New Year — New Web Site!

  • Is it time to update your web site with a fresh, new look for 2015?
  • How about making it mobile-friendly so it can be viewed on phones and tablets?
  • Are you using the latest software to deter hacking?

The goal of any web site is to inform and attract new customers.  An outdated look and/or incorrect information detracts from these goals. It just might be time to take a good look at your current site and start taking steps toward making improvements.  Reach out to your web designer and discuss design updates. Make sure your employee list is current and you include a comprehensive list of services and products.  Are all of your hyperlinks still working?  Would you like to add powerful features like a shopping cart, blog or photo gallery? If you use a site builder tool like TOAST.net’s Web Presence Builder some of the content changes are easy to make on your own.  If you are really savvy you may even be able to update design elements within your site.  If you don’t feel you are ready to tackle the design … contact your web designer for advice. Remember that your goal is not only to have customers find your site but for them to gain valuable information about your company when they get there.

That brings me to my next point… how are they getting to your site?  Are your customers sitting at a desktop computer?  Are they in their car (in the passenger seat) searching for your store? Your web site needs to be mobile-friendly, easy to traverse while on a mobile device or tablet. Check to see if your web design tool automatically creates a mobile version of your site, or has a responsive theme.  Site design tools can help you quickly build and maintain a beautiful website that is fully functional on all devices.

Once you have published your newly redesigned website it is now time to take a break, right?  Wrong.  Revisit your site at least once a month. Make sure all content is up to date and that your web site design software has been updated to the latest version. Hackers are often able to enter a site through security vulnerabilities that reside in outdated software versions. Although time-consuming, making sure you are using the latest and greatest software is critical for the security of your site. With sites hosted at TOAST.net you can set WordPress, its plugins and themes to automatically update to the latest version.  Our Web Presence Builder automatically updates so that you are always developing in the latest version.

New Year – maybe it’s also time to say – New Website!

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CES 2012 Overview: It’s Thin, Mobile, and Cloudy

Being a gadget hound, I’ve been ogling over the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show like an eight-year-old with a Toys “R” Us catalog before Christmas. The show is used to showcase the way technology is heading, and this year there is a clear message: Consumers don’t want to stay stationary. Read more of this post

If your technology isn’t transparent, it’s not working.

I was driving home from the office the other day and felt the urge to blast some tunes. Without even looking, I hit the power button on the radio, hit the scan button several times, and adjusted the volume just loud enough to blast away all thoughts of the TPS reports and stapler requisition forms due the next day. If you think about it, a car radio is a perfect example of “transparent technology.” They are all designed to fit the car’s environment, the controls are easy to use, and they work without having to put much thought into it…the radio is a part of the car rather than its own special-needs device. All technology should work this same way. Its whole purpose is to make lives easier and more efficient, not complicated and expensive. Many tech-curmudgeons will say “All modern technology is complicated!”, and that’s a true statement. The trick is to make sure you’re using appropriate technology. Read more of this post

The December Roadmap: Heading for the Holidays

Is it December already? TOAST.net has some interesting things in the oven along with the Christmas cookies this month, so let’s get everyone up to date: Read more of this post

And the 25 Worst Passwords Are…

I’ve covered this before, but it’s worth repeating: using “password” as your password is not a good idea.

“Password”, “123456”, and the ever more secure “12345678” are the most used passwords of 2011 according to a recent report from security provider SlashData. Hackers love simple passwords, and it seems we’re making it easy for them. According to the report, sequential characters such as qwerty and 123456 are popular choices, as well as names of children and pets. Other choices such as “dragon” or “superman” are harder to explain, but may come from objects or images in the vicinity of the user. As websites require passwords to contain numbers and letters, it makes sense that we’re seeing abc123 and trustno1 on the list as well. Read more of this post

Playing with Web Presence Builder

This week, I’ve been messing around with our new Web Presence Builder. As you may have heard, this is our new tool allowing anyone to build a professional looking website in minutes. I’m happy to report it works VERY well. I’ve been having a lot of fun using it: when you log into Web Presence Builder, you are presented with a list of different templates that cover nearly any situation you can think of: Law firm, plumbers, wedding planning, birthday, hobbyist, musician, car repair, physician, health club…there’s dozens of choices, and if you’re one of those strange people who doesn’t fit into any category you can even make your own. Read more of this post

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