Five website sign-off tips for clients

So you’re in the final meeting with your web designer/agency, it’s been two months of looking at screen designs, prepping content and, if you’re using WordPress, possibly more time looking at themes and functions. Now the moment is here and the final sign-off meeting has arrived.

Clicking through web pages has never been more gratifying as you compare, load, reload and check content. But are you missing something? Are there things that should be in place before you give the all clear?

Here are my top five items you should ensure are in place before signing off any website.

1) Google Analytics

Google Analytics are blocks of code that are embedded in each page which allow tracking of website data.

2) Favicon

This is the little icon that appears in your browser when you visit a website; it’s more of a branding visual that adds that extra bit of value to any site.

3) Structured URLs

URLs are the links in your browser that load each time you navigate pages; these should mimic or relate to the page they go i.e. if the page you’re going to has the heading “welcome to our business” the URL should reflect this: “http://www.yourdomain.com/welcome-to-our-business”
not
“http://www.yourdomain.com/?=pageid1234422/article/content/welcome”
or something along those lines.

4) Responsive layout

In today’s digital realm with the technology and HTML advances there is no excuse not to have a site that at least adheres to tablet screen size (1024 * 768).

5) Out-bound links actually link outbound

Out-bound links are those links that drive visitors away from your site – for example, an affiliate logo that goes to a different site. Theses links should always open in a new window or tab and should not open a new site over yours.

12 tips for live tweeting a conference

You know that feeling, when you’ve been concentrating so hard for so long that when you finally hit your pillow at night your brain still has a million tabs open and you feel like you sort of need a “control, alt, delete” function?

That.

Over the past two weeks Liz and I have been crazy busy live tweeting two very different, very interesting conferences: the Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) in Cape Town, and the South African Impact Investing Network in Joburg.

Today is the first day we’ve been able to sit down, see each other’s faces, and fill each other in on February, basically.

Part of that “filling in” involved compiling our top 12 tips on live tweeting a conference – just for you. You’re welcome.

1. Turn on your Twitter analytics before the conference starts. *cough* Liz. *cough*.

2. Use a platform like Tweetdeck which allows you to see columns of ALL the things at once: your feed, your mentions, your notifications, the conference hashtag, replies, messages, etc. In the beginning it will feel like you’re sitting behind a control desk of a big plane. But you sort of are – do NOT crash the conference.

3. Make sure that the handle you’re tweeting from and the official hashtag are displayed somewhere prominent at the venue, and everywhere else you can get them – on the website, in the brochures, just in people’s faces. You don’t want to miss out on some tweets because people are using the wrong hashtag.

4. If the AV set-up allows it, use a programme like TweetBeam to project all conference tweets onto a screen. Just plug in the hashtag and you’re set.

5. Things will be hectic. Your fingers have never moved as fast as they will when you’re live tweeting. Do yourself a favour and schedule some tweets ahead of time, letting people know about upcoming talks, breakaways, etc.

6. Visual elements stand out in a Twitter feed. Make sure you tweet some photos of the event every so often and tag the speakers/delegates/sponsors if you know their handles. You’re more likely to earn retweets this way.

7. Live tweeting doesn’t mean you’re required to take a live dictation of the event. Know what to tweet and what not to.

8. Make friends with people who are tweeting well and see how you can complement each other (with an “e” – not as in “that is such an interesting hair colour…” Rather, how can you work together?)

9. Daily blog round-ups are a great way to sum-up the day and share on Twitter.

10. Make a plan to have back-up 3G. If the internet goes down, you’re screwed.

11. Where possible, avoid using a laptop that is on its last legs as it will overheat on your lap and you will get what feels like third-degree burns on your legs.

12. Be a boy scout. Always be prepared. You never know what’s going to be thrown at you – in terms of a logistical challenge or otherwise. Be creative in figuring out solutions. Case in point: This very profesh group photo taken by Liz at the AMI.

IMG_0848

How? Like this.
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When things come full circle

You never know where life is going to take you – and the ripple effect of tiny actions can lead you to people who you are just supposed to meet.

Four years ago, when I was in Korea, I ran down a flight of stairs too quickly in the dark of the early morning, and tumbled. Four years, two surgeries, so many doctors, physios, x-rays, MRIs and about nine collective months on crutches later, I was starting to lose hope about ever having a functioning ankle that wasn’t sore all the time.

And then I met Helene.

Physio extraordinaire and owner of the Sports Injury Centre at UCT, Helene has magically gentle hands and is an ankle genius. I do not use that word lightly – she truly is phenomenal. I trusted her the moment she first examined my foot in her thoughtful way, before proceeding to “unlock” it. It was quite an experience.

It was hard work, but with Helene’s reassurance and encouragement, and lots of rehab, things started to get better.

I emailed Helene a few days ago with this question: Could I run the 21km Gun Run in a couple months? (Answer: No – but use the 10km as part of your training you can run another 21 the following month. HA!)

Which just goes to show – find the right person to help you, and you can do the impossible.

What made this whole experience even more rewarding was that I got to help Helene and the SIC build a brand new website, which they loved straight away. We never really share client testimonials on this blog, but this one is quite special.

I had the privileged to meet a lovely patient about a year ago, who against all odds, persisted to work at her rehabilitation. We spoke from time to time about her career and how her (and her partner’s) new business was evolving. When I decided that it was time to update our logo and corporate identity (as Sarah advised me) as well as updating our website, I contacted her for a discussion.

Sarah was attentive to what we wanted, and she quickly formulated a strategy for us to follow. She patiently tweaked my writings and ideas. Even more patiently, coached the team into submitting their profiles for the website, and then demonstrated even more patience in dealing with our decision making about the logo, colours of the logo and the layout etc. We are small team, but every opinion is important. Not once did we feel that we were being coerced into deciding something we were not satisfied with. Yet, the process continued to move ahead at a rapid pace and sooner than later, our project reached completion.

We are very impressed with the speed (yet patient manner) this process took. Most of all, once the website was uploaded, there were no problems / hitches! We asked for a few photos changes which was dealt with immediately, and before we know it, it was done! Painless, on target/ budget and a very pleasing result! Thank you to Sarah and Liz. You will go far and we will recommend your services gladly.”

You can explore the new SIC website here. And if you ever happen to hurt your ankle – you know who to see!

SIC screenshot

No laughing matter: Launching comedians’ online presence

The way things are going these days, if your business doesn’t have a website, people tend to trust you a bit less – or at least consider you slightly less professional. Even if you get up on stage and make jokes for a living.

Towards the end of last year, Pomegranite was approached by two Cape Town-based comedians – Kagiso “KG” Mokgadi and Angel Campey (yes really, Angel) – who needed websites. Both had impressive Twitter followings, but they needed a platform where people could find out more about them and book them for events.

Kagiso “KG” Mokgadi is a quintessential comedy heavyweight. We built him a site with a subtle boxing theme – informed by his tagline: Heavywieght comic with knockout gags.

Kagisi "KG" Mokgadi website

He was chuffed with the result and had lovely things to say about us. Flattery – it will get you everywhere.

Angel – yes, her name really is Angel – is a relatively new face on the South African comedy scene and she has already started to make her mark. Given the name Angel at birth, she didn’t have the career luxury of becoming a doctor or lawyer and her options were limited to being a stripper or stand-up comedian. After a few test runs in front of her own mirror she chose comedy as it made the neighbours boo less violently.

Angel already had a blog, but she needed a professional website that allowed people to contact her and book her for what she does best: MC events. Comedian. Comedic Writer. Tweeter. Blogger. Opinionater and Converting Oxygen to Carbon Dioxide (Free. Special).

angel screengrab

We had a lot of fun working with these guys and it’s always great when clients love the end product. Just one example of some of the awesome people and projects that Pomegranite has brought into our lives.

Who’s next?

 

Microphone image source

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