Why your business needs a professional website designer
Nowadays, just about every business has a website. Not every website is created equal, however. The best businesses have the best websites, and the best websites are designed by professionals. There are lots of reasons why your business needs a professional website designer. Here are 5 quick reasons why:
Improves brand awareness and market presence. More and more these days, customers find businesses online. They’ll search for you on the Internet, which means your website is often the only chance you get to make a good first impression. For your market to think you’re a good professional business, you need a good professional website. A dated, ugly, poorly functioning website – or worse, no website at all – is an awful first impression to make.
Your website needs to look professional. You could try using a pre-designed amateur website template, but it’ll look just like that: amateur. If you want your business to appear professional, you need a website that has been designed by professionals. Speaking of…
Professional website designers design websites better. Professional web designers know web design inside and out. We do this stuff all the time! We can quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively design your website with every feature you might need: e-commerce, navigation features, social media integration, scrolling banners and photo albums…you name it! We at O2 can design mobile websites for your business as well, which will automatically display correctly on every sort of smart phone or tablet device. We can even provide website hosting too.
Saves you time and effort. Sure, you could try to design your own website. If you have no experience with web design or programming, however, the task is likely to be much more involved than you realize. Besides, if you’re a small business owner, your day-to-day operations are already enough to worry about. Let us design your website, so you can focus on operating your business.
Get search engine optimized. Your website won’t do much good if your customers can’t find it, which makes proper search engine optimization (SEO) critical to website design. Professional website designers can implement all the latest and greatest SEO tools and techniques right into your website, which will help Google, Yahoo, and other search engines find you. This helps more customers find you, which in turn creates more business.
These are just a few quick reasons why your business needs a professional website designer. The list really could go on and on. The guys at O2 are some of the most creative, most talented, and friendliest website designers around as well. We’re always happy to work with clients from both near and far, whether in Grand County, Colorado, or halfway across the world. To further discuss the benefits of professional website design for your business, contact us today!
To contact O2 Creative, call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
Small business marketing checklist
Starting or growing your small business can be a lot of work. In order to establish the market presence your business will need, there are a lot of bases you’ll need to cover. That’s where we at O2 can help. We’re an agency that works with new and growing businesses every day. Here are just a few things your business will need to be successful:
Your business will need a brand; a logo; an identity – something by which your market can recognize you. We can help develop your brand, and create a professional logo that’ll do more than just get your business recognized – it’ll make your business stand out.
Your business will also need marketing. Advertising campaigns, promotions, a marketing plan, signage, media, execution – all that stuff takes time and creativity. We can do all your marketing dirty work for you, from designing ads and media, to coordinating a campaign, to even researching and creating a marketing plan. We’ll help you figure out the most effective marketing strategies that will make your business really shine in your market.
Your business should also have a professional online presence. Customers these days expect businesses to have a website, and your business deserves a website that serves your needs: online booking systems, blogging features, e-commerce, photo galleries, and whatever other custom features your business can use to achieve success. Your online presence shouldn’t be limited just to desktop computers either – now that so many folks have smart phones, mobile websites are more important than ever.
And more and more, customers want businesses they can interact with online. They want to know what a business is up to; want to communicate; want timely updates and announcements. This can be achieved through blogging and social media. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other platforms allow you to showcase your business, interact with your markets. (Oh, and social media campaigns are a GREAT way to attract new customers as well!) We can help you set up blogging and social media pages, and even manage blogs and pages for you, so you can focus on the day-to-day operations of your business.
The point is, we at O2 can help with all the daunting details of marketing. We’ll help your business create the best campaigns, the best designs, and the best websites, and more. Contact us today to discuss all the ways our agency can help your business!
To contact O2 Creative, call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
Adding and managing media on WordPress
This week’s blog is yet another installment in our series of WordPress website tutorials. Our last blog discussed how to add and edit posts on your WordPress site. This week we’ll be discussing how to upload, insert, and manage media on WordPress.
To begin, you’ll need to login to your WordPress website and access your Dashboard. (WordPress has updated some of their designs lately, so your Dashboard may have a slightly new look to it, though it should still be functionally the same.) You should notice a “Media” tab on the left hand side of your Dashboard.
If you hover your mouse over the Media tab, you’ll prompt two options: “Library” and “Add New.”
If you click “Add New” then you’ll be directed to the Upload New Media screen, which should look something like this:
The Upload New Media screen makes it simple to add media files to your WordPress website. Just drag and drop the file you’d like to add, or click the Select Files button in the middle of the screen to choose a file from your computer.
Once you add files, you can then view and manage the files in your Media Library. The Library allows you to sort media by images, audio, video, and other files, and also sort media by the date it was uploaded.
If you hover your mouse over each file, you’ll prompt several management options that allow you to edit, permanently delete, or view each file.
The “Attached to” column on the Media Library lets you know which page or post on your website each particular media file is attached to. If a file has been uploaded to your library but not yet attached to a particular post or page, it is listed as “Unattached,” and gives you the option of attaching the file to a post or page.
You can also add media files to a page or post by selecting the “Add Media” button in the upper left corner of the Add New Page or Add New Post screen (to get to those screens, click on the Pages or Posts tab on the left hand side of your Dashboard. Click here to reference our blog on Pages, or here for our blog on Posts).
Clicking the Add Media button will direct you to your Media Library, from which you can add files onto the particular page you’re working on. The Add Media button again gives you the option to Upload Files directly from your computer, in case you haven’t uploaded a particular file to your library yet.
Once you insert a media file into a particular page, you can then resize or edit it within the content of the rest of the page. To do this, click on the image once it appears in the page- or post-editing screen. This will prompt two boxes to appear in the upper left corner of the image.
The square with the red circle allows you to delete the image. The square with the little blue image in it is your Edit Image button. If you click on this, you’ll be prompted with the Edit Image screen.
The Edit Image screen allows you to align, resize, title, and/or caption your media, as needed.
This is just a quick overview of how to add, edit, and manage media files on your WordPress website. If you have any other questions about WordPress, contact O2 today!
To contact O2 Creative, call us at 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
Adding and managing WordPress posts
This week’s post will be the third installment in our WordPress tutorial blogs. Last week we discussed how to add or edit pages on your WordPress website (you know, the “Home” page, the “About” page, the “Contact” page, etc.).
This week, we’ll be discussing the “Posts” feature on your WordPress website. While Pages are essentially the static pages of your website, posts are more time-sensitive, and are displayed in reverse chronological order. The post feature allows you to curate a blog on your website, and also allows you to make timely announcements on your website, such as news, events, promotions, or other updates you’d like to share.
To access the Posts feature, first login to the back end of your WordPress website. Once you’ve accessed your WordPress dashboard, you should notice the Posts tab on the left (if you aren’t yet familiar with the dashboard, click here for our intro to WordPress).
If you hover your mouse over the “Posts” tab, you should have a drop-down menu of options appear: All Posts, Add New, Categories, and Tags.
Clicking on the “All Posts” tab will direct you to a list of every post on your website.
Clicking “Add New” will direct you to the Add New Post interface, which looks basically the same as the interface you use to add pages (which we discussed in last week’s post – click here to read that post).
With this interface you can add and edit each post on your website, using the WordPress kitchen sink and other editing tools to format each post. You’ll notice the publishing options on the right of the screen, which allows you to save a post as a draft and to preview the post before publishing. Clicking the big blue “Publish” button will publish your post, which then makes it a viewable post entry on your website.
WordPress also allows you to organize posts using Categories and Tags. The Categories and Tags features enable visitors who read a post to search your website for other posts about similar topics. You can add and assign Categories and Tags using the appropriate menus, which you should find on the right side of the Add New Post screen, right underneath the Publish button.
Categories allow for broad grouping of topics among your posts, and tags allow for more detailed organizing of topics. Each post must be assigned to at least one specific category (even if it’s the default “uncategorized”), though the use of tags is entirely optional.
For instance, say you wanted to write a post about a favorite stir-fry recipe. You could organize the post using broad categories like “food” or “cooking,” and more specific tags like “broccoli” or “onions” or “soy sauce.” Then, if a reader clicks on the “cooking” category, he or she will be directed to every post on your website that is also grouped in the “cooking” category.
You’ll also notice the “Featured Image” option, below the Categories and Tags menu. The Featured Image allows you to select an image that will represent the post when it’s displayed within a list of all posts on your website.
Also, WordPress allows for readers to comment on your posts. You can manage each comment by clicking on the “Comments” tab on the WordPress Dashboard, which allows you to approve or unapprove a comment, mark a comment as spam, or move a comment to your trash, as appropriate.
Marking a comment as spam allows WordPress to recognize such comments as spam, which can help to prevent future spammers from posting unwanted comments on your website.
This is just a quick overview of how to add and edit the Posts feature of your WordPress website. Of course, if you ever have any other questions, or would like to discuss WordPress more in-depth, contact us today!
To contact O2 Creative, call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
Click here for last week’s post – WordPress Pages
Adding and editing pages on WordPress
Adding and Editing Pages on WordPress
This week’s blog is the second post in our series of WordPress tutorials. Last week, we introduced the back end of a WordPress website, the “dashboard.” This week, we’d like to explain one of the most important features on your dashboard, the “pages” tab.
Simply put, the Pages tab gives you access to add to or edit the various pages on your website – you know, your website’s Home page, the About page, the Contact page, etc.
To add to or edit a page on your website, begin by – you guessed it – clicking on the “Pages” tab on the left side of your dashboard (where the red arrow is pointing below).
If you hover over the “pages” tab, both an “all pages” and an “add new” link will appear. These links are also more or less self-explanatory. Clicking “all pages” will allow you to view a list of every page on your site. Clicking “add new” will link you directly to WordPress’s Add New Page screen.
This is the screen where you can add and edit text and images on your WordPress website.
The toolbar of buttons contains editing functions, many of which you’re hopefully already familiar with – e.g. bold, italics, page alignment, underlining, etc. If you hover your mouse over each button, an explanation for each button will appear.
The “Kitchen Sink” button (the button on the upper right side of the toolbar) allows you to show or hide a second row of editing buttons. The Kitchen Sink is already selected in the image above, so the second row of buttons is currently displayed.
You can add photos and images to each page by clicking the “Add Media” button in the upper left corner of your screen. Clicking this will give you the option of uploading a new media file or selecting one from your existing library of files, as seen in the image below.
The drop-down menu on the bottom left of the toolbar (in the image below) allows you to change the format of each line of text on your page. This allows for each page’s headers, paragraphs, and other text to be uniform throughout your website.
WordPress also allows you to include links right within the text of your pages. To do this, type the text that you’d like to display as a link and select it so it’s highlighted. Once you highlight your text, go to the “insert/edit link” button – it’s roughly in the top middle of the toolbar, and looks like a gold chain link.
Once you click on the insert/edit link button, the insert/edit link screen will display. This screen allows you to enter the destination of the website to which you’d like to link, or to select a link to another page of your website. You can also give the link a title, which will display when the mouse hovers over the link on a page. You can also select a box to choose whether to open the link in the same window/tab, or a new one.
To unlink a link, simply click the button to the right of the link button (the one that looks like a broken chain link). If you highlight your link and click on this, the link will be turned back into non-linked text.
Once you’ve added text, photos, and content, you can then publish your page. On the right hand side of your screen, you’ll see a big blue “publish” button. Click this to publish; to make your page live on your website. You’ll also notice a “Preview” button, which allows you to preview what the page will look like before you actually publish. You’ll also notice a “Save Draft” page, which allows you to save your page as a draft on the back end of your website if you aren’t yet ready to publish.
These are just a few of the page editing and formatting capabilities of your WordPress website. Take some time to get familiar with the Pages screen. After a little practice, it’ll hopefully become second nature for you. Of course, if you ever have any questions about your WordPress site, contact O2 today!
An introduction to WordPress
An Introduction to WordPress
At O2 Creative, we design many different websites using WordPress. Many of our clients and contacts often have questions regarding WordPress usage and features. That’s why we’d like to introduce a new series of posts on our blog. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of tutorials meant to help everyone better understand how to use their WordPress websites.
This initial post will be an introduction to the “dashboard” of your WordPress website. This dashboard is the administrative back end of your website; where you’ll go to update, add to, or edit content on your site.
First off, you’ll need to login to the back end of your WordPress website. Doing this is simple: just type your website’s domain into your browser and add “/wp-admin” to the address (e.g. www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin). This will prompt the login page for your website.
Once you get to the login page, enter your username and password for access to your website’s “dashboard.”
This dashboard gives you an overview of all the activity and content on your website, and is designed to allow you to easily navigate and make changes to your website. The dashboard will let you know how many posts, pages, comments, and other activities are displayed on your website.
You’ll see a list of tabs down the left side of your website’s dashboard. These tabs allow you to access specific areas of your website to change or add content.
For instance, the “pages” tab lets you add and add to each individual page on your website – the home page, contact page, about page, etc. The “posts” page allows you to quickly post blogs, articles, events, or other updates and announcements on your website. The “media” tab allows you to upload and publish photos, graphics, and other images onto your website’s posts and pages.
This is just a quick introduction to the back end of a WordPress website. We’ll be going into more detail about pages, posts, and other features in future blogs. Of course, if you have any questions about WordPress, or if you’d like to learn more about how a website can benefit your business in general, contact us today!
To contact O2 Creative, give us a call at 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
Electronic commerce, or e-commerce, is the term used to describe transactions conducted over electronic systems, such as the Internet or other computer networks. And nowadays, just about everyone has shopped online before. Businesses large and small are taking advantage of the Internet marketplace to generate sales online.
So what can e-commerce do for you business?
Actually, e-commerce offers a lot of advantages to retailers and wholesalers alike. They can be considerably less expensive for businesses, allowing transaction costs to go down in the long run. They can allow for better, more efficient customer service opportunities. And e-commerce is not bound by geography or physical location, which can allow businesses to easily gain unprecedented presence in markets both near and far.
Establishing an e-commerce site can be a very cost-effective way of selling your product or service. Once your e-commerce website is up and running, the shopping and billing processes are automated, which allows for transactions to be conducted with fewer employees on the clock.
E-commerce websites can also save businesses money in the form of rent or property expenses. With e-commerce, a physical location is not even necessarily necessary, though many businesses enjoy a robust increase in sales by offering an e-commerce website in addition to their brick-and-mortar store.
Better customer service can also be achieved with an e-commerce website. Online messaging and emails can be used to better interact with customers. Product information is much easier to convey and maintain as well. A product description online, complete with information from manufacturers, is often more thorough than the info an in-store employee could provide on the spot.
Products and services can be found more easily, since simply entering terms into a search engine can go a lot faster than having to search up and down the aisles of a physical location. E-commerce also allows for 24/7 transactions, and customers will never have to wait in line, so they can buy from you whenever they want.
In addition to buying whenever they want, customers can also buy your products from wherever they want. There are no geographic or travel limits with e-commerce – you can do business with just about anyone who has access to the Internet. This helps increase your exposure not only in your existing market, but also exposes you to new markets as well. All this increased exposure means increased sales for your business.
E-commerce also offers unique business opportunities, such as targeting niche markets. For instance, if you sell unique or individualized products or services, it may be difficult to attract customers to a physical store location. However, an e-commerce site makes it much easier for customers to find you, since your niche offering is now just a few quick clicks away. Proper Search Engine Optimization efforts can make it even easier for new customers to find your e-commerce site online, which makes it even easier for you to grow as a business.
One example of using e-commerce to serve unique markets is our friends at Rare Finds, a business that specializes in selling rare and collectible furniture and antiques. They have a physical location, but they wanted to increase sales and grow to new markets. We recently designed an e-commerce site for them, rare-finds.com, which allows them to offer their unique products to anyone on the Internet. Now their customers range near and far, not just in one corner of one geographic market.
E-commerce can also…shoot, are we still listing all of e-commerce’s benefits? Perhaps we should try to wrap this post up, before this blog becomes a novel. That said, we really could go on and on about the benefits of e-commerce websites. We can even help you set up a secure e-commerce website of your own, just like we did for Rare Finds. So, seriously, feel free to give us a shout some time. Let’s get together and discuss what an e-commerce website could do for you!
If you’d like more information, contact us today! Call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
Also, check out this helpful article at kennesaw.edu.
Cartoon credit: Lynch