K2 Website Design Blog

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Be Responsive: Make Your Website Mobile

Building a website can be challenging, especially when you need a website built for mobile devices and other platforms, including the iPad, tablets, and other web-enabled devices. Understanding the size of screens - and the range of browsers - can prove to be difficult for the untrained website developer, but when you hire K2 Website Design Services, this process becomes easier. Our trained developers are here to help make your website responsive, accessible on mobile devices, and user-friendly.

A responsive website designer at K2 can help you choose from a variety of features, including text size, layout mode, and the types of images you want displayed on your website. We also provide assistance with grids and tabs. Our expertise does not stop with helping you design a mobile ready website; we also help you with coding.

There are various templates and themes that you can use for your mobile website. Some of the templates include praxis. This theme will allow you to maximize your site’s versatility, which ultimately allows users to fully engage while on your website. The plug-in that accompanies praxis supports swipe and other mobile touch events, due to the responsive website development. Regardless of which mode a visitor uses to access your website, each will be compatible with the praxis theme.

With a great deal of customers and clients using their iPhones, iPads, Kindles, and other web-enabled devices to purchase products and services, you want to make sure your website is responsive and able to accommodate these formats. K2 Website Design Services is here to help you do just that. We have a team of responsive website developers who can help you get the job done, and done right!

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Joomla Website Design

If you want a flexible platform that allows you to connect and network with other businesses for digital publishing or collaboration, Joomla is the open-source system for you. Using Joomla is an option that is available to all businesses and web developers, regardless of the skill levels you might have. We realize that creating a Joomla website design may not be easy for you, which is why K2 is here to help you design your site, and join an interactive community that could be great for your business. 

K2 Website Design is experienced using the Joomla Content Management System (CMS) and has extensive knowledge of Joomla extensions, templates, component configurations, social networking systems, databasing and directory setup, login systems, and more.  

You have a variety of options with Joomla, such as building personal homepages, external websites, and intranets. You can list polls and RSS feeds on your website; you can also add music, videos, and images to your website design. The features available with Joomla are designed to let you track clicks – you also have the option to monitor search patterns. K2 Website Design has the skills to help you use the more advanced features of Joomla, such as news tickers, maps, and calendars, in addition to a variety of other plug-ins. 

K2 Website Design will make sure you have a Joomla website that you love, and we will help you get the most out of Joomla that you possibly can. 

Contact us to get started on your Joomla website design!

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Google Hummingbird Upgrade and Implications on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The stealth introduction of Hummingbird, Google’s most substantive algorithm upgrade since 2001, was announced a few months after it occurred. A search algorithm is a system that sifts through the raw results when you enter a search term or phrase; algorithms allow search engines to return the results it assesses as the most relevant to your query. Google stated that it chose the moniker Hummingbird because its namesake is “precise and fast.”

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) managers somewhat anxiously wondered whether their previous efforts had to be changed. Danny Sullivan, founding editor of Search Engine Land, addressed the question of whether SEO was dead: “No, SEO is not yet again dead.” He added that the goal remained the same, which is to produce original, valuable, high-quality content, and that “Hummingbird just allows Google to process them in new and hopefully better ways.” Sullivan emphasized that providers of valuable content that link relevant websites to their own sites will still continue to rank well, which is good news for providers of fresh, high-quality content.


What is the Google Hummingbird Update?

Google’s evolution in producing search results that are responsive to what the user needs led to an upgrade from the Penguin and Panda algorithms. If the search results are not what the user wants, other search engines become the consumer’s go-to choice.

Rather than producing results based on keywords alone, Hummingbird is able to interpret natural language, or complex queries. Users are already accustomed to performing longer queries, refining their own searches to avoid sifting through pages of results to find what they are looking for. Further, the expansion of voice-activated searches with Smartphones and tablets necessitated an algorithm that can handle complex phrases. When people speak a query rather than type it, they tend to use longer phrases.


How SEO has Changed

In the early days of SEO, content mills churned out many thousands of spammy content that basically held the keywords together, with less attention to the value of the content, and more focus on keyword placement and number usage. These excesses led to the practice of keyword stuffing, but Google’s algorithm adapted to reward increasingly useful content that used keywords and keyword phrases more organically. Conversely, stiff-sounding content that was stuffed with keywords was punished in the rankings, in favor of natural and valuable text.

The need for useful content will also increase the need for writers and editors who can produce and refine thoughtful, valuable pieces. The change in SEO practices includes building sites with numerous pages that anticipate what the users might want. This approach can provide content for users that are in various phases of the buying cycle.


How the Google Hummingbird Upgrade Affects SEO

Google Panda algorithm rewarded unique content, but Hummingbird prefers useful content. Robert Charlton, the moderator of WebmasterWorld, noted, “It's no longer just a single page and its title satisfying a query... It becomes a whole site satisfying a range of users.” Roberts believes that with Hummingbird hovering the background, sites should optimize for overall customer satisfaction, rather than optimizing content for primary and secondary keywords. He added that the new algorithm would yield results that de-emphasize the creation of “a collection of content farms and more a collection of pages created with the user genuinely in mind.”

Works Cited:
Schwartz, Barry. “SEOs Adapt to Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm.” Search Engine Roundtable, 9 October 2013. Web. 24 October 2013. <http://www.seroundtable.com/google-hummingbird-seo-17493.html>
Sullivan, Danny. “FAQ: All About The New Google ‘Hummingbird’ Algorithm.” Search Engine Land, 26 September 2013. Web. 24 October 2013. <http://searchengineland.com/google-hummingbird-172816>

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Why Using a Template Makes Sense

Using a website template is a great way to increase efficiency and time of delivery for website projects.  A common phrase associated with using a template instead of a 100% custom website design is "don't reinvent the wheel".  Templates come with advanced extensions ready to go and quality design and typography already set up.  Adjustments of the typography and styles on the website can be facilitated in template manager tools for quick and easy customization. 

Template or theme clubs and providers usually build their templates on framework that is well described and easy to utilize.  Documentation for the module variations and layouts are presented and website framework adjustments can be made using user friendly template development tools.  A custom website layout can be easily adjusted and iterated. 

Save your website designer a lot of hassle and time by choosing a website template before getting started with development.  Template designs can be adjusted and customized as necessary. 


Some great template clubs include:

 

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Why You Should Invest in Website Security

Website security is an important aspect of website ownership.  A hacked website makes your business look unprofessional and can pose a threat to your website visitors.  Websites developed on out of date website platforms are targeted by hackers because of vulnerabilities within the core, extensions, modules, plugins, scripts, or components. Hackers find a way to hack into a site and will install malware and viruses into the website to target your customers.  They also install unwanted advertisements for performance enhancing drugs like Viagra.  

Certain precautions to increase website security include:

  • Make sure that your website framework is up to date.
  • Make sure that all extensions, modules, plugins, scripts, and components of your website are up to date.  If there is no updated version available, consider swapping out your extension for one that is more secure.  
  • Use complicated encrypted passwords that utilize numbers, symbols, and upper and lowercase letters.  
  • Lock your file permissions (755 for folders and 644 for files).
  • Use FTPS for file transfers.
  • Use SSL to send emails and use suPHP.
  • Hide your administration URL by changing the URL location so hackers don't know where to try to log in.
  • Block IP addresses that are blacklisted from visiting your website.
  • Install extensions that do not allow login attempts to occur for an extended period of time after a certain number of attempts are taken.
  • Use CAPTCHA in forms to avoid spamming through form systems.
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When and How to Update your Computer Systems

Understanding when to update your computer systems is an important component of running a business.  A computer crash or theft can leave you wondering how you are going to move forward with your business or deal with taxes come tax season.  In addition, increases in hacking, malware, virus injection, and other types of security problems increase the risk associated with keeping important business information on your computer or online system.  

It is important to update your computer systems after every three to five years.  Out of date computer systems utilize out of date software and that can enable hackers to access your personal information.  In addition, out of date computer systems are more likely to fail or have a crash.  Updating computer systems to high quality systems can be cheap and effective and rapid processing full desktop systems can be purchased for less than $400.  

Old computer systems should be replaced with new and quality computer systems.  Buy a removable hard drive to migrate your important files and documents from the old computer to the new computer.  All of your personal files on the desktop and in My Documents can be easily migrated by navigating to your main hard drive, usually the C drive, and then going to Users, and then copying the folder for the users that you want to back up.  Then make sure that you export all of your necessary program files properly, such as QuickBooks backup and Outlook archive features, to the new removable hard drive.  Then copy the files from the removable hard drive to your new computer.  It is recommended to store the hard drive in a safe location, such as your closet at home or in a fire-proof safe.  

 

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Why In-Office Web Design Increases Efficiency

Being in person with the website client during the design and development stages makes web construction efficient and more cost-effective for the client.  Face to face relationships help build confidence and trust between the website designer and the client and help make working together enjoyable and efficient.  

Graphic design ideas for the logo, header, slideshow, footer, or content pages can be hand drawn and discussed in detail by the website designer and the client to get a clear understanding of what should be done the first time.  This helps to decrease miscommunication and maximize productivity.  When designs are completed, quick review of the work can be completed by the client immediately and new changes can be created.  Between review sessions the client can continue with their work in their normal work environment.  In person client review also eliminates the time required to write new emails and upload large graphic design files.  For large scale graphic design projects some files are too large to be uploaded into an email and uploading these files to a server or DropBox can take a significant amount of time and decrease internet productivity for other tasks.  

K2 Website Design is willing to travel to our clients businesses or homes with our computer equipment to set up their new website.  All we need is an internet connection and an electrical plug.  We have experience providing in-office website design in Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Petaluma, Arcata, and Eureka and are looking forward to traveling to other locations in the future.

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Luma Optics Promotionals

Things with Luma Optics (a Sebastopol Fiber Optic company) have been going EXCELLENT!   We have been working in-house all summer building a 54 page product booklet, new business cards, a two page flyer, new website slides, and 6 new sweet postcards to be sent out to businesses looking for a good deal on fiber optic transceivers.  Also have spent a large chunk of time redesigning and working on the website (http://lumaoptics.net).   Can't wait to see all the things printed, will follow up with some images of all of the printed material as soon as we can.  

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Infinity Car Audio - Reno

Needed to get a new stereo in the new Toyota Tacoma and drove to Infinity Car Audio in Reno to get it installed.  I got in the shop at 11:00 am and was able to convince Edgar to do a trade for a $500 website design and threw in a logo redesign and business card design as well.  I worked there until 8:30 pm that night and was able to finish everything that I said I would be able to do.  Check out the website design at infinitycaraudioreno.com.  He put in all new speakers, a new deck, and a 1100 watt amplifier to go with my new 10" Renegade subwoofer.  

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