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




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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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Anton Growth Management website on a computer monitor

 

About

Since 2005, AntonGM has been helping companies CONNECT, TRANSFORM, and GROW. Drawing on our 25+ years of cross-industry experience, we specialize in providing dedicated recruitment services and contingent project/program management support to our clients.

 

Our Recruitment Services division is led by Rick Van Looyen and features our unique Dedicated Recruitment Services offering, which provides both turnkey recruitment as well as direct support for your internal recruitment team on an ongoing basis. The recruitment team has experience in the consulting engineering, financial services and insurance, mining, oil and gas, construction, IT, and manufacturing sectors.

 

The Professional Services team, led by Dale Van Looyen, provides advisory and delivery support to ensure successful strategy execution across the IT, telecommunications, government, financial services and insurance verticals. Having partnered with industry leading consultants and niche services firms, we provide extended capabilities including, designing and implementing successful hardware and software asset management strategies; developing project portfolio management frameworks; business policy, process design, and enhancement; enterprise level service management programs; and governance, risk, and compliance strategies.

 

If you are interested in finding out how AntonGM can help your organization CONNECT, TRANSFORM and GROW, please give Dale, our managing Partner of Professional Services, a call at 519-208-9635.

 

Proudly located in Kitchener’s Innovation District, we have demonstrated success providing services to our clients across Canada and around the world.

 

AntonGM's Main Contact Person: Dale Van Looyen, Managing Partner, Professional Services

 

Established: 2005

Location: Kitchener, ON

 

Visit ANTON Growth Management website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

We chose to partner with REM Web Solutions for several key reasons including their depth of experience, client focus, and their robust self-serve management platform. The team at REM have been a pleasure to work with since the very beginning.

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

Based on their commitment to get to know AntonGM as a company, we have a fresh, creative, and visually appealing website, which we are leveraging as part of our broader marketing and communications strategy.

 

 

We chose to partner with REM Web Solutions for several key reasons including their depth of experience, client focus, and their robust self-serve management platform.

 

-- Dale Van Looyen, Managing Partner, Professional Services

 


 

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.

Illustration of web page elements floating around in a digital concept background

 

When designing and editing your pages, it can be difficult to keep the page looking aesthetically pleasing while constantly making changes and additions over time.

 

Here are some ideas which can help you keep things looking good, while still being able to add and update the information you need to.

 

Group Content by Action Items

 

When you are laying out your content on your page, it is important to keep the purpose of what you are adding in mind. If you take a look at the Home page of most modern websites, they are going to be organized in such a way that as you scroll down the page, you will be presented with pathways to access other, more specific information through panels or subject matter clusters. As long as you are adding related content to the same “band” or “panel” as you edit, there may not be any additional design required as you can likely find a way to integrate the new information into the existing area seamlessly.

 

If the area is brand new, try taking a look at the other areas of your website and keep in mind things like how certain fonts are being used in certain places, or which colours are showing up where. It will help you to know which fonts and colours to use for your new section. Keep the new content to a “band” or “panel” sized area, and this will make it easier to deal with in the future as well as keeping the new information nicely separated.

 

Find Images that Speak

 

There is nothing quite like a stunning image or video to capture your audience attention. Regardless of the level of professionalism or size of your business, your website is still a combination of art and information. It needs to have the visual appeal in order for your reader to be interested in remaining on the page, with the exception of purely information-based sites such as Wikipedia (though even these take UI design heavily into consideration regardless of image use).

 

As such, try to get the highest possible quality images for your content. I cannot stress enough the difference in quality of a website with crisp, high-res imagery compared to something low-res or appearing pixelated in any way. Beyond this, trying to get images specific to your business, and not just your industry is always a very nice-to-have thing. It sets you apart very distinctly from competitor websites where they may purely rely on stock photography.

 

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Sweet Cheat's website on a computer monitor

 

About

Tiny Toad Creations Inc. began as CEO Amanda Carroll's personal mission to provide her friends and family with tasty treats that did not contain sugar. Not being satisfied with the sugar substitute options available, she researched and discovered monk fruit, a tiny gourd appreciated for hundreds of years in the Philippines for its sweet taste. The sweetness comes from an antioxidant, Mogroside V, which does not impact blood sugar levels. Today Tiny Toad Creations is pleased to offer three Sweet Cheat Products: Spoonable Monk Fruit, Chocolate Milk, and Hot Chocolate, all of which contain minimal ingredients, are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and naturally sweetened with monk fruit.

 

Sweet Cheat's Main Contact Person: Chrissy Vanderkooy, Director of Operations

 

No. of Employees: 3

 

Location: 92 King Street S, Waterloo, N2J 1P5

 

Established: 2017 after which Amanda spent over a year in Research and Development; we started actively selling in November 2018.

 

Visit Sweet Cheat's website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

We chose REM Web Solutions because members of our team had worked with them before on previous projects and were very pleased with the results. Also, because you have a great reputation in the KW area for delivering quality work at an excellent price point.

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

We had a wonderful experience working with REM. The initial discussion and intake form allowed us the opportunity to communicate exactly what we were looking for. The designers interpreted our needs and created something beautiful and beyond our expectations. We received excellent training and support and without exception everyone we have dealt with at REM has been friendly and service-oriented. Overall, a fantastic experience!

 

 

Without exception everyone we have dealt with at REM has been friendly and service-oriented. Overall, a fantastic experience!

 

- Chrissy Vanderkooy,
Director of Operations

 


 

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 Rob Matlow.

Banner with It’s time to adjust... We can help keep things business as usual headline with laptop, credit card and shopping bags to convey online transactions.

 

It’s time to adjust...

We can help keep things business as usual.

 

While your customers are taking a break from visiting your physical store, let us help keep your business thriving with online transactions through our easy, affordable eCommerce solution.

 

Call 519.884.4111 now for a free consultation. We can get you up and running in no time!

 

CONTACT US TODAY

 

 

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Sean M. and Todd working together

 

If you have just started a small business, you have probably gone through the traditional checklist of keys for your success such as having a great product, a great staff, procuring the necessary licenses, and of course having the financial means to operate the next year. If you are serious about your business taking off, you might have dug deeper and even took the time to develop a strategic plan for growth, a marketing plan, and launched your social media accounts.

 

Out of all those crucial markers, however, one of the most important to have in 2020 is a great website for your business. Local businesses often overlook a web site because they feel their customers already know them, but this is an extremely short-sighted view. The internet has expanded customer bases from those in towns like Kitchener, to those in cities across the world. The way people look for products is heavily reliant on internet searches so if you do not have a web presence, you are invisible to thousands of potential customers.

 

Another belief that people still think of when considering developing a web site is that web design is a timely and complicated process. This just simply is not the case anymore thanks to user-friendly web content management systems such as WebWiz@rd™ made by REM Web Solutions, a Kitchener-based Web Design & Development company. Many customers without any experience in web design have found that managing a website is a simple process that will not occupy as much of their time they thought it would.

 

REM Web Solutions has made web design simple and quite fun once you allow yourself to get creative. If you are ever in Kitchener, you should stop by and meet the team yourself to learn more.

 

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So, you've got a great new website with striking imagery and a lot of new information. That should put you ahead of your competitors, right? Most people assume that a new or redesigned website will bring them a lot of traffic. But as time goes on, they may find that their website is receiving the same number of visitors as before. Things really don't seem to be picking up at all. Why is this? And what can you do about it?

 

  Tablet on a table with online marketing text on it

 

Remember that just setting up a website isn't enough. The newness of your website will no doubt bring you a few more visitors. However, once your website has been around for a few weeks, it's not new anymore. Thurs, search engines like Google will tend to give greater priority to information that has been added to the internet after your website was set up.

 

The Novelty of New Things

The answer is to introduce the element of novelty to your website, week after week. This can be done efficiently with a blog. Not only does a blog increase the number of keywords in your website, thus ensuring that you show up in a number of different searches but it also adds the element of newness. Therefore, when Google is crawling the web looking for new content, your website will show up.

 

Update Your Blog and Social Media Pages

Another way to promote your new or redesigned website is via social media. If you already have an established social media presence with a number of friends or followers, that's great. If not, now's the time to set one up and start updating it on a regular basis.

 

When it comes to both, the blog and the social media pages, constant updates are needed. Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. And your business empire, including your online presence cannot be built up in a day either. It will take many months of constant updating before your website will generate the kind of traffic you would like it to. Remember to keep at it!

 

Contact us for more great tips on promoting your new or redesigned website.

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Illustration depicting people collecting assets and promoting a website

 

If you owned a store, you would probably do regular maintenance on its interior and exterior. Failing to do this would reflect poorly on your business. The same goes for a vehicle or even your own home. Maintenance is an ongoing expense because things wear down. This is why most people don't question the need for it. On the other hand, a website doesn't have a physical existence. It is software that's rendered on the browsers of viewing devices. This means it isn't subject to wear and tear and is why so many business owners see web design as a one-off expense.

 

If the world never changed, then you could treat web design as a set and forget process. Of course, that isn't true. The Internet and the people using it are constantly changing. These changes include:

 

Search Engine Optimization

Google changes its algorithm every day. Sometimes these changes are related to website design. If your website doesn't render well in the viewing devices of Google's users, Google will send little if any traffic your way. If you have any broken links or images on your site, this is a major red flag for most search engines, and they will basically mark your site as not being maintained/up-to-date.

 

Search engines now take many things into consideration when showing potential viewers your site. These things include everything from the location of your business, the reviews you have on social media, and your SEO keywords/description, right down to the descriptions and titles that you give your images and links on your site. It is important to keep these things up to date, and contantly be aware of the analytics of your site.

 

Update Your Website’s Technology and Tools

iPads and iPhones don't support flash, and neither does Google Chrome. If your site uses flash, then a good percentage of Internet users can't use your website. Many viewing devices today have small screens. People using these devices have no desire to deal with websites that aren't mobile friendly. If you want to utilize video, it is best to embed these files directly from YouTube. This not only will help with the compatibility of viewing these files for your users, but will help your video get more coverage/views by being posted in various locations (i.e. your website, directly on YouTube, perhaps shared via other social media sites/forums).

 

Update Your Website’s Design

Not staying current with design trends and modern layouts will date your website and affects the viewer's perception of your business. As a customer, if you went to a website looking for a product or service and were greeted by a website that looked like it was made in the 90's, you would most likely get the impression that this company couldn't be bothered to update its site, so you may be suspicious that the products/services on the site were also out of date. Keeping your site looking slick and cutting-edge will give the impression that you put work into keeping things updated, and by that logic that your products and services are also updated.

 

Revamp Based on Necessity and Market

As a good rule, you should at least consider revamping your website design from the ground up once every 5 years or so. This can be stretched if your site caters to an older clientele, but may need to be done even more often if you have a strong focus on young users or have a national/global presence.

 

In addition to the Internet and its users, the businesses that use websites also change. Products and services can change. Market changes and the need to stay competitive force businesses to change their marketing and sales processes, which in turn should be reflected in their web design. For example, making your products and services available for purchase online at this point in web history is almost mandatory, and expands your customer base immensely. The only way this may not be the case is if you offered a product/service for which the price was highly subjective, but even in this scenario you would want to provide a way for your potential customers to acquire a quote or speak with a sales representative.

 

What the above arguments point to is that you can't treat your website as a one-time expense. Although it doesn't suffer from wear and tear, the world around it doesn't stand still, and your website shouldn't either.

 

If you feel like it is time for your site to have some new life breathed into it, let us know and we would be happy to make it happen.

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Illustration depicting a concept of people updating a website

 

Your website is your calling card in today's day and age, so it should reflect who you are as a company. It should also be up-to-date, as consumers have become pretty savvy nowadays. They've learned to distinguish between old-fashioned websites which looked a little more like magazine pages, with alternate arrangements of images and text and contemporary websites which play a little more with form, using eye-catching images and content that has been specifically written for a web-based audience.

 

Given that people are going to judge your business based on how your website looks, it's a good idea to keep updating it regularly, in terms of content as well as design.

 

Content

In terms of content, it's easy to see why a website would need to be updated. Things are constantly going on within your company, so your website and blog should reflect that. If you have new products, new colors, new features, new services, new people on your payroll etc., you should put that on your website by altering the content.

 

Design

What about the design itself? In what circumstances should you alter the design of your website? As web design progresses, it becomes more and more visually appealing - so you need to look back at your website and think about how visually appealing it is. You can judge it based on the other websites that you're currently exposed to. Or you can compare it with the websites of your competitors. If you feel that it's not up to par, then it is time to redesign it.

 

And More

Another thing that you need to keep in mind is that your website needs to be mobile-friendly. Earlier websites weren't necessarily mobile-friendly but as time goes on, smartphones and mobile devices are becoming more and more technologically advanced and people are using them to look up all types of things on the go. If your website isn't mobile-friendly, then it's definitely time for a redesign.

 

Contact us for more great tips on redesigning your website!

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WRFN's website on in a computer monitor

 

About

For families of children with special needs in Waterloo Region, Waterloo Region Family Network is the most broadly resourceful organization because: we are built by families, for families; we don’t require a diagnosis or criteria for eligibility; we provide resources and facilitate meaningful connections for families of all life stages. Our overarching purpose is to serve the family to support the child.

 

WRFN's Main Contact Person: Sue Simpson, Executive Director

 

No. of Employees: 7

Established: 2009

Location: Kitchener, ON

 

Visit WRFN's website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

We liked REM’s personable approach. When we reached out for a quote they asked to meet in person so they could fully understand what we needed from a new website. REM clearly explained what could be done and at what cost. We also appreciated that they provided a Not for Profit Discount.

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

It was a pleasure working with REM! The team we worked with was extremely professional, supportive and always quick to reply. They were patient with us and took the time to understand how we needed our new website to function. They also provided training for our team that was geared to our level of understanding! Not only was REM great to work with while they developed our website, they have continued the same level of customer service with any ongoing support we’ve needed.

 

 

It was a pleasure working with REM! The team we worked with was extremely professional, supportive and always quick to reply. 

 

-- Sue Simpson, Executive Director

 


 

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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