Blog

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 …

Time to prepare your website now for voice searches

The iPhone launched in 2007. Since then it’s incredible how quickly mobile phones have become a part of our lives. So what’s next?  In the last year, technology related to speech recognition has had major breakthroughs. The accuracy keeps getting better and it will only improve. And as it does, more people will stop typing and simply ask their smart phones questions.   Apple just released a new Apple TV with voice search. Others will follow. Speak recognition technology in automobiles will improve as well. We will become more comfortable speaking than typing. Trends show it’s growing.    As a …

When is it time for a website redesign

Before and After Website Northern Rock Tops

We often get asked “How often should we re-design our website”? It’s not a simple question to answer. Rule of thumb: every 2 to 3 years Because building websites is our business, we see the trends and make recommendations for rebuilding. In general, you should redesign and rebuild your website every 2 – 3 years. It’s often tough to get around to working on your own projects i.e. the shoemaker has no shoes, and we understand this even with our own website. However, with a website being a key part of most businesses – for marketing, operations and communication – …

The WordPress time bomb that may ruin your day

Woman screaming

The call or email goes something like this:  “Help!  I’ve been hacked. My website has been down for over a day now. We are losing business!” We are starting to see what we predict will be a very bad trend that will affect a large number of the organizations that are buying WordPress websites. And those organizations have no idea …. until it’s too late. It’s not unusual for the average web designer to buy WordPress themes, customize them, and put them on cheap hosting. Everyone is proud of the new website.  It looks great. Your organization puts out an announcement, everyone compliments your …

Website Renovation: Landscaping Site Before and After

Brooktrail screenshot after

Have you ever seen those home makeover shows?  The ones that take a dated house and transform it? The lesson they teach is that you don’t need to build a home from scratch to improve your surroundings. Before Sometimes, all a website needs is a bit of a facelift to breathe new life in to it. A client had a simple website that was over 5 years old and showing its age. And, knowing Google will start to penalize rankings for websites that aren’t mobile friendly, it was a great time for a quick website renovation! After A mobile-friendly (responsive) …

Google Wants your Website to be Mobile Friendly

Responsive site on iPhone

One of the biggest changes in the last few years has been the increase in the use of mobile device use. Your google analytics can show you how much traffic is coming to your website through mobile device searches! Google wants everyones website to be “mobile friendly”.  How much? They say if your website is not mobile friendly, starting April they will penalize your website on their search engine when people visit your website from a mobile device. (Google article here) So, although your website can be seen on mobile devices, it may not mobile friendly in Google’s definition. So …