Newsletters Like Building Websites

Newsletters Like Building Websites

Newsletters Like Building Websites

As a graphic designer I was drawn into designing websites because of the similarities to laying out newsletters.

I had become quite good at designing newsletters and magazines for companies and non-profit organizations, so when I started to explore ways for me to show my work on-line, I began to look into websites.

While in school pursuing my graphic arts degree, I took a couple of classes designing websites the old-fashioned way, inserting code via HTML and using an Adobe software called Dreamweaver. It was interesting but not my cup of tea.

I am a graphic designer and not an IT person working in code.

After discovering WordPress, I realized I could have the best of both worlds. You see, WordPress is the platform that allows you to design more visually, but you can also use code if you wish.

It has many drop-and-drag features that help the design move right along and let me do what I do best — create my visual magic in Photoshop and Illustrator.

To really make WordPress websites hum, install a theme. When a theme is installed into a WordPress website, it gives far more functionality, depending on the theme you use.

I use a premium theme called Divi made by a company called Elegant Themes.

This theme allows me to use my graphic art abilities to the fullest without getting bogged down in code. Now that is music to my visual ears

 

A good theme is critical to the success of a WordPress website.

 

Think of it this way:

1.) The WordPress Platform is like the foundation of a house. Everything about the house rests on the cement foundation. The walls and roof are completed with electric and plumbing installed within the walls of this house.

2.) A WordPress Theme allows you to install carpet, paint the walls, hang photographs on those walls and bring in furniture to customize this house into a home. This allows you to create a custom business storefront. 

Now back to Why Designing Newsletters is Like Building Websites.

When designing newsletters, I use a program by Adobe called InDesign. This software allows me to design multiple pages and many tools for different creative features for designing this publication much like WordPress does.

It takes a healthy learning curve to become proficient at both of these design tools and make custom, professional products to be sold to the business world.

The building-blocks of both WordPress and InDesign are very much alike in many ways.

Photoshop and Illustrator

I use both of these software’s to help design both a newsletter and a website. I do not know what I would do without them. They allow me to become very creative in both fields of publication.

Because InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop are all made by Adobe they play together very well.

I was a photographer for 40+ years before becoming a graphic artist so I was used to using Photoshop.

I could make many adjustments to my own images as well as those I retrieved from a photo stock agency and photographs that customers would send to me for their website or newsletter.

Illustrator is a one-page design platform that allows you to design logos, social media memes, sliders for WordPress and much more.

Many times, I will have all four programs open at once as I go from one to the next on my different monitors. It allows me to be very efficient and improves my creativity tenfold.

Blogging on a WordPress website is a lot like a printed newsletter, but in a digital format that connects to the internet.

I have designed a newsletter that will be printed and at the same time used as a blog that will reach two very different types of people with the same information.

Of course, you do not use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on a printed newsletter but it is very important when designing your blog like you would do with a website page.

Search engines like Google and Bing require it.

You can then share this blog on social media to reach the whole internet world.

Paper is still in demand

Many people do not have access or do not want to use the internet, and that is where a printed newsletter is a big deal.

Programs to be handed out at a performance or at churches before a service or one made as an inhouse publication in a large business are still very much in demand, as well as advertisements that come in the mail.

We do both of these types of publications for people and businesses.

In fact, when someone hires us to design a website, we insert a blog into it if they wish and then teach them how to use it.

 

Go here if you would like to know more on how we Design Websites and Newsletters for Business.

 

Newsletters Like Building Websites

5 Reasons Why Email Lists Are Important

5 Reasons Why Email Lists Are Important

5 Reasons Why Email Lists Are Important

Business owners and people that blog many times do not see the reason for building an email list at first until they see how their email list impacts their website traffic. With social media becoming so popular many people think this email lists are old fashioned and ineffective but in reality, it still remains one of the most powerful form of communication.

Email list can produce amazing rewards if used correctly. Direct Marketing Association says email continues to be the number one digital channel for ROI.

What is an email list?

An email list has the names and emails of people that have given you permission to send them promotions and updates from your business. Wikipedia says this about electronic mailing list. 

Emailing lists have advantages over other types of other types of media. People will already be familiar with you and your business and a certain amount of trust has been developed so why not keep up the communication with them into the future? 

5 Reasons Why Email Lists Are Important

1.) People check their emails more often…

…than they do social media much of the time.

Checking their email, a couple times a day is what most people do.

Many people may go a day or two before checking their Social media.

Email Lists Are Important

2.) Emails are personal.

Your email will land right in the user’s box. They are hard to ignore when that happens. They are one-on-one.

3.) The emails can be targeted.

These people will already have an interest in what you do and what you have to offer. Your email will give them highly relevant content and will me much more receptive to your message.

4.) Emails are purposeful.

People will have signed up from your website. This takes a certain amount of work, so they are obviously interested in you and your company. Why let their visit to your website end there?

5.) This email list belongs to you.

You have no control over social media like Facebook, Twitter or even Google and your SEO best efforts can change very fast and go to waste. This email list controlled by you and not dictated by other BIG business that have their own priorities.

Email Marketing vs Social Media

Many social media experts are selling their own services, so they will downplay how important email list are.

But guess what??

Different social media’s do it also BIG time! How many times do you get an email from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest keeping you up-to-date?

A lot!

Look at the information that different social media collect when they have you sign up. Why would they do that if it was not very important and figures in their media marketing.

Opt-in Services For Email
Opt-in Services For Email
Using Blog As Newsletter
Using Blog As Newsletter

In reality you should be doing both email marketing as well as social media. Both will drive traffic to your website.

Email list, now what?

So now that you have learned that email lists are important how do you get one set up and what do you do with it?

3 tools you need to build an email list and how to use it.

1.) A website or blog.

Start blogging. Good well written articles that people will want to read is a must. You want to be considered an expert in the field you are writing about. A place where people can go to for advice.

Then set up a …

2.) High-converting opt-in forms.

Opt-in forms are those things that pop up on a website that have people leave their name and email list that would like to receive future newsletter or heads up when you have posted a new blog post.

There are different opt-in software that help you do this such as OptinMonster or HubSpot that work really well.

I use an opt-in form called Bloom. It is made by a company called Elegant Themes who I use to purchase a WordPress premium theme called Divi. It’s part of subscription that I pay for. I really love all the options that it gives me when design the opt-in form itself that will display on the website or blog.

You probably encountered it when you scrolled down this page. So sign up!

Then pick out and set up an…

3.) Email marketing service.

Use a good reliable marketing service like Constant Contact, MailChimp or AWeber that will send out your email from the list you have collected.

I personally like using MailChimp especially in the beginning because you can send out 2,000 emails for free. This will give you the opportunity to see how all this works without spending a lot of money right off the bat.

One of the other things I like about these services is that you can also design a campaign independently from you blog integration email and send out an email from a template that they offer to do that with.

In Conclusion

Email Marketing Service

Setting up and collecting an email list and designing an opt-in form is not that hard.

You will then want to set that email list up to integrate in to an email marketing service which will collect and hold all the emails that your opt-in form has collected.

My Blog Is My Newsletter…

 

You can use your blog as a newsletter and then your email will alert people when you have a new newsletter posted. That is what I have done here with this blog. This newsletter not only goes out in a email but it is in a blog form designed on my website that has all the proper SEO set up so it can reach a much wider audience on the internet.

You can also use your email independently by designing an ad or information email from the email marketing service itself.

They have templates for you to design the email that helps a lot and will make it look very professional.

We help people set up an email opt-in on their website and blog and then hook it up to a email marketing service for people that would rather not do this themselves.

We have written other articles…

…that you might be interested in when it comes to promoting your business in the digital age. Here are three: 1.)  8 Benefits of Blogging from Your Business Website 2.) How to Optimize Images for Faster Website Speed 3.) 9 Signs it’s Time for a New Website. We have written many more so check out our blog archive.

Call or email us on how we can help your business grow through digital marketing, website design or graphic arts. 

We would love to help you grow your business!

Email Lists Are Important

Opt-in Services For Email

Using Blog As Newsletter

Email Marketing Service

Driving Traffic Website Email

7 Reasons Not Letting Your Website Designer Keep You Hostage

7 Reasons Not Letting Your Website Designer Keep You Hostage

7 Reasons Not Letting Your Website Designer

Keep You Hostage

Being held hostage is a good term for what happens to many people when they have had their website designed by many web developers to various degrees. This is a control issue that does not need to happen especially in this day and age. Websites have come a long way when you relied on a website designer to make even simple changes. Most modern websites do not need all that much code anymore, but use a platform that is far simpler to use.

When we design website, we like to be able to turn the site over to the business owner so they can make simple changes themselves. We teach them how to navigate their website from the backend. They can, of course, have us make additions, extra pages, up date SEO and deal with the website maintenance.  

 

7 Reasons Not Letting Your Website Designer Keep You Hostage

 

They Will Not Give You Login and Password Info

1.) Many website designers will not even give the login and passwords to the owner of the website, so you could not get in the backend if you wanted to or not. This website belongs to the owner of the website, not the developer so there is no reason to withhold that critical information.

They may say something like “I am afraid you will break something” or “only a web developer should go in the back end because only he/she knows what is going on”. That may have been true in the “old” days of website design, but not today. We have come a long way baby. It’s time for you to look for a new website developer if he says like that or something similar.

 

Website Control

 

Do Not Buy Your Domain and Hosting from Your Developer

2.) Do not buy your domain name and hosting platform through your website developer. That gives them to much control and makes it very hard to switch developers if not impossible. It also keeps you from changing hosting companies if you wish to do so.

Buy your domain name and host it yourself, using your own name and passwords, then give them that information. Best Website Solutions will help people and businesses to navigate this confusing part by signing them up with their own account with their own name and, passwords through a hosting company. We then put the tools we will need to build the website into this shopping cart and they then pay for what is in the shopping cart, independent of us. We never see credit card information. This is the only way to make sure your website and domain name stays under your control and ownership at all times.

Website Control

Website Platforms Are Very Important

3.) Make sure your website has NOT been designed in a platform that only takes code to build. We only design website in WordPress. 30% of all websites are now designed in the world on this system. It is user friendly on so many levels.

Domain Control

Making Changes Yourself

4.) Can you make simple changes yourself? WordPress is the first thing that simplifies the process, but you also need a great theme that has an “easy to use” page builder. We use only one theme on ALL the WordPress websites we build, because it is easy to customize and has an amazing page builder built in.

We Turn The Website Over to You

5.) When we are done building your website, we add good SEO to it, so it can be found on the internet, we turn it over to you, the owner of the website. We teach you how to use various aspects of the website directly. Also, we give you video’s that we have made and uploaded to YouTube so that you can refer to at any time you need help. Of course, we will always be there for more complex changes and website maintenance if you wish for us to do that. We want to make it easy for you to make changes yourself.

What if Something Happens

6.) What if your website developer dies, goes out of business or many other things that happens in the normal course of life. What if cannot track them down? What then? How do you get control of your website? You want to have this control issue all worked out from the very start if possible or resolve this now before a crisis arises.

Domain Control

Website Owner

Not just About Money

7.) To us it’s not all about money and control. We like to think we build a relationship with individuals or companies when it comes to their website. It’s like a collaboration to help our customers put their best foot forward. We love to help them grow their business and become successful.

In Conclusion

I know this blog article will resonate with many website owners. If this is happening to you, I can help you get this control back. We can talk one on one, so I can have a better idea of what you are facing, or you can email me with any questions you might have.

7 Reasons Not Letting Your Website Designer Keep You Hostage

Website Control

Domain Control. Website Owner

Domain Owner

SSL Certificate A BIG Deal for Websites?

SSL Certificate A BIG Deal for Websites?

SSL Certificate A BIG Deal for Websites?

Sometimes things come down from up on high and we either ignore it or do not really think it’s a BIG deal or important.

This issue of a SSL Certificate is BIG and getting bigger every day.

SSL certificates were once used to keep information safe on websites that sold goods directly and Google wanted people to enter at their own risk with a warning at front of the menu bar.

That has all changed now.

They are now being used to keep ALL website safe.

SSL Certificate

This 1st image is what a website looks like on Firefox in the browser bar. The green lock signifies that it is safe website. If you look close you can see next to the green lock is the letters https://. If the website does not have a certificate it will be missing the “s” or look like this: http://. The “s” stands for secure.

Secure Sockets Layer

What really is an SSL Certificate?

They are what is known as a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, sometimes called digital certificates. They are used to establish an encrypted connection between a browser or user’s computer and a server or website.

The SSL connection protects sensitive data, such as credit card information, exchanged during each visit, which is called a session, from being intercepted from non-authorized parties.

Secure Sockets Layer

This 2nd image is what a website looks like on Google Chrome in the browser bar. Just a bit different but very much the same.

That all makes sense if money is flowing through a website between buy and seller. We want that level of protection which is good thing.

Google is now requiring that ALL website have this level of security when they did not require it in the past.

They began to in-force a certain amount of leverage about this issue at the start of 2018 but now at the start of June they are tightening the screws further.

Not only will there be a warning that the website you are entering does not have protection in the form of a SSL Certificate and that you are entering at your own risk but your website will be ranked much lower in search engines results.

SSL Certificate for Websites

This image is what is called Encoded Certificate Signing Request. You have to have this first to start the ball rolling. You then send it over to the SSL Certificate maker and then they make sure you are the owner of the website by sending you a email that is on the account at the hosting company that your website is hosted by.  

Making Your Website Safe

In the modern age when security has become a major issue this is one way that Google and other search engines are trying to get back some control of security.

SSL Certificates are not cheap and can be purchased in two year increments.

Most hosting companies where your website is hosted sell them or have some kind of deal because you host with them that is built in to the hosting account.

They usually give you the first year Free but after that you will have to pay for it.

Making your website safe

Connecting you’re your SSL Certificate is a bit of a complicated matter.

There is a process to go through to connect the certificate and many hosting companies do this automatically when you buy it from them but for a hefty price.

I do this for all my websites that I design to make sure everything is working the way it should.

Sometimes people hire me to clean up a website or to do monthly website maintenance so I include it in the price to make sure they are safe.    

Services

Secure Sockets Layer. SSL Certificate for Websites

Best Website.Solutions is a custom Website and Graphic Art design company located in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

602-672-9654

John@BestWebsite.Solutions

SSL Certificate A BIG Deal for Websites?. SSL Certificate

Free Website Bad Idea

Free Website Bad Idea

Free Website = Bad Idea

 

What Do We Mean by Free Website?

Most beginners who want to start their own website want to keep the cost low which is understandable.

So you typically Google the term free website and find many companies offering free website hosting services for free.

The thought of having free web hosting and building your site without paying anything is tempting.

Until you get a reality check. Once you sign up to these so-called “free website services”, you slowly start discovering the limitations and many of them turn out to be not free at all.

If you or your friend is thinking about getting a free website, then stop now.

And read these 36 reasons why free websites are almost always a bad idea.

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1. Extremely slow websites

Most free website hosting providers put hundreds of websites sharing the same server. This makes all their websites load at very low speeds. Slow websites create bad user experience and are bad for SEO.

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2. Unprofessional web address

Having a website address like mysmallbusiness.Freewebsite.com does not look professional at all. Visitors to your website and potential customers would find it quite difficult to take your website seriously when you don’t even have a proper domain name.

And when you ask these companies for a custom domain, you usually have to pay a premium – something like $19 – $25 for a domain which normally costs $10.

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3. Trial Service is Not Really Free

Many of these free website services often turn out to be limited trials. After a while, you are asked to pay for it. In most cases, this price is usually way higher than normal WordPress hosting services. If you added a credit card during signup, then they can charge you without giving you any warning.

Free Website = Bad Idea

4. Hidden charges for free website
Like any other business, these free website companies need to make money too. Some of them charge their users for additional services like image hosting, email accounts, FTP access, website transfer, etc. These charges are often outrageously high.

5. They can lock down your data

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Many users who start with a free website and then want to move to a paid service, find it impossible to move their website data.

These service providers do not offer any tools to easily migrate your site.

Users end up paying freelancers to manually export their content which can quickly increase your bill.

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6. Irrelevant advertisements on your website

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Most of these free website services are supported by advertisements.

You create content and build your website, but they get paid for the ads.

Often these ads are distracting, intrusive, and look ugly.
The worst part is, sometimes your savvy competitors can then pay these free website hosting companies to advertise on your website.

Talk about sabotaging your business.

If you would like to read the rest of this article go here: Why FREE Websites Are a Bad Idea.

Free Website = Bad Idea

Designing Websites For Photographers Labor of Love

Designing Websites For Photographers Labor of Love

Designing Websites For Photographers Labor of Love

I design websites for all kinds of people and businesses but building

one for a photographer has a special place in my heart.

 

I was a professional photographer for most my adult life so I know

what it means to get your work out and into the public eye.

.I now have a degree in graphic arts…

and use these graphic skills to design awesome, cutting edge websites on a platform called WordPress.

I use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Premier Pro to get your message and your work on this amazing platform.

Once I launch WordPress in your hosting account…

I then install a premium theme that allows full functionality in any direction my creative heart wants to go. In the end its your creative heart also.

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I can design custom navigation buttons using your photography.

If you have an idea I would love to make it and see if it works for you!

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Click one and see where it takes you.

I can employ many states of the art techniques…

that help photographers and artists show their work like never before.

It is a collaboration between me, you and WordPress.

The sky is the limit!

 

Here is a sample of some of the custom graphics I can make for your website.

I can make something just using fonts and text…

…Or I can make something very unique for just you.

I love using the photographers images and then adding text to tell a complete message.

A little bit of something from that photo shoot.

 

 

As you scroll down this blog…

you will see some of amazing techniques and ideas to show off your work.

 

Directly below is a rotating banner/slider that brings up new images on a timed bases. I design these babies myself with your images. Imagine the impact this would have if this slider was at the top of your home page to greet new potential clients.

What and why WordPress?

WordPress is an amazing platform that between 28-30% of all professional websites are built on.

I then add a powerful theme that allows me to design without knowing or using much code and leaves me to be very creative in the area’s I am best at.

I then add special plugins that keeps the website safe and gives functionality to a specific type of business.

The grid system below…

is a great way for you to display many images with out taking up to much room.

Click any photograph and it will enlarge.

Sometimes I add a parallax image that will be the base of a page with other images or graphics on top. This is much harder to make and have it look good without being confusing but when it is done right, it is an eye catcher.

All of these modules can be used for a number of things. In this case they are being used as navigation. Click on anyone of them and see where they take you.

Wedding Images

For more information on wedding images, please click here.

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Landscapes

For more information on landscape images, please click here.

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Family Portraits

For more information on family portraits, please click here.

Engagement

For more information on engagements, please click here.

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Race Car

For more information on race car, please click here.

Designing Websites For Photographers Labor of Love

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