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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Things you DON'T want on your website

Now, this admission will reveal my age.  I have been a part of designing websites through ~every single aspect~ shown on this infographic chart from Who Is Hosting This.

Click here to view the infographic. You may need to click
again on the image to make it large enough to read.


From gradients to web counters, I have done them all. Take my advice and do not ask me to add these things to your website unless you are wanting a "retro" look. Except maybe drop shadows, I like drop shadows. They may have their place depending on the design.☺



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Digital Marketing for the Small Business

OutMarket has put out in interesting white paper on "15 Ideas to Grow with Digital Marketing".  Online marketing is not just for the big guys but is easily available for small businesses and you need to take advantage of that opportunity to level the playing field in your industry. The article provides some of the first steps in developing your online marketing plan and well worth reading.

Some small business owners want to save funds and do it themselves but you might want to consider hiring this out to an online marketing specialist so you can focus on YOUR business. Twitter, Facebook, Google Analytics and social media monitoring can monopolize your time, taking you away from running your business.

Shameless plug, McAllister Park Design can help you with your online marketing and increase your exposure online to potential clients. We will work with you as a consultant to help you develop a plan or as your regular marketing guru, your choice.

Monday, November 17, 2014

My Favorite Apps/Software

Do you know the difference between an app and software?  Well, if you try and look it up online, you will get a variety of answers. What we do know is that "app" is short for "application".  Past that point, the line is pretty blurred as we often use the word "software" pretty extensively for any "application" that runs on a computer.  But there is a definition.

An app is computer software that is designed to help the user perform various light weight
tasks on the computer (but more often referred to an application on a phone or tablet) while software is usually things like your operating system and system files on your computer.   Does it matter? Probably not.

With that out of the way, I want to list a couple of my favorite apps.  Hopefully, you will find them helpful in your business as well.  The great part is that they are low cost and free since I tend to be frugal when it comes to business "apps".  I also want the app to cross all my platforms for the most part (which includes Windows 8.1, Windows Phone and Kindle HD).

Evernote - How could you not function with this wonderful notebook style application.   It allows me to keep notes, articles clipped from the internet, lists, ideas and journal.  It helps you stay organized and helps you remember. This they do quite well.  You can use the application for free or the premium version (with offline notes, more security and search capabilities) for $45 per year.  What a bargain.

Toggl.com  - I need to keep track of my time for various clients and different projects. What better way than Toggl which is available for Windows, iOS and Android (and will sync together as well).  I have used this for the last year, replacing an older program (Time Is Money) I used to use before the world of the cloud applications.  Now I can track not only my time on my computer but when I am in a meeting, a phone call or consulting with a client.  I can report hours for each project or a detailed report for the last year. This is important to me business. Free with subscription upgrades for $5 per month.

Live.com Calendar - Honestly, I use the Google Calender for various Non-profit websites but I use the live.com calender on my phone and computers. It captures events off of Facebook, it is easy to add events and always with me.  With connectivity through all my electronics, I no longer use my paper calendar. I also appreciate that it notifies me of upcoming events. It is a great babysitter for me as I don't keep track of dates quite as well as I used to when my memory was younger.   I haven't used many of the other features such as Word, One Note and Excel but I am glad to have that option.

LastPass - I keep all my passwords safe and secure across my systems. Save yourself the hassle of remembering to write down your passwords, changing them regularly and "which password did I use?" nightmare. It allows you to save online form information as well saving you time and energy of typing your name and address over and over again. 




So, these are a few of my favorite things... until next time! ☺