Web Ignite http://webignite.com.au Big Bang. Small Bucks. Professional Web Design at a truly affordable price. Wed, 23 Aug 2017 01:25:46 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 Less is More http://webignite.com.au/blog/less-is-more/ http://webignite.com.au/blog/less-is-more/#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 01:11:31 +0000 http://webignite.com.au/?p=8959 Minimalist design is not just a trend, it is timeless style of communication.  As a stylistic choice, it aligns highly with the needs of web design, but why is it so effective?

 

At its core, your website is a conversation between your business and your customer.  By employing minimalist design, you can ensure your users are easily able to understand the message that is being conveyed, without distractions.  Like any conversation, clear communication is crucial to your success, and this principle of content-first design forms the foundations of minimalist methodology.

 

Minimalist web design manipulates the user’s visual flow, through use of contrast, negative space, dramatic typography, deliberate colour palettes, visual harmony, balance and careful organisation to direct the user on the desired journey of a website always keeping the focus of the user on the message being conveyed.  

 

In a minimalistic website, you should be considerate of what conversation you are looking to convey with your customer, and the business message should be refined to the bare essentials.  Each element of your design should be carefully considered for requirement and if it reinforces the message, and by eliminating distractions, the user will be able to clearly and quickly follow the dialogue of the content.

 

A minimalistic website will also present your customers with a cleaner interface for navigation and user flow.  Often, websites will cram in too many elements together without enough breathing space, making it difficult to read and navigate.  This is particularly true when cramped websites and viewed on mobile devices, with tap targets being too small or too close together.

 

From a technical perspective, making use of minimalism has a significant added benefit by being more lightweight, which means your website will perform better and load much faster than bloated, feature-rich and design-heavy websites.  Google statistics have proven sales and conversion rates plummet with each successive second of load speed, and in today’s busy world, your customers will appreciate the lightning-fast responsiveness of a streamlined web design!

 

Interested in a minimalist website? Contact our friendly staff at info@webignite.com.au to see how we can help!

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A Secure Future http://webignite.com.au/blog/a-secure-future/ http://webignite.com.au/blog/a-secure-future/#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 01:09:16 +0000 http://webignite.com.au/?p=8957 Google has been working to ensure the Internet becomes a safer and more secure place for users.  Back in February we wrote about Google’s quest for a more secure Internet, and now Google’s Chrome browser will be leveling up its security protocols with Version 62, to be released in October.

 

In the next step of its journey, Chrome will be implementing security warnings on all non-HTTPS webpages. When visiting unsecured HTTP pages, the browser’s address bar will present the user with a “Not Secure” warning, which can be enough to deter an otherwise willing customer from trusting your website and making an enquiry.

 

But what’s the big deal with the S on the end of HTTPS?  Well, it actually stands for Secure!

 

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a communication protocol that protects the confidentiality and integrity of data transmissions between the user’s computer and the website.  When HTTPS is shown your browser’s address bar, you can expect a private and secure online experience when using the website.

 

Data sent using HTTPS is secured via Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS), which provides three key layers of protection:

  1. Encryption—encrypting the exchanged data to keep it secure from eavesdroppers. That means that while the user is browsing a website, nobody can “listen” to their conversations, track their activities across multiple pages, or steal their information.
  2. Data integrity—data cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.
  3. Authentication—proves that your users communicate with the intended website. It protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and builds user trust, which translates into other business benefits.

To enable HTTPS for your website, you must obtain a security certificate (SSL certificate)  from a certificate authority.  While it may not be a dealbreaker for everyone, the sight of the ‘Not secure’ alert might be enough to make less tech-savvy users want to leave the site entirely, rather than seeing it as a warning to not enter any sensitive information.

 

Need help setting up SSL encryption for your website? Contact our friendly staff at info@webignite.com.au and level up!

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A scrolling comeback http://webignite.com.au/blog/a-scrolling-comeback/ http://webignite.com.au/blog/a-scrolling-comeback/#respond Mon, 12 Jun 2017 22:55:10 +0000 http://webignite.com.au/?p=8947 Web design trends come and go based on the evolving demands and expectations of online users. Lately, one trend that was initially thought to be taboo is now gaining momentum, this trend being long scrolling sites. Back in 2015 we saw the rise and fall of long scrolling websites, which are now making a resurgence in 2017.

Ever since mobile devices surpassed desktops as the preferred choice for web browsing, it’s been in the web industry’s best interest to cater towards mobile design. As they say, the smaller the screen, the longer the scroll. However, mobile users are now increasingly being exposed to continually scrolling designs, be it due to responsive design, or social media sites and an infinitely scrolling news feed.

In terms of usability, a long page can be a preferred user experience for a mobile user. Rather than needing to click through a complex navigation path that slows down user experience, they can scroll through the same content without waiting for multiple page loads.

Of course, lots of scrolling means your content needs to be laid out well to prevent fatigue.  Design wise, the benefits of a long scrolling website is how it can be utilised in effective storytelling. With content being laid out in sequential, linear flow, scrolling designs should direct users through blocks of content. This allows for an intuitive and manageable user experience which would otherwise be plagued with either the interruptions associated with multiple page loads, or aimless, rambling content.

One downside to consider however, is that longer pages can become sluggish on older devices. If your content is engaging enough, most people will not mind scrolling to find out more, but their devices may not withstand heavier pages as willingly.  Content should be tailored to fit this particular design technique, lest the website lose valuable customers whether through lack of engagement, or device incompatibility.

Like all web design trends, popularity and ubiquity tend to go hand in hand, but we urge our clients to be more thoughtful over blindly following the crowd.  Focus on your website’s intent, your user’s goals, and understand the impact that the content and design should have on one another.

Unsure if your website is following the latest design best practices? Contact our friendly staff at info@webignite.com.au to find out more!

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Is your Google My Business up to date? http://webignite.com.au/blog/is-your-google-my-business-up-to-date/ http://webignite.com.au/blog/is-your-google-my-business-up-to-date/#respond Mon, 12 Jun 2017 22:52:54 +0000 http://webignite.com.au/?p=8941 Businesses details can change arbitrarily, and it’s easy to forget all the places you need to update those details. Whether you’ve moved offices or changed opening hours,  it can be frustrating for your customers to be delivered wrong, or worse, conflicting business information when trying to get in touch!

If you haven’t looked at your Google My Business listing recently, it’s probably not a bad time for a routine inspection. Here’s a quick checklist to ensure everything is up to date:

  • Contact Details

Address and phone numbers must be up to date!  Businesses with complete and accurate contact information can and will assist in showing up for more searches in their local area.

  • Business Hours

Be sure to keep your opening hours up to date. This also includes special hours for holidays and special events. Customers trust that you’re available at the times specified, and will appreciate being notified of downtimes during public holidays.

  • Business Category

At first glance this may not sound like a big deal, but listing the wrong category can work against your business. Do your best to be as accurate as possible, as this field helps Google determine what searches your business should show up for.

  • Photos

Use photos to provide customers with a snapshot of your business.  In addition to your profile picture, logo and the picture you’d like to appear first on Google Maps results, you can now post photos of products and events to keep customers up to date with your latest happenings. Maintaining a collection of up-to-date images that accurately reflect the business’ image, also helps in managing customer expectations as these may act as a first point of contact for potential customers.

Feeling lost?  Make your Google My Business page our business by e-mailing info@webignite.com.au and see how we can help you manage your online presence!

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How to write effective CTAs http://webignite.com.au/blog/how-to-write-effective-ctas/ http://webignite.com.au/blog/how-to-write-effective-ctas/#respond Tue, 09 May 2017 21:00:52 +0000 http://webignite.com.au/?p=8937 The end goal of most service and product-based websites is to have the visitor complete a valuable action.  Whether it’s booking an appointment, buying a product, or signing up for your monthly informational newsletters, a strong call to action (CTA) is the key to converting an interested visitor into a new lead or new client.  Below are some handy refreshers for creating impactful CTAs!

Strategic Placement

An effective CTA should be incorporated into the design of the website, rather than having being inserted as an afterthought. For example, when a user is ready to take the next step, your CTA should be situated in an area their eye or cursor will be tracking towards.  For contact forms, place toward the bottom of a page, to catch leads once the visitor has read through your content and has become familiar with your business.

Whatever the use case, provide your users with a clear, easy action to take so they won’t drop out of your funnels so easily!

Incite Emotion

CTAs that are enthusiastic will encourage a positive response.  Here are a couple of examples:

  • ‘Plan your dream vacation today!’
  • ‘Get a free repair quote!’

What’s important to note is the tone that is set in these phrases. The energy comes from the action, the special offer and even a simple exclamation point. This can be taken a step further with the design by You can add some energy to your CTA with an effective use of bright colors.

Give a reason to take the action

“Sign up to our newsletter – Subscribe”

CTAs should explicitly provide value to the customer. Sure, they might see that they can sign up to the newsletter, but is there any benefit to them in doing so?  Expressing the benefits of your newsletter will give them real, valuable reasons to subscribe:

“NEVER MISS A POST!

Subscribe to receive updates about our latest offers, news, resources, and more.”

Now the visitor has a reason to why they should sign up.  And remember, this goes for all CTAs.  Tie in each call to action with your value proposition or unique selling points.

Don’t go overboard with CTAs

Something we see very frequently is an entire page of CTAs that try to pull the user in too many different directions.  You know what we’re talking about.  Learn more, Call Now, Free Consultation, Get A Quote, Subscribe, See Our Portfolio, all in one screen.  Talk about decision paralysis!

There’s a lot of information out there, and not a lot of time to digest it all.  Modern user experience is about simplistic design and intuitive user flow. Main navigation options have been slimmed down to as low as 4 navigation items, and CTAs should follow suit. Think about what the user needs to see and how you want to generate a lead, and direct the customer to where they should be headed.

There are many considerations in creating a compelling CTA.  Until next time, here’s our call-to-action to you: Review your website’s CTAs and drive more sales and leads!

 

Feeling WTF about CTAs? Contact our friendly staff at info@webignite.com.au to discuss!

 

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Amazon Australia http://webignite.com.au/blog/amazon-australia/ http://webignite.com.au/blog/amazon-australia/#respond Tue, 09 May 2017 21:00:03 +0000 http://webignite.com.au/?p=8933 Whether you work in retail or are an avid online shopper, you’ve likely heard the big news that Amazon is coming to Australia. So why exactly is it a big deal, and what does it mean for local businesses?

One of the most common complaints about Australian retail from a shoppers is the unreasonably high pricing, even by global standards. For many, Amazon has been seen as a way of opening up local customers to vendors that may sell goods at lower prices.  Australians already have access to a limited range of goods from Amazon.com.au, and having an Amazon warehouse set up on Australian soil is expected to bring about a wider range of products and faster delivery. As the US Amazon site offers almost everything from groceries, clothing and fashion to furniture and power tools, Amazon.com.au will progressively be offering the same.

This has caused a stir among big name companies such as Harvey Norman and Myer, as Amazon are seeking to ‘destroy the retail environment in Australia’. Amazon have stated that they see enormous opportunity in the Australian market due to the prices being too high. As businesses are unsure on how to compete with Amazon, some local retailers are now looking to work in with Amazon as a new channel to reach their customers.

Amazon can work as a new sales outlet for most retailers, which can help extend their reach to more customers. Alongside traditional brick and mortar stores, Australian manufacturers will soon have another platform at their disposal to push their products out to market, both within Australia and into global markets.

Interested in the opportunities Amazon may bring to Australia? Contact our friendly staff at info@webignite.com.au to learn more about how to market your products on Amazon!

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Team Driven for Business http://webignite.com.au/blog/team-driven-for-business/ Sun, 09 Apr 2017 21:00:48 +0000 http://webignite.com.au/?p=8906 When it comes to businesses, sharing and communication can become rather complex. Between Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive there are many platforms that can work for data sharing. When working on projects with our clients, we’re always looking to streamline the process of file sharing, and keeping everything in the one place. Earlier this month Google announced a number of updates and goals they had in mind for how to better optimise their platforms for business usability. In this case, Google Drive is receiving a bit of an upgrade to be more accessible for businesses.

One of the bigger changes is the implementation of Team Drives, which are shared spaces for teams to easily store, search and access their files anywhere from any device. In the past Google Drive has focused more on personal productivity than the needs of larger companies or businesses, where content nowadays needs to be accessible by multiple organisations, with varying levels of access. New levels of user access permissions will be able to provide greater control, keeping your files exactly as accessible as you deem at a public, team, or individual level.

Interested in the new Team Drive and G Suite? Email our friendly staff at info@webignite.com.au for a comprehensive G Suite setup, and receive an exclusive 20% off G Suite perk from us!

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Working with Dropbox Paper http://webignite.com.au/blog/working-with-dropbox-paper/ Sun, 09 Apr 2017 21:00:16 +0000 http://webignite.com.au/?p=8911 Google’s not the only cloud storage provider that’s stepping up with businesses and projects. Major competitor Dropbox has also recently come out with its new feature “Dropbox Paper”, a collaboration tool to help teams of multiple users work together in a single shared space.

Dropbox Paper’s aim is to be an all-in-one work tool, with the main goal centralising tasks and related files for collaborative projects. The tool itself is available both as a web app (for use in a browser on desktops) and a downloadable mobile app. Users can create and share text documents through a lightweight interface, and users can add rich media, code snippets or task checkboxes into their documents. For those who really value a completely minimalistic approach to content creation and sharing, Dropbox Paper is something of a unique option.

Efficiency is a key part of profitability for any business, and every day new platforms are being released to help you optimise your workflow. If you’re finding yourself short on time, making use of these productivity tools may be the game-changer that saves you minutes, hours, or even days.

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“Not Secure!” http://webignite.com.au/blog/not-secure/ http://webignite.com.au/blog/not-secure/#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 01:25:30 +0000 http://webignite.com.au/?p=8901 On January 31st, Google released an update to their Chrome browser which automatically identifies websites that are not SSL encrypted to display as “Not Secure” to visitors. This update was implemented in hopes to offer better web browsing security for its users, which means those sites without an SSL will need to adapt fast.

This change may confuse your site visitors if they’re not expecting it. A lack of an SSL certificate can deter them from entering your site if they are worried about their data security. Users can also see the ‘Not secure’ notice and feel that it’s more a warning to back out of the site entirely, rather than a warning to not enter any personal information.

It’s recommended that if your site currently does not have an SSL, you look into having one set up as soon as possible.

For more information on the update you can learn more at the Wordfence Blog: https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2017/01/chrome-56-ssl-https-wordpress

Need help setting up an SSL encryption for your website? Contact our friendly staff at info@webignite.com.au.

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Website Maintenance and Updates http://webignite.com.au/blog/website-maintenance-and-updates/ http://webignite.com.au/blog/website-maintenance-and-updates/#respond Mon, 27 Feb 2017 01:19:49 +0000 http://webignite.com.au/?p=8895 WordPress changes. Plugin updates. Keeping up with coding standards, compliance with browser updates, new technologies getting introduced… There’s a lot that can throw a website off its tracks, and when customers come to Web Ignite asking for website repairs, it’s often due to lack of regular maintenance. Like servicing your car, regular maintenance keeps your car running, and regular website maintenance works the same way. Leave it too long, and you may find your website displaying incorrectly, or worse, open and vulnerable to being hacked.

But why does that happen? We’re not saying that the wheels on your website can rust and then fall off over time, because that doesn’t really happen unless someone runs a strong magnet over the hard disk your website is sitting on (don’t try this at home). The main culprits at work are that over time, WordPress as a platform goes through regular updates, along with any plugins or themes. These updates can range from security improvements, bug fixes, and new features. Leaving these updates dormant for too long ends up increasing the risk of the website failing to keep up with modern requirements, or being attacked.

So who should maintain the website? We always say leave the car at the mechanic, leave the accounting to your accountant, and leave the website with your web providers! It might look simple to just click update on a plugin, and when it works it definitely looks like a no-brainer. But when you click update, and then your browser just loads a white screen, that’s definitely not a great way to start your week. If you’re not comfortable with site maintenance, then it would be better to discuss with your web developer. Just like your car, it can cost more to fix a site than it is to maintain one.

At Web Ignite we handle this by scheduling maintenance monthly, creating a clone of the site on our dev server and testing updates first before pushing to the live server. This means we can safely troubleshoot compatibility issues without disrupting the live site, allowing our clients seamless and stress-free website management.

Don’t let your website gather dust. Give your website a little TLC!

Need any assistance with regular website maintenance? Send an email to our friendly staff at info@webignite.com.au to learn more about our Managed Service Plans.

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