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In 2016, Google announced that it will block all Flash sites within the following two years. The major browsers adopted this change and, although a little saddened by the news, we embraced it because it made perfect sense: as much as we love the Flash websites we’ve designed for our clients for many years, they would soon become obsolete in the dawn of this new update. Such is the advancement of technology.

Another aspect we had to take into consideration was the way browsing has drastically changed since the arrival of mobile devices. When our company began, browsing was done strictly on desktops, thus, functionality and design were created for just one type of screen: your laptop or desktop landscape layout.

The rise of mobile browsing

Let’s go back to 2016 and compare it to the following year. Mobile browsing has increased drastically. This study shows just how much our behavior has changed when it comes to going online. Moreover, Google has taken a clear stand on prioritizing mobile browsing and, furthermore, it will penalize websites that have different content on their two versions – desktop and mobile.

Since Flash isn’t responsive, a new platform was ready to take its place. In our case, we chose HTML5. These are the three main reasons for our decision:

1. Browser cross-compatibility with all major browsers.

You can never tell whether your visitors are avid Google Chrome users, dedicated Safari fans or simply true Internet Explorer believers. With HTML5, your website will work and look the same on them all. Yes, sometimes the colors of your photo content could appear differently on them; we’ve covered this issue in a previous article.

2. It’s optimized for mobile devices.

All your content and SEO will be the same on both versions of your site – desktop and mobile. Some design elements might change to better fit the device used, but your visitors will find all the info they need on your properly structured HTML5 website. In other words, no more horizontal scrolling from your tablet or phone, unless the owner of the website has a reason for it.

3. The code is clean.

Tell this to any developer and watch their eyes sparkle. While this is more of an in-house piece of information, it’s good to know that a clean code runs in the back of your website. This means that any adjustments you would like to see on your website should be done in an easy and error-free manner – this applies for changes made both from the Design Editor as well as any custom code alterations.

What is website migration?

Website migration is the operation of moving all content from one platform to a better one. This includes:

Images
Written content
Links – social and contact links as well as any on or off-site redirects
Image metadata – image info and tags
Website, page, and image SEO – SEO Everything™
Legacy URLs – redirect links from all your old links to your new ones

This is the setting in which we started the migration process of all our sites from Flash to HTML5. In next Tuesday’s article, we will analyze in depth all operations which allow for a smooth transition of content to the HTML5 platform. We will also give a couple of examples of websites we’ve migrated, to observe the improvements in functionality and design.

Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more news about our platform as well as useful tips that will help your website draw more business.

Posted in Website Tips and tagged with , , , , ,

5 Important Steps to Designing Your Own Website

Designing a website is unlike anything else you’ll ever do for your business. It involves the right mix of creativity and strategy, and it may take a few tries to get it just right.

Whether you’ve done this before or this is your first time, make sure you follow these key guidelines when designing a website that informs, entertains and (ultimately) sells to your ideal customers.

Fine-Tune Your Brand

Branding is about more than just your logo. From the fonts and colors you use, to the style and tone of your content, every aspect of how you communicate with your customers and define “who” your company all adds to the foundation of your core brand messaging.

But why is branding important before designing your website? The short answer: to convert your visitors into buyers. These days, shoppers of all kinds (for any service or product) want to purchase from and work with companies who align with their core values and/or lifestyle.

By fine-tuning your brand before designing your website, you’ll have better odds of reaching your target audience, engaging with them on a higher level, and turning them into loyal customers who will tell others they know about your company.

Know the Industry Standards

Have you taken a look at what other companies in your industry or niche are doing with their website and online presence? Although you should never make an exact copy of another website’s content or design, “borrowing” ideas and website structure can be really helpful.

For example, if all other companies in your field have an FAQ page that answers important questions consumers need help with, maybe it might be a good idea to have one of your own (with your own questions and answers, of course).

Or if there is a certain way of organizing content in the menu that seems popular, you may want to imitate that same site map so that users who are shopping around will have an easy time finding the same type of information on your own website.

Find Web Design Inspirations

Next, you’ll want to have an idea of what you like — and not only what you like about websites in your own industry. Start looking around at other website designs to see what appeals to you. Then apply what you’ve compiled about your brand and your field to design elements you want to use.

Write (and Proofread!) Your Web Content

Marketers don’t say “content is king” for no reason. Whether you write the website content yourself, or you hire a stellar web copywriter to help you, on-page text will allow visitors to learn about you, understand your services or products, and have a better sense of whether or not they’d like to purchase from you.

Content is also one of the first steps in getting you to rank highly on search engines. Make sure you have enough content on each page (at least a few paragraphs is a good start!) and that you proofread and edit as necessary before publishing.

Ask for Feedback and Suggestions

When you have a first completed draft of your website, ask your friends, colleagues, other entrepreneurs, etc. for advice and input. See what questions they have or where they may have trouble navigating for more information. You might be surprised to get some constructive criticism, but even if you don’t take all pieces of advice, be open to new ideas so that the website is the best it can be before you launch it across all of your marketing efforts!

Start Designing Your Website Today!

liveBooks offers mobile-responsive, customizable website templates for creative professionals and businesses worldwide.

The best part? Our website designs are ready for search engines and look great on any mobile device!

We’ve also got a top-notch support team who’s here to help you every step of the way. Start for free here.

 

The liveBooks platform is all about creating the most beautiful websites one can imagine. So what happens when the online portfolio of your dreams is a clean page where your images are the only actors? No header, no navigation items, no footer. It’s more than a minimalist approach to visual aesthetics.

Today, we will focus on the ability to hide elements from your page that we otherwise take for granted: the header, the navigation and the footer. Hiding the header and the navigation bar will put the elements in that page in full focus. You will create a distraction-free environment for your clients to enjoy your work.

Don’t worry! You can still help your visitors return to a previous page, say Homepage, by adding a link at the bottom of your gallery. This can be an image, a block of text or a simple button.

To hide the header, navigation and footer from a specific page, you must:

  1. Access your Design editor.
  2. Click on the page you wish to edit and select Page in the right-hand panel. 
  3. Click the gear icon and check the boxes you want to hide. 
  4. Save.
  5. Publish.

If you feel that your content is too close to either end of your screen, adjust the padding of the container(s). Also, make sure you check how your website will look on all devices by switching the preview from the options at the top of your editor.

It’s your choice which of the three elements you want to hide, and as always, we encourage you to be consistent in your editing. For example, if only one of your three portfolio pages have a hidden header, your clients could get disoriented and begin to ask themselves if the missing piece is a bug or some other flaw in the system. That’s why you should keep the same settings for the same type of pages.

The more you will look into the content and design editor of our platform, the more possibilities emerge. Don’t have a website of your own that you can play with? Start a free trial today and get two weeks free.

Why Your Creative Business Needs a Blog

A blog is more than just a place on your website to make announcements or post photos of your latest event.

Blogs have become one of the most useful marketing tools available to creative businesses, startups, and corporations alike. They’re an opportunity for your business to create valuable content that’s both helpful and engaging for your audience while also increasing your online visibility, ultimately leading to more brand awareness and potential clients.

Increase Your Website Traffic

One of the major benefits to having a blog for your business is that it can make it easier for people to find you online. In order to be more discoverable, you have to post regularly, think about what your audience is searching for, and use keywords throughout your site and blog. The more relevant content you post consistently on your website, the more likely Google is to push your website to the top of the results.

Writing SEO-friendly content for your blog and then seeding these blog posts to your social media channels increases the chance that your content will land in front of more eyes. To do this, make sure you’re using the most relevant keywords for the audience you’re targeting throughout your blog posts.

If you have a wedding photography business, for instance, you will want to include your city, photography style and anything else that you want your business to show up for in search results. Whenever you share on social media, be sure to find the most effective hashtags, too, to make sure your content is even more discoverable.

This will eventually lead to more web traffic as more people discover your blog posts and become aware of your business and everything you have to offer.

Position Yourself as a Thought Leader

Once people have found your blog, either through a search engine or social media, they’ll need a reason to stay or to come back for more. This is your chance to prove your knowledge about an industry while also providing value to your audience.

By writing about blog posts in your niche or field, you’ll be able to show potential clients that you have credibility: that you are knowledgeable, experienced and are very familiar with the industry.

Showcase Your Work

Now that your ideal clients have found your website, it’s time to show them your work. Through your blog posts, you can include examples of your services, past projects, or products that will give potential clients motivation to contact you. If you’re a creative in the wedding industry, consider blogging about a recent wedding client you had. This way, if a couple stumbles upon your website, they can see the work you do and have a better idea of what you could provide for their wedding.

Get to Know Your Audience

You can also use your blog as an opportunity to learn more about your audience. By using an extensive tool like Google Analytics, you can track your website’s visitor count and see which posts do well so you can use this information to see what topics your audience is most interested in.

Once you’ve figured out what garners the most attention on your blog and receives the most engagement, you can write more posts about that subject and potentially increase your monthly visits.

Start Blogging on a Responsive Website Template

liveBooks offers mobile-responsive, customizable website templates for creative professionals and businesses worldwide.

The best part? Our website designs are ready for search engines and look great on any mobile device!

We’ve also got a top-notch support team who’s here to help you every step of the way. Start for free here.

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