we’ve got you covered! With the right software, your creative juices can flow freely. This means you can devote more time to your business, and less time to finding the right solutions to brand it.

Keep reading to learn about 5 of the best graphic design software available today.

1. Inkscape

Inkscape is a high-quality SVG editor. If you’re looking for a free replacement for Adobe Illustrator, look no further!

The program offers advanced graphic design features including:

  • Object cloning
  • Alpha blending
  • Markers
  • Various color modes

Use this program to create sophisticated artwork to build your portfolio. Eventually, you can work your way to the success of companies like Smash Brand.

Inkscape works on Windows as well as Linux.

2. Krita

Krita has been around since 1999! This software is designed for all sorts of graphic artists and embodies creative freedom.

Looking to build your visual effects skills? Are you a fan of textures and matte? Like to create free-drawn graphics?

Krita provides for all of your graphic needs.

The software comes preloaded with a full set of brushes. For more features, users can download plugins. Want more filters or fonts? There’s a plugin for that!

3. Gravit Designer

Want to create icon designs or background images? Looking to use illustration and animation? If so, Gravit Designer is a worthwhile download.

This full vector toolkit offers all the tools you need to create vector images. The software provides:

  • Graphs
  • Fill tools
  • A knife tool
  • Blending modes

This software works on various operating systems, including PC, Mac, ChromeOS, and Linux.

4. Vectr

Vectr can be used as a browser-based or stand-alone desktop app. This means you can create graphics on the go!

With Vectr you can create high-quality 2D vector graphics. The software offers a variety of fonts, shadows, and filters.

The software also provides live collaboration. Ever wanted help from a fellow designer? Want real-time reviews of your creations?

If so, Vectr is the best graphic design software for you.

Cool features you’ll find in this software includes:

  • Built-in versioning and marketplace
  • Private files
  • Custom portfolios
  • Artboards

Your Go-to Source for the Best Graphic Design Software

Searching the Internet for safe downloads can be frustrating. There’s nothing worse than clicking a link that infects your computer with malware.

Are you looking for a trusted source for digital downloads? If so, Pligg is the site for you.

We offer a variety of digital files, including software, movies, and even repair manuals.

Check out our site today and build your digital library!


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How to Create Your Own Digital Manual

August 3, 2017 - By 
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In a digital age, what happens to non-digital information?

Most often, it gets ignored! These days, most people will hit Google the first time they encounter a problem – even when it’s their health!

But that’s a good thing if you can take advantage of it. By offering digital manuals online, you extend the promotional reach of your company.

That’s why we’ve put together some points to consider for creating an effective digital manual.

Determine Your User

The single most important step in writing a successful manual is knowing your user is.

First, create a single sentence that defines who your user. This can be something as simple as “Users of Plantronics Headsets“. This short scope will keep you focused on answering your users’ questions.

Without thinking about your user in advance, you risk drifting off-topic. You may find yourself answering questions outside the scope of your intended purpose.

Create a Logical Outline

Knowing your user should help you create your structure.

Without a logical outline, you’ll just be winging the content. Your guide won’t have any rational flow. A good user guide works step-by-step, beginning to end.

Build a general contents page first. Write down all of the topics you want to cover in your manual. Then rearrange these topics into their most logical pattern. You may find yourself having to shift a section as you write the manual, but creating an outline at the start will give you a structure to work from.

Make It Visual

There’s nothing more boring than a manual without images. And what’s more, images will help your users understand the content!

Words without a visual guide can be hard to follow, so consider using the right images to highlight key points and hold your users’ attention. With a digital manual, you can offer full-color images and even links to videos! It’s a lot harder to do this with a traditional manual, and that’s one reason digital downloads are outpacing physical media.

Diagrams, step-by-step images, and tables are all great ways to present your information visually.

Make It Easy to Access

If you’ve gone through all the trouble of creating a manual, you want your users to see it. If users can’t find your manual, you’ve wasted your time creating it.

Especially in an age of short attention spans, where you display something is as important as what it contains. Make your user manual very easy to find. Link it from the product page, or even your main page if appropriate. Make sure the link includes the word “manual” and the name of the product.

This kind of forethought not only helps your users, but it builds their confidence in you. Making this information easy to obtain gives your users a positive attitude toward your company. How many times have you been frustrated by trying to find something on a website? That feeling translates into frustration with your company itself.

Create a Digital Manual Now

As you can see, creating a digital manual doesn’t have to be complicated. By keeping these points in mind, you could create one easily and improve your promotional reach.

Be sure to follow our blog for up-to-date digital hints and tips!


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How Can Web Development and Design Impact SEO?

July 25, 2017 - By 

If you’re in business, creating a new website or overhauling the one you have is essential, right? It is, if you understand how it can also have a negative effect on your SEO.

That might sound crazy, but it’s true. The problem is many business owners don’t get that, and then wonder why their ranking has dropped. The fact is, solid web development and design play a crucial role in business success.

It’s a fact that web design elements affect customers’ perception of your business. 94% said they even caused them to mistrust a website.

Web Development and Design: How’s Your UX?

Major changes have taken place in web development and design over the last decade. And whilst your website still needs to look good, there are far more important issues to consider.

The two most important are User Experience and Search Engine Optimization. Of course, you want to drive people to your shop front or online store, but this is how you do it.

User Experience or UX is critical to your ranking success. Google uses UX as a ranking signal, so you have to get it right. UX encompasses everything from usability and content to payment gateways.

Responsive Web Design

Topping the list of UX essentials is RWD or Responsive Web Design. That’s what you need for your new website to rank higher.

A responsive website must be fast to load and easy to navigate. It must also be adaptable to whatever device users view it on. In other words, it needs to be mobile friendly.

Websites that are not mobile friendly will see a drop in their ranking. This is especially true since Google boosted its mobile friendly algorithm last year.

Google Loves Backlinking

Another way to boost your search engine ranking is backlinking. This is where another site links to yours. In other words, others sites are ‘recommending’ yours. Google loves this and will use it to rank your site.

Effective internal linking will also impact your SEO strategy. This is likely to need professional input – something you can get from PC Repair CT.

It’s All About Speed

A common mistake made when overhauling a website is using oversized images and files. Huge pictures may look amazing, but they could be damaging your SEO ranking.

The reason being, your pages will take longer to load, diminishing the UX. As Google says, faster sites create happy users! And around half of your visitors will leave if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

A good web development and design team have plenty of tricks to entertain your users AND boost your ranking. A video is a great online tool and will help promote your brand.

Give Popups The Flick

While we’re on the subject of happy users, avoid using too many pop-ups on your site. It’s a common mistake to add pop-ups when designing a site. You may think it adds visual interest.

What it actually does is annoy most of your users! They start reading a great article on your site and boom, here comes a pop-up! Avoid the temptation.

Effective Keyword Use

Ensure your new website incorporates product pages. To achieve a clean, modern feel, many designers drop product pages from the site or list all products on one page.

The most effective SEO strategy uses one product and keyword per page. Proper keyword placement will improve your rankings. And better rankings means more business.

The smallest design or development change can have a major effect on your ranking. For this reason, it’s usually a job for a professional web development and design team.

 

 


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How to Select the Right Colors for Web Development and Design

July 6, 2017 - By 

Web development and design can be a challenge. There are so many decisions to make, and color is one of the most fundamental.

The right color scheme can make or break a website, playing a huge role in how well it serves its purpose.

A poor color scheme could:

  • Create a bad first impression.
  • Drive customers away.
  • Make your business appear unprofessional.
  • Make your site hard to read or navigate, damaging user experience.
  • Damage your brand image.

Does this sound extreme?

How likely are you to purchase services from a business with a website that has a black background and neon-yellow text?

Or pale yellow text on a white background?

Or every color under the sun on every single page?

You get the idea. In web development and design, color matters a whole lot.

If you’re not sure how to create the right color scheme for your website, you’re in the right place. This post will take you through the color schemes you should never use, then give you clear steps detailing how to pick the right colors for your site.

Ready to create some amazing web color schemes?

Let’s do this.

The color schemes you shouldn’t use in web development and design

Before you learn what you should do when creating color schemes for web development and design, let’s cover what you should avoid at all costs.

If any of these choices feature in your current color scheme, it’s time for a drastic redesign.

Using only one color.

You might think you’ve hit on the solution to all your color scheme woes.

“I know, I’ll just use a single color!”

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

Using a single color makes it hard for visitors to distinguish between the different areas of your site. It means you can’t highlight links, buttons, and other important elements which would usually be shown in a contrasting color.

Having a single color also makes your site look basic and poorly-designed, which is not what you want.

Using rainbow colors.

On the other side of the coin, don’t think you can get away with using every color. Rainbow colors might look great on your toddler’s latest finger painting, but they aren’t right for a professional website.

Too many colors will make your site look cluttered, busy, and hard to navigate.

Too many bright/neon colors.

Your website should be easy on the eyes. If any of the colors used are painful to look at for long, they need to go.

Imagine that someone is reading a long blog post with small text on your site. Would the colors you’ve picked be comfortable to look at for long periods of time?

If not, give them a miss.

Too many dark colors.

For the vast majority of websites, light, bright colors will create the most user-friendly experience.

Sites with very dark backgrounds, lots of dark elements, and dark text don’t appear professional and aren’t pleasant to browse.

Imagine you’re designing a room, and you want it to look as welcoming as possible. You’d pick bright, neutral colors – you wouldn’t paint the walls black and put up dark brown drapes.

Light colors on a light background.

This is one of the biggest issues for many sites, especially those with lots of text.

Light colored text on a light background just isn’t easy for visitors to read, which will put them off spending time on your site.

Choose clear, contrasting colors for your design, and remember that people may be browsing on screens with low brightness, or could have visual impairments. Test your colors on a few different devices to make sure they’re as clear as possible.

The color schemes you should use in web development and design

Want to learn how to create a winning color scheme in a few easy steps?

Read on.

Pick the right starting color.

Take a deep breath.

You’re about to pick the color that your entire color scheme will be based around. This is an important color, and you might feel spoilt for choice.

If that’s the case, here are some ideas to help you pick the perfect shade:

  • Use a color already associated with your brand, like your logo color.
  • Don’t use the same color as your competition. A new cola brand in red? Not a good idea.
  • Pick a color to appeal to your audience. Gardening blog? Green could be perfect.
  • Look at color psychology for ideas. Blue is calming, orange is comforting, and yellow is emotional.

Use color palettes for inspiration.

Once you’ve decided on a base color, like red, yellow or blue, you’ll need to pick the exact shade.

This can feel pretty overwhelming, and looking to existing color palettes for inspiration can be a big help.

Simply search ‘color palettes’ or ‘design trends‘, then copy and paste hex codes, or use the color picker in your design program to grab colors. Compare a few, and avoid copying the exact shade used by a competing brand.

Save your favorite palettes, as they could help with the next step.

For a more organic color selection process, try picking colors out of a photograph – this can feel a lot more inspiring than staring at hex codes.

Choose at least one accent color.

Okay, you’ve got your base color.

Now you need to choose an accent color.

This is the shade that will be used to highlight certain elements of your site, like links, text, and buttons. It should be a color that complements your base color and stands out without looking too jarring.

If you picked your first color using a palette, you might find a suitable accent color there. If not, try looking at a color wheel and picking a color that’s opposite or next to your original shade.

Multiple accent colors can look good, but don’t go overboard – stick to a maximum of three.

If in doubt, stick with one accent color for a simple, sleek look.

Use different shades of gray for text and backgrounds.

We talked about how too many colors can make your website look cluttered.

That’s true, but it doesn’t mean you can’t add different backgrounds to certain areas of your site, or highlight specific pieces of text.

You just need to use a magical color called gray.

Grey matches perfectly with any color scheme and draws attention without looking busy or tacky.

Your color scheme should include a light gray and a dark gray, to be used anywhere you want to create separation. Pick grays that match well with your base color – for example, blue gray to match a blue base color.

Feeling lost when it comes to color schemes for web development and design?

Follow this guide and you’ll soon be creating color schemes that perfectly represent your brand and provide the framework for a beautiful, professional website.

Start creating your new web color scheme today.


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5 Benefits of an Internal Search Bar for Your Website

July 5, 2017 - By 

Anyone who has a website is always on the lookout for ways to improve its performance. A search function can improve a website by keeping visitors on the site, speeding up the user experience, focusing on the customer, and by providing valuable data to marketers and SEO professionals.

Think about a brick-and-mortar bookstore. Shoppers enter the store but have no way to find the book they need. Most of them will leave the store, possibly never to return. A website is much the same. If users can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll leave.

To learn how every website can benefit from having internal search, keep reading.

5 Benefits of Internal Search

Let’s get down to brass tacks and look at each of the benefits for a search bar on your website.

Keep Visitors on the Website

Like the bookstore example above, it’s bad for business when visitors leave because they can’t find what they’re looking for. If they have to leave to search Google, for example, that’s called a bounce.

The percentage of users who bounce is known as a bounce rate. While a higher bounce rate may not always be cause for concern, it can be. Websites can be ranked lower on search engines sometimes if they have high bounce rates.

Speed Up User Experience

People want results and they want them fast. If a website offers a search bar, that can save visitors precious time navigating through menus and sub-menus. They can find what they came for much faster, which creates a better user experience.

A better user experience can lead to higher rankings on search engines.

Focus on the Customer

A search bar to find information and products internally sends a specific message. It tells visitors that the website is focused on their needs. When visitors feel their needs are important, they can be more likely to convert. That means more customers.

Think of implementing a search bar the same way as creating a customer service department. Tell visitors that the website is for them.

Provide Marketers with Data

Successful marketing relies on all sorts of data. Demographics such as age and gender, product relatability, and even active time of day can play an important role in marketing. Internal search provides first-party data for marketers.

That means the data is direct from the source. It’s not filtered or controlled in any way contrary to what the marketer needs.

Gather SEO Data

SEO, or search engine optimization, makes websites more attractive to search engines, and the users who search them. There are many ways to improve SEO, but one way is to use the right keywords in the right places. Getting those keywords can be tough.

Without reading visitors’ minds, understanding what they want can be a roundabout process. Search bars can make keyword data gathering more straightforward.

A website without a search bar is missing out on these and other benefits. The good news is that any site can be fitted with an internal search feature. We’d love to hear about how a search bar helped your website. Contact us to share your story!


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How to Create and Ensure Excellent User Experience

June 13, 2017 - By 

There are a lot of factors that go into creating an engaging product. You’ll need a great logo, solid copywriting, and an intuitive design.

But above all else, you’ll need to make sure you’ve provided a superior user experience. Without it, you’ll practically be able to watch the users flock away from your site.

Your goal is to provide users with an experience that will want them leaving more. They’ll need to see your design and immediately know who you are and why they want what you offer.

Here are some tips to creating a user experience that customers will love.

Think of the User Above All Else

Remember the old saying, you can’t understand a person until you walk a mile in their shoes? The saying translates to UX creation perfectly.

Think of it as user empathy.

You’ll need to put yourself in the shoes of your user to make sure that your design functions in an intuitive manner. Take some time to examine your pre-existing UX and see what needs retooling.

Maybe your menu system could use an update, or perhaps your images aren’t as clean as they could be.

Your user needs to come first or else you’ll suffer some unintended consequences. What would you want to see changed about your UX? If you can’t come up with anything, browse the web and glance at your competition.

What about their design works better than yours? How can you implement those changes into your UX?

Create a Cohesive Color Scheme

Part of creating a great user interface is having a pleasing aesthetic. Work with your team to create a pattern that appropriately represents your product.

It’s suggested that your finished product follows the color scheme of your logo. Color matters more than we may think, as they have subconscious implications. Create an atmosphere with warm, welcoming colors.

Keep Consumers Engaged

Above all else, your job as a UX designer is to keep users interested. Whether it’s a website, a new brochure, or a cardboard display, users need to be engaged and stay engaged.

There are a few ways you can create an experience worthy of attracting attention.

Always block your text in a logical, scannable manner. People’s attention spans tend to be a bit shorter than they used to. Breaking up your text is an easy way to get them to keep skimming.

You can also use a variety of colors to create a varied look. We’ve already mentioned how important color schemes are, so use all the colors of your logo.

Users Love Video

If a picture says a thousand words, then a video likely speaks tenfold. A video is one of the most effective ways to get your brand’s name out in the public.

With thousands of videos viewed per day, if you don’t have a video strategy, you’re making a mistake.

When presented with the option of reading a block of text or watching a video, users will almost always choose the video.

Be sure to look into the latest video in print technology. This innovative new concept provides the artistry of text with the and finesse of video.

A video-oriented UX is sure to wow your clients and it leaves a lasting impression.

If you really want to stand out in today’s competitive market, you need a clean UX. And nothing is easier and cleaner than video. Don’t just write about your products, show them off in a crystal-clear video.


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7 Graphic Design Trends You Need To Know

June 6, 2017 - By 

Graphic designs trends are not so unlike other trends. Every year ushers in a new set of them. Hot pinks replace sky blues, and brazen colors replace more subtle hues.

As a result, keeping up with all of the latest and greatest trends can get tricky. Even if we can keep up, we might not be able to incorporate new trends into our designs as quickly as we’d like to.

Fortunately, there are those amongst us who take the time to put together nifty lists of some of the latest trends.

And – wouldn’t you know it – you’re reading one of those lists right now. Continue reading for 7 graphic design trends you’ll need to know this year.

Authentic Images

Once upon a time, we could use stock images to our hearts’ content. They made plenty of lives easier.

So much so that you’d often the same stock image in someone else’s design.

Times, however, have changed. People are no longer fond of boring old stock images. They want something authentic. Consequently, you’re going to have to put in a little extra work this year.

Which means that you’re going to have to put in a little extra work this year.

Personal drawings and original photos are a must in the world of graphic design today. As a matter of fact, we’d wager that this trend, unlike some the other graphic design trends we’ve listed, is here to stay.

Needless to say, though, there are plenty of people who have had success with stock photos. There are several sites which offer high-quality stock images.

That said, if you must use stock images, don’t completely rely on them. Take the time to create some images of your own as well.

GIFS

Who doesn’t love a good GIF nowadays? You can find them on your favorite social media sites and multiple other platforms, yet you never tire of them. There is literally a GIF for almost every situation and feeling.

And if the GIF you’re looking for doesn’t exist, you can make it.

As a graphic designer, you can leverage this love of GIFS. Just consider including one or two in your next design.

Minimalism

Apparently, “doing the most” is not trendy this year. People are moving away from busy designs and choosing minimalist designs, and people are loving it.

So how can you have a little fun with this trend this year?

Try simple logos and palettes. You might even consider playing around with the spatial relationships between the elements of your design. There are also tons of other tips that can enhance your minimal designs.

Don’t be tempted to add tons of elements to your design. There is no need to do so since minimalism speaks for itself.

User Experience

As far as graphic design trends go, we’d like to think that prioritizing user experience has always been hip. Regardless of whether or not that’s the case, user experience is definitely hip this year.

And for good reason.

According to Goran Paunovic, “every dollar invested in UX returns $10 to $100.” The amount you stand to save should be reason enough for you consider prioritizing it.

You can start by doing away with much of your designs’ complexity and opting for simplicity. Customers should be able to navigate your design easily. Of course, we don’t want you thinking that you must sacrifice the visual appeal of your design to improve UX.

We also don’t want you to think that you have to compromise on security. Data breaches don’t, after all, make for user-friendly experiences. They can also get you into some legal trouble.

Storytelling

You’re a graphic designer. You excel at making things look pretty while (hopefully) maintaining their functionality. Storytelling might not be your strong point.

In any case, storytelling is becoming immensely important. People want more out of a design than the visual appeal these days. They want a story, and not necessarily in the form of words.

You should be able to arrange your images in order to make people who view them feel something. Whatever they happen to feel should keep them coming back for more.

Perhaps your images could share a theme. Maybe they could be sequential and tell an actual story. Maybe they could all be interpretations of each other.

There are so many ways to incorporate a great story into your designs. Don’t shy away from storytelling. It’ll give your designs more dimensions.

Geometric Designs

We’re not sure what it is about geometric designs that make them so popular. Is it the circles? The squares or trapezoids?

Perhaps it’s n-gons?

On a more serious note, graphic designs take everyday shapes and turn them into something eye-catching. Imagine staring into an image and feeling as if you’re falling into it. How about feeling as if the image itself is moving?

Those feelings keep people staring at your designs for seconds as they try to decipher them. As an added bonus for you, they’re fairly simple undertakings for designers.

Vintage

Blasts from the pasts are apparently trendy again. Of course, we can’t pretend to be surprised. They go in and out of style quite frequently.

So which decades have been getting the most love lately?

Word has it that the eighties have been a popular source of inspiration.

Why, however, stop with the eighties? You have plenty of decades to choose from. There is no reason to limit your inspiration to one or two periods.

If you’re interested in vintage, though, make sure you do your homework. You don’t just want something that looks good. You want something that really captures the spirit of the period which inspired the design.

Stay On Top of Graphic Design Trends This Year

We’re not sure about you guys, but we think that this year’s graphic design trends look promising. From fewer stock photos to vintage designs, designs are sure to produce some awesome work in 2017.

And, yes, that includes you, my friend.

If the trends on this list haven’t inspired your next design, though, all hope is not lost. You’re welcome to take a look around our marketplace. It’s full of affordable graphics that can help you take your designs the next level.


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