According to a recent Web Technology Survey, over 35% of the websites around the world are powered by WordPress, the most popular open-source platform to create websites with ...
4 Celebrated CMS Platforms for Web Design in 2020
A few years ago, companies struggled to create a website for themselves. But gone are the days when only professional programmers could create a modern website; nowadays, CMS ...
4 Great Graphic Design Programs for 2020
Going digital is always good advice, whether it’s building a state-of-the-art website or building a social media presence. But in order to stand out in the ever-changing dig...
Webcast Platforms To Run Your Business Remotely
If you’re currently running your business remotely, you know that having team meetings, especially ones involving presentations and sharing of data and information, can be d...
Don’t Fall For The Secret Sister Scam
Have you seen a post on your social media promising you’ll receive 6+ gifts from strangers if you take part in a “fun” gift exchange this holiday season? Beware! The
5 Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Among all the digital channels that companies use to sell their products, email still offers the highest ROI of them all. That is one of the main reasons as to
What is WordPress?
According to a recent Web Technology Survey, over 35% of the websites around the world are powered by WordPress, the most popular open-source platform to create websites with just a few clicks, without knowing anything about code.Wordpress was built on PHP and mySQL, which are structured query languages. It was developed by Mat Mullenweg and Mike Little, as a successor of b2/cafelog, a tool blog that was well-known in 2002.
Blogs: Ideal to share and publish thoughts, images, tutorials, advice, tips, recipes, etc.
Business websites: The most usual way to build websites to take traditional businesses to the new era.
Ecommerce websites: It's so adaptable that allows transforming a common website into an online store. It actually has its own plugin for e-commerce to make the job easier.
Portfolio websites: The favorite of designers and artists.
Forums: Many websites include forums to answer their readers or client’s questions. Wordpress allows users to add a forum by just installing a plugin.
Wordpress is highly scalable, meaning anyone from a small business owner to a huge company can use it for their business’ website. With the right support and resources, it can have a high processing power, quick loading times, and easy upgrades. It will grow with your business as it gains more and more visitors. It’s also open source and free to use.
WordPress’s popularity comes mainly from their easy-to-use interface that facilitates non-experts and beginners to create custom websites with creative and original themes. Here are some features that make WordPress the favorite website building platform:
Flexibility: As we mentioned above, WordPress enables the creation of many types of websites.
Beginner-Friendly: It’s a super friendly platform, especially for beginners. Its interface is simple and clear.
Highly Secure: WordPress updates ensure it’s a website platform secure against hackers.
SEO-Friendly: All WordPress’ websites are mobile-friendly, meaning it allows for responsive design. Also, all themes are written in great code so bots (like Google bots or Bing bots) can understand easily what the business is about. These features are excellent for your SEO.
Free Plugins: Wordpress offers many plugins, from plugins to manage online stores and create forums to plugins that optimize images and solve other technical issues. They are users’ favorite feature because there are plugins that can be installed in order to insert code for technical purposes.
Highly customizable: Its many themes have unique designs and layouts to display content the best way possible. All layouts were designed to provide the best experience for users, which helps your SEO.
Built-in Blog: Since it's is the biggest blog creation platform, it allows business websites to add a blog section, which can add to your content marketing.
Not Tied to a Developer: WordPress allows you to switch to another developer, following syntax. This means that even if one developer designed or is designing your site, you can easily switch to another one if necessary.
As you see WordPress has every reason to be the favorite for business owners, beginners, web developers, bloggers and ecommerce professionals alike.
Grow Your Business with WordPress
S-FX.com Small Business Solutions is a boutique web design and technology consulting agency geared towards start-up businesses, small businesses and non-profit businesses. We specialize in implementing low cost technology solutions to maximize efficiency and reduce business operating costs.If you want to build a website that stands out from the rest, let us guide you. No matter the type of website you need or the style you are already thinking of, the S-FX Small Business Solutions’ team can help you make it true!CONTACT US TO GET STARTED
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4 Celebrated CMS Platforms for Web Design in 2020
A few years ago, companies struggled to create a website for themselves. But gone are the days when only professional programmers could create a modern website; nowadays, CMS platforms make the job much easier and more user-friendly for those with no experience in programming or HTML. CMS stands for Content Management System, a platform that helps non-designers and non-programmers build a website easily and faster. Learning how to use CMS platforms is a valuable use of your time as a business owner. There are several well-known CMS Platforms for web design. Let’s dive into our top 4.
Previously known as a blogging platform, WordPress is probably the most popular CMS platform in the world. This user-friendly interface allows non-experts to customize and create modern websites using themes and plugins. WordPress’s success came thanks to its simple and easy-to-use interface that enables users to publish pages and posts and edit themes and shift the format of the content. It also provides regular updates that ensure the website is secure against hackers. Some of WordPress’ best features are the following:
Supports user registration
Intuitive content management options
Non-designers love working with WordPress because of the many page builders' plugins that create and customize website layouts. Some of users’ favorite page builders plugins are:
Joomla is a CMS Platform; although not as popular or beginner-friendly as others, it has many exciting features that make it the perfect choice for those who need to manage custom post types. This flexible platform is primarily known for its multilingual support, meaning it does not require plugins to add more languages to your website, as other CMS platforms do. Also, its software is strongly code-based, which benefits websites in terms of page speed, and it enables using multiple themes at once. Some key features of Joomla are:
CMS of easy installation
Great support for custom post types
Advanced user management options
URL Creation for good SEO Results
High-quality support for users
Shopify is the leading CMS software for e-commerce sites. It hosts and manages the software for its users, which is very useful for non-programmers.This easy-to-use CMS platform is ideal for businesses with online stores that want to manage and sell their products online. It has its own payment gateway, but it also supports other payment gateways like Paypal and Authorized.net.Shopify is a versatile website-building platform that allows business owners to sell their products through an engaging website. Its interface operates perfectly for all kind of products such as:
Physical products (jewelry and clothes)
Digital products (e-courses, e-books, and audios)
Classes and lessons
Shopify’s best features include:
Great customer support
Maintenance and security support
Fast loading speed
Squarespace is a CMS platform ideal for creative professionals that want to create modern websites without having to write HTML. This highly intuitive website builder is well-known for its all-in-one system where you can find support with everything: domain, hosting, galleries, analytics, etc.A few useful features that you can find on Squarespace are:
Great editing tools
Built-in SEO tools
Responsive image loader
Build Your Site With The Experts
If you need help getting started, you can also work with an experienced web designer to build a beautiful and functional site. Contact S-FX today to learn more about CMS platforms and how they can help you offer a rich online experience to your customers.--------S-FX.com Small Business Solutions is a boutique web design and technology consulting agency geared towards start-up businesses, small businesses, and non-profit businesses. We specialize in implementing low-cost technology solutions to maximize efficiency and reduce business operating costs.
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4 Great Graphic Design Programs for 2020
Going digital is always good advice, whether it’s building a state-of-the-art website or building a social media presence. But in order to stand out in the ever-changing digital world, you need the right tools. For web designers, graphic designers, visual artists, and illustrators, there are many software and graphic design programs to work with, each with their own uses and features.Here are four great graphic design programs you must have in your toolbox this 2020 to have a visually appealing website or create engaging social media posts.
Graphic Design Programs To Use in Your Business
Adobe Photoshop is a functional and versatile graphic design tool, renowned as the greatest photo-editing and image creation software around -- so much that it’s even become a verb.Photoshop is known as the secret weapon for creative professionals, developed by Adobe Inc. for Windows and macOS. It allows the users to create, edit, and retouch images by applying effects, filters, masks, and shadows using different layers. Also, it’s a tool used by thousands of everyday users to create pictures of compositions and website mockups.This graphic design program is regularly improving. Some of the latest updates are:
Better, faster portrait selection
Adobe Font Auto-activation
Adobe Camera Raw improvement
Most of the popularity of this software comes from the fact that it’s easy to use, and it’s accessible for devices such as iPhone and iPad, which makes it an excellent tool for both beginners and professionals.
Paint.net is a free graphic design program known for its smooth and intuitive user experience. It started as a senior design project and then became very popular because, according to users, it’s more dynamic than Microsoft Paint, but less complex than Photoshop -- a seemingly ideal combination.Paint.net works with layers, effects, unlimited undo, and a vast number of powerful tools, so it likely has everything you need. A particular feature of this budget-friendly editor is that it supports user-created plugins that you can get from the official paint.net forum. Plugins allow users to include more special effect options in the platform and customize the program to their liking.
Canva is a popular graphic design program built for non-designers. You can design from scratch using images, fonts, templates, and illustrations. Canva is very user-friendly, and it’s available for desktop and mobile devices. This straightforward graphic design program is ideal for students, teachers, beginner graphic designers, businesses, marketers, and photographers. It’s the perfect platform to create social media graphics, posters, presentations, resume, and other visual content effortlessly. Its built-in templates, color palettes, and graphics make it easy to design with no knowledge or original elements, but it also has the capabilities to create an original design with your images.Like many graphic design tools, Canva has a premium version known as Canva Pro that contains a wider variety of in-app photos, elements, fonts, and animations, and exclusive access to incredible templates.
Adobe Illustrator is a must-have vector graphics software tool for all professionals in the graphic design industry. It runs on Windows and Mac OS, which makes it a very flexible tool regardless of what you use.It allows you to create drawings, illustrations, and artworks using an extensive option of drawing tools. Ilustrador is often used for:
Typography Font Design
Hand Lettering Design
Since Illustrator is a vector graphic tool, it’s the perfect program to create and design complex icons and illustrations, elements that are often included on a website or landing page. One of the most relevant features of Adobe Illustrator comes from its vector artwork capabilities, which allows images and designs created in Illustrator to be enlarged and reduced without compromising the resolution.This well-known software is continuously updated to offer a better experience for web designers, graphic designers, and illustrators. Like Photoshop, Illustrator has two types of updates: the introduction of new features or the improvement of existing features.
How Do Graphic Design Programs Improve Your Business?
The right graphic design software tools can have a huge impact on your business and your brand. Because having great tools helps you create not only engaging social media assets, a unqieu logo, and a consistent brand, but also a well-designed website that will ensure a good impression on your potential customers. With the right tools, your site will capture people’s attention, build trust, and provide great user experience, which eventually will lead your business to increase website conversions.-----S-FX.com Small Business Solutions is a boutique web design and technology consulting agency geared towards start-up businesses, small businesses and non-profit businesses. We specialize in implementing low cost technology solutions to maximize efficiency and reduce business operating costs.
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Webcast Platforms To Run Your Business Remotely
If you’re currently running your business remotely, you know that having team meetings, especially ones involving presentations and sharing of data and information, can be difficult. Webcast platforms are here to help make this aspect of remote work easier for you and your team.
Benefits of Using Webcast Platforms
Webcast platforms are tools to broadcast to an audience over the internet. They have a variety of advantages for you and your business, including:
It’s cost-effective. Instead of hosting an event or a meeting in person, you can save yourself money on the venue, food, etc. and just use a webcast platform to stream your presentation to an audience from any location.
It’s available to a larger audience. Where an in-person meeting would require people to come and meet at a certain time in a specific location, you can now reach people at any distance. For remote work or distance learning, this means that your team or classroom can access your presentation from wherever they are.
You can often save the presentation for later, replay it, send out the link, etc. If you’re using the platform to host a webinar, discussion, or presentation, you can record it as it happens, then make it available to anyone who wasn’t able to join, or for future reference. This is especially useful for trainings or lessons.
3 Webcast Platforms Options
Now that you know how useful webcast platforms can be for your remote presentations, webinars, lessons, and conferences, here are our three favorite platforms to choose from.
ClickMeeting is our favorite platform at S-FX and we highly recommend it. We use it for all of our client webcasts. We’ve found that ClickMeeting is best for web-based presentations or automated webinars. You can record your presentation and then have it available for your audience to watch it on demand.
ClickMeeting goes beyond the basics, though. The platform has a variety of robust features to support all your webcast needs, including:
Great ways to customize your webinar, including waiting rooms with agendas, customized invitations, and your logo and colors on the webinar
The ability to stream on YouTube or Facebook
A whiteboard feature where you can illustrate your presentation/lesson in real time
The ability to integrate slideshow presentations, polls, surveys, and screen sharing
If you’re looking for a platform to hold remote team meetings, Zoom is the platform for you. It’s the best option for video conferencing with multiple people. Although you do have to install it, the installation is quick and easy. Zoom offers a free option that can host up to 100 people for an unlimited number of meetings -- plenty for a small business working remotely. Though meetings are limited to 40 meetings, this platform is a great option for daily sync-ups and team meetings.
The ability to record meetings and save them or upload them to the cloud
Integration with any of your standard calendar apps (e.g. Google, iCal, and Outlook), browsers, Slack, and a variety of other apps
Auto-generated transcripts that you can search after
Virtual hand-raising -- especially useful for virtual classes or trainings
GoToMeeting is a more globally known platform and brand. Used by universities, corporations, and small businesses alike, it’s great for enterprise businesses because it can do it all. GoToMeeting offers GoToWebinar, and GoToTraining, and OpenVoice for a variety of uses, from webinars to conference calls. It’s especially good if you want to record and refer back to your team meetings.
Unlimited meetings, no time limits, screen sharing, and a phone number to call into the meeting
Transcription, note taking, drawing tools, and cloud recording (on plans above Pro)
Integration with Slack, Salesforce, Office 365, and Google Calendar
Pro for $12/month if you have less than 150 participants
Business for $16/month if you have more than 150 participants
Compare their plans here.If you’re working or teaching remotely, you should be communicating often with your team or classroom -- and even more importantly, communicating well. Take advantage of these webcast platforms to maintain excellent communication within your business, organize distance learning, or even to continue engaging with your customers at a distance.S-FX.com Small Business Solutions is a boutique web design and technology consulting agency geared towards start-up businesses, small businesses and non-profit businesses. We specialize in implementing low cost technology solutions to maximize efficiency and reduce business operating costs.
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Don’t Fall For The Secret Sister Scam
Have you seen a post on your social media promising you’ll receive 6+ gifts from strangers if you take part in a “fun” gift exchange this holiday season? Beware! The Secret Sister scam gift exchange is back and it’s bad news.
What is the Secret Sister scam Gift Exchange?
The “Secret Sister” gift exchange is a post that began circulating around Christmas time since 2015, and was seen mostly on Facebook. People would receive an email or a Facebook post inviting them to be part of a gift exchange -- if they provided their name, address, and personal information, sent a small gift to a stranger on the list, and then forwarded the invitation to several of their friends. They were promised that they would receive not one but several gifts in return.This is what the post looks like:
You should not be giving out your personal information online in this way -- it can be used for identity theft or another scam. Additionally, since pyramid schemes are illegal in the US and considered a form of gambling, if you take part in it, you could face penalties like jail time, fines or a lawsuit for mail fraud.
What Should You Do?
You should definitely ignore the posts or emails. Do not participate in it. You can report the posts on Facebook so they are aware of the situation. Also, share this with others who might be susceptible to the scam as well, and discourage them from sharing their information.The Secret Sister scam gift exchange is not the only scam or pyramid scheme of its kind, so be on the lookout for similar scams at all times! Protect yourself, your money, and your personal data.-----S-FX.com Small Business Solutions is a boutique web design and technology consulting agency geared towards start-up businesses, small businesses and non-profit businesses. We specialize in implementing low cost technology solutions to maximize efficiency and reduce business operating costs.
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5 Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Among all the digital channels that companies use to sell their products, email still offers the highest ROI of them all. That is one of the main reasons as to why it’s so important for every company to be constantly collecting their customers' email information, delivering a consistent and engaging email campaign.
There are many factors in creating the best performing campaign possible, so we’ve listed some of the most important ways to improve your results.
Welcome to #TechTuesdays!
5 Ways to Improve your Email Marketing Campaigns
Segment Your Audience: Like most marketing tactics, a one-size fits all option just doesn’t work. With all the data available, you can segment your email audience by their demographics, by their geography, by the products they bought, and by the information they want to receive from you. This way, you can deliver relevant content for each different group; this gives you the highest possible chance of keeping them engaged, and selling more products.
Track Your Analytics: Last week we talked about Google Analytics and how it can help with your website. Well, it turns out that it can also help with your email campaigns. When you combine the power of Google Analytics with an Email Marketing Software like MailChimp you can track:
Open Rate: The percentage of people who actually opened your email
Clickthrough Rate: The percentage of people who click on a link in your email
Conversion Rate: What percentage of people became customers after reading your email
Site interactions: How people who come to your website from an email campaign interact with your website
Consistently Test: Tracking all your metrics won’t be of any help unless you’re always trying to improve them. That improvement happens by changing just one aspect of your email campaign, and watching to see how it effects your metrics. For instance, you can change your subject line for better open rates, the formatting of your email for better bounce and clickthrough rates, and the landing pages for better conversion rates. Remember, you can segment your audience so the changes are only sent to one group of people. This is especially useful if you have a campaign that’s already performing well.
Optimize for Mobile: Over half of all people open their emails on their phones. Unfortunately, If your email wasn’t made to fit the unique properties of a mobile device, it can be hard to read. More often than not, this means that your audience will just close the email and never open it again, if not delete it outright. To make sure this doesn’t happen, use responsive email templates. These templates will change based on whether the reader is using a desktop or phone, and will ensure the best experience possible for your readers.
Write Compelling Content: The biggest mistake you can make is to make your emails nothing more than sales pitches. The same rules that apply for any inbound marketing campaign apply for your email campaign as well. Make content that your audience wants to read. Make it entertaining and informative, and build trust with your readers. Only then, will they buy your products.
If you follow these simple tips, you should see some amazing results with your emails. Whether you’re trying to sell products directly, or performing lead generation, a properly utilized email campaign can be an incredibly useful tool. Good luck, and see you next Tuesday!