Author Archives: mimin

A Free Fundraising Plugin for WordPress

Launching a non-profit or some type of fundraising campaign is hard. Not just actually finding people to donate, but also finding a way to handle those donations.

Since WordPress is easily the most popular PHP CMS it seems likely that there would be a great choice for WP users. That choice comes in the form of Charitable, a completely free WordPress plugin for accepting & managing donations.

As pulled right from the plugin website:

“Thousands of non-profits choose WordPress because it’s free, easy to use and boasts an unparalleled collection of plugins that extend its capabilities.

Charitable is a fundraising plugin that helps non-profits build awareness, empower ambassadors, and raise more money – all with their own website.”

The backend interface allows users to setup a new campaign with fundraising goals + an end date. Gateways can be managed via Stripe payment or similar methods through Charitable WP extensions.

Since the plugin is open source you can view the code on GitHub and even contribute with your own updates.

You’ll be able to download a copy directly from GitHub, or from the Charitable plugin homepage.

Web Design Basics and Web Hosting Albuquerque

Web design is a complicated and very demanding task to do especially if you are not well-versed with it. This is the reason why many business owners choose to hire a reputable and reliable web design company because they know the huge difference between a professionally done web designs to a DIY web design

If you want to design for your target market, then there are important things that you need to keep in mind to avoid mistakes.

First, do not design according to what you want, design for your target market. It is detrimental to a business owner to design a website that is according to their own needs and wants. You should always keep in mind what your audience or target market want to see on your site. You can always get what you want for your website design, but if your website does not have any appeal to your target market, then it will lose its value. A professional Web Hosting Albuquerque company knows how important it is to design a site according to what your clients or customers want.

It’s sad to say but some business owners lack the knowledge of what their target market needs. The best company with team of skillful web designers will research about your target market right before they create a particular design and create a draft according to what they have learned. It is important to always stick to what you know is right for your business and website. After all, it is still your business and you know your products and services very well, so it is important that you discuss important matters of your business together with the web design team of the your chosen company. Professional web designers know what your business need and what your clients are expecting to see inside your website.

There are basic things that you need to know right before you start looking for the best and reliable company. It is important for a company or business to know exactly what they are looking for in a web design company. One of the reasons why many businesses end up in finding the wrong company is that they do not know what they want and what they need. It is better if you will gather all the facts that you need in handy. A professional Web Hosting Albuquerque firm wants to know important details from you.

You also need to know the message you want to tell your target clients or customers. The design is the one that will convey the message to your clients. A professional web design provider will ask you a lot of things for them to achieve the output that you want. If you have a specific color in mind, then you can discuss it with the web design team and they can tell if it suits the overall design of your website. A good web design provider will be very honest with you especially with things that you want to happen with your website. They will tell if it can help your site or not. Always keep in mind your budget and think of how much you can afford to pay for a high quality web design.

Steps of a Project for a Freelance Web Builder

As a new freelancer, there is nothing scarier then starting your first project. This article will take a closer look at the steps you should follow when in charge of a project. Hopefully, if you are aware of what the process should be, you won’t be as concerned about getting things right. Since I am assuming that this is your first client, return business is essential to growing your business. Follow the below steps from start to finish and you should have a happy client and a check in your hands.


It is important to track your time when you are working on a project. Start logging time as soon as you start to give your attention to a project. Place a time log into a new docket and write onto this log start and finish times along with other detailed information every time you work on this project.

Take a look at a good time log at Figure I.


For several reasons, it is important to use the time log accurately. First and foremost, your client might expect you to break down your hours for him so they are aware of where their money is going. Secondly, in order to increase your productivity, examining where your time is being spent is essential. After freelancing for a while you will be able to figure out how much to bid on projects easily from experience.


A docket is a huge envelope or sleeve to keep all papers together. Nothing looks worse than going to a meeting with a client and forgetting essential paperwork. In order to escape this possibility, I suggest using a docket for each individual project.

I recommend using a black marker to distinguish this project from other projects. I have always named my project’s computer files and dockets by the company’s name and then follow this with consecutive numbers. So for example, XYZCompany001 would be XYZ Company’s first project.


If this client is working with you for the first time you should start an information sheet on him or her. You might not think that this is important, but if this client ends up being a dead beat, you will be glad to have his or her address and phone number. After you have completed this form, place it in your docket.


Start every job with a piece of paper. List steps that need to be involved in order finish production. Otherwise, you might get stuck with having to go backwards three steps in order to go forwards again. Sometimes stages of a project will need to be reworked because you didn’t take the time to write down your game plan. Try not to let this happen to you.


Protect yourself against problem clients by writing a contract. Make sure to have your client sign and send back the contract before starting the project. You can find generic contracts for your business on the Internet. Here are some places to find contracts to customize for your own business:

Manage Jobs Software
Digital Contracts Online
Smart Agreements
Contract Swipe File<

A great way to begin your project is to plan out how the web site is going to be organized. A mind map is one way to do this. You can do this by taking a blank piece of paper and placing your pen onto the middle of your page. Write down a word or two that matches the subject of your previous notes. Branch out with lines to related topics. Take a look at Figure II as an example.


Your mind map is now similar to a Flow Chart. Make sure that all navigational routes have been mapped out. If possible, have someone else take a look at your Flow Chart to see if you have missed anything.


Storyboarding is a device used to layout the design and navigation of a site. It could simply be a rough sketch on a scrap of paper. However, I always send out a storyboard to a client before starting to actually layout the site. I recommend laying out rough sketches in Illustrator or Freehand. Use your mind map or Flow Chart to help guide you through this process. Ask your client to sign off on the bottom of this Flow Chart.


One of the most engaging attractions of a good web site is its graphics. Listen carefully to your client carefully in order to find out what he wants. If the client can’t explain what he is visualizing, help out with a few questions. The following five questions can be used.

1. What sites are visually appealing to you?
2. On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is a fast-loading site to you?
3. What colors are you partial to?
4. Do you already have existing collateral (brochures, catalogs, etc.)? If so, what flexibility do I have with your fonts, logo, and colors?
5. Do you have any art that we need in order to complete this project?

If you are having a hard time finding your creative self, I suggest taking a look at to get a few ideas to build on.

Once you have an idea of what your client is expecting you are ready to storyboard the site.


Now that your client has signed off on your storyboard it is time to start the design process. Finally! Follow these steps to ease the design process.

1. Take a screen shot of your browser.
2. Bring this image into Photoshop and save file.
3. Layout all design elements into layers for home page of site first.
4. Design at least three different design variations.
4. Go to your local service bureau to print out 2 copies of each design, one for you and one for the client. Remember to charge the client for printouts with 5% – 10% markup. Place one of each printout copy into the project’s docket, this is your copy.
5. Go to a business supply store, like Staples, and buy black board, a portfolio case big enough to hold several black boards, Utility knife, Exacto knife, spray adhesive, labels, and a straight ruler.
5. Use an Exacto knife and straight ruler to cut off excess paper of Client’s printout copy.
6. Measure width and length of the printout.
7. Cut black board to be about 4 inches taller and wider than the printout is.
6. Spray the back of the printout lightly with spray adhesive. After spraying the back of the printout, put one corner down about 2 inches from the top and 2 inches from the left of the black board. Then pull printout taut from the bottom right as you slowly press down the paper from the upper left. This will keep bubbling from happening. There should now be 2 inches of blackboard framing each side of the printout.
7. Place a label on the back of black board with copyright information, your logo, and a place for client to sign off.

If your client is local, setup an appointment in order to show him the mockups. If you have a long distance relationship, I suggest using Fed Ex to ship the mockups to your client. Ask your client to sign off on the back of the mockup that he likes. However, if the client doesn’t like any of your layouts, which happens to the best of us, you are back to the drawing board.

Once you get a layout that your client likes, you should rename your Photoshop file to reflect this and move the unused files into an “idea file”. There is no reason that these unused mockups cannot be modified for your next client. Also, you should proceed to taked the unused mockup copies out of the project’s docket and leave behind the chosen mockups. I would suggest placing unused mockups in a binder for new clients to look at to see what style they like.

Now is when you will be glad that you have created your Photoshop files in layers. Duplicate the already existing file and make mockup files for inside pages as well.


Now that you have all of your pages laid out in Photoshop, it is time to cut out the images that you will use in the web page. A good rule of thumb is not to exceed 30K per page. Otherwise, your web page will take too long to load. Here area few more tips that you should follow:

1. Illustrations should be saved as a gif.
2. Photographs should be saved as a jpeg.
3. Keep the amount of colors in an image to a minimum.
4. Aliased images are smaller.
5. The more compression you apply to a jpeg – the smaller the image.


Take your printed mockups and Flow Chart. Place them by your side and use them in order to layout your page. Create your pages so that they are all linked together. The following tips will help you organize your files.

1. Place all images in an images folder.
2. Place every section of your site in a separate file.
3. Structure your directories to roughly match your Flow Chart.
4. Make sure that your file names make sense (It is a good idea to have a company code in front of each file. For example, for XYZ Company’s About Us page, I would use xyz_about.html.).
6. Have an archiving system in place in order to backup your files. Name your files accordingly in order to link all of your html files together in order to create a working prototype that the client can test.


Before you send the prototype to your client, test out the usability of the site with friends that haven’t been involved with this project. Write down all input that they can give to you – both good and bad. Also, try as many different browsers, plugins, and operating systems as the visitors are likely to use. Make sure to fix any problems that you find and make a mental note for further projects on what works and what doesn’t.

After internally checking the site, upload the site to the host server to test out access speed, plugins, and configurations. When you are sure that things are in working order, it is time to let the client test out the prototype site. There will likely be several things that your client won’t like. Listen carefully to your client and make sure to give merit to all suggestions that the client makes. Make sure to have the client sign off on the prototype in order to make the site live.


Once the testing phase is complete, it is time to make the site live. Cross your fingers and hope for the best. Inevitably, visitors will always find something that they aren’t happy with. You should always give support to your newly launched sites for at least 2 to 4 weeks.


Now that you have completed the project it is time to fulfill your administrative duties. It is time now to review your time sheet. Add up all of the columns to calculate total hours spent on the project. Break this number into how many hours were spent on each phase of the project.

Make a copy of the time sheet for the client and create an invoice to reflect your agreed upon hourly fee. Always reference the client’s purchase order number on your invoice. Otherwise, many Accounts Payable departments won’t pay your invoice. If your client has not given you a PO# then you should contact him to make sure that there isn’t a PO# linked to this project. Include all necessary information on your invoice. I always include the following:

1. Your logo, name, company name, address, and phone number
2. Client’s Contact name, company name, address, and phone number
3. Purchase order date (date job was ordered)
4. Invoice date
5. Invoice number
6. Payment terms (for example, net 45 days)
7. Break down of how many hours were spent on each phase of the project
8. Add on expenses (Printing expenses – remember to add 10% – 15% markup)

Staple the purchase order to the invoice. Make sure that your invoice is neat and professional and then send it out to the client.


Now that you are finished, you can use the docket to archive this project. Remember the black marker and label that previously was used to name your project’s docket? You are now going to file your project by this number. In order to find this project easier, I suggest placing a filing tab on each docket. Place everything in alphanumeric order.

Make sure everything that belongs in the docket is there. Place all corresponding files on a Zip or Jazz disk and then place it in the project’s docket. All administrative documents, such as invoices and POs, should be placed in the docket. Also, any printouts, emails, or notes that correspond to this project also belong in the docket.


You shouldn’t ever reuse projects that are copyrighted by your client. However, portions of every project are reusable. For example, you wouldn’t reuse a design that you specifically created for a client. But, you could reuse Photoshop paths or textures that you created.

You will find that as you complete more and more projects, each one becomes a little bit easier. As you start out in freelancing, use each project as a learning experience. Each project completed results in a more experienced and valuable freelancer. Good Luck!

UX Tips for Mastering Your Next Website Redesign

ux-redesign-thumb-300x200Businesses can change a lot in just a couple of years. 24 months ago, mobile represented about 10% of all internet traffic. Today, it’s jumped to 25%, and Google has rolled out ranking changes that prioritize mobile optimized websites on search engine result pages. Buyers have changed, as well. Today’s website visitor expects a different experience than those of the past.

There’s a risk in frequent redesign, however. They become willy-nilly and lack strategic end-goals. Whether you work with an agency or revamp the site in-house, it’s crucial to make your website a revenue-driving channel and not just another pretty, shiny homepage.

Do Your Research

Before investing time and resources into revamping your website, map out what you want to change and ask yourself why these need to be made. Be careful with redesigns that happen because “I just want it to look more modern” or “I just felt like a change.”

A website should not only look better, but work better as well. Before doing anything, open up your analytics and record your starting position (also known as benchmark) for visits, search rank, conversion rate and other key website metrics. Create a goal and a strategy for how each of these metrics should change as a result of the redesign.

Having clear growth goals will give you an objective framework to measure the effectiveness of the redesign and process for future improvements moving forward.

Get Personal

Another change in buyer behavior over the last two years is the growing expectation of a personalized experience. 74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content that has nothing to do with their interest appears.

Groomed by websites such as Netflix, Amazon, and other adaptive websites, visitors seek out content that is specific and relevant to them. Even YouTube can recommend videos that it thinks you may enjoy. A 2013 Monetate/Econsultancy Study found that in-house marketers who personalize Web experiences see on the average, a 19% rise in sales.

Adding a personalization engine and strategy to your next redesign can help address weak conversion rates. Say you run a clothing business and a visitor recently purchased a shirt on your website.

If they visit your website again and see a promotion for the same shirt design, there’s a chance they’ll just ignore it. To attract and keep their attention, you could display related products, like pants or a bag that matches the shirt, to that specific visitor.

The companies that cut through marketing clutter today aren’t the ones with the flashiest ads, but the ones creating a unique and personalized experience.

Be Responsive

As noted above, buyers are increasingly using smartphones and tablets to find information online, and companies that don’t optimize their website from screen to screen are losing out.

According to a study conducted by Google, 79% of users who don’t like what they find on a mobile site will go and look for the information they need on another site. This shouldn’t be a surprise; if you walked into a store that was messy, unorganized, and had unhelpful salespeople, you’d probably leave immediately to shop somewhere else that was easier to navigate.

Use responsive design to create a site that adapts to fit a variety of screen sizes and be sure to incorporate behavior patterns of mobile users into your redesign strategy.

As part of your redesign, look to lighten the load on your site and ensure it appears properly on a variety of devices and browsers. In addition to load time, look at the structure of your website. Is it easy to navigate? Is there a clear route from research to purchase?

Mobile visitors in particular are action-oriented and need a clear route between point A and B. Use this redesign as a chance to make your site easier for visitors to move around throughout the sales cycle, instead of making them jump through hoops to become a customer.

Visual design choices are often the first to cross your mind (or your boss’s mind) when it comes to website redesigns, and for good reason: the visual experience of a website is significant.

In addition to that, however, make sure that your next website redesign incorporates functional improvements that reflect the way today’s viewers use your website. The improvements may not be as flashy or noticeable as new images or banding, but they can signify the difference between a good-looking website, versus a high-impact one.

Whether it’s the result of new SEO requirements or shifting brand values, you may have to redesign your site sooner rather than later. But how do you approach this monumental change? Well, it takes a mixture of caution and creativity.

Unleash Your Creativity

Once you’ve verified that you’re pursuing a website redesign for the right reasons, feel free to unleash your creativity and try something new. However, it’s also important that you take a calculated approach to your creativity.

Don’t be afraid to consult with other people and accept constructive criticism. By combining creativity and caution, you can increase your chances of redesigning an effective, high-converting website that attracts and converts leads.

Tips and Tricks for an Effective, High-Returning Redesign

If after reading through these points you believe a redesign is the right solution for your website, you’ll want to proceed with a careful strategy. Here are some specific tips to help you maximize your efforts.

  • Gather Lots of Feedback: Next, you need to work on gathering feedback. This includes insights from those within and outside your company. Those within will the company will give you a good idea of what is and isn’t working below the surface, while customers and focus groups can provide feedback regarding visual appearance and functionality.
  • Develop a Budget From the Start: You don’t want to get too far along in the process without developing a budget. This allows you to realistically see which issues you’ll be able to tackle, as well as which ones aren’t feasible.

Focus on UX and Functionality

Approximately 40% of all visitors will abandon your website if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load. That’s why it’s crucial to put user experience (UX) and functionality as your top priority.

If it doesn’t work to enhance the average user’s interaction with your company, then it shouldn’t exist. Use Google’s PageSpeed tool so you can analyze the site speed and optimize for best results. It’s not to late to prevent people from leaving too soon.

Exploring the Long Scrolling Web Design Trend

web-trends-long-scrolling-thumb-300x200The smaller the screen, the longer the scroll.

That truism explains the rise of the long scrolling: with mobile browsing overtaking desktop browsing in 2014, the popularity of small screens has urged designers to rethink their outdated “above the fold” mentality.

Long-scrolling creates plenty of new opportunities for storytelling, navigation, creative visuals, and a more immersive overall experience. As a result, we find several common techniques and strategies start to emerge:

  • Parallax Graphics — Borrowed from the video game industry, this strategy of moving the backgrounds at different speeds creates a 3D effect and stimulating visuals that are more enjoyable to interact with.
  • Screens as Pages — An important way to organize information on a single page, differentiating concepts into screen-sized sections, usually by changing the background, makes sites more cohesive.
  • Sticky Navigation — One of the biggest drawbacks of long scrolling is disorienting the user, so having a navigation system that always stays in the same place on the screen gives users control and security to prevent getting lost.
  • Animated Interactivity — Scroll-triggered animations add a fun level of interactivity that engages the user to a point where they enjoy scrolling regardless of content.
  • Atypical Direction — Due to the recent trendiness of long scrolling, sites can set themselves apart by scrolling left, right, or upwards.
  • Indicators — Some users will not think to scroll on their own, so quick instructions like “scroll down” or another indicator avoids confusions — just be sure to distinguish these from other links or calls-to-action.

As described in Web Design Trends 2015 & 2016, these are the techniques that made the sites below among the best examples of long-scrolling sites.


One of the pioneers responsible for breaking the page-by-page mold, Twitter remains among the best and most-recognized long-scrolling sites today. This format allows the tweets to be arranged chronologically while still seeming new and fresh.

For social media sites and others with user-generated content, long scrolling is not just a trendy choice but a practical one. The neverending loading of new content from infinite scrolling allows otherwise chaotic content to be organized.

Heart Kids NW

The New Zealand charity Heart Kids pulls out all the stops. The long-scrolling site combines animations (some scroll-activated), stunning color usage, poignant imagery, and cursor interactivity to promote its life-saving message.

Notice the unobtrusive “Scroll” icon and instruction on the landing screen, and the sticky call-to-action that always remains at the top.

The Boat

One of the most creative uses of long scrolling is SBS’s The Boat, something like an interactive novel. The continual animations and clever use of motion and angles when new content appears draws the user/reader into an immersive experience that traditional, stagnant scrolling sites can’t match.

MCA Leicester: The Seven Types of Motorcycle Rider

This offshoot site for MCA Leicester demonstrates a smooth method to indicate scrolling without actually scrolling. The grayed out helmets on the left side, stacked vertically, indicate (along with the title) that the user has only to scroll down to see more content.

An additional tactic is the clever animation that presents each new screen, making the site somewhat of a long-scrolling/page-by-page navigation hybrid.

Thirteen Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics

The natural style of long scrolling, where different sections and concepts are intrinsically united in a continual stream, makes them great for infographics.

As Thirteen Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics shows, the single page format allows designers to fluidly present heavy doses of information in smaller, digestible bits.

Moreover, scroll-activated animations, such as the eye that moves with the scroll as well as background animations, negate the sometimes boring aspects of learning information.


Is Web Design a Dying Trade or Can it Still be a Viable Career Option

web-design-dying-05Yes, web design is dying. It died a few years ago, it is dying now, and it will die again in the future. What does this mean? To put it simply, this means that web design is an ever-evolving career field that is impacted by many different factors.

A web designer relying on skills and education that they developed five years ago would find their career dead in the water. Likewise, a web designer who believes that the skills they have today will hold up five years from now is fooling themselves.

Web design will remain a viable career option for those that are willing to continually pursue new educational opportunities, work to form solid business relationships, respond to consumer needs, adapt to new technology, understand marketing and branding, and understand that web design is as much about art as it is technology.
Educational Trends Impacting Web Design Careers

The educational trend that is having the deepest impact on the web design industry is continuing shift from the traditionally classroom-based educational model to an open source model of education that is consumer driven.

This new education model offers online, self-paced classes for students who want to learn how to design websites. There are no academic advisers dictating the classes students must take or in which order they must take them. Students simply pick and choose the classes that they believe will be the most beneficial to them.

Khan Academy, Tuts+, Treehouse and iTunes University are just some websites that are adding new layers of innovation to education, especially technical education. Students who take classes provided by these entities won’t receive degrees. To be honest, that usually doesn’t matter to them, and it matters even less to their clients who are much more interested in skills than diplomas.

Bottom Line: Web design career viability depends on the designer’s willingness to increase their skill set via new educational opportunities. As the availability of these educational opportunities has exploded, stagnancy is inexcusable.

The Importance of Designer/Client Relationships

As industries go, the web design market is significantly saturated. There are also increasingly sophisticated tools and templates available to those that wish to ‘roll their own’ websites.

This means that web designers who wish to maintain and grow their design businesses must focus energy on fostering positive relationships with their clients and being responsive to their needs. After all, it is the customer today who has many more options, not the designer.

Bottom Line: Technical prowess is no longer a substitute for communications skills and customer relationship management.

Web Design and New Technology

Web designers that are profitable today are likely profitable because they responded appropriately to the mobile technology boom that began a few years ago. Those who wish to be profitable in a few years will likely adjust their design methods to adapt to new innovations, such as wearable technology.

Another way web designers will use new technology in the future is by adapting the use of tools such as Macaw to design websites over coding websites from scratch. This will be both in response to new technology and response to the increasing demands of customers that website delivery times be much faster than in the past.

Bottom Line: Customer preference will determine the technical focus of the web designer. They must make sure they are paying attention.

Web Design: Addressing Branding and Marketing for the Future

While eCommerce will always be extremely important, the role of the web designer today and in the future is largely that as one who delivers or who facilitates the delivery of content and branding messages to website visitors. This is why in many large corporations, the web design team is part of the marketing department rather than the IT department.

This is because the ability to design web pages that forward the company’s brand is so important that management often decides that web design and marketing should be partnered together as one unit.

For the web design freelancer, future relevance means focusing on understanding marketing goals and learning to design with branding as a primary goal.

Bottom Line: The wall between technology and marketing when it comes to web design has been blown to smithereens. Smart web designers will embrace this by educating themselves about marketing, branding, and content.

The Future of Web Design as an Art Form

Many business owners now use the term ‘user experience‘ when they speak of what happens when customers visit their website. This is because internet users have higher expectations today when they visit websites and those expectations will continue to grow in the future.

These expectations begin with content, but they also include high expectations when it comes to the look and feel of the website. Some of this is related to website navigation, but a good portion of user experience depends on the art design of the website.

Elements such as backgrounds, color schemes, fonts, videos, infographics, and layouts are going to continue to grow in importance when it comes to web design.

Bottom Line: Web designers will need to incorporate art into their development process, or they will need to work closely with people who are able to do so.

Website design basics

If you are ready to get your business online, you are more than likely searching for information regarding web design. You want to make sure that you have a design that will draw attention and keep customers on your website. However, many people do not have the knowledge to create awesome looking web design, so they turn to web design companies. Before you just get on your computer and pick the first web design firm, you find you should gather some information.

First, you should know what you desire in a web designer. Do you want an entire website designed or only a logo? You may want to go as far as to hire a web design firm that will update your site on a regular basis or create a design that you can easily update.

Second, you should have a planned budget before you talk with a web design company. Here is where comparison-shopping comes into play. You can find a web designer that will charge far less than the top designers but you may not like the results. Always look at their portfolio, ask to talk with other clients they have worked with, and check out some of their designs. You can find a web designer in your budget that will be able to create what you need at a price you can afford. It just takes time and effort on your part to keep up the search.

Thirdly, do you have a specific timeline in mind? Some companies are booked up months in advance and if you are in hurry, you will have to keep looking. Be sure to ask for an estimated timeline and ensure that their timeline fits in with your own. Remember, according to the style, graphics, and other aspects it may take longer than you would believe to create an awesome website. You cannot expect to have an original quality design created in a day or two.

Fourth, if you tell your web designer he has all the time he needs do not believe for one minute he will not take the time. You should put some time of timeline for each portion of your website, such as a date for seeing a rough draft of your logo, etc…

Fifth, not every web design company are experts when it comes to all phases of design. One may be better with flash, while another might have experience in search engine optimization.

The Pros and Cons of Using WordPress

When you have a business, it’s usually a good idea to also have a blog that goes with it. You need to make sure that you take the time to find the right blogging platform and create a blog that speaks to your level of knowledge and experience within your industry. If it’s not informative and interesting, after all, no one is going to read it. Of course, before you get to that you have to choose how to set up your blog. For most people, WordPress is the obvious choice. This is a painfully easy blogging tool that lets anyone create a blog, regardless of their skill level or knowledge of HTML and other development tools.

WordPress is the preferred choice for many businesses because it is ready as-is, or it can be customized with a variety of different plug-ins. If you’re considering this platform for your own blog, here are some of the pros and cons to keep in mind.

-Wordpress is easy. If you can send an email, you can blog on this platform.

-There are a lot of plug-ins that can allow you complete customization of your blog without much effort at all.

-WordPress uses the same SEO benefits with pages and posts alike.

-Your WordPress page can have subpages, allowing you to better organize your content.

-If you outsource blogging, most bloggers can handle WordPress in their sleep.

-There is a possibility of outgrowing this platform, even if it is rare.

-WordPress isn’t the ideal solution for e-commerce needs.

-If you are producing in-depth content, this isn’t the best tool available.

-This isn’t one of the more secure options out there.

All in all, WordPress works. Most people will tell you that, despite the few disadvantages, this blogging platform is ideal for your business blog. It doesn’t matter what you know about blogging or how much experience you have with creating anything online because WordPress makes it easy. A lot of companies, big and small, rely on this blog tool for their own blogging needs and find plenty of different benefits to doing so. Plug-ins allow you to change your blog into anything that you need it to be, making it a great starting point that can grow and change with your business.

It basically provides the perfect balance of everything that a business needs to be successful with blogging and creating ‘blog-ified’ websites that are more dynamic and interactive than traditional websites might be.

How Important is Usability in the Design of a Website

When it comes to designing websites, there are a lot of elements involved. Of course, some elements are going to be more important than others. If you are creating your business website, one of the biggest issues that you are going to have to contend with is its usability. Usability refers to how accessible or user-friendly a website can be. The more usability that your site has, the more likely that people will visit, stay, and even invest in your business in some way. If your site is complicated and hard to use, people are going to find somewhere else to do business. It’s a simple element among a long list of must-haves, but it is one that can make all the difference.

Usability includes a lot of different details. You should make sure that you take the time to create a website that is user-friendly in terms of the following:

Layout: The page layout should be simple to follow and give people access to all the tools and information that they need without requiring a lot of effort or hassle.

Navigation: Make it easy to get around your website. Don’t bury useful information in 5 levels of sub-pages. Stick with a basic, simple site that is easy to get around and has accessible navigation tools.

Content: You need to make sure that your content is informative and engaging. If people aren’t interested in what you have to say, why would they stick around? Give them something to benefit them, and use your content carefully. Keep it short, simple, and to the point.

Overall design: Avoid lots of heavy graphics, logos, images, and other elements that will just clutter up your page and make it hard for people to know where to go next. Stick to the basics and make sure that they can use your site without feeling overwhelmed or having too many options.

When you build a website, a lot of different things are going to come into play. However, if you want to have a successful business in the online world, you have to make sure that your website is interactive, engaging, and that it has a high usability rating so that people will want to keep coming back for more. High-tech designs and complicated features might seem like they look cool, but the bottom line is that people want simple, straightforward information and resources and they’ll do what it takes to get it. Make sure that your website is user-friendly and easy to use so that you can give people exactly what they want and get their business in return.

How a Great Design Can Subconsciously Influence Your Audience

The design of your website is going to make a much bigger impact than you realize. While the conscious elements like layout, content, and usability will matter, there are also subconscious ways that your audience can be affected by your website design. When people first come to your website, they will take in all of their surroundings. They will make a conscious decision as to whether they want to keep reading and learn more based on their subconscious reaction to the design of the site. Your goal is to create a website that is designed so that people are intrigued and want to stay to see what you have to offer.

When a person views your website, reads your content, navigates the site, interacts with your business, and gets involved in other ways, their subconscious is constantly evaluating what they are doing and how they like the experiences that they are having. People are affected by everything from visual appeal to the actual words on your site, as well as their own thoughts and previous experiences with websites that they have visited. When it comes to visual appeal, you have to use something that makes people feel invited and welcome. A clean, easy-to-navigate design will attract a much bigger audience than a cluttered, overly busy website. There are even specific colors that people respond to better than others, if you want to maximize the subconscious effect that your website has.

The words on your site (your content) are also going to be an element of your design that affects people. What people read is going to affect their emotions, even if it is only on a subconscious level. The content that you create needs to provide people with the opportunity to experience positive emotions, relate to your company, and understand where you are coming from or what you have to offer. Use simple words and an informal tone that is engaging and appealing to your audience, no matter what you are trying to accomplish with your content.

Even simple elements like the right alignment in your design and the use of white space can influence the subconscious of your audience. If things are properly aligned, they look cleaner, more professional, and more visually appealing. At the same time, using white space draws people’s attention to the content that is on your site, and subconsciously makes people feel like they are not being overwhelmed with information. Designing websites is not rocket science, but there are things like these that you have to consider in creating your design. The greater effect you have on the subconscious of your audience, the more likely they are to get involved with your business in the end, after all.