5 Tips for Creating a Low-Maintenance Editable Business Website

March 31st, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted in Various

Over the last five years, a growing range of companies have been turning to the internet to help them increase revenue, boost their incoming client base, or generate more leads. From car dealerships to real estate agents, shoe stores to fast food restaurants, the power of the internet for marketing and business leads can be seen across hundreds of different niches and industries.

However, a major setback for many businesses is a lack of tech-savvy employees. Most small businesses – often the type of business that benefits most from effective online marketing – simply don’t know how to manage a standard HTML and CSS based website. From simple template websites to major multi-page layouts, the standard coding languages and website styles are just too much for many businesses to handle on their own.

web design

Thankfully, the last five years have seen the internet also take another change – this time towards simplicity in design and website management. A range of content management solutions are available, allowing even a non-designer to create, manage, and modify their own websites.

We’ve tracked down five awesome tips for creating your own editable website. If you’re a business owner looking to enter the online world, make sure these five tips, tactics, and strategies are backing up your website design and management plans.

Continue reading “5 Tips for Creating a Low-Maintenance Editable Business Website” »

6 Things Social Media Can’t Do for Your Business

March 17th, 2010 | 12 Comments | Posted in Various

Social media is occasionally hailed as a do-all solution for businesses – an indescribably brilliant marketing platform, a can-do-everything publishing option, and a complete tool for keeping in touch with clients, customers, and business contacts. There’s a lot of hype in the social media world, and unfortunately very little of that hype is backed up by any real results.

A lot of that hype is grounded in the lack of understanding that many have about social media. It’s not a do-all tool, and it’s certainly not something that can revolutionize every business. While a range of brands and businesses have had their successes in social media, many more have ended up with nothing to show for their efforts, except of course wasted time and money.

social_media_image
Image Source

These six social media “can’t-dos” are truths that almost every online business owner needs to absorb. Yes, social media can be a valuable tool, but no, it can’t do everything for your business. Take a realistic approach to your social media strategy, and let these six occasional impossibilities serve as limits for your social media marketing efforts.
Continue reading “6 Things Social Media Can’t Do for Your Business” »

6 Low-Cost Design Tools

March 15th, 2010 | 5 Comments | Posted in Various

A popular design phenomenon is that of “office porn”. No, it’s not anything sexual or sinister, but the seemingly never-ending desire of every designer out there to have an office that’s slicker, sexier, and more loaded than technology than the last. From Flickr home office competitions to design firms loaded with Mac Pros and 32 inch displays, the design industry has a major crush on shiny high-performance equipment.

Unfortunately for newbie designers, furnishing a swanky design office requires a lot of money. A top design rig costs several thousands of dollars, and a multi-screen set-up can increase costs even further. Add in a huge executive desk, flashy lamps, and a high quality office chair and you’ve exhausted all your startup capital.

These six low-cost design tools go against the “expensive is best” idea that seems to flow through the design industry. Cheap, simple, and very designer-friendly, these gadgets, applications, resources, and services are perfect for bootstrapping designers and budding design firms.

1. The WordPress Thesis Theme

No WordPress theme is as flexible and user-friendly as Thesis. It’s 100% SEO optimized from the get-go, includes a range of awesome tools for developers, and is available with a multi-use developer license for just over a hundred bucks. Add to that the huge list of pre-built templates and themes, the massive support community, and the endless flexibility on offer and you’re left with one of the best WordPress themes out there.

Sure, it’s not free, but it’s very cheap for the amount of value that it offers. If you’re a WordPress developer or designer, pick it up today and cut down on development time and project-related stress.

Continue reading “6 Low-Cost Design Tools” »

10 Iconic Product and Technology Designs

March 14th, 2010 | 3 Comments | Posted in Various

Every now and then, a product or technology comes along that’s so well designed and crafted it completely disrupts the market. In the motoring world, it was Henry Ford’s ultra-popular and highly disruptive Model T, followed by the Volkswagen Beetle. These cars had design so perfect that it changed the way consumers viewed their industries. In short, they changed the world.

These ten product and technology designs have done the same. From revolutionizing markets and boosting sales to completely killing current products, each one of these products has been designed with a specific purpose. If you’re a designer looking for inspiration, let these ten ultra-disruptive and highly iconic product and technology designs fuel your ambition and future design success.

1. Twitter

twitter

The internet’s hottest startup is also one of the most elegantly designed. A small message box, ultra-simple follower and following lists, and a clear divide between active content and sidebar navigation make Twitter a very classy design. It’s also got character in spades, from the cute mascots and background characters to the personalized error messages and options.

Of course, what makes Twitter iconic is the way design and purpose fuse into the technology. While some online services feature slick design, few feature it in the way that Twitter does.
Continue reading “10 Iconic Product and Technology Designs” »

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Photography and Take Better Photos

March 12th, 2010 | 6 Comments | Posted in Various

Digital photography is a huge and varied discipline, with millions of photographers worldwide meeting on services like Flickr and Picasa to share their shots, improve their work, and develop their career. Whether hobbyists or would-be professionals, these photographers share one thing in common – a burning desire to improve their photography and take cleaner, more balanced, and overall better photos.

photography

Doing the same for yourself isn’t as difficult as you may think. Almost all digital cameras, even the inexpensive and old, are capable of taking great photos in the right hands. These five tips, tricks, and tactics for taking better pictures can help you improve your photography, build a portfolio of high quality images, and boost your visual artistic ability.

Continue reading “5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Photography and Take Better Photos” »