Why Use a Website Builder Instead of a Web Designer?

Should you just use a web site builder or hire a web designer to put up your site together? Well, the answer to that question requires that you put many factors into consideration. When you do so, it will be easier to figure out why website builders are the best choice in most cases. So if you’re getting started now, consider the following points:

Your Budget Size

If you have a small budget, a website builder is the number one choice to pick. Do not even think of hiring a website designer if you’re operating on a modest or mid-size budget. But what’s a midsize budget in this case? Well, you can consider something in the excess of $5,000. If what you have is less than this figure, a website builder will still get you there cheaply and conveniently.

What About Web Designers Who Charge $400 or Less?

These guys are never competent in their job. Why are we judging? Because that quote doesn’t indicate that the person doing website design for you is doing it for a living. That’s a huge red flag because it indicates that the person you’re hiring is also an amateur. Hiring this type of person will cause all sorts of problems to your website building project.

In fact, anything less than $5,000 will frustrate your life rather than be making it easier. Again, not everyone can afford a $5,000 budget. That’s why website builders are usually the best option for the majority of people looking to start a website.

Website Builders Create Conventional Websites

Conventional websites are actually good. If you’re running a restaurant business, you need 3 things on that website. You need an online menu, contact info and your location. Now the big question is; do you always need to re-invent these things whenever you are building a new website for a restaurant? No you don’t! Luckily, website builders can do a great job when it comes to building websites with conventional things. Also, the most popular website builders out there have stylistic flexibility which allows you to customize your site just the way you want it. There is actually no place for web designers if the things they are going to do for you are already included in a website builder package.

You Won’t Spend A Lot When Customizing Your Site

If you stay conventional, you will basically work with things such as text, paragraph e-commerce features, photo galleries etc.

With a website builder, you are buying 95% of the customization at 10% of the total cost. But if you need 100% customization, then you’ll probably be looking for a web designer. But generally, you do not need 100% customization for your website to look appealing.

Conclusion

With a website builder, you can do things on your own. This will give you a sense of the realities that face web designers. Also, with a site building package, you generally don’t need to spend money on hiring someone. Even if you don’t have the experience, it is often as easy as dragging and dropping. You don’t need a college degree to learn how to drag and drop using your mouse.

7 Task Management Software Essentials Your Marketing Team Needs

It’s no longer a surprise that more and more project managers are turning to task management software to automate their business operations. And while there are endless task management systems out there, it can be a little bit difficult to choose the right one for your marketing team. Task management software systems promise functionality and features, but when it comes to your marketing team, what is the right choice?

Whether you are an online marketer, startup founder, or entrepreneur, you better know that marketing management is a little bit different from traditional project management and needs some innovative features to get marketing tasks done. Marketing projects and tasks come in a variety of forms – from blog posts to social media updates, press releases to guest posts, infographics to sneak peeks of an upcoming product.

Some marketing projects need extreme agility, while some big marketing projects need detailed tracking and cross-functional collaboration. Social media marketing and online reputation management play a key role in driving more sales.

Marketing managers need the best practices for marketing production and management.
Therefore, they need a task management software that can easily fit all their marketing needs and meet every diverse need of marketing project management. Here is a list of things that a task management system must-have for meeting the unique needs of your marketing team.

1.Visibility throughout the Team

Most task management software systems are designed by keeping a single, independent team. So, what progress happens inside the team, remains inside the team. Tasks, projects, documents, schedules are visible to only project’s team members unless they are shared with other departments or stakeholders.

In the marketing world, most projects are divided among multiple functional teams. Marketing documents, schedules, tasks, progress, and results are of interest to everyone involved (content writer, social media marketer, SEM) in the marketing department as well as clients in order to stay updated with every single bit of project’s progress. Complete visibility and transparency must be the default feature for task management tools for marketing teams. Privacy should remain for consumers.

Therefore, task management software systems for marketing projects should address the unique needs of the diverse marketing field. Traditional project management features that only focus on tasks and resources over process and results don’t meet the challenging criterion of the marketing world.

2.Collaboration is Must

Most marketing tasks involve working with a number of individuals outside the marketing department from customers to sales representatives to ad agencies to influencers to tech bloggers. Your task management software should have the capability to enable external marketing collaboration.

It should be able to collaborate with ad agencies, stakeholders, and other external marketing contributors by sharing projects’ updates with them on one single platform. You should be able to keep your sales team informed by publishing an editorial calendar.

Moreover, your task management system should be able to align all your publishing plans and results to the whole executive team. In short, a task management for marketing teams should enable them to reach out, not lock them in.

3.Customizable Project Templates

Marketing projects are not one of a kind. Many projects like creating a marketing ad, brochure design, managing a business exhibition, or digital marketing campaigns are variations on recurring themes. Therefore, while choosing a task management software for your marketing team, it is important to have an option for creating and saving reusable project templates or workflows.

It must allow you to duplicate or innovate the previous project templates so that you can tailor the workflow according to your current needs. Customizing project templates can help teams to capture and track the specific information to each project type.

For instance, an advertising project might involve the type of ad, the size of banner, word count required, impression, deadline and much more. Whereas a trade show project workflow should include the outline, activities involved, participants and so forth.

4. Customized Project Workflows

Different marketing processes such as content marketing and digital marketing demand constant marketing project workflows as a marketing department progresses. Managing marketing projects are entirely different from managing a traditional project.

Rather than focusing on every single task, the focus shifts to balancing resources, removing hurdles and focus on bottom line. This smart approach needs a defined process stages and manages the overall workflow in addition to the individual projects.

For instance, a content marketing team might divide the process into ideation, work-in-process, completed, promotion and distribution process flow. A task management software for marketing team should support this diverse need by allowing you to customize different workflows for different types of projects.

5. Marketing Reports

The success rate of a marketing project is dependent on the number of visitors, clicks, and sales. A task management software should recognize this fact by allowing you to link marketing metrics to marketing task. There are some project management tools that focus on inputs instead of results.

Since it is important to track the number of hours spent on a project, it also important to track bottom lines, especially if you are running a marketing campaign. However, not every marketing project can be linked directly to outcomes, especially final results such as email open rate, the number of visitors, and a number of website trials.

These particular metrics are totally based on your business nature, so your task management should provide customizable marketing insights that can easily be linked to your marketing projects.

6. Progress Reports

Similar to most generic task management tools that focus on inputs instead of outcomes. For instance, a transitional project manager wants to know facts like time spent on a particular task, whereas, a marketing project manager is interested in knowing, “Are his resources giving their full potential to drive results, increase customer satisfaction and conversion”? “Did the current project produce the expected business results?

The needs of marketing world are entirely diverse. Marketing managers strive hard to run a business to drive sales, not just to complete a project. Therefore, having an option of creating marketing-centric progress reports is a must-have for your task management system.

7. Client Relationship Management

At the end of the day, your business success is dependent on client satisfaction. Keeping your clients informed on every single bit of a project will not only build trust and engagement, it also leads to repeat business.

Therefore, it is critical to work with a task management solution that offers robust, customizable features. The best tools anticipate your clients’ and stakeholders’ needs while providing them access to relevant files and workspaces and discussions.

Final Words

These are a few must-haves you should look for a task management software for your marketing team in order to meet your marketing objectives while delighting customers, increasing user engagement and boosting sales. TaskQue is a web-based task management app that can best fit your marketing needs and has all the features any marketing team needs to successfully complete a project.

Author Bio:
Muhammad Ali is an experienced digital marketer and a search engine marketing specialist who is currently associated with Branex, as a senior digital marketer and brand strategist.

Best Graphics Design Trends to follow in 2017

In this era of computers and digital devices, graphic design has become important than ever. It has no longer remained limited to computers and digital devices, rather it is found everywhere around us. It becomes a crucial component of a number of marketing items like websites, posters, apps and digital brochures to newspapers, magazines, packaging materials, books and commercial signage.

A professionally created graphic design has the power to attract the target audience, which results in increased business sales. Professional graphic designers use graphical tools to create cohesive visuals to give businesses unique brand identity. A purposefully curated graphic design gives companies a face, which they can use it for visual representation.

Be it a logo, magazine ad, banner ad or a brochure, all of them are capable of developing a feeling and an image in the heart and mind of audiences. Companies are using graphic designs efficiently to create a strong corporate identity among the masses of competitors in their niche.

Incorporating graphic design into the marketing and branding strategy have become essential for business success, you can’t enjoy the same benefits with an outdated design. Like all other digital technologies, graphic designing is continuously evolving. New trends are introduced every year that may either stay alive for years or fade out quickly or lately depending on their performance.

Here I am sharing a few best graphic design trends, every graphic designer or business owner should follow in the year 2017 to reap the maximum benefits of Graphic design.

Bold, brighter and vibrant color schemes

In an attempt to deliver clean and controlled design theme, a number of professional designers were using muted shades and easy to digest colors while creating graphic design. In fact, everyone like these layouts made up of light and neutral colors like white and gray, while using black as a dominating hue in the scheme.

However, in 2017, vibrant, brighter and bold colors are expected to replace these lighter shades. Initiated in 2016, use of bold colors will become popular this year. Designers are using multiple brighter colors to intensify designs.

Several brands have implemented this growing trend to transform their image. When it comes to creating a suitable visual design, revolutionizing the whole color scheme is not mandatory. Instead of using several bright colors, fewer shades can be used creatively with the traditional neutral background. The best way to freshen up the previous pattern without deviating too far is to avoid overusing bold shades if it is not required.

Bold fonts become popular

During this era of mobile devices and high definition screen, designers are required to select fonts after observing the design components and colors used in the theme. Use of bold typography has become essential to increase customer attention. Nowadays, big fonts are commonly used to grab maximum user attention.

Several fonts can be used creatively to emphasize individual part in the message and establish a hierarchy, which encourages designers to prioritize information in the message. As we can see more users are accessing information and content via their smartphones; this makes it essential to enhance the content presentation. Being easily readable, bold fonts enhances the importance of the message.

Bold Photography with plain text

Bold images with sleek text look not only stunning and interesting but also grab the maximum attention of the audience. This combo works well for both kinds of audiences possessing short attention span and those who don’t spend too much time to read main information and willing to directly move to the point.

In 2017 designers are expected to follow this trend to create graphical presentations with some great contrast and brilliant borders. A well-crafted combo of photography and text work so well for social media posts, display ads and graphical presentations, which are made to convey a small amount of information.

Hand sketched illustrations and icons


With an aim to differentiate themselves from other businesses in the group, nowadays, brands are incorporating hand drawn sketches to add a human element to their graphic design. Instead of sketching images from the scratch, designers can use existing icons and graphics to create a new illustration. Illustrations created for this purpose kept simple and childish to evoke sentiments in the heart of the target audience.

Although many people found it unprofessional, several brands have incorporated handmade drawings and icons to gain customer attention in the online world. For example, Dropbox is a large technical brand, which is efficiently using illustrated images to display everything they do.

These simple drawings appeal not only a broad range of customers from all walks of life, but also encourages prospects to assume that the product is easily accessible. 2017 is promising to progress the use of sketched images because of their uniqueness and popularity among the audience.

GIFs or Cinemagraphs


People love watching GIFs. These are simple and still photographs possessing single or minor movement. Graphic designers can creatively use cinematography in place of videos and still images to convey messages with emotions. Being small in size with no need of special software to run, they can be embedded everywhere. Today, GIFs have become the modern marketing tool due to their versatility. They have become a preferred choice over images and videos. Especially, when it is necessary to reduce loading time and data usage. The growing competition among the marketers expected to increase the use of GIFs in 2017.

Conclusion: Graphic design trends in 2017 are believed to revolutionize the traditional graphic design into intense, innovative and beautiful design patterns conveying a clear message to target audiences.

Author Bio:
Rebecca is a Graphic Designer at graphic design outsourcing company. Design Back Office that offers ultimate design solutions from the logo, website and brochure designing to animation and stationery designing. She is a professional Web and graphic Designer having more than 2 years of experience. She also likes to write about technology and Marketing.

5 Incredible Redesign Tips to Boost Conversions of eCommere Sites

Why your eCommerce site is not generating enough conversions? Why your web visitors are not spending more time on your e-store? Why are they abandoning your site, without even completing their purchase? The answer to these question is poor web design and user experience.

According to a study, 38 percent of online shoppers abandon a site if they see unattractive web design or layout. This means the overall look and feel of a web store plays a vital role in determining the usability and accessibility of your web business.

If you are not generating traffic towards your site even after adding quality content and impressive product images, then you should consider latest web design trends to give your website a fresh look. It would be a right time to redesign your Magento eCommerce site if you want to give flawless shopping experience to your real-time customers.

Below, in this blog post, we light upon some incredible eCommerce redesign tips to help you boost your conversion rate and increase your online sales.

1. Simplify your site’s design

Web visitors prefers those web stores that offer simple, quick and consistent shopping experience. No matter what you have in terms of features and functionality, just make sure you give your customers a straightforward way to navigate your site, find desired product(s), place an order and complete the checkout process, without any hassle.

Keep yourself away from adding too many elements into your homepage or landing page. Even, don’t stuff your pages with unnecessary advertisements – as this could frustrate your real-time visitors and encourage them to leave your web store.

Instead, place the buttons, scrolling images, sidebars, and other web design aspects in such a way that stimulate web visitors to stay longer on your web store. Below are some tips that will help you simplify your eCommerce web design:

1.Use visible and beautiful call-to-actions
2.Cut down the number of categories
3.Create user-friendly and consistent navigation structure.

2. Foster your Search Functionality
Having a simple and intuitive search bar on eCommerce sites convert more visitors as compared to those who have complex search functionality. Almost every web visitor uses site search to find their desired product to save their time as well as effort. If the search function takes too long to showcase the results, you can lose your potential customers.

Instead of complicating your search bar functionality, focus on improving your out-of-the-box site search by following these tips:

1.Place your search bar at the top of your web page
2.Keep it large to fit all big queries
3.It should display the result fast
4.Use auto-completion in your search bar
5.Incorporate filters to the result page (based on color, size, price, new and popular items).

3. Create Simple Checkout Process

A lengthy, messy and complicated checkout process is one of the main reasons why people abandon a web store, without even making any purchase. This means redesigning a checkout process becomes essential if you want to generate higher conversions.

Creating a simple, straightforward and short checkout page can help you get more conversions as well as online sales. In fact, you should focus on creating a one-page checkout process to let people buy their desired products, without any annoyance. Below are some quick tips that will help you simplify your checkout page:

1.Get rid of unnecessary steps from your checkout process
2.Make some steps optional
3.Create simple and intuitive user interface
4.Incorporate an expected delivery date of their product(s)
5.Let people modify their products, and much more.

4. Improve your Exit Pages

Finding exit pages on your eCommerce site becomes essential because web visitors exit your site from these pages only. With the help of Google Analytics data, you can identify your exit pages in a matter of few minutes.

Make sure that you better know why web users leave your site from the exit pages – as this will help you improve the design of such pages with ease. Here is a list of some tricks that will help you re-design your high-exit page:

1.Update existing content
2.Add links to other relevant pages or blogs
3.Add internal links to the content
4.Fix broken links (if any)
5.Add CTA buttons, etc.
6.These tips will give visitors another reason to browse other pages of your site and stop them from exiting your web store.

5. Incorporate Engaging and Stimulating Videos

Fascinate your real-time web visitors by showcasing them beautiful, engaging and well-driven videos related to your products and services. You can tell a short story about your business, display the key features of your products and other things by incorporating high-quality videos on your homepage or landing page.

This not only gives rich user experience but also encourage people to buy the desired products from your own web store. Just make sure your videos are relevant to your business or your featured products.

Conclusion
These are the five most astonishing eCommerce re-design tips that will boost your conversion rate as well as help you maximize the sales of your Magento web store. These tips will help you drive more people towards your site and also encourage them to make buying decision instantly.

About the author:

Linda Wester is a prolific blogger and web developer by profession. She loves everything to do with web development and her passion revolves around creating cool websites based on Magento. If you are about to hire WordPress experts or to check out her latest publications, tail her on twitter.

Green Logos and What They Can Say About Your Brand

What is the first thing your future clients pay attention to when they see your logo for the first time? It’s the whole visual impression they get that is given by the color of your logo. How do people choose a color palette? Are they driven by their own taste or do they do a careful research about the influence of every color on human’s conscious? Actually, they do both.<!–more–>
One of the most popular color decisions for creating a logo design is green. It can be used as a single color or in combination with others. Also, different shades of green create a different impression. So, let’s try to figure out what green logos say about your company and make a list of the best and worst logo design decisions that used green.

Green color in psychology
Psychologists proved a long time ago that every color has a special effect on human’s conscious and should be used if one wants to influence people’s behavior. They even came up with a special science called Color Psychology that explains the impact of colors on people’s perception and therefore helps to use it up to your own purpose.
As for some special properties of green, psychologists believe this color reflects the balance in different ways. It includes harmony between a human and nature, it’s a sign for resurrection, refreshment, and universal love. It depicts peace, restoration, and even environmental awareness. It is situated in the center of the spectrum and can add emotional strengths to those who use it. Green is associated with spring and the beginning of something new and beautiful. That’s why if you want to make an accent on the fact that your company has plenty of fresh ideas and is secure, you should choose green as your main color.

Color of the year
The US company color institute Pantone, famous for the Pantone Matching System used by paint and fabric manufacturers through all over the world, has proclaimed 2017 to be the year of green or, as they also call it, the year of Greenery.

No wonder its popularity has increased so much in the recent months and is expected to grow even more soon. 2017 has become a perfect year to choose green for designing a logo. Moreover, Pantone also offers some perfect combinations of green with other colors so that they will look great on a logo.

 

Queen in green: companies that chose green for their logos and didn’t lose
Which companies chose green for their logos? Judging by the description of its qualities, green should be chosen by organizations that fight for environmental protection or have something to do with agriculture. However, it’s the biggest mislead thinking that green logos can only serve in such a narrow area. Green shows competence, it’s a sign of your reliability, intelligence, and success in terms of growth and development.
One of the most famous green logos nowadays is Android icon. The green color of this emblem symbolizes movement, development, and vitality. It grows all the time, keeps improving itself and gains more popularity with every passing day. Android proves that green color can be catchy and fabulous. Green logos are recognizable in the world of software first and foremost because of Android, that’s why if you want your brand to develop in software’ niche, the green logo will be a perfect solution for you.

Starbucks is completely different from Android in terms of market, product placement etc. There is one thing they have in common: green logos. Although these companies use various shades of green, this color still serves in a great way. Starbucks uses deep green that makes its visitors calm and relaxed. Even though green is mostly used by organic and vegetarian brands, Starbucks became widely recognized (and even copied) for its shade of green.

Carlsberg is another company that uses green for its logo. The shade is similar to the one that Starbucks uses but they didn’t copycat each other. Carlsberg uses another font and has no significant visual image. Still, the company is world’s leader in beer brewing and has upgraded its logo several times but has always sticked to green. The main idea this logo carries is to make its clients relax and not think about any problems they may have.

Another popular brand that is similar to Carlsberg and uses green as well is Heineken. Except for using purely green this company decided to flavor its visual image with a splash of red, placing the red star near the company’s name. This method worked in a great way and the logo became really distinctive.

Animal Planet has gone even further choosing a logo that combines several shades of green. Its logo has developed as well. First, the logo was depicted by an elephant carrying the Earth on its trunk. The background still remained green. It’s only logical that such a significant member of the media industry has chosen this color: in such way the company shows it’s friendly towards the environment and wants to save it. Using different fonts in the new logo just helps it be fresh and memorable.

The green color is also used by lots of oil companies. It makes their clients think that the gas they get there is pure and of the highest quality. Also, this is the way they show they take care of the environment.

Other companies that like plenty of green on their logos are banks. Green is associated with security and prosperity, that’s why people tend to choose banks with green logos much more often. An interesting tendency is the largest banks through all over the world have green as the main color on their logos. Switzerland, Britain, USA and even Russia are no exceptions. Perhaps the main reason for this is that green is the color of the American dollar, world’s most popular currency. That’s why if your business is connected with finances and financial security, you should definitely consider green as your company’s color.

Author’s Bio:
Natalie Antiuk works for DesignContest, a marketplace that conducts web design services of the highest quality. She is keen on web design combined with its usage in launching startups and marketplaces. She also studies social media and their influence on people’s behavior.

Basics of a Social Media App Development

First Steps Towards a Social Media App Development

Chatting on the Internet has already become an alternative way of communication and even friendship. Billions of people cannot imagine their lives without such social networks as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and much more. That’s why more and more entrepreneurs start thinking about their own social app development and try to estimate the cost to create an app. Read More

8 Solutions To Increase Your Website Loading Speed

There is an overwhelming percentage of online users who are affected by slow website loading speeds. On an average, if a web page loads slower than the 2-second threshold, it can lead to 40% abandonment on your website. In a study conducted by Aberdeen group, even a second’s delay can result in reduced conversions up to 7%, while giving an 11% decrease in page views and 16% reduced customer satisfaction. In this article, we have coined 8 notorious issues that affect website loading speeds and the solution to get rid of them. Read More