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Truly “Mobile Websites” vs “Mobile Friendly” Websites

We get this question a lot.  Will my website be mobile-friendly?  Our answer here…of course.  In this age of growing mobile technology, people use their phone for more and more and surfing internet on phones or tablets is a new standard.  But that being said, there is a difference between being “mobile-friendly” and being a truly “mobile site.”

Mobile-Friendly Websites:

This simply means that your site works as it should on mobile devices.  Not using flash or any technology that wouldn’t work on a phone is a good practice and one that we follow here at creativeNicole.  Usually, if your site is mobile-friendly, your site looks and works exactly  like it does on the web, only smaller.  This is great news as you don’t have to  develop a separate site.  However, as users become more accustomed to having an app for everything, they also prefer when mobile sites look and feel more like an app, and less like a website.

Truly Mobile Websites:

Truly mobile websites are websites that are designed and created specifically for mobile devices. They automatically detect when someone is using a mobile device to access the site and direct them to the mobile version.  The mobile version is usually an extremely simplified version of your site with very little text that uses your basic branding, and maybe a few very simple graphics, but has mostly larger menus, buttons, and gets the user to where they need to go extremely fast.  The user won’t have to zoom in scroll at all.  They basically look and function very similar to an app…without the hefty price tag associated with app development.

mobile websites san diego

There is also a growing number of sites that are now using “responsive” designs, which automatically resize and move objects around according to what device they are being viewed on. These can be great as well…you just have to know your audience and what format is going to work for the type of information you are presenting.

We will always make our websites mobile-friendly, but if you can squeeze it in your budget (and you should), we would encourage you as well as our clients to think about opting for a responsive design or getting an actual mobile website, depending on your client-base and the type of content on your site.  Users take less than a second to decide if they are going to stay on your site or bounce to someone else’s, so why not give them the best user-experience possible?

Read more about our options for mobile websites or  get your mobile website now!

QR Codes…what are these things anyways? And how can they help me?

Unless you’ve been hiding out for the last few years, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a QR code or ten…even if you’re not quite sure that’s what it was. While us technology nerds are using them on every piece of marketing we can, there are still a handful of people out there that have no  idea what these little black and white square designs are, or what to do with them.  But luckily…more and more people are starting to catch on.  If you’re not one of them, here’s the downlow on how you can start using them in your business or personal life.

Basically, a QR code is similar to a UPC code (except it’s 2 dimensional, instead of one dimensional) that can be scanned by your phone, and tells your phone to do something… usually this is to go to a web address (although they can also be used to have your phone call or text).  To scan them, you simply open the app, hit the scan button, then voila…your phone does the rest.  If you don’t already have one, check out RedLaser and ScanLife (for iPhone) or QR Droid and Barcode Scanner (for Android).  Most of these apps can also be used to scan UPC codes of any product and find out where you can buy it online or locally.  Not too shabby huh?

So why use these in your own marketing?  Well…now that people use their mobile phones for almost everything, it’s an easy way to connect people who are in your store, or who you meet in person, to your website or any other site you’d like to direct them to (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, or Google Places even), with just a few clicks on their phone, rather than having them type in a web address manually.  This is a time of instant gratification, and a QR code connects your customers to you faster than traditional means of print media.  And on top of that…they are super easy to generate.  Just use a site like goqr.me, and just type in the URL, and the online generator will generate one for you.

How do we suggest using them in your marketing?  Well nowadays, any print marketing piece you do should have a QR code, it’s kind of acts as a big call to action button on your website, sending users exactly where you want them to go.  Do you want them to see a special deal on your site?  Have them sign up for your newsletter?  Contact you immediately? Or maybe it’s on a piece that you give to current customers to leave a review for you.  There are a lot of possibilities, check out the one we did for Sagewood Group below:

So now you you can be one of the cool techy folks who’s on board with the latest trends.  And if you have your own business and would like creativeNicole to come up with a really powerful print marketing piece, feel free to contact us. 

 

Why use WordPress as a CMS (Content Management System)?

When it comes to choosing the best platform for your website, you have a few options.  But these days, you can’t touch a mouse without running across a site built on the WordPress platform, which is what creativeNicole uses to build all of their websites.  But why do we use WordPress over the other platforms out there?  Well…it may have started as a place for bloggers, but with the help of a strong developer community worldwide, it has made its way to the front of the line.  Here are our top 3 reasons why we think it rocks, and you should too:

Updates:

Back in the stone-age days of the first websites, you had to have a pretty solid understanding of HTML to make any kind of minor updates to websites (even just adding an image or editing text).  With the introduction of content management systems like WordPress, that is no longer the case.  While setting up a beautiful, custom site still takes a professional, once it’s set up, making updates is as simple as using Facebook.  Change the text on a page? Add a photo? Add pages?  Start blogging and juice up your SEO?  Yes…you can do that.  And if you get your WordPress site through creativeNicole, you will have a video tutorial to show you just how easy it is (but don’t worry, we’re always here if you have questions or need help along the way).

Plugins:

Social media integration? Check. Event manager? Check. eCommerce, membership, lead-conversion? Check, check, check.  There are tens of thousands of plugins available that can transform your WordPress site into a powerful tool…the possibilities are endless. The question is not what can plugins do for your WordPress site, it’s knowing how to use the best ones to accomplish your online goals.  At creativeNicole, we’ve done our homework, and we know exactly what to “plug-in” to your site for the best user experience possible.

SEO:

Search Engine Optimization…it’s a hot topic these days.  There are thousands of books and articles and people who can help you get to the top. But even the best SEO specialist is limited if your site isn’t built on a solid infrastructure.  Between dynamic content integration (blogging), social media sharing capabilities, permalinks and SEO plugins available (We like All-in-one SEO Pack and Headspace2), you can be sure that your site is built on a solid SEO foundation which ensures your efforts won’t go unrewarded.

So if everyone else was jumping off a bridge, would you?  Probably not. But if everyone else is heading to a beautiful tropical beach, instead of jumping off a bridge, it kinda sounds like a good idea.  Make WordPress be the tropical beach of websites.  If you have any questions about custom wordpress websites, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

 

 

Stop SOPA & PIPA

There’s a dangerous legislation lurking in Washington known as the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). Giant sites all over the web are blacking themselves out today to help spread awareness because they understand the importance of stopping these acts. Watch the video to learn more about what these mean and then sign the petition below!

 

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

So what can you do?  I urge you to sign this petition to have your voice be heard!