Content Management for Your Business Website

Having a website to help promote your business is an important step in creating a presence on the internet. Once you’ve made the decision to take that step, you want to figure out whether the web design you choose is static or dynamic. Today I’ll be discussing content management for a static website, and why this may be the route you want to take for your business.

 

Simply put, a static website, or “business card” website, contains information, or code, that doesn’t change. However, the site administrator can go in and update information on the website when necessary. This is a good option for most businesses, if all you’re looking for is to create a site that tells the public who you are and what you do, and you don’t need to update the site on a regular basis. There are several companies that allow you to build your own website such as Go Daddy and Network Solutions, but unless you are at least a little bit familiar with HTML coding, this can be very time consuming and frustrating.

 

You can also choose to have these internet companies build the site for you, but you may find that you aren’t getting the personalized attention and time that you need to ensure your site does everything you want it to or that you get the instructions you need to navigate your way around the administration of the site. If this is the case, you may want to find a web design company that offers a wider range of services. At Datex Media, we take the time to truly get to know our clients and what they’re specific needs are; the message they want to send and the web design that really speaks to who they are as a business and how they operate. Once the site is built, we also take the time to personally train our clients on how to work within the administration of the site.

 

One of the pluses to creating a static website is the fact that it can be built fairly quickly, giving your business a presence on the internet sooner rather than later. And unless your business needs to update your website on a daily or regular basis, a static one will cover everything you need. Once the website has been created, you can always go in and make changes to the content as needed. For example, maybe your business has added a new service and you want to make sure your internet audience is aware of it; all you, or the web design company, has to do is click on the category you want to change and then click on edit and type in whatever new information you want to be shown.

 

Now, there are about as many different ways to go about editing content as there are websites on the internet. Some people are comfortable formatting their own HTML codes and others aren’t; and it’s important for any business to know exactly what’s going into their website content, whether they choose to do it themselves, or leave it in the hands of the web design company that built it. In order to give our clients, and potential clients, the most personalized service we can, we’d like to hear from you, our readers. What administrative tools work best for you, which ones don’t you like and what would you like to see added to administrative templates? Please leave your thoughts, comments and suggestions.

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How to Provide Quality Customer Service in a Technology World

imagesTechnology has opened up our world, especially with regards to my industry, website development. But it has also opened up a brand new challenge, with regards to customer service. It can be difficult for a programmer to explain what goes into designing a website to a business person who has no knowledge of how the technology works.

At Datex Media, we have a Project Manager, Erwin Smith, who helps us bridge the gap between geek-speak to business owners and executives and vice versa. The following post is written by Erwin, and explains how he deals with customer service in a technology world.

The first thing I make sure to do with any client is to get a thorough understanding of what their business is, how they operate and what their goals are for the company. I know how competitive it is out there, and ensuring I give our clients the time and attention they deserve helps us to create a website that suits their specific needs and objectives. For example, I’ll ask them questions about why they do a certain process in a certain way so the programmers can figure out how best to write the code. But even with all the communication that takes place, issues can and do arise.

A couple of the most common customer service issues that come up deal with the technology that goes into creating a website, and the lack of understanding the average person has of it. For example, getting clients to understand the time that’s required for programmers to provide the best possible solution for their request. It may look like a simple page to them, but there are many things going on behind the scenes that need specific attention and a programmer’s creativity to produce the function or tool they envisioned. Another issue is maintaining proper momentum and not pushing our client’s patience.

In both cases, communication is key. When speaking with a business client, I try and keep it simple. Because I am familiar with technology, and much of the language that goes along with it, I know how to communicate with the programmers that are building the website. Speaking both “languages” is a major plus because it allows me to be a liason between the clients and the programmers. This skill, I believe, is crucial for customer service in this industry.

Trust is another key componant in customer service. I find that keeping our clients updated on the progress of their websites on a regular basis helps build a stronger relationship with them. With this foundation, they don’t have to understand the technology that goes into what we’re doing, because they know we are working to give them exactly what they want. Of course, the proof is in the pudding. Once a business has seen the finished product, they know we heard everything they said.

Customer service in a technology world has some special challenges. I believe that getting to know your client and how their business operates are keys to giving them a website that suits their specific needs, it also helps build your credibility because these clients will provide word-of-mouth advertising for you. So what have I left off? What do you do to ensure quality customer service? Please let us know by leaving your comments, questions or suggestions.

Make Your Website Work For You Not Against You

man2Time is money; we are all familiar with this concept, but it’s especially important for anybody who owns or manages a business. In fact, according to a study conducted by America Online and Salary.com, “companies are spending $759 billion a year in wasted salary due to time inefficiency.” One of the best ways to cut down on these costs is to maximize on the organization computer software can provide your company. We all know how much easier our lives have become thanks to technology, but it has also created some challenges as far as the flow of information and data are concerned. That being said, you can make your website work for you. Software integration allows your business to extract and organize pertinent data, you can save time, improve efficiency and facilitate easier employee communication.

Technological advances have allowed us all to work within specific formats to create and organize our data; however, the left hand may not know what the right hand is doing. For example, your accounting department may have all your company’s economic information stored away in a system such as Quickbooks. While this software is helpful in maintaining your financial records and generating invaluable reports, you can’t access it unless it is downloaded into the computer you are using. This means that if you want a report of your quarterly earnings, salary information regarding your employees, or any other vital data stored in the software you are using, you have to wait while that department compiles the information, organizes it all and finally faxes or emails it to your office. The good news is that Quickbooks now allows this data to be extracted and incorporated into your corporate portal where anybody who needs this information and has the authority to view it can download it themselves from their own computer. That’s one way you can make your website work for you, but there are others.

Quickbooks is just one example of how a website developing company such as Datex Media can integrate vital information into your website. By creating a corporate portal, you can take all the different forms of data your company currently has and consolidate them into a format they are used to. This standardized format means you can view this data from any computer you are at, as long as you are authorized to do so. This can also be done with excel and word documents as well as many others that are used on a daily basis in offices around the world. Without this capability, you have to wait for the person who has the file stored in their computer to access it and pass it on. Again, this is a waste of time and very frustrating for anybody who needs this information to complete their work, and in the economic situation we are in, the more time you waste waiting for necessary data, the more money you lose. Incorporating this type of software into your already existing website can also improve employee communication.

Depending on the size of your company, you may have many different departments in charge of very specific aspects of your business. While they may have a handle on exactly what is going on with their particular duties, interoffice updates are crucial to the flow of business. This is another way extraction can help. By consolidating all your data into a format the whole company can pull up, the communication between your employees and management improves and there is less misunderstanding about where projects are at. This can also cut down on redundancy because, often times, the same job is done more than once simply because information didn’t get to the necessary people fast enough. This is especially true when you’re talking about something like commercial real estate and property management.

Datex Media is currently working on an iPhone application that will allow property managers to download their tenant and vendor data into their phone. This means when you are off site, you can access the specific information you need for each property and have it right at your fingertips. This information can be organized into categories so that you can pull it up and easily find the pertinent data such as phone numbers, rent status, work orders etc…. Again, this type of software integration and data sharing saves you time and money, which is more important in today’s economic climate than ever before.

Imagine organizing company events, meetings and employee birthdays in a data base that allows anybody who needs it access. No more waiting for crucial reports, no more pulling up three different data bases to complete the project you are on; software that can find, extract and share the information each employee in your company needs. This is how you can have your website work for you not against you. Technology is a wonderful thing, when used wisely and when it’s implemented by experts who know how to get it to do what you want it to. And that’s another key factor; this type of data sharing can be done to your company’s specific needs. You decide who has access to what, and what type of format you want it in. There’s a famous saying that goes “are we running the machines, or are they running us?” Often times it can feel more like the latter; luckily there are ways to change that, and this is one that can streamline your company no matter what business you’re in.

What Goes Into Designing a Successful Business Website

business1Creating a website for your business is vital, in today’s global market. With the economy being what it is, you want to ensure your company is taking advantage of every opportunity it has to attract new clients and maintain customer loyalty. That’s why it’s so important to truly know what goes into building and designing a successful business website for your company. This can give you a more realistic understanding of the expected outcome.

 A website developer, at least a good one, will ensure the site they create to represent your business is user-friendly. This means that your clients and potential clients can easily navigate around the site and get the specific information they are looking for. There is nothing worse than attracting traffic to your site, and then losing potential business because it was too complicated for people to figure out how to use. This can be a major blow to your company and lose you valuable credibility, especially in today’s economy. In fact, a poorly designed website, or a website that doesn’t suit its purpose can affect your company’s bottom line.

In a study done by Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc., experts state that “because there are so many poorly designed websites, when customers find one that “works”, they tend to do repeat business and gain trust in the organization.” The same study went on to say that they “estimated that improving the customer experience increases the number of buyers by 40% and increase order size by 10%.” Every company that has a website is competing in a global market, in today’s world. With this type of intense competition, you want to make sure you have one of those websites that “work.”

One of the components that go into creating a website is design; you want to make sure it represents your company well. Do the layout and artistic aspects show and tell your clients who you are and what you do? This is important because, for many people, this will be the first impression they have of your business. A good website developer will be able to create a site that is not only aesthetically appealing, but also, informative and truly reflective of your company. You also want to let your website developer know whether you are interested in creating a static or dynamic website, and if you want the website to have the capability to expand as the need arises.

A static website contains information or ‘code’ that doesn’t change. It has been crafted to work like a printed document and to be referred to on the web. One of the reasons company’s choose this is because much more can be done design-wise and in the construction, when the website developer knows how it will look in every browser. But, if you want to be able to update your website design on a fairly regular basis, a dynamic site can be designed to suit those needs.

A dynamic website is set up to automatically update your site whenever data changes. The content is usually fed from a database that will update the text and images on the website, once these changes are detected. This opens up a lot of options on the business applications of your website, but there are also a lot more variables to consider during the website design process. It can also be more expensive to build this type of website, so you need to weigh your need against the economic benefit. But, before you make the decision on which route to take, you may want to ask yourself what exactly you want your website to do.

Does your company want to sell products in the global market, do you want to call people to action, or is your business more interested in disseminating information? These are just a few of the questions you want to ask yourself and pass on to the web design team you hire. For example, at Datex Media, we create and build your website to suit your company’s specific needs. This means if you want to sell products online, we can integrate the software necessary to do that. You may want to organize one central location for all employee communication, or perhaps you want to add software that provides tutorials for your products and/or services. All these things, and more, can be done it’s just a matter of knowing what your company’s vision and purpose is.

A professionally done, well-designed website can improve your company’s business in many ways. A good web design can provide new avenues for marketing and advertising as well as giving your brand image a boost. That being said, it is important for you to know what goes into creating a successful website, in order to understand how much they truly have to offer.

Why You Need to Upgrade Your Website

If you’re like most people, you have a website for your business. In fact, as of Oct, 2008, “there were approximately 184,000,000 websites across all domains,” according to the Netcraft Web Server Survey. Websites have become vital to any business, especially in today’s global economy. While the growing number of websites is a good thing, as it helps promote and generate business, it also makes competing in the global market much tougher. One of the key things you can do to say a cut above the rest is to upgrade your website.

Many of you out there had your mother’s cousin, a friend or a college student build your original website. That may be a great way to save money, but in the long run, it could be the downfall of your business. With so much new technology out there, the global market demands you keep up, or you may get lost in the shuffle. Just because your college buddy knows more about how to build a website than you do, that doesn’t mean you should put your business website in his hands. With more and more business’s depending on the global economy, it is more important than ever to ensure you hire a company that is on the cutting edge, with regards to software design.

There are many reasons to upgrade your website, not the least of which is how it can help generate more business revenue. The global market has inundated the World Wide Web, which means you must have more sophisticated software to get noticed by those all important search engines. People do online searches from all over the world, which is how you can get business from everybody involved in the global economy and not just rely on local business. When you upgrade your website, you are also making it easier for your visitors to navigate around and get a good feel for what your business has to offer. There is nothing worse than getting traffic to your website, but losing business because the potential clients because it wasn’t user-friendly.

When you upgrade your website, you are also leveling the playing field with all the big guns in the corporate world. That being said, if you keep the website uncle Charley built for you, you could lose all credibility with future customers. As I mentioned before, technology is ever-changing, and if you have a website that was created for you in 2000, you are losing revenue to company’s that have directed their finances to online marketing. That brings up another good point; online marketing helps generate revenue, and, in most cases, it’s completely free to you. But, many of the software applications and tools you need to get the most out of this free marketing require you to have a website that can accept them and the older software that was used to build websites in years past doesn’t.

Running a business can be expensive, and there are a lot of different aspects of the business to keep in mind, but if you don’t upgrade your website you will be unable to compete the expanding global market, which in turn will cost you far more revenue than you will spend implementing new software. The global economy is growing daily and expanding to include more and more countries, towns, villages and cities. In order to not be left behind, you have to keep up with the changing times, and one of the best ways to do that is by keeping up with the changing technology.

How to Take Your Business to the Next Level

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in today’s global economy, it is no longer enough to simply hang a shingle on the porch and call yourself a business. In order to ensure you reach the masses and grow your business, a professional and user-friendly website is a must. One need only look at the statistics to understand how vital the internet has become to people around the world and the way we do business. As of June, 2008, “there were 1,463 million users of the internet, which accounted for 21.9% of the world’s population,” according to Internet World Stats. Those numbers represent the market you may be missing out on, if you don’t have a website for your business. A website gives you a presence on the ever-expanding web so that potential employees, business partners and, most importantly, customers can find out who you are and what products and services you have to offer.

Deciding to create a website for your business is the first step; the next step you make should involve how to go about doing that. There are a lot of different options out there, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that you want your website to enhance your business, which is why it is important to hire credible, well-established professionals to handle the job for you. It is crucial to understand that while a well-done website can greatly increase your revenue, a poorly designed one can be disastrous to all your hard work and reputation. When deciding which company you want to hire to create your new website, make sure you ask to see some of their previous work. You want to make sure the samples you are looking at look like they were done by experienced professionals and not just somebody’s third cousin who slapped something together and called himself a website designer. You also want to make sure the site you create is user-friendly; there’s nothing worse than losing clients because your website was confusing to navigate around.

A presence on the web helps level the playing field. With a website your business can compete with the big guns because many consumers today research information on the web before making a purchase, and often times these same consumers will take advantage of the convenience of buying those products online as well. This means that you don’t have to rely only on local business, you can reach a world-wide community of consumers. To give you an idea of how much extra revenue a website can generate for your business, here’s an excerpt from The SBRB / Business Today Study; “A total of 17.5% of the respondents which had Internet sites in 2006 said they generated up to 10% of their company’s total revenue from Internet revenue. Another 14.4% said they generated from 11% to 25% of their revenue from eCommerce and 10.4% said they generated from 26% to 50% of their overall revenue from their Internet sites. Of the remaining participants, 3.1% said they produced 51% to 75% of their revenue from eCommerce and 4.9% produced 76% to 99% of their revenue. eCommerce contributed 100% to the revenue of 3.1% of the respondents.”

With so much competition out there, it is more important than ever to stand out in the crowd. Some of the ways a business can achieve this are by creating a strong brand image, growing brand loyalty and having their own unique voice. You can see from the study above how integral websites have become to businesses around the world, which is why it is vital in today’s market to not only keep up with the trends, but to set them, which is one of the best ways to take any business to the next level.