General Thoughts

Working from where you want: The next Recruiting tool? 

Back in March of 2007, I wrote a blog post called Business from your Home or Cottage. It was about people who were starting to work from home. For 9 1/2 years we have been implementing technology to make it possible for our team to work remotely. I’m happy to report that any one of us can now work anywhere in the world. This ability has made us more resilient and the people that work with us happier. It has also allowed for us to hire contractors that prefer to work from home, changing our business a bit. Recently we moved our …

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 …

Web accessibility: Why it’s time has come

Having an accessible website means that your site is built in a way that enables anyone with a disability to interact with it. The Ontario AODA legislation kicked in January 1, 2014.  It is now mandatory for any company with 50 or more employees to make their new website or new web content accessible to meet WCAG 2.0 standards. The 370,000 businesses in Ontario with less than 50 employees need to pay attention as well. What level of WCAG 2.0 should you meet? Think of WCAG 2.0 as the ISO standard for web accessibility. It is the technical standard web designers use …

These 5 words will save you BIG marketing dollars

We get it. The Internet is an exciting place with emerging technologies and new ways of reaching your prospective customers. Each week we have clients ask us about a new digital marketing vehicle they’ve just read about or stumbled upon.  These shiny new tools often promise to magically solve their revenue targets.  When our clients ask, we answer with these 5 words: “Are your prospective customers there?” How many times have businesses tried new vehicles like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest only to be disappointed? How much time and money was invested because someone told them it was the next big thing?  If you start with those 5 words –Are …

Why Businesses Need to Stop using Gmail, Rogers, Bell etc. for their Business Email

There are many people that use Gmail, Bell, Rogers and similar email providers for their personal use. When they start a new business, it’s easier just continuing to use that email. However, that’s not a very good strategy in the long run for a business. As the saying goes: “Before you start climbing a wall, make sure the wall is the right one.” You see, when you start out in your business one of the first things you get is a business card. You start handing it out. You also send out emails, continuing to build your network. So what happens, say 3 or 5 years down …

Are you sure you want me to shop at your store?

Like many folks, I try to combine trips to and from the office with other chores: stopping at the bank, picking up office supplies, etc. You know the drill. So, when I’m planning my day, I often visit the website of the store I want to shop at, to see what time they open. If the store opens later in the morning, I can plan my visit for later in the day. If you don’t tell me your store hours on your website, you risk losing my sale. I’ll find someone else who’s open and leave my money there. Please …

Should you buy YellowPages.ca advertisements this year?

The calls are starting to come in from clients asking us “should I buy Yellow Pages advertising?” My answer is the same. “Let’s look at your websites visitor data and see how many visitors are coming directly from yellowpages.ca. Then you can see if the number justifies the amount you are considering spending with them.” So what does our collective client data indicate this year? Not one client has been happy with their Yellow Pages numbers. The data also reveals that people are mostly searching through Google, not going through the Yellow Pages directory. Where do you search? So before …

Stop building websites and start cultivating gardens

Web designers and their clients can get caught up in the building of the website structure, how it looks and the cool shiny features the site has. Like a building, it stands firm and tall as visitors enter and exit. The owner and web designer/architect look proudly at their creation and think all is good. But websites aren’t for the owner or the web designer … they’re for the visitor aren’t they? So when someone comes to the website our goal is not to show off our creation, it’s to answer the visitors needs. It’s to keep the visitor engaged …

5 reasons why a well built website trumps a visually appealing one

As web developers, we get it. Your website is the window to the world and you want it to look good. BUT, visual design is not why people visit your website. It’s information. Usability and functionality are more important than visual appeal. Here’s 5 reasons why: Do you go to a website looking for information or to see a pretty website? (Come on, when was the last time you actually went to a website just to see the visual design?) No matter how good a website looks, if it doesn’t load quickly, you’ll leave … correct? It’s why Google rewards …

Does your writing pass the DIGS test?

Have you become a spammer and didn’t even realize it? Are you inflicting cruel punishment on your friends and clients? Internet tools have made it even easier to send out even more info. For some, the old habit of sending out information to large numbers of people to see if you get a little bit of traction is a left-over from the newspaper days. But those days are gone (or need to be). It’s become so much easier for businesses to segment their audiences and send relevant information. But how do if you know if it’s relevant? Try the “DIGS” …