2015 WordPress Web Design Trends

By | NJ Web Design, WordPress

recommendedWith 2015 half over, it’s a good time to reflect upon changes in the industry and how you can capitalize on the power of WordPress for you business.

What Can an Impactful Web Design Do for YOU?

When a visitor lands on your website they determine if your business is credible within seconds. According to an article published by IronPaper “10 Web Design Statistics”, 94% of users leave a site that is poorly designed.

Today’s Web Design Trends

Full Width Pages

With full width pages you can take advantage of the power of large impactful and eye catching images. Photo and project galleries can take advantage the expanded spaced. Take a look at our client http://losurdofoods.com. So images are so beautiful they make you hungry.

Home Page Slider or Featured Image

Sliders have been around for a few years, but now with full width capability they truly sing when combined with a message that resonates with the viewer. Take a look at http://www.bza.com home page.

Sticky Navigation

A sticky navigation bar is one that remains at the top of the screen while the user is scrolling down the page. This feature is one that is surely here to stay. http://accuratebox.com takes advantage of large home page images and sticky navigation.

Grid or Masonry Style Blog Posts

There are now more options to display blog posts. The list style heavy text blog post is now being replaced with posts in a grid or masonry style. Viewers encourage to click with larger images and text headlines. Check out http://theme-fusion.com/avada/blog-grid-full-width/

Bright Colors

Bright colors are the perfect combination with full page width and large featured images. A single action color used consistently for buttons and call-out guide the visitor on what to click. http://atlanticinfrared.com is not shy about being bold with their corporate branding.

You might be thinking can I have all these features on my website? The answer is simply YES.

Writing Super Easy Headlines to Drive More Website Traffic

By | WordPress

Writing a great headline for a blog post or a news article will determine if your post will be read or skipped over for one that is more intriguing. A quote from advertising guru David Olilvy, proves the point:

On the average, five times as many people
read the headline as read the body copy.

A sticky headline can increase your click-through rate and have your readers wanting more.  Whether you are introducing a new product, promoting a case study or service or sharing company news, readers engaging in your content is a win win for all.
Here a few tips to get your creative juices flowing:

  • A simple “How to …” can do the trick. “How to Write a Headline to Generate Traffic”
  • Lists with short tid-bits tell the reader the info is short concise and readable. After all we are all so busy. “Seven Quick Tips for Generating Web Site Traffic”
  • Headlines that promise a secret or hidden gem, arouse curiosity. “What Google Does Not What You to Know About Writing Headlines”
  • Solve a problem. “Writer’s Block? Learn About our New Headline Generator”
  • Use numbers. “Give Me 5 Minutes and I’ll Give You Better Headlines”

People don’t want to be tricked.  Make sure your headline will deliver on its promise.

BZA Launches WordPress Website for M Teixeira Soapstone

By | Responsive Website Design, Web Site Design, WordPress

M Teixeira Soapstone offers one of the largest collections of soapstone products available in the United States. Their online presence supports their three locations, New Jersey, Denver and San Francisco.  They offer soapstone slabs and  fabrication along with products like soapstone sinks, tile and kitchenware.

With the continued growth of their business it was time to refresh their web presence with a new responsive design and mobile friendly website.

WordPress Website for M Teixeira Soapstone

M Teixeira Soapstone’s New WordPress Website

M Teixeira Soapstone has been a long time client of BZA since the early 2000’s. Their last website served them well through the years, but it was time to redesign the site and give it large visual impact.

BZA worked with M Teixeira Soapstone to develop a fully customized Responsive Design website that would include a content management system, quote request form, video, integrated e-commerce and a comprehensive photo gallery . Keeping the visitor experience in mind, the site is well organized with ease of navigation with a professional clean branding.

Personalized WordPress Training

BZA provided personalized WordPress training for the M Teixeira Soapstone staff. Utilizing the administrative dashboard their staff can  now update page content, product images, monthly sales, news and more.

WordPress and Responsive Website Design

BZA developed the site utilizing the popular WordPress platform with Responsive Website Design. M Teixeira Soapstone now provides website visitors the optimal viewing experience to all users, regardless of their device. These devices include smart phones, tablets and mini-tablets.

BZA Launches Custom WordPress Website for Panurgy

By | BZA News, NJ Web Design, North Jersey Web Design, Web Site Design, WordPress

Panurgy, New Jersey based information technology service provider, tasked BZA to design a new website that provided a positive experience for Panurgy’s visitors. They also wanted to leverage social media, promote their events and be able to easily update the site. The result is an elegant, clean and professional site that strengthens Panurgy’s brand image.

panurgy-lg

The home page features a custom slider animation that highlights Panurgy’s seven core IT services. BZA designed custom illustrations that highlight these services in a creative manner. Panurgy is also utilizing these icons in their printed collateral.

The website is built with the WordPress platform and features a news blog, events plugin, social sharing widget, e-mail newsletter sign-up, site search, client log-in, inquiry request form and more. You can visit the site at Panurgy.com.

Four Things you Need to Know to Keep your WordPress Site from Being Hacked

By | WordPress

At BZA we have noticed an increased number of companies requesting help because their WordPress site has been hacked. In many cases you might not even know that your WordPress site or blog has been filled with thousands of lines of code. Hackers can use your site to host online ads and malicious code. You may not even know it. If your organization has sites that use WordPress, there are a few simple recommendations that will protect you against most unwanted attacks:

  1. Make sure you password is secure. A secure password is a combination of at least eight lowercase and uppercase letter, special characters (@%*!%, etc) and numbers.
  2. Change the default “Admin” username. WordPress out-of-the-box comes with a default “Admin’ username. Create a new user and assign that user with admin privileges.
  3. Update WordPress. Hackers exploit known vulnerabilities in older versions of WordPress. Keeping your software up to date is an easy way to avoid trouble. WordPress updates not only contain software improvements but most importantly security updates. The current version of WordPress is 3.5.1.
  4. Forms Security. If your blog or Website includes a contact or inquiry form make sure you have a CAPTCHA feature. CAPTCHA protects your website from spam by means of math logic. The user must enter a string of letters and numbers in order to successfully submit the form.

If you do implement these four simple recommendations you’ll be 99% ahead of the game. If you suspect that your WordPress site may have been hacked, please contact us. We can clean up the files, remove malicious code, and get your site running secure again. You may also want to take advantage of BZA’s WordPress support and monthly maintenance plan. Plans start as low as $150 per month.

What to Consider When Converting your Website to WordPress

By | Web Site Design, WordPress

With all the bells and whistles that come with a WordPress website, it’s no wonder why business owners are jumping on the WordPress bandwagon.

Before leaping to the latest and greatest, here are some critical factors you need to consider in order to ensure a successful migration.

Design
Do you love the design of your current website? If so, then the look and feel of your WordPress website can remain mostly unchanged. If your website seems old, tired and dated then it’s time for a fresh look. At this point,  you can choose to have a custom designed website (totally unique to you) or one that is template based and customized to your brand. The latter is the lower cost option.

News, Press, Media & Articles
One of the main benefits of WordPress is that it is database driven.  This means your content can be organized by date, topic, category, etc.  As part of the conversion process you will want to move all of your news, press, media, articles, etc., from your old site to your new site. Search engines love content – so you don’t want to miss this opportunity.

E-Commerce
If you currently sell products online, or have plans to do so in the future, it’s important to understand if a WordPress plug-in shopping cart is one that will meet your needs. As a rule of thumb if you are selling 50 or less products a plug-in may meet your needs. If you plan to grow to over 50 products or have more than 50 products already, then a more robust shopping cart platform is a wiser solution. BZA can help you make the selection.

Site Search
Now more than ever we Google everything. So why not implement WordPress site search. WordPress search will display relevant posts across your entire website including pages, news and articles.

Mobile
What type of mobile access do you think your visitors require? WordPress out of the box will work on a mobile device. But if you want an optimized mobile experience than you may consider using a Mobile plug-in or add responsive WordPress to your requirements.

Search Engine Optimization
If ranking in search engines is important to your business then you will love the ability that WordPress gives you in terms of tweaking your pages and posts. You’ll get the ultimate control you need to customize URL naming, meta description and page keyword density and more. This is achieved through a WordPress SEO plugin.

Social Media
If you are a B2C (business to consumer organization) then social sharing is a must. WordPress with the proper social sharing plug-in will give you consistent sharing ability throughout your pages and posts. B2B (business to business companies) have been slow to adopt to social sharing. Keep in mind you can have social sharing on your website without having to have a business Facebook page or Twitter account.

If you would like to learn more about how your organization can benefit from WordPress, please contact us. We would love to show you some great case studies from satisfied clients.

BZA Launches New WordPress Responsive Website for American Conference on Diversity

By | BZA News, NJ Web Design, WordPress

BZA recently launched a beautiful new website for American Conference on Diversity (ACOD), who has been a client for over six years. Celebrating their 65th anniversary, the ACOD has been conducting educational programs, conferences and workshops designed to provide youth and adults with the tools to create and sustain more diverse schools, businesses and community environments.

ACOD wanted a site that could be easily updated by their staff. BZA developed their website with WordPress, allowing ACOD to update photo galleries, calendar of events, holidays, news, and page content.

The ACOD site features a responsive design.  This means it will look great on all devices, both mobile and desktop.

acod_HP

The home page features a mobile friendly slider, upcoming events and recent news. Visitors have access social sharing widgets throughout the website.

acod_calendar

This is an excellent example of what BZA clients are asking for; easy to update, dynamic content, social media sharing, accessible on any device, site search and more. If you would like to explore having these features on your website please contact us.

New WordPress Website for NJ Based Underwater Adventures Dive Center

By | BZA News, NJ Web Design, WordPress

BZA recently launched an enhanced website for Underwater Adventures Dive Center retail store located in Short Hills, New Jersey.  Underwater Adventures Dive Center team of scuba diving experts provide scuba classes, dive equipment and scuba vacations.
Underwater Adventures Dive Center wanted a website that was as beautiful as the oceans below, easy to navigate and that could be updated by their in-house staff.

BZA designed the site that leverages the company’s image with a color palette true to their brand.  The site was built with the popular WordPress platform that allows in-house staff to quickly and easily update the website content including their news blog. BZA provided personalized WordPress training for their staff.
The site also features a class schedule calendar and an online store where visitors can purchase diving supplies and equipment.  The site leverages social media with both Facebook and social sharing functions. The site also contains an interactive Google Map allowing visitors can obtain personalized directions to the dive shop.

WordPress Blog Integration

By | Blogging for Business, WordPress

News Blogs are an easy way to keep your site current and filled with search-engine friendly content. If you don’t have a blog, BZA can integrate a WordPress Blog into your current website.  We can customize your blog to match the look and feel of your website so it seamlessly becomes an extension of your website. A social sharing widget will allow visitors to Like, Tweet, Email, etc any article or post.

We will also set-up your Blog to automatically get indexed in search engines. We’ll even install an SEO module so you can add your keyword phrases and obtain a preview on how your web page will look in search results.

Your Blog can also contain an archive of articles by date and topic along with the ability for visitors to use keyword search to find what they are looking for.   Once your Blog is complete you can extend its reach by linking it to your Linkedin Profile and Facebook Page.

Underwater Dive Adventurers WordPress News Blog

BZA’s Blog integration package includes personalized training so you can create articles and posts that contain text, images and even YouTube videos.  If you would like a quote to integrate a Blog into your website, please contact us.

 

Should You Mobilize Your Website?

By | Mobile Web Design, WordPress

Just this week, orders for the iPhone 5 topped 2 million in their first 24 hours, more than double the amount of its predecessor over the same period.  There is no doubt Smart phone users are dominating the mobile market. The easiest way to establish a positive relationship with mobile users is to create a mobile website for your organization.  If your website is built on a WordPress platform, BZA can easily develop a mobile theme for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Samsung mobile visitors.

How do we make this work?  Your newly mobilized website works by detecting devices like iPhones, iPads, Android & and more, serving its optimized themes instead of your regular desktop theme. Visitors have the option to switch to the desktop theme if they desire.

Take the Test

We encourage web site owners to take a look at their existing web site on mobile devices and see how their site renders. You will quickly notice that browsing a desktop web site on a mobile phone is a frustrating experience. Sites utilizing Flash menus or sites built entirely in Flash will not operate on an iPhone or iPad.

Consultants 2 Go Mobile Website

Your mobile web site will become an invaluable asset that is available from any location at any time of day or night.

Contact us today for a quote to mobilize your website