Archive for the ‘Internet’ category

Beat Writer’s Block with These 5 Blog Topics

April 14th, 2015

If you’ve got a business, you know how important a blog can be for your website. However, you also know how easy it is to get stuck in a rut. If you’re suffering from writer’s block, here are a few blogging topic ideas to get your ideas flowing.

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Compile the Best Resources

Do you know the very best place to purchase raw cacao powder? Have some intel on where to find spectacular WordPress plugins? Don’t keep that knowledge to yourself- let your readers get in on the joy.

Answer Frequently Asked Questions

Collaborate with your customer support team to get an idea of the most commonly asked questions. Look through industry-related forum posts and your social media comments to get even more inspiration. Your readers will appreciate being able to easily find what they’re looking for, and you will be a hero!

Announcement Time!

Don’t be shy if you’re excited about something. Have an upcoming promo, a website revamp, or new staff joining the team? Allow others to share your successes with you.

Dare to Compare

When on the lookout for the best new product, customers love to compare. Create a pro and con lists, list specs side by side, and give a summary of your thoughts on each product. Let the product face-off begin!

Double Dip with Video Uploads

Have you just created an awesome video? Go ahead and embed the video in a blog post. Write some text before and after the video to add some context or behind-the-scenes insight.

Maintaining a blog for your business is a great way to offer advice or value to your customers. In addition, you can promote your business, bring traffic to your website, and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Don’t let a case of writer’s block stop you- go forth and blog! Let us know how it goes.

5 Google Search Tricks

June 17th, 2014

Did you know that there are more ways to search on Google than by just typing in the words that you want? Check out some of these Google hacks and let us know if you’ve used some of them before!

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1) Search a Phrase Verbatim

If you want to look for words in their exact order, just sandwich the phrase within quotation marks.

Example: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”

2) Narrow a Search to a Single Website

You remember reading about a service on the Doteasy site, but you can’t find it anymore! Just search within doteasy.com by searching “site:” followed by the website URL and the search terms.

Example: site:doteasy.com SSD hosting

3) Fill in the Blanks

If you’re going crazy trying to remember that expression, don’t make a mountain out of a __ and just ask Google! Replace your brain fart with an asterisk, and Google with search for possible results which fill in the blanks.

Example: mountain out of a *

4) Quickly Convert Currency

So you need to quickly convert dollars to francs – let Google do it for you. Just type the name of the currency you know followed by “to” and the currency you want to convert to.

Example: dollars to francs

5) Select a Time Range

If you’re only looking for recent news, take advantage of the Search Tools to limit your search results to those from the recent past.

Under the Google Search Bar, click on Search Tools, click on Any Time, and select the time range of your choice from the drop down menu.

WordPress 3.9.1: Maintenance Release

May 8th, 2014

WordPress has recently released its latest update: WordPress 3.9.1 version. This is a maintenance release for all previous versions. According to WordPress.org, the latest version fixes the following:

  • Various fixes for multisite networks, customizing widgets while previewing themes, and the updated visual editor.
  • Audio/video playlists feature enhancement

Since this is only a maintenance update, your WordPress may have been updated automatically (depending on the existing version of WordPress you have). But to ensure your WordPress website is updated, it is recommended to log in to your site and check if update is required. To update, log in to your WordPress dashboard and the update button is listed on top of the browser. To learn more about the update, please read this blog post from WordPress.org.

Most Annoying Website Features

April 11th, 2014

So your shiny new website is up and running – that’s great! What to do next? Check to make sure you’re not scaring off visitors by committing these oft-reported faux-pas of the online world.

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Pop Ups

You’re happily scrolling through a website article, when BAM, a message pops up to tell you to subscribe to a newsletter, donate to a cause, or -wait for it- read an advertisement. How do you react? While pop-ups can sometimes be necessary, generally they will interrupt your visitor’s viewing experience and make for a cranky viewer.

Page breaks galore

Does each blog point really need its own page? While you might temporarily increase sponsor revenues by breaking your “6 Tips for Better Skin” article into 6 different pages, (or 7 if you include an intro), this can be a big turn off to readers who want to quickly scan through it. If having a multi-page article is unavoidable, consider offering a “Read on one page” option for your impatient visitors.

Autoplay music 

While you might expect that country pop hit to immensely enhance the viewing experience of your website, your visitors might disagree. Those at work or on the bus might especially find it displeasing if they weren’t expecting it. Bonus irritation points awarded if the on/off controls are hidden somewhere on a messy home page. Users won’t be happy when they’re scrambling to find the source of the auditory interruption.

Keep in mind that many web users are multi-taskers who like to look at multiple websites at a time and listen to the music of their choice. Keep visitors happy by letting them browse through your content at their own pace.

All Style, No Substance

Have you stumbled upon a landing page that looked like it belonged directly on your living room wall? It looks beautiful, there are fun effect s- but lo and behold, you can’t seem to actually figure out what the site is for! A website that is logical to use and easy to navigate can impress a user much more than a gimmick-filled homepage.

Do you agree with our list? Have more to add? We’d love to know your thoughts.

Trend Spotlight: Video Backgrounds

April 1st, 2014

Remember our predictions for Web Design Trends in 2014? Now that we’re well into the year, let’s take a closer look at one of the more controversial design ideas that we mentioned: video integration.

To be more precise, we’re talking humongous videos in place of background images or in the large hero areas. Need some examples? Check out:

Exhibit A:

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Gladeye uses this feature sparingly, choosing to use video only on its contact page. They also cleverly tie in their video content (of swooping angles of their location) with the page content (their physical address).

Exhibit B:

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Savelli-Geneve takes a bolder approach with a more intimate video right on the homepage.

PROS:

  • Videos can quickly convey your brand to your visitor.
  • It can grab attention and leave a memorable impression with your viewer.
  • Videos can add a little extra oomph to your web design!

CONS:

  • Web users are now more concerned than ever about browsing the web at their own pace – does an auto play video take their control away?
  • Videos can have a jarring effect – does that suit your brand?
  • If not done well, videos can distract away from your content, or even annoy your visitor.

Weigh in with your thoughts! Is this a trend worth keeping or is it a distracting design gimmick?