Tag - WebsiteDesignBasics

Imagify - Wordpress Image Optimization Made Easy

Imagify – WordPress Image Optimization Made Easy

Optimizing images for the web is crucial. Google gives a lot of weight to website load time and images are the largest files on most websites. The goal with optimizing images is reducing the overall size of the file while maintaining image clarity. There are a lot of tools out there which can accomplish this task, but none easier to use than Imagify. Imagify is a Wordpress plugin that automates the image optimization process. Not only is the interface very easy to use, but it also does an excellent job at reducing file size with minimal loss in quality.

I use Imagify on all of my websites. Imagify can optimize your images as you upload them, or for an existing website, it can quickly optimize your existing images. Imagify is free to try (25MB limit) and has monthly data plans for higher limits. I pay those costs for all of my clients. If you're interested in learning more about Imagify or need someone to optimize your website, contact me today.

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Why Your Business NAP is so Important

Why Your Business NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) is so Important

NAP is short for your business name, address and phone number. When Google scans various databases on the internet for your company it's absolutely crucial that these three items are EXACT and consistent. If I was on Yelp as "Brian Houdek The Web Designer" or "Brian Houdek Web Design LLC" or "Brian Houdek Web Design Inc" Google would look at that as a completely different company than "Brian Houdek Web Design". If your address is "123 Test St" it's crucial you write it exactly the same throughout the internet. "123 Test St." (dot after St.) or "123 Test Street" will be looked at as different and therefore not the same company. Finally, your phone number must remain consistent. Did your number change over the years? Do you have a local number and an 800 number? Make sure you always pick one primary phone number and always enter that phone number as the primary one.

The more LEGITIMATE databases your company information is in the better for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). These directories give your business validity in the eyes of Google. Most of them link back to your website, which is another ranking factor Google uses. As a rule of thumb, I recommend my clients use their Google My Business listing as the "master" listing, ensuring all other listings have the same information.

On the Internet there are four major data aggregators that store your business information. These are Neustar Localeze, InfoUSA, Acxiom and Factual. These data aggregators take your business information and push it out to many smaller databases on the Internet. In addition to these aggregators, there are also many big name directories your business should be in. Examples are Bing Places For Business, Apple Maps, Angie's List, Manta and many, many more.

I have multiple tools to scan these databases and see where your business information is missing or inaccurate. I can easily update this information and charge a flat fee. If you want me to run a free scan for your business contact me today.

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Google Fonts - Great Free and Open Source Fonts

Google Fonts – Great Free and Open Source Fonts

Google Fonts says their goal is to make "the web more beautiful, fast, and open through great typography." They certainly have done that and their selection of fonts continues to grow. Every Google Font is free and open source, meaning that you don't have to worry about licensing issues. At the time of this article there are 915 to choose from.

I have been using Google Fonts on my websites for years. However, even if you're not a web designer you can download the fonts to your computer and use them in any document. To the right of each font you'll see a + symbol. Once you press that Google "adds" it to your downloads (a popup menu that appears in the bottom right after adding the font). If you click on the downloads (it will say # Family Selected) you will notice a download icon on the top right. To download the entire font family with different font weights and italic styles click on "Customize". On this screen you can select the entire font family if you want. Once you have everything selected, download the fonts and install them on your computer.

Do you have a website that needs better use of fonts? Interested in learning more about Google Fonts? Contact Me today and I'd be happy to show you how Google Fonts can improve your website.

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What is a Favicon

What is a Favicon?

Do you know what a Favicon is? If you Google this search phrase Google will say "an icon associated with a URL that is variously displayed, as in a browser's address bar or next to the site name in a bookmark list." That sounds confusing but it's really simple. Depending on the browser you're using look up at the current tab and you'll see my Favicon, which is a green globe. Every website I make for my clients has a custom Favicon. It really annoys me when a company doesn't have a Favicon, or their web designer uses a default Favicon.Why does this matter you might ask? If your website doesn't have a Favicon it shows a lack of creative talent, or worse basic knowledge by the developer. Creating a favicon isn't the most difficult thing in the world but I have some tips that help make it much easier.

The Noun Project

One of my favorite websites for icons of any type is the Noun Project. The Noun Project has thousands of basic icons in black and white. Their goal is to simplify communication, across borders and around the world using visual communications. You can visit their site and type in literally anything to find numerous icons for your search term. I HAPPILY pay $9.99/mo to use their icons ROYALTY FREE. This means I can use them in logos, Favicons, print design projects, website design or anything else my heart desires!

Favic-O-Matic Favicon Generator

Once I find an icon that I like, a tool that does a great job of creating Favicons of numerous sizes is Favic-O-Matic, The Ultimate Favicon Generator. Back when Favicon's started there was one size. Tiny. Used in the browser bar and that was all. Now Favicons are shown as bookmark icons for various devices in various sizes. Apple devices use 10 different sizes depending on the device.  The beauty of Favic-O-Matic is you can upload one Favicon image (they recommend at least 32 x 32 px - I usually create mine 400 x 400 px) and it will return every darn size you'll ever need. You don't have to use every single one but I love the option.

Company Logo Favicon

Sometimes I'll use a company logo as a Favicon, but I have to warn you if there's a lot going on in the logo it will just look like a blob on the page tab. I like to either use one part of the logo, or use a simple icon from The Noun Project and change the color to match the company's logo colors.If you need a custom icon for your company or simply found this article interesting please share it. Thanks and have a great one! 
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