Category: Web Strategy

What to Research Before a Website Rebuild

What to research before a website rebuild

Rebuilding a website is exciting, but it can also be quite stressful. It’s important to start off the process on the right foot so you can avoid headaches down the road. Here are a few things you should research before a website rebuild.

Get the technical stuff out of the way

You’ll be surprised how many companies do not know their domain or web hosting username and password. Make sure you have these credentials handy as you’ll need them to update your website. If you have an IT department or have someone who does your IT work, he or she would have this information for you. IT can also fill you in on what your email hosting situation looks like. Is the email hosted on a local server or is it a third party service. Emails can get messy and sometimes lost so these are great conversations to have before hand.
 
Also, let your new web development company know if you’re looking for a new hosting company. Most likely they can supply that service for you as well. I would suggest to ask about the security of the hosting service as spam and malware is a nightmare these days.
 

Review Your Online Traffic

If you are keeping in track of your website traffic with Google Analytics, take a look at it. Try to find out your top visited website pages and look for pages where visitors spend the most time. This can give you an idea what your online visitors are interested in. You can dig in quite a bit to your online data, but at the very least try to get a high level understanding of what your online visitors are interested in on your website today.
 
If you are not keeping in track of your website traffic, start tracking immediately. It’s better to have some traffic data than no data.
 

Ask For Input

Depending on the size of your company, you may need to have a talk with your sales department and ask them what they would like to see as an improvement in the new website. Reach out to the administrative department and ask them a few questions as well. Most importantly, listen to your audience and find out if your clients are struggling with the current website in any place, shape or form.
 

Conduct a Website Survey

By putting together a survey with a series of questions can help you to decipher what’s needed. You can use a third party service like SurveyMonkey to put something together. Ask questions like, “Why do you visit our website?” and “How well does our website meet your needs?”.
 
Now if you have the resources, you can create an online form that could live on your current website. After completed and submitted, the form can then email you the client’s feedback. You can always ask your current web development company to help you put something like this together if things get a bit tricky.
 

Speak with the CEO

You’ll need to make sure that whoever is managing this project has a clear view of the company’s goals. Find out the goals first, then start thinking about how your new website can help make them happen. Make sure to have a discussion with your CEO and find out their point of view. Their opinion should have less to do with what the website looks like and the content that’s on there, and more to do with bigger picture company goals.
 

Find the Right Web Agency

To find the right web agency it is never easy. It helps if you have a budget in mind before you start looking. Putting out a generic RFP with no idea of budget can lead to trouble. We recently heard a story of a client getting quotes back that range from $5,000 to $75,000. Three months went by and they still had no idea who to work with.
 
There are many stories like this one but at the end of the day there needs to be the right fit. The right fit starts at the web company’s portfolio. There’s nothing written on taste but take a look at that portfolio and get a sense of the type of work the web firm has done. Take a look at the type of clients they’ve worked with. I would suggest to review their social media channels such as; Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This can give you a sense of what their culture is like. You never find a bad client testimonial on a web company’s website but if you find recommendations on LinkedIn, I would look at those as brownie points. Last, look for success stories the web firm as shared from their existing clients.
 
I hope these research tips help you rebuild your website the right way, with the right web company, the first time around.
 
What research tactics have you used to help rebuild your website? Share your insight at the comments!



25 Tactics Great Websites Use



How Dynamic Online Patient Forms Can Save Your Medical Practice Time and Money

How dynamic online patient forms can save your medical practice time and money

When you’re feeling sick, achy, or are in pain the last thing you want to do is fill out a long patient form while waiting to be attended. 15 to 30 minutes can go by and that person maybe still waiting in pain.
 
We have noticed that many medical practices aren’t taking full advantage of their website to improve their administrative process. A well built website can help your office with everything from scheduling appointments to completing new patient forms that integrate with your current system.
 
Here’s how we helped our client save time and money at their medical practice.

A Secure Online New Patient Form

Online patient forms can be long and extensive. We wanted to make sure the online experience went smooth for new patients, so we created an online new patient form that was dynamic. This means, depending on the new patient’s response to a question, he/she is prompted more options. For example, “Are you allergic to anything?”. If the answer was yes, it would display more options. If the new patient selects no, he/she could just move on to the next question.
 
For our client, hacking and spamming was a major concern. We wanted to make sure our new patient’s information was submitted safe and secure. Therefore we made sure the online form was secure and followed all guidelines. This created a peace of mind for everyone.

Administrators Notified By Email

Once an online new patient form was completed and securely submitted, all assigned staff members received a notification by email. With all the junk email going on these days, we wanted to make sure the email subject line was descriptive. By adding the new patient’s first name and last, the staff knew who the new patient was before opening the email.

Taking the Practice Productivity to the Next Level

With time we discovered our client receiving an email notification with patient information wasn’t doing all it could do to increase the practice’s productivity. The print out of the email notification became confusing for the doctor to review because it looked different from the forms their patients filled out in person. Therefore finding information for the doctor became challenging and was creating confusion.
 
Our solution was to include an attached PDF with the notified email. We then match the design of the new patient form print out used at the practice. Now, once a new patient form is securely submitted, the new patient’s information is dynamically laid out in an attached four page PDF matching the practice’s new patient form print outs including HIPAA compliance.
 
This website feature is now saving time in the administrative process and saving precious appointment time. At the end we have happy patients and an efficient medical practice.
 
How were you able to increase productivity at your practice? Please feel free to share your experience below.



25 Tactics Great Websites Use



How Important is Responsive Design for Your Website?

How Important is Responsive Design for Your Website?

Responsive Design: How important is it really?

You may have already heard of Google’s Mobile-Friendly update by now. This recent update, which many are calling Mobilegeddon, can hurt your search rankings if your website is not responsive. If you’re curious to see how your website is performing mobile wise, you can find out by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. The tool will give you a pretty good idea if your company website needs improvements or not. At the end of the day, if you’re company website is not responsive, chances are your visitor will simply leave and find your competitor that is.

 

The responsive design concept for websites in nothing new. Terms such as; liquid structures, fluid grids, percentages and ems have become an attraction for years now. Here are a few reasons why it’s important to have a responsive design:

 

1.) Say Goodbye to Creating a Website Per Device

Stop the madness! Do you have any idea how many different types of mobile devices are out there? I can’t even imagine building a website for each one. It’s just crazy to think how much production and expense that would be for our clients. Not to mention when new devices come out, will you need to create a new website for that as well?

 

2.) Retain Your Mobile Visitors

We can talk about mobile vs desktop stats all day but the fact is if your website is not mobile friendly you are losing business. How long does it take your first time mobile visitors to call you, find your address, or learn your operating hours? If you are selling products, how quickly can your client buy through a mobile device? It’s time to retain that mobile traffic, and gain better qualified leads through inbound marketing, and increase those sales instead of losing them.

 

3.) Flexible Across the Board

The issue is there’s always going to be a new touch screen device where the screen size varies. The bright side is their shapes do not vary. There are no mobile devices that are circles or triangles… last I checked at least. For now, it’s safe to say they are all rectangle. One less thing to worry about. I have to admit, this is probably one of the features I enjoy the most. The ability for images to enlarge or scale down when they need to, menus disappear and simplify into small boxes and grids morphing and adapting to a portrait or landscape positioned mobile device.

 

4.) Mobile Experience is Crucial

This is the age where simple, efficiency and ease of navigation is key. Having the ability to scroll through content and being able to call directly without typing in the number is key. A one click (two max) access to more information or to buy is key. Big, finger-friendly buttons and large fonts… is definitely key.

 

5.) Better Search Results

Last, if one of the main goals for the organization is to be visible on Google or to improve search results, then having a responsive design for your company website is a must. As I mentioned earlier, Google is giving out brownie points if your website is responsive. There are other elements that come to play for achieving a great mobile experience such as; image optimization, download time, and compressing CSS and JS files. Ultimately, if the responsive design talk is on your to-do list, you’re off to a great start.

 
What other benefits do responsive design websites have? Share your opinion with us in the comments!

 
If you’re rebuilding your website, please feel free to download our free ebook with helpful tips on how to get started.




25 Tactics Great Websites Use



How to resize images using WordPress

How to resize an image using wordpress

Have you ever uploaded an awesome photo to your WordPress website or blog, and then have it take 12 seconds to load on the page? Or maybe you’ve wanted an image to take up more or less space on the page. You can do these types of edits right in the backend of WordPress. So here’s how to resize images using WordPress.

 
First, here are some basics. When we talk about image size, that means the space the image takes up on the screen. This is measured in pixels. Although they range, a common width of a website is 1000 pixels. So if you’re creating a banner image that needs to go across the entire width of your text, you might make something that is 1000×300 pixels.
 
The image file size is how much the image weighs. This is measured in bytes. Specifically in web design, you’ll be measuring Kilobytes or KB. If you upload an image and the weight of that image is being measured in Megabytes or MB, then the image is much too large.
 
So how do you know what size your images should be?
 
A large image, like a banner or something that takes up the entire width of your text, should be between 60K and 120K. A small image that is within your text should be 50KB or less.
 
Pro Tip: If you’re using Firefox, when browsing the internet, right click on any image and go to “view image info.” A window will pop up that shows you the dimensions and the weight of that image.
 
View Image Info
 
Image Info
 
You can quickly check the size of your own images using this trick to make sure they’re how you want them, without having to log in to WordPress.
 
So, now how do you edit an image to make it your desired size and weight? You don’t have to have access to photoshop to get this done if you’re using WordPress.
 

1. Upload your new media.

In the Media section, simply drag and drop or select a file from your computer. Once it’s there, click “Edit.” The image I chose is over 1 MB. Way too big.
 
Upload image
 

2. Scale the image.

Click Edit Image and scale the image to your desired width. In this case, I made it 1000 x 667 pixels.
 
resize image
 

3. Crop the image.

I also want to make sure it’s only 300 pixels high, so I’ll use the crop tool. I click and drag the section of the photo that I want to keep. It will tell me the size of my selection in the image crop box. Click the crop tool to make this happen.
 
Crop image

 

Then hit save and then update. You’ll notice that my file size changed dramatically when I made these updates. It’s now 109KB, a perfect size for a banner on my blog post. If yours still weighs too much after it’s cropped, you may have to compress the image using a third party software.
 
resize images using wordpress
 

4. Insert the image.

Now, when you go back to your post, you can insert the updated image.
 
And that, my friends is how you resize images using WordPress.
 




25 Tactics Great Websites Use