2017 GDUSA American Web Design Award

2017 GDUSA American Web Design Award

2017 GDUSA Magazine American Web Design Award for redbarkdesign

From the Red Bark Design website: Tucson’s Red Bark Design’s landscape architectural services challenge the conventional idea of landscape design. Owner and landscape designer Darbi Davis works with homeowners, contractors and business owners to create distinctive outdoor spaces throughout the Old Pueblo. From urban courtyard gardens and residential properties to large commercial projects, you can count on Red Bark Design projects to always be locally and regionally sensitive.

What is a Multi Site and Do You Need One?

What is a Multi Site and Do You Need One?

What is a multi site in WordPress? Will it benefit your business or personal website?

Let’s say you have a main website consisting of artwork you’ve collected all over the globe. You don’t want the focus of the website to be the selling of these items, but you do want an e-commerce shop. The main site would have a WordPress install for the shop, which would allow a seamless navigation from site to site. That’s where a multi-site option comes into play.

A great example is the BBC America website, which runs a WordPress main website but has separate “mini” websites for all of its shows. Each “mini” website feeds off of the one WordPress install.

Interested in exploring a multi site for your business? Contact us for more information!

Why logo formats matter

Why logo formats matter

Logo formats DO matter! Too often I encounter clients who don’t have access to their original logo. They resort to downloading their logo from the web to use in print. Web and print versions are completely different and it’s best to be informed of when and where to use the right version.

Raster vs. Vector: So which is which? Why can’t you use your jpg logo on a large printed banner? I know it can be complicated to understand the difference, but think of “raster” as building blocks of color or pixels. When those blocks are enlarged, they lose resolution and become pixelated. As you continue to enlarge your logo, those blocks continue to lose pixelation, and now your logo starts to become a blur of color, and no pair of reading glasses will help with that! With a vector format, your logo has been created using lines and curves, not pixels. Now when your logo is enlarged or made smaller, no resolution has been lost because those lines proportionally resize without a loss of resolution.

This post is just an introduction of formats to help give a better understanding of why it’s important to know why logo formats matter.

Website Speed Testing

Website Speed Testing

Along with SEO, image optimization, and content management, website load time is just as important to improving your website. Visitors to your website have a short attention span and not only want the information they are looking for at their fingertips, but they want it fast.

What happens when they can’t get information in a timely manner? They leave your website…disappointed.

Below are some interesting facts about “page abandonment” and load time according to sitepoint:

  • 8% of potential buyers cite extremely slow loading web pages as the primary reason for abandoning their purchase.
  • Over 75% of online customers opted for a competitor’s site instead of suffering inordinate delays at peak traffic time.
  • If page load time is 3 seconds or more, 57% of your website visitors will abandon your page.
  • 75% of users exit within 4 seconds.
  • When compared to business websites that load in 1 second, websites that load in 3 seconds experience a 50% higher bounce rate, 22% fewer page views, and, most significantly, 22% fewer conversions.

Not to worry – there are plenty of tools to help test your website speed load time, and they are quite fun tools to use!

GT Metrix scores your website using graphics and load times within various locations across the globe. You can even download your results to a handy PDF.

WebPage Test offers your website a grade much like being tested in school: A – F. You can even watch a slow-motion load time of your homepage and view the statistics based on that load time.

Use these tools and consider the results when optimizing your website.

When social media really works

When social media really works

The recent defeat of Brazil vs. Germany in the 2014 World Cup match set a new record for social media outlet Twitter and created the most talked about sports event in history. According to this Mashable article, “there were 35.6 million tweets” during the event…a perfect example of when social media works.

Unlike a world-wide popular event like the World Cup, it’s difficult to judge the impact of social media for a small business. However, it’s important to understand how social media can work for it. How does a small to medium size business build its user base so that social media outlets are working for and not against them? Are these outlets for everyone? I like to think “yes”.

Imagine you are a small company and refuse to engage in social media. You have a “so-so” website, limited rich content, and no social media integration. Essentially, you could be alienating your target audience and potential customers who only use online sources to decide if they want to use your services. You could be shooting yourself in the foot!

Many business owners choose to not engage in social media because of the stigma attached (i.e. Facebook is used for selfies and posts about potty training), but there is more to engaging people than using Facebook alone. Yelp is widely used by the public and an invaluable tool based on reviews, Twiiter (as in the example above), and even RSS feeds to promote your services to subscribers.

Bottom line: Don’t be afraid to use social media. Use it smart, use it frequently, and use it well.

What Exactly is Bounce Rate?

What Exactly is Bounce Rate?

We often hear about “bounce rate” when analyzing website traffic, but the term is often misleading or confusing. Is bounce rate good or bad? What should my bounce rate be? What does the term even mean?

Bounce rate, not to be confused with exit rate, refers to the percentage of single-page sessions or sessions in which a person leaves your site from the entrance page without interacting with that page. An instance may be someone who visits your site and leaves immediately because of a slow-loading homepage. Or that person may have found the information they needed and promptly left.

So how is bounce rate good (low) and bad (high)? It is “measured” in percentage with a higher bounce rate being bad and a lower bounce rate being better. One reason it could be high is that you might be acquiring the wrong kind of traffic to your site. Or you might be acquiring the right kind of traffic. Confused about the good and bad?

Think about it…if you’re giving your customers all the information they need on the homepage, what incentive is there for them to navigate the rest of the website? We juggle between giving too much information and not enough, but it’s important to keep our customers or clients engaged.

So how can we avoid a high bounce rate? A few simple steps are to keep your website load-time down, which means optimizing your images, fixing any broken links, avoiding pop-ups. Another way is to think wisely about your design – do you have too many banner ads? Is your copy in white over a dark background? Is your site mobile-friendly? These things can affect how long someone stays on your site before leaving.

We often hear about “bounce rate” when analyzing website traffic, but the term is often misleading or confusing. Is bounce rate good or bad? What should my bounce rate be? What does the term even mean?

Bounce rate, not to be confused with exit rate, refers to the percentage of single-page sessions or sessions in which a person leaves your site from the entrance page without interacting with that page. An instance may be someone who visits your site and leaves immediately because of a slow-loading homepage. Or that person may have found the information they needed and promptly left.

So how is bounce rate good (low) and bad (high)? It is “measured” in percentage with a higher bounce rate being bad and a lower bounce rate being better. One reason it could be high is that you might be acquiring the wrong kind of traffic to your site. Or you might be acquiring the right kind of traffic. Confused about the good and bad?

Think about it…if you’re giving your customers all the information they need on the homepage, what incentive is there for them to navigate the rest of the website? We juggle between giving too much information and not enough, but it’s important to keep our customers or clients engaged.

So how can we avoid a high bounce rate? A few simple steps are to keep your website load-time down, which means optimizing your images, fixing any broken links, avoiding pop-ups. Another way is to think wisely about your design – do you have too many banner ads? Is your copy in white over a dark background? Is your site mobile-friendly? These things can affect how long someone stays on your site before leaving.

To read more tips and tricks, and because I don’t want a high bounce rate for this post (!), click to read the article called “Reduce Bounce Rate :20 Things to Consider.”