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7 Security Tips for WordPress

7 Fundamental Security Tips for WordPress

By Website, Wordpress No Comments

WordPress has become the most popular Content Management System or CMS in the world. However, they’re not stopping there.

WordPress is an incredibly powerful tool for web design because it gives clients a sample of what their website will look like (theme previews). They allow clients to edit content themselves with relative ease. But most importantly they considerably reduce the costs to build websites by significantly shortening the time needed to build them.

That said, WordPress’ biggest weakness currently is security. Fortunately, most security mishaps related to WordPress are due to errors made by the user, and are easily avoidable – here’s how.

7 Security Tips for WordPress:

1. Overall Desktop Security

You can’t expect any of your online profiles to be safe when your computer’s security itself has been compromised. This isn’t just relevant to WordPress it’s a must for anyone valuing their online privacy.

So make sure that you have solid antivirus software, firewall protection and scan for malware often. If you have a laptop or a tablet I’d recommend getting a highly secure, positive password from Mantra Password too.

2. Secure web Hosting

Another frequent issue with WordPress security which isn’t actually relevant to WordPress itself is insecure servers. The only way to really know whether a host will be secure is by checking out reviews and perhaps getting in contact with some of the clients.

Remember servers will always be compromised at some point, sometimes it’s better to judge who to get hosted with based on how providers have dealt with the issue.

3. Keep WordPress up to date

The more time a hacker has to attempt breaking into your website the more likely they are to succeed. By regularly updating WordPress, your theme and all of your plugins you can avoid the majority of issues.

Sometimes this may mean investing in a new theme, as they will only be updated for so long before developers move on to newer themes.

4. Use only the most popular tools and themes

Firstly, WordPress themes and tools become popular for a reason – they don’t just look great, but they are versatile and easy to use.

Another benefit of using a popular theme is that developers will continue to invest in them for a longer period of time. This means that your theme will be updated frequently, giving you access to new features – but more importantly, your latest security needs.

5. Delete unused plugins, tools and themes

Just because a plugin or theme isn’t activated doesn’t mean that it can be used to breach your WordPress security. Don’t risk your website over a plugin which you don’t even use. Get rid of it, now!

6. Protect your Login

A secure password is a given. We’re talking numbers, a mix of upper and lower case and most of all a phrase which is unrelated to you as an individual.

I’d highly recommend using a phrase you can remember and purposely placing numbers in the place of characters which look somewhat similar.

For example: 4NgryAppl3 = AngryApple.

However you shouldn’t stop there, a secure password will only get you so far. The Login LockDown plugin can make your login more secure by locking for a set period after your password is repeatedly typed incorrectly.

The Captcha plugin can allow you to add a captcha to your WordPress login this will increase your security considerably.

7. Keep your WordPress website backed up

If your using these tips your WordPress website should be highly secure. However accidents sometimes happen and nothing is certain. Backing up your website can if nothing else give you peace of mind – if something does occur, however likely you can always just back up.

Our Top 10 Recommended Design Tools - MailChimp Snap

Our Top Recommended Design Tools

By Design, Email Marketing, Marketing, Website No Comments
In this month’s recommended top 10 list we’re looking at design tools.

This list is aimed at designers and developers. We’ve included new apps to improve your marketing efforts, design resources, cloud storage, tools for building professional infographics & slideshows with ease – plus much more. We’re sure you’ll find something useful so check it out!

Almost everything in this list is free or is available for a small fee, we’re trying to provide useful tools for both professional experts and beginners.

If you have any suggestions feel free to leave a comment below! Or if you just want to share your thoughts on this list, that’s fine too!

10 Design Tools That’ll Take You from Stuck to Unstoppable

1. Infogr.am

Let’s be honest, reading can be fun, but in general visual content will always be more compelling and done well, more interesting. According to Market Domination Media people remember 80% of what they see and do, 20% of what they read and only 10% of what they hear. Plus “an infographic are 40 times more likely to be shared on social networks” – Kissmetrics.

The only real issue with infographics is, they take up an awful lot of time to create. Infogr.am makes designing visual data incredibly simple via a drag & drop editor.

Infogram

2. Slides

Much like infographics Slideshows can be seriously effective content, why? Implemented correctly slides are a very visual medium which get straight to the point – and emphasise that point clearly. There is a reason why presentations are generally backed up with slideshows, they are an effective form of communication.

However, much like infographics, slideshows can take a really long time to design.

Slides is a slideshow presentation editor built with simplicity and functionality in mind. You can access them from anywhere online on any device, but you can also download your presentations for offline presentations.

SlidesEditor

3. GoMoodBoard

I’m a big believer in planning ahead. You’re never going to capture a perfect logo or web design on your first attempt – no matter how experienced you are. However being able to fall back on a clear design objective and inspiration can really push you in the right direction.

GoMoodBoard is a website which allows you to quickly build and share a selection of images to capture a brand “mood”.

Top Recommended 10 Design Tools - GoMoodBoard

4. The Stocks

Imagery is incredibly powerful for conveying your message and branding. However good photography can be pricey. Lately free Stock websites have been becoming more diverse and closer to the complete packages paid websites can provide.

The Stocks is the must go location for Royalty Free Photography as it gives easy access to all the top quality Stock websites.

TheStocksSample

5. Canva

Canva is an online design tool which is aimed at beginners. The tool is incredibly simple and easy to use, filled with tutorials and resources which you have very easy access to. The one drawback is that since it is so simple, it just doesn’t hold a candle to the all encompassing amount of options available from paid services provided by companies like Adobe.

Our Top 10 Recommended Design Tools - Canva

6. Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe provides the definitive design tools for editing and building images, whether that’s for the web, print or more or less anything. Having a recommended design tools list without Adobe would honestly just not feel right. However Creative Suite is very expensive and is not beginner friendly.

Our Top 10 Recommended Design Tools - Adobe Creative Suite

7. DropBox

DropBox is a very useful tool for designers. Allowing you to share work between colleagues from one central system without having to worry about space! DropBox for Business allows additional storage at no extra cost. DropBox can also recover any accidentally deleted files and allow easy sharing through links or private folders.

Our Top 10 Recommended Design Tools - DropBox

8. FileZilla

The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is the standard network used to transfer large files between computers. Allowing you to transfer files from one host to another.

FileZilla is a free FTP solution for both clients and servers.  This is a must for web designers in particular, as you will be frequently required to update a website rather than build from scratch.

FileZillaSample

9. Pixeden

The perfect way to show off your design work in style! Mockup templates allow you to create an image with your design on it’s appropriate platform. Whether that’s a business card, books, brochures, mobile devices etc.

Pixeden provides a large selection of professional looking free graphics and mockups. Plus a fantastic range of premium resources. If you ever find yourself needing a lot of image resources Pixeden can provide them for you.

PixedenSample

10. MailChimp Snap

Email Marketing is still very effective, with the rise of mobile people are accessing their emails from anywhere increasing your chances of a successful campaign.

The new MailChimp Snap harnesses the mobile email marketing ethos. Allowing you to send simple, photo-based email campaigns straight from your mobile device, and they look fantastic. Marketing has never been so easy!

Our Top 10 Recommended Design Tools - MailChimp Snap

The Fold Does not Exist, Scrolling issues with Tyler Consultants

The Fold does not exist

By Design, Website, Wordpress No Comments

Introduction

Understanding how users interact with your website is vital. Your product or service is meaningless if people cannot find an easy way to access necessary information easily.

With this in mind, it’s easy to see why people have been afraid of expecting their users to scroll down a page – it’s not always obvious to everyone that there’s more good stuff to read.

For a long time now in the web industry it has been considered arguably bad practice to expect users to scroll. The argument for this is quite simple, when people are prone to bouncing off of your website almost immediately – it’s best to catch their attention as quick as possible.

However recently UX & Research teams have been finding that “Everybody Scrolls”. This data is a testament to how important testing in the digital age is. Even a well constructed and respected theory can either change, or be proved wrong when further analysed.

Scrolling & Attention Below The Fold

Ironically, testing on the placement of content in context of the fold is by no means a new. However findings have always been remarkably inconclusive, when looked at collectively. Some research teams have found strong data backing the theory that you should try to keep content above the fold. While just as many research has provided evidence towards the notion that people are happy to scroll beyond the fold.

The issue is that research teams have not been testing extensively enough. If anything the results have shown that people sometimes scroll.

So the research should not be aimed at answering “do websites ever keep a users attention below the fold?” To recognising “which design elements provide visual cues which users need to scroll below the fold?” Huge Inc have attempted to find out the answer to this very question.

The Test

Huge conducted a test with 48 participants over 3 days – By using four different design tests:

  •  A control image, with no visual cues to scroll below the fold.
  •  A scroll arrow that cues users to scroll down.
  •  A short image, where users had to scroll to see above-the-fold content in entirety.
  •  An animated image with a moving element to lead viewers below the fold.

However what they found was that 9/10 people scrolled to the bottom of the page regardless of the visual cues (with the exception of the animated image which was 7/10.

 Suggestions

In the end scrolling is mostly linked towards the quality of the web design – First impressions count. Users will decide whether they want to find out more about your website instantly. So ensure that your web design has visual cues which integrate with your existing design and fit with your business category.

Remember, those that do scroll are showing an interest in your website and are more likely to have built a bond with your website (hence the further reading). Therefore Calls to Actions are much more effective below the fold, people are more likely to follow up on your CTA after you have provided them value.

 

If your finding that people are bouncing from your website before really consuming your content maybe it’s time for a website checkup. Give us a free call on 01273 328877 for any advice you may need on your site.

How To Get Traffic

How to get Traffic to your site (Beginners)

By Email Marketing, Link Building, Marketing, SEO, Social Media, Website, Wordpress No Comments

Starting up a website is hard.

Thousands of people are already in your industry and have already got a strong following.

Sometimes breaking into the crowd can seem impossible.

After all you’ve checked out the leading authorities on building up traffic, they’ve all had plenty of advice to give.

Yet here you are looking for more techniques to even get started on building traffic to your site.

Nothing has worked.

You start to wonder…

Have you failed as a content writer? Is your SEO really that terrible?

“…Is my website, useless?”

Building up a following can be really tough. I mean real tough, like climbing mount Everest with banana skin shoes tough.

But it is possible, people have managed it. (Popular Blogs, not climbing Everest with banana’s. Maybe one day).

So, the question, is how?

Out of all of the building traffic techniques you’ve read about:

  • SEO
  • AMA’s
  • Social Media
  • RSS Feeds
  • Video
  • Landing Pages
  • Email Marketing
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calls to Action
  • Analytics
  • Following popular blogs

None of them work.

Most suggested traffic techniques just don’t work

Here’s the cold, hard truth.

There are only four methods which do work, for a Beginner.

“There are only four ways to get traffic to my site?

That can’t be right. Surely not.

I’ve read all of those great posts on Moz, Hubspot etc. about building traffic…

And I mean well, it all makes sense.”

So why hasn’t any of it worked?

Because the vast majority of what people are saying just isn’t effective for startups.

Think about it.

These websites are aiming their blogs at businesses which already have a somewhat popular website, who are just trying to boost their website even further.

If your just starting out and are paying close attention to your followers, then what are you doing?

You don’t even have any followers,

Yet.

You can’t waste time on lead nurturing, email campaigns etc. When you don’t have an audience.

Leading authorities don’t write about how to get traffic, they write about how to improve your traffic.

This is a massive difference and which honestly, should be made much clearer. Your not the only people who have been struggling to figure out how to get their website to take off, TCmarketing included…

How to get Traffic for a Beginner (The only Four Techniques)

…So what exactly is effective for startups?

1. Guest Blogging

If your just starting out and looking to hit your mark on the web scene. This should be your weapon of your choice. Guest blogging is extremely effective at producing unique, targeted visitors for a start up website. The best bit? There are no prerequisites, all you need to get started is a few popular bloggers in your industry.

Steps:

  • Write a Guest Post
  • Ask for a small favour of linking your guest post to related posts
  • If someone shares your post, get to know them! Chances are they will share your blog too
  • Instead of linking back to your home page, link to your email opt in. This could get you many subscribers

2. Interviews/pod-casting

Not only do a lot of people want to hear what industry experts have to say. Industry experts have a lot to say. Don’t be afraid to ask to do an interview with influential people, as long as you keep it relevant interviews are beneficial to everyone.

Steps:

  • Plan your interview
  • Get as many Bloggers involved as possible (within reason)
  • Get permission to share your findings with the world, think about putting this behind a landing page/opt-in list

3. Outreach

Generally spending the time to put out a truly fantastic and original post just does not generate the visitors to be worth while. But here is the interesting part, if you pair them with outreach and the results can be staggering. However your going to need to be prepared to face rejection. Even if your content is truly some of the best in your industry.

Steps:

  • Identify Influential Bloggers
  • Get Noticed (comments, email, social)
  • Request a share/guest post/backlink etc.
  • Build the relationship

4. Advertising

When it comes to earning traffic as a beginner, this is the real deal. Advertising greatly out paces any other technique for generating traffic to your website as a beginner. However there is one flaw with this technique, which I’m sure you’ve already cottoned on to. That’s right, money. Now I’m not going to say go and bust your life savings on advertising for your website. However if you think you are ready for that increased volume, advertising can save you months of work, that’s how effective it is.

Get on with it then!

That’s it! The four techniques you need to invest in to build up traffic to your website.

So, what are you still reading this for?

Get out there and grab that web traffic, it’s waiting for you!

 

Seriously though, I hope our guide on how to get traffic for your start-up website was useful.

I mean, I put in enough time writing this.

So give me a share! Tweet this to your friends! Recommend me to your industry leaders!

 

By Gabriel Hourigan,

Wearable Technology

Why you need to prepare your website for Wearable Technology now

By Design, Website No Comments

Technology is moving ever forwards. Every now and then something truly groundbreaking occurs changing even the way people interact with each other from a day to day business. We think Wearable Technology is the advent of yet another such change. Currently with smart-watch’s there are a few neat things you can do such as making phone calls, record your health and fitness and buy a coffee without even getting up. But with nothing setting them apart from mobile devices it will be a few years before we see a real shift. Or will it?

What is Wearable Technology?

Wearable Technology is essentially aiming to be a less cumbersome smartphone with potential. How is it doing that? Currently wearable technology has only had any real success through fitness gadgets put simply, smartphones are not as easy to use while on the move. However with the arrival of Google Glass wearable technology has become more than simply not having to get a phone from your pocket. To navigate Glass’ interface you use your mind and voice. While it’s true wearing Glass does look a little strange I think it’s only a matter of time until the design is less obtrusive and the price tag is significantly dropped. Currently at a £1000 and with a very limited of optimised apps Google Glass is a very niche product. However with tech moving forward at this rate it’s only a matter of time before the design is even less obtrusive.

Why will this will affect the Web Industry?

You may have heard of the theory ‘the internet of things‘. The vast majority of industry experts suspect the internet is about to experience a massive growth through variety of use and devices. The forefront of this is wearable technology. As technology and networks like 4G develop the possibilities of everyday objects drastically increase. Hence the massive investment Google have been willing to make acquiring Nest a smart-thermostat.

As the devices we use to consume content change, the content we consume must also change. Designers will have to adapt to new trends formed to make web design accessible through the likes of Glass & iWatch.

Here are our suggestions for adapting to wearable technology:

1. Responsive Design:

While Mobile optimisation should be your concern right now. Responsive design is going to have to take yet another step forwards so that not only a variety of resolutions are compatible but also a variety of screen shapes. With android wear arriving in a variety of different shapes the advocate of these new screens is already here.

Minimalist design will help with fitting your content on such small screens plus it’s a bonus how minimalism is trendy now. Flat design highly recommended!

2. Speed is key

Android wear is about having access to information while on the move. People aren’t going to be interested in large blocks of text, or long articles. Wearable technology users want immediate, digestible information. This doesn’t just affect the content your writing, but also page-load times will become even more important than ever. For someone on the move load times will be more even more of a turn-off. Accessibility is becoming more and more important across the web and applications.

3. Coherent design

Mobile optimisation mostly includes considering usability on a smaller screen. This usually means a complete redesign on your mobile website to make it as legible as possible. While it is important to optimise your content for wearable technology, it is paramount to make your new navigation immediately recognisable.

Looking out for new trends like Google’s Material Design is becoming more crucial than ever for your website. You can expect this new emphasis on ease of use to bring out simple but powerful imagery, large text and universal language.

We need to start considering web design’s place if/when the internet of things comes to be. With so many experts convinced wearable technology will become the fastest growing technology trend we wait till it happens.These are just a few of our suggestions towards appeasing wearable technology users.

What changes to your website do you think will be necessary for wearable technology optimisation? Do you think wearable technology is just a fad? We’d love to know what your opinion so let us know in the comments below.

Don't Neglect User Experience

Don’t neglect user experience [3 Steps]

By Design, Website, Wordpress No Comments

User Experience Design

You’d be surprised how often people seem to forget who a website is for. Your website isn’t for you, it’s not for your business. Your website should be built from the ground up with one group of people in mind. Your customers. This mistake is made often by designers.

For example how often have you found a great looking website but, haven’t been able to figure out what it’s actually for? If there is ever a moment where your on a site wondering what is this company actually offering me? They’re doing it wrong.

There are a lot of great tools and design features you can use in web design. The secret to utilizing them correctly is keeping your user experience in mind.

User-oriented web design aims to provide value to the visitors. For a website to be truly useful there are a multitude of factors to consider. Is the purpose of your website immediately clear? How easy is your site to navigate? Is your content displayed appropriately? These are just a few examples of aspects which could be detrimental to your website’s UX. Thus having a significantly negative impact on your website.

User Experience Design is all about seeing your website through a visitors perspective. What is a visitor to our website going to be looking for? How can we illustrate simply what we are offering? To achieve user satisfaction, these are the kinds of questions you ought to ask when planning your website.

1. Navigation

Navigation is a really key element to the user experience. Empowering the user through navigational aids allows them to find what they are looking for quickly and without confusion. There are numerous ways to assist a user in their browse through your website. Making good use of these measures will inspire confidence in the user and decrease bounce rates.

For a user to navigate your site access points need to be clear. The standard response to this is a navigation bar. Navigation bars are always present, giving users options at all times. Whereas a “hamburger icon” covered in a previous blog requires being clicked on to give access to a sidebar. This not only requires two actions from the user to access the page they require. This also means that the user cannot see what information is available without actively looking for it.

Tool’s website ‘A Production Company‘ gives a fantastic demonstration of diverse navigation tools. The navigation bar alone screams we want a great user experience. Not only have they created a slick and precise navigation bar but it is actually fun to use. By utilising a neat animation on hover the bar creates a good sense of feedback. This level of user centred design can be seen throughout the website. The result is a very appealing user experience. Users are fully engaged to the site as well being visually pleased.

2. Optimisation

If there’s one thing which really puts me off a website even if I am interested in it’s content, it’s load times. People aren’t patient enough to wait more than a few seconds when there are so many alternatives easily available.

In the end this mainly comes down to planning your user experience early. While you may have come up with a new groundbreaking web design. There are a few things to consider before implementing them. How demanding is this website going to be on people’s websites? Do all of these functions translate onto mobile devices? Is your website responsive? (check out our blog on responsive design)

Unfortunately not everyone has broadband yet or fast computers. This is particularly true with the recent exposure of tablets and mobile phones.

3. Accessibility

Accessibility is ensuring all users can access the information regardless of disability and ability etc. Great examples of accessibility best practises are say ensuring images have title tags for screen readers for the blind. Or your site background and font color is set at a suitable contrast for partially sited or color blind people. Video transcripts for deaf people are also worth considering.

If you would like any help enhancing the user experience for your website, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01273 328877 for your free consultation.

Hamburger Icon

Should your website use the Hamburger icon?

By Design, Website, Wordpress No Comments

What is the Hamburger icon?

The Hamburger icon is a website tool. Intended to make minimalistic design optimal for mobile. Three simple horizontal bars make up the hamburger icon. The icon is often placed in a top corner as an alternative to a navigation bar. How does it work? The icon represents a hidden navigation tool (like a side menu).

The idea is that when you have a navigation bar, while fine on a regular site it can take up too much space on mobile. This is a real problem. The hamburger icon is an attempt at keeping a minimalist design while still being functional.

However the hamburger icon has received a lot of criticism. Despite the clear need for less cluttered mobile sites. Here’s why:

Hamburger icon cons

The hamburger icon is often considered a poor design choice. This is because you are effectively hiding all of your website’s feature behind an icon. There is a lot of theory suggesting that the hamburger icon is bad for user engagement. Put simply if users can’t see your navigation menu, they won’t use it.

The argument is that people are not familiar enough with the hamburger icon to recognise that it is used to hide your website or apps special features. Hamburger buttons are not very efficient in terms of UX. Think about it. In comparison to a navigation bar you have to tap just to even see what your options are. Then again if you want to move to your next page. Websites visitors are not known for their patience. Do not give them a reason to bounce from your site before they even know what your offering.

Also the triple bar is not particularly indicative of anything it is quite literally three lines. This unintuitive design is very negative on all kinds of conversions.

Hamburger icon pros

So, does this mean there is no place for the Hamburger icon? Actually no. In fact in terms of mobile optimisation the icon can prove vital. Yes, you are risking visitors misunderstanding the purpose of your hamburger. But the triple bar is becoming more and more prevalent across all devices. While I think there is very few circumstances to warrant a hamburger icon on your desktop website, navigation bars on mobile’s are incredibly frustrating.

Not to mention the lack of screen space. There are some alternatives to the hamburger even on mobile however such as the Tab Bar. An array of small navigation bars spread out across your page. This is definitely worth considering especially if you have less navigation options on your website.

Conclusion

In the end the Hamburger icon has a clear purpose. To give smaller resolutions some space to breathe. While it’s true that it is not the easiest icon to recognise initially. Once you understand it’s function it quite clearly indicating some kind of list. When you consider the only realistic alternative so far is the word ‘menu’, I think the icon is here to stay.

With time people will only grow more accustomed to the icon but for now it is definitely worth considering whether you really need this on your website, mobile or not.

 

I hope that this has helped clarify the Hamburger icon issue for you. If you would like to learn more about how we can help your business with web design please leave a comment below or call us on 01273 328877.

Stephen Fry .UK Domain

Is Nominet’s new .uk domain for your business?

By Website No Comments

A New Era with .UK Domain

Last week Britain is finally getting access to the new .uk domain through UK registry site www.Nominet.org.uk. Finally the UK has caught up with the rest of Europe and has access to a short, simple domain similar to Germany’s .de and France’s .fr etc. British icon Stephen Fry is one of the first adopters of the new domain he argues that the .co section of previous domain names has always been unnecessary. At Tyler’s Consultants we find it hard to disagree, but is it wise to make the change immediately?

Nominet say that the new .uk domain represents a new opportunity for digital pioneers, this is the domain of the future. Making the change would certainly prove you are a forward thinking, modern organisation/individual. However would you be a little too brave making the change?

Nominet’s new privacy rules

Something to consider if you are interested in changing from a domain such as .com is that Nominet’s privacy changes. People using the .uk registry may have their home addresses publicly visible through online search when they were intending to remain private. Under Nominet’s new policy “only non-trading individual” can choose to have their address details hidden. While I see it as fair for customers to have the rights to know who and where they are buying from, it is Nominet’s idea of ‘trade’ which is already building conflict.

Monetisation of your website in any form will enable Nominet to refuse hiding your privacy details. This includes pay-per-click advertising etc. Which isn’t a transaction with visitors directly, even a link to a online store such as Amazon can be reason for Nominet to label your website as a business.

Future of British web

Appealing to Nominet is possible, however the organisation will not hide your details during their investigation and with the domain only just being made available I imagine there will be many investigations possibly meaning your details will be available to everyone for some time.

While Nominet is reviewing their privacy policies it might be worth waiting until they have come to a conclusion to how they will consider certain cases and update their approach.

Despite all the issues with Nominet’s new policy changes it’s hard to argue with their .uk slogan ‘Shorter is sweeter’. I suspect their issues will be cleaned up relatively swiftly opening the doors to many large organisations who will want to make the change most likely sooner rather than later.

Type Writer Storytelling

Storytelling on your website

By Marketing, SEO, Website No Comments

While Storytelling has been a crucial point of web design for some time, recently it has become much more evident that through animations, user interactivity or photography you can portray true personality. The idea is quite simple really, a story which is visually enticing is going to appeal much more than blocks of text ever could.

The simple truth is simplicity always wins. Regardless of how impressive your product or service is, people are less likely to be interested if it requires effort to digest the information needed to make a decision. Great imagery will make your visitors feel, often in a way that words simply cannot illustrate and in less time too. So what media’s do we have available to us to make use of visual storytelling?

1. Video

Visual communication is king, and video is a king among kings. The process of recording and displaying moving visual images. Few mediums can match the immediacy and depth of storytelling which videos can offer on your website. A professional standard video is capable of attracting visitors through sharing as well as promoting your business’ credibility.

Unfortunately hiring a creative film crew is highly expensive. As a successful video requires a lot of planning, expensive equipment and many highly trained professionals. The budget is completely necessary as a poorly conducted video is capable of hurting your brand image rather than promoting yourself. If you do have the funds available however, video is a strong choice for high ROI.

2. Parallax Scrolling

Parallax scrolling is a prominent trend which makes use of various backgrounds cycling at different speeds while you scroll giving a sense of depth. When implemented correctly parallax scrolling can be quite mesmerising, but also a great way to introduce yourself/business/product.

The issue with Parallax scrolling is that while it has the potential to be a very powerful tool for storytelling on your site, sometimes it can be distracting and hard to navigate hurting your UX. When planned thoroughly however parallax scrolling clarifies your business as simply and enjoyably as scrolling down a page.

3. Photography

Images trigger emotion. Strong authentic images will pull that emotion and bring it together with your brand. Your visitors will associates the emotions you created using imagery with your business. Use that for storytelling on your website. Imagery can say a lot about your brand, make sure that you send the right message. Ensure your images meet your brand values and connect with your audience. With these factors in mind you can easily create a cost effective website while avoiding seemingly insurmountable blocks of text.

4. Slideshare

Slideshare is mostly overlooked and underutilised, most marketers are focusing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But are they missing out? Presentations offer a great way to provide storytelling for your business. They are fun, useful, get straight to the point and will get immediately rewarded for high quality content. Slideshare has over 60 million unique visitors a month, this might seem like a lot less than Facebook or Twitter. But there is significantly less competition than on the social media giants, meaning there is a gap in the market waiting for you.

TCmarketing Design Icon

Make the most of the infinite scroll

By Design, Website No Comments

What is Infinite Scroll?

Infinite scroll essentially deceases your page count by putting vast amounts of content into a single page. The idea is to minimise effort and distractions for the user, thus creating a better experience, but is this always the case?

Over time infinite scroll has gone from a small niche to grab people’s attention to a common trait seen in a lot of web design.

However regardless of how popular a trend may become there will always be strengths and weaknesses in their design. For social media giants like Facebook & Twitter the infinite scroll has become a natural progression, you have to consider though just because the trait has worked well for these popular sites will it work for yours?

Infinite scroll isn’t always beneficial

Successful websites will always look at the pros and cons of current trends. What’s important isn’t that you follow industry leaders, but that you are fulfilling your own site’s potential in both user experience and design. No matter how pretty your site or intriguing the content, if your UX is done poorly your visitors will plummet.

The most crucial aspect to take into consideration when looking into infinite scroll is the type of content your users will be consuming.

Most likely you will have a clear understanding of your visitors goal when they reach your website. Are you giving them the best opportunity you can to find what they are looking for? If your not sure, or maybe your site needs some slight tweaking don’t worry this article is for you. I am writing this to inform whether infinite scroll is for your website.

 

The Good

Low engagement websites like the social media sites mentioned are where infinite scroll is at it’s best. The reason for this is if people are stopping to look at long detailed content or watching/using a widget attached to your site, they aren’t scrolling. When scrolling through small snippets of content, but not interacting with it, that’s when infinite scrolling really shines.

Infinite scroll also caters very well to your mobile visitors market. When using a mobile phone the last thing you want is to be fiddling through pages, in fact it’s a real turn off. However when you have a site using Infinite scroll you are providing an efficient and truly responsive means to navigate masses of content and information. Users do not even have to pre-load the page as content is only accessed when you scroll down saving valuable mobile data.

 

The Bad

You would think that having an infinite amount of search results coming in at a fast rate could only be a good thing. However if the content requires high user engagement such as shopping, this really isn’t the case. If you are searching for a great product it can quickly seem like an impossible task when choosing from what seems like an infinite amount of choice. The truth is you’re searching for a perfect result when the most relevant result would have appeared in the first 10 items. Infinite scrolling can be used to make you feel like if you search a little more you’ll find what your looking for, but it doesn’t always work like that, leaving users frustrated.

Footers can often become impossible to use when the page has infinite scroll, just as a user may look to use a link more results are loaded and the footer bar has vanished. Links are therefore much more difficult to find and your website harder to navigate. Repeating these links elsewhere helps, but isn’t an excuse. Footers are a necessary element to your page as users will expect them and may become lost without it. Most users will not stay on a website which they cannot navigate for very long.

 

Bottom line

The Infinite scroll can be an incredibly versatile and useful tool in certain situations. However while the trend looks great and is very popular in 2014 that does not mean you should necessarily implement the trend yourself on your website. Think about your audience, are they searching for something very specific or is your content high engagement? Then perhaps infinite scroll isn’t for you. However if your users are looking for low engagement discovery then you could be giving your visitors a real treat.