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Year: 2021

The Importance of a High Quality Website

Regardless of what you do, whether you’re a freelancer, an experienced business owner, an art student, or even a musician that’s trying to get their name out there, they all have one thing in common. That’s the need for a high-quality website. If you are selling a product or service, or even wishing to eventually sell a product or service, you’re going to have to find a website. The phone book is dead, and web search is king. 

Even if you have an online appearance such as a social media page, that still isn’t going to be enough. Consumers want to see websites, but not any website, they want to see high-quality professional-looking websites. If your website is good, outdated, or looks off, you’re going to have potential customers clicking away and finding someone else.

Fortunately, thanks to website builders, web development services, and simple do-it-yourself drag and drop websites, it’s easier now more than ever to create a beautiful website for your product or service. However, there are plenty of components that need to be kept in mind when making a website. You want this website to be searchable (so you can easily be found), you want the information to be clear, you want the website to be visually appealing, and last but not least, you want the website to look professional so visitors know that this is a real website and nothing sketchy. It may sound like a lot to think about, but nowadays it’s pretty simple to get a website up and running for your business or portfolio. These are some helpful tips to guide you through the process.

What exactly makes a good website?

Due to the massive shift to online shopping, searching, and just finding general entertainment or services online, now more than ever, the consumer is turning to the web for helpful information. You want to make sure that your website looks good enough to compete. A lot of visitors will judge a business (or portfolio) solely by its cover, how it looks. While it may not seem safe at first, it is. Unprofessional-looking websites come off as looking fake, or they look dangerous, such as containing malware or other viruses. Plus a bad-looking website reflects on the business as well, giving the impression that the owner of the website may be lazy or careless, or doesn’t touch the website anymore.

Nowadays, websites are needed for nearly all businesses and if you’re wanting to get your work shown off, such as your music or other forms of art, you’re going to have to have a website. This is going to be the most effective way to get your name out there and get discovered. It’s also important to evaluate how effective your website is. Just because you have an online presence, doesn’t automatically mean that it’s a good online presence. Having a good website can offer increased productivity and a better reputation.  Whether you’re looking into getting your very first website, or you’re hoping to update and modernize your website, these are some helpful ways to go about it!

Helpful key design rules for websites

Know your target audience

Who exactly are you wanting your website to reach out to? You’ll want to use the appropriate language and tone to attract the clients or visitors that you hope. This can also include aesthetics as well, such as the colors, imagery, and other graphic design elements as well. For example, if you’re selling jewelry on your website, you should know who your target audience is. These would most likely be high-end customers, so you’ll want to accommodate by providing high-quality images, nice soft colors, and other aesthetics that would reach out to your clients. This also goes for the wording as well, such as your tone and your choice of words.

Easy navigation

Visitors can get easily frustrated and leave a website if the navigation is difficult. If they’re unable to find what they need within five seconds, you can expect they’ll move on in their search. Your website can be beautiful, but if it isn’t user-friendly then what’s the point? It’s only going to make it more difficult for your potential customers.

This also includes the usability of the website such as where the buttons and hyperlinks are located. Something for a website such as CSS round buttons can do your website a lot of good. Visitors know that buttons will have a lot of features such as playing a track, playing a slideshow, a video, opening up a form or window, and even just a fancy way of showing a hyperlink. Buttons are user-friendly and they also help make the website look more welcoming too.

Your website should also have a search feature as well, that will search for keywords throughout the whole website. This is also something that can deter visitors and make them leave your website. They shouldn’t have to navigate through every page to just get the information that they’re after. Your home page and the rest of your webpage on your website should have a search feature to make navigation as easy as possible.

Avoid death by text

Death by text basically means having the visitor of your website not read or look through your website anymore due to the sheer amount of text that’s on a webpage. You have around 15 seconds to capture attention and you really want to make it count by any means necessary.  So your website shouldn’t have too much information through text. Instead, there should be ways to capture attention such as bold headlines with interesting font, images, videos, and other appealing visuals that can capture attention. You’re wanting to build a credible website, and one of the ways to do it is through lots of entertaining visuals.

Think about the layout

Just like you should skip out on providing too much information or too much text in general, you should also avoid using any confusing and chaotic layouts for your website. You want to also make sure that it’s easy to follow. Even if you’re wanting to be wild and artistic, you can still do and achieve those things but you need to thoroughly think about the layout. How you can still maintain creativity, while also still being user-friendly.

You really should avoid using too many colors, shapes, and pictures, you want to try to maximize impact wherever possible for your website. Zara, the fast-fashion brand, is a great example of this. Their website is known for being too clunky, chaotic, and the layout itself is too confusing. They can be a great example of what you should avoid for your website.

Have a call to action

A call to action is essentially getting the visitor of your website to do something. It may surprise you that people do enjoy being told what to do, especially if it’s going to benefit them. Try and have a call to action on most of your pages if possible. If you’re a business, such as a marketing agency, for instance, you can use this to utilize getting signups for your newsletter by handing out freebies or doing a mini-course via newsletter.

 But artists can still use call to action as well such as getting visitors to sign up for a new letter for news and discounts. While newsletters are the biggest call to actions around, other ways to utilize this can include using the “Submit”, “Learn More”, “Contact Us”, and “Sign Up” buttons too. Customers are more likely to engage with a button if they see it repeatedly and if it’s easy to access. So make sure you don’t neglect this helpful tip!

Are landing pages for a website a good idea?

Landing pages are being used now more than ever by a variety of different services from business owners to students building their portfolios. Landing pages are like a nice advertisement for your product, service, or even event. All information that’s needed is nicely placed on this landing page. Depending on the product or service, you can even make multiple landing pages and have multiple ways for people to reach those. It can all be very helpful!.

Landing pages can be colorful, fun, and engaging. Plus these are all great ways to get the customer learning. This allows customers to learn more about what they may be interested in without having to deal with reading hoards of text (death by text). There are multiple ways you can create a landing page such as doing it by scratch, hiring a developer, or even using a service such as LeadPages to make your very own landing page. While creating a landing page can sometimes be expensive, if you have the knowledge and experience it can be fairly straightforward.

Now that you’ve learned about the important components of having a good website for your product or service, you can now go out there and get started on creating or updating your current website! Whether you choose the route of hiring a web developer or doing it yourself, just remember that the appearance and the useability of a website do matter.

Looking To Be a Software Developer? Here’s Some Handy Advice To Help You Land a Job

If you’re looking for a long-term career that has plenty of unique opportunities for growth, then getting into the world of software is a great choice with almost no major drawbacks. The demand for software engineers grows every year and your skills can branch off to many different areas of expertise that can help you land contracts and consulting roles later in the future. There is so much opportunity for growth that it can be hard to settle on just one role.

But if you’re just getting started then we’ve prepared a few tips to help you land your first job as a software developer.

Embrace entry-level roles, but don’t be exploited by bad companies

Entry-level roles such as software QA jobs can be a great opportunity for getting into the industry. However, many organizations can end up exploiting these types of workers, requesting them to work an extraordinary number of hours, giving them work that they’re not qualified for, or putting them in work environments where they just aren’t comfortable. This isn’t as common nowadays, but there are still many companies out there that are just looking for cheap labor and will do anything to reel you in.

Just make sure you have your wits about you when you join these entry-level roles. If you’re being given lots of opportunities to grow your skills and learn new things, then you should stay. However, if you feel like you’re being requested for overtime far too often and you’ve reached a point where you’re no longer learning new things, then you should start looking for a new job and use your experience to help you land a better position.

Every company has its own tools, so there’s going to be more learning involved

Just because you’ve mastered a programming language or two, it doesn’t mean that you’re qualified to be a fully-fledged software developer. This is because almost every company uses its own proprietary set of tools and there are occasions where they might change the type of libraries that they use. This means that you’re going to have to learn an entirely new set of tools for certain projects, and there are also many companies out there who are struggling to upkeep their legacy tools because they’re too stubborn to change.

In short, don’t be surprised that you have to learn a new programming language or work with unique tools that you’ve never tried before. As a software developer, your knowledge of computer science should help you quickly learn new tools by applying concepts that you’re familiar with to different languages and systems. This is part of what it means to be a software developer, so don’t hesitate to embrace the unknown and be prepared to learn something new every day.

While it can sometimes be daunting to learn something that you’re not familiar with, it’s important to get accustomed to that idea because you’ll be constantly figuring new things out and learning new ways to optimize your processes. The more you learn, the more appealing you’ll be as a candidate too.

6 Things Freelancers Should Do To Market Themselves In 2022

No matter whether you are a freelance website designer or a content writer, you are going to need to market yourself effectively. Freelance marketing certainly differs from company marketing in many different ways – namely, you are marketing yourself. So, how can you set yourself apart from all of the other freelancers you are competing with? Let’s take a look at some great freelance marketing tips…

  1. Clean up your social media profiles – There is only one place to begin with marketing yourself as a freelancer, and this by rebranding your online profiles. Nowadays, the power of social media is huge. It is likely that the companies you are approaching are going to check you out online. They may look at your Facebook profile or they may check out your credentials on LinkedIn. It is, therefore, a good idea to go through your profiles and make sure they do not contain any information that you would not want a potential employer to see. 
  2. Be punctual and follow-up – This is a really important point. Freelancers that get hired again and again are those that answer their emails quickly, deliver work on time, and are generally reliable. You should also make sure you follow-up. It doesn’t hurt to ask a prior client if there are any tasks you can help them with. You may assume that they would get in touch with you if this were the case. But, business owners are very busy, and they may simply not have had the time.
  1. Find your niche – There are many freelancers today offering their services, and so if you want to stand out, you are going to need to find your niche. It can be very tempting to say you are good at everything, but businesses are not looking for a jack-of-all-trades. They are looking for an expert in the field in question. You may worry that this approach will limit your potential clients, but it will actually do the opposite.
  2. Start a website and a blog – If you work from home, it is a good idea to create a website and make sure it has a blog that comes with it. Your website will boost your credentials and give an insight into the services you provide. This is important, but your blog is what can really leverage you and get more people interesting in your skill set. Your blog is the perfect opportunity to show yourself as an expert in your field. Contribute to it regularly, and you will show your knowledge, and this will encourage people to use your services if they like what they see. Check out this Soona review to help with visual content creation. 
  3. Allocate time to marketing yourself every day – It can be difficult to find the time to market when you are busy applying for jobs or doing work for other clients. This is why it is a good idea to allocate a portion of time to marketing each day. This could merely be 20 minutes at the end of every day. It will ensure your efforts are more organized and effective. 
  4. Remember, you are branding yourself – You are the only you, and that is your power! As a freelancer, you are largely branding yourself. Yes, your services and your times need to be marketed effectively, but you are selling yourself too. What makes you the type of person that people should want to work with?

Keeping Your Information Safe

In the digital world, there is always someone around who is trying to get to your information. Whether it’s a hacker sending emails or a clever engineer who knows how to get behind firewalls, keeping your information safe is top priority. A lot of people don’t know how to do that, but there are clever ways for individuals and corporations to take steps to keep everything safe. Here are some ways you can be able to do that. 

Organize Your Information

When your information is splayed about your servers and emails, chances are it’s not protected. Once you get your information protected you can then lock it in so that no one can get to it. When you organize your digital information you will put it in repositories. Repositories are places where you put information that is alike and store it in a secure place.

Set up a system of organization so that when you receive information you can quickly put it where it belongs in a place that will be encrypted and secure. You will then know that no one who is unauthorized will be able to access that repository without being given permission to do so. Organization is the key to success. 

Set Up Disaster Recovery

Things happen. Servers get damaged in floods or fires, and technology sometimes just simply fails us. Hackers get into systems and destroy them from the inside, and even computers get viruses. When that happens, a lot of digital information can get lost. If you set up disaster recovery then you can very easily get all of that information back. 

By using a third party “storage unit” that is offsite, if your server goes down and your information appears to be lost, you can contact the company who has all of your information comfortably stored in their “warehouse” of information. This company’s sole purpose is to copy everything and keep copies safe. Go online to https://intelinetsystems.com and never lose data again. 

Limit Access

The more cooks in the kitchen, the more likely the broth is going to be spoiled. Sensitive and important information should only be handled by a select group of people. When too many people have access that means too many personalities and vying opinions can access the same information and change it or potentially lose it. 

Limit your access controls to just a few people. This way, the less hands that are handling something the less likely anything will “break.” You can also narrow down where a mistake may have been made if you only have to speak to two people instead of ten. 

Keep Things Private

If your company acquires information, the entire company doesn’t need to know. Keep everything on a need to know basis, and you will find that information stays safer when no one knows it’s there. The less hands information gets into means the less likely that information will be changed or placed in the wrong repository. Finding it could take you forever.

Tips on Creating an Ideal Home Office That Offers Increased Productivity

Creating a suitable home office space can be a daunting task. It is vital that your work environment reflects who you are and provides the ideal conditions for increased productivity and success. To achieve this, it is critical to know what features create an optimal work environment. This article will explore some of these features and offer tips on incorporating them into a thriving home office!

Keep your desk uncluttered 

One of the most important aspects of having an effective work environment is to keep your desk uncluttered. This means removing any unnecessary objects and papers that can lead to distractions. Studies have shown that a cluttered desk can decrease productivity and focus. To combat this, try implementing a strict rule of only keeping necessary items on your desk at all times. If you struggle with too much clutter, consider using storage solutions such as file cabinets or shelving units to help you organize your space. Additionally, utilizing folders and labels can help maintain a tidy desk.

Utilize Ambient lighting 

Another vital factor to consider when creating your home office is the lighting. Ambient light is critical for preventing eye fatigue and ensuring that you can focus on your work. When it comes to ambient light, natural light is always best. If possible, try positioning your desk near a window so that you can take advantage of the natural light. However, if this is not an option, make sure to use bright overhead lights or lamps with task lighting bulbs. In addition to utilizing ambient light, it can also be helpful to adjust the color temperature of your workspace. Studies have shown that warmer colors such as yellow and red can help increase productivity, while cooler colors such as blue and green can relax.

Invest in a reliable computer and internet connection

A third factor to consider when setting up your home office is technology. To be productive, you need to have a reliable computer and internet connection. Ensure that your computer and internet service provider offers the speed and reliability you need for your work. Additionally, it is vital to have a backup plan in case of technical difficulties, it’s also vital you secure a self-signed certificate by following a guide by peppe8o. This could mean having a laptop or tablet on hand for those times when you need to get work done away from your desk.

Buy ergonomic furniture

When it comes to furniture, it is essential to invest in comfortable and ergonomic pieces. This means opting for chairs with good back support and adjustable height settings and desks that offer a variety of angles and positions. If you can find furniture specifically designed for workstations, even better! In addition, by ensuring that your furniture is ergonomic, you can help prevent pain and discomfort from occurring over time. Additionally, keep in mind that if your furniture is not ergonomic, you could be putting yourself at risk for long-term injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or back problems.

Creating an ideal home office that offers increased productivity can be challenging. However, if you can focus on these four key factors, you can make the perfect space!

Top Live Streaming Tips

Ready to go live?

You have the camera, the software, the best xlr microphone–all the gizmos (thanks, Amazon Prime shipping!) Now all you have to do is perform live.

You, as a business owner or content provider, understand the value of your audience. You probably also recognize that contacting your audience electronically is the way to go, and live streaming adds a lot to the mix. Brain a goldfish? For extra inspiration, here’s a quick recap.

Streaming allows you to: 

  • Keep the audience. It gives fans a closer connection to you and your brand.
  • Be a good person. Do you own a physical store? A meteor, killer bees or pandemic might make in-person visits uncomfortable or dangerous. A thoughtful solution for varying conditions and levels of care is to give brand supporters virtual access.
  • Expand your audience. Businesses are no longer restricted to the neighborhood. Online businesses, on the other hand, produce a more premium offering to attract clients.

Consider it. The fundamental equipment may already be in your possession. Read more! Get ready for some unexpected live streaming advice. 

Here they are! Before going live, make sure:

Keep It Basic (With Backups)

Less is more. With live streaming, this gives the case. In a live setting, more equipment implies more chance for a breakdown. Consider living a minimalist lifestyle, where you just buy what you need and nothing else. Don’t underestimate your webcam’s potential.

Having backups of the appropriate equipment is a good idea before going live. When a broken cable is effortlessly replaced with the spare you bought, you’ll be congratulating yourself.

Check The Lighting 

Simply told, you want a beautiful looking and sounding live broadcast. Why? Your viewers expect a high-quality live stream. It’s not like a pre-recorded video, so get it right the first time.

Pre-production audio and lighting tips:

  • Don’t back-light. The live streamer will only see a silhouette if the light source is behind the topic.
  • Remember the sun. Outdoor videography is prone to glare and splotches. Consider moving if your viewers start using sunglasses to view your live feed.
  • Wear solid colors. Keep it basic with solids and plains! Camera-friendly solids and non-shiny materials are preferred.
  • Try a lapel mic. A simple mic on your shirt can reduce background noise if you’re outside in the wind or near a busy street.
  • A mic is always on. Off-camera chatters should postpone their discussions. No one wants to hear what cameraman Mikey had for lunch yesterday, so keep the set quiet.
  • Music. Organize this step early on! If you want to stream yoga, don’t use Justin Bieber’s new song. It’s crucial to understand music licencing.

Try Out Live Video

Preparation + chance = triumph. Preparation is all that stands between you and a successful live streaming campaign. Tips for a smooth stream include:

  • Assure good wifi. You can check your internet connection’s speed by running a quick speed test.
  • Notes should be simple. Keep track of important points to hit.
  • Recap the timeline with the crew. Ensure everyone understands the chronology.
  • Rehearse. Even the most spontaneous live streams have a predefined theme or idea to touch.

Watch The Camera

In-person or on video, eye contact is vital. Instead of a screen, face the camera directly. Then you will be known for being more honest!

Interact Live With Your Streamers

Use a live chat throughout your live streaming to boost audience interaction and viewership. Answering live questions is an easy approach to engage your audience and reduce drop-off. Here’s how to use live chat to interact with your live streamers:

  • Start the dialogue with rules and expectations. Efficacious and fun for everybody!
  • Ask smart questions. The pace of the live stream can be enhanced with short questions that only require simple answers from the live streamers.
  • Include the crowd. This is a terrific approach to engage and motivate live streamers.
  • Make plans. Let the live streamers know what to expect right away so they can determine whether or not to stay to hear all the fantastic things you promised them.
  • Solicit answers. Persuade the audience to inquire! It’s time to shine as a thought leader in your niche.
  • Offer live chat stream advice

Select Your Live Streaming Platform

Where can people see your live stream? Popular choices:

  • Platforms social. Think Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch. Many businesses and content creators use social media because they can rapidly live stream to current followers and subscribers. Simple? Totally. Long-term viability? Unlikely.
  • A monetization and distribution platform for video. Going live and charging real money is possible with a platform like Uscreen. Your followers can watch on-demand material or live stream recordings for a one-time fee or a subscription using Uscreen’s branded websites and OTT apps.

Plan Your Market

It’s time to announce! You should start promoting your live broadcast well in advance. Spread the word through your existing social media networks and marketing techniques to increase live streamers. Check out some of the best pre-event promotion ideas:

Don’t forget the essentials of a live event You should educate and then remind your audience about your impending live broadcast via several media.

Create excitement. Make your live stream interesting! Social networking is a common way to do this.

  • Encouragement, for example, give important extras like discounts or free samples.
  • Involve your viewers in the live stream creation. Ask the audience to submit questions or suggestions ahead of time to engage them.
  • Create a countdown. The anticipation of a live show requires a countdown. Inspire anticipation and real-life FOMO by promoting your live broadcast in advance and cross-promoting it.

Maintain Coherence

Consider your followers as new pals. It’s unlikely that a new friend will remain around if you show up once and then vanish. If you plan to go live once a week or once a month, make a timetable so your live streamers know when to anticipate your videos. Don’t be that friend who abandons you!

Aim For Imperfection

They say practice makes perfect. Recognize that mistakes happen, and practise. The ability to adapt and be human helps you connect with your audience.

Takeaways From Live Streaming Tips

The top live streaming hacks and tips are now complete! What to remember before going live is as follows:

  • Keep things simple, folks (with backups)
  • Run a trial
  • Regarde la caméra
  • Engage your audience in real-time.
  • Keep it up
  • Aim for perfection
  • Think about your live stream source
  • Prepare your market