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The Internet Is More Than Memes

Written by Brandi Bennett

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

When you think of the Internet there are a few things that come to mind, among them: cats, procrastination, and memes. Some people spend hours online looking up all kinds of random information, parodies, and a host of other nonsensical information. There are people who don’t know that the man in the meme shown is Gene Wilder, or that this is from the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Ensuring that Gene Wilder is remembered for more than just a picture with a funny caption should be the least of your concerns, however.

 

The Internet Really is More than Memes

The fact of the matter is that you should stop thinking of the internet as just for memes, as just for killing time on Imgur, or as a means of checking to see what the latest drama is on Facebook. The internet isn’t just about killing time; it’s about benefitting your business.

 

How can the Internet Benefit MY Business?

The Internet can only work to benefit your business as much as you let it. If you don’t have an online presence, the Internet can do virtually nothing for you. If you have a website, it won’t help unless you let people know it’s there, and if you don’t keep your website updated, it can’t work to benefit you; people will check it out once or twice, see that it never changes, and forget about it.

It takes a lot of time and effort to work to promote your company online, setting up advertisements, keeping your site up to date, and generally working to stand out above the rest. The more you do, the more your online presence can benefit you, and the more that other people too will be able to see that the internet is for more than just memes.

Create a blog, setup profiles on the different social media sites, setup advertisements, or offer promotions in keeping with holidays or even simply because you feel like it. You can even make up a reason for a promotion! As long as you work to keep your online presence strong, through self-promotion and the promotion of others, the Internet will become more than just a means of keeping you occupied at three in the morning – it will become a gateway into bigger and better things for you and your company.

 

Image Source: Troll.me. (2014). More Memes. Retrieved from http://www.troll.me/images/creepy-willy-wonka/i-see-you-know-more-memes-than-me-you-must-lead-an-exciting-life.jpg

Responsive Web Design: A Goal For 2014

Written by Jeremy Jensen

Monday, June 16th, 2014

responsive web design 01

If your business depends on its website to any extent, and you haven’t made the switch to a responsive design by now, you’re at risk for losing a lot of business in 2014. The primary reason being the massive shift happening in how people browse the internet nowadays. During a study conducted at the end of 2013, Smart Insights discovered that of all web browsing just over 25% was done either on a Smartphone or Tablet. Signifying a potential 25% loss in business due to the sub-optimal experience many visitors encountered on web-pages that did not adjust for their particular device.

What’s more notable is that by 2015, mobile browsing is expected to surpass desktop use, making it imperative your website will be ready for use across any screen as soon as possible.

 

Responsive Web Design (RWD) Defined

Although it has been around since May of 2010, RWD is still a fairly new strategy to the majority of business owners. Most simply put, Responsive Design is: a website design that will adjust flawlessly to fit on a desktop, smartphone and tablet browser. If you’ve ever pulled open a website on a mobile device only to see the desktop version you understand it can be difficult to zoom in, navigate and ultimately achieve what you had intended by opening the web page in the first place.

 

How It Works

responsive web design 02

RWD aims to make the browsing experience seamless from one device to the next; therefore, retaining visitors no matter how they choose to access your site.</>

As you can see in the image above, the web-page’s content has re-sized and adjusted to fit within the confines of available space. The principles of RWD use “media queries” to figure out the resolution of the device it’s being served on, coupled with flexible images and fluid grids to then size everything correctly to fit on the screen.

In the past web designers would develop a desktop site, and then an entirely different mobile version to try and accommodate for all the different emerging devices. In November of 2012, the popular website Mashable was accessed by more than 2,500 different devices, a number that helped them declare 2013 to be the Year of Responsive Web Design.

 

The Top 5 Reasons To Adopt RWD

Beyond universal accessibility, there are several other benefits to having a site that can exist under one URL, the first being:

1. Google Highly Recommends It

Much like anything Google recommends, marketers and web professionals are usually keen with interest. In 2012, Google deemed it a best practice for smart-phone optimized websites. Having one URL and the same HTML allows Google to easily crawl and index your website within its algorithms. Leading into our next benefit:
2. One SEO Campaign

In order to promote your website within the search engines, you’ve probably managed an SEO campaign to help your website rank. With a Responsive Design you no longer have to worry about ranking two individual sites (Web and Mobile). Instead all of your efforts can now be concentrated towards one page. All of the links, all of the content will now be working twice as hard to ensure your page gets seen no matter what device it’s searched on. Talk about a good deal!
3. Positive User Experience

Without the satisfaction of your visitors, all of this talk of technique and strategy would be utterly pointless. RWD’s main purpose is to allow the users of your web-page to browse however they feel most comfortable. For if a potential customer arrives onto your page while browsing on a mobile device and feels the need to leave seconds later, you may have just lost a potential sale.

Research on mobile website usability shows that websites that are responsive and mobile-ready significantly improve user experience and satisfaction. By 2015 50% of visitors will be on a mobile device, be ready!
4. Adapting For The Future

The combination of media queries paired with fluid grids will give your web design sustainability in a time of rapidly changing technological trends. Users may keep updating their devices, but no matter how the screen sizes keep changing your website will be able to adapt which is an excellent feeling knowing your investing in a long-term design.
5. Saving Time And Money

While RWD aims to serve the satisfaction of your visitors, the bottom line is you’re tired of having to keep up with all the marketing trends when ultimately you just want to run a business. Cutting out dual websites, dual SEO campaigns and constant website maintenance will prove to be incredibly valuable both to your bank account and time management. It’s time to get back to what’s really important, so where do you sign up?

 

Getting Started

Much like hiring a web-designer there is no fixed cost when it comes to implementing RWD. If you have a simple brochure website for your business, modifications may cost as little as a few hundred. Perhaps you want to start from scratch, most web hosting domains have templates with RWD built right in with no experience necessary.

We recommend reading the book Implementing Responsive Web Design, if you”re serious about being on the forefront of RWD and learning how to build these sites yourself. Otherwise, get in touch with your preferred web designer and see how you can go about optimizing your site today. You will not regret it!

 

Image Source #1: http://poweredwebdev.com/tag/responsive-web-design-2/Image Source #2: http://www.cascadingmedia.com/responsive-web-design

Dedicated Server Sale!

Written by Sean Valant

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

dedi_sale

Starting today, we are offering 50% off on Standard Dedicated Servers!  Dedicated Servers, or “Dedis” as we affectionately refer to them, are the top tier of our hosting services.  Total control of an entire server is the gold standard for serious web hosting customers, whether it be as part of a successful reselling operation or for hosting an app, gaming server, or other high-demand initiative.

This sale will run from now through July 31st, but there’s no time like the present to take that step up in your hosting game.

For the technically-minded, our Standard Dedi features a quad-core 2.5GHz Intel Xenon processor, 4GB of RAM, 1TB RAID-1 HDD, 15TB of bandwidth, 3 dedicated IPs, and a 250mbps uplink.

For the non-technically-minded, these Dedis have plenty of power to launch you into the next level of hosting for your customers, business, or project.

Get started today by visiting our Dedicated Server page.

6 Online Apps To Help You Focus

Written by Jeremy Jensen

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

6 Online Applications To Help You Focus

Approximately two thirds of working Americans find themselves on a computer during the day. Many of which spend their entire shift glued to a screen, only a mouse click away from accessing the endless distractions that can be found on the internet. With so much information coming at us daily, our focus is quickly becoming diminished in exchange for the stimuli of the latest YouTube sensation.

For some it can become a serious problem, leading to low productivity, bad performance reviews, and the additional stress of bringing work home. Luckily we’ve compiled a list of six applications proven to break bad habits and help you get your work done on time!

 
1. Freedom- Block the internet for a certain amount of time

Have you ever played the psychological game with yourself that only after X amount of work, you’ll reward yourself with X amount of entertainment? Easier said than done. Freedom has one simple use, and that’s to block your internet completely for a specified amount of time. You’d be surprised just how quickly a glance at Facebook, or reading that ‘crucial’ article can take hours out of your day.

If turning off the internet completely is not an option, take a look at Anti-Social. It’s built for those who still need the internet, but would like to block certain sites while the web browser is open.

Freedom cost: $10
Anti-Social: $15

 
2. StayFocusd- Limit the amount of time you spend on distracting websites

With opposite functionality to ‘Anti-Social’, Stayfocusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that works by restricting the amount of time you can spend on certain sites, rather than blocking them entirely. Once you’re allotted time is spent, those websites will become blocked for the remainder of the day.

Many prefer this calculated approach as they still desire intermittent breaks in working, but do not like to go beyond a certain point. Want to give yourself 45 minutes to space out? This app is right for you.

StayFocusd cost: Free

 

3. TrackTime- Understand how your time gets spent while online

While we acknowledge we spend a lot of time on the computer, most of us have no idea how that’s broken down into individual application use. How much time did you waste on Twitter today? How often were you actually using your Word Processing application?

TrackTime allows you to monitor your activities daily by providing you with statistics and colorful timelines of where you spend your time, and how often you’re switching between applications

Tracktime cost: Free (only available on Mac)

 

4. RescueTime- A more in-depth look at where your time goes and how to take action

RescueTime will give you one of the most accurate picture’s on the market as to where your activity is performed on your computer. With detailed activity reports, weekly email summary, and daily goals built right into the interface you’re guaranteed results in becoming more efficient.

With premiere, you also get the benefits of:

  • Customized Site Blocking
  • Track Offline Activity
  • Notifications- Notify yourself when spending too much time on something, or for being super productive.

RescueTime cost: $9/month or $72/year

 

5. Concentrate- Work and study more productively between tasks

Many of us are responsible for more than one type of task throughout the day; for instance, there’s times when I’m writing, budgeting, updating my web-page, or producing new content on Social Media. Needless to say these tasks can become intertwined unintentionally and break our focus.

Concentrate allows you to create custom activities that run a corresponding set of actions to only allow applications and websites to run that support productivity within that activity. In English, that means if I’m writing I can only access my word processor, and websites I haven’t placed on a block list while I’m working. You can set up multiple forms of activity to segment your work day and focus on each item individually.

Concentrate cost: $29

 

6. FocusWriter- Creating an optimal environment for your thoughts

Writing can require the greatest self-discipline of any profession, especially in the last decade as life and internet have become so intertwined. FocusWriter commandeers your desktop to provide a distraction-free writing environment so you can focus on what really matters, the words.

Some additional features, include:

  • Daily writing goals (word count or writing time)
  • Typewriter sounds
  • Standard text-editing features

FocurWriter cost: Free, but with a suggested “tip”

 
Do you have any other apps or tips that you use to stay focused? Let us know in the comments section!

 

Image Source: http://betanews.com/2014/02/26/are-you-reading-this-when-you-should-be-working/internet-distraction/

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