Topic: Web Design

Designing a Website for the Mobile World – Why Mobile Designs Matter and Why You Should Care

Mobile Design

Mobile Design

The Internet is going mobile and it’s happening more and more every day. If you don’t have a mobile design or mobile version of your website, you’re losing a large percentage of your web traffic. Regardless, of the industry you work within, people of all ages are using their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to view content online.

It’s estimated that there are 1.2 billion mobile web users online and some of them no longer use a desktop on a regular basis. The data also shows that more and more people enjoy shopping online from their mobile device. It’s easy to see why more smartphones are sold yearly than desktop computers. Computers aren’t going anywhere, but people are using their mobile devices a lot more than ever before.

Taking mobile-first strategy with your website design is something we recommend to all of our Toronto clients. With so many different mobile devices and screen sizes it can almost be impossible to have a custom design for each mobile user. Basically, a responsive mobile design allows adapting to any screen it is being viewed on. A responsive website design is usually the best way to make your site look great on any device. It can be the best way to ensure that all the important elements of your website appear correctly for your entire audience. It doesn’t matter what the hottest phone on the market is, or if people are using Apple or Android; your site will look great.

Why Your Business Should Have a Custom-Built WordPress Website

Custom Built Wordpress Website

Over the last few years, WordPress has grown to become the most popular Content Management System (CMS) on the Internet. WordPress estimates that more than 25 percent of the world’s websites are powered by the platform. Brands both big and small are utilizing the thousands of features offered by the CMS.

WordPress is one of the most affordable solutions available to website owners. A simple WordPress theme is free to install, launch and maintain. There are many different open source and paid options that provide users with access to literally thousands of themes, templates, plugins and widgets. It’s likely that there is custom built WordPress solution for almost anything you could want on your website.

We’ve been helping business owners throughout Markham and the Toronto region design and build custom WordPress websites for nearly a decade. Over this time we’ve been able to build some really engaging and modern designs. Here are some the top reasons our clients have enjoyed using WordPress to power their website.

Easy to Use and Manage

WordPress was initially built for non-tech savvy content creators and bloggers, the interface of the CMS is designed to upload content quickly and easily. You don’t really need a lot of experience working with websites to add, update or delete the content on your website. The CMS is built with a simple to use interface, allowing you the ability to add text, images and even video with just a couple clicks. There’s no need learn or even look at HTML or other code. Your staff will need minimal training to hit the ground running and start posting content. The Internet is full of helpful online manuals and walkthrough videos that provide excellent tips for your staff. There are even mobile applications that let you update your website from your phone or tablet.

By default, WordPress allows you the ability to have full user management, RSS feeds, revision backups and tracking, blogging and many other features. WordPress is a very powerful tool right out of the gate with its many default features and plug-ins. There are more than 50,000 WordPress plugins that can be instantly downloaded, many of which are free or can be purchased for a small fee.

Affordable Website Development and Maintenance

Most WordPress websites require some customization work. When compared to other CMS solutions on the market such as Drupal and Joomla, WordPress customization is very affordable. Monthly website maintenance packages are affordable and will help keep your website running safe and secure for years to come.  With the size of its community, WordPress is constantly rolling out critical updates that make the platform evolve on a regular basis. The flexibility of WordPress is another reason why it works as a CMS for many Toronto businesses. WordPress can be used to create everything from a simple blog to a complex and custom website with many moving parts. Many time-consuming functions such as building contact forms, slideshows, and custom navigation can be done quickly without the need for heavy development time.

Some of the most commonly used web applications integrate easily with a WordPress website. Tools such as MailChimp, Facebook, Instagram, and other marketing platforms can quickly integrate with WordPress, this can create some exciting ways to build and engage with your customer base.

Full E-Commerce Capability

Every day businesses process e-commerce transactions on their WordPress powered website. Tools such as WooCommerce make e-commerce secure, easy to manage and scalable. Over the years the WordPress community has focused a lot of attention to towards online security. With some ongoing security maintenance, you will have the peace of mind of knowing your website is secure for your customers to process transactions. WordPress now has some of the easiest to use e-commerce solutions on the Internet.

With WooCommerce you can easily manage your inventory with detailed information, images and video on each of your product pages. Major online payment gateways such as Moneris, PayPal and Stripe can quickly begin processing payments on your WordPress site. You even have the ability to upload your entire inventory via a spreadsheet file to instantly populate thousands of items to your website. There are various syndication tools that will link your website to your company’s CRM tool.

Rank Higher in Search Engine with SEO

WordPress has a reputation for ranking well in Google search results with SEO-friendly coded pages and design. There are many factors that Google takes into account when they rank websites and WordPress takes most of these elements into account. The content is designed to load quickly with clean code, something that Google rewards heavily. There are some really great SEO plugins that can be installed for free that will instantly have a positive impact on your SEO strategy. Images can be easily optimized to load quickly and appear higher in search results.

Built for Mobile Devices

Creating a positive mobile browsing experience is something that’s important for all business owners. WordPress developers have focused much of their attention on building websites with a strong mobile design. Many traditional websites require a lot of code and testing to ensure their content works and look good on all mobile devices, WordPress automates this entire process. Many of our clients see a majority of their traffic now coming from mobile devices and WordPress is a great way to keep this audience happy and engaged.

As a Toronto online marketing company, we’ve had a front-row seat to the evolution of WordPress over the last few years and it’s only getting better. The open source nature of WordPress has a created a community with some of the best developers in the world constantly making updates to the platform. There are many reasons why WordPress has now established itself as the largest CMS platform on the Internet.

Your business can literally do anything with WordPress and our team of experienced designers and developers will make your website stand out with a unique and interactive design. Contact us today to learn more about how WordPress can benefit your business today.

Adding SSL Certification to Provide Better Security and Improved Search Results

Google recently announced that having an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificate on your site will help boost your SEO ranking. The search engine giant has been trying to raise awareness about website security for a couple of years and this most recent update is the next logical step to accomplishing this goal.

SSL Certification adds an extra layer of security to a website by establishing an additional encrypted link between a web server and a browser. Basically, a properly installed SSL Certificate will ensure that data transmitted online stays private and secure. Users will notice a domain with HTTPS at the start as opposed to the typical HTTP (htttps://domain.com vs http://domain.com). It’s important to seek the assistance of a professional when making this switch. They will install the certificate properly and ensure that all redirects and 404 pages have been dealt with properly.

Google plans to boost rankings to any website with an SSL certificate, regardless if they collect personal information. That means even if your website doesn’t collect information for online payments, logins, or any other personal information you will still benefit from having the Certification on your website.

The goal is to make the Internet more secure for everyone. What better way to encourage people to spend the money and time to make a switch to SSL Certification than offering an SEO boost.

In order to implement SSL Certification, you will need to work with your web hosting company or your Markham website vendor. There will typically be both a setup fee and an annual subscription fee. The cost will prove to be worthwhile over time and will open the door to more data collection options on your website. Technically speaking, many smaller websites do not actually need the extra security that comes with an SSL Certificate, but installing one may be the difference between appearing at the top of search or falling to the bottom.

With the increase in websites moving towards SSL Certification, more and more average Internet users will begin to understand the importance of online security. Adding an SSL Certificate will tell your users that you care about their information, not having one may make your website appear less professional. Research shows that people feel more confident using a website with a security seal anywhere on the website. A trusted SSL Certification vendor will provide a security seal graphic which many people choose to place in the footer of their site and on any page where people are asked to enter personal information.

In the near future, Google Chrome users will begin seeing an ‘x’ beside search results Google deems to be unsafe. It’s very likely that websites without an SSL Certification will receive a failing ‘x’. This update to Chrome is expected to begin happening in January 2017.

WordPress, one the most commonly used website building platforms recently announced that they too will be encouraging their users to install SSL Certificates. Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress recently announced that upcoming builds of the popular software package will require an SSL certificate.

There are various SSL security options on the market, each offers different security and installation options. You will want to find a certificate that provides a full verification of identity, this shows Google that you securing your customer information properly.

Like many updates to Google, this shift towards a more secure Internet will likely happen in multiple steps. The transition from HTTP to HTTPS is happening and Google wants to accelerate this movement  by rewarding websites with SSL Certification. Many high ranking websites have already made this shift to better security.

It’s clear that moving towards better online security will be a focus for many website owners in 2017. Want to learn more about how to rank better on Google and provide better security for your customers with an SSL Certificate? We’d love to help, please feel free to contact us and we’ll find an SSL solution that works for your business needs and budget for both today and tomorrow.