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Archive for the ‘resources’ Category

Hackers Point Large Botnet At WordPress Sites

by Matt Adams

Are you using wordpress for your website content management system or blogging platform? If so you need to read this.

In recent news over the last few days, hackers have been targeting and sucessfully gaining access to wordpress admin panels by brute force. The most common issue is out of date plugins / wordpress files, and simple dictionary based passwords.

So what do you do?

4 easy steps to keep your site secure

  1. Stop using ADMIN as the username.
    If you are using admin, login, create a new user with full admin rights. Then logout as admin, and in as your new user. Delete the old admin username, and assign all posts, content and pages to your new user.
  2. Use secure passwords
    8 – 12 characters long, with upper, lower case letters as well as a number. Using names, birthdays and uniqe spellings can help. Like Thom@s1198 would be secure.
  3. Keep WP and all plugins up to date.
    WP makes this process pretty easy. Regular updates should not take long, and are usually pretty painless. In your apperence > Plugins screen you will see which plugins need updated. And WP core can be updated from the dashboard home screen. Be sure you have a recent database backup before doing these updates.
  4. Avoid using too many plugins.
    Yes, there is always an app for that. There are 100k+ plugins for wordpress. Anyone can write a plugin. Often plugins can leave security holes and cause a drain on the server. Remove any and all unused plugins, and always check the plugin reviews before installing.

Need Assistance?

Factor1 members: We’ll do this for you automatically. We do these checks often, but will make a special effort this week to keep your site secure.

Not a member? We can perform a full site security scan, which includes a database back up, run all WP core and plugin updates, evaluate all user logins, and remove any and all issues we find. We have a one time fee of $50.

Start here and we’ll have your site security up-to-date within 2 days.

What you already know about the web

by Ryan Russel

It’s a common dilemma  you want to build a fantastic new web presence, but you have many voices in the office competing to be heard and postulating about what will make for the most effective next iteration of your website. A lot of questions get thrown around in brainstorming sessions, but what you might need is a very simple roadmap to make use of all of the opinions and allow key players to weigh in and be heard. Matt won’t brag about it, but he has written some fantastically helpful articles that will aid your team in mining your internal data about what you already know about the web in such a way as to put your thoughts and insights into some groupings that any design or marketing team can use.

So, go read this ARTICLE on Church Marketing Sucks.

And you can also read THIS ONE that Matt outlined and wrote for the author.

If you want to follow up with us to launch or lead your next big project, you can share your team’s findings HERE.

Every team that is deeply involved in the success of your organization possesses valuable knowledge, insights and  understandings of your core audience. Don’t leave that data un-mined; put it to work for you and take ownership in communicating about who you are and what you do in a powerful, creative and beautiful way.

5 tips to planning a website that works

by Matt Adams

Planning a website can be a big task. All the content, users, ideas, and don’t forget the SEO and images.

Pretend your friend Tom just remodeled his house. An amazing kitchen, knocked out down wall and turned a spare bedroom into space for the master bathroom and closet.

Now you see how happy they are, and you want the same thing! Great, you tell your contractor to copy it, and you will be happy. So now you are done, but you remember you don’t need that much closet space, and now you no longer have a home office. And since you would rather just eat out, this bigger kitchen makes coffee and pours a mean bowl of cereal, but thats all it gets used for.

Sure the construction and materials may be top notch, but if the function doesn’t meet your needs who cares, you needed your own solution. It could be made with the finest materials in the world, it still won’t work any better for you.

So don’t approach your website with the same approach. Let’s start with some fresh thinking.

Who uses this site?
Silly question maybe, but really ask WHO. What are your visitors here for? Checking through your site traffic logs may identify key pages and where people spend their time. Maybe it’s research on a product or service, maybe it’s finding your locations, or maybe its to browse and buy your product directly online. Identify the top functions your site must do and do well.

Whats wrong with the old site.
By stepping back and identifying the issues, the pitfalls and things you need changed will help identify HOW they get addressed on the new site. Is it hard to manage? Are the gaps in content and shopping experience? Maybe it’s just out dated and dying.

Knowing the wrong will help identify the right fix.

How should your site work?
Don’t worry about the technical details. How do you think a user should find your site, navigate, and walk away with? Now look at your best customers, what did they do? Did they buy 5 products because the related product widget suggested it? Or did they view your entire portfolio before calling you? This is a harder questions because you may not have specific data to back it up, but knowing what worked for a good customer vs the way you think it should work is key.

How can you simplify?
No one wants to make something more complicated. Adding functions and features often leads to complexity. So in what ways can you expedite the site to fully meet the users needs with less clicks, less searching and less confusion?

Where can we be the best?
Not where can we do what that other site is doing, but where can you be the leader? So often we are asked to simply do what the other guy is doing. This rarely works out well. Recently we had a project for an organization here in Tempe, and they really broke down how their site would be the best site for their mission, vision and audience. They had clear answers on where their site would be the easiest and best communication tool for their organization. This was refreshing. The site is still in development and will be live soon, but its already a great site because they wanted to be the best they could be.

Now that you have some of the first 5 things to work on, you are on your way to crafting a better website.

Want to talk about these questions with a pro? We are here to help.

Website Content, 5 Important Reminders

by Ryan Russel


Why these reminders about your website content?
Because content is king!

We are having a lot of fun around here with a new project for one of our longtime client’s, Amy’s VIP Events, because it’s another opportunity to go deeper and help them receive maximum impact on their site, generating more new sales leads than before. A big step forward on this project will be SEO work focused through website content.

Here are 5 things that you need to know about your website content:

  1. Words matter. There are 1,000′s of webpages not indexed properly with Google and worse yet, 23% of all websites are still coded in flash, making their website content not mobile compatible nor search friendly. Read it straight from apple.
  2. Your words must be your own. You might be in a market with a lot of common phrases, definitions and terms, but the bulk of your website content needs to be original. Google knows plagiarism and just like in school, when you copy other people’s work it hurts you more than it helps.
  3. Do Your Research. There is a lot of competition on the internet, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is stiff competition. Chances are very good that you might find a search rearm or two where there is a lot of opportunity because it they are being overlooked for more obvious terms that have many more competitors. Be sneaky and try related SEO terms where your website content can be a winner.
  4. Stay focused and patient with your words. Believe it or not, everything on the internet isn’t instantaneous. Stay consistent on developing your content using your search terms. Keep writing, some results will come quickly while changes will slowly have impact. It can take up to three months for google to recognize all of your hard work and for your to properly dial things in.
  5. You are never done. Write, write, re-write, watch your performance, adjust, continue on. Writing good copy is an ongoing process. Keep your site current. Never take down old stuff, but rather archive it or hide it, keeping it live but never gone. Google likes a lot of text and it helps the more pages that you have on the relevant topics you are trying to reach.

A piece of encouragement, writing good copy and content for your website is hard work, so don’t be frustrated if it takes you some time.
Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some of Amy’s SEO and ad placement results and also some (but not all) of our key processes. Amy’s VIP Events specializes in delivering custom Masters Tours and awesome pricing for daily Masters Badges.

We can make your site perform better too, so contact us!

Why Your Website Is Still The Center Of Your Online Universe

by Ryan Russel

Strategies vary. So argue if you would like to with this article. What is for certain is that you need to have an online marketing strategy. If you are a non-profit, your strategy is just as important for you as it would be it you were leading a for-profit enterprise.

Here’s the baseline: In order for you to be successful, people need to be able to connect with the core story of what you do.

So, if you run an AC/cooling company, your core products, services, and company characteristics need to be readily and easily available online. If you head up an orphanage in Africa, the same is true for you as well. Give us pictures, insights, compelling, life-change connections to the children that you are caring for. Let us know how by connecting with you that ultimately we are getting the most impact for our dollars. This is an ultra-competitve marketplace. I can get my AC repaired by anyone. Your service, pricing and reputation must be ‘out there’ for us to evaluate. There are hundred’s of non-profit orphanages in Africa that are vying for our dollars. Your organization must be clear and compelling. It’s your story and you want and need us to connect with it

Story telling begins on your website. It’s is the center of your online universe. It is the hub of your wheel. It is what makes everything else goes around. To steal the analogy from this hotly circulated picture (below)… your website is your bakery. Use it to put out the product that you connect all of your social media and advertising portals back to. Central to everything you do is your web real-estate. Make it mobile friendly, simple to read, intuitive to navigate, and have a domain name / url that easy to remember. Keep your content fresh and current. Have purchases or donations be smooth as silk online. Connect, link, reference, promote everything back onto your website.

 

 

 

Receiving Donations Online

by Ryan Russel

As we work with many non-profits, we get asked this question quite regularly: “How can we receive donations online?”

After you have received your 501c3 status, these are the steps:

Step 1
Open a bank account
* Most any bank has electronic services available.

Step 2 
Open a Paypal merchant account

Step 3
Connect Paypal with your bank account
Here is PayPal’s very helpful FAQ

Step 4
Take the HTML code from Paypal, insert via HTML editor onto one your your website’s pages

- OR -

Step 4w

Create a Wufoo account.
Make the world’s easiest donation form.
Embed the code into your site follow instructions…

This is just one simple way of doing taking in donations online. We hope this helps, but feel free to post your questions in the comment section of this blog.

Your business does not need a phone app

by Matt Adams

You heard me. Your business does not need a phone app in the apple or android app stores. More than likely.

Last week, a client of ours was super excited to tell me all about this new web app they are “creating”. By creating I mean they paid some phone app company a set up fee (usually $250 – 500) and $50 a month for. When I asked what the app would do, they rattled off all the amazing features. Features like a home page, news, about us, contact, directions, and product info. So I asked to clarify, that this is indeed an “app”, Yes, they proclaimed! It will be free in the apple and android app stores.

Here is my giant issue. Please hear me very clearly here.

If your app is no more than basic content found on your site, its a waste of time, money and your efforts.

Yes apps are all the rage. All the cool kids are talking about apps. Trust me, no one is going to be browsing the app store, and think to themselves, “sweet! a company I have never heard of has an app about their company / service / product, and its free!”. No, no one will think that.

Save your money, time and app lust. I have a fix for you. Build a site that is mobile friendly. We have a few ways of doing this. One is responsive. Take our site for example. Resize your browser window smaller. Bam! It re-organizes itself to fit the screen size. Navigations get touch friendly, fonts remain clear and readable. Another alternative is a seperate mobile site with the core info, that we have an auto detect script set up on. Basically if the visitor screen size is less than 640px wide, send them to the mobile site. Give them an option back to the main full site. Yes, you can still use a QR barcode to direct people to your mobile site. They can call you, map your location, and learn more all from the mobile web, with no need for an app.

You may have a need for an app. If your idea is functional, helps a user, provides them a beneficial resource for planning, searching, researching, or tracking something. Great, go for it! Verizon has a great app to track my minutes used on my iPhone.  Starbucks has a store locator, with info on menus, amenities, and wifi. E-trade has an app to search, research and watch over your trades. Catch my drift here?

Make it useful, keep it relevant, and make it a benefit to your users (not just you). Or dont do it at all.

iPad accounts for 97 percent of US tablet web browsing

by Matt Adams

So we all know I am a geek, and love all things apple. I still give a lot of respect to the others out there. When chatting about tablets, it’s hard NOT to talk about the ipad, but there are plenty of others. A few great android tablets and the HP & Blackberry are pretty solid competitors as well.

So I assumed that the iPad would lose some market share. But per comScore’s May 2011 report, the apple iPad is 97% of tablet web traffic. 97%!!!!! Thats great. I love my ipad, and i know i love surfing on it. But I was really shocked to see the numbers where they are.

So as we push forward with sites we develop, more and more are 100% iPad friendly. Of course we still want to make the others can play nice too, but for sure reaching 97% of the tablet web surfers is our goal.

Is your website tablet friendly? Anyone out there use a non ipad tablet?

Placing value on quality

by Matt Adams

Where do you stand where quality counts?

Oxford suits is the only company left in america today that still makes its suits by hand. Seriously by hand. No machines. Can you imagine the hours to sew a single suit?

Check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlX9pcBOqT0

Quality, attention to detail, pride in your work. they all matter.

Drive to Compete

by Ryan Russel

This morning I went to the high school track closest to where I live to put in some speed work as I train for my first marathon. I arrived very early only to find that the track was in complete lock down. Every gate closed, every opening shut, chained and padlocked. Not one soul running. It was frustrating and more so, it was very confusing… I began to ask myself questions like, “Why aren’t any of the school’s athletes out there? Why aren’t other area runners training? What is going on?” So I drove a few more miles down the road to check the next high school. The track was wide open, and sure enough it was packed. There were 50-100 student athletes getting in their before-school training. Area runners were doing speed work. The track was even humming along with a few house moms getting in some circuit training.

So who sets the tone for your desire and drive? Is it the security guard who unlocks the gates? Is it head of the athletic department? Is it the conditioning coach? Or is it the athlete who gets up early to train? You know the answer… each of them do, but the driven athlete will always find a way to train, just like the driven leader will over come obstacles to achieve his goals.

* It shouldn’t surprise you to know that the high school with the closed track was only has a few state titles in it’s history. However, the high school with the open track has many and is considered by some to be the premier academic AND athletic school in the entire state.

using html5 for video

by Matt Adams

HTML5 is going to be the new norm here soon. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, dont worry about it too much. Its the background structure / protocol running web pages. Firefox, Safari, Opera & Google Chrome are all HTML5 ready on some level. IE 6, 7, 8 are not. Rumor is the IE 9 will be. But I’m not holding my breath.

One of the big new laws in html 5 is the way a website can interact with video. We can now use a more native video format, that streams better on browsers and mobile devices. YES ipad & iphone (and other mobiles) can use the new HTML5 video.

HTML5 video will eliminate the need for flash on most devices.

So lets create a smooth video splash page for a product or service promotion. We’ll start with a simple design, and then move onto the video part.

Design

Sticking with a simple design. We want to center our video, and give it a nice frame.

The Base Html:





  
  

  




          

Video Demo

Enter site

and our basic css:


body {
	margin: 0; 
	padding: 0; 
	font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Sans-serif; 
	background: url(bg_body.jpg) repeat-x #111; 
	color: #ccc;}
	
#wrapper {
	width:680px; 
	margin: 0 auto; 
	padding: 20px;
	text-align: center;}
	
#video {
	width: 640px;
	height: 300px;
	}
	
a, a:visited {
	color: #22daff;}
	
a:hover {
	color: #d1d1d1;}
	
	h1 {text-shadow: 1px 2px 1px #111; color: #eee; font-size: 4em;}
	



Video conversion

Here is my biggest gripe against html5 video. Each browser has their own video type. Safari: mp4, Firefox, OGV, and Chrome: WebM. Kind of a pain to convert your video to 3 formats, but in general it is a better experience for the end user right? so we’ll suck it up and deal with it.

So whats the easiest way to convert to these file types? I have tried a few ways, and thus far has been Miro Video Converter. Works on both mac and PC. mirovideoconverter.com. And best of all, its free. I used this to convert all of my videos.

Video player options

Sure html5 can take the new video symantic tag. But it doesnt leave the most consistent user experience. Then what about those lowly IE users? we can’t ignore them. We may want to, but we can’t.

There are a handful of opensource javascript and css players. They players make it nice and easy to auto detect the browser type, and deliver the best video possible. Some even offer a flash drop out for the worst case IE users.

Some options include:
Video for everybody: http://camendesign.com/code/video_for_everybody
Video JS: http://videojs.com
Sublime: http://jilion.com/sublime/video
Projekktor: http://www.projekktor.com/

Each essentially adds a layer of functionality and style to the html5 video tag. I liked Video JS for this use.

Prepping you server for the video

This is a super important step. Not all servers will recognize the mime types of videos. Using a simple htaccess file, we can add these three simple lines to indicate the file mime types.

AddType video/ogg .ogv
AddType video/mp4 .mp4
AddType video/webm .webm

Pulling it together

1. Download the Video JS codes, and upload the files to your server.
2. Insert the necessary codes for the CSS and JS into your files head tag.
3. insert their player codes into your video div
4. Modify the file paths to your videos for each file type.
5. update the flash var source for the back up video, making sure you use a absolute full url.

Save and test!

Here is my final result, http://proofs.factor1studios.com/mediasalt/video/ with the videos playing in native formats for Firefox, Safari, and Chrome, with IE dropping to a flash swf fall back.

So now you don’t have an excuse to not be producing great video splash pages or video on your site, with full support for all browsers, and mobile devises.

the premium product

by Matt Adams

In almost every industry you will find a premium product, and several tiers of brands or services falling in rank there after. Their order doesn’t matter. What matters is the premium, and the non premium.

Here is what I like. Premium sets the bar, the gold standard, and the price. The market and industry of that premium product depends on these factors, for the smaller fish to survive.

But here is the catch. You can’t expect to compete with the big dogs, yet offer value on one of the key factors (quality, price, service, etc). An amazing car, but at sacrifice on service wont work. Ask the 1996 Car and Driver best luxury car of the year Mazda Millennia. Rated better than the lexus, mercedes and BMW in the class, but failed to deliver the customer service. And it did poor in sales. Mazda stunk at pampering its customers.

There are other similar stories I’m sure, but here is my point. If you cant compete on all levels, and win at the expectations placed on the premium, then dont. Find a way to better compete with the smaller fish.

Nothing wrong with being the biggest medium fish possible. Let the big fish pay for infrastructure, R&D, market research, and so on. You keep up, push the limits where you can, and focus on the ways you are different. There are a lot of cars sold in the middle to low range. Far more volume than the top cars.

Add value before all else

by Matt Adams

Dont get me wrong, I’ll be the first to look at a new idea and ask if we can make money from it. Where are the expenses, and where is the profit. But I need to remind myself and others often, to have value first.

Try not to become a person of success but a person of value. ~Albert Einstein

Lets take a look at twitter’s newly announced plans of advertising in twitter for a great example. This week twitter announced how it will be selling ads within twitter. Its a pretty unique method. But lets step back for a second.

Twitter was free of ads, and free to users for a few years. They built up a customer base, and refined their systems. They kept it lean and mean by only offering one core service—updates. No photos, elaborate profiles, member pages, or other things that have hurt others in the past. Just updates, and a way to follow others. This added a large value to its base, and probably one key factor to its growth.

So back to present day. Twitter built value, and a customer base as its first goal, income streams came later. Did they always have plans for a revenue stream, I hope so! Sure it may have been a rough outline or a few sketchy ideas, but I am sure they did, and their investors saw it too.

Here are some simple questions to answer as you launch a new business, new product, service, or idea.

  1. Who is my customer for this product & what is their need?
  2. How will this address their needs?
  3. Where is my competition on this new product?
  4. Where can this under promise, and over deliver?
  5. What is the opportunity for growth after we launch it?
  6. Where do we see this product in 1, 2, and 5 years?
  7. How are we going to make sure we keep up on the times
    (value now, with outdated needs in a year is no value!)
  8. What if we fail to offer value now, can we innovate and change? or is the product dead?
  9. How will we gauge & measure the value created?
    (It’s not always sales numbers, especially early on)

We at factor1 are always coming up with new things to help our clients. We clearly outline the goals, benefits, costs, target customer, and where the money is. We often will beta test and give out some freebies to make sure the value is where we expect it.

What tools do you use to measure your value?
Who do you turn to for advice on your new products, service, or ideas?

Just Add Hard Work

by Matt Adams

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

— Thomas Edison

Not everyone can come up with killer ideas, and execute. We are all different. Some people love the ideas, but fail to follow through. Others stink at being creative, but are great at getting it done. Weekly, we will share great ideas for marketing, business, creativity, strategy, and maybe some other random ideas that will help you in your organization. All you have to do is Just Add Hard Work

New Series: The Web Manual

by Matt Adams

The Web Manual

If you are like most of our clients, you need a great web presence, and you have better things to do than figure out how to do it yourself. So you hire great companies (like factor1) and you end up with a great looking site.

But now what? How do you manage content? How do you edit and crop photos? How do you track your traffic? The list goes on and on.

In this series of weekly posts, we will share some great tips, resources, and ideas specific to managing your presence online. Lets get started!

Week 1: Content…Quality Content

Your website has a purpose. It may be to generate leads, sales, present information, communicate services and expertise, etc. Regardless of that purpose, content is driving it. Sure it may look pretty, but after the first 5 seconds, your visitor stops admiring and starts reading. They begin in the upper left, and generally scan left to right, top to bottom, looking for what they came for. When you planed out your site design, we probably discussed the user flow, what are the big directional elements on the home page, what navigation is there, and how do we use graphics to help that user flow from one thing to the next.

We use headlines and graphics on the home page to draw that user in. View that service, product, or mission statement. Eventually they go deeper, and dig in. We want them to read your content, find what they are looking for.

My challenge to you.

Answer the following questions. On every page, Yes every single page. Think about your typical (not perfect, not current customer, but typical) visitor.

  • What are they here for?
  • What single concept do you want them to take away from this page?
  • What is a next action for this visitor? (contact? next product? directions?)
  • If this is the first page they saw, will they understand us? (remember, not everyone comes in through your home page)

I feel that if every page on your site has this kind of thinking and purpose behind it, you are off on the right foot. Now there are still some fundamental tasks you must take into account on your content.

  • Good content is free of spelling and grammatical errors. Trust me, this one is tough, I’m a big picture guy and typos plague me often. Hire a copywriter as needed.
  • Good content is keyword rich. We’ll talk more about basic SEO in the coming weeks, but using words that are search terms, relative to your page of course, are important. Give the search engine something to find.
  • Break up content with headlines, lists, and images. While you don’t want visual road blocks, creating content that is easy to follow will help readers flow down the page, or jump to what they are looking for.
  • Avoid the run on sentences or paragraphs.
  • Use bold and italics formatting sparingly, and have a reason or pattern to using them.
  • Don’t underline text for emphasis. Users expect underlined text to be a link, and are frustrated when its not a link.
  • Read, re-read, and have others read your content.
  • Cross link your pages. Is something on your page relevant to your other content? Link it!

Anything I missed? Please share your tips for good content!

Do you have a topic you want covered? Ask!

Great free programs for clients to know and use

by Matt Adams

Gimp
This image editing program has been compared to Photoshop with all it’s tools and editing capabilities. However, the good news is that it’s completely free. The program comes with tons of cool stuff and allows you to crop, resize, and retouch photos. The bad news, is that it’s not geared toward those that haven’t used a program like this before so the learning curve may be steep. Nonetheless, it’s highly recommended by Factor 1 as a good image editing program that will help out with many image tasks.

Cyberduck
This ftp program is great for our apple friends. If you need ftp access to your site, or if you need to upload images or other files to the Factor 1 ftp, this works great! The user interface is clean and easy to use, making it a great choice, especially for a free ftp client.

Filezilla
This ftp client works well for our PC friends. Logging in to your site through ftp can come in handy, and this will certainly help out.

Audacity
More and more clients are podcasting, and this program allows you to record and edit sound on your computer. It’s pretty easy to use and very helpful when compressing audio or editing clips that you’ve already recorded. Audacity comes in Mac & PC flavors.

Any free programs that you’ve seen that clients may love?

Large type for a big impact

by Matt Adams

Typography plays a large role in any website. Large typography is certainly eye-catching and while you don’t need large type for a big impact, it certainly does the trick. In these sites, typography is used as an art element, catching it’s audience’s attention and focusing it on what’s most important.

type1 type2 type3 type4 type5 type6 type7 type8

White is underrated

by Matt Adams

When you think of websites with white backgrounds you probably think of search engines, news sites, and plain designs with lots of crammed in content. Many people want color, texture, and bright vivid designs. White is often overlooked, but many things can be done with just a white background. White offers the ability to add lots of contrast, allows your images to pop and there are many possibilities that you might not have considered before.

Here are some great sites that use lots of white to achieve a great look.

white71 white21 white41 white81 white51 white31white11 white61

Great typography in web design

by Matt Adams

Typography is one of the most standout parts of a website, affecting the overall look and feel. It’s something we certainly take into consideration when designing a site. Which fonts work best with the style and feel of the site, does the information flow easily, is everything legible and easy to navigate through? Typography is a design aspect in itself and needs careful consideration in order to make a site top-notch.

Here are a few great sites that use great typography, making their content stand out and their design shine.

type10 type6 type2 type7 type1 type9 type3 type5type4 type8

5 commonly-made web design mistakes

by Matt Adams

Web design is not all technical. We work hard to make the html and css stuff work on our end and then hand it over to our clients to make the content work on their end. Many mistakes are made on the web, by forgetting simple art theory and how it plays a big role in how web sites look. People also forget about how other people will view their page, how they will navigate through and find the information they need. (more…)

Color Theory

by Matt Adams

Color is very important in design and web design. Your color choices can affect the mood of your site, the functionality, and the effectiveness of your site in general. Many people tend to like blue, it’s a very popular color. But your favorite color isn’t always the most appropriate choice for your company, and there are many things to keep in mind when choosing colors for your site.

(more…)

Layered textures and a little bit of grunge

by Matt Adams

We love cool textures and grungy sites as much as the next person around here at Factor 1, and it’s still in this year. Layers are the way to go with grunge and textures, using lots of different patterns and interesting backgrounds, with less ripped paper and torn edges. Textured backgrounds add a lot to a site and we love using cool art to fill a background and make it really unique. Here are 10 sites that have lots of great layered, textured awesomeness going on!

grunge1 grunge2 grunge3 grunge4 grunge5 grunge6 grunge7 grunge8

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by Matt Adams

have you ever noticed how many web pages you visit NEVER change after they are released? OR have you been to a website that has a posted item or a blog where the date is still form last year? What were your thoughts? Did you you think the company had died? Did you think that no body cared? Did you wonder if the owners & employees had lost interest in what they were doing? By chance did you think that you weren’t likely to engage with them because the would undoubtedly show you the same inattention as they do their own website?

Prevent your site from being stale!

Often organizations fall into the trap of assigning NO LEADERSHIP to their Internet presence. Sometimes they rely on the IT dept. to also be marketing geniuses just because they figured out how to put something out there in ‘cyber-space’. Think about these items:

  • who is responsible (the leader) for your web content?
  • what regular pattern do you want to adhere to for new content?
  • what are the top 3 goals for your site to accomplish?
  • what measurement do you have in place that enables you to know for sure that your site is driving traffic to your organization?
  • does your audience find your site useful? how do you know? how long are they staying? how many pages are they reading?

there are so many things that you can be doing to make your site fresh, easy to use, and a powerful too for your organization. Give your website some love and attention and it will give it back to you.

Yellow is in for 2009

by Matt Adams

I’m sure many of you have heard, yellow has been named the new “in” color of the year. With all the dismal news these days of the economy, the housing market, and other current events, people want to feel uplifted. Marketing changes with the times and the needs of the people and color trends usually follow similar patterns. This is no different, yellow is just the color to use if you want to appear fresh and current this year. Here is a collection of 10 well-designed sites that use yellow to brighten up their site.

images-yellow9 images-yellow6 images-yellow1 images-yellow2 images-yellow4 images-yellow3 images-yellow5 images-yellow8 images-yellow7 images-yellow10

If you’ve seen any good yellow-inspired sites lately, please share!

the BIGGER, Badder, faster Web — keep up!

by Matt Adams

http://business.motorola.com/experiencelte/home.html

 

It appears we really don’t need our desktops, but most of us with laptops knew that already. My wife and I are currently getting caught up on “LOST” by watching back episodes from our wi-fi at home while snuggling in bed… turns out we will be able to do this and many more things in the future from just about any where.

 

what is your company or organization doing to get ahead of the curve on developing web technology?