06 Jan

Is hiring an in-house web developer the best choice?

A while back, I stumbled across a job posting seeking a "32 hour a week" web developer.  What caught my eye was the posting had been open for over six months.  It was easy to see why!  The company was looking for a digital marketing assistant with strong web development skills, graphic design background, and the ability to take over the copywriting and manage social networks.

In all fairness, they were just trying to fill a need within a budget, but perhaps they should have considered out-sourcing some of those duties to a web development agency.

Outsourcing web development for a website redesign is common.  But, did you know that agencies are great choices for post-launch activities?  They can shoulder the burden by taking over tasks like website maintenance, social networking, graphic design, content creation and content updates.  Before you spend six months finding the right person, read the 8 questions to consider before hiring in-house.

04 Jan

How to choose the best outsourced web development solution.

There are as many reasons to outsource web development as there are freelancers and agencies to consider.  Each of these web development sources will have different personalities, philosophies, and pricing structures.  Selecting the best option for your company can be challenging and feel overwhelming.

Unless you’ve received a referral from a trusted source, finding the developer for your project may be the most difficult aspect of your project.

04 Jan

9 things you should see in a website cost estimate (to avoid budget creep).

Based on our experience, companies redesign their websites as often as every three years and ask for at least three proposals during the process. With over 1 billion websites in the world today, that’s a lot of proposal writing - and each one is slightly different.

01 Jan

Disclose your website budget to get the best proposals.

If you are asking for proposals for designing and developing a website, you are probably looking for a developer who can do the best job for the most reasonable price.   

One personal hurdle you might need to get over is being open about your budget. Click through to read the pro's of establishing and sharing a website redesign budget.

06 Dec

WebMistress.com helps Credit Unions for Kids launch #VoteForMiracles Website

Credit Unions for Kids hires WebMistress.com for our experience as the lead developer in a similar campaign conceived and launched by CU Direct in 2014.  The 2014 20/20 Giveback campaign was a viral success that saw more than 250,000 votes cast over a three-week promotion. 

14 Oct

Twitter Lists - The Best Way to Tune out the Noise

We do a lot of social media training and more than once I've been asked "What the heck is a Twitter List used for?" and then upon hearing the answer "What is the point of following thousands of users if you just have to use Twitter Lists to filter everything?"

In this author's humble opinion, Twitter Lists are mandatory if you want to find and read pertinent content, engage with specific groups of people, and maintain your sanity.

23 Jun

Why The Best Websites Have Custom 404 Error Pages.

Even the best websites will occasionally display a 404 error page.  These unwelcome pages are simply a result of a URL that cannot be found on the server.  Many things can cause this such as a mistyped URL, an out of date bookmark, a typo in a marketing piece, broken links in old emails, dead search engine links, or an internal link the webmaster failed to notice.

10 Jun

Five easy things you can do to improve SEO and your site.

While none of these tips will get you on the front page of search results on their own,  they help optimize your site for the search engines and have merit beyond SEO.  

Register your domain name for ten years:  Domain registration length is a debated ranking signal, but there is enough chatter from SEO journals to warrant hedging your bets.  You're planning on being in business for the next decade, so don't risk forgetting to renew your domain name and secure it for ten years. It’s not money wasted.

06 Jun

Do you worry about plagiarism when you blog?

Do you worry about how original your content is when you blog?  When you are in a creative session, you probably take a lot of notes and jot down other people's ideas that will make your blog post better.   No one wants to copy someone else's work, but sometimes after you summarize ideas from other authors in your words and from your perspective, the result is a little too close to what the original author wrote.   Use a service like Copyscape to check that your content is unique and ensure you haven't accidentally plagiarized another author's copy.  

Copyscape can help you find authors who may have "accidentally" used your magical words of wisdom too.

We use Copyscape regularly, and the app helped us find a young web developer who thought that copying an entire website was more cost efficient than building one out.  He captured every bit of our design and content, including our customer quotes!  The only thing he changed were his rates.  I guess you can work at a reduced cost when you aren't actually doing the work :)

02 Jun

How to remove (not block) a Twitter Follower

Twitter blocking feels rude, doesn't it?  Like an electronic smack across the cheek.  What do you do when you have a follower who isn't a stalker or doing anything particularly annoying, but you just don't want that follower to follow you?  

Here's a bit of a hack will remove them as a follower, but doesn't block them and they'll be none the wiser.  It's quick and easy, and we've confirmed it works.  You can safely follow these instructions to remove a Twitter follower without the electronic snub.

Thanks to Tiffiny Brumley for the detailed instructions over on Quora

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