Making Pretty Pixels

The latest in wed design, social media, Internet marketing and content management system news and information.

Recent blog posts

Poor marketers use common clichés and messy, meaningless or even misleading statements in promoting their brands. What too many don't understand is that the most memorable brands present themselves in an honest and marketable way.

When asked to make a case for why you should pick their products or services, too many fall back on the most trite, overused and meaningless creative, copy and tag lines, which no one believes.

Can SEO really help sales? A double or nothing bet with a client.

We spent over a year trying to convince our client that improving his search engine standings will improve sales. To this day, he's still not convinced. His point is that his particular clients don’t turn to Google to find companies like his. His business is telecom consulting. His company works to lower costs while improving the quality of fixed and mobile telecom for medium to large firms.

Current market research shows that almost 80% of companies are paying higher than market rates for telecom. His firm can save these companies 20% to 30% on these costs. This astounds me and is all the more reason to get him noticed on the search engines and social media.

The fact is if you aren't optimized for mobile you're ultimately losing sales. It's estimated that 57 percent of mobile users will abandon your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load and 30 percent will abandon a purchase transaction if the shopping cart isn't optimized for mobile devices.

Considering how important a website can be for any small business it seems only natural to take the extra care to ensure the website is mobile friendly. It's amazing to me how so many websites are still not optimized for a mobile experience.


Posted by on in Web Design

We love to barter! It’s an easy way for those who may not have the budget or simply may have something valuable to offer in exchange for web design and other services.

We’ve had many successful barters, from landscaping in Indiana to a 3-month car rental in Bonaire. However, our favorite barter has been for beachfront vacation rental property in Florida. The property owner wasn’t getting as many renters as she had hoped, so her place was pretty much empty anyway. Additionally, by building a web presence along with some SEO, she could actively market her rental, working towards her occupancy goal. So, the barter was a win/win without question.

Tagged in: barter Marketing website

Posted by on in Internet Marketing
Those Three Letters ... SEO

You hear them thrown around all the time. People are always telling you it's important for the success of your online presence. But what exactly is Search Engine Optimization or SEO? It's not what it once was, that's for sure. The problem is, I see references to outdated definitions of SEO on a fairly regular basis.

Here's my definition: SEO is a multidisciplinary group of White Hat (wholesome, search engine approved) tactics that seek to make a technically sound and connected website and its content highly relevant and valuable for both search engines and searchers. This includes those who are searching for products (consumers) or those who are looking for specific information. Basically, it's getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines to your website.


Posted by on in Internet Marketing
How to Make Money on the Internet

This is one of the most misunderstood questions I’ve ever come across regarding the Internet. Most start-ups believe “If you build it, they will come.”

We had an inquiry a few years back from a woman that wanted to sell her hand made peanut butter cups via an online store. That’s it, just peanut butter cups, like the ones Reese’s sells. She had no previous experience running a candy store or any store for that matter. She was also pumped up because she was a member of a number of young professional entrepreneurs clubs, so she assumed the marketing feedback from them was enough. Although, based on her insistence, I could have taken her money and built the site, I knew this was a bad idea and told her as much. Her feelings where hurt, and she eventually built her site; it was gone within 6 months.

Tagged in: Marketing SEO

Posted by on in Web Design
I ran across this well written post by Paul Boag that I believe offers great advice when working with a web designer. As budgets and time allotment for web design seems to be getting smaller and smaller, working more efficiently and keeping open communication will help ensure the projects goes off as well as possible.
Much of what he says we already practice. In fact, we use a collaboration tool called Basecamp, which organizes the project much better than email and phone calls. It also allows time tracking and archiving of projects for future references. We currently use a third party but are testing our own solution.
Originally Posted by: Paul Boag On Wednesday, 10th April, 2013

1. Try not to rush the process

Increasingly web projects are becoming squeezed by limited budgets or tight deadlines. This is one of the best ways to damage the quality of work you get from your web designer. Producing something truly exceptional takes time. Not just time actively working on the project but elapsed time too. The web designer needs time to consider his options and think about different approaches. The longer you give your web designer to think, the better the work.

Of course actual hands on time is incredibly important too. Without it your design will be less polished and the underlying code fail to stand the test of time.


Posted by on in Joomla
Review: EasyBlog by StackIdeas

Joomla, the popular content management system, is understood to be a blog at its core. However, the platform is so advanced, that the actual use of it as a blog isn’t anywhere near as easy as WordPress to set up and begin blogging. Plus, requires the installation of multiple plugins and modules to get it to look like one would expect a blog to look like. Consequently, I began my search for an all-in-one blog component for Joomla that’s rich in features yet easy for my clients to use.

I looked at a number of components to answer the need but kept coming up empty handed. Perhaps many of these blog extensions were just too young but my biggest issue was none of them were intuitive enough to pass muster. If my client had to email me for a reminder as to how to post a blog, I have no use for such a component!

Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Tony Comegys
    Tony Comegys says #
    I am using EasyBlog on my website for more than 2 years and I am extremely happy with it. The most powerful and flexible extension

Websites are an essential component to doing business in today's world. With the growing desire to have access to information available anytime at our fingertips, it's simply expected by potential and current customers! In fact, fewer and fewer businesses DON'T have a website.

1. Establish A Presence

Everyday, more and more people search for services and products online than every before. Our habits are changing. People move to a new area and very often rely solely on the Internet to learn about the new area, research and find out who to go to for what. Most people are coming to expect that any professionally run business will have a web site. With a well-designed site your small business becomes a real player both on and off the net. The more people know about you and your company the greater the chances you have for attracting new customers. More is generally a good thing when running a business, unless you're talking about expenses!

Tagged in: CMS Joomla Marketing SEO

Posted by on in Web Design

We just finished upgrading the Aradise web site and are pretty proud of the accomplishment.

We've upgraded to the latest Joomla release, installed a blog component and a much improved portfolio/gallery. We also took time to better describe who we are and what we do.

Tagged in: Joomla