Consider and Understand the Importance of an SSL Certificate

Your website security is important to you as well as your visitors. In today’s world of cyber-security, adding an SSL Certificate to your website can help protect you, protect your visitors, build trust, and as a little bonus – give you a little SEO rankings bump.

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encrypts data to allow secure connections from a web server to a browser. The SSL helps to keep prying eyes from seeing the conversation between you and the website you would be doing business with. In the past, an SSL was commonly needed to protect credit card information, social security numbers, bank accounts, and any other personal sensitive information. It is always expected that any online store, bank, job application, or doctor’s online patient forms have the well-known green lock displayed next the website URL.

But there is nothing sensitive on my website. Why do I need an SSL?

There are added benefits to an SSL Certificate, as they are becoming more popular in today’s web. Customer experience is vital to any company. By adding an SSL to your website, are you building immediate trust with your potential clients. The moment someone visits a website that is proudly displaying the secure lock next to their URL, the visitor can see that you not only take your site and your security seriously, but you also value theirs.

Google recognizes the need for more vigilant cyber security and have started giving increased SEO rankings to those that are utilizing the tool. Google SEO standards are another can of worms, and this one step may not launch you from page 7 to #1, but using this tool that improves your site security and gives you a little boost in SEO is an easy win-win situation.

Here at Webfoot, we utilize the SSL certificate for many reasons, and we encourage everyone to do the same. We will soon require all clients hosting with Webfoot to have an SSL on their website.

Why You Need to Opt for Responsive Web Design

It would be wrong to suggest that ‘responsive web design’ is a buzz term because it has now been around for two years and ever since Google made a huge shift towards mobile and tablet usage. However, there are still various websites that just do not incorporate this into its design and that, in this day and age, is a major sin.

Now, just for those few that may still be unaware as to what this means, it’s basically design that can be viewed on any device and the design will fit their screen. This was a huge change when it came out because prior to that, people with access to the Internet via their phones were left with having to scroll all over the page simply because things just wouldn’t fit.

That has all changed now, and there are a number of reasons as to why this approach has to be adopted by you for your very own website.

It Helps Your SEO.

Anything that is beneficial to your SEO attempts has to be adopted by you especially when you consider that Google changed things so that your website would be downgraded in search results via tablets and smartphones.

If your site uses this responsive web design, then your organic search traffic should increase as you will surpass those websites that are competition to you but where they have not adopted this approach at this time. Considering the difference that just a few places can make to the traffic you receive, this is something that is well worth thinking about.

It Increases Your Market.

Another reason is that it is going to increase your market as you are no longer excluding people simply because of the device that they are using.

Who would stay on a website via their smartphone when all they see are a jumble of words and images that just don’t make sense. There is no chance that they will stay there on your website and attempt to scroll around when there are various websites offering the same thing and a more pleasant viewing experience.

Considering that it’s getting to the point where the majority of traffic is going to be from tablets or smartphones, then ignoring it reduces your market and can you afford to do that?

It Boosts Sharing.

At the same time, the fact that your website becomes accessible to anybody, no matter the viewing device, is going to increase the chances of your content being shared since nobody is excluded. Also, using this design is going to save you money in the long-term. There’s no longer any need to have one website for laptops and another one for mobile devices as it’s all built into the same thing.

This then means that your completed site can be live in a shorter period of time as there is only the one set of rules, images, and content to deal with.

It Improves Usability.

Usability is one of the main things that is going to either make or break your website because if it’s not good enough, then people will go elsewhere.

This is something that responsive web design excels at simply because it takes everybody into consideration and provides them with the exact same experience no matter their device. Exclusion is the complete opposite of usability and that’s something worth keeping in mind when you are thinking about the design aspect.

Just think about your own feelings when you go to a website with your smartphone, as there’s a pretty good chance you have done this, and how you react when things are just not working out the way you thought.

What do you do?

The chances are you become fed up and click off onto another website, so why would you not then make sure that your own website is not doing the same thing for other people?

It’s not even as if it costs you a huge sum of money to have this design incorporated. It’s all second nature since it was introduced two years ago and it’s largely just assumed that this has to be included in the design brief.

Responsive web design was, at one point, seen as a potential passing fad, but it is certainly here to stay. If your website does not have this kind of design, then it’s about time you put in the effort and got things changed. You will reap the rewards of doing so in next to no time and this alone will have made it all worth your while.

New Year. New Look

Webfoot is proud to announce that it has launched its newly redesigned website. 

How long has it been since you last made changes to your website or even added new content? The ever changing search algorithms know. Do you know if you do not change content, design, or the structure of your website on a continual schedule you become less relevant to the search engines and in turn you are found less often when paying customers are looking for your particular services or products. Our website at Webfoot is no different so we have just completed our new website redesign with all the current and latest enhancements.

Is It Time For You To Redesign?

To stay current and keep a fresh look your site should be changed or redesigned every 12 to 24 months. This may sound rather often but to keep pace with the ever changing web it is important to stay relevant and noticed by the search engines. Is your site mobile friendly? Do you know that the SEO algorithms used by Google and others change a few times a year? Are the latest security updates applied to your site? To keep up with the always changing requirements for a successful website is a full time job. Are you working full time on your site? Today’s business world is online and your website is impacting your business. It is up to you whether that impact is helping or hurting. If it has been some time since you last updated or redesigned your site call now and trust the proven experts at Webfoot Designs to get your website back in business.

Your Header Image Will Grab Their Attention

What is the first thing that you see when you land on a website? The answer is their header image and yet it is surprising how many owners of websites kind of forget about the important role that this one image can have in the potential success of their site.

Think of it from this point of view.

If you are walking along a street and are going past shops, what do you see? Well, you will see their shop sign and their shop window.

Now, move this thought across to the Internet. There, the domain name is basically the shop sign and the front page is the shop window. However, as the header image is the first part that you see, then this is the spot that not only has to look good, but it also needs to grab their attention or they will walk on by.

So how do you get the image that is going to be perfect for your header?

Getting Their Attention.

An image has the ability to really compliment the content. An image can be used to really help tell the story or put across a particular feeling about the site, but only if it is done correctly.

Now, this is one spot where size does not always matter as the dimensions will depend on the layout of the rest of the home page and also the look that the designer is trying to achieve. However, there are a number of things that need to be done no matter the size of the image in order to really get their attention when they land on your website.

1. Add some text.

People love to see some text on the header image. It tells them even more information than just the image itself, but you need to make sure that it does relate whether it be a welcome message or just even repeating your name.

2. Be aware of the color of the text.

One thing that is sure to annoy those individuals that land on your website and make them click off is when the color of the text is wrong and nobody can really read it. You would be surprised how often this happens as people can pay little attention to the colors in the image and where the text itself is landing. You might be able to read 80%, but that 20% can be enough to irritate people and they will go no further.

3. Adding a background to text.

Here is another option that is used by some designers and that is using the header image as an overall background for a page with the text then sitting in a block on top of it. This in itself can be a great way of doing things as it creates a sense of uniformity and some will then take it further by adopting this background on each and every page.

Of course, this is going to mean that you need to use an image that is not only relevant to your website and what it is that you do, but also is not going to be overpowering and detract attention from the content. This can be achieved by just reducing the opacity or making it black and white although other options are available.

The Difference it Makes.

When an individual lands on your website, you have very little time to convince them that they have come to the correct place and to then do whatever it is that you want them to do. If the first thing that they see is weak, outdated, pointless or anything else, then you are not making that good first impression.

However, if you can amaze them and provide them with enough information to make them scroll down, then it gives you the opportunity to really sell yourself to them.

Furthermore, a quality header image makes you seem more professional. It makes you appear as if you actually care about your website enough to have spent the time getting this first part correct. When you then tie this in with getting the correct text with the right contrast and color, then you just need to make sure that the rest of your website is up to the standard that they now expect.

What our advice is regarding the header image is to spend some time checking out what other people on their website for inspiration. Look at the sizes, how dominant the image is, what they typically show and how it relates to what they do. All of this will help you to better understand what should be on your own website and reduce the chances of you falling at the first hurdle.

Research and making sure that things are correct are key. Remember, the potential success of your entire website can rest on this.

Using Visual Media is Absolutely Key

To many, this may seem like a rather obvious thing to say, but when it comes to your website the key is in visual media and how it is used. Now, we are not talking about plastering images all over to the detriment of the words. However, getting a good balance between the two is going to lead to individuals having a far superior experience when they do indeed venture onto your site.

In actual fact, it has been shown that blogs or websites that include images mixed in with text are able to not only hold the attention of individuals for longer but it actually gets them more clicks. The surprising thing is that they get around 90% more clicks than pages or posts that are purely just text.

But we can take this further.

Visual media has also been shown to have a profound impact when it comes to social media. You will have heard of Pinterest and Instagram and it is no surprise that they are two of the highest traffic websites in existence and they are based entirely on the importance of images.

In actual fact, Instagram has more active users putting more energy into posting things than the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Talking of Facebook, if you include an image in what you are writing on there then you are going to get more interest with you actually having more than double the interaction compared to just a text comment.

If this has got you thinking about your own website and how visual media is displayed, then let’s explain the kind of approach that you should be looking at taking in order to boost your own website.

Using Visual Media Carefully.

We mentioned at the outset that you should not just simply throw as many images as possible over a website because this does work against you. This is something that really should be applied for a business website as things are slightly different with an e-commerce website where the images are there to specifically sell a product.

This is something that should be used quite sparingly as the actual key is in making sure that the image or media that you are going to use actually has a purpose. It is not about picking something and throwing it up there just because you now know that people love visuals. This is counter-productive and who wants that to happen?

An image that is directly linked to what the page or post is about is going to be worth 1,000 words all on its own. An image that has been used in the correct manner can help an individual to better understand the point of what is being said. It can create that ‘Aha!’ moment and help them to go ahead and then make their decision as to what they are going to do next.

Do Not Be Afraid to Go Beyond an Image.

Often, people think that a still image is going to be enough and in the past that was certainly the case. However, with connections and computers being faster and more powerful than ever before, things have changed.

Video usage has been on the increase and we can even talk about linking a YouTube video onto a webpage as one potential method. You may have even noticed that some website designs include a video background and that is certainly one thing that you may wish to use if you are indeed looking at a complete redesign or even a new website being created.

Another option that cannot be overlooked is animation, although that is not going to be something that everybody can use. This is perhaps often best used to explain something and, once again, people have mentioned that they can learn a lot more by looking at animation. However, there is a limit as to how long they are willing to wait and watch so do keep that in mind.

Finally, why not consider incorporating more than one version of media on the one page? There are no set rules that will prevent you from doing this but just remember that it does have to serve a purpose or else it becomes pointless rather quickly.

So, take a look at your website and decide how visual media is working on each page. Does it exist? Is the page boring? What are your competitors doing with their websites? You really need to sit there and be critical of your site before you finally settle on how it is going to look or any changes that need to be made. Of course, you are able to go ahead and get some helpful advice from experts that fully understand the importance of visual media with websites. At the end of the day, your site will benefit from that advice which should always be one of your main aims.

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