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Websites We Love: Inspiration
Websites We Love: Painting a Picture
Websites We Love: Showcasing Your Passion
Site Statistics Update
Websites We Love: Four Years Strong

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Adding Facebook and Twitter badges/buttons to your website
Websites We Love: Inspiration
Consider These Extras to Boost Your Website Activity
Websites We Love: Showcasing Your Passion
Top Three Reasons to Add a Contact Form to Your Site

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Websites We Love: Inspiration

This week's Website We Love is all about inspiration. We asked our
Vistaprint Internet Marketing Facebook community how, exactly, they found inspiration for their sites. The answers were, well, inspiring...so needless to say, it was difficult to pick just one site to feature!

The winning site is Handwriting With Katherine. Katherine writes that her work inspires her site: "I find inspiration for my site through the awesome children I work with," she says. One reason we were impressed by her site was the wealth of helpful information she features, such as her handy resource section and the easy-to-use contact section. We were also fans of her welcoming homepage.

Congrats, Katherine, on a site well done! What about YOU? How do you find inspiration for your site?


Websites We Love: Painting a Picture

This week, we asked our Vistaprint Internet Marketing Facebook community why their website was important to them, and we received a number of great comments. It was difficult to pick just one site to feature!

The winning site for this week was submitted by Donan Mendez. Donan writes that his site is an important educational tool, that helps spread the word about his business, Mendez Painting & Remodeling: "[The site] is a way our customers can learn about our services, photos samples and to get new customers," he writes.

We agree...the homepage's image gallery makes a statement, and the services and about us pages are informative, and a helpful resource for current and prospective customers alike. Congrats, Donan! 

Tell us why YOUR site is important!

Websites We Love: Showcasing Your Passion

Another week, another Website We Love! This week, we asked the Vistaprint Internet Marketing Facebook community about the best part of having their own Website. As always, we received a number of insightful comments and wonderful Websites, so choosing just one to feature here was a difficult task.

Today’s winner is Chris Burkstaller, who wrote that the best part of having a Website is expressing his love for teaching golf. We think Chris makes an important point — having a venue to showcase your business, passion or talent can be a vital benefit to having a Website.

We were also impressed with Chris’s flash intro, clever “Ask The Pro” section, and the testimonial videos highlighting
student swings. Congrats, Chris, on a site well done!

What about you? What is the best part about having your own Website?

Site Statistics Update

Many of our customers have been experiencing an issue with our site activity lately. Our team is currently investigating fixes for the problem, but the tool is fully functional and updates every four hours. We will be posting updates on this issue as they develop in the Self Help Forum.
 
Below are two helpful links to tips on what site stats are, and how you can use them:
Succeed with Site Statistics
This blog outlines the basics of site statistics, and defines such key components as “Page Views,” “Visitors” and “Search Engines” to name a few. 
How to Manage your Site Statistics
As an internet marketer, understanding and tracking your website activity is important. Why? You can use your customer metrics to do things like understand who your customers are, and identify what motivates them to come and visit your site in the first place. You can use these learnings to make improvements to your site to drive new visits, return visits, and ultimately sales. This blog will give you a few key tips on how to manage these stats for optimal results.
If you have additional questions on site statistics, please call customer support at 866.811.1674.

Websites We Love: Four Years Strong

Every Wednesday, we choose a Website We Love to feature here, on our blog, and on our Facebook page. This week, we asked our Facebook community how long they've had their site, and why they started it. As always, we received a number of great responses, but we had to pick just one!

The winning website comes from Raymond Bush, of Pittwater Mowing!
Raymond says he has had his site for four years, and the response has been positive: "The Website launched on a Sunday night and by Wednesday we had our first client! We now service 100+ homes in Sydney Australia." We thought the site was great overall, but were particularly impressed with the intro video, before and after shots and helpful, relevant educational
information. Congrats, Raymond!

What about you? How long have you had YOUR site...and why did you start it? Tell us in the comments section!

Websites We Love: Dreams Come True

This week, we received a HUGE Website We Love response!

We asked our Facebook community what three words would describe their site...and the comments were amazing! As always, it was difficult to choose just one to feature here, on our blog, and on our Facebook page, but in the end, we went with a site submitted by Amanda Leigh Boykin.

When it comes to describing her site in three words, she says Petal Pusher's Wreaths & Designs is a "dream come true." We loved that answer, and her site... especially the beautiful imagery, easy-to-shop homepage, informative blog, and numerous, detailed seasonal wreath categories (on display in the left-hand navigation). We think it's a site well done! Congrats, Amanda!

What about you? How would you describe your site in just three words?

Websites We Love: Navigation

This week, we asked the Vistaprint Internet Marketing Facebook community about what one word comes to mind first when thinking about their website. As usual, there were some amazing responses and Websites to choose from--which makes choosing just one difficult! In the end, we picked Jessica Peltz and Myst Mobile Spray Tanning as this week's Website We Love.

The word Jessica used to describe her site was "resourceful," and we think it's a word that highlights what we liked about the site well. We were impressed by the amount of information found on the site, and how well the navigation pointed to and explained specific services. Whether looking at Frequently Asked Questions or Scheduling An Appointment, the site is well organized, and easy for visitors to use. Congrats, Jessica!

What about you? What is the first word that comes to mind when you think about YOUR site?

Websites We Love: Home Page Importance

Take a look at your site. What do you think is the most important page, to you and to your users? That is the question we asked this week on our Internet Marketing Facebook page, and we received (as always!) a number of great responses--and great websites, too! This week's Website We Love winner, Celine Jacobs, of Rockhampton Happy Hounds Dog Training, thinks her home page is the most important spot on her site. We think it's a great place to welcome visitors--human and canine alike! We also think the About Us page does a great job explaining not only the company's services, but also the history behind the business; it also provides helpful information such as location, hours and more. (Plus there is even a Dog Blog!) Congrats, Celine!

Now it's your turn--tell us what page YOU think is most valuable when it comes to your site, and why.

Websites We Love: Standing Out

Another Wednesday, another Website We Love! This week, we asked our Internet Marketing Facebook Community about competition. Specifically, what about their site sets them apart from everyone else?

We, as usual, received a number of great responses, but had to choose just one to highlight here on our blog. The winner this week is Tamara Canzater, from Creative Cooking, who writes that her site stands out from the rest because it's "bright,colorful, inviting, and kid friendly." We tend to agree; the vibrant colors tie in the overall theme of the site--fun! We also liked the prominent display of the site's creative tag line ("Where we're cooking up fun, one class at a time.") Congrats, Tamara! 

What about you? What sets YOUR site apart from the competition?

Websites We Love: Showcasing Your Business

This week, we asked our Internet Marketing Facebook community what made their website special. As usual, the response was great — and so were the websites!

It was very difficult for our team to pick just one Website We Love, but our winner this week is Prime Example Events & Wedding Planning, from Durham, North Carolina, submitted by Elaine Cole Primus! According to Elaine, her site is special because it helps her highlight her business. “My website is special because Vistaprint made it easy and affordable for me to showcase and grow my business,” she says. We think this website is special because of its educational value. With a detailed blog, services list, examples of real weddings and more, it's a great resource for anyone who is planning an event or wedding!

What about you — what makes your website special? Tell us in the comments section!

Top Three Reasons to Add a Contact Form to Your Site

When it comes to your Website, adding simple features that translate to big benefits is always smart…and contact forms are pretty high on the list of valuable add-ons. These handy tools gather pertinent info from your visitors, are super-versatile, and can vary based on your specific needs. Typical fields can include “name,” “address,” “phone number” and “comments,” but again, they can vary depending on the form’s functionality. Although there are a number of reasons these forms are useful, keep reading to see our top three.

1. Feedback

If you’re a business owner, it’s no secret that customer opinion is essential; contact forms are a perfect means for gathering this vital feedback in a non-obtrusive manner. For instance, if you were interested in soliciting specific comments about a new service or product, you could use the contact form to ask pertinent questions, and receive reactions directly via email.

2. Customer Connections
Beyond asking for feedback, contact forms are a good way for customers to not only reach you, but also establish a relationship with you. Whether it’s a quick question about a specific product, or a more detailed inquiry about a new service or biz feature, a simple form can provide customers with an easy way to reach out.

3. Contacts
It might seem obvious, but one of the most vital reasons to consider adding a contact form is so you can build — what else — your contact list! A form is an easy way to ask visitors for basic information, such as their name and email address. With all the contacts you gather, you’ll be able to send targeted emails to stay in touch, announce new products or sales, and much more.

Do you have a contact form on YOUR site? If so, do you think it’s important? Tell us in the comments section!
 
 

Websites We Love: Making Music

We had a record number of submissions (over 70 and counting at press time!) for Websites We Love on our Facebook page this week, and it was, as usual, very difficult for us to choose just one winner. We asked our Internet Marketing Community on Facebook to sum up their site in just one word. The winner, Wave Acoustic Duo, said that their site could be described with the word "musicians"--and with good reason. Their site is dedicated to featuring the duo's music and performances.

We're big fans of the cool intro video, which showcases the duo performing in front of an audience, and the great demos of new music, also featured on the home page. In addition, the handy contact/bookings form, and prominent social media widgets make it simple for potential customers to get in touch. Congrats, Wave Acoustic Duo!

What about you? What do you highlight on your site to set yourself apart from the competition? Tell us in the comments section.

Websites We Love: Contact Forms

It’s Wednesday, so that means yet another edition of Websites We Love! As usual, we received a number of great Website submissions to choose from on our Facebook page…but we had to pick just one to feature! Our newest Websites We Love winner is Karen Froggatt, who posted a link to her site
www.tigaliliflowers.com.

This week, we asked our Facebook community what the most useful part of their site was, and Froggatt chose the contact form. Although there are a number of great answers to this question, we agree that a well-placed contact form can definitely help secure customers, and is a valuable addition to any site! (On Froggatt's site, the contact form is highly visible, and placed directly on her homepage.) We were also a big fan of her site’s image galleries, which showcase the available product options nicely.


Do you have a contact form on your site? If so, do you find it useful? Tell us in the comments section! And don't forget to keep any eye on our Facebook page for our next Websites We Love Wednesday!

Quick Tips: Above The Fold

You might have read our blog about how, when it comes to your website, 80% of eye traffic is “above the fold.” Here, we’ll provide you with quick tips on the three aspects of your site to focus on for optimal ocular attention:

Star of the Show

Your page’s headline is crucial — and is likely the first thing someone will see when they land on your page. It might sound obvious, but it’s incredibly important to include your business name and logo in this space, so it’s always top of mind for your site’s visitors. And remember: Design choice also factors into your headline space! For one, check that this space isn’t cluttered. Too much information can detract from your name. Also make sure the colors you pick for your logo and website complement each other, are easy to read, and make your headline visible.  

Call to Action
Take a few moments to think about WHY you have a Website. Is there something that you want to make sure people do once they’re on your site? Maybe it’s to order a product. Or read your blog. Or even to get directions to your storefront. Whatever the action is, ensuring that it’s in a prominent location, with easy-to-read text can do wonders for follow-through. You’ll also need to think of what this call to action says. Our hint? Keep it simple! If your goal is for people to contact you for more information, a quick “Contact Us!” is perfect.

Get Social
If you’re hoping to connect with your visitors (and you should be!) one of the best ways to do so is through Social Media. Make sure your buttons to Like, Follow and more are placed prominently enough for anyone who visits your site to see.

These are just a few tips we think will help! Do you have any to add? Tell us in the comments section!

Websites We Love: It's Simple

It's Wednesday, so that means it's time for Websites We Love! This week, we received so many great responses it was very difficult to narrow down our options to just one! Our choice? Andrea Bodenberg Hoffman's photography site Red Barn Gallery.

According to Hoffman, the main reason she loves her site is its ease of use: "I love that I can update it whenever I want to! [It's] easily manageable and updates quickly," she says. She also mentions an important aspect of site maintenance that can often be overlooked--stats. "I also love being able to see who checks out my site through the statistics."

Do you track your stats? Tell us in the comments section! And don't forget to keep any eye on our Facebook page for our next Websites We Love Wednesday!

4 Ways to Accommodate Search Engines and Your Visitors

Optimizing your website to improve your search ranking can also help you create a better website that your visitors will enjoy. Here are our top four ways your optimization efforts can win over search engines AND your visitors.

1. Include search terms.

Search engines
will use the search terms throughout your site as a good indication of what your website is about and rank it accordingly.

Your visitors
will see your website closer to the top of search results so it will be easier to find.

2. Add your company name to your website header.

Search engines
look at your website header as an important description of your site’s subject matter and they’ll display your site when a search is calling for that topic.

Your visitors should know exactly what your website is about at first sight. Write your company name and add your tagline to further explain your business.

3. Make updates whenever you can.

Search engines
notice frequently updated websites first, which could improve your search rankings.

Your visitors
will appreciate seeing fresh content and will be more likely to check back often to see your updates.

4. Describe your images and videos.

Search engines
will use your text to determine your relevancy to searches. The more text you add to your website, the better.

Your visitors
will like that you’re providing details and telling your story.

Enjoy the process and do a little bit at a time to make sure you cover all of your bases. And remember, your primary audience is your site visitors, so cater to their needs first.

Websites We Love: Site Evolution

In this installment of Websites We Love, we asked our Internet Marketing Facebook community how they encourage their customers and/or Website visitors to get in touch with them. As usual, we received a number of awesome responses, but had to choose just ONE winner.

This week's Website We Love comes from Erica Jayne Clavin, who thinks that when it comes to customers getting in contact with her, simple is sometimes best! "I encourage visitors to fill out a simple contact form connected to my website email," she says. She also points out that a successful website is constantly evolving, and your customers dictate what's added to the site. "I also encourage them to view my other online locations, as I am currently redeveloping my website to better suit my visitors needs," she says. "If [customers] are close enough to my area, they can visit me at the salon, or join on my many volunteer activities!" Congrats, Erica!

Do you agree? How important is your site's evolution? Tell us in the comments section!

Websites We Love: Great Design


It’s week two of Websites We Love, and we received a number of great responses from our Internet Marketing Facebook Community about what they’re most proud of when it comes to their site. It was very difficult for us to choose just ONE to feature here on our blog, but we had to crown a winner! This week’s Website We Love comes from Jennifer Gates, who is most proud of her site’s design. We agree, and think the design is awesome! We’re also big fans of her super-creative business name, "Cake Placid." (It's a cake business in — you guessed it — Lake Placid, New York.) Congrats, Jennifer!

Want your site to be featured here? Keep an eye on our Facebook page for our next Websites We Love announcement! In the meantime, you can check out all the great sites that were posted here and here.

Welcome to Websites We Love

When thinking about how to showcase all the great sites our customers build, we came up with a neat idea: ask our Internet Marketing Facebook Community to share theirs! We received such a great response, we're turning it into a weekly feature. Every Wednesday, we'll highlight one awesome site here on the blog, and on our Facebook page.

As we mentioned, we received a ton of great responses, so it was very hard for us to choose just one to highlight. Our first Website We Love comes from Lisa Draisey of Parkland Bridal. Her favorite feature? The blog, where there is a ton of info for customers! We're also big fans of her clean design, great content and picture-packed testimonials section. Congrats, Lisa!

Want your site to be featured here? Keep an eye on our Facebook page for our next Websites We Love announcement! In the meantime, you can check out all the great sites that were posted here and here.

Seven Simple Tips for Going Mobile

Whether it’s at work, a restaurant or the gym, it seems as though iPhonesAndroids  and iPads  are everywhere. According to Digital Buzz, that’s not very far from the truth; in fact, mobile devices are fast becoming the most popular way  to access the Web. But what is the difference between a standard website and a mobile site? The easy answer is accessibility. Imagine trying to fit everything on your home page onto your phone’s screen. Not pretty, right? It would be overcrowded, difficult to read, and even harder to navigate. Mobile sites can alleviate those usability issues, reduce load time and, perhaps most importantly, make it super-simple for users to contact you while they’re on the go. And now, you can set up a mobile site through Vistaprint!
 
 
Small Tips, Big Benefits
Setting up a mobile site isn’t as difficult as you might think, and following the tactics below can help you — and your customers — get the most out of your mobile site.
 
  • Make it useful. A customer is probably accessing your business’s site from a mobile device because he or she wants to get in touch with you…what he or she doesn’t want to do is navigate through a number of pages before finding out how to reach you. Keep the info your visitors are looking for on the home page, at their fingertips, and make sure it’s easy to read and click.
    Hint: Try adding a prominent “Contact Us”button.
  • Stick with easy navigation.Large font, big buttons and short sentences can help make your mobile site easier to navigate. Forcing visitors to work hard to view info will likely cause them to give up, and move on. A major advantage of mobile sites is that they’re formatted to mobile devices, so everything is larger, but contained within a specific width so users won’t have to scroll to find their way through your site.
    Hint: Check out your mobile site on an actual mobile device…if you find it difficult to navigate, imagine how visitors will feel!
  • Keep it simple. Remember, on a mobile device, viewers are likely interested in learning about your products, finding directions or getting in touch with you. And while you want your site to be informative, too much info will give your visitors more pages to sift through before they get to their desired destination.
    Hint: If you think you’ve added too much content, chances are you have. Think about consolidating it through the use of bullet points.
  • Speed it up. Tons of images, videos and unnecessary content can make your mobile site’s load time far too long.
    Hint: Save the flashy stuff for your main website! You don’t need to trash all the bells and whistles you love, just think mobile = minimal.
  • Proofread. Performing simple checks, such as confirming your phone number is accurate and verifying that your address is up-to-date, will pay off in the long run…and make for happier customers.
    Hint: Don’t forget to spell- and grammar-check. Knowing the difference between “you’re” and “your” can go a long way.
  • Publish your hours of operation. Although it might seem obvious, forgetting to publish and update your store hours is a common mistake. Remember, users will likely be looking at your site when they’re on the go, or when they’re looking to contact you; inaccurate hours can mean a missed business opportunity.
    Hint: Be sure to keep this info front and center, along with your phone number.
  • Get social! Adding social media buttons to your site so you can communicate with users in the social space is key.

    Hint: No need to add every social site on the Internet — Facebook and Twitter is a good place to start.
 
Don’t forget to check out our website, where in just a few steps, you can now set up your own mobile site!

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