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Year in Review

Posted by on 12:02 pm in Business, Online Marketing, WalkerTek News, Web Design | 0 comments

Year in Review

Below are some of the sites and projects we worked on over the course of the year. Thanks to all of our clients and here's to a happy and healthy new year!!! We worked with a broad range of clients from schools, to printer manufacturers, to cookie companies. Each with their own unique characteristics and goals. Take a look at the list below and feel free to contact us if you're considering updating your website. We also worked behind the scenes with a number of agencies to develop sites for their clients. If you need someone to help you build out a site, we work with several agencies in the NY/NJ area, give us a call at 973-227-6003.  ...

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Google Translate Sample Page

Posted by on 12:14 pm in Business, Technology | 0 comments

Google Translate Sample Page

This is a page to show how the Google translate widget works on a website. If you're thinking about using the Google Translate widget, you can implement it by going to the Google Translate page, clicking on Translate Website at the bottom of the page, set up a site, and add some code to your website. It will then take all the text on your website and update it to the language the user selects. You can try it now by selecting the language you want: Machine translation is only about 70% accurate, so if you need to make sure your content is translated exactly as you want, then you are better off doing it manually and implementing a system that allows you to maintain it as easily as possible. Also, keep in mind that Google Translate doesn't do images, so any images with text will still have the original text in them (notice the language on the books doesn't change when you select a different language). Google Translate is a good tool if you need some quick translations, but we don't recommend it as a solution for...

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Why Your Nephew’s Friend’s Cousin Isn’t Your Best Bet for a Web Designer

Posted by on 9:10 am in Business, Online Marketing | 0 comments

Why Your Nephew’s Friend’s Cousin Isn’t Your Best Bet for a Web Designer

There are a lot of people out there with at least a little knowledge of how to get a website up and running. Many can do it on the cheap — and if you’re family, they may even do it for the incredibly low price of free. They may be able to hook you up with a free website on some shared service, cobble together a template and copy your brochure onto an online platform. But what you’ve got, despite low prices and possibly the fact that your ‘web designer’ can keep it all in the family, is not the website that can help your business grow online. Why Family and Friends Don’t Make for Good Web Designers There are exceptions, of course, to the suggestion that you shouldn’t use a family member to do the design for your website: you may have some real gems in your family. But the typical situation is that if you stick within your personal circle, you’re going to face a lot of constraints. You have to bring your new website down to the level that you know that they can complete. That can start all sorts of problems, because not everyone knows how to set up hosting, how to do a website that isn’t based entirely on templates, how to get traffic to your website and so on. The simple truth is that few of us would choose a relative to build the actual store that our business sits in. We’d be in much better shape and have a better chance of growing our businesses if we go to professional architects and contractors. The same is true for our websites. There are web designers that specialize in building sites that make it easier for you to sell your services or products online. Picking a Web Designer on the Right Basis If family ties aren’t enough to help you choose a web designer, what is? Choosing one on the basis of experience building sites in your industry can be one of the best strategies available. Review a designer’s portfolio and actually visit the websites he’s built: Do they work well? Do they look professional? Would you trust that company? You should also compare estimates, between professional web designers, rather than between a pro and a family friend who happens to know a little HTML. Comparing apples to oranges may, in this case, only get you worms. Rather, comparing numbers between professionals can help you get an idea of not only what your website is worth, but what you may need to pay for in the future, like hosting. Most professional designers are also willing to sit down with you and run through the numbers, explaining the value you’re getting. It’s tempting to try to keep your business’ costs to minimum. Turning to a relative who claims that he can get you a website for free is definitely more appealing than cutting a big check to a web design company. But what you get for your money is a very different story. Image by Flickr user Doug...

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HTML, CSS and Other Web Design Jargon Business Owners Need to Know

Posted by on 9:45 am in Online Marketing, Technology | 0 comments

HTML, CSS and Other Web Design Jargon Business Owners Need to Know

The features your website offers will determine how much professional assistance you’ll require to create your presence on the Internet. Even if your website is entirely a leave-it-to-the-experts job, you’ll want to have a basic understanding of the terms used in web design. As Web developers, we often throw around terms in meetings that our clients may or may not know. Terms like themes, CSS, SEO and a bunch of others. Here’s a primer on some of the jargon associated with designing a website so you’ll be in-the-know when the acronyms start flying about: CMS (Content Management System) — Your designer may choose to use a program called a CMS to create your website. WordPress and Drupal are two popular CMSs. They include the interface in which text, photos and the other content that comprises your website are entered. When created in a CMS, oftentimes, you can update your site’s content on your own without needing to hire a designer every time you change a price or add a photo. However, the CMS systems need to be maintained so they stay up to date and don't get hacked. Theme — Often this word is used in relation to a website’s design, or overall presentation. A website’s theme is its appearance, including the number of columns, location of particular features that appear on the page and the look of any graphical elements. The design, or theme, is the foundation upon which the look of the site is built. Many platforms on which websites are built, like, WordPress or Drupal,  use the theme to keep the design of the site consistent. While the client can change the content on the site (the text, images, posts, etc.) typically, updating the theme requires more technical knowledge. CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) — This is the technical term for the computer code that creates the ‘style’ of your website. In other words, CSS dictates how all the elements of the site’s appearance will be displayed, such as: font color and size heading color, font and size color of links background color so that whenever these elements appear, they are consistently displayed site-wide. The CSS also controls how your site displays on various screen sizes, for example if your site is responsive, it will display differently on a mobile device with a smaller screen size. Browser - This is the program on your computer or mobile device that you use to view websites. Internet Explorer (IE), Safari, Chrome, and Firefox are all browsers. There are also different versions of each browser, for example IE 8, 9, or 10. HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) — This is the computer code that creates the structure of each page on your website. It includes information about the page, such as the version of HTML that is being used, links to other scripts (including javascript and css), search engine information such as page titles, and the content of your webpage. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) — Search engines are the means by which Internet searches are conducted. SEO includes measures you take when developing your site (including proper keyword insertion and search engine-friendly site development tactics) to make the content on your website more likely to come up in Internet searches. Optimized content ranks higher in search results - and is therefore more...

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Web and Application Development

Posted by on 4:17 pm in Business, WalkerTek News, Web Design | 0 comments

Web and Application Development

We had the opportunity to work with a broad range of clients again last year. Although we've had a hard time keeping the blog up to date with all the activity, we thought it would be good to show some of the various projects we worked on in 2013. Industries included Legal, IT, Chemicals, Manufacturing, Distribution, Psychological and even some Retail. Work included website design and development, search marketing, application development and infrastructure and hosting....

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Staying Up to Date on Web Design: What You Need to Know and What Your Designer Will Handle

Posted by on 8:57 am in Business, Online Marketing, Technology | 0 comments

Staying Up to Date on Web Design: What You Need to Know and What Your Designer Will Handle

As a business owner, you can’t afford to focus all your time and energy on web design: you’ve got to hustle to find customers, handle your accounting and manage all the different parts of your company. That doesn’t mean that you can get away with knowing absolutely nothing about web design, though. In order to make sure that you get a website that will actually help your business to grow, you need to know at least a little about actually designing a website, as well as how to find the best possible web designer. After all, you wouldn’t buy a car without knowing how to drive it, how to change a tire and how to find a good mechanic. What You Need to Know About Web Design A lot of knowing the basics of web design is a matter of vocabulary, and understanding the definitions of the words on your list. Unfortunately, we can’t give you a list of words to memorize — there are differences between industries, as well as a wide variety of technology to deal with. However, there are a few starting points we can offer. Content management systems: In the past, a web designer was responsible for updating all the content on a site because coding was required. Now, however, there are tools, known as ‘content management systems,’ that will let you update your content. There are many options, though, so you’ll need to look into what you can work with. Search engine optimization: Because so much online traffic is directed by search engines, you need at least a passing familiarity with how to make your site more appealing to those same search engines. Ecommerce: If you plan on selling directly through your website, you’ll be facing a few technical concerns. By reading up on ecommerce solutions early on, you can help your web designer get a better idea of what you want. What You Need to Know About Website Designers A good web designer is always willing to discus the technology aspects of your website with you. Not only should your designer be able to come up with the right design and appearance for your site, but he should be ready to talk to you about the decisions that go into creating a reliable and useful website. Staying Up to Date on Web Design The next website you have created for your company isn’t likely to be the last site you ever need built. Most companies find it necessary to update their sites regularly, as well as may need specialized sites or pages for individual promotions or projects. That makes it worth your while to keep up to date on what’s going on in the world of web design. Picking a few websites that you trust to tell you about web technologies is the simplest approach to educating yourself. All you have to do is make sure that you’re actually reading up on the topic, or having regular conversations with your web design company. Image by Flickr user David...

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Collecting Clients’ Information Online: 5 Facts You Need to Know

Posted by on 9:53 am in Business, Online Marketing | 0 comments

Collecting Clients’ Information Online: 5 Facts You Need to Know

It’s easy enough to add a form to any website, begging your clients — or prospective clients — to give you as much information as possible. After all, the more information you have on file, the better you can help clients, right? Just because the mechanics of gathering information are easy online, though, you shouldn’t take the opportunity lightly. That information is valuable, and not everyone will want to give it to you. That means you’ll need to know as much as possible about the process of collecting information online before you even start. You have an obligation to protect any information you collect: For many types of information that you might collect from your clients, especially online, there are laws that govern the collection and use of such information. Even if you aren’t legally required to handle information correctly, however, by asking for that information, you’ve created an implicit obligation for yourself. If you don’t protect your clients, they won’t be your clients for long. Many people will not give you the information you want: If you’re offering some sort of incentive for your clients to fill out a form (like a free ebook or a coupon code), it’s quite possible that some will fill in false information to get their reward, leaving you to sort out the useful data from the dregs. That’s true, whether your clients are businesses or individuals. Some people are extremely reluctant to give out information online, no matter what. Some people won’t give out information online, some won’t include sensitive information no matter how many protections you put in place and some will fill out anything you send them. You need to have a plan in place for what you’re going to do with that information: The simple truth is that some businesses collect information just to have it, just in case. But considering the relative ease of gathering data these days, it may not be worth collecting a ton of information right now, unless you’re prepared to act on it. It can be extremely difficult to get updates to the information you collect: Where you might have had an assistant just go through and call every number for past clients to check if your records are up to date in the past, it’s not nearly so simple with online information — with an email list, who’s to say that a bounced email means that an email address has changed, a mail box is full or some other situation entirely. Before you even create a form, you need to have strategies in place to take care of your obligations regarding client data, as well as to make sure that you’re really getting what you need out of the information you collect. Image by Flickr user...

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5 Tips to Changing Your Brand Without Losing Customers

Posted by on 11:48 am in Business, Online Marketing | 0 comments

5 Tips to Changing Your Brand Without Losing Customers

Redoing your website and print branding can refresh your business’ image and help you attract new customers — but such changes can be less beneficial for your existing customers. When you’ve invested time and money into creating a brand, updating it can make your business less recognizable to your clients, as well as lead them to question if you’re changing anything else. Handling such a change carefully is important to making sure your customers stick with you through the process. Bring your clients in on the process. Especially if you want to continue to target the same market, connecting with your existing customer base gives you opportunities to really find out where you can tweak or revamp your branding. You have the added benefit of being able to warn customers about coming changes to your brand long before they need to be comfortable with them. Make the changeover personal. It’s a rare business that doesn’t rely on personal connections to keep customers happy. And what holds true in customer service is also true when your business is in transition. Take the time to reach out to customers and clients personally — whether the owner or another representative of the business makes the call — means that they’re more likely to even be aware of the change, which makes it much easier for them to spot your mail, online communications and other branding materials. Explain the transition. Since most businesses don’t rebrand at the drop of a hat, there’s probably some logic behind the decision to change things up. Take the time to share that reasoning with your customers, especially those that you particularly look forward to working with in the future. Follow up after rebranding. You may not have to follow the communications process too carefully, though if you’re sending out invoices and similarly crucial business documents under your new brand, you should certainly make the effort. When a customer recognizes your email newsletters or your mailing envelopes, sending out anything that looks differently will make it harder for them to pull those communications out of the piles that most people and businesses receive over the course of a day. Following up can be the only way to be sure that your messages get through. Live up to customers’ prior experiences. The truth behind the matter is that your customers may be unsure about what your transition means for them. They chose to work with you, in part because of your branding. Whether you’re changing what customers you focus your branding for or are just changing your color palette, you’re no longer exactly the business a client signed up to work with. The only way to address this problem is to continue to offer great services or products so that your customers can tell that, behind your new branding, your business’ values are still the same. With these steps, you can move your business to the next level while still maintaining your connections with your customers or clients. Image by Flickr user Collin...

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4 Ways You Can Help Your Customers Trust Your Website

Posted by on 8:42 am in Business, Online Marketing | 0 comments

4 Ways You Can Help Your Customers Trust Your Website

A website makes an immediate and lasting impression on customers as to a business’ overall mission, personality and trustworthiness. A website that makes customers feel safe and welcome is a champion for a business’ reputation. Does your business website foster a sense of trust in your customers? Whether your business is represented by your website or is an ecommerce venture conducted directly on it, there’s a lot you can do to make it a trusted destination for your customers. Nurture trust by providing an atmosphere that demonstrates respect and consideration for your customers. Like being a good resident of any community, the more approachable you are, the more neighbors are likely to drop by for a visit. Here are four ways in particular to help your customers trust your website: Be a friendly neighbor. Rock your About Page by clearly explaining what you do, where you do it, why you do it and for whom. Being forthcoming with information will let your visitors will know right away if this is where they want to be, if they want to learn more and if they want to do business with you. Respect their valuable time by using straightforward language rather than technical jargon or vague generalities. Show customers there are actual people running and working in your business by including biographies and photos. It’s much easier to trust people than an anonymous entity. Express your interest in engaging with your visitors by including contact information. Participate in a neighborhood watch. Help your visitors feel safe when their confidential information is transmitted to and from your site by providing an SSL Certificate which indicates that the process is secure. This measure provides the assurance to your customers that you take the secure transfer of their data seriously. Show that someone’s home. When there’s no sign of activity on your website, readers will get the impression that they’re visiting an abandoned property rather than a legitimate, thriving business. Post relevant and helpful content frequently so your customers will see that your business is alive and well and actively committed to serving them. Create forums or a blog where you can directly and immediately communicate with your customers via your website. Remodel / update / repair as necessary. An outdated website is as undesirable as an abandoned one. Run the newest version, install current technology, keep it fresh, attractive and operating flawlessly. It’s difficult to trust a poorly maintained website (and the business it represents) so make every effort to keep your site looking sharp and working well. Is there any more important element than trust in your relationship with customers? Because your website represents your degree of commitment to your business, maintaining a site your customers trust is critical to your success and growth. Your website can be your biggest asset to demonstrating trust — or the biggest detractor from it. Incorporating these simple elements into your website will go a long way toward fostering customers’ trust in it — and ultimately in your business itself. Image by Flickr user Kreg...

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The Business Owner’s Guide to Hosting

Posted by on 11:36 am in Business, Technology | 0 comments

The Business Owner’s Guide to Hosting

Web hosts provide the ‘space’ where your website lives on the Internet. Making wise hosting choices will ensure your visitors have a pleasant and productive experience on your website. Let’s explore the factors that comprise web hosting, what your particular website requires to run optimally and what services are available to help you make the most prudent choice for your customers and for your bottom line. The first question is, “What does your site need?” There’s a continuum of what websites ‘do’ — from being a static, informational page to providing a full-blown e-commerce experience. Here are some terms with which you should be familiar when assessing your specific hosting needs: Resources: the amount of computing power necessary to process the number of requests for database and page updates Space: the amount of the server's hard drive space required to hold your database, files, etc. Bandwidth: the amount of data transferred between your website and its users With those factors in mind, you can make an informed decision concerning the server (hugely powerful computer). You’ll choose among: Shared server: Your website is one of perhaps thousands running on a single server. Because you share resources with those other sites, the possibility exists that resources your site requires could be periodically distributed to meet the needs of other sites, temporarily affecting your site’s performance. If your site’s requirements are minimal, however, this won’t be a cause for concern and makes this the ideal — and least costly — choice for most businesses. Dedicated server: This is your site’s server — and yours alone. Choose this option when your site must have the highest possible degree of uptime (uninterrupted operation) and performance. It’s extremely expensive, and therefore not appropriate for all businesses. Virtual server: A server is compartmentalized into mini dedicated servers. This option provides a small dedicated server whose size can be scaled according to your needs. If your site periodically requires more resources — but not constantly — this is a more cost-effective choice than a dedicated server. Co-location: Your server is located at a data center (a specialized environment exclusively built and maintained to operate servers). They guarantee an outstanding degree of security, uptime and performance. If you need total control over the configuration and location of your server, this is the option for you. Other website hosting considerations include: Reliability: While all hosting services promise a high degree of uptime, it’s more important to some businesses than others. If your company will suffer with even minor and infrequent variations in reliability, host with a provider who offers a Service Level Agreement (SLA), which is a contract that defines and guarantees the level of reliability you can expect. SLAs come with hefty price tags which are only worth it if your business will suffer should your site go down. Security: It’s important to learn the procedure a host has in place to safeguard the information you’ve stored on their equipment. “Redundancy” is a term that refers to the backup measures a host will implement to prevent data loss. Technical support: Web hosts provide technical support capable of handling most IT issues. Look for assurances that you can reach attentive and helpful service representatives. Choose a host and plan based upon your business’ needs today and into the foreseeable...

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