With the myriad of blogs that I’ve written for the site, I sometimes struggle with consistent topics. By that, I mean I’m a developer, but many blogs blur the line between product development, marketing, Web design, and networking. This can lead to confusion about exactly what we do, which has brought me to this: consistency is key.
Marketing has taken on a new level of complexity these days. Between social media, SEO, and email, we often forget that it's not always about selling (at least not constantly). Many of us, myself included, market during face-to-face opportunities. It's important to not let those connections fall through the cracks. We never know where that next big project is going to come from.
We recently started to map out a proposal for a new project. This particular project meant working around an existing relationship with a staff developer who maintains a version of the app for another platform. As we moved through the process of crafting a proposal to meet their needs, a number of questions came up, including the question about security.
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.
We all work hard on our business, but do we all keep an eye on the reputation of our business in the community? When you're a very small or micro-business, adding that "one more thing" can be next to impossible, but it doesn't have to be.
It's been nearly two years since I first posted my blog "3 Questions Clingy Customers Want Answered", but it still holds true. You might be wondering why I didn't just recycle the blog. If you weren't, well ... I'll tell you anyway - it wouldn't help with my goal to get new content every week this year. I also wouldn't be able to tell you about a recent interaction I had related to answering those questions.
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.
For the last few months, I've been pushing myself to be more active. Since moving last Fall, it's been harder to get out and do the fun activities I love because trails aren't as close and riding along the valley canals is boring. I've had different people try to push me to try different things, like CrossFit (or some kind of functional mobility exercise), but it wasn't the same to me. I love to engage my mind in everything and if the activity isn't stimulating for whatever reason, the motivation to keep doing it doesn't follow. How did I get around this?
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.
When it comes to email marketing, people often tell me its a chore to produce quality content for both your Web site and an email newsletter. Which is true and also the reason you make sure that content is in sync. That said, you don't have to duplicate your efforts; you only have to produce the content for your Web site and automate sending the latest blog to your email marketing list. Keep reading to find out how surprisingly easy it is.
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.
We wish you all the best time with your family and friends. Grab some BBQ, light some fireworks, and enjoy the long holiday weekend. For those of you that don't see this until the 5th, we hope it was relaxing and you spent quality time with friends and family. Our regularly scheduled blogs will be back next week with more great content. Cheers!
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.
Marketing automation is a term being tossed around by digital marketers. While you certainly want to have a qualified professional supercharge your marketing, there are some things you can do to get things rolling and streamline the process to make it easier to hit the ground running.
If you didn't catch it last week, my editorial calendar is a bit out of order this month. I did that on purpose because I wanted to time this blog differently. Each summer, United Food Bank kicks off a food drive event called Christmas in July. Here's three reasons you should get involved.
Building a platform with security built-in from the beginning isn't a common occurrence. Many freelance developers or small development teams consider security late, if at all, which results in what we call "bolted-on" security (versus "built-in" security). Bolted on security, while still security, tends to poke a lot of holes in an application. Here are three things to discuss with your Web team about before you start the next project or enhancement.
This is one of those odd 5th Mondays where I don't need to follow a specific editorial calendar. Since this week (almost) marks halfway through the year, I decided to reflect a bit on how I've stuck with my plan to get one blog out every week so far this year and what you can do with your own site to help.
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.