web design and seo tips for 2018

Web Design & SEO Tips for 2018

web design and seo tips for 2018

Billions of people go online to search for just about anything you can imagine, which is why all companies need to have a presence online. However, what good is a website if nobody can find it? Search engine optimization can help your site get in front of your targeted market because it is designed to draw visitors to your site.

You have to engage with your visitors if your goal is to convert them into sales. By having an SEO focus on your site’s design, you will be on your way to achieving your goals. That being said, here are some useful tips to help:

Focus On Making Things Easy For Readers

Have you ever visited a website and quickly left because it is too difficult to navigate? How about clicking on a link only to be shown an error page? These things are annoying. Asides from SEO, you need to focus on user experience. Web design is all about user experience. If you’re serious about converting traffic to customers, then consider this:

  • Create easy to navigate pages
  • Make sure to include internal links (link to different pages from within your site)
  • External links should open in a new window
  • Call to action statements should be easily understood
  • Each web page shouldn’t be content heavy because people become easily distracted
  • Make sure your website is giving everything your readers want

Pay Attention To Visuals

These days, people retain visuals more than written text. If you want people to remember what you are offering, then focus on making sure your website is visually appealing. Most people leave sites that are text heavy. That said, consider the following:

  • Use images that don’t slow your website down
  • Don’t use popups, overuse ads or have music play automatically
  • Break up content by using boxes and colors
  • Your call-to-action statements should be bold.

If you want to boost your SEO efforts, then focus on your website’s visuals. This can lead to people spending more time on your site.

Use Fresh Info

If your website has content that is outdated and not valuable, then your visitors will exit your site fast. Eventually, you’ll lose traffic, and you will struggle to convert traffic into paying customers. Fresh content can help people solve issues that they are currently facing, and fresh content increases the chances of them becoming paying customers. Consider this:

  • Old content that is not valuable or no longer useful will eventually lead to your SEO rankings to fall
  • Content should be relevant to your industry and should be on-point
  • Fresh content tends to show up higher in the search engines results pages

Bear in mind that you don’t have to keep changing your content every single day. Generally speaking, doing it a few times per month should be enough.

Mobile-Friendly

mobile web design

Nowadays, mobile optimization is far more critical than it has ever been. If your website is mobile-friendly, then you’ll have a better chance of converting website visitors into paying customers. Consider this:

  • Searches via mobile are becoming more common
  • People who find websites via search results and are not able to load them will go to a different site, which can lead to SEO rankings to fall.
  • Users want to be able to quickly and easily find info on any device. Otherwise, they will find other sites that are mobile-friendly.

If you want to improve your rankings via web design, then make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

Create Social Profiles

Everyone is using a mobile device which is not a secret. Asides from that, people are using social media. Just about everyone in the world is active on social media to a degree. You can create a social media page and direct traffic to your site from it. You might be surprised at how much traffic you can send to your website via social media. That being said, consider the following:

  • Plug-ins should be used to connect to various social media platforms, and they can be used to showcase your most recent posts as well as increase your page likes over time
  • For people to get to know you better, you should write an excerpt for your business or website
  • High-res images can impress people, so make sure you use them and don’t forget to include relevant titles.

Doing all of the above will help you grow your social media following and can help you connect with potential customers from around the country and the world.

If you want to improve your rankings in the search engines results pages, then keep the above website design tips for SEO in mind. Remember, having a well-designed website and focusing on search engine optimization can go a long way.

5 Must Have Features of a Startup Website

features-of-a-startup-website

responsive-design

In today’s digital age, having an online presence is essential for any business, especially a startup. Your website is where consumers will go to research your products/services, learn more about your company, and, most importantly, make a purchase. In order to convert visitors to your site into leads, there are certain essential things to include on your website. Ensure your site has these five must-have features, and you are sure to see conversions skyrocket.

Easily Accessible Contact Information

An easy route for customers to contact your business is key. If applicable, include your business phone number/email in the header, showcase detailed contact information in the footer, and have a contact page for visitors. Link to your social profiles aside the contact information.

It should be explicitly clear to all visitors how they should contact you. If a visitor has a question, you don’t want them to be searching around trying to find your phone number or email. Additionally, if you give users the option of contacting you through a form, make sure that you only require that they fill out the minimum number of necessary fields. If a user needs to fill out ten fields in order to contact you, they may be less inclined to do so, at which point you’ve lost a potential lead.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of startups and young businesses that have structured their sites the right way. Community Tax, an accounting startup in Chicago, makes sure to provide multiple ways of contacting the company throughout the site. Let’s look specifically at the homepage. The phone number is in the top nav along with a CTA that takes the user to the Contact page. There are also multiple contact forms throughout the homepage, so the user is never left wondering where or how they contact the company.

community-tax

Blog

Maintaining a blog is essential for any startup business to stay relevant in its respective industry. Creating blog posts is beneficial for your customers and your site’s search engine optimization. Companies that published 16 or more blog posts a month received approximately 4.5 times more leads than companies that published 0-4 blog posts a month, according to a Hubspot study. Thus, it is essential to publish fresh content frequently.

Cater your startup’s business blog for your brand, company goals, and your target audience. The company blog is an opportunity to educate and develop lasting relationships with customers. A blog adds value to your audience and gives your startup business a voice. Leverage high-quality original videos and photos about your business within your posts. Research, plan, and create content for your blog often; it could prove to be your top performing marketing channel.

Our next example comes from BioClarity, a startup skincare company. BioClarity focuses their blog posts on the topics that their target market is most interested in – anything related to acne and acne treatment. By posting regularly and writing on topics that their audience cares about, they are building a connection with potential customers and most likely converting more visitors through their blog.

featured-articles

Clear Call-to-Action

A visitor has landed on the page, now keep them on your site. Use a call-to-action to direct customers down the conversion path. The call-to-action should be clearly identified and should be in multiple areas throughout the website. Ensure your website visitors understand what your startup has to offer and how to obtain it as soon as possible.

Entice customers with variations of your call-to-action with different colors and fonts that stand out from the rest of the homepage. Always be testing call-to-action buttons to see what works best for driving conversions.

Optimize your call-to-action buttons for mobile visitors. Create a large contrasting button that is easy to tap and click. Online e-commerce and subscription-based sites like BarkBox often do a great job of having concise call-to-action buttons included their respective homepages.

barkbox-ad

User-Friendly and Mobile-Friendly

A clean website design and functionality are important for a startup website. Develop a succinct path to the different pages of your site. Site architecture and structure maintains the integrity of your site. Utilize a hamburger menu for responsive design; this will help mobile users (who will most likely make up the majority of your website visitors) locate website sections.

In addition to your site navigation, including a search box feature so customers can quickly locate the information they may need. Use visitor search box queries to improve site navigation, inspire blog post ideas, and create necessary pages on your site.

Your website must load quickly. For a speedy load time, enable compression to reduce the size of your CSS, HTML, optimize images, leverage browser caching, and reduce redirects. Page speed affects your search engine optimization and conversions on site.

Your website might look great, but does it guide visitors and help them fully understand the value of your startup business? In addition to a stellar layout and design, be sure to include the imperative “so what” information about your business. Show the value of your startup product or service and lure your audience into conversions.

Social Proof & Testimonials

Include this on your homepage to establish validity and credibility with visitors. Reviews and partnerships are trust signals for visitors. ChowNow has a dedicated section for testimonials and reviews about their product and services. Small local businesses can also benefit from showcasing client reviews. Although it might not always make sense to have a whole page dedicate to testimonials like ChowNow, many companies like Source Capital, display their reviews in sliders.

google-reviews

Does your company have any awards or certifications in your industry? Add the recognition to the homepage; it supports the quality of your startup’s work and the image as an expert. Include the reviewer’s name, title, location, and from where the review came if applicable.

Conclusion

These five must-haves will set up your startup for success. Use your site as a 24/7 marketer. A site that stands out in your industry will ease customers into conversions. A well-written and clever copy will keep visitors converting.

Web Design Vancouver

Hurricane Web Design Vancouver
#1002 – 1831 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1E4
(604) 256-7081


brandon-mBrandon is an SEO Specialist born and raised in Southern California that enjoys developing compelling online user experiences and marketing campaigns that search engines love.

It’s Time to Get Your Modern E-Commerce Site on the Web

ecommerce-site-on-the-web
Are you a business owner? Are you in the process of establishing a new business? Even if you are only in the “could do” stage, you need to think about getting a site for your business on the web. This is the place where millions of people will come to see what your new business may have to offer them. If you want to gain the widest possible exposure for your business, this is one step you definitely need to take.

It Isn’t Hard to Build a Site, But it Needs to Be a Good One.

ipad

It’s hardly a chore these days to put up an official site for your business. But just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should. If you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, you just may make a mess of things. This is why it’s always a good idea to get professional help from an expert in these matters. If you want to establish a first-class modern e-commerce site, it makes sense to take counsel from a pro.

What Features Should Your Official Company Website Include?

shopping-cartThere are some very important features that your new website will need to have. One of them is first class e-commerce web design. To be seen as a credible competitor, your site will need to contain such elements as a web store and shopping cart. It will also need to make use of the latest modern responsive website design features.

It’s an excellent idea to install an instant messenger system on your site so that visitors can quickly reach you with any questions, comments, or concerns that they may have. You can also have your official website synced up with your Twitter feed so that visitors can get the latest news.

A Fully Modern Web Design is the Mark of a Credible Online Vendor

If you want to survive in your chosen industry, you will need to establish instant credibility with the public. The way to do this is to present your prospective customers with a fully modern web design. Your site needs to be able to give your customers everything they need to quickly and easily make a purchase from you.

Calling upon the services of a professional e-commerce website developer is your best bet in this situation. At a stroke, you can get the aid and counsel of experts in the industry. If you want to make the best possible first impression on millions of visitors, you need a website of the best possible quality. This is only possible when you hire design experts to build your official company site.

Vancouver Web Design

Hurricane Web Design Vancouver
#1002 – 1831 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1E4
(604) 256-7081

Key Elements in Improving UX

Designing websites for SEO and designing websites for user experience are often two very different processes. At times the priorities are at odds with each other – what is good for SEO may be difficult for the user, and vice versa. But designing a website with the needs of your visitors in mind can drastically increase your conversions.

While the population as a whole is gradually becoming more comfortable with navigating less-than-friendly websites, some groups – such as senior citizens and the visually-impaired – still struggle with accessing information from difficult or disorienting websites. Not factoring in the needs of these groups can result in a huge loss in sales. One study from the Nielsen Norman Group found that sales could increase by 35% when a website was designed to create the same experience for senior citizens as for other demographics.

Three key elements – appearance, navigation, and action – are crucial in considering how to create the best user experience on your site. Let’s take a look at some real-life examples of websites that incorporate some of the important elements of an accessible user experience.

Appearance

Readable Fonts

Using a font that is easy to read is the only way to guarantee that people gather the information you are presenting on your site. It’s also an important element of making sure your website is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which has guidelines for creating accessible web pages.

Default font size is generally 12-pixels, and using responsive web design can help maintain your layout if a user magnifies text through their browser or accesses your site from a tablet or mobile device. Some sites incorporate a magnifier right on the webpage, which is much more convenient than altering browser settings. Even if your font is a perfect size, it must also be a readable style.

contact-the-city

Image source

Further reading: Use Legible Font Sizes from Varvy, Choosing Web Fonts from Vieo Design

Small Chunks of Text

Website visitors are often looking for information quickly, so make it easy to skim by breaking up your content into easily absorbed sections. Separate the sections using bolded headings and subheadings, and incorporate images throughout your pages. This makes your information seem more accessible and less intimidating and makes it more likely that your visitors will stay on your site.

Further reading: Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content from Copyblogger

Vibrant and High-Contrast Colors

First impressions are always influential, but perhaps never more so than on a website. Color is the biggest factor in website first impressions, with one study finding that up to 90% of initial website judgments can be based exclusively on color choice.

Catch visitors’ attention and make navigation easier by using vibrant and/or high contrast colors throughout your site. Bold and vibrant colors are simply attractive, like this example from El Burro.

el-burro-mexican

Image source

Further reading: Vibrant Colors in Web Design from UX Planet

Navigation

Simple Navigation Bar

When visitors arrive at your site, they want to easily know where to go and how to find the information they are looking for. They also need it to be easy to jump between sections of your site. Few things are worse than coming across a website that seems impossible to navigate. Failing to optimize your site for easy navigation can have disastrous consequences that will plague your business. The navigation bar at the top of the page is the most important element of navigation: it is your opportunity to direct your visitors to the most important parts of your site. For the most user-friendly experience, lock the navigation bar, so it is always visible, no matter how far a visitor scrolls down.

TransUnion’s ShareAble for Hires does just that. Their navigation bar remains at the top of every page as an easy reference, and it has only five categories for users to choose from. These categories have specific labels that anticipate what the user might be looking for.

 

transunion

Image source

Minimal Moving Parts

For the best user experience, visitors should be able to focus on the task at hand without getting distracted by pop-ups, chat bars, or other elements that intervene with the user’s view. Too many of these can cause a visitor to leave your website out of frustration, especially if they are persistent and have no clear exit. While these elements can be used to great effect for capturing leads, they should be used with caution and always with the user’s experience and intentions in mind.

Further reading: 10 Guidelines for Navigation from Usability Geek

Action

Guide your visitors to precisely the action you want them to take with specific and highly visible call-to-action buttons. Renovate America does this by explaining briefly about the possible tasks, and then having clearly marked buttons like ‘Find a Contractor’ and ‘Get Financing.’

renovate-america

Image source

It’s important to not overuse call-to-action buttons. Place them at strategic points throughout your site, so they show up when it makes sense for a user to click it. For example, a ‘start here’ button makes sense at the top of the homepage, but a ‘try now’ button might have more success farther down on the page after the visitor has had a chance to learn about your product or services. Of course, these buttons need to follow the guidelines for color and font outlined above.

Further reading: How to Create the Perfect Call-to-Action from Optinmonster

Making it easy for your visitors to navigate your site is essential to increasing conversions. Improving your user experience will have the greatest effect on older demographics, but even younger and more tech-savvy consumers will leave your site if it is difficult to use or unattractive to them. Make your website work best for your visitors by considering all of these factors and how they can work together to create the best user experience for your customers.

Web Design Vancouver BC

Hurricane Web Design Vancouver
#1002 – 1831 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1E4
(604) 256-7081


Cat Nilsson is a Managing Editor at 365 Business Tips. She is an expert in content marketing and non-branded growth. She enjoys writing on a plethora of topics, from SEO to social media.

7 Web Design Trends to Watch in 2018

web-design

Web design has always been a creative discipline, and you could say that trends have nothing to do with creativity. You would be right up to some point, but you should also be aware of the audience that is customers. Not worrying about trends is like making an art house cinema, which is fine if you’re satisfied with a small fan base. But as we live in capitalistic times, we can’t afford to be artists without the audience. That’s why we should look at trends as some evolution of the language of our audience, for every art is a form of communication. In 2017 there were many changes in this communication, and they are the foundation of what’s gonna happen in 2018. So let’s take a look at the next steps of this language evolution that will make your sites innovative and user-friendly, at the same time keeping their beauty and consistency.

1. The world beyond the screen

illusions-in-web-design

The first step in successful communication is to pull your listeners into your world. Flat design trends that were popular in the past are not gonna work anymore because they seem too strict and restrictive. People want to see what’s beyond, and your biggest tool for showing them that is shadows. We know, shadows are nothing new in the web design, but web browsers have progressed and allowed some very exciting variations. You can now play with shadows using parallax layouts and grids to achieve depth and create the illusion of the new world behind the screen.

2. Somewhere over the rainbow

Probably every person alive dreams of going over the rainbow, but not many of the web designs have the means to take them there. It is an unwritten rule that you need to stick with ‛safe’ colors, but computer monitors and screens of other devices have technologically advanced and have become able to reproduce richer colors. Every experienced and innovative SEO Agency will emphasize the importance of being courageous with your colors – combining vibrant shades and supersaturation with reimagined headers (some hard angles and slashes) will instantly attract your visitors’ eye and make them want to explore the world on the other side of the rainbow.

3. Lightweight eye candy

visual-design

It has been proven that videos are real eye candy for your visitors, but some websites have performance issues that don’t allow them to have a video background.  There is a simple solution for this problem all you have to do is to make your images move using lightweight JavaScript animations called particle backgrounds. They are made in a way that the movement is a natural part of the background, so the loading time is a piece of cake. If it sounds too good to be true, just look at the impact that similar motion graphics have on social media.

4. Personality & Character

Using motion graphic techniques mentioned above can sometimes seem automated and not live enough, so you might want to spice up things a little bit by adding some personality and character. One of the best ways to bring your site to life is to give it a unique visual voice through custom illustrations. If you find the right artist for the job, he could tailor his art to your brand, giving it personality in a playful manner. No matter what your brand identity is, there is certainly an illustration out there that is a perfect match. People like fun stuff, and if your business is in a more serious sector, these illustrations will make it more approachable to your customers.

5. Every language needs the right letters

textual-content

The textual content on your site is not there just to provide all the necessary information, but it can also be a powerful visual tool. Typography can be of great assistance in setting the tone of your website as it can build your personality and evoke emotions. There is a great opportunity to use custom fonts now that screen resolutions have become much sharper and easier to read. Big & bold is back in fashion, and if you combine it with serif and sans serif headings, it is the thing that will make your visitors keep reading.

6. Take it apart

The key to attract your customers is to try to give them an active role, and for that, you need to have interactive content. People have always loved solving puzzles and looking for clues. This tendency was recognized already at the beginning of 2017 when unconventional asymmetrical layouts were introduced. This technique of broken layouts is going to be even stronger in 2018 since it has been proven that this design can produce quite balancing layouts. So by breaking it apart, you will be able to create a beautiful balance that is distinctive and unique.

7. Take it with you

And in the end, the thing that probably everyone has been expecting – mobile browsing. There probably isn’t a single person who doesn’t at least occasionally shop on his smartphone, and this browsing has now officially surpassed desktop. There were some issues in the past, like how to create decent menus and submenus on a small screen, but now mobile design is fully mature and large number of users have already adopted it. You might not be able to enjoy the full resolution of high-quality pictures, but it certainly saves space and time with every step.

web-design-trends

If you look at this upcoming trends, you’ll see that these are just improvements in the communication. They will allow you to pull the customers to your world, to bribe them with the explosion of colors and to create illusions with a personal touch. These are not rules, but elements of the interactive playground where you’ll be able to fulfill everyone’s deepest desires.

Web Design Vancouver BC

Hurricane Web Design Vancouver
#1002 – 1831 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1E4
(604) 256-7081

unique-designs

Unique Designs For A Website To Be Visually Appealing

unique-designs
Web designers use different designs to appeal to the audience, and this is the reason why they ensure that they keep specific factors in mind when they are creating designs for a website. These designs need to appeal to the targeted audience so that they stay on the website and fulfill the call to action.

Meeting the needs of the targeted audience

Every website has unique features, and it needs to meet and match the needs of the client. When it comes to designs, websites can deploy character design, animation, integrated location maps, photo and text placements in the layout of the website. For example, take animation for instance. Experienced web designers state that the use of animation is not fancy. However, it can make the website unique. The layout allows you to scroll down the page and have the background animate gradually. Animation can improve the user experience as the transition is noticed as you go from one section to another.

How is the website design determined?

The following are some of the factors that determine the design of the website:

  1. The designer must decide where the specific design elements should appear. This will determine the focal point where the design might not be very intricate and detailed. This is precisely true for designers that are using character design for their websites.
  2. Experts companies like Las Vegas Web Design Co in the USA say that when it comes to parallax scrolling, where the background moves at a slower pace compared to the foreground, there is a 3D effect when visitors scroll down the page. However, it should be done by a skilled web designer or else the effect will get overwhelming.
  3. Displaying multiple sides of a product in one glance is perfect for product pages. Visitors can understand products better when this design is used. It is ideal for e-commerce websites that sell products online. The images have the same background, and this makes for a smooth and seamless core.
  4. When it comes to some websites, designers use real human beings that are behind the apps, products, and companies of the website. They place photos of these people in their descriptions and role in the website design.
  5. Black and white color schemes are at times resorted to by some web designers. This is a reverse color scheme and is often used by web designers. Some designers often couple these black and white designs with grids to create the desired effects.

Therefore, web designers across the world use the above design ideas when it comes to the creation of their websites. The site should be interactive and communicate to the visitor when it comes to selling products or services. The design of the website will also help visitors to navigate without difficulties. Every website must be unique so that they appeal to the targeted audience and create a positive impression to keep them coming back to the site again and again!

Web Designer Vancouver

Hurricane Web Design Vancouver
#1002 – 1831 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1E4
(604) 256-7081
https://www.hurricaneweb.net


sujainSujain Thomas is a freelancer, blogger, and most importantly SEO specialist attached to a private SEO company of repute in Boston. She is an avid blogger and a source of inspiration and authority for budding SEO experts.

10 website design trends expected for 2017

10 Website Design Trends Expected for 2017

Happy New Year! Now that 2016 is in the books, everyone is looking ahead to the upcoming year. In web design, this means looking at trends from the past two or three years, which set the direction for some stunning design innovations in 2017. Here are some of the big ones.

1. Big Type, Bold Statements

Websites are starting to use fewer words to get their point across, preferring it short and sweet rather than long and explanatory. This is allowing room for bigger and more creative fonts, and many of them are custom fonts rather than the typical ones we’re used to.

2. Composition

Composition refers to how everything is laid out, and the direction web design is headed points to simple, minimalist designs and layouts for 2017. This is not to say that websites will no longer contain information, but accessing it will be streamlined, either through longer scrolling or innovative navigation menus. This is all in response to the growing number of people using the web on mobile phones.

3. More Scalable Vector Graphics

Scalable Vector Graphics, or SVG, are a way of manipulating a graphic to resize it for different uses (say, cell phone screens versus tablets versus desktop computers). In the past, this was done by stretching and shrinking more traditional formats such as.JPEG and.GIF, but vector graphics have an advantage over these because they bypass pixels to present a crisp, clear graphic no matter what the device. Predictions for 2017 see the use of these growing in response to broader use.

4. Dynamic Color

Color schemes and palettes are moving in the direction of being less aggressive and bright. Some designers are using natural greens, browns, and pinks while other designers are going for pastels. Subtlety is the color of 2017.

5. Animations

Descriptive Zoopraxography Athletes Running Animated 12

Eadweard Muybridge [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Animations have always been part of web design because they’re eye-catching and fun. This will continue in 2017, especially as. GIFs become more mainstream. More attention will be focused on them this year, especially as new tools are developed to work with them.

6. Personalization

Web design has always been about attracting potential clients, and what better way to do that than by making it as appealing to individuals as a site can? Designers are looking this year toward making content personalized users, allowing them to filter their experience in new ways. This has already been a challenge, but this year more and more designers are taking it on.

7. Virtual Reality

While gamers will be among the first to benefit from this, web designers are challenged with incorporating virtual reality into websites. The objective is to take the user’s experience to the next level by making the site highly interactive and the visuals sweeping and immersive.

8. New Navigation Menu Conventions

Navigation menus will undergo changes in the coming year. Traditional menus are on the top or down the side of a site, but more designers have been creating new menus that will eventually replace the old conventions. These include splash menus, constraint menus, and especially visual menus with pictures that link to the text information.

9. Smoother Transitions During Load Time

Web designers call the transition during a page’s load time “interstitial anxiety,” referring to the anticipation of the user while the page loads. Transitions during this phase are not just about fast load times this year. They’re also about presenting content to users while they wait, so the user has something pleasing or interesting to the eye as the page is loading.

10. Age-Oriented Design

An important aspect of a user’s experience with the web is whether or not the content is useful to them. Websites are usually made with an “average” audience in mind, but more websites now will be designing with age in mind. This means muted colors, larger letters, and simplicity for elderly users, and bright colors, cartoonish fonts, and lots of animations for younger users.

These are just a few of the exciting innovations in web design this year, changes which can bring a stylish look to any website. Designers are looking at making sites that are informative but also pleasing to the eye, leading it around the page to maximize the user’s experience. Ease of use is a target goal this year, and designers are working hard to come up with new ways to make that happen.

Web Designer Vancouver

Hurricane Web Design Vancouver
#1002 – 1831 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1E4
(604) 256-7081
https://www.hurricaneweb.net/


nick rojasNick Rojas is a self-taught, serial entrepreneur who’s enjoyed success working with and consulting for startups. Using his journalism training, Nick writes for publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. He concentrates on teaching small and medium-sized enterprises how best to manage their social media marketing and define their branding objectives.

wordpress enfold theme

Enfold Theme Options Not Showing: The Solution in WordPress

Enfold is a fantastic theme for WordPress that we are using here at Hurricane Web Design for a number of our clients. You can make beautiful and mobile responsive websites right within the WordPress dashboard without having to get your hands dirty in CSS that much.

enfold theme options not showing

The case of the missing Enfold Theme Options (click to enlarge)

Recently, we had a client who had their contact form disappear on the home page of their website. The form being used was built-in to Enfold. We didn’t change anything on the site and wondered why it would just disappear. When we logged into the dashboard and attempted to edit the home page, the page would begin to load but the box where you would edit the content displayed a spinning wheel. Obviously, we couldn’t the page so we went into the Enfold options within the Dashboard. Unfortunately, when we went there, the Enfold theme options weren’t showing. We were left without the left-hand menu that would display “general styling”, “advanced styling”, “header layout”, etc. We began scratching our heads as to what happened.

Why Weren’t the Enfold Theme Options Not Working?

Once we went back to the WordPress dashboard we realized that WordPress had automatically updated to version 4.1 and the version of the Enfold theme we had installed (version 2.8) would break in WordPress 4.1. We quickly realized we needed to upgrade Enfold. But, we are paranoid WordPress web designers and chose to make a backup of the theme before upgrading. So, we renamed the theme on the server via FTP and uploaded the new version and re-enabled it. That didn’t work!

Finally the Solution

The next step kind of scared us, but we thought we should try deleting the theme and upload the new version of the theme. Before we did that, we used BackupBuddy to make a complete backup of the site just in case it broke the site. Once that was done, we deleted the current theme, uploaded the new version and enabled it and it worked fine.

Our Recommended Steps to Upgrade Enfold

  1. Backup your theme by downloading the theme folder to your computer or some other safe place or run BackupBuddy to make a complete backup of your WordPress website.
  2. Delete the Enfold theme on your web server.
  3. Enable one of the default WordPress themes.
  4. Upload the new Enfold version.
  5. Enable it in the WordPress dashboard

This worked great for us and hopefully, it will work for you. If you’d like to purchase Enfold (and we highly recommend you do), you can buy Enfold here on ThemeForest.

Here are a few sites we’ve built with Enfold:

Web Designer in Vancouver

Hurricane Web Design Vancouver
#1002 – 1831 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1E4
(604) 256-7081
hurricaneweb.net

WordPress 3.9: What’s New for Web Designers

wordpress 3.9 upgrade

WordPress is a content management system that can be used by anyone to build, design and maintain a blog or website. It’s an open source CMS, which means it’s free for everyone to use. Initially, WordPress was intended to be just an easy way for internet users to set up blogs. However, due to the efforts of a huge open source community of WordPress programmers, there have been various improvements and extensions made to WordPress. It has now become much more than just an ordinary tool for potential bloggers and web designers and powers close to 20% of all websites on the Internet.

What’s New in WordPress 3.9

WordPress recently made the WordPress 3.9 upgrade available on the market. The upgrade comes with some additional refinements that are geared towards better website management. It was dubbed the name “Smith” in honor of Jimmy Smith, who was an African-American Jazz Musician.

In addition, the WordPress 3.9 was also designed to provide users with a better understanding of how their content would look like once it was published. This has been fantastic for web designers like us.

New features in WordPress 3.9:

Improved Visual Editing

WordPress 3.9 has been equipped with a new visual editor for high-speed functions, better accessibility, and mobile support. Users can now paste directly into the WordPress dashboard from their word processor. This helps to save from wasting time that usually occurs when cleaning up messy styling.

Easy Image Editing

It now offers quick access to crop and rotation tools. Users will now find it much easier to edit their images. In addition, editing posts and scaling images can be done directly in the editor.

Dragging and Dropping Images

With the WordPress 3.9 upgrade, uploading images have become quite simple. The process now involves taking your images from your desktop and then dropping them into the editor. Most users have found this particular feature to be quite efficient, practical and easy.

More Options for Audio and Video

Media options have been updated for better image galleries and it media clips (audio and video) now have playlists.

Live Widget and Header Previews

Users can now add, edit and reorganize their site’s widgets much easier. There is also an option that allows live previews of your changes and you only save them when you see that everything is to your satisfaction. This enables you to avoid small errors and mistakes with your widgets in WordPress.

The enhanced header image tool also allows users to upload, crop and manage their headers as they customize their theme.

New Theme Browser

In WordPress 3.9, users can now immerse themselves even more in the boundless supply of free WordPress themes. You can choose more themes depending on your personal tastes and preferences.

Even though the previous version of WordPress 3.8 offered users a variety of features, it was still not up to date with the current needs of the market. WordPress.org decided to launch the 3.9 to provide users with more unique features that are practical and easy to implement. It has received great reviews from users and it is steadily growing in popularity.

Hurricane Web Design Vancouver
#1002 – 1831 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1E4
(604) 256-7081
www.hurricaneweb.net/

Vancouver Website Designer

Five Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Mobile Website

mobile web designIf you are the decision maker for marketing your business, then there’s no question you recognize just how necessary it is that you have a strong presence on the web. There are many ways to create this presence, from social media websites to blog sites, and you need to have a presence on all of them. One of the current, most effective means of taking complete advantage of the Internet’s marketing potential is by having a mobile site. A mobile website is exactly what it seems to be – a website specifically produced to be accessed on mobile devices. So, why does your company need to have a mobile website if its conventional web site is doing quite well?

Here are 5 convincing reasons why you need a mobile site:

Visual beauty

You may be wondering why everyone can’t view your conventional site on their mobile devices. The reality is, they can. The additional reality is that your conventional website simply does not look that good on a mobile device. Do this: access your website and reduce the view on your computer’s web browser by zooming out until you have to squint to read the content on the page. I think you would agree, this is not a good viewing experience, is it?

The statistics

The numbers don’t lie. Simply put, there are more people today who utilize their mobile devices to access the web than they do their desktop computer or laptop computers. Additionally, a lot of people who are on the Internet today ONLY do so through their mobile devices. Can your business afford not to meet this significantly big sector of the market?

The cost of data transfer

A significant number of mobile customers must pay data transfer charges. Conventional websites have much more data than mobile websites and therefore can cost people a great deal of money to view your website. Ask yourself this: how many customers are willing to have to pay you in order to have your market to them?

Navigation

As mentioned before, conventional websites are a great deal smaller on those small mobile device displays. This means that visitors to your website need to do a great deal of scrolling in order to view the whole page… and let’s be honest, website visitors would rather not work in order to view a web page. Likewise, it’s almost impossible to tap navigation buttons on such a small display when the website hasn’t been enhanced for mobile devices.

Today’s audience on the web

The truth is that a lot of people, including your potential clients, access the web by means of a mobile device. This also means that a lot of people utilize their mobile devices for a great number of things – shopping, searching, entertainment, and a whole lot more – plus these are all features you could include in your mobile site to widen your reach and increase your client base.

As you may see, there are a number of excellent reasons to design a mobile website for your business as quickly as you can. The mobile website experts at Hurricane Web Design can help you create a mobile site for your business. Feel free to contact us at 604-477-1996 or email us at questions@hurricanewebdesign.com.

Web Design Company Vancouver

Hurricane Web Design Vancouver
#1002 – 1831 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1E4
(604) 256-7081