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We've written some insightful, entertaining articles that span topics from support to design to content management and beyond!




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Happy Canada Day from REM Web Solutions

 

From all of us at REM Web Solutions, we wish everyone a Happy Canada Day! Please note that REM will be closed on Wednesday, July 1st.

 

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Centric Dynamix's website on a computer monitor

 

About

At Centric Dynamix Inc., managers and leaders learn practical behavioural-based  communication and leadership skills – we don’t simply tell leaders what to need to say or do, we show them, step them through the process, and help them hone their new skills.

 

Centric Dynamix's Main Contact Person: Valerie Harrison, President

 

No. of Employees: 3

Established: 2003

Location: 128 Piper St. Ayr, ON

 

Visit Centric Dynamix's website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

I was looking for an organization that could update my very old website and give it a new look and feel.  REM took me through the process step by step and explained how they would develop my website with me.  I realized that this company wasn’t just about the website – it was about developing strong working relationships with their clients to deliver exactly what they want.

 

REM also developed WebWiz@rd so that their clients can easily manage their websites on their own - it’s amazing and exactly what I was looking for!

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

Working with REM is fantastic, and this is coming from someone who is definitely NOT tech savvy.  From designing the concepts straight through to tweaking the finishing touches, I felt completely in control and listened to.  I threw a bit of a curve ball at them at the last minute and they didn’t miss a beat. They dealt with the situation in such a calm, professional manner that I wasn’t worried in the slightest. 

 

The staff are so talented at what they do and work well at continuously strengthening a solid working rapport.   Truly – I can’t say enough great things about REM Web Solutions!

 

 

The staff are so talented at what they do and work well at continuously strengthening a solid working rapport.   Truly – I can’t say enough great things about REM Web Solutions!

 

-- Valerie Harrison, President

 


 

Learn first-hand how we can help you with your website needs.
Contact us today!

 

Toll Free: 1.866.754.4111

Phone: 519.884.4111

Sales: sales@remwebsolutions.com

Support: support@remwebsolutions.com

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Woman on her laptop video chatting with another woman

 

Over the last few years, I have noticed a large shift away from telephone use for almost any purpose – whether that be contacting loved ones personally or any type of business transaction, not only are more and more moving to online-only, but several also now include video chat or video calling for certain purposes. This has proven to be far more effective than the phone from my experience, and here is why.

 

A Face to Go with the Voice

With the telephone, there is only one mode of communication – your voice. Your tone, inflection, volume, and other factors which influence your voice are the only tools you have at your disposal to communicate with the person on the other end of the line. Whether as a sales person trying to make a meaningful connection to the potential client, or a support person trying to assist the person with an issue, being able to make use of body language, facial expression, and even the background environment of the video itself to help you in your purpose, the only question would be why would you not do this?

 

Give Your Customers Options

There is also a large aversion to the telephone with under-30’s in general, so you are missing out on a very large market share by focusing on telephone only sales or support. It is very important that you still allow telephone access for those older users whom may not be comfortable using video conferencing, video chatting, screensharing or other more modern means of communication – you don’t want to cut out the other half of the market either, depending on your product or service that is.

 

Communication for the Modern World

The technology on video calling has come to the point where connection speed and hardware are no longer a problem for the average user, so we are at a tipping point, and I expect the next 5 years we will see the complete death of the phone in business, similar to what we saw with the fax 10 years ago – replaced by email.

 

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Illustration that depicts a bull's eye target and digital business strategy

 

When you have a lot to say, it can be a challenge how to portray that information on your website sometimes in a way that is both informative and not overwhelming. The last thing you want is to have the information that the user is looking for available on your website, however not have them able to access/find the information.

 

There are a few key factors when it comes to targeting your readers to their purposes, and I am going to talk about those here.

 

Categorize and Organize

If you sell any product at all on your website, there are many ways you can target your readers. You can sort your products by category to allow users to browse at their leisure, or you can attach specific attributes to items and allow users to find them based on these. This is especially handy when paired with a search function – and don’t be shy when it comes to adding keywords and attributes! It takes time, but it really pays off in how much more flexible and usable the online store becomes with the correct connections made.

 

Make Information Easy to Access

Speaking of searchability, it is very important for your regular informational content to be easily accessible as well. This usually comes down to naming your pages in an informative way without going overboard with the description, as well as making sure your regular pages also come up in a search for information on the subject.

 

Be Short and Sweet

Lastly of course, making sure you are concise is important. Readers do not want to have to sift down through several layers of links to find something they are looking for, it needs to be as “Shallow” in the link tree as possible in order to maintain visibility to the average reader. It might be a different story if you were running a Wiki page, but for the average website you need to keep it concise.

 

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Clipboards with check list with the words "Importance of Testing Your Work" on top

 

It is probably said fairly often, but especially in a world where your work is going to be visible to the public and probably instantly – it is very important to check your work!

 

Always Back Up Your Work

In my role here at REM, I often see projects at many different stages of iteration including the ones that have long since left our nest here and with clients whom are maintaining their websites 100% themselves. With changes that are typically made within any CMS, there is almost always a “sandbox” type environment where a version or copy of the page can be created and moved there to be worked on, completely safe from the eyes of the public until it is ready to go. Within WebWiz@rd, this is called “cloning”. Always utilize this when possible, as it saves a mistake being released right away to clients of the website.

 

Preview the Page Before Going Live

Of course, once you have changes made to a page in the cloning environment, you are always going to want to preview the page to see how it will actually end up looking to the user. Remember, when testing the preview of the page it is important to test it in multiple screen sizes to ensure good user experience for all. You can always drag the corners of your browser window to replicate the effect of the responsiveness of the content.

 

Ask for Help and a Second Eye

Lastly, it is always a good idea to have someone else look over your work in a serious fashion for quality control. This is beyond asking a co-worker or friend for a quick once-over as you will most likely be greeted with “it’s just fine!” or “seems good to me!” Instead, if you have access to a professional editor or copywriter of some kind this can be a much more effective option.

 

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Woman working from home using her laptop

 

With many of us having to adapt to new work environments with the recent pandemic, many of us have also had to adapt to new workflows and new processes for the familiar tasks we may be used to doing. I know for myself, I had initially thought how easy it would be work at home – I had another computer, bigger desk, I was in my own environment, it seemed like it could only be an improvement. In reality it doesn’t start out this way, but you can push yourself to get there!

 

Self Discipline from Distractions

First off, at home you are faced with all of your familiar distractions, as well as all the things you need to still get done around the house looking right at you. You need to have a much higher level of discipline and even be fairly well practiced at mental gymnastics to attempt to avoid thinking about the fact you are even in your own home until the evening. The temptation to get up and go empty that dishwasher might be high, but you must resist if it’s during an hour you normally wouldn’t even have access to your dishwasher. Getting absolutely everything in good shape the night before is the best tip for this, as there just won’t be anything to think about, but I recognize this can be impossible for many.

 

Decluttered and Organized Desk

At your desk, you need to clear away distractions and focus on what would improve the workflow – so you have a work laptop and now have the ability to hook up two more monitors at home? Great! Do this instead of using both your work and home computer simultaneously, as the disconnect between the two machines can actually end up causing fairly significant delays if you are attempting to use them to multitask or improve your workflow. I have personally been tempted to try and set up a VR workstation at home so that I would have access to unlimited screens, however I haven’t taken this on just yet!

 

Work Environment is Important

Now that you are home, you have full reign over your domain and can change your working environment however it would better suit you. Don’t be satisfied with that fluorescent kitchen light for your “office” – spruce up your working environment, the lighting, the ambience, everything you can think of is now at your control – manipulate it to psychologically put you in the best possible mood without relaxing you too much, and you will have a great productive day.

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce website on a computer monitor

 

About

The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce is a member-based organization representing 1800+ local business professionals. The chamber reflects a diverse network of small, medium and large businesses from almost every industry sector and business profession.

 

Cambridge Chamber's Main Contact Person: Lisa Durocher

 

No. of Employees: 12 staff

Established: 1973

Location: Cambridge, ON

 

Visit Cambridge Chamber's website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

I continue to choose REM Web Solutions for all my website developments, because their communication, follow-through and development knowledge is unbeatable, and they are very responsive to any needs that you have.

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

We recently went through a redesign of our website and couldn’t be happier with the outcome. The site is amazing and user friendly. Their ability to make the transition painless was so much appreciated and it saved me a tremendous amount of time. With REM Web Solutions you get what you want, you get something that’s very effective, and it’s going to be for a great price.

 

 

With REM Web Solutions you get what you want, you get something that’s very effective, and it’s going to be for a great price.

 

-- Lisa Durocher

 


 

Learn first-hand how we can help you with your website needs.
Contact us today!

 

Toll Free: 1.866.754.4111

Phone: 519.884.4111

Sales: sales@remwebsolutions.com

Support: support@remwebsolutions.com

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Person's hands holding a roll of photo film over a laptop

 

A question I am often asked by our clients is how best to select images to use on their website. This comes up both in design and during site maintenance, so I thought it would be best if I put together a blog post on the subject!

 

Open Source Photography

Depending on your business, it may or may not be easy for you to find available imagery to use online. For those lucky enough, you will find everything you need on the free stock photo websites. These sites do not charge anything for the use of their images as they are public domain, and you can often nab some quality images here. Some examples of these websites include Shutterstock and Pexels. You can also find video footage for stock banners on sites such as Coverr.

 

Royalty Free Stock Photos

If you are a more specialized business or images are harder to come by, you may need to go so far as paying for your stock images. The sites above may offer some paid options, but you can also use Adobe Stock and other paid options to locate rare and less used photos which are available for purchase.

 

Professional Custom Photography

If it comes down to needing a very specific image or brand specific images, there is no choice but to hire a photographer to get what you need. The nice thing about the modern age though, is that every smartphone has a camera capable of taking some high-quality photos in a pinch, and this can be especially handy for products and the like. Consider hiring a photographer or at least collecting your own images if you need to show something unique or special about your business.

 

If you have any other questions on how to choose your images, let us know and we would be happy to help out!

 

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Computer with logos for Chrome and Brave browsers on it

 

If you ask the average person today what web browser they use, I think most would tell you that they use Google Chrome. It is a powerful browser with direct ties to Google Services, giving the browser a lot of power under the hood. The Google team itself is also a massive force, so you know the browser has a lot of support behind it in terms of a workforce.

 

Along with this power, comes a great loss in privacy as well as quite a bit of social profiling being done on you in the background by 3rd parties. Google makes a lot of money off of you without you being aware of specifically what they are doing.

 

The Search for Alternatives

I spent a long time looking for alternatives, but there is always a pitfall if you stray from the Chrome platform. If you try and move towards non-Chromium browsers you start to run into compatibility issues on some websites. If you gravitate towards international browsers, you may be feeding your data into unknown or questionable sources. It took a long time, but I found a solution for myself. I want to be clear that this opinion is a personal experience and does not reflect the views of the REM team as a whole necessarily, this is a personal blog entry.

 

Ad-Free Browsing

I was recommended to try Brave by a friend of mine on the basis that it has a native adblocker/tracker blocker, and is based on the Chromium platform. This means it was addressing my privacy concerns at the same time as not compromising to the compatibility issues I feared would occur by leaving the Chromium base platform. What I didn’t know was that it would also give me the option to view “non-invasive” ads for essentially money. The browser gives you the option to opt in to see up to 5 ads per hour in exchange for a small amount of money (I think my cell phone was paid $2.50 last month, so it is nominal). The thing is, I didn’t notice the ads and I didn’t see any other ads for the entire month. My browsing experience was flawless and I enjoyed ad-free YouTube and various other platforms without needing to use 3rd party addons to Chrome.

 

Encrypting Personal Data

In addition to this, Brave also automatically tries and upgrades non-secure http connections to https automatically. This can potentially help encrypt your data across server connections where it would otherwise be exposed. You can also outright block scripts right from the URL bar.

 

While not everyone will benefit from such a browser, especially in a more business-like setting where you may be required to see advertisements etc., or follow a company policy on browser – I personally would highly recommend this browser for home use to help protect your privacy, make a small payback on the ads that you do opt to see, and sacrifice absolutely no quality or functionality.

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

man using a professional video equipment

 

Today, it is becoming more and more common to see video of some type on pretty much every variety of website. If you aren’t using video as a form of media for your business and displaying it on your website, you may be feeling left out, but is video something that you need?

 

When we think of using video on our site to help promote our message or our product, it is important to keep in mind a few big factors. Your customer base size is going to have a tremendous impact on whether video media will be an effective use of your time and budget or not. Your client age group will be another large factor, as will the specific type of product you are selling.

 

Budget Considerations

There is something to be said about the propagation of video online, but this is something that needs a bit of a viewer base to take place under regular circumstances. If you are a very small business or just starting out, unless you need to demonstrate a specific product or way something works, video may be a waste of resources and not be seen by a large number of people. As your business grows, your customer base helps spread your media, so this becomes more important.

 

Target Audience Considerations

Your client age group may have an impact as well. Younger audiences tend to have a shorter attention towards longer video content; however, they do tend to appreciate video media in general – just try and keep it to 3 minutes or less in this case. For older audiences, they tend to like a lengthier video for explanation purposes, and have a bit of a longer attention span, so you can get away with 10-minute informational videos here.

 

Make It Eye-Catching, Informative and Fun!

Depending on your product, you may have a real need to showcase its use via video – in this case, try and have fun with it! You will want your video to be memorable and eye catching rather than just informational, so build this into the video content with some scripting.

 

If you have questions on whether video would be appropriate for your website, let us know and we can chat!

 

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