Essential Quick Checks before the Website Go Live

A website launch is always very exciting. You have worked for all those days to create dazzling design, organize and upload the content and choose a good CMS for your website. And now you are ready to share your hard work with the world! You are impatient and eager to get the website live, but this eagerness can be detrimental to your end cause. Most of the time in their eagerness, to launch the website, the web development companies forget some of the last minute checks that are essential for the health of your website in the online world. A checklist of these common facets would come in handy while you are giving the finishing touches to a website before the go-live! And here we would dwell on some of them.

Is the Favicon set?

A Favicon is a means to brand the tab where your website is open in the user's browser. It can also be saved with the bookmark and helps the users easily identify your web pages from the others. Most of the browsers pick up the Favicon from the root directory, but you need to test it out. If the Favicon has not been auto-picked you would have to code it.

Is it showing perfectly on all browsers?

Today there are so many browsers to surf the Internet and your website must appear pixel perfect in all of these. Overlooking any of the major browsers would mean that there is a chance of your website having a broken and pixelated appearance for some visitors. Yes, there might be very small variations in the designs and features, but most of the appearance and user experience should remain the same. Make sure to test it out on Chrome, Firefox 3, Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8, Opera and iPhone.

Is you website working with JavaScript turned off?

There are many users who would visit your website with their JavaScript turned off due to security concerns. Your website should be ready for this degradation. Today, the browsers offer an easy option to switch off JavaScript and your website should modify accordingly. So, if you are implementing any cool AJAX stuff or forms make sure they are tested sufficiently with the JavaScript turned off.

Have you checked the Contact Forms?

Contact Forms are important lead earning mechanisms in a website. While you were busy building all the other complex functionality, did you test out the functionality of the contact forms? Whether you have or not, it is essential to test them out before the launch. Try to use the contact form yourself and see how the information is being sent to the intended email address. Also ask your family members or friends to fill the Contact forms. It would help you find the glitches, and rectify them before the launch.

Are your links working as they should?

Most of the time we just assume that the links would work just fine, and later suffer for this conception. It is easy to forget adding “http://” to external website links. Also check whether a click on the logo is routing traffic to the home page. Also make sure that the links stand out from the common text. A good practice in this regard is to underline nothing but the links within a web page.

Do you have the Analytics in place?

Installing an analytics tool helps the business measure statistics regarding the website's performance. You can track the daily traffic, page views, conversion rates, etc. This is why you should always install analytics tool for the website. Google Analytics is the all-time favourite in this regards, but you may also consider others such as StatCounter, Kissmetrics, Clicky and Mint.

At Keyline, we make sure that all these essential checks are carried out before a website launch. If you need a web design and development service that would help you launch a perfect website, then check out our services. A Quick Check of your Website before your Website Go Live is very much essential.


5 Essential WordPress Plug-ins for Freelance Content Writers

5 Essential WordPress Plug-ins for Freelance Content Writers

Working as a freelance content writer can be a lucrative profession, when you plan out your moves the right way. When asked: most freelance content writers would opine that it is their writing that sees them land new projects. While this is partially correct, but a client sees many other things than just writing before entrusting you with writing responsibilities. A successful freelance content writer needs much more than grammar, diction and spelling accuracy to appease a client. You need to establish yourself as a brand, pursue new leads and meet the client deadlines. Caring for all these diverse facets can be a challenge for a budding freelance content writer. So, there are many great WordPress plug-ins that would help you shed some of the workload, and you can solely concentrate on the thing you do best – write!

Editorial Calendar

While handling multiple clients, often the freelance writers feel the pressure of deadlines. One of the keys to freelance writing success is to organize your priorities. This helps you create a smooth delivery mechanism. One of the best tools in this regard is the Editorial Calendar. You can put in the client work along with their deadlines into this plug-in and you will get an elaborate calendar in front of you. You can also tinker with the schedule as and when needed. Having this calendar in front of you, helps in planning the work and delivering content on a timely basis.

WP Links Page

No client would assign you a project before judging the proof of your competence. This is where the online portfolio pages with live links work wonders. Rather than going by the popular practice of having website with a bunch of live links, you can use the simpler way of WP Links Page. With the help of this WP plug-in you can create an online gallery with screenshots and live links. You can provide as much details about the samples, using the plug-in. There is also option to switch between grid and list views.

Testimonials Widget

Often you would come across meticulous clients who are not quite satisfied solely seeing your portfolio. What they are looking for is recommendations and positive feedback regarding your work. You could of course go about the traditional way of weaving Testimonials into every page. But the Testimonials Widget of WordPress offers a convenient and time saving way of displaying the feelings of your happy clients. With its minimalistic design, the Widget is simple to use. However, if you want video testimonials or testimonials with animation, then opt for the paid version of this plug-in.

Contact Form 7

Apart from showcasing your credibility, you have to also open channels for the clients to contact you easily. Contact Form 7 allows you to attain just this. The form allows you to include custom fields and show the form wherever you deem essential. Contact Form 7 comes with many handy features such as captcha, file uploads and custom notification messages.

Social Media Feather

Today, the social media is not limited to offering fun. It is a great medium to discuss and finalize projects. With the Social Media Feather plug-in, the freelance writers can allow their potential clients to get in touch with them through many social media channels. If a client wants to discuss the project requirements over LinkedIn (for example) and not fill up any form, then the Social Media Feather allows him to contact you on the channel of his choice.

At Keyline we have helped many freelance writers build a website that boosts their career. We can also offer effective Content Writing services to meet your brand's requirements.


Why Live Chat Feature is essential for your online business?

Live Chat is everywhere you look around today. While the social media sites have completely utilized its power, there are many large brands who have also integrated this technology into their websites. Live chat allows the users to interact with the customer service professionals directly, in real time. The customers out there, today, are chatting away using their smartphones and computers all the while. So, they are in the habit of getting quick replies for their queries and problems. The live chat accommodates just this. When compared with traditional online communication modes such as email, phone calls and instant messenger services, the live chat is much easy to use. This is why your website definitely needs to integrate the live chat feature. And by including this feature you will get a list of great business benefits such as:

Customer Service Expenses are reduced

Phone support services can prove very costly for businesses, given the toll charges and per hour costs for professionals. Live chat even costs less than setting up for quality email support. A Forrester research found that live chat customer service is 17-30% cheaper than phone support. This is primarily because a live chat agents can tackle multiple customers at the same time.

Positive Impact on Sales

Many studies have proved that implementation of live chat feature inevitably leads to an increase in sales. A research by American Marketing Association proves that live chat feature at a website leads to at least 20% increase in conversion rates and an increase in ROI by 300%! The same study also proves that customers are thrice more likely to make a purchase when there is live chat facility at a website.

Increase in Customer Loyalty

Modern day customers really appreciate brands giving them access to live chat. A research by eDigital Customer Service Benchmark found that live chat catered highest customer satisfaction levels (at 73%), when compared to email support (at 61%) and phone support (at 44%). These numbers are significant enough to show why customers return back to perform business with websites having live chat. A consumer research study by Oracle, found that 90% of customers are happy to do repeat business with websites having the Live Chat feature.

Grow business by catering customer convenience

Everyone knows that the quality of products or services is the biggest benchmark for a successful business. But customer service is the second most important criteria. Live chat provides the customers instant access to the support staff and sales team. When the customers can quickly get in touch with relevant people to ask questions and seek clarifications, they stay open minded to spend more. An Econsultancy report shows that 51% of customers love the live chat as it allows them to multi-task while shopping, while another 21% like it because it allows them to shop while working. So, the live chat feature promotes customer convenience.

Gain a Competitive Business Advantage

So, what type of competitive advantage are we talking about here? A report by TELUS International found that only 9% (of 1000 websites) use real time chat services at their website. So, that means most of your competitors have still not invested in this technology. Now that gives you a great early mover advantage over competitors.

Use Keyline's web development services to build a feature packed website for your business.


Some Limitations of Unlimited Web Hosting

The word "unlimited" brings special joy on the face of any web master. Unlimited web hosting plans generally provide unlimited disk storage, data transfer capacity, as well as add-on domain names. They provide the web masters with an opportunity to host multiple websites at very affordable costs. This is the time, when most of you would go "wow". But wait on before you shun the thoughts of opting for a dedicated web hosting plan, because there is much more yet to come.

Unlimited? Not Quite!

"Unlimited" as per the English language is something that has no end or limitations. But in the web hosting vocabulary, it does not quite have the same meaning. In reality there are always limitations to the unlimited! Look around, you will find that there are limitations to everything in this world. You can not expect unlimited bandwidth when there is a limited number of cables to transmit data, you cannot expect unlimited data storage in your computer as the RAM and CPU have their own capacity. So, unlimited hosting is only an industrial terms widely used in the web hosting industry.

Web Hosts are here to make money too!

Whichever web host it may be, each one is here to make some money. After all it is their business! To provide you good web hosting they need to purchase bandwidth pipes, computer servers, employ manpower, among other requisites. Thus, they cannot allow you to have everything at trivial costs. You can use unlimited hosting resources and host unlimited websites, as long as you are not overusing the plan!

Unlimited web hosting can then be likened to all-you-can-eat buffet. You can eat unlimited till you overeat! Each web host has a set of house rules and server limitations to control overuse by users. Such limitations could be in regards to RAM, inodes, CPU queries, number of MySQL databases, etc. Once the users get into the red zone, the web hosts would pull the plug or charge extra. This is how the web hosting services work.

Why opt for unlimited plans, then?

Well, first and foremost the unlimited plans are often much cost effective than other web hosting plans. Apart from their over-usage rules, they offer sufficient options for the web masters to be happy about. You can host many websites, store data, start new domains without spending anything, as long as you stay within the limits. Apart from this, the web masters have grown so habituated to the basic hosting features that they are now looking beyond. They are ready to spend some extra bucks, as long as the web hosts are reliable. So, the real worth of unlimited web hosting can only be enjoyed when you partner with a reliable host, such as Optra Host.

Two easy steps to choose the best unlimited web host

Now, the next question on your mind is about choosing the best unlimited plan from the best web host around. To attain this goal you have to follow these two simple steps:

  • Sign up for a trial hosting plan and check out the quality from the inside. If you do not like what is being offered, simply cancel the plan before the trial period ends.
  • Visit some forums for reviews or look through the client testimonials to understand the reputation of the web host. Such a practice allows you to test out your decision!

Optra Host can be your capable web hosting partner. We have a range of web hosting plans and services. Check it out yourself.


Planning Essentials for e-Commerce Website

A survey by ASSOCHAM-Resurgent India predicts that the count of online purchasers will cross 100 million threshold by the end of this year. And if we talk about the next year, the study further predicts that there will be 65% increase in online transactions in 2018. Are these not enough indicators to make you think about having an efficient e-commerce store for yourself? So, you have the products, the business plan but have you thought about the e-commerce website development plan? In most instances, business owners become over reliant on the developers and designers to come up with a great plan and later the concept. So, here are some essentials that help you create an efficient website for your business.

 

Set Website Goals

Planning for the e-commerce website needs some research and decision making on your part. You have to go through your product offerings and understand your ideal customer base. You have to also understand the specific requirements (which your website will fulfill) for the identified customer base. Next, you should identify your business scope - do you want to provide information or serve as a seller? Once all these important aspects are clear, you can march ahead with the development and design process.

 

Content Structure

Content always remains as a backbone of the e-commerce stores. You have to evoke interest among the target customers with plenty of interesting information and leave some incentives for them to return back. Customers should be able to contact your business without too many clicks. Once the site is operational always aim at keeping the content fresh and updated. This will make people choose your website over others.

 

Website Framework

As a business owner you are in the best position to decide on the number of pages your website will have. You should also plan for the tabs, menus, sub-menus and inner pages. These will help you shorten the planning process involved before web development begins and quicken the execution work. In business every minute counts, and by planning it out you save a lot of time before the go-live.

 

Design Essentials

There are some basics which should be followed during the designing phase. First of all the website design should be simple, consistent and readable. Light backgrounds with easy fonts are a good way to achieve this. Too many colors and elements are not needed while designing e-commerce website. Even if the website is meant for teens, it should not get too funky!

 

Easy Navigation

Navigation should be a breeze for the visitors. They should not have to click two or three links to reach an important area of the website. There should be no dead ends while navigating through the website. The tabs and menus should be organized keeping in mind the browsing psychology of the end users.

 

Another important aspect of e-commerce website development is to partner with only an experienced third party service provider. Keyline has years of experience in developing and designing e-commerce websites.

 

 


Why Manufacturing Organizations should use ERP System?

Survey statistics suggest that more and more companies dealing with manufacturing of goods are using the ERP software to streamline their business process. In fact statistics suggest an overwhelming increase in adoption rates from 18% to 32% in the last few years. Organizing things in a manufacturing company can be a nightmare. The multi-location and multi-department structure of such organizations makes them very hard to manage. Thank god, there was the ERP software! The software includes Logistics management, inventory management, production planning, production monitoring among other features. But there are many more reasons why a growing number of organizations from the manufacturing niche are choosing to run their business, the ERP way!

 

Platform for Inter-departmental information sharing

Manufacturing firms have multiple departments such as Finance & accounting, planning & control, manufacturing operations, human resource allocation, marketing and sales, purchase & vendor management, quality control, distribution, plant maintenance, etc. For the organization to run smoothly, it is imperative that all the departments are integrated into a whole. ERP software does this job remarkably well. It helps in getting real time data from all the departments at a single place. It helps the organizations overcome the horrors of having specific systems for each of the departments. The software allows all the departments to work in tandem with each other.

 

Enhancing and Streamlining Processes

Like all organizations, the manufacturing businesses are setup with a goal for business growth. But shifting from one software to the other, when there are new additions and alterations in the company structure is not ideal. ERP software has ended this discomfort for the business owners. The software is easily scalable and causes minimum operational disruptions while being scaled up. Though there are some basic controls in the inherent software, new modules can always be added to the system depending on the needs.

 

Easy decision making with real time data

The “one organization, one software” policy which ERP brings to the table comes especially to the fore when there is an important business decision about to be taken. As all the details, reports, and other relevant data coming from different departments and locations are accumulated in a single database, it can be easily analyzed and many projections can be drawn out of it. With all the key statistics stacked at a single place, business administrators can get loads of valuable insights helping them take better business decisions.

 

Better Customer Management

As the software is used by multiple departments, so all the customer feedback, complains and suggestions can also be seen and analyzed using this software. Availability of key customer data helps businesses address the customer issues better and quicker. This would improve the organization's image significantly in front of their end customers.

 

ERP software brings in a world of benefits for the business owners. If you want a robust management solution for your manufacturing business then try Keyline's ERP & CRM service.


MS Paint is No More!

All of us grew up in an era where Paint was always supposed to be a part of the Windows package. But all that is about to change very soon. In an official announcement, Microsoft has stated that they have decided to put to rest the ancient MS Paint. The new packages of Windows versions will not have MS Paint as a default. This ancient and much used feature will now be removed to the Windows Store. The reason sighted behind such a decision was the loss of interest in the feature. MS Paint has become an ancient pillar, standing in the middle of a much renovated list of default software in the Windows package.

 

But for most designers around the world, this announcement made them mourn the loss. Computer users were first introduced to Paint way back in 1985. It was a part of the first Windows version. MS Paint was in existence even four years before Photoshop. So, there was a time when Paint was the most advanced photo editor available. But with the coming of Adobe's Photoshop followed by other advanced photo editing software, the glory days of MS Paint faded away very quickly.

 

Though, MS Paint was losing favor among the professional designers it remained an important part of the Windows versions. Many saw this feature as the easiest way to edit and crop images for their everyday requirements, when refinement was not needed. In fact, resizing and cropping of images could be done with much more ease in Paint than the other high ended photo editing software out there. Whether you needed a presentation or had some simple image refurbishing requirements, Paint was the go to choice for quick turnaround.

 

The removal of MS Paint also signaled the end of an era. Every designer or photo editor of this generation is sure to have started their journey by drawing some random images using the Fill Tool or other drawing features of Paint. Paint even offered a good early start for the kids, with its range of coloring and brush options. Ask any reputed designer of the modern times, and most of them would opine their first tryst with designing began with Paint!

 

So, while Microsoft would obviously replace the outdated MS Paint with their modern Paint 3D (having a whole lot of extra features), it was a hard pill to digest for millions around the world. In the following days, Memes went up on social media, they were supported by trolls and  other praises about MS Paint. These were nice gestures to bid good bye to a feature that has become an integral part of our lives.

 

RIP MS Paint, we will always miss you!

 


5 WordPress Plugins to Improve multi-author websites

Today, business operations are getting more complex and proliferated than they ever were. Businesses are no longer restricted to a single venue and people playing a single role. To accommodate this culture, businesses need a robust back-end to power their websites. WordPress is the apt solution for multi-authored websites. It gives you the capability to assign roles as well as capabilities to different user profiles. The users can enjoy all the features no matter where they are located. Depending on the specific needs of the organizations, WordPress helps in managing the editorial flow, adding author profiles and improving the content organization. And to make a short work of all these tasks, there are some great WordPress plugins.

 

  • User Submitted Posts: If you want anyone coming to the website to be able to post content, then this is the plugin to opt for. User Submitted Posts allows the visitors to post any content with the help of a form displayed at the front end. You have to add a Shortcode to any page, post or widget and the form will appear appropriately. You can set controls whereby the content can be automatically posted or it can be saved in the draft for you to look through and edit.

 

  • Edit Author Slug: The plugin removes some of the annoying aspects with multi-author websites. WordPress by default will create a Permalink for any author (such as http://www.yoursite.com/author/username/), but with the help of Edit Author Slug you can customize this Permalink (such as http://www.yoursite.com/staff/sam-lewis/). You can even change the Permalinks based on the user's role.

 

  • Editorial Calendar: This is one of the most popular plugins and there are good reasons for that too. It can help the editorial team in scheduling the upcoming posts by displaying them in the form of a handy calendar. The calendar comes with drag-and-drop feature, where you can switch posts, edit them and do other tasks from a single screen.

 

  • Post Status Notifications: One of the leading issues with multi-author sites is that the main administrators have to log in to the Dashboard to see if any other author has added a new draft. The Post Status Notifications addresses this situation. It sends out email notifications to the administrators whenever there is a new draft added. Authors, on the other hand, can also be informed when their post is published.

 

  • Content Progress: The plugin provides an easy way to track the progress of a post. Any content goes through many stages - from writing, editing to publication. The Content Progress plugin allows flagging posts as per their progress level such as “Needs Scheduling” or “Add Media”. It can also detect empty posts. There is even a provision to post comments and feedback to a certain post.

So, have fun using these plugins to make an easy work of managing multi-authored websites.


Web Design Hacks: Tips to Boost your Website's UX

No matter which business niche you belong to, the competition for business is bound to be intense in the online world. There are many things that sway purchase decisions towards your company. But to achieve that you have understood the psychology of the users and the elements in your website that instigate them to do business with you. If your website's elements appease the psychology of the users, it will have a positive impact on the conversion rates. So, here are some tips that help you design and develop a website as per the needs of the users.

 

  • Add Special Elements in Key Areas: You have to decide, which are areas of the website you want to draw the visitors attention towards at first glance. Such areas should be highlighted with separate design elements or characters. You do not want the visitor's attention to wander here and there, often overlooking the essential highlights of the website.

 

  • Use the Color Contrast: Believe it or not, wise exploitation of the color palette helps you retain the attention of the visitors. With contrasting colors and certain jump off elements, the call to action and unique value proposition content can be highlighted significantly.

 

  • Imaginative use of White Spaces: Many web designers, view web space as precious and do not want to waste any. But while you are striving to do so, you are also overburdening the visitors with information. White spaces are important elements of modern day web designing; they not only make sure that web page loads faster but also assure that the visitors have breathing spaces between all the important elements and content present at the website.

 

  • Plan for achieving consistency: Well, you have a lot to showcase to the visitors. You have the marketing messages, customer service, advertising and a host lot of other activities to take care. But, best websites find a way to blend all this information together. What that assures is: the customer gets consistent and hassles-free user experience.

 

  • Create the recall with Pictures: Modern day website landing pages are all about creating the desired impression with the use of high-quality images. Pictures often stick in the minds of the visitors, while the content might be forgotten. If you can convey certain highlights of your business with unique and attractive images, it will significantly boost your conversion rates.

 

  • Utilize the seeing it first Psychology: Often web surfers like to go through the top options in elaborate listing menus. This is where you need to plan. Place your most attractive services and products top of the tree, so that they become most viewed enhancing your sales scopes. Also, the content inside each of the pages should have an attractive heading which captures the attention of visitors and urges them to go through.

 

  • Showcase your Social side: The visitors who come to your website are social creatures; they want to read about experiences of other people before making a final decision. This is why you should showcase your testimonials and customer reviews on the landing page. Apart from that, you should also allow the visitors to view your social media profiles and learn about your customers' engagements.

 

  • Highlight a Freebie: This old principle is as much attractive today as it was in the past. People like freebies, so whether it is a discount deal, limited time offer, free stuff or a sneak peek into the next product, use a prominent part of the landing page to showcase these. It will do greater good in the long term!

 

If you can use these psychological ploys, business will surely flow in!


How to Optimize Content Title Tags for better performance?

Search Engine Optimization may have thousands of tricks to earn you visitors, but there can be nothing better than organic traffic. If visitors come to your content through their related searches, and find it helpful then they will keep returning back, time and again. This will keep your website fed with a steady influx of visitors. This not only helps you promote products and services better, but also leads to a steady rise in the page rankings. Though, many SEO experts are of the opinion that Title Tags have lost their former importance, but in terms of bringing traffic they are very important. So, today we tell you how to utilize the title tags to get more traffic and better rankings.

  • Use Numbers: Today’s Internet surfers want to make maximum utilization of their time. They will skip through results, unless they find something interesting. Studies suggest that numbers, when wisely used in the title, can help you get high clicks. Titles such as: 10 best reasons to visit India or How to save 35% on electrical expenses with LED installation – are some of the examples of numbers based titles.
  • Date Specific: Many surfers want information with pinpoint accuracy. To get this, they would use years, months and dates in the searches. Titles such as: Top Performers in EPL for April 2017 or Best Movie Oscar Nominees 2017 – are again some date specific title tags.
  • Length of Titles: This is a big problem area! Thousands of great content on the web can never reach their prospective audiences because the title tag is too long. The potential for the other half is wasted because they are too short. So, while you have to include the keywords and give something interesting for the surfers to find, you have to also care about the characters. Ideally, the title tags should be limited within 50-60 characters.
  • Starting with a Question: Asking a question is a great way to frame a title tag. By asking a question you are raising curiosity in the mind of the reader and more often than not, the curiosity will lead the surfer to click on the link. Asking a question gives out a clear signal that the content would be targeted towards answering a specific area rather than meandering here and there.
  • Use Synonyms and Variants: This is a very helpful practice when you are writing to promote. Trying out as many variants of a facility based word (offer) would be great to attract the crowds. Suppose your offering is cheap taxi service. Rather than just stopping at “cheap” you could include “Book affordable, low cost and cheap taxis in New York”. Now, that makes sure you do not miss out on any of the related searches.

As the psychology of the surfers has changed, from research based reading habits to utility based ones, the content posted on the web should be changed likewise. Title tags being an important crowd puller need to be given much thought so that they earn high organic traffic.