You may have questions.
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There are a number of aspects relating to website that should be considered.
If you have any other questions please reach out and I'll do my best to fill any gaps.
About True inSite
I have a business degree from Acadia with a focus on Marketing and a degree in Applied Computer Technology from ACI. I started True inSite in 2001 because I saw the need for marketing when it came to websites.
My family moved to Nova Scotia from Germany in 1984, giving me a different perspective. I am very much focused on my clients, aiming to provide the best customer experience possible.
Small businesses, especially self-employed individuals like myself.
The best fit are businesses looking to improve their overall marketing or seeking a more effective way to showcase their products or services.
Select your challenge
Not every business benefits from a website equally. Whether a website could be a good fit depends on various factors and I would be happy to explore them with you. I will also do my best to explain how all the pieces fit together so why not contact me to set up a meeting?
It is sometimes possible to breathe new life into an old site but depending on how it was built, it may be better to start from scratch to ensure it meets all current design standards.
If content on your old site has not been updated, it likely means your website content could use an overhaul as well because every business evolves over time.
Let's meet and review what you currently have and whether it is representative of your business.
- Does your website answer the visitor's questions?
- Unless visitors can find answers to questions important to them they will likely move on to another website.
- Can you solve the visitor's "problems"?
- An example of a problem may be the lack of curb appeal of someone's house, making the owner feel it is not really a home they enjoy looking at. If you are a landscaping company, a particular photo of one of your projects may be their "solution", enticing them to reach out. It is all about establishing whether you are the right fit.
- A website should not be created with the intent to "push" information. Content needs to engage. Make it all about the person visiting your site and focus on how you can help.
- Is your website easy to use?
- How easy is it to find information on your website? Is the menu intuitive and accessible at all times or do you need to scroll up to see it? Once a button is clicked, will visitors know what page they are on? Is the phone number clearly visible and can it be pressed on phones to dial automatically?
- Is your site mobile friendly?
- Mobile friendly websites are a MUST these days. According to CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), 57% of Canadians are surfing the Internet on their phones. A mobile optimized website will change its layout based on the space available. Your website may display information in 4 columns on larger devices but should collapse into a single column on a phone.
- All features used on a website need to be easy to use on phones, including slideshows and phone numbers to dial automatically. Font sizes should be larger on phones to make text easier to read.
- Pay Google directly so your website displays at the top when certain words are used in searches. This will result in a little box displayed next to your website with the word "Ad". This can be quite effective but costly.
- This TRUE ranking is based on the quality of the website and reflects your credibility instead of your advertising budget. Organic rankings are achieved through Search Engine Optimization, part of a larger online strategy to improve traffic to your site.
Photos are often the heart of a website because they support the claims the business is making about its abilities. Many websites do not have a well-organized portfolio, making it challenging for visitors to find the kind of photos they are interested in. In a lot of cases the photos cannot be updated by the owner.
With my projects you are in control: add photos and even create new galleries, helping you organize them into logical categories. Why pay someone and wait until they are available when you can make changes yourself within minutes?
Why not set up a meeting so I can give you a demonstration?
Many business owners are stuck with websites they cannot update. Even if the are able to make edits to text, the process is often complicated, especially when Content Management Systems are used that require regular maintenance to keep the website secure. With my projects you can change text within seconds.
Let's set up a meeting so I can give you a demonstration.
Online, perception is reality, meaning people will judge your business based on what they can see. If the website is not making a favourable impression, the visitor may move on to your competition.
I take the time to get to know you and the business so we can come up with a strategy that works best and paints an accurate pictures of who you are, what you do and what you stand for.
Let's set up a meeting and brainstorm ideas.
Online marketing, including websites and Social Media, can be overwhelming but it is important to understand how all pieces work and work better together. Let's meet so I can give you an overview and answer any questions you may have.
Unfortunately this sometimes happens. Personalities may not mesh, the skill level may not be at the level you seek or the person is not receptive to your ideas or as responsive as you would like them to be.
Before you switch to someone else, I recommend collecting all website and online marketing related information and login credentials because this may be a challenging to obtain once you sever the relationship.
- Domain ownership.
- Domains should always be registered under the name of the business and/or owner. If you are unsure, I will be happy to look it up.
- Website backup.
- Switching website designers may involve changing hosting providers. If you have invested time creating content and want to use it as a foundation for your new site, ensure it has been backed up or copied so you do not lose it.
- Login credentials.
- In case your website designer has been managing aspects such as email addresses, Social Media and your Google business account, ensure you have all the account and login details.
The only way to know whether I can help is to set up a meeting, allowing me to learn about your business. There is no obligation and if I do not believe I can improve your current situation I will let you know.
About Domain Names
A domain name is your online identity, a unique address that connects people to your website. It can also be part of your email address, such as sales@YourDomainName.ca
It is always best for the owner of the business to register their own domain. Some website designers may offer the registration as part of their service but often register it under their identity because it is easier. If you were to decide to switch designers or there was a fall-out, you may have a challenge getting the domain transferred to you.
Always choose a reputable domain registrar. My preference is GoDaddy because they offer great features with each registration and the pricing is very reasonable, especially with discounts offered on new domains.
Don't ever have your Internet service provider (Bell or Eastlink) register a domain because you may not have access to it. If you wish to make a change to a domain, the hoops you need to jump through are not worth it and providers often mark up their prices.
Typing the domain you are considering into a search may not result in a website being found but that does not necessarily mean it is available. Someone may have registered it but has not connected it to a website.
Use GoDaddy's domain name search feature instead. Enter your preferred domain into the search bar titled "Find your perfect domain". You do not need to add CA or COM because the results will tell you which extensions are available.
- No special characters.
- Stay away from dashes. Keep it simple. The more complicated, the less likely someone is able to remember it.
- Easy spelling.
- Don't use words that are uncommon or have more than one way of spelling.
- Try to register CA and COM.
- This will lock out anyone who could potentially ride on your coat-tails. If you register a CA, your competitor could potentially register COM.
- Keep it short.
- A long domain will be more challenging to remember. It is also more difficult to fit a long domain on a business card and still be readable.
You sure can! Just link your existing domain to the hosting account where your new website is located.
About Hosting Services
Think of it in real state terms: a website is the house. You need land a house can be built on. Hosting is your land. You lease the land on a yearly basis so hosting needs to be renewed.
Not all website are created equally and may have different hosting requirements. A website displaying a lot of high resolution photos will require more space. Certain features of a website may require specific hosting settings to work.
In order to guarantee hosting to be compatible, the scope and features of the website needs to be established.
True inSite uses hosting services from a high-end hosting company in California to ensure no service interruptions. Tech support is outstanding so if there were ever any issues, it will be resolved quickly.
If your website requirements were to change over time, I can easily accommodate them. About 95% of my clients have their hosting with me.
Having True inSite look after the hosting means I am responsible for everything. In case there is ever an issue, whether it's website or email related, I am the only person you would need to contact.
Hosting prices can vary and often depend on the features offered. Unless you are tech-savvy, buying hosting directly from a hosting provider may not be best choice because they generally do not offer services I include, like creating and helping install email accounts on your devices and offering trouble shooting. True inSite's hosting is on a dedicated, high-end, and very fast server I control.
Once we establish the scope of the website I can give you a price. I can also offer hosting if you already have a website and are just looking for a better hosting provider.
Have you ever noticed the little image of a lock to the left of the website address? It signifies your website is “secure”, meaning any sensitive information transmitted from and to the website is encrypted, helping protect your visitors' data from being misused by attackers.
A significant benefit of SSL certificates: they help gain your visitors' trust. Your website will be displayed with a security padlock in the address bar of the browser. This will indicate that the connection is secure and will show your website's visitors that you take their privacy seriously. If your website does not have a certificate, some browsers may label it as unsafe, causing some visitors to look for secure websites instead.
As a bonus, Google gives websites with safe/encrypted connections a slight ranking boost. Although the boost may not be substantial, having an SSL will give you an advantage over your competitors who may not have certificates yet.
About Email Accounts
- Service provider addresses.
- Using addresses that service providers like Bell or Eastlink offer is never a good idea. The email addresses are owned by the provider so if you ever wanted to switch, you would need to ask all your contacts to switch addresses.
- Free addresses.
- Free email accounts like Hotmail or Google may suggest you don't know how to set up a proper business email address or don't think it's worth your time to investigate better options. Using free accounts does not reflect well on the business.
- Proper business email address.
- Most hosting packages will allow you to create email addresses containing your domain name. If your website address is www.MyCompany.ca, you should consider an address like sales@MyCompany.ca You are now the owner of this address and it will never change.
Certainly. Depending on the hosting package chosen, I can set up as many email accounts as you wish and do my best to help set them up on your devices.
How to choose a good website designer
I offer discounted packages to clients who wish to have ongoing website, computer and marketing support.
Picking a website designer that's right for you can be challenging. Here are a few tips that may help:
- How long have they been in business?
- Many website designers come and go. Find one who is established. True inSite has been around since 2001.
- Check the portfolio.
- Do you recognize any of their clients?
- Do you like their work? If the websites do not appeal to you, a different designer may be a better choice.
- What are their qualifications?
- Pretty much anyone can create a website these days but if it were that easy, every business with a website would be doing well. Choose someone who has the experience to design a site that meets all current standards who pays attention to details, making sure nothing is overlooked.
- Team up with someone who knows about marketing. A website represents your business but without considering marketing it will not be effective. You only have one shot at making a great first impression. Make it count!
- Check their Google business profile.
- Search for the business name. Do they have a Google business profile? Does it contain more than a few testimonials? What is the overall rating?
- True inSite's Google business profile.
Someone who does not understand what you do will not be able to create a website that reflects your business, the reason I spend a lot of time in the beginning. The better the foundation of the website the more effective it will be.
If, after meeting them, you still feel there are gaps, they may either not know the answers or are not placing enough value on transparency. I will spend as much time with you as required to ensure you feel comfortable.
Does the website designer offer suggestions you like and can relate to? If they do not have any, it may be an indication of how much you can expect later. I will brainstorm ideas and tweak them with your input.
Trust your instincts. Creating a website takes time and effort so being able to work as a team is important. You need to feel comfortable with the person who will be your main contact for the entire project. Since businesses evolve over time, your marketing (especially the website) needs to be adapted. A long-term relationship with a website designer is beneficial since they already know you and the business.