I was recently interviewed for an article at Online Merchant Network about talking to developers. I recommend reading it—everyone quoted gives good advice.
Since the interview, I’ve thought a bit more about communication between web developers and their clients. We do come from different worlds, but with a common goal: a successful launch. Communication is one of the most important and most difficult parts of any project. It’s a skill I’m still working to improve, but I thought I would share a few things I’ve learned.
Continue reading “Clients are from .com, Developers are from .net”…
We’re in the holiday home stretch, with Christmas just a few weeks away. Here at the Smart Goat Ranch, blogging will be light till after the first of the year. But we wanted to share a few tips with you for luring in those last-minute shoppers to your website:
Continue reading “Last-Minute Ideas For Attracting Last-Minute Shoppers”…
There’s a lot of moments I enjoy while I’m creating a client’s website. That first meeting, when they tell me all about their business and I can see the passion they have for what they do. When the CSS is done, and the site looks remarkably similar to the original mock-up. And, of course, when the site finally launches.
There are moments I don’t enjoy, though. One of those usually happens like this:
- Client (showing me a digital photo):
- “Hey, I want to use this on the website.”
- “Great! That looks perfect. Where was this taken?”
- “I don’t know, I found it on the Internet.”
Continue reading “Common Copyright Myths”…
We’ve talked before about sending great email newsletters to your customers. But what about the rest of your emails? What do they say about you and your company?
It’s very easy to shoot off a quick email, so most people don’t put much thought into it. But it’s like any other way you communicate: people are going to form an impression about you—not just on what you say, but on how you say it. So if you’re going to say something with email, say it like you mean it. Write it with conviction and style, in a way that makes your intentions clear.
Continue reading “Email Like You Mean It”…
Braille wine label by adactioWhat does it mean for a website to be accessible? Accessible for whom?
Most of the time, we think of web accessibility as being for the blind. If your website is accessible, that means a blind person using a screen reader can navigate it successfully and access everything that is there.
But there’s a little more to it than that.
First off, web accessibility isn’t just for the blind. It’s for all of us. It’s for anyone whose eyesight isn’t what it used to be. It’s for anybody whose hand-eye coordination isn’t perfect. It’s really for anybody who accesses the web. All users benefit from an accessible site—and you benefit as well, with more visitors having a better experience at your site.
But this begs the question: If accessibility is so great, why is nobody doing it?
Continue reading “Understanding Web Accessibility”…
If you’ve read much about web design or web development, you’ve probably seen the phrases “web standards” or “standards-based design” thrown around. It’s one of those topics that’s very important to web professionals, but we have a difficult time explaining the significance to our clients. That’s because the difference isn’t always easy to see — often, you can’t just put a standards-based site next to a non-standard site and say, “See, that’s why standards are better.” So I thought it would be helpful if I tried to explain the benefits we see from web standards and why, regardless of who builds your website, you should demand it be standards based.
Continue reading “The Importance of Web Standards”…
Before & After I’ve always said you can tell how busy a web designer is by how long it’s been since they changed the design of their own site. If they’re changing their own site every six months they’re not building sites for anybody else.
So, yes, it has been a long time since we updated our own website, but that’s a good thing.
Of course, it’s hard to convince clients of the importance of frequently updating a website when your own site has “News” from three years ago. So, with a little extra time now that we’re both working full-time here, we have finally relaunched our own website.
Continue reading “Welcome to the New SmartGoat Website!”…
Sending your customers an email newsletter can be a great way to keep them informed about new products, upcoming sales & other events. But only if your customers actually read it! Here’s a few tips on how to send great customer newsletters that won’t end up unread, unsubscribed from — or even worse, marked as spam!
Continue reading “How to Send Great Customer E-Newsletters”…
This post is primarily for Smart Goat web hosting clients, but folks who just want to learn a bit about web servers, hosting, and that sort of thing might find it interesting as well.
(This is not our web server, but it gives you an idea of what one looks like.) Soon, all Smart Goat-hosted sites will be moving to a new web hosting server. Most Smart Goat-owned sites and a couple of our clients have already made the transition. By November 1, all our clients will be moved to the new hosting. We will be in touch with each client individually before moving their site, but this post should help explain a lot of the reasons behind the move and what to expect.
Continue reading “Server Move For All Smart Goat Hosted Sites”…