Choosing the right software developer for your project can be a daunting, stressful process. This decision will likely have financial and operational impacts on your business for five to ten years to come. In previous posts we’ve covered choosing the right partner and reviewed when to fire a developer when things go awry. Now, we’ll review some of the early signs that the developer you’re evaluating might not be the right choice for your project. Too many times, we’ve seen clients make the wrong decision, only to end up spending more time and money cleaning up a mess.
In our recent blog, Web Design versus Web Development: Information Design, we touched on things you need to consider when developing a new application for your business. In this article, we expand on that. If you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m still not sure exactly what solution I need,” we’ll help you focus in on the answer by looking at types of users and the desired outcomes. We’ll look at internal versus external users, and we’ll dive into outcomes such as marketing, revenue, and operations.
Notes from the Tech Council’s 2018 Cybersecurity Summit
We recently attended the Arizona Technology Council’s 2018 Cybersecurity Summit in Scottsdale. As usual, this summit was packed with great information and exciting presenters and panels. We had two key takeaways from this. First, there will always be threats, so you need to be prepared. Second, you need to have a plan for when (when, not if) you get attacked.
The primary goal of creating and investing in a custom software application for your business is to improve your business -- profitability, efficiency, customer experience, revenues, etc. You know that much. Now, you need to identify what your business really needs so that you can develop the right custom software solution for your users.
In previous posts, we covered the importance of choosing a developer versus a designer and whether to go with a custom built application versus a platform like Wordpress. This first decision between building a website or building a web application is vital. Here, we help make that decision a little easier, and we get you started in thinking about the information you will need to gather from your business processes to build the perfect application.
Planning your web project takes time and lots of research, but once you’re done, the real work begins. However, most people don’t really know what should be happening during their web projects. Most follow an intricate, yet fluid, construction and execution process. In this article, we’ll go over what you should expect.
Making the decision to start a web project can seem overwhelming. There’s so much to know: audience, SEO, and catchy domain names are just a few. And unless you’re a web developer, it’s hard to sift through all the advice and add-ons to figure out exactly what you need. In this blog, we’re going to outline the four goals you need to set before you start your web project.
When building an ecommerce site, there's a lot of nuances that need to be taken into account, from what to charge for shipping (and how to determine the fees you pass on to the customer) to charging for sales tax. Collection of sales tax is one item that can't be ignored - unless you're happy to pay large sums in monetary penalties because you didn't collect and/or pay enough. This week, we'll cover a bit about sales tax considerations when launching an Arizona-based ecommerce business.
Ecommerce was big this year, with sales reach $3.45 billion dollars (Fortune). If you’re planning to sell online and get a piece of the pie for next year, you should start your planning now. Keep reading for some more information about what your site needs to have to survive in 2017.
By far the most common oversight by clients (and often by inexperienced developers) is the long-term solution. We start projects so they can be finished, so that means that the project has to “live” somewhere for the foreseeable future, right? Most clients gloss over this need assuming the developer will take care of it. Other times, they wait until the day before the launch to find out the Developer didn’t plan. In the worst cases, the client has no idea where their digital product lives and the developer goes AWOL. It’s important to be a part of this planning from the beginning.
As you’ve already seen, I’m building more than just a consulting business and I’ve mentioned a few times that marketing a product is very different from marketing services. Since July, I’ve been working on creating a new digital product and there’s been a lot of lessons along the way. Here’s a few tips about leveraging the network you’ve built for more than just referrals.
Our projects typically fall on the highly-technical end of the spectrum (in case last week’s blog hadn’t already made that abundantly clear) and represent a much more significant investment for a company, but even the much commonplace “brochure site” which is often your first point of contact in sales is an important part of your marketing efforts.
This is the first in a new series of monthly blogs which will focus on a single project. The goal isn't to bore you with technical jargon and geeky details. Let's face it, you would get bored. Quickly. My goal is to provide you with insight into what happens when someone has an idea for a new digital platform and what goes into making it a reality.
Most small businesses rely on an outsourced Web designer to manage their Web site. With the economy improving, not all of those resources are sticking around. They are instead heading back to work for other companies themselves and they all handle the transition differently. Some are great - providing their client with well-documented processes and information about their site. Many simply fade away. If you're outsourcing your Web design and development to a freelancer or independent firm, here's a few tips on making sure you're ready if you're forced into a transition.
Failure to plan is planning to fail.
We've all heard the old adage, but with software, failure should be part of any plan. This isn't because we want or even know that failure will occur. We certainly don't want the application to fail, but disaster happens. It could be a fire at the data center where the application is housed, infiltration by a malicious hacker, or any number of things that cause an application to fail. What's important, though, is that you have a plan in place to get back up.
Over that past few years supporting applications, I've received multiple requests to not timeout (either at all or less frequently). From a user's perspective, it's frustrating. You get up for a cup of coffee between work and get distracted by a quick conversation or the ding of email. You come back to the application, click, and you're required to log in again. There's a number of standards for the length of login timeouts, but everyone has their own opinion and each industry has different specific requirements.
A great many projects are hatched by business owners everywhere, but they don't all become a reality. Just like not all businesses survive the first 5 years, not every project is executed in a way it can be successful. I recently gave a presentation to a group of small business owners about how Web apps are like houses. If you're scratching your head, then keep reading and I'll explain.
Everyone wants their Web site to reach their audience and provide a great experience for their customers and potential customers. Most people believe that the colors matching perfectly or the placement of your best-selling service front-and-center is most important. It is ... visually. What about people that are color blind? Visually-impaired people use the Internet with special software and browser plugins to consume content. Has your ideal design considered them as well?
Last month, I talked about advantages of search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and how each may fit into your marketing plan. I'm going to focus a bit more this month on some things you can do yourself to help with SEO. We all have budgets and professional digital marketing agencies, while expensive, are well worth their fees.
Recently, a class-action lawsuit was filed against 21st Century Oncology. In it, the medical provider is accused of storing patient data in Joomla. Since we primarily use Joomla as a content management system, this story was interesting, particularly when you look at the lawsuit attorney's comments.