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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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Picking which images you want to go on your website can be an extremely daunting task, but these days it does not have to be. Whether you are looking for custom images taken just for you, stock photography which you select and purchase as you desire, or even free and open source imagery readily available at the click of a button, it has never been so easy to find the images that will be perfect for your site.

 

Hiring a Photographer

A major factor in what type of images you will want is going to be your budget. Having a photographer come and take photos for your website can be extremely expensive, however generally yields the best results. You will have images which speak perfectly of your company, will often include images of your building and staff, and can have exactly the look you desire as you can ask specifically.

 

Royalty Free Stock Assets

If you are on a bit of a smaller budget, but still want something special, there are many websites which sell “stock” photographs for a set price. These photos are not unique as anyone can buy them; however, they are very unlikely to crop up often as they are copyright protected and cannot be freely taken. They are also often as high quality as if you had hired a professional, they just won’t be specific shots of your company. This works well for home businesses or businesses with no physical location, as they generally get better results this way and do not need to show their locations through photograph.

 

Open Source Imagery

If you are on an extremely tight budget and absolutely cannot spend money on images, there are free and open source photographs available to anyone online. While many of these are still quite high quality, be aware that they will be extremely pervasive throughout the internet for the pure fact that they are free. This may cause many users to recognize your images from elsewhere and this may put a negative reflection on your website or business.

 

Thanks for reading about how to pick images for your website! If you need a hand with anything website related, reach out to us.

 

Contact Us

 

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So, you have just launched your new website and have had some time to digest things. Now what? The thing about your website is that it should never stop evolving and getting better as time goes on. If you can make an improvement to the site that will benefit your user in some way, this should always be done and can only help your brand or product.

 

Make Your Website User-Friendly

A common first place to start is where you can link within your own website so that users can navigate a little bit easier. It is all well and good to have links in your navigation, but you are going to want to place convenient links and buttons throughout your content as well. A good place to make sure you are sending people frequently is your contact or your products/services pages.

 

Remove the Clutter

Another thing to do is make your website more detailed gradually. This can be tricky as you will want to “hide” your more comprehensive information that can bog a new reader down beneath or behind lighter and more to-the-point content.

 

Improve Usability with Up-to-Date Designs

Layout can be another big source of improvement for a new site. You will have designed the website according to your or your own company’s tastes, and while this can be great, fresh sets of eyes always reveal new improvements or bugs that may have previously been unseen. Over time, listening to feedback and making changes based upon that feedback for user friendliness. Looking to competitor websites to see what they are doing better than your site can also be a good source of insight.

 

Features can be added or improved on your website as time progresses. Maybe you have expanded to 2 locations and now wish to have both locations on the site, with a user interactive map. Maybe you want to start blogging but want a certain interface and setup for it that is a little different from a basic page on your website. Perhaps you want to start allowing people to apply to jobs directly through your website. These are all common improvements you can make to your website over time.

 

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When building a website, figuring out exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it can be one of the biggest challenges. How do you get your point across, while still being visually appealing and getting your points across to your visitor?

 

 

Business man writing on desk

 

Make a List of Pages

A great starting point can simply be making a high-level list of the main subjects you want to talk about on your site, besides the obvious Contact and About pages which tend to have somewhat self-explanatory content. This will give you a list of topics to begin writing about if you do not have existing material to place on the site. If you have an existing website and you are just revamping, this is essentially already done for you in the form of your existing navigation, and you can simply add and trim topics as you see fit.

 

Set the Tone

From here, you will need to gauge the level of professionalism you wish to portray through the writing on your website. Many companies these days have a much more casual way of communicating with clients than more traditional or old school companies, and the language you use on your website should reflect the language you plan on using with your clients at every stage of your interactions. If you have a younger target market, consider utilizing social media such as Instagram or Twitter, and platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn if you are going for an older audience.

 

Once you have the tone and your subjects, simply begin writing organically about the subjects which you know well. It can be hard to get that first sentence down, but once the words start flowing it will be a lot easier than it seems at first. Move on to the subjects you need a little research on later, as your confidence will have been built up by writing about your mastered subjects.

 

Review and Refine Your Content

The final step is to edit your content. Beyond the basic spellchecking and grammar checking, you will want to make sure that key words you wish to target with search engines are mentioned a variety of times within. You don’t want it to sound unnatural, but just make sure you mention words you think someone may type into a search engine when they look for you.

 

That’s it! Look out for more tips on maintaining your website in the future, and if you need a hand with anything to do with your website reach out to us.

 

Cotact us today

 

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Business owners are often busy and overwhelmed by all the laws and regulations they need to comply with. It's easy to be resentful of all the effort required to stay in compliance. But, laws like Ontario's AODA can be beneficial, not just for the community, but also for your company. Designing a website that's AODA compliant can mean opening your company up to the $25 billion in spending by Ontarian consumers, living with disabilities. Here's a quick outline of what AODA consists of and how it can help your business.

 

What is Ontario's AODA law?

 

AODA is an acronym for Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The law requires organizations to ensure that accessibility standards are met in information and communications, customer service, transportation, employment, and design of public spaces. With website design, that means providing certain features and functions to ensure those with disabilities can access the information. These features would include things like:

 

  • Options to enlarge text and make it more readable.
  • Content that does not depend on being able to perceive colours or sounds to understand the meaning.
  • Any Audio that plays for more than three seconds would have options to pause, stop or control the volume.
  • Nothing on the website that flashes rapidly.
  • Website functions do not depend solely on a mouse, but can be accessed with a keyboard.
  • Images, videos or sounds have text alternatives for understanding content.
  • Self-explanatory titles for web pages and links.
  • Users can extend time limit on any timed features.

 

It's easy to become overwhelmed by all the requirements, but as you can see from the list above, it only takes a few small changes to make a website compliant.

 

How can AODA help your business?

 

Becoming AODA compliant means opening your business to the one in five Ontarians living with disabilities. Studies show increasing accessibility leads to $9.6 billion in new retail spending. And, since we're talking about websites that may serve people all over the world, that doesn't even include the millions of consumers living outside Ontario that live with disabilities. Plus, becoming accessible is good for company image. People trust a business that cares about it consumers and their experience.

 

AODA is not only good for those living with disabilities, but it good for businesses too. If you have any questions about how to make your website comply with these standards, contact us at REM Web Solutions.

 

SOURCES:

https://accessontario.com/business-benefits-of-accessibility-infographic/

https://www.essentialaccessibility.com/blog/aoda-compliance/

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Many business owners are tempted to cut costs by handling web design in-house. However, DIY web design is usually not the best option. Your company's website is an important marketing asset, and building it yourself creates opportunities to make mistakes that can hurt your bottom line. One common mistake of DIY websites is designing a site that is not responsive. Here's why responsive web design is important.

 

Faster Speeds and Improved Search Rankings

 

Users expect web pages to load right away, especially on mobile devices. Also, Google considers page loading speeds when ranking results. By ensuring that your website is responsive, you'll deliver a better experience to your customers, and your site will rank higher in search.

 

Lower Bounce Rates

 

Your site's bounce rate is the number of times users view only a single page and then click away. Users are more likely to engage and explore your website if it's mobile-friendly. If your site isn't responsive, users are more likely to become frustrated and bounce. In fact, if your mobile site loads in under five seconds, the average viewing session is 70% longer than for slower sites.  

 

Higher Conversions

 

Even if your visitors do stick around, they don't want to be redirected to a separate, mobile-friendly site to complete a purchase or subscribe to an e-mail list. A responsive design will lower bounce rates and lead to more conversions.

 

Avoid Duplicate Content

 

In the past, it was common for companies to have two versions of their websites: a desktop site and a mobile site. When you create two website versions, Google may view them as two sites that contain the same content, which can adversely affect SEO. A responsive design eliminates this possibility since the same website can be viewed on any device.

 

For assistance with your website design and development, contact us now.

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There are mistakes that could make your website look unprofessional and make your visitors more likely to click on that 'X' button. Here are the top website design mistakes and their solutions. 

 

Buttons that Blend

 

A button, especially at the very top of your home page, should be your most important call to action. It should lead visitors to read more or check out your product. A lot of people get caught up in making their whole website match that they forget that this button should stand out apart from everything else. This is the one thing that you want them to click on the most, so it's much better for this button to be a completely opposite color that stands out. You want your visitors' eyes to be immediately drawn to this button. If it's the same color as the rest of your website, they might just skip right over it because it doesn't look important enough.

 

Too Many Call to Actions

 

One or two call to actions is perfect, but three or more is just too many options and your visitors are less likely to click on any at all. If for some reason your website needs more clickable call to actions, just leave the most important one at the top and then create a bottom header below your main section with a lot more clickable buttons. That way, they're still in the top of the page, and people can find them easily. The reason you don't want all the call to actions right at the top is because you don't want to minimize the amount of time it takes for your viewer to find exactly what they need. So, giving them less options is actually a better thing.

 

Whenever designing your website, your ultimate objective is to minimize the amount of brainpower your visitor needs to use while on your website. The easier you make it for them, the more successful your website will be. Contact us for more tips. 

 

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Having a mobile-friendly website is more important than ever. The number of mobile users is expected to reach around 2.5 billion in 2019. Google now uses the mobile versions of webpages for indexing and ranking. Google's mobile-first approach considers page speed as a ranking factor in mobile search results. These tips will help you improve your page speeds.  

 

Reduce the File Size of Images

 

Loading images is one of the most demanding activities when it comes to page speed. The bigger your images are in file size, the more slowly your page will load. Don't upload a large image with a file size of several megabytes. In most cases, you can use a smaller file without a noticeable loss of quality.

 

Host Video on Third-Party Sites

 

Videos are a valuable way to educate visitors about your products and services. However, hosting videos on your own website uses a lot of space, and reduces load times. Instead of hosting videos yourself, post them on YouTube or Vimeo and embed them on your website. Not only will this improve your page speeds, it also helps your brand reach a wider audience.

 

Use "Lazy Loading"

 

Typically, when a visitor opens a webpage, the entire page will load. Depending on the site's design and elements, users may experience a long loading time. One way to overcome this issue is by using "lazy loading."

 

When lazy loading is used, the content within view is loaded first, while content below the fold loads after it comes into view. Lazy loading can significantly reduce loading time on posts that contain a lot of images. By using lazy loading and prioritizing your above-the-fold content, you can improve site speed and reduce bounce rates.

 

Hiring a custom web design firm will help you improve your page speeds and ensure that your site is truly mobile-friendly. Contact us to learn more about our web design and development services.

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There are several ways you can invest in your business if you want to achieve success. Sometimes, the return on investment in your enterprise is traceable after a short duration, but other times what you put in may not yield immediate returns. SEO is one of the concepts you should consider including in your web design because it has a significant impact.

Here are a few details to help you understand the importance of SEO in web design and web content.

 

It Increases Traffic

 

One of the ways you can target specific visitors on your website is by optimizing the content available. SEO encourages more online shoppers who are searching for the products or services you offer to visit your site frequently, which will increase conversions. An increase in traffic to your website will also enhance the potential of capturing prospective clients, which will result in the expansion of your customer base.

 

Promotes Competitiveness

 

The internet is awash with websites for various businesses, and that includes web pages of your competitors. If you want to gain a competitive edge over other vendors in the industry you operate in, over and above making SEO part of your website design strategy, maintaining your rankings on search engines is the additional requirement you should not overlook.

 

The effectiveness of your website SEO strategy depends on continuous improvement to promote higher ranking on search engines, which will set your business apart from the competition.

 

Enhanced Visibility

 

The relevance of the keywords you use on your website content is part of the requirements of any SEO strategy because it enhances the frequency of the appearance of your site on most web searches. SEO improves visibility, which implies that users will locate your website quickly and that will increase the probability of making conversions. If your business requires a custom website or SEO services, contact us today!

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When you're running a business, security is really important. There are many things that are sent via email that are of a confidential nature. These might include financial spreadsheets, formulas, blueprints etc. You obviously don't want these things to fall into the hands of hackers or competitors.

 

There are many people out there who could use all this information against you in some way. If people come to know that your business is doing well, you could become a target for thieves and scammers of different sorts. In fact, the ingenuity of virtual crooks is constantly on the increase. So what should you do in order to maintain email security?

 

How Complex Should You Make Your Email Password?

 

Try to make your email passwords as complex as possible. Include letters, numbers and special characters such as !@#$%. You can also throw in some capital letters, if possible. However, don't make your password so complex that you can't remember it. You should have your password memorized rather than written down somewhere that others can access it.

 

Meaningful Passwords That No One Can Guess

 

Don't use an email password that others can guess, like your date of birth or your wedding anniversary. The best thing is to go with something that's personally meaningful to you that not that many people know about, such as the name of your favorite first grade teacher along with the year that you were in her class. Obviously this technique doesn't work if you go around telling everyone about this teacher. But if it's something that you will definitely remember and that no one else knows about, then you should be safe.

 

Using Memory Sticks and External Drives Instead of Email

 

Another thing you can do is curtail the type of information that gets sent on email or that gets saved in the cloud. Of course, this is a difficult thing to do. Everyone communicates using email these days and you might need an important piece of information from your accountant, which necessitates the use of email. However, it's better to get this information on a memory stick or an external drive. This way, it doesn't get sent over email and there's no possibility of it being hacked.

 

Contact us for more great tips on email security and choosing strong passwords.

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We often don't take the time to tell people how proud we are of them so I wanted to take the chance to tell everyone what an amazing team we have at REM.  We have been working really hard this year to deliver exceptional design work, great new tools to manage your website and superior customer support for our customers.  I am so proud of our team in all of their accomplishments but I wanted to highlight a few.

 

Everyone at REM works hard each day for our clients to come up with custom designed websites that not only look great but are designed to engage their target audience.  Our team has been chosen for the 2019 Consumer Choice Award in Web Design for Waterloo Region.

 

Award winners are the result of a in-depth, consumer evaluation process.

 

It involves the gathering of unbiased consumer opinions, calculated and vetted by some of North America’s leading market research firms.

 

 

 

 

I am also extremely proud that we have exceeded 50, Five Star Reviews on Google this year.  This is also a proud accomplishment for everyone at REM.  We all work hard for our customers to live up to our #1 Guiding Principle which is Customer Success Comes First..  

Have a look at the most recent reviews from our customers.

 

"It was a pleasure working with REM Solutions to redevelop my business website! They were patient, comprehensive and genuine about understanding my business needs and how to best represent that on my new site. I continue to appreciate the great customer service they have to answer all my questions as new web design ideas pop into my head! I would definitely recommend them for any non-techies out there looking for a new or refreshed website."

 


 

"Excellent group to work with, friendly, very responsive, and full of helpful advice. The design of our new site came out looking great and we are very pleased with the added features and the ability to manage our content through their WebWiz@rd CMS. Would recommend."

 


 

"REM helped us to design a website that worked for us! They were great to deal with throughout the whole process. The team we worked with was extremely professional, supportive and always quick to respond. We had a fantastic experience!"

 


 

What I love the most about these comments is the common theme about how great our team is at what they do and how supportive they are of our customers.  When I meet with people, I tell them all the time that we are not the only ones who can offer them a great website.  What I do know is we offer the best support for our customers not just during a project but throughout the relationship.

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