Resolutions for the Year Ahead

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Resolutions We Would Like to See

This week, we’re approaching our annual RainStorm conclave and we’re thinking about the year that’s (mostly) fresh before us. During this meeting, we set our company goals for the current year and assess our performance in the year that’s past. It’s a time to think about how we’ll achieve our shared goals as RainStorm and our own goals as individuals.

On that theme, I thought that we might also consider what kinds of goals we’d love to see our clients – current and prospective – have for their own websites. The answers were fascinating and, I think, very much worth thinking about. So we present, in our own words, resolutions we’d love to see any website owner consider this year:
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Evan Habeeb, Graphic DesignerPictures-Canon-icon

  1. “Invest time in generating quality photography for your business or organization. No better way to increase the beauty of your website than adding compelling photography.
  2. Maintain an active blog and social media presence. A frequently updated blog for your business or organization will give a lively and active impression (as well as help SEO). Set a goal to write a post every few days or weeks and try to stick to it.”

Monique Bouchard, Client Relationship Manager

  1. 1-Normal-Paper-Box-icon“I’d like to see every website become optimized for mobile. (I think this every time I’m browsing on my iPad…) And I’d like mobile websites to be as fully-featured as desktop websites. I want to be able to buy products online, get tickets, sign up for classes, or make a donation to an organization easily, from the couch, if I want to.
  2. I would like to see all of our clients do a content audit. Clean out outdated content, critically consider if their navigation is serving their audience or confusing them, and refresh their images. It can be helpful, even if an organization has a “brick and mortar” presence, to remember that most people will find them first on the web. A website has to be attractive and motivating, and inspire visitors to take action!”

Leo Edmiston-Cyr, Operations Manager

“I would like to see our clients take one day near the beginning of the new year to see their digital image the way their constituents/donors/clients/customers/patrons see them.  Do this:

  • Groups-Meeting-Dark-iconDo a google search for various services you offer.  Include your geography as needed to find yourself.
  • Do google searches for relevant review sites and see what people are saying (like Yelp, greatnonprofits.org, Trip Advisor, Amazon reviews, Google reviews, etc .)
  • Now that you’re thinking like a client, do those searches on Facebook — think social.  Think about what people talk about.  Search, search, search.
  • Do the same on Twitter.
  • Not being talked about can be just as bad as a negative message out there.
  • Now, go to your website like one of your customers.  Forget all your know about your site, organization — open your new-year eyes to the naked truth.  What do you see?  Can you easily find out how to get in touch with or request your services?
  • Do you feel good about what you see?

Take notes on all those things.  Identify the weaknesses.  Prioritize them and then decide what to do to improve your online presence.

wordpress-iconMatt James, Programmer

  1. Switch to WordPress!
  2. Go mobile-friendly!” 

(Matt is a man of few words when it comes to resolutions.)

Suze Howe, Customer Support Specialist

  1. sweeter-iconMobile-friendly designs. The up-and-coming generation has been raised on tablets and smartphones (vs. dinosaurs like myself who still prefer the old desktop computer!). They not only expect every business and organization to have a website, but they also expect to be able to access those sites via a variety of mobile devices. These folks will soon be your customers – if they aren’t already – so it is vital to make their access and experience with your site as easy as possible.
  2. Social media integration. Again, your newest customers were raised on Facebook and Twitter and Snapchat and dozens of other social media apps. Having (and using!) a variety of social media accounts is a good first step, but to fully take advantage of the social media platformseamlessly integrate it with your website.

Ian Belanger, Web Developer

  1. mobile-icon“I would also like to see every site be responsive. Non-responsive websites are evil. (In my humble opinion.) 😉 *
  2. I would also like to see content managers learn how to add the correct image sizes in their content, to help make their pages load faster. (And to help with that – https://codex.wordpress.org/Image_Size_and_Quality.)”

*Ian probably even wrote this from his phone.

Ian Lusk, Support Web Developer

  1. “Reorganize and rename site content to reflect visitor expectations. Think like a customer, not a committee.
  2. Actions-help-hint-iconUse good clear photography – always. Would you trust a business that makes its first impression with stretched or pixelated images?”

Brian Rahill, CEO

  1. “I would like to see our potential clients keep their WordPress websites up-to-date and secure. We’ve helped too many organizations that were hosted elsewhere, recover from a hack caused by a poorly-maintained site. While we manage this for our clients, the importance of keeping sites updated can’t be overstated.
  2. support-iconI would like all people stretch their concept of what a website can do. Static, information-based sites only scratch the surface of what’s possible. It’s time for businesses and organizations to embrace their website as a critical tool to help them streamline communication and data sharing, and operate more efficiently in 2016!”

We wish you a happy and prosperous year ahead!

(And if you need some help with any of your web resolutions this year, let us know. We’re here for you!)

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