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An Effective Website: The Wrong Path

There is a saying: “before climbing a ladder, make sure the ground is solid and that you’re climbing the right wall.”  It seems straightforward, but many companies start climbing without asking the right question. They end up going down a path that is more complex than required. They also waste time and money. And worst of all, they will create an ineffective website.  So what’s the wrong question? Asking, “What do I need in a website?”  Tell the truth. Isn’t that the question you asked yourself? You let that question generate a list of “requirements” that you took to your web developer.  Most developers worth …

Treat Websites as Online Sales Staff, Not Signs

I sat across from my accountant, who is also a web client, and asked her “Do you think your website is important to your business?” She answered “Oh yes. I even got a nice client yesterday who picked us over the competition because of our website.” Next I asked, “So what percentage of your business do you believe you get because of your website?” She thought for a moment and then gave me the number – a good portion I might add. So then I said, “Multiply that number by your revenue.” “Got it” she said. I then asked the big question, “If your website is responsible …

Warning from Google: Your Website MUST now be Mobile Friendly, or your rankings will suffer

iphone with mobile friendly websites search

Starting in April 2015 Google wanted your website to be more mobile friendly and if it wasn’t they started penalizing non-mobile friendly websites, on their search engine, when visitors searched from a mobile device. (Google article here) “The search engine already promotes sites that work well on mobile devices over ones that don’t, a change introduced in April 2015”. In typical Google fashion, they are signalling that they will be taking mobile search even further…very soon. Google will be switching from a desktop focussed index to a mobile-first index. “Google is fully splitting its search index into two distinct versions: a rapidly updated …

Web Design is really all about the Content (Reposted)

I originally posted this article 7 years ago. It is still key and still ignored by many organizations. There is a reason CONTENT management systems (CMS) have taken over the web. In fact over 25% of all new websites are now built with WordPress CMS. When a business owner hears that we specialize in WordPress websites, they begin asking questions. Does social marketing work, how do I get on the first page of Google, what’s new? Someone recently asked me what the most important thing about a website was. I naturally answered “content”. They just looked at me strangely. But THAT …

3 Basic Steps To Keep Visitors from Leaving Your Website

Step 1 - Step 2 - Step 3. Hand writing text on chalkboard

What I’m about to tell you, you already know at a certain level, but as a business owner you sometimes forget how important they are. I am talking about doing the basics that keep visitors from leaving your website. Businesses are so focused on having a cool website, that they forget to execute the basic first steps. Step 1: Make sure your website loads quickly. (added bonus – Google rewards faster loading sites) Imagine you are looking for something specific on the Internet. You put a search string into Google which provides a large list of relevant search results. You see a local …

Accessibility-ready WordPress themes are just part the puzzle

WordPress has become one of the most common platforms for websites and accessibility-ready WordPress themes are a positive new trend in that growing market.  Almost 25% of websites are now powered by the popular CMS (Content Management System). With it’s increasing popularity has come a focus on the accessibility of those sites and that’s great news. Thankfully, for the past few years, a team of dedicated volunteers has been driving the improvement of both the administrative back-end of the platform along with the themes that are available for site owners.  In fact, there are now almost 100 accessibility-ready WordPress themes …

Call of the wild or of the season: “Can you help me with my template website?”

Ape at laptop

It used to be that we would get frantic calls: “My web designer has gone out of business … help!” The seasons have changed and the current call of the wild, from those business owners that like to live dangerously, seems to be like this:  “My free (or purchased) website theme isn’t working for me. Can you help me with it?” We don’t work with template themes (free or purchased) for a variety of reasons.  In the past, we have tried to work with themes that include excess code and plugins that cause security issues. Hacking to work around the …

Should I add a blog to my website?

Blog thought

Sharing information on social media networks and blogging have become increasingly popular in recent years.  In the past we have talked about Social Media Communication and Online Marketing, but in this post we’ll talk about the reasons to add a blog to your website. 4 reasons to add a blog to your website: It’s a way of keeping your audience aware of news and changes in your industry. You have lots of knowledge to share and sharing your knowledge in a blog can help position you as an expert in your field. This will add to your credibility and encourage customers to do …

Building accessible websites: What not to do

Chocolate Chips and cookies

And another call comes in. They all seem to be the same lately. Caller: Hi, I was referred to you by a mutual colleague. I /our agency recently built a website and it’s ready to launch. We discovered that we needed the site to conform to AA web accessibility standards. Can you check the site for us and tell me what would it take to make it comply?   Me: It’s always best to put the chocolate chips in the cookie before baking them (shout out to Billy Gregory for that gem). Caller: (nervous chuckle) Good analogy.   Me: Have …

Top 3 reasons to work with a small(er) web development firm

1.  Small-town customer care: It’s the little things that count Remember what it was like to call a company and get a live person you actually wanted to talk to? That’s us. Have a problem? We’ll fix it fast. Working with a boutique web development firm like CMS Web Solutions gives you some immediate advantages. Our goal is to ensure our family of clients feels looked after. You can ask us about whether mail addressed to your business is spam (and you do) and we are always happy to assist. We advise you when your email account is sending spam and …