Small Business Software Blog

Anatomy 101: Template Design vs Custom Design

When it comes to a Web site, there are many avenues to choosing the right design. We specialize in custom designs unique to each client. In some cases, either due to budgetary constraints or simply because custom design doesn't make sense, we get involved in a project where a pre-made template is purchased and used for the Web site. Each project is handled differently and there is often some confusion on what it means when purchasing a template versus a custom design.

Don't Get an "Instant" Solution, Get the Right Solution

Don't Get an "Instant" Solution, Get the Right Solution

We've all seen it: sites that offer a complete Web site, ecommerce store with zero coding! Sounds pretty great, right? Cut out the middle man, build and maintain your own site - who wouldn't want to do just that. Ignoring the technical facts that there is still quite a bit of coding happening behind the scenes and ultimately the same kind of code is generated, you often give away your intellectual property rights and waste your valuable time maintaining the site instead of doing things that will help your business grow.

Anatomy 101: Getting it Done Right

Every business owner knows a Web presence is a necessity and getting it done right is paramount (though what "right" is will vary depending on who you talk to, but that's another article). Just as important as getting it done, however, is long-term maintenance. Just like a new house built from the ground up, Web projects require maintenance to keep them running smoothly.

You Don't Have to be a Big Fish to Make a Splash

I, as founder, owner, and CTO of Sol Minion Development, was recently elected to a seat on the Tempe Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. This is a great honor and it made me think about the impact joining the Chamber has had on my business. To be perfectly honest, without the Chamber, I wouldn't have a business.

Helping Your Web Team Help You

I was in a meeting regarding a possible and the inevitable question came up regarding how estimates work. As I've mentioned in the past, we are a custom development firm and don't perform project work on a fixed bid because application development, especially redesigning existing applications, always comes with a surprise or two - usually small, but sometimes not so small. The response I received was eye-opening: "I don't like surprises."

The Value of a Custom Web Site

Many small businesses look at a Web site as little more than a necessary cost of doing business. We've heard, more than once, "nobody comes to us because of our Web site" from business owners. The truth is that customers may not come to you because of your Web site, but they will use it to gauge whether they can trust you and to find out more about the products or services you can provide.

4 Extensions to Help Secure Your Web Site

If you're managing your own Web site or managing sites for clients, chances are you're trying to find a way to keep your site secure. It's getting difficult to go just a week without catching wind of some hacking scandal from the news. There's also a good chance your site is built using either Joomla or WordPress, which is great because there are a variety of extensions available for both platforms to make it easier to keep your site safe.

How Will Google's Mobile Ranking Impact You?

How Will Google's Mobile Ranking Impact You?

By now you've probably heard about Google's latest change wherein they start taking into account your site's responsiveness, perhaps even received an email from Google regarding your site's current standings. What isn't clear is precisely what the impact to your site and your site's search ranking could be. The bottom line is if one out of five visitors to your site is using a mobile device, your site traffic could see a significant reduction.

3 Pro Networking Tips

Having just celebrated our third full year in business, I started to think back on what brought us to this point. In our current, high-technology, low-interaction world, I find the basics often fall by the wayside. Our marketing plan consists of meeting other small business owners, listening to and getting know them, and cultivating relationships. To that end, I've spent a lot of time learning what to do (and what not to do) in terms of etiquette, introductions, and being a "connector".

Budgeting for a Custom Web Site

Today's a big day. Three years ago, I jumped ship from the corporate world and began exclusively building my own company. There's been some speed bumps along the way, but I've spent the past three years building relationships with small businesses in the Tempe Chamber and getting involved in the business community. Some of those efforts centered around educating small business owners on the difference between Web designers and developers and the "cookie-cutter" approach vs the custom design approach to crafting an online presence.

What Makes Sol Minion Development Different?

Sol Minion Development was recently recognized as one of three finalists for the Tempe Chamber's 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year Award, alongside BioStress Imagery and All About Compression (the recipient). After the Beacon Awards ceremony, I was discussing what we did differently from other Web companies. Let's face it, there are a lot of choices for Web design and development firms, but we do stand out because we are actively protecting our client's data and educating them.

When is Ecommerce More Than Just Ecommerce?

It sounds like part of some obscure riddle, but the reality is that ecommerce has grown to encompass more than just an online store. There are more ways to get in front of your potential market and the post-launch marketing is more important than ever. Consumers want information, they want fast and accurate delivery, and they want to save time. Here are a few channels for stores of any size.