BlogThoughts, Tips, Tricks, & Insights in the industry.

Why Should I Make My Website Mobile Friendly?

By | Web Design | No Comments

A lot of my clients ask me if they need to make two websites, one for desktop and one for mobile. Luckily, all of the websites I create work for any screen size from large TV’s to small mobile phones. This is what’s called responsive web design. Mobile websites are must haves in today’s world. See why this is below.

 

Why your website should be mobile friendly:

As per the latest statistics, majority of the internet users (approximately 55%) use mobile devices to access internet. Predictions claim that this figure will easily reach 65% mark by 2017. People, who access internet via their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, thoroughly expect characteristics like user-friendliness, speed and simplicity from websites. That being said, your business will fail to address more than 55% of internet users if your website is not optimized for mobile devices (no matter how informative or useful it is). In simplest terms, making your website mobile-friendly has become an obligatory fact.

Reasons to make your website mobile-friendly

  • Having a mobile friendly website is becoming a norm

Yes, having a mobile friendly website is becoming a standard for any business. Therefore, if you need to stay alive in the huge competition out there in the market, your business must have a mobile friendly website.

 

  • Google prefer mobile friendly websites

Search engines like Google continue to increase the efficiency of their algorithms. As per the latest algorithms, your website will be given preference over non-mobile-friendly websites by search engines. This is a great advantage in terms of search engine optimization (SEO).

 

  • Mobile friendly websites are futuristic

Websites that are mobile friendly has futuristic appearance and functionality. In fact, your website becomes virtually useless if it has outdated appearance, inconvenient navigation and poor functionality no matter how rich its contents are.

 

  • Mobile device users are decision makers

Unlike most of the PC users, mobile device users are much likely to perform purchases based on the results they find via internet. Therefore, optimizing your website for mobile devices makes a direct impact on your business’s revenue generation. When decisive information of a business like the location, open hours, contact information etc. is easily acquirable via mobile devices, it is an encouragement for your visitors to have confidence about your business. You can be creative and add more convenience to the website appropriately.

 

How to make your website mobile friendly?

Knowing the importance of being mobile-friendly, it is important to do the necessary tweak to your website. Adjusting the sizes of the images, changing the input types and avoiding fixed positioning are among the best practices when going mobile. Selecting font styles wisely, smart usage of mobile plug-ins and selecting the appropriate color schemes are vital. However, there are various other facts to consider when optimizing your website into a mobile friendly one.

 

Transforming your website into a mobile-friendly one is not the easiest task if you don’t have thorough knowledge about the latest web technologies. Therefore, the wisest decision is to hire a professional web designer to make the necessary tweaks on your website.
Benjamin Cohen Creative will thoroughly inspect your existing website and identify the areas that need rectifying. Our experts will then upgrade it to a completely mobile-friendly website assuring the optimum results. Contact myself now to get the rates of our affordable packages and obtain more information!

The Best And Cheapest WordPress Hosts: A Recap

By | Web Hosting | No Comments

The Could-Be-Better, But Still Good:

 

When I first started doing web design professionally, I had signed up with BlueHost. BlueHost is a great web hosting company if you have just 1-2 websites and want standard and cheap hosting. However, that had changed and I so had my needs. Some of my websites were starting to run slow and I know I needed a faster web host. I switched to SiteGround, which is a great platform if speed and customer support are important to you, like they are to me. They specialize in WordPress hosting and have a special caching plugin and cloud servers that are specially designed for WordPress making your site as fast as possible, much faster than companies like BlueHost and HostGator. However, BlueHost does have optimized WordPress hosting, I have not used it however.

The Best:

SiteGround offers a free full website transfer if you already have a website, or if you do not – a free domain which saves you about $15-$30. SiteGround also offers CloudFlare CDN for free which will help speed up your site as well. I have found they have far superior customer support than companies like BlueHost. When I opened a support chat with BlueHost I waited no less than 20 minutes each time, on average. With SiteGround, i’m connected to someone within seconds, and they are actually helpful and can understand the problems much better than BlueHost or HostGator agents. If you have a bigger more advanced website, I recommend MediaTemple, a great hosting company that specializes in WordPress hosting, or

DreamHost. DreamHost is another great option for complex and content-heavy WordPress site, while still offering a good price on hosting. Out of the two, I like MediaTemple the best, as it has email integration, and DreamHost does not.

The Cheapest (And Still Great):

The cheapest. and most stable web host I have found is iPage. iPage is good for simple, cheap, WordPress hosting and offers good support. Their plans start at $3.25 a month, and are perfect for cheap WordPress hosting. iPage offers special WordPress hosting, as well as standard shared WordPress hosting, I have used both and both are great.

At the end of the day, the if you have a simple WordPress site, iPage or SiteGround are both good options, if you have a site that is visited by many, and may need more storage space and bandwidth; MediaTemple or DreamHost are both great options.

 

In the near future, i’ll be writing an in-depth review for each host. And if you need help in choosing a host, send me an email and i’ll be happy to help you free of charge.

 

What I Have Learned From Shooting Corporate Video

By | Video | No Comments

December marked one year working for AccuQuote. I was hired as a video producer and editor, but I also developed a video production studio, workflow, and program at AccuQuote. I have learned a lot for it being first real job out of college. I wanted to reflect and highlight some of those things for people just starting out in the corporate video or those just getting into the workforce altogether.

Before I begin, a bit of background on AccuQuote. It’s a life insurance brokerage company, I know – sexy stuff over here. We’re based out of the Chicago suburb of Wheeling, IL. When I was hired they were using a outside freelancer for a couple of videos, and they had a YouTube channel but the green screens we’re horrendous and the audio sounded like it was recorded by Edison’s Phonograph.

When I began, I created a studio using a unused training room, painted a wall green, added lights, microphones and tripods. I uploaded the first few videos to YouTube and 12 months later here is what I have learned.

  1. Sometimes it’s going to be boring. And that’s okay. 

Life Insurance is not fun, when you think about it’s sad. It’s death. So how do you make it compelling? With people. Let people tell the story of a product. I film agent spotlight videos that highlighted each of our life insurance agents, told their story and let them tell about the importance of life insurance. They made the product compelling, let your PEOPLE tell your story with passion, don’t try to sell it with just images or animation, use real life stories about people who it has affected.  At the end of the day, the videos to most are boring because they are about a boring topic, but they tell the right story for the customer and that’s all that matters.

2. View counts aren’t everything. 

Everyone is always focused on view counts, but that does not tell the whole story when seeing a video’s performance. What we focus a lot on is retention rate, minutes watched, and if anyone called in from the special phone number we use on all of our videos to track leads. When looking at video analytics, YouTube judges minutes watched, which is that total amount of time spent on your video by all of the views combined, as one of the top ranking factors. So we strive to make our videos 2-5 minutes, but also engaging so people will watch it until the end, and ultimately call to get a life insurance quote.

3. Editing is important. 

When dealing with non-actors it’s always good to shoot for maximum editing flexibility. We use a green screen because it would be boring with the same white background, and it’s hard to shoot around the office because we are an active call center with a lot of noise going on. Editing, giving intros, outros, lower thirds and clean graphics help the video come along way and will always help sell a product or service when given the viewer a visual (video) way of learning more about it, in this case life insurance, which brings me to my next point…

4. Video quality goes along way, and shows credibility.  

Using a tripod, lights, and a off-camera microphone and really help your video stand out from the crowd. We use professional lights, microphones and I have a different graphics package for each type of video we do. Our YouTube channel is well maintained, organized and each of our videos have a description written by our copywriter and my good friend, Donnie Bryant. If you have a blurry shot video, bad sound quality, shaky footage or awkward edits, people will not take your videos or brand seriously.

5. Tell them what you told them, and tell them again. 

When selling a product or service on video, message and a call to action is important- otherwise your viewers will just hop to the next video without taking any action. In our videos, when I do videos with the CEO in them, we always end on a call to action to contact us for more information. When I film an agent spotlight we show their direct phone number at the end urging them to call. In our video descriptions we mimic the script to drive them to our website to get a quote. When filming your own videos, make sure each video includes a clear call to action.

It’s been a fun first year, and I cannot wait to continue my profession here in Chicago and wherever I may end up. Also, thanks for reading my first blog post, I hope to blog a few times a month to give tips and insight on the creative industry.