• Blog,  Website Planning

    What Do I Need to Know About Owning a Website?

    [et_pb_section admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] What used to be a simple case of learning HTML in 1995 is now an exercise that requires HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, a database, and PHP. This code has to work in all browsers, all operating systems, and on all computer devices no matter what size the screen is.  If you want an ecommerce website, find the shopping cart that works with your website.  If you want to incorporate a custom software application, call a programmer. If you want your web pages to appear in Google’s mobile device search engine, it has to pass their mobile test.  If you want to rank well in any search engine results, you need to…

  • Blog,  Website Planning

    The Man Said He Could Get My Site Ranked Number One

    3 computer devices

    Have you received a phone call from someone offering to make you a website, promising it will rank in the number one position at Google for $500 or less?  If so, I hope you knew better and didn’t hire them. Advertisements by companies claiming to make websites are everywhere, from Facebook to signs on front yard lawns.  You’ll come across people offering to make websites for $5 an hour and web-based software applications that essentially build a site for you.  In my twenty years of building websites, I have never seen a successful website made that way. In fact, it’s rare to find a web designer who has studied user centered design.  It’s very easy to make a website from…

  • Blog,  Website Planning

    The Queen of Scum, Spam, Scams and Scared Website Owners

    A small business owner with a newly launched website asked me to explain why it is necessary to hire someone to monitor the website because this is not in the budget. Why Should I Hire Someone to Monitor My Website? My gut reaction was to ask them why they would risk their business by not doing so, but I held my tongue.  I responded with a professional presentation of what maintaining a website means. Sadly, I haven’t heard back.  This happens sometimes with a home or small business or someone who is just starting out with a new website. It is the same response I may get when I recommend they have someone with experience in user experience and persuasive conversions web design review…

  • Blog,  Usability,  Website Planning

    It’s Not Just “Can They Use My Site”

    Long boardwalk going to ocean.

    When I perform usability and user experience audits or am hired to set up user testing, my starting point is not a simple “can they use it” or “can they find what they want” procedure. While many issues fall into this category, there are additional areas for user experience that take a website from being a bystander on the side of the pond, to being the boat with happy people swaying in the center of the pond with a long line of paying customers wishing to board the boat. A website is not a “that”.  It is a “want”. And this is why marketers fail in their efforts.  Keywords are “that’s.  Conversions design trigger words are “wants”.  Product images are…