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Understanding the Direct Relationship between High Traffic and Responsive Websites

Understanding the Direct Relationship between High Traffic and Responsive Websites 2185 1247 adminxs

“Today it’s not about ‘get the traffic’ – it’s about get the targeted and relevant traffic.”
—- ADAM AUDETTE
Everyone on the Internet is in a rush. Whether they’re browsing on a computer or a mobile phone, visitors to your site expect content to appear at lightning speeds.
Hence the need for websites which render well on a variety of devices and window or screen sizes.
When your website receives thousands of visitors every day, the underlying infrastructure must be able to support the traffic.
High traffic means a large number of simultaneous requests from users expecting fast load times. Delays can cost you visitors, reduce revenue and undermine your reputation.
Therefore the websites have to create a design which can handle high traffic and be responsive in order to cater to a larger clientele.
But the question is how does responsive web design work?
Responsive sites use fluid grids. All page elements are sized by proportion, rather than pixels. So if you have three columns, you wouldn’t say exactly how wide each should be, but rather how wide they should be in relation to the other columns.
Responsive web design is not without its technical challenges. Some of the biggest stumbling blocks include:

Content

Do people looking for a certain material on a mobile want the same thing as those using the full site on a desktop? How will the content served differ between devices?

Asset management

Large images and other media can be scaled down to fit smaller devices, but how do we combat the page bloat and slow site speed that this can create?

Pixel density

How do web developers produce content that looks just as good on large desktop displays as it does on small devices with different pixel densities?

Testing

How can we test a responsive web design website on all of the different devices on which it might be accessed?

All of these challenges all boil down to one thing: Different devices. This is the area a responsive website aims to conquer.
In order to achieve that there are certain factors that you need to take into account for generating a best possible user experience.
Taking a smart approach to high traffic website maintenance cuts down on the load from a large number of visitors and ensures peak performance from your site.

Yes Sir!

For you as a growing business visitors are God. Failing to meet the expectations of the visitors can mean missing out on huge profits.
For e-commerce websites, losses are reflected in low revenue and less trust between consumers and brands. If you’re selling products and services but slow load times are driving potential customers away, you could be missing out on a lot of business.
The same is true for any form of revenue you bring in from your high traffic site. Slow speeds and the resulting drop in visitor engagement means fewer people clicking on ads and making purchases through affiliated links. Credibility suffers when user experience is poor.

Be a Good ‘Host’

An appropriate hosting plan is required to manage high traffic. A shared hosting plan is not something you can rely upon when your site grows bigger. You need something more reliable.
Upgrade!
You need to have a plan that has the bandwidth to handle high traffic. The host, can , penalize your site if it uses more than its allotted share of server capacity daily.
The best host for your site is one with the ability to handle the highest number of visitors you expect to receive and still deliver superior result. Opt for plans with adequate RAM and bandwidth, and check the average page load speed to determine if it’s fast enough.

Simplicity Is the Key To Perfection

Pages with a great deal of scripts or media are more likely to be slow to load. The easiest way to make your websites responsive is by making the page designs simpler.
However, for sites requiring images, scripts, videos and other dynamic content, you’ll have to take the following steps to ensure good performance:
1. Clean up scripts to remove unnecessary characters
2 Use an image optimizer when uploading media
3. Set specific image dimensions for display
4. Combine all CSS into one file
5. Upload images at their intended display size rather than resizing large images
6. Use “lazy loading” to load media on demand rather than all at once
7. Minimize plugin use or choose lightweight plugins on CMS platforms
8. Avoid using redirects whenever possible
9. Find and fix broken or dead links
Note : Keep mobile users in mind as you implement these design improvements. Page loading speed matters even more for mobile visitors as they’re not going to wait for a media-heavy site to load when they could go elsewhere to find what they need.

Cdn

CDN refers to Content Delivery Network, a collection of servers that are spread around the world and used to optimize content delivery for local visitors. Using CDN is another approach that high traffic websites can take.
A CDN caches static files across multiple servers and delivers them from the location closest to each visitor to eliminate as much lag time as possible.
Choosing the right CDN is a good idea if your site hosts content or media with a frequent number of viewings. The reduced latency decreases page load times to give users the content they want as quickly as possible.

Zip Up!

To be a responsive website you need to cut down on your content delivery time. File compression is another useful tool for this purpose.
Many high traffic websites and top website builders like WordPress.org , WordPress.com , Go Daddy enable compressors like Gzip compression, CSS compressor, Google Closure Compiler etc to reduce file sizes during retrieval and delivery.
Gzip, for example, works by searching for duplicate strings within a file and then replacing the second string with a pointer to the previous string. this method can reduce file sizes by 70 percent, resulting in a significant increase in load speeds.

Google Will Love You!

When your responsive website is up and running, it brings in a lot of benefits not only for the users but it has plenty of SEO benefits too.

Google loves responsive web design!

Why?
• A responsive design’s single code base and single URL structure means no content duplication issues
• This means that there is only one set of pages for indexation. Thereby, improving crawling efficiency
• There is no reliance on user agents for redirection. User agents are often error prone and can devalue the users’ experience
Therefore, every small change you make to optimize your high traffic website improves user experience and decreases the likelihood of visitors abandoning pages due to slow load times. Greater satisfaction among visitors translates into improved performance for content, products, and services.
Orange county web design, a CA based company, for example, offers custom built responsive web designs. They believe that responsive layouts provide a fast and unique interface. Having a separate desktop and mobile site requires separate SEO campaigns. Merging them together makes it far easier and accessible.

But again why should we take all this pain?

This is a time-consuming and, not to ignore, a pretty expensive process. The process of design, creation, implementation and testing asks for excellent skills and expertise. But what many people fail to realise is how this initial investment can provide them with a brighter future.
It’s not just the SEO and user benefits that make responsive web design rewarding. By creating one responsive web design codebase, there is no need to maintain two or more codebases for each of the different devices throughout the life of the website. This is substantial to cut costs in the long run.
So the cost is actually justified!
The reality is that mobile responsiveness is not just about smartphones anymore. More and more people are using tablets. With all of this, having a website that is responsive is becoming a requirement, not an option.
Not everyone is connecting to the mobile web on a high speed connection. It is still vital to keep the size of your website down so that you have the fastest possible page loads.
With that being said, the benefits of responsive website design, when implemented correctly, far outweigh the negatives and if you are working toward creating a new website it is something that you should strongly consider.
Remember, as Andy Clarke says:
“Responsive web design is web design, done right.”

The Checklist Every Front End Designer Should Check

The Checklist Every Front End Designer Should Check 1543 1118 adminxs

business hand typing on a laptop keyboard with Website homepage on the computer screen internet technology online connection concept.

Front end designing is a fusion of design and front end. It is an emerging term which is slowly taking over the market.
“Somewhere between design — a world of personas, pixels, and polish — and engineering — a world of logic, loops, and linux — lies frontend design. Frontend design involves creating the HTML, CSS, and presentational JavaScript code that makes up a user interface.”
What are HTML and CSS doing beside Java, a programming language?
You know what they aren’t programming languages. They just don’t compile.
When we are writing HTML and CSS we are creating content or bringing a change in the aesthetics. This is designing.
Maybe we are not using Photoshop or Illustrator but our role remains the same, only the tools change.
However truly understanding front end design is easier said than done. Coding and aesthetics require some hard core set of skills.
My aim here is to provide you a checklist which would help you understand some easy to follow rules that land you appreciation and not an extra hour in the office.
Obviously these rules won’t turn your life around in a spin but will be a good start to a fast growing career.

Decide and Define the Rules

Each and every project is unique. Before starting a new project, the whole team needs to agree on what the deliverable will be.
You shouldn’t check all these rules only at the end of a project. Make it clear to your team upfront what happens when.

Table of Content

The most important element in a front end designer’s checklist is the table of content. Because of its simple, usual form it is not always given the attention that it may deserve.
It actually enables the users to browse through your content easily and is basically like a trailer to the movie that awaits them. It has got to be enthralling, isn’t it?
An example can be:
1. — Design requirements
1.1 Grid system
1.2 Colors
1.3 Fonts and texts
2. — Analysis and pre-work phases
2.1 Paper analysis
2.2 Pre-development phase
3. — Validation

Common UI Elements

UI elements form the heart and soul of any front end style guide. These elements include Grid-Layouts, Buttons, Breadcrumbs, navigation etc. on the basis of their behavior , these elements can be of static and dynamic nature.
1. Static elements are those that can be coded through the HTML and CSS. They do not involve any JavaScript. They could be dialog boxes, accordions etc. anything that can be manipulated using CSS.
2. Dynamic elements are those that involve JavaScript. They are more complex and include more detailed elements like Opening a dialog box, drop down menu, tabs, sliders. It could be plug-ins like reducing the size of a logo etc. they basically bring elements to life.

Color Palettes

Just like a brand’s tagline, color palette allows the audience to have an understanding of the colors of the company.
“Color does not add a pleasant quality to design — it reinforces it.”
It is a representation of the company in the market and on the web. A proper Color palette of the company must be present and the colors for UI Elements must be defined.

Grid System

A grid is explicitly provided in the design, and the details of the grid are present in the technical specification.
It defines how each element will be organized on screens(both for responsive or adaptive designs).
You should be familiar with the grid system you’ll use on your project.
Most of the time alignment or offsetting options are ignored by the developer and tend to be replaced by manual padding or margin unnecessarily. You can build every template used in the creatives only with the grid classes.
Building the structure before everything else will facilitate your work afterwards.

Typography

Many designers feel that typography includes just selecting the font size and style, whether it should be regular or italic. But there is much more to typography that designers tend to overlook.
Typography gives designers total control. It Is the key element to share meaningful information, not just for human users but also for the Search engines to index your web.
You should focus on the elements here that users would enjoy. For example, the letters should be bold enough for the readers to read it but they should not make people turn away their eyes from the screen!
A simple, medium stroke width is a good place to start.

What’s Trending?

As a front-end designer, always remember to keep your work modern. You cannot make business by sticking to old, outdated designs. A successful website has to have a modern interface. Stay updated on what is in trend and keep updating your designs accordingly.
You need to start by keeping it simple. Select a bright color palette and flat elements. Once the basics are in place you can give it a modern touch here and there. But remember not to go over-the-top.
Modernity should come with a purpose.

Animation

From tiny hover actions, to elements that move across the screen, to engaging parallax scrolling, animation is a must-have aspect of a modern interface.
Once you have the visual design taken care of you plan to raise the level by flirting in some animation to flare up your work.

Big Mistake!

This is what most of the designers do. They keep animation for the end and what they ‘end’ up with is pointless piece of work. Animation can help draw users in and provide an extra source of engagement to keep them with the design. Therefore, it should be incorporated in the beginning rather than considering it at the end of the design process.
Thoughtfully animated elements can really set the best designs apart from the rest of the pack but gratuitous animation will just waste a user’s precious time and after the first initial delight the user will get tired of it.
So keep it on point.

Wrap Up!

A good front-end style guide should include responsive-design patterns and grids, code snippets for implementation, and strong guidelines for using each component. Designing is the first step. And it goes way beyond framing sketches with pen and paper.
From creating an engaging table of content to integrating modern design with nifty animation, there are several elements that make it to a checklist of a front-end designer.
Keep within the framework of the checklist and you will be on the road of creating a design that justifies you and your art aptly.
Keep it modern! Keep it stylish!

Case Study – Analyzing Top E-Commerce Websites

Case Study – Analyzing Top E-Commerce Websites 750 562 adminxs

“E-commerce is a powerful means to connect the unconnected to global trade.”
– Arancha Gonzalez

E-commerce has extensively matured in the last decade and it continues to grow even at a better pace even today. It is a very widely used term and has seen a massive rise in its growth in the market. Simply speaking e-commerce means selling goods on the internet, electronically with the payment method being the same as well.

Convenient, right!

For us, as buyers or consumers, convenience is everything. We select and pay for a good by just sitting back at home and, sometimes, even end up enjoying huge discounts because of the ability of the online sites to eliminate overhead expenses.
An e-commerce website works through a series of steps to secure all the data that is being transferred. But before we take that route, let’s have a small detour and list down the basic steps that an e-commerce website follows.

STEP 1

A shopper (like me or you!) lands on the website. You scroll through the various categories and items that are stored in the websites’ database.

STEP 2

You can create an account and add all the items you are interested in, in your cart. All the information now is saved in the database, temporarily.

STEP 3

When you finally checkout you will notice the website showing a lock symbol signifying that you are now in a secure zone. It is the work of the SSL certificate.

Note: The website may or may not use 3rd party software to get shipping rates.

STEP 4

Once you enter your credit card number the website passes the information to a payment gateway like PayPal.

STEP 5

Once the order is completed the website will not have your payment information in their database. All this information is stored with the payment processor.
Hereby concluding that the most important e-commerce features include:
1. Content management
2. Promotion tools
3. An easy-to-use checkout
4. SEO code and layout
5. A blog and articles section
6. Apt tools for reporting
7. Multiple payment options ( Credit card, Debit card, PayPal, PO etc )

Are They All The Same ?

So that’s it ? Is this what an e-commerce website has to offer?
Well not really!
E-commerce has plenty to offer and it is up to your marketing executive to be familiar with the basics to make your website ‘e-commerce capable.’
There are broadly 3 types of e-commerce websites.

1. Transactional Site

This maybe defined as an electronic storefront for a catalog business or a showroom for manufacturers who wish to sell to the public directly. Example Walmart , Hewlett- Packard etc.

2. Static Content Site

This is more of a brochure than a catalog!
This site generates sales by promoting corporate awareness rather than by facilitating online transactions. They market products and services that cannot be provided online Example Ford, Caterpillar etc.

3. Auction Site

Also called as Online Marketplace, these sites are hosted platforms that bring buyers and sellers together to facilitate transactions. Example eBay , Amazon , Alibaba etc.
With the internet growing rapidly, e-commerce has attracted attention of corporations and the audience alike. The corporations look for websites which would serve as an ideal platform to sell their goods and services and the buyers look for websites that can provide them a product at the best price. Hence, the increasing competition among the various websites to prove their metal.
However there are a few who end up blazing through that competition and are recognised worldwide for being the best in the market and have made it to our list today.
So let’s “shop”!

Walmart

Walmart is the third largest online marketplace in the US and is reported to be growing its online sales faster than eBay and amazon.
So what has Walmart done to bridge this gap that amazon and eBay haven’t ?

A. Pick It Up From The Store

Gone are the days when you had to wait 4-5 working days for your online orders to arrive. It’s in-store pickup time.
Customers now have the convenience of picking up their order directly from the store, with the stores being situated within every 10 miles.
What else ?
They even offer a pickup discount !

B. Innovation In Delivery

Walmart wants to get the products in the hands of the customers as soon as possible. Hence it is testing new delivery methods.
1. Like Uber, Walmart asks its associates in stores to make deliveries in their off-hours or on their way home.
2. Another way is through Walmart’s pickup towers. They are like vending machines where the machine scans your receipt and provides you with your product immediately.
3. Retailers can also use services of UberRUSH and Delv to get the products in the hands of the customers quickly.

C. Acquisitions

Walmart has two great e-commerce sites – Walmart.com and jet.com, which it recently acquired.
These e-commerce acquisitions enable Walmart to compete with amazon in important categories like shoes and apparel.

D. Investing In Growth

Walmart seems to be learning from its competitors by sacrificing profit for the sake of growth. Walmart has increased investments in the digital sector by leveraging a significant physical store footprint to build out digital sales.
The growth strategy that Walmart has successfully implemented is an example for other e-commerce retailers looking to compete in an already crowded marketplace.

Amazon

Amazon is an e-commerce website which lives up to its metaphorical meaning of “exotic and different.” Even the logo it symbolizes the fact that they provide all the products from A to Z.
Amazon is the first largest company to sell consumer goods and services. It is a consumer centric company which defines itself as “consumer-obsessed.”
Let’s gather up the points that make Amazon what it is !

A. Mobile-Friendly

The sign of a good design is a responsive website and with the people nowadays browsing through their mobile phones, it is essential for the website to be mobile-friendly. Amazon caters to this demand successfully.

B. Simple User Interface

Another feature which works in the favour of amazon is it’s simple and uncluttered user interface. Information is readily available to the user and the addition of personalised recommendations is paramount to create a great user experience.

C. Navigation

Their portfolio carries nothing short of one stop shop for everything ranging from books, DVD’s to clothes , electronics etc. The ease with which a customer can navigate through the website and select a product for purchase is a feature that makes amazon stand out from its competitors.

D. Easy Checkout

If a customer faces issues during checkout he may lose trust in your brand, which is why it is extremely important to have an easy checkout process. Amazon provides for the same with multiple payment options like through cards, net-banking, wallets and cash on delivery.
It is because of all these features that Amazon ,today, stands at the helm of the e-commerce world with highest revenues.

Alibaba

Alibaba is world’s second biggest e-commerce platform. Starting from selling goods that were produced by local people to international markets it has risen to a place where it has become a global leader in online marketing.
While Amazon is focusing on expanding its e-commerce business in new markets, Alibaba is investing in companies around the world – ranging beyond e-commerce to also include virtual reality and social media.

A. Global Consumers

Alibaba caters to both Chinese and global consumers , though the majority of it’s transactions are generated domestically. It has a complex and vast ecosystem, which includes Taobao, Tmall and Alibaba.com.
Taobao is a consumer-to-consumer website much like eBay. Tmall offers merchants official storefronts to consumers in China.
Alibaba and Ali Express connect businesses in China with buyers around the world.

B. Financial Affiliation

In addition to it’s direct e-commerce sites , it also runs a leading online payment platform Alipay which allows users to pay through it’s own platform and AntFinancial , which gives financing to businesses.
If there is a transaction that involves any type of commerce, Alibaba wants to be the company that enables it.
Alibaba generates merchandise in large volumes that dominates amazon and eBay. It provides services like a search engine for hopping , data centric cloud computing services and also electronic payment services. Providing a platform to share social interactions
Among its consumers and merchants it is renowned as one big reason for flourishing business houses in China.

 

That’s All Folk

We are living in exciting times where digital items are becoming smarter and smarter everyday. Hence, all the leading brands in the market want the best e-commerce brands in the market to promote and sell their products online. The growth of the biggest e-commerce websites in the world is driven by :
1 Customer engagement.
2 High value funding by venture capitalists and investors.
There is a lot of potential in the field of online shopping in the coming future. Lately the impact has been so powerful that retailers of big brands like Louis Vuitton or ZARA have had to hop on the online market bandwagon in order to avoid disruption in business.
Yasuhiro Fukushima quotes :
“ Thus, in the future, instead of buying bananas in a grocery store , you could go pick them off a tree in a virtual jungle.”

How do programmers think and what impact does it have on the final product

How do programmers think and what impact does it have on the final product 1200 975 adminxs

How do programmers think and what impact does it have on the final product

Whenever we hear the word “programmers” we automatically write them off as people who would be too much into logical and technical stuff.

Especially people coming from non-programming background, for example, tend to exist in a logic bubble. They are too caught up in their own perceptions and ideas to break out of that bubble and have a more simple outlook. A programmer on the other hand thinks in a very C -imple way.

Question: How do I enter?
A regular person: Use a door
A programmer: scanf or cin

Wicked ! right?

So how does a programmer actually go about things? what does he focus upon and how do all these factors affect the final product ?

First things first, Programmers function entirely on logic. Programming helps in developing your skills of logical thinking. Here you have to think about all possible outcomes. This leads to a sequential pattern of thoughts, like,

“if I did this then this would happen…or if I did this then ____.”

On a broader scale, it encourages the use of critical analysis. Habits of analysis pave the path towards logical thinking. Emotional investment isn’t something they worry about. Their main focus lies on task completion.
I personally feel that a programmer doesn’t “think” in one specific way but there are certain characteristics that all good programmers share that make them stand out in the crowd.

Kent Buck said :

“Any fool can write a code that a computer can understand.
Good programmers write codes that humans can understand.”
Martin Fowler

Planning It Out.

Well by now you have an idea and understanding of what you aim to achieve. So where do we go from here ?

Well that is the step where most of us mess up. Irrespective of the what the task is , it is important to build a framework and plan your actions in advance.

You know the question, you have ideas… now its time to plan your solution.

Give yourself some time to analyse the available problem and consider the possible ways to reach an expected solution. Don’t rush in with your ideas.

Breathe.. Think.. Assess.. and then Act.

Remember ,

A Goal Without a Plan,
Is Just a Wish.

Divide And Rule

Familiar right?

Well, believe me, this is one idea which is the answer to all the problems one can encounter.
You have analysed the problem and the next step is to start working towards the solution.

Ok Pause !
Take a look at your problem.

How big is it ?
Big enough to get your head rolling, is it?
Well simple.. break it!

Google to the rescue.
Again!

Search for possible ways. Try finding people who have solved these problems before and identify where you have erred.

What Makes a Man Perfect ? Practice!

The easiest and the most reliable key to success is practice. You may have the highest grades and a plethora of knowledge in that head of yours but if you do not have enough practice of how to put that knowledge into action then, sadly, you are still not on the road to perfection.

If you aim to achieve perfection overnight then you are digging your own grave. There is no pill to convert you into a good programmer. It takes a lot of reading, writing and practice.
So start now.

Practice anything to everything that you stumble upon. From puzzles to games you are surrounded with endless options. You just need to pick the one that best suits your need.

Alan Turing said,

“ Programming is a skill best acquired by practice and example rather than from books.”

IT’S A WRAP!
Ah! finally.

By now you are aware of how a “good programmer” thinks. The only thing left for you to do now is to become “one” yourself.

How do you achieve that?
Simple. Practice and Learn .

Take up different problems and try solving them. Don’t be afraid to start afresh.

“The mark of a mature programmer is willingness to throw out code you
spent time on when you realise it’s pointless.”

Bram Cohen

“I AM NOT A GREAT PROGRAMMER;
I AM JUST A GOOD PROGRAMMER WITH GREAT HABITS.”

What traits would define a good programmer and thereby help us in developing the skills to think like a programmer

No fear, I am here !!
I am going to try and construct a process that, hopefully, would help in developing the expertise to think like a programmer.

On your marks !
Get set!
Let’s go.

Ideas Please!

This is the first step that would totally determine what you expect your final product to look like.
Scratch those brains and bring those genius ideas to life.

A good programmer is aware of what ideas would work in his favor and hence is willing to abandon good ideas for better ones, even if they are not his brainchild.

So, remember to put the interest of the project before anything else.

Let go of that ego. Mature up people!

You Know What You’re Doing, Right ?

You have a bucket full of ideas ?

Great !

What next ?

Well the next step is understanding what is being asked of you and using the right tools for the task. You need to utilize all the available resources in order to know what is being asked.

If you can explain it to a person then you can explain it to a computer!

Note : Breakdown the problem and not your system!

Never , ever try to solve a big problem else you are bound to doom.
Simplify it by breaking it into smaller units and solving those units individually, preferably starting from the simplest.

In the end, joining all the solutions into one will give you the desired solution for the entire problem.
Phew!

Still Not Happening Man!

Tried this ?

Didn’t work?

Got pinned ?

No problem at all.

DRR to the rescue!
You all must be wondering what is this “DRR” ?
Relax!

DRR simply stands for Debug-Reassess-Research.
This may sound technical but it is a very simple and basic concept .

Debugging,in layman terms, implies revision. It simply means going through all the steps, ‘unit-wise’ ,in order to identify errors and rectify them. It is just figuring out where you might have messed up.

Reassessment means to look for the solution under the light of different factors which you may have missed or over-looked earlier. It implies shifting your perspective in order to arrive at a plausible solution.

And finally,

Research is a ‘search’ for all the possible ways in which you can reach your desired results. You have tried debugging and reassessing but all your efforts have gone in vain.

MINDBLOCK!

Also, remember that a good programmer cares about an individual’s product. They are optimistic, believe in their abilities and are willing to go those extra miles to get the job done and do their best everyday.

Although it’s important not to exhaust a developer by constantly pressurizing him with deadlines but a good programmer realizes the need to bring a product in market on time and hence steps up to meet deadlines.

A good programmer has the ability to offer the best services at the most affordable price. For small business owners looking for affordable website designs, for instance, only a programmer who has an excellent insight of his work can be easy on the pockets of the business owners.

So keep practicing and keep making mistakes. That is how you will grow and make your work stand out among the numerous ‘programming heads.’

Keep it simple. Whether it’s designing, coding or anything in life.

It’s a wrap fellas!

Orange county web design

How To Grow Your Business Using Instagram

How To Grow Your Business Using Instagram 4032 2268 adminxs

Orange county web design

How To Grow Your Business Using Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms used today. Its focus on gorgeous photography and videography creatively capture a glimpse of the lifestyle of its users.
Because of its popularity, many businesses have taken advantage of the opportunity to communicate directly with their customers and build their brand. With a single click, consumers can view products and pricing, without even leaving the app.
Plus, these shoppable posts have links to the product pages on the company’s website, so shoppers can add items to their cart and check out, and shop for more items. They can shop while they scroll. For this reason, Instagram is one of the best ways to support your brand.

Instagram stats you should know

Instagram is an excellent place for businesses to support an e-commerce business, increase brand following, or a little bit of both. Almost one million people shop on Instagram every month, so the platform has the potential to generate a lot of sales and build a huge following for a brand. It’s all about sharing your story and products with consumers in an engaging and visually appealing way

Start selling on Instagram

It’s easy to start selling on Instagram. Follow these seven simple steps:

1. Update your Instagram

If you don’t see any shopping tags in your app, this means your app isn’t updated. You can update by opening your phone’s settings.

2. Sync your Instagram with your shop on Facebook.

Instagram makes this easy by pulling your Facebook shop through to Instagram.

3. Set up your business profile

You can do this by clicking on options and selecting “products.”

4. Confirm your Instagram business account through Facebook

This all happens automatically once you connect to your Facebook shop. You just need to choose the product catalog you want to include.

5. Upload a picture of your product

You can upload a photo like you typically would. When writing your caption, be sure to tag people or products.

6. Tag products

Tag products like you would when tagging a person. Type the name of the product in the search bar, select the product you’re tagging, then move the tag to the correct spot on the photo. Instagram will pull all product information from Facebook, including a link back to your site from the picture.

7. Share your post

Enjoy the profits of selling on Instagram by sharing it!

Improve engagement on Instagram

Gaining followers is essential to growing your audience and brand following. But you need to give people a reason to follow your business. Here are just a few quick tips to keep in mind before you get started:

1. Ditch the Photoshop

If you want your business to appear genuine, your photos should be, too.

2. Give your customers a shout out

Encourage your customers to post pictures of themselves using your products and then share their pictures. Engaging with your customers will prompt them to keep coming back.

3. Get snapping:

Get snapping: Your phone is your camera, so take photos everywhere

4. Partner up

Team up with similar brands to help build your audience and share the love, or team up with a brand influencer to give your product legitimacy and notoriety.

We hope these tips from our Urban Geko Orange County Web Design Team will help you get started growing your business on Instagram!

Image Credit: www.tech2.com

8 App Marketing Strategies to Try Today

8 App Marketing Strategies to Try Today 3000 2000 adminxs

8 App Marketing Strategies to Try Today

Creating an app is hard. Making it standout in a market where new apps are being released every day is even harder. However, if you can master the art of app marketing you will greatly increase your brand following. Here are some ways you can market your app so that it gets noticed.

1. Identify the people who will use the app.

First and foremost, you need to figure out your target audience. A great way to do this is by creating a profile for each group of consumers. Determine the demographics, behavior, and lifestyle. Identifying your target audience helps to define your marketing strategy.

2. Research your competitors.

How are the companies with similar apps market their apps? Figuring this out will help you not only communicate with your target, it will also help you differentiate yourself from those competitors. Research what they do, and do it better.

3. Create a landing page that sells.

Your app’s mobile landing page should captivate visitors, but also educate them. Be sure to include your app’s most important elements: name, what it does, and call to action. A promo video is always a nice touch, too. Last, but certainly not least, make sure your landing page matches the branding you have set in place for your company. Colors, imagery, tone – everything on the landing page should support your brand.

4. Make your app stand out in the app store.

In order for your target audience to easily find your app in the app store, optimize it so that it ranks higher when people search for it. Remember, the higher the rank, the more likely your audience will see it. Here are some things you can do to help:
• Title – make it clear and recognizable.
• Description – make the solutions your app provides obvious.
• Icon – capture your apps brand and feel in a visually appealing way.
• Screenshots – show your app’s functionality and most important features.
For more tips on designing app icons, check out this article from Smashing Magazine: www.smashingmagazine.com/designing-better-app-icons

5. Create unforgettable video content.

Videos are the most viewed content online today. Adding interactive media any kind to your app can make it more memorable. Creating a video is an effective way to get your message out there because they have the potential to go viral and reach the maximum amount of people. Your videos should be short, so focus on the most important elements of your app: the problem it solves and a call to action.

6. Update a blog regularly.

Blogs are effective because it can generate buzz about your app. You can keep your target audience updated about your app’s development. You can also use keywords and link to influencers to maximize your search engine rankings.

7.Get social on social networks.

Most people are on some form of social media, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and most of these platforms have ways for you to target market because you can get access to users’ interests. Advertising on social media is a great way to get people excited about your app and increase your brand following.

8. Analyze your app KPIs.

Regular measurement of your app’s KPIs will help you understand how your app is doing on a regular basis. This way you know if your marketing strategies are working, or if they have to be adjusted.
For more on the basics of KPI’s, check out this article from Mashable: www.mashable.com/mobile-app-metrics

Need help creating a stunning app for your business? We’ve got you covered. Give us a call at 949-200-6910 for more info, or use the contact form below.

Secret Stories About 8 Famous Packaging Designs

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Secret Stories About 8 Famous Packaging Designs

Think about the way some of the most famous products are packaged.
Can you imagine a Hershey’s Kiss without its shimmery, silver foil and white ribbon spouting from the top? Can you picture a Barbie Doll without its see-through box?
Packaging designs help evoke a feeling that you can associate with the product. The use of colors, fonts, and structures help to dictate how consumers experience the brand itself.
Even when social media and online shopping rule, product packaging having a memorable in-person presence is essential. Just ask these eight products which still find success with their iconic designs.

1. Dutch Gold Honey Inc. bottles

How can anyone think about honey and not think about Winnie the Pooh? Well, there happens to be a connection. Dutch Gold Honey Inc. was the first company to use the bear-shaped bottle about 60 years ago. A.A. Milne, the creator of the world’s most famous bear, had just died, so it was still in the news. Ralph Gamber, Dutch Gold Honey’s founder, said that because bears like honey, then they should package their honey in a bear.

Orange county web design
Image credit: Amazon

2. Campbell’s Soup cans

Andy Warhol may have turned the Campbell’s Soup can into art in the 1960s, but the famous red and white design dates back to 1898. When the company first launched, the cans actually appeared in blue and orange. But when the company’s treasurer, Herberton L. Williams, attended a football game between the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University, he was so inspired by the red and white uniforms donned by Cornell; he suggested the drastic change.

Orange county graphic design
Image credit: NBC News

3. Heart-shaped chocolate box

If it’s around Valentine’s Day, you’re sure to walk into any convenience or grocery store and find shelves full of candy in heart-shaped boxes. But did you know when this concept started? Richard Cadbury, who ran the British chocolate company, Cadbury, designed the colorful package himself. Each box contained “eating chocolates.” The privileged society of the Victorian era often gave chocolates to show affection, so they became trendy. And when Valentine’s Day became commercialized, Cadbury saw an even more significant boom for their heart-shaped box.


Image credit: Cadbury

4. Kikkoman Soy Sauce bottles

It’s hard to believe that a bottle you find on the table of every Japanese restaurant started with over 100 prototypes. But the bottle’s designer, Kenji Ekuan, wanted to get it just right by capturing a simplistic and elegant Japanese design. Ekuan vowed to create positive and useful things after he lost both his sister and father in the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. He told the New York Times, “For me, it represents not the new Japan, but the real Japan.”

Orange County website design
Image credit: WebstaurantStore

5. LaCroix cans

When it comes to seltzer containers, LaCroix definitely stands out. It’s flashy font, and vibrant color schemes make you think of an island oasis as you drink every last sip. And their branding and packaging haven’t changed since 2002. Lyle Zimmerman, the head of Alchemy Brand Group, designed the can’s packaging, even though National Beverage – LaCroix’s parent company – hated it. However, consumers loved the unique design.

Orange County web design
Image credit: LaCroix

6. Morton Salt

Back in 1911, most salt packaging made it difficult to pour salt. And if the weather wasn’t cooperating, meaning it was raining, damp, or humid, the salt was even more challenging to get into shakers. Morton Salt was the first to use a round package with a metal spout, and also kept the salt safe from airborne moisture. And the now-famous little girl with the umbrella? The ad agency, N.W. Ayer & Company, developed the concept to show that the salt will always pour, even on rainy days.

Orange County graphic design
Image credit: Morton Salt

7. Tiffany & Co. boxes

As soon as a woman sees the iconic little blue box with the white ribbon, she knows she’s about to receive something special… and shiny! Since 1878, Tiffany & Co.’s little blue boxes have become synonymous with luxury and classiness. No one knows for sure why the founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany chose that particular shade. However, turquoise jewelry was trendy among wealthy women at the time.

Orange County website design
Image credit: Tiffany & Co. on Instagram

8. Toblerone candy box

In 1906, chocolatier Theodore Tobler, thought outside of the box, literally, for his candy bars, already in a three-sided mold. Using the Swiss mountain, the Matterhorn, as inspiration as he created a pyramidal box with his production manager, Emil Baumann. According to Tobler’s sons, however, his inspiration came from Parisian dancers forming a human pyramid.

Orange County website design
Image credit: Ashley Pomeroy

Interested in making your product stand out with a unique packaging design? Our Orange County graphic design team would love to hear from you. Call us at 949-200-6910 or contact using the form below.

Unleash Your Inner Artist!

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Unleash Your Inner Artist!

Looking for a fun and unique way to relax and unwind? Pull up a chair, sip some wine, and discover your inner Picasso at one of Orange County’s “paint and sip” classes.
What makes these classes so fun is that they walk you through each step of the painting process, so whether or not painting is your thing, you’ll leave with a personal masterpiece, and you’ll have fun along the way. These classes are our Orange County Web design team’s favorite for their atmosphere, quality, and, of course, their stunning websites and logos!

Pinot’s Palette

Events and studios nationwide, with local locations including Huntington Beach, Tustin, and Aliso Viejo.

The upbeat, large imagery and the bright, bold, colors on this website are well balanced by a clean and modern design. We love the user-friendly navigation, and clear calls to action – visitors can easily go straight to the event locator, or they can scroll down for a studio locator. The logo has a colorful palette, consistent with the rest of the site, and a design that is modern, unique, and purposeful.


Orange county web design

www.pinotspalette.com

Inspired Art

1500 Adams Ave #109 Costa Mesa, CA 92626

This website has a lovely balance of art and wine elements. Even the name itself has a dual meaning – using two different colors puts a fun spin on the word “inspired” that highlights both the art and the wine component of the business. The logo incorporates art and wine wonderfully as well, with a combination of flowers and grapes that are all arranged in the shape of a bushel of grapes. We love the eye catching wine related imagery used in their branding and advertisements. This website has us inspired – no pun intended!

www.inspiredartwine.com

SIP + COLR

Locations throughout Orange County, CA

We love the minimalist, imagery-focused design of this website. It is easy to navigate, and has a clear focus – finding an event near you. The pops of color in the navigation buttons and the logo give the page a fun, energetic look. While the logo doesn’t incorporate the “sip” aspect of the business, we love the simple, modern paintbrush design and the creative use of color.


www.sipandcolr.com

*Update: This website is currently in the process of a relaunch, and the online calendar is temporarily unavailable.

Interested in creating a website for your business but not sure where to begin? Maybe you have an existing site that just doesn’t represent your company’s core values. Our Orange County web design team would love to hear from you. Call us at 949-200-6910 or contact using the form below.

Delightfully Sweet Branding From Candytopia

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Orange County Website Design

Delightfully Sweet Branding From Candytopia

Candytopia, described as a “sprawling sanctuary of confectionary bliss”, has finally opened in Santa Monica after much anticipation. The four month-long event features interactive art installations inspired by – you guessed it – candy! Adults and children can live out all their Candyland dreams as they nibble their way through over a dozen sugary environments, from “flying unicorn pigs to a marshmallow tsunami” (we don’t know exactly what that means, but we’re in). Despite the sugar overload of the event itself, the sweetest part for us is the branding and website design!

Website

As soon as you open the Candytopia website, you’re greeted with bright colors, charming and vibrant imagery, and unique bits of text that leave you wanting more. If those colors don’t get your mind on candy, the pictures will.

Orange County Web DesignOrange County website design

Logo

Our favorite part of the branding is the candy-esque logo that combines so many aspects of iconic sugary delights such as a candy straw, a peppermint candy, and a lollipop, and features a whimsical font resembling fluffy, twisted taffy. Not to mention the creative combination of graphics and text, with all the candy components making up a part of the word “Candytopia”.

Orange County Logo Design

Social Media

The social media advertisements are the cherry on top of this scrumptious marketing, featuring the same vibrant colors and playful imagery.

Orange County Graphic DesignOrange County Graphic Design

Candytopia, Santa Monica, is open from 10 AM to 8:30 PM Monday through Saturday, and 11 AM to 8:30 PM on Sundays, from March to July 2018. Tickets can be purchased on their website. www.candytopia.com

As a professional Orange County graphic and web design firm, our team at Urban Geko is constantly finding new ways to get inspired. If your business could use a branding boost, you can trust in us to exceed your expectations with our graphic, web, and interactive media design. Give us a call at (949) 200-6910, or use the contact form below.

6 Steps to Building a Loyal Brand Following on Instagram

6 Steps to Building a Loyal Brand Following on Instagram 150 150 adminxs

Orange County Web Design6 Steps to Building a Loyal Brand Following on Instagram

Most individuals know there are several social media networks available to consumers with just a click of the mouse, or, more appropriately, the swipe of a thumb. Despite all the options for social media platforms, there is still one that is the most popular and used by millions of users worldwide — Instagram. Instagram usage has doubled in the last two years, and it has become the number one platform for people to share ideas and experiences, and discover new places. Why does this matter for your brand? The fact is that at least 80% of Instagram users voluntarily attach themselves to a brand via Instagram. That being said, brand engagement on Instagram is 10x higher than Facebook, and 84x higher than Twitter. Those statistics alone should excite you.
In the game of branding, your brand needs to stand out and have a voice. Being a consistent user on Instagram isn’t enough in the marketing world today. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve laid out our branding strategy as well as some helpful tools that will get you started building your brand on Instagram.

1. Develop a Clear Strategy

When we begin working with new clients, we will first create and develop the client’s strategy for their brand on Instagram. In having a strong strategy, it will give the company a foundation that they can continuously refer back to, so that all content serves to support these original goals. Developing a strategy involves determining things like what you want people to take away from your brand, what your core ideals are, and what your target audience is. You want to communicate to people why they would bother to follow your company on Instagram, and what they can gain from its uniqueness. The last step in developing a strategy is examining the competition. We like to research what makes other brands in the industry successful, what users expect from similar companies, and how we can make your brand stand out from the rest.

2. Decide on a look and feel – and stick with it!

Deciding on a look and feel is important so that your brand remains consistent through all posts. This involves deciding on things like color schemes (warm, cool, bright, muted), tone (playful, elegant, serious), and photography style (lifestyle, black and white, scenic). The design step is how we decide on visual stimulation for consumers. Whether we use photography, graphics, font types, etc., we determine what your users would find enjoyable to look at and how the visual aspect of your brand catches prospective followers’ eyes. In keeping with specific graphic guidelines, this is the best way we’ve found for your brand to have continued success.

3. Post fresh content

Posting fresh and original content is one of the best things you can do to build a successful brand. We will familiarize ourselves with what other’s look for in content, what can emit certain human feelings and make your brand work for them. Why should your content and brand be shared? We research to find out how to make your brand do just that and become shareable. What we have found is that a plain, boring advertisement is not what most people are looking for. They like to find content that inspires them and catches their eye quickly.
A great way to create fresh content is by using a typography app. Why? A picture is worth a thousand words, but combining pictures and words can be even better. There are several apps out there that allow you to easily combine imagery and text, but one of our favorites is PicLab. It offers a wide range of fonts and layouts, and allows for creating eye catching content quickly and easily.
Orange County graphic design
www.museworks.co/piclab/

4. Be Consistent

This step needs no introduction. Consistency is the key to growing your brand and your audience. Be consistent with your brand, what it stands for, the message you want your followers to walk away with, and especially the visual aspects. Consistency will help your brand to keep growing over and over and gaining new followers often.

5. Collaborate with your Audience

As mentioned in the beginning, Instagram is the number one social media platform meaning it is a very active community with famous and non-famous individuals. Regardless of your overall brand strategy, the more engagement your posts create, the better. Olapic is a great tool to use to maximize engagement because it develops clear and easy to read analytics for every post you make. This means you can determine which posts are the most successful. Additionally, Olapic can help you acquire the best content for your brand such as captions, hashtags, and overall subject matter.
Orange County branding
www.olapic.com
Another great strategy for finding out what your audience wants to see? Ask them! Running polls and asking questions not only creates a sense of connection between your brand and your audience, it also gives you valuable insight as to what you should be posting.

6. Have Fun!

We encourage our clients to get out there and have some fun connecting with their followers and building relationships. Always remember to celebrate your brand, connect with wonderful people, interact with everyone, and show your brand some well-deserved love! The most important step to building your brand is to have fun!

Interested in building your brand through social media but not sure where to start? Our Orange County graphic design team will develop a personalized branding strategy for you. Call us at 949-200-6910 or contact using the form below.