Blog


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Welcome to the main blog page for 4MediaGraphics.

Here we’ll discuss all things pertaining to web and graphic design. We’ll explore ideas to help your business with website, graphic and presentation design.

You and your business are bound to pick up helpful tips including reasons as to why you should have a website in the first place.

We keep up with the latest technologies including WordPress, so you’ll learn how a WordPress site could be beneficial to you and your business.

What good is having a business websites if nobody can find you? We’ll discuss concepts to get your business found on the web using Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

What  colors are best for your business’s website? What is branding? We’ll delve into the power of branding your business and why it’s so important to have a corporate identity.

We’ll look into reasons to keep your website fresh and up to date.

What features are best on your website as it relates to your business? You’ll find ideas and tips discussing all of the possible bells and whistles on the web today.

You’ll also find tips for keeping your website user friendly.


Why You Should Build Your Online Store With WordPress, PayPal & WooCommerce

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Using WordPress, WooCommerce and PayPal to build an online store


Does your business need an online store? If you sell wares retail or not you know the answer and it’s yes, it does.

  • Want to keep up with the Jones’s?
  • Isn’t it about time you have an online shopping presence?
  • WordPress Now Powers 26% of the Web.
  • PayPal has 197 million active customer accounts.
  • WooCommerce now powers “30% of all online stores.
  • Isn’t it about time you open your online store?

Here’s why you should use WooCommerce with PayPal and WordPress to build your online store.

You don’t have to compete with Amazon, Wayfair or Target to have an online store. All you need is a shop where people buy your products. Today you can sell just about anything online from eBooks to jewelry. With WordPress people can leave reviews and comments and your site can have a blog. WordPress and blogs give your site an edge over the competitors by putting you higher in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and, therefore, ranking higher in a search which will make it easier for people to find your online store.

In my role as a web designer I work with many people who want to have an online presence to represent their business. Business owners want to have a shop that works on the computer and mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. Having an online store can alter your business and it can alter your businesses bottom line by giving you access to another, more modern way to display your wares. Whether you have a brick and mortar store or you just want to expand your business to sell your products online, using WordPress with WooCommerce can make it easy to do just that.

Best of all, you can use WooCommerce with PayPal. PayPal is the oldest and most trusted gateway for online transactions. Using PayPal will allow your customers to pay by credit card or through their PayPal account if they choose to do so.

WordPress uses add-ons called plugins. WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress and it’s easy to use. In fact, WooCommerce is THE most downloaded plugin for WordPress boasting over 28,000,000 downloads, where most popular plugins have 20-30,000 downloads. Out of the box WooCommerce is very powerful and FREE but it also has a multitude of “extensions”. The extensions are not free but they are very reasonably priced.

There is a good reason for WooCommerce’s popularity, EASE OF USE. It can be installed with the click of a mouse which guides you through an easy setup wizard. Your store can be up and running in no time.

It is compatible with most themes for WordPress. You can pick a theme that you like for look and feel and, most likely, it will work with WooCommerce. Once your web developer has installed WordPress and WooCommerce with PayPal you can take over and make changes easily.

It is also responsive meaning that it will change its look based on the device it’s being viewed on whether it be computer, tablet or smart phone.

WooCommerce works with most WordPress themes and is automatically setup upon install. Once WooCommerce is installed you get pages for Shop, Account, Cart and Checkout automatically, making it easy for your web developer to create a shopping site without a lot of coding. You’ll still need your web developer to customize the site to your liking.

WooCommerce creates an interface that’s easier to use than the afore-mentioned large sites, Amazon, Wayfair and Target, keeping your customers satisfied. They experience a user interface that’s easy to get around and it’s highly intuitive. Unlike those other sites your users do not have to create an account to shop although they can create an account to make it easier to keep track of items they’ve purchased on your site.

As always if you’re in need of a website or logo please contact me.

WordPress Websites: To WordPress or Not to WordPress

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Blog | 8 comments

To WordPress or not to WordPressTo WordPress or Not to WordPress

Well, you’ve made the decision to create a new website or to update your existing website. So many questions arise these days concerning look and feel and let’s not forget the all important SEO. All of the options to characterize your online presence, could be a mind boggling task to say the least. No problem, take a deep breath and scrutinize your needs and potential. Once you realize this potential the task becomes a lot simpler than you would imagine.

First of all ask yourself if you’ll need to do regular updates, changing your sites content on a regular basis. These days this is all important as it keeps you up on the search engine rankings. That being said, you may not have the means to hire a staff of programmers leaving only one option and that is to have a Content Management System (CMS). With a good CMS you’ll be able to keep your site up to date yourself without having to worry about being a programmer/coder.

Here at 4MediaGraphics & Marketing we’ve seen that content management systems can be both good and bad so don’t get too excited and read on. If you’re in need of more than just updating content and don’t have the technical skills to do so a CMS can be cumbersome. You will want to make sure that your new site is displayable on both smart phones or iPhones and tablets. WordPress started out as a blogging system and has grown into a full-fledged content management system. It is easy to make content updates but it’s difficult to make cosmetic changes.

Yes, we at 4MediaGraphics & Marketing love working in WordPress, we’ve been doing so for 5 years now. This site is done in WordPress and the owner Mark Mentzer’s personal portfolio site is done in WordPress as well. But, we also know the constraints of WordPress. Like I stated above WordPress has gone from a simple blogging system to becoming the most popular website creation engine in the world. Yes, it has become a master of web creation potency while still needing growth. So, take a look at what we consider the pros and cons of WordPress as a content management system.

Pros:

  • Your Site Will be Blog Ready: As stated above WordPress was originally created as blogging software. Almost every theme you’ll find for WordPress will have a built in blog page which is ready to use at the drop of a hat. Using WordPress for blogging is second nature and elegant.
  • Content Updates are a Breeze: I’ve made this number one because it is the top reason to use a content management system. You can easily add text and images to your site through adding new posts and pages. The method used to add content is very intuitive. With some technical work done upfront there’s a multitude of ways to setup custom programs and blocks of text which, after implementation, can be used and edited by just about anybody with simple computer skills.
  • E-Commerce Made Easy: When e-commerce first reared its ugly head on the web only the best of programmers could make this happen. But, once again, there’s a multitude of plug-ins to make this a much easier task. With the advent of these WordPress add-on’s known as plugins, creating e-commerce apps that give you the ability to create a shopping cart which does the ordering, shipping and processing is now doable for even the most fearful.
  • Doing your SEO is Fairly Straight Forward: Considering the plethora of SEO (search engine optimization) plugins for WordPress all that you have to do is read and make fairly simple changes to your content to make it more searchable to the “Bots” and “Sniffers” on the web. It’s time consuming but much easier than it is with a straight HTML site. You’ll be adding Meta tags such as titles, descriptions, keywords and H1 tags like an SEO/SEM (search engine marketing) pro. We use Yoast for our SEO, it’s one of the best. It will help you to, not only add these all important Meta tags, it will also assist in giving you an idea of your site’s strength in optimization for SEO and SEM. So, with Yoast and other SEO plugins WordPress has become an easier way to add SEO/SEM to your site.
  • Your Site is Ready for Mobile Phones, Tablets and PC: If you use a theme that’s responsive your site will automatically ready to show on all of these devices without any need for programming. This is mega important as many people these days view websites on devices other than PC’s. The content of your site and the look and feel will be consistent on all platforms.  The layout will change depending on the platform but the content and look and feel will remain the same. When choosing a theme for your site be sure to do a search for responsive theme to insure that it will be unchanging on all platforms. With this search you’ll find many themes that adhere to a responsive nature whether you’re using a free theme or a premium theme.

Cons:

  • Making Your Site Custom is Very Difficult: Content Management Systems are great out of the box, but to make it look EXACTLY like what you’re looking for can be rather tricky. WordPress works with themes and the themes layout is programmed through CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and PHP (Personal Home Page). Unless you’re an experienced programmer, making look and feel changes to your site is nearly impossible. So, if you want to customize your site be prepared to hire at least one programmer, if not a staff. This programmer will have to be familiar with making your WordPress site responsive and will need to be a pro at the languages of CSS and PHP. Once the customization is complete you’ll be able to create new content and pages/posts with little to no experience.
  • WordPress Needs Regular Updates: WordPress is “Open Source” software which is defined as “denoting software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified.” You cannot work on a WordPress on your personal hard drive as you can with HTML, CSS and even PHP to some extent, you must work on the server. It requires updates and patches which are released roughly annually. These updates assure that you are combating hackers and pirates, not to mention improvements on coding. If you don’t have the proper skills to do these regular updates you could run into trouble. You must make a backup of your site before you update and, even then, a simple plugin could prove to be disastrous. You might need a professional to dismantle a plugin or theme on the back end if a catastrophe occurs.
  • Being a Programmer or Developer Isn’t Necessary But it Helps: Marketing experience doesn’t hurt either. You can have the slickest site in the world, but it won’t draw traffic without the proper maintenance. In order to insure success you will need to make a planned, continuing effort to keep users/customers returning. The act of creating the website is the easy part, it’s the marketing that is important and time consuming. Most sites require a constant SEO/SEM marketing plan to keep up with the competition online. So, you might want to hire a marketing guru in house who can work with an agency. Remember staying dedicated and having a plan which is specific to your marketing needs will make sure that your site is keeping users coming back to engage in your services.

Remember, if you are in need of a highly functional and professionally designed WordPress website you’ve come to the right place. Contact us, describing your needs and let’s get started in creating a website that will stand out above and beyond your competition leaving them in the dust.

Business Website – You Need One

Posted by on Jul 19, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Business websiteBusiness Website: Why Your Business Needs a Website

Doing good business means having a good business website. Business website design is essential to a new business. In the small time-frame that we know of as the course of history it wasn’t that long ago that if you wanted to look for a restaurant, or just about any kind of small business, you’d open the yellow pages.

Those times have changed big time. Now anyone under the age of 80 who can be labeled as a consumer, will find those customs are as dated as a faded tie-dyed tee shirt.

Most consumers today will use the Internet as their first place to conduct informational research to find a vendor or just about any type of information, especially those who are computer savvy.

Here are five reasons why you should have a website now:

  1. Exposure: With more and more potential customers accessing the Web to do research on products and services, they won’t find your business unless you have a web presence.
  2. Distance: Since the web is world wide you will no longer be limited to a local customer base. Your place of business may be in Tampa, but your customers can be in Turkey.
  3. Benefits: When people are able to find information about your business easily and within their own time frame their satisfaction about your business is naturally increased.
  4. Competition: Having a professionally designed website will keep you in the public eye and give you a competitive advantage against larger companies. Keeping your website professional looking and up to date will keep you in the game. Make sure you’re found on the web, your competitors are.
  5. Credibility: Having a website to point partners, potential employees, investors and customers to tells these people that you are a serious business person.

Getting on the Web quickly

Once upon a time having a website was out of reach for many small businesses. It was expensive to hire programmers, designers and writers. Hosting and committing to keep the site updated was a daunting task. That expense and commitment to time is not a concern anymore with WordPress and sites that are template driven. Now it’s quick and painless to have a website.

If you’re concerned with having enough content don’t be. A website can be a work in progress. You can start by having a simple one page business-card type site with very basic information such as:

Time permitted you can grow the content of your site so that it’s as large or as small as you desire. The point is, get your website up and running as soon as possible.

It seems obvious that there are a plethora of reasons why even the smallest of businesses will benefit from having a presence on the web. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started on your website TODAY!