Marketing, design, and technical resources for making your digital and print communications more effective.
October 30th, 2018
This report provides managers with a high-level overview of key web development best practices and trends so they 1) are better equipped to make informed decisions, 2) are aware of available tools and resources, and 3) gain an understanding of current requirements, risks, and costs associated with their website.
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The topics covered include:
Strategy and Goals
Understanding the effectiveness of a website is dependent upon the quality of the comprehensive marketing plan in which it exists.
Content and Messaging
The preeminence of content or achieving your website goals.
Developing your organization’s website from your target audience’s perspective.
Graphic Design Principles
An overview of the fundamental principles for utilizing design to provide effectiveness and credibility to your message.
Web Design Trends and Best Practices
A summary of current web design and layout trends and their advantages.
An overview of the increased risk of hacking and the major factors that can affect your website’s security.
Website Accessibility (Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 AA)
Understanding the rapidly evolving requirements for website accessibility.
Website Deployment Options
The pros and cons of professionally managed websites compared to user managed content management systems (CMS).
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
A primer on the components of SEM including organic SEO and paid SEM.
August 25th, 2018
There is a tendency to want a logo displayed as large as possible in marketing collateral. While it might be tempting to think the bigger the logo the bigger impression you’ll make, in fact the opposite is true.
Our minds are subconsciously conditioned to give more prestige and credibility to brands the smaller their logo is displayed. There are always exceptions, but almost all the best known brands display their logo quite small. If you want to add more emphasis to a logo (or any layout element for that matter) keep the logo smaller and add more white space (also called negative space) around it.
Take a look at almost any Fortune 100 company’s website to see this principle in action:
So, if you want your branding to communicate more prestige and credibility, quit trying so hard and tap into the subconscious consensus that smaller logos mean bigger brands.
May 3rd, 2018
Choosing the best domain name for your website is a daunting task. Actually thinking of a great domain name is not hard, finding a great name, or even a good-enough name, that’s not taken is the hard part.
Choose .com instead of .net, .co, .biz, etc., (.other)
never use a .net domain as your primary business domain”
The most important criteria when choosing a domain is to select a .com domain if possible. The reason a company considers a .other domain is often because someone else is already using the .com version of the domain. Usability studies have proven that when someone hears or reads a domain name, by the time they type it in their web browser they’re most likely going to type .com anyway. If you do choose to go with a .other be aware that a signfiant portion of the cost and effort you put into your website will benefit the .com version, not yours.
Sometimes people see that their .com is not currently developed and assume that since there is no site on the .com the .other is a viable option. In these cases it’s even more important not to choose the .other. A domain squatter dreams about a company investing a ton of money into developing and marketing a .other website for which the squatter owns the .com. It raises the value of the .com significantly and it’s very easy to squeeze the .other domain holder into paying an exorbitant price for the .com when the squatter puts up a porn site.
This means that even if the perfect domain name is not available (such as mycompanyname.net or myexactkeywords.net) you’ll be far better off to select a .com even if it’s not as desirable of phrase.
A note about .org domains. If your organization is a nonprofit it’s generally best practice to have your primary website on a .org domain. However, never do so unless you can also buy the .com for the same reasons mentioned above. It’s easy to set your .com version to redirect to your .org website.
.Com Provides Credibility to your Organization
The .com domain extension is the preeminent domain extension of the internet. It is the most recognizable of any domain extension and it is used by almost all Fortune 500 companies. It’s the Cadillac of domain extensions and it’s human nature to give more credibility so someone driving a Cadillac than a Geo Metro.
It is more effective to build a brand using a .com domain. Studies have shown that people remember .com domains better than others (even .org and .gov). A .com domain is going to give you more bang for your marketing buck.
For more insight on this topic see Forbes “8 Smart Tips For Choosing A Winning Domain Name.”
March 14th, 2018
WordFence’s blog posted an excellent article addressing the fallacy that many website owners have that their website isn’t significant enough for hackers to care about and therefore they don’t need to implement all best practice security and disaster recovery measures.
A quick summary of the reasons why attackers make the effort to attack many smaller and seemingly “insignificant” websites include:
- If offers server resources they can use to run other malicious schemes
- It’s connected to the internet and likely has a good reputation (i.e. is not a suspicious platform for malicious activity).
- It may contain user data
- It probably has traffic coming to it
- The site is important to you and therefore there is a chance for the criminal to collect a ransom
- Many websites of smaller businesses and organizations are not implementing proper security and therefore the cost of acquisition to the criminal is low.
Please read the entire article at WordFence.com.