402-370-6803 steve@stevehemmer.com

Web Design Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2017

Each year brings new trends and innovations. In this post, let’s discover together what you should consider in 2017 when creating a website. Every year, the web design industry goes through some sort of evolution cycle to stay relevant and inspiring. As technology advances and becomes more ingrained into every facet of our daily lives, …

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Top 5 WordPress Plugin’s

WordPress plug-in graphic

My top 5 WordPress Plug-in’s

 

Here’s my thoughts on must have plug-in’s for WordPress

 

 

iThemes Security.  Top of the list has to be a great security plug-in.  There is way too much of a threat daily to our WordPress sites, and they need to be locked down.  I highly recommend iThemes Security plug-in.  Most WordPress admins don’t know they’re vulnerable, but iThemes Security works to lock down WordPress, fix common holes, stop automated attacks and strengthen user credentials. With advanced features for experienced users, our WordPress security plugin can help harden WordPress.  Plus it comes with their awesome product, BackupBuddy.  It’s a total backup protection system that allows for off-site storage to online locations.  It’s a total win with this package!  Please, please, don’t fail to have a backup plan in place cause accidents do happen.  Super important!!!

 

Anti-Malware Security and Brute Force Firewall.  Once again, we have way too much nefarious activity from hackers attempting access to our WordPress installations.  This is a great product for helping deter would-be hackers.  This Anti-Malware scanner searches for Malware, Viruses, and other security threats and vulnerabilities on your server and it helps you fix them.  It offers great protection and best of all, it’s free to use and more features are available for purchase.

 

Google Analytics by MonsterInsights.  In order to have effective SEO feedback and direction, it’s essential to have Google Analytics installed and running on your WordPress installation.  I enjoy using this excellent product, Google Analytics by MonsterInsights.  It combines Google Analytics with a lot of great features.  The Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights allows you to track your blog easily and always stays up to date with the newest features in Google Analytics.  MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress with roughly 11 million downloads.

Google SiteMap XML.  You just have to have this installed if you want your website to be seen and show up in Google search engines(and others).  This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.

ManageWP.  If you happen to be managing more than one WordPress installation, or if you want a convenient way to get the status of your site’s software and plug-in’s, than ManageWP is your ticket to hassle-free maintenance.  Everything in One PlaceJust the hassle of logging into each of your websites is enough to ruin your day. With ManageWP the data from all of your sites is compiled and shown on a single easy to use dashboard, allowing you to check up on your websites in a single glance. We like the one-click concept, anything that takes longer than that is too much, so we introduced the one-click login, one-click updates and one-click management. That means that with just 1 (yes that’s right) click, you can update all of your websites, clear spam and manage your comments. In addition to this we have added the option of managing collaborators, now making it even easier to work together with your team and clients. All of this in one place.

 

Customer Branding

Branding and your logo

 

 

It’s more than just an image

 

Your brand is more than just a logo, it’s a representation of who you are, and how you feel about your customers.  Surprising isn’t it?  We see logo’s every day, on the internet, tv commercials, billboards, you get the idea.  But have you taken the time to think about what that logo is really saying?  What feelings are you trying to invoke in your customers?  Your logo is so much more than just a design.  It’s used to invoke feelings, to give your customers a solid idea of what you are about, to show loyalty, to reflect your company values.

Each logo is a personal representative of your company.  The company goodwill ambassador.  The greeter.  It’s your front door.  Naturally, each element of your logo needs to have careful consideration with those interactions.  The font family and style, the colors used, the geometric shape even it’s placement in your advertising is incredibly important.  When I do a logo for a customer, I take the time to talk with my customer.  To have them tell me the story of their business.  What’s the most important message they want their customer to know?  I like to have a picture of their store if they are a “brick and mortar” store. I also like a picture of their product to help visualize who they are.  I like to know the company history.  Granted, you can learn a lot from the customer during a website discovery session, but I always find there is more to their story than a website discovery session would uncover.  The logo is THAT important.

Next time you have an opportunity to design a custom logo for a customer, take the time to do a careful and thorough investigation to uncover and discover who your customer is, and what image they want to project to their customers.  It’s a win-win for everyone.

Cheers.

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