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The website has gone from being a tool to talk about and advertise a business, to actually being the business.

You have to be able to explain your vision if you expect your web developer to share your vision.

Agentless IT technology does its job without sticking around longer than it’s needed.

Don’t get bogged down creating and maintaining a high-priced, one-of-a-kind site, just to have a web presence and host a blog.

The thing about logos (especially for companies as large and as ubiquitous as Google) is that people often form bonds with them without even noticing it. And when a logo is redesigned or changed in any way, you’re more than likely going to have some strong reactions, one way or another. I know I did.

Think about the logos you grew up with and try to imagine how you felt when they changed or when they were redesigned. Yahoo! redesigned their logo a couple of years ago and it was met with criticism. Spotify just changed the color of their logo and many people expressed their discontent. These logos and symbols carry lots of meanings and associations and even a slight change can automatically alter those meanings for us. And a change we’re not comfortable with ultimately brings negative feelings and thus, negative impressions.

So what then, is the difference between a successful redesign and a doomed one?

Impressed with Google’s recent redesign, I set out to learn more about what went into their process and I came upon this blog post from the Google Design team which offers some insight into their approach to the new redesigned identity.

A logo redesign (whether it’s for a small company or a huge corporation) isn’t about just “a new coat of paint.” It isn’t just about finding the perfect balance, flow, legibility, and whatever graphic design lingo you want to throw around. No, a graphic redesign — at its core — is about something much simpler (or more complex, depending on how you look at it). It’s an acknowledgment of the past with an eye towards the future. It’s about taking your best qualities as an organization and refining it to remain relevant for the things to come.

I think this is why Google’s redesign has left a positive impression on me. After learning of Google’s restructuring into Alphabet recently, I was indeed a little worried about what kind of company Google was going to become. Given that “Search” is one of the most powerful forces on the internet for quite some time now, Google’s redesign feels like an affirmation — or at least a statement — that Google will still be the Google we know… but slightly different.

With the new logo, Google remains quirky and fun and lighthearted but a little grown up. At least it seems that way for now.

 

 

Source:

Author: Design Instruct

Website: webfx.com

What’s so important about font pairings anyway? Can’t you just pick two fonts for your website and call it a day? Well, you could, but it may not be in your best interest.

Choosing fonts that go well together help your page to flow nicely, have an aesthetically-pleasing look, and ensure that your website or graphic looks professional and readable.

However, simply choosing any two fonts on a whim, or just because you like them each separately, doesn’t mean they work well together — and if they don’t work well together, your design may suffer.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the best font pairings that work together to create a great design for your website, social media graphics, presentations, and more.

The importance of great font pairings

Why is it so important that the fonts in your design look great together?

Simple. When fonts don’t jive, it makes it difficult for viewers to easily read the content, and when they struggle to read the content, or feel overwhelmed due to competing fonts, they may not read it at all.

Similar to color scheme, in order to keep users engaged with your design, choosing the correct font parings is a must.

Furthermore, it’s important to choose a font that allows your heading to stand out so that users know exactly what they’re reading. The heading is flexible in that you can go with a font that’s a little more off-the-wall than a font you would select for your body copy.

On the other hand, your body copy should use a font that is easy for users to read, since it will be the bulk of your page.

When all is said and done, the heading, the subtitle, and the body copy should work together to create one cohesive design.

Tips for choosing aesthetically pleasing font pairings

Now that we’ve discussed the different kinds of fonts, let’s look at how they work together.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing fonts that will be within close proximity to each other on a page.

1. Think contrasting, not competing

You want the font styles you choose to contrast, but not compete with each other. For example, two decorative styles of type on the same page would compete with each other rather than contrast.

Instead, you should choose one decorative or script font in addition to serif font.

Another common complementary pairing is choosing a sans serif font and a serif font.

One of the most important parts of choosing complimentary, contrasting font pairs is to ensure that the two fonts aren’t too similar. Be sure to choose two fonts that differ enough that viewers can tell.

To ensure that your fonts really contrast each other, you can experiment with bold and italic options. This can also help to create what designers call a hierarchy.

Font hierarchy is when the title is naturally larger than the subheading, and the subheading naturally larger than the body text. These specs can also involve bold and italics to create a more pronounced hierarchy.

2. Find a big ole font family

When you find a font family that you like, the hard work of hierarchy and pairing is essentially done for you.

A “superfamily” as some designers call it, will include a serif font, a sans serif font, and bold and italic versions of each.

This is helpful because you’ll know these fonts already work well together because they are a part of the same family. All you have to do is choose how you want to arrange them in your design.

3. Don’t use more than 3 fonts in a design

Every font has a personality, and if you have too many competing for attention in a design, you’ll wind up with too many cooks in the kitchen.

Limit yourself to two to three fonts — this saves your design from feeling overwhelming to the viewer and avoids creating a sense of chaos.

4. Consider kerning

The space between letters in a typed-out word is called kerning. To create a really awesome design, don’t be afraid to play with the kerning of certain fonts.

Obviously, not all fonts will look great with spaces between the letters, but some will.

For example, since script letters are meant to connect to each other, and create a sense of fluidity, fonts in script families wouldn’t work well with kerning.

However, an all-caps, sans serif font can look great with kerning.

5. Don’t use tired, overused fonts in your design

There’s nothing worse than seeing a design that uses a font that is worn out and overused. It can absolutely detract from your design, and even make you less trustworthy, since many of these fonts are less than professional.

When there are so many professional-looking, designer fonts out there, why would you settle for one of these, anyway?

Some overused fonts to stay away from include Comic Sans, Impact, Arial, Bradley Hand, and Papyrus.

 

 

Source:

Author: Sam Selders

Website: webfx.com

Several years ago Olaf taught you how to change WordPress category pages into a landing page. Back then, it was more complicated and required editing a number of files. Thankfully, WordPress and a pair of plugins make it easier than ever to turn those so-often neglected category pages into SEO gold.

The whole idea of landing pages is that they draw visitors further into your site. WordPress category pages, by design, are perfect for that. With a minimal amount of effort, those pages could become tightly focussed content pages that can and will bring folks to your website. And, if you use tags, why not turn those into landing pages as well, utilizing the same techniques?

The biggest concern most folks have when this topic comes up is duplicate content. If you set things up right, and assuming you have a nice variety of topics within your blog, that won’t be an issue. If your homepage offers more than a blog-style list of the latest posts and you typically only file posts in one category, the duplicate content issue becomes almost moot. Drop the archives by date nonsense, no one looks for your good stuff that way anyway; and the duplicate issue is gone completely.

Needed WordPress plugins

SEO for WordPress by Yoast (a must for any WordPress site anyway) – turn on Noindex subpages of archives and turn on breadcrumb functionality.

Rich Text Tags – This plugin will add WYSIWYG editing to the category descriptions as well as prevent WordPress from stripping any HTML tags you include in the descriptions.

1. Setup your WordPress category pages & configuration
Set up your blog so that descriptions will display only the first page of each category;
hide them on pages 2, 3, 4, etc. with the Yoast plugin.
Set up your blog where the first page of each category is INDEX and FOLLOW.
Edit your theme so that the category name is the only H1 tagged content on the page.
2. Use unique post excerpts
Set up your blog to use excerpts – most modern themes already do this. Change the settings for your category pages to display excerpts rather than entire posts, which eliminates most of the duplicate content issue. Be sure to also include featured image thumbnails to highlight each post and encourage click-throughs.

3. Category name & link text selection
Evaluate the name and link text used for your WordPress category pages. If a category has 100 posts, there will be at least 100 internal links to your category page using that link text – including breadcrumbs and those ‘filed under ____’ links that often appear at the top or bottom of individual posts. Use those links wisely. I often choose a somewhat broad term based on the topics of the posts I generally include in the category. The category page should be the only page or post on your site that should be targeting that particular keyword and the only page using that keyword phrase as a title.

Design your category taxonomy in a hierarchical structure. Each tier gets more specific. I realize that this is Web Design 101 stuff but so many folks get it wrong and miss how to make categorization work for their sites. Don’t just focus on Google here, think about how you look for information and how your categorization can make it easier for folks to find things on your website.

4. Adding category page descriptions
Write a category description that includes the link text you will use throughout your site for that category. Go further than just saying something like, “Here’s all of the posts on topic X.” Remember, we’re changing your WordPress category page into a landing page; give Google and your visitors a reason to land there.

Write a description that sells that portion of your website or blog. Write at least 2 paragraphs about you, your site and the topic. Provide information about some of the posts you have included and establish your credibility on that topic.

Add a shortened and unique version of your description for a meta description; again, the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin makes this possible.

WordPress category description
Categorie: SEO settings

If you have a large number of WordPress categories and subcategories, consider adding links to complimentary categories. For example: Your blog is about animals. If you have categories for both Galapagos Animals and Penguins, you could add something like this to the Penguins category – “Penguins are primarily native to the colder climates of the Southern Hemisphere. There are a handful of species that live in more temperate zones, including the Galapagos penguin. We have an entire section of this site dedicated to the Animals of Galapagos where you can learn about all the animals which live on those islands.” (Notice the use of an alternative phrase for the linked text – Animals of Galapagos.)

Create a graphic for each category – at least the top level ones. This gives folks something to link with and encourages Pinterest pins and a variety of other social sharing activities. Try to make it eye-catching and clear what the topic of the category is. You might try branding the graphic as well. The branding helps folks find you even if the links stop working and it tends to discourage thieves, at least the lazy ones, from stealing your graphics.

5. Update existing posts
Re-visit your posts. Update the excerpts and turn them into an invitation for readers to click through and visit each post – don’t just repeat the first sentence or two. Also consider, these excerpts will be appearing on your WordPress category pages. Be sure to edit some of them to include the category name/keyword. Remember, the excerpts are going to become a large part of the content on your category pages/new landing pages; use them to your advantage.

Consider editing the body of the post to include a link or two to the category where you filed it as well as any other categories where the reader might find additional information related to the topic. Since your breadcrumbs and/or ‘filed under’ links will all include the same link text for your categories, be sure to use a mix of anchor text within the posts. Use related terms and even “here” (as in find more info here) as anchors. Just don’t get crazy, add in-context category links to only a handful of posts. Remember, we are trying to focus on the reader experience with a little SEO bonus. Go overboard and you will alienate your readers and get dinged by Google for over-optimization.

 

 

Source:

Author: Michele

Website: web-development-blog.com

Bushel is a mobile device management (MDM) solution for the iPads, iPhones, and Macs in your workplace. Bushel is developed by JAMF Software, creators of IT solutions for the Apple platform.

Without a mobile device management system, the responsibility of setting up, tracking, managing, and securing all the Apple devices floating around your workplace takes a great amount of resources.

Managing mobile devices is more efficient and cost-effective when using a solution such as Bushel.

Bushel makes mobile device configuration a breeze, allowing you to set them up wirelessly. This means you can install apps, configure company emails, enable access to company Wi-Fis, and much moreover the airusing a centralized interface. You can manage and protect your organizations mobile devicesany time, anywhere.

For instance, you can easily set up company emails remotely. Theres no need to ask employees to drop off their smartphone or ask them to follow knowledgebase guides simply so they can get access to their emails.

Another thing that can be configured over the air are Wi-Fi settings. This extremely convenient feature means people wont have to bug each other for the settings and passwords of your organizations wireless Internet access points.

With Bushel, you can develop and deploy different configuration templates. These templates are called Blueprints in Bushels nomenclature. You might have a Blueprint for the sales department that installs certain sales-related apps, and another Blueprint for IT staff that installs IT-related apps and also configures a distinct set of security rules.

Company mobile devices are expensive assets and its important to keep track of them all. And the ability to reassign them to other employees is often a necessity. Keeping an eye on all of the mobile devices in your workplace is practically impossible without a good solution in place.

Bushel takes the pain out of keeping an inventory of all of your Apple devices with their Device Inventory feature. The Device Inventory gives you an at-a-glance view of your companys mobile devices, with status information such as who currently has the device and which Blueprint was used for the device. You can export your Device Inventory to popular apps like Microsoft Excel and asset-management apps in case you need to produce reports and status updates.

One major pain point that Bushel can solve are issues related to “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies. BYOD policies permit employees to use their personal smartphone and gadgets at work.

With Bushels painless web-based Open Enrollment feature, employees can register their devices in order to get access to company emails, security settings, and apps. This allows organizations to more securely conduct their BYOD policies.

Bushel has many options for enhancing mobile device security. For instance, you can enforce strong password requirements, password resets after a particular amount of time, and encryption on all company devices. In case a device is lost or stolen, you can use Bushel to perform a Remote Wipe on the device, which cleanses it of sensitive information. For misplaced iOS devices, you can use Bushel to put the device into Lost Mode, which locks the device, displays a custom message on the lock screen and sends its last known GPS coordinates to your Bushel instance.

Bushel has a ton of other features and benefits to offer your workplace. What follows are ways you can learn more about this awesome mobile device management solution.

 

 

Source:

Author: Ryan Maake

Website: webfx.com

Web development is progressing at incredible speed these days and trends that were hot in 2016, today will be considered nothing less than archaic. Users are having more control and power and companies are shifting their services according to the user needs, which may be unpredictable. In this article we will cover the biggest and most promising trends of web development.

Artificial intelligence

AI is something that is shaking modern IT world and companies are competing against each other to hire and maintain the best professionals of the industry. Started by Facebook and Google, artificial intelligence is applied in more and more apps these days allowing devices to think and act more like humans. The basic AI example is face recognition, which is widely used in Facebook photo tagging. The importance of AI is explained by the fact that it allow devices to act independently aka without manpower and this leads to increased efficiency, accuracy and overall better user experience.

Internet of Things

Internet of things is all about making devices smart and enabling them to communicate with each other. We are already familiar with smart houses and are now having more and more devices that make our life easier and are capable of collecting any data that can be collected.

As for web development, in the future developers may want to work on the apps that would allow to remotely control household devices and would help in device communication and data analysis.

Rise of JavaScript

JavaScript has been rising since 2016 and its rapid growth allows developers to work on chatbots, virtual reality and many other trending things.

The language grammar and efficiency of writing the apps were improved and overall, JS is now the most popular language among full stack developers.

Static site generators

These generators are able to create website from the text stored in files rather than in databases. This reduces the website loading time, offers better security and makes deployment of content and templates much easier.

Virtual reality

VR is something we normally associate with video games. However, big players (like Google) already started their work on APIs that are designed to help VR transition to the web. As we said, the market is demanding so this year may bring us apps that involve virtual reality (like real estate tours, for example). This innovation may bring user experience on new level and would become a strong marketing advantage for the companies.

GIFS

We know that GIFs are a fun and easy way to use in our messengers and conversations but developers want to take it further and use GIFs in web apps for better engagement with the users. Because the majority of people perceives visual information way better than plain text, videos are incredibly popular these days. However, they also weigh a lot so GIFs are a perfect way to capture attention and at the same time tell a story.

Bots

We are used to boring and old-fashioned bots but 2017 seems to level them up. Now bots are intended to become more personalized in order to provide better user experience, which, again is a huge marketing advantage.

Bots are now able to react more “human-like” and give personalized advice, for example, during shopping. Developers are trying to eliminate the feeling that you are talking to a machine and instead, turn the conversation with a bot into fun and useful process.

As can be seen, the whole web development is moving towards the possible user needs, trying to be proactive. There is a lot to explore and a lot to implement — still, developers’ creativity also play a major role in “likeability” of their app. The best advices we can give is — always listen to your client and don’t try to tailor them to some standards. Every client has individual requirements so your prior task as developer is to understand what they want and together come up with the best way to deliver it.

 

 

Source:

Author: Dmitry Budko

Website: hackernoon.com

Organizations face more and more challenges when it comes to digital marketing. With growth and revenue a priority for most businesses,74% of marketing professionals have focused on converting leads to customers, while over half prioritized increasing traffic to their website.

Alongside accelerating inbound marketing as a top priority, technologies continue to evolve while social platforms seem to have a life of their own when it comes to growth. Take the current shining star in the app world Snapchat, only launched in 2012 the application has dominated headlines 2016 piquing interest amongst brands and investors alike raising nearly $650 million and its founders demonstrating such belief in their product they rejected a $3 billion buy out offer from Facebook.

This is the reality of digital. It doesn’t just move, it skyrockets, and as technologies continue to evolve so do customers. As a result, the marketing activities of organizations also need to move apace to keep up with both its application of digital technologies and developing the knowledge and skills to use them.

As this year continues to witness developments in the realms of social media, VR, mobile marketing and user experience to name a few – how has 2017 fared?

To help keep you in the loop, here are 5 digital marketing trends to look out for.

1) In-store marketing

In-store marketing may not sound like a branch of digital marketing, but in 2017, the relationship between physical and online sales techniques is expected to narrow even more.

In a smartphone dominated world, 80% of millennial use their phone in-store and 74% claim to be willing to receive location-based mobile alerts. For an organization with an optimized mobile stratergy, capturing customers in-store through digital techniques will provide an effective means of conversion.

“In order for retailers to compete with the 800lb gorilla that is Amazon, they must provide shoppers with a unique in-store experience with tailored-made engagement. Leveraging location-based marketing through a retailer’s branded mobile app allows retailers to drive traffic through relevant, contextual mobile marketing” – Eric Newman, VP of Products & Marketing at Digby

A fine example of this comes from American supermarket Target. The store launched a reward app to present their customers with special offers as they walk through various departments of their stores.

2) Live video

As consumers become savvier and more tuned into their digital surroundings, they have a greater desire to connect with brands and follow their stories.

Online video now accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic and this year has seen a huge rise in video sharing, and video content creation, particularly in the realms of social media.

Platforms such as Periscope and Facebook Live now make it easy for brands and businesses to connect with their fans and followers in real-time and get their message across by streaming live broadcasts and promoting them in advance, and as people’s thirsts for video stimulation increases, so will the need for live video content.

Earlier this year, BuzzFeed broadcast a Facebook Live video of people placing elastic bands around a watermelon, eventually causing it to burst. According to reports, audiences tuned in for an average of 40 minutes without even realizing it. Live video broadcasting is expected to ramp up even more in 2017.

3) Expiring social content

As social media consumption continues to rise and the big players are monopolizing the market, we can expect significant changes in social from next year and beyond.

Facebook bought whatsapp, Twitter purchased Periscope, and as social becomes more consolidated, the way in which these platforms operate may very well change, and it’s up to businesses and their marketers to keep their eye on the changes to remain ahead of the game.

One big digital marketing trend that is expected to blow up in the world of social media comes in the form expiring content. Expiring digital content offers brands and businesses a means of cutting through the noise and clutter, and gaining the attention of their target audience without spending massive amounts of capital.

One of the pioneers of the expiring content movement is Snapchat. To create a real sense of urgency, the platform gave customers a limited time to read or view content before it disappeared. This consisted of watching 10-second videos that disappear after one view and then related to other bigger Snapchat stories.

The tactic proved so successful that Instagram copied the model, causing a rivalry between the two platforms. Expiring content is becoming an effective means of brand advertising and its set to blow up in 2017 and is a trick not to be missed.

4) Wearable mobile devices

There are currently 7.22 billion active mobile devices in the world – that’s more technology in the world than people, so it’s easy to understand the importance of smartphone marketing and its relevance to an organization.

In 2015 the wearable’s market exceeded $2 billion; this year it is set to hit almost 3 billion and is expected to reach over 4 billion in 2017. Much like the emergence of mobile, brands and businesses will have to develop their websites and platforms to suit the needs of the needs of the average wearable user, and ensure they are optimized for small, more interactive screens to ensure a quality user experience and prompt sales.

5) Interactive Content

According to digital marketing expert, Aaron Agius, interactive digital content is going to come into its own in 2017.

In the current digital landscape, engagement is everything, and marketers succeed when their audience not only consumes content but also enjoys and acts upon it, which is why interactive content will be so important going forwards.

Compared to 36% of static content, interactive content generates conversions moderately or very well 70% of the time. In addition, it works as a competitor differentiator and proves effective in educating buyers, no mean feat in a landscape that sees customers turn away from traditional methods of purchasing in favor of online reviews and research.

“By its very nature, interactive content engages participants in an activity: answering questions, making choices, exploring scenarios. It’s a great way to capture attention right from the start. Individuals have to think and respond; they can’t just snooze through it.” – Scott Brinker, Author of ChiefMartec.com

With digital technology getting more sophisticated all the time, the scope for brands and businesses to engage with consumers is seemingly endless, and it is going to prove even more valuable in 2017.

Interactive can come in many forms, from quizzes and polls to calculators and contests. The question is: which interactive content will you develop to engage with your audience? Food for thought.

2017 isn’t far away and now is the time to take heed of the new and the developed digital marketing trends that are beginning to emerge. Start planning and gain the expertise you need now to ensure success tomorrow.

 

 

Source:

Author: Clodagh O’Brien

Website: digitalmarketinginstitute.com