Websites are really important, but not every business has $100,000 to throw at all the latest and greatest features. Last week we talked about how to figure out which features to include. Here are some ways to keep costs down without sacrificing your visitor experience.
1. Choose Classic Features.
Flash sites were really cool when they first came out. They were also really expensive, took forever to load, weren't SEO-friendly, and are no longer widely used. Before you copy something a competitor is doing, ask yourself these questions:
- Will this make my site more complicated to use?
- Will this cause my site to load more slowly?
- Will this affect a visitor's ability to use the site on a mobile device?
- Will this require a visitor to download a plugin or other software?
- Do I just want to add this because it's cool and new and everyone else is doing it?
If you answered Yes to any of these questions, skip adding the feature. Unless, of course, you have the dough to design a mobile-specific site. Even then, it's much more of a headache than a design that looks good on all browsers and devices.
2. Incorporate Pre-Existing Software.
Why build something from scratch when a number of companies offer thoroughly-tested programs with 24/7 support? There are so many wonderful options for storefront software, payment systems, and email software that are reasonably-priced. These things should almost never be hand-built unless you have extreme needs. Just be sure to choose an option that has the features you need in the near future so it will allow you to grow.
3. Make Your Own Edits.
You don't have to know how to code in order to edit your site. Most websites can be built using a content management system like WordPress. The design can be completely customized so it no longer looks like a blog, but you retain the functionality. You can add and edit pages, write blog posts, and upload images without contacting a designer. Just don't be afraid to shell out a couple extra dollars to make sure big changes like updating your logo and editing navigation are done according to the latest design standards.
Let us know if you have any more money-saving tips. Happy designing!
With only two weeks left until Christmas, we’re racing towards one of the most important days of the holiday season. One refrain echoes through the minds of most business owners: There isn’t enough time! If you’re still personally handling your social media, it’s easy to see why this season can seem unmanageable. Here are four reasons why Social Sonar could be the best gift you give yourself this year.
Open Up Time so You Can Tackle Other Projects
How many ideas and grand schemes for your business do you have slowly cooking on the back burner? Maybe they’ve been simmering there for the better part of the year without the chance of growing to fruition because you haven’t had the time to really flesh them out. If you’re dreaming of launching new ideas in 2014, the clock is ticking. There’s no time like the present to get preparations underway. Letting someone else take the reins of your social media efforts can open up time for you to work on the projects that you’re really passionate about. Who knows--that idea you’ve been toying with could be what takes your business to the next level in the upcoming year.
Take a Break, You Deserve It!
As a business owner, you pour yourself into your work every day. For entrepreneurs and sole proprietors, it’s hard to draw the line that determines where your business ends and your personal life begins. The balancing act is even trickier right now because the holidays present great business opportunities but are also full of social gatherings that you don’t want to miss out on. Taking one thing off your plate during the holidays can open up opportunities to spend time with the people that matter. Don’t miss out on important opportunities to connect with friends and family because you’re knee-deep in tweets and Facebook comments. We’ll handle your social media efforts so that you can celebrate with the people closest to you.
Coordinate Marketing Efforts
Is your marketing department working overtime during the holidays? This time of year can seem like a race to reach customers, which can leave members of your communications team feeling overwhelmed. Having a dedicated user that works with your marketing team to carry out your social media strategy takes some of the stress off of you. That way, you can keep an eye on the bigger marketing picture and know that your social strategy is working in close conjunction with it.
Who doesn’t love a good deal? The last few months of the year are a prime time to roll out deals for customers craving a good sale. Are you using your social networks to make the most of online shopping? An online store is only part of a winning equation. Your fans may not be checking your website regularly, so it’s important to drive traffic there through social media. Loyal followers make for strong brand advocates. If fans love a deal they see on Twitter or on Facebook, they can easily share it with friends and family, too.
Who’s responsible for your social strategy this holiday season? Let the pros handle it so you can enjoy feasting with family and friends! The only downside? You won’t have any excuses for showing up to that potluck without a good dish!