Words on your website speak loudly too

The words on your website are as important as the images. They tell a story about you, your work, and your customers. If you rush to publish your website pages and blogs without proofreading, those missed grammar and spelling mistakes can lead visitors to question if you will rush through your customers' work also. 

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Important Squarespace features for small businesses are dropped from Personal plan

On December 1, 2017, Squarespace changed which features are included in its lowest-cost Personal plan. Many simple customization and third-party integration features are now classified as Premium features, only available with the Business and Commerce plans. I'll have to take this into consideration as I talk with new clients about their options.

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The Cancel button is my favorite Squarespace feature

I specialize in creating websites on Weebly and Squarespace because they are two of the easiest do-it-yourself website platforms. One of the biggest differences is that Squarespace offers a Cancel button so you can dismiss all changes you've made to a page if you don't like them.

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Adding a PayPal "Buy Now" button to your website is easier than you think

It is surprisingly easy to create PayPal button code that adds a Buy Now, Add to Cart, or Donate button to your website. Use the Button Tool with a PayPal business account to generate code that creates a custom button for your website. This blog posting shows you an example of a button for visitors who want to purchase an online gift certificate. This is a simple example; I encourage you to explore the button options in PayPal for your own inspiration.

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Squarespace gallery pages come to the rescue of a crowded portfolio

When I started my website design business last year, there was lots of room on the Portfolio page. When I took a look at that page this week, I knew it was time to do a major redesign of the page because its overcrowded design no longer worked with the number of samples I had added throughout the last year. I ended up using Squarespace gallery pages to create a multi-page Portfolio that allows for expansion.

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A good website has everything a local bakery has

People have been asking me recently what they need to put on a new website. What pages do they need? What information do they need to include? It occurred to me that a website is like an old-fashioned bakery, like those I've seen in the North End section of Boston or in small European villages.

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Quit telling me to "submit"

It's a pet peeve of mine. Both Squarespace and Weebly use the word "Submit" as the default button text and I hate that word on a form I'm filling out. I might like to send you a message but I'm certainly not going to "submit" to anything. Do me, and the internet, a favor and change the default button text on your Contact forms to anything other than "Submit."

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Letting go frees you to embrace something new

As I sit here this morning, no longer a motorhome owner, I feel a familiar feeling of being in an in-between time. I can tell you from experience though that when you let go of something that no longer serves you and use the in-between time to relax, dream, and follow your heart, the freedom and spaciousness of that time will allow something better to come into your life.

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Creativity and focus needs time and space

I read an article today about a writer who resorted to renting a cabin in the woods for two days without internet service or a cell phone to reach his goal of writing 40,000 words for his upcoming book. I won't be renting a cabin in the woods anytime soon, but I think I'll take some inspiration from this article to think about unplugging at regular intervals to give myself some quiet time to allow creativity and new ideas room to grow.

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You need a website like you need a coat rack

A coat rack is a central location in your house where all the coats, hats, and scarves are kept. It's a meeting place for all of that outdoor apparel. A website is like a coat rack that organizes all the marketing apparel for your business: your About Me information, your Services descriptions, testimonials, photo galleries, product pages, blog posts, a contact form, and links to social media accounts. So what are you waiting for? Get that long-postponed website designed and launched. After all, your home (page) is where you hang your hat.

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Where do your potential customers hang out online?

I use social media for my website design business to establish my expertise and promote my business, to get ideas from others in my field or related fields, and to inspire or share information with my potential or current small-business clients. For the last four or five months, I've been trying to educate myself about how best to use my time on social media to let more people know that I help small businesses create websites on Squarespace and Weebly. I have decided that my approach, given the time I have, is to do my best to post on several social media channels several times a week. I create original posts and I also share helpful posts from others in my industry. I researched where my potential customers are spending time online and now focus on posting in those locations. 

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Popping your head out from time to time is good for your business

As a confirmed introvert, I've tended to favor online networking strategies rather than in-person networking events. That's why it was a stretch to go to a local Women's Business Networking event last night. Reflecting this morning on the evening, I'm really glad I donned my courage cape and took the chance at trying something new. I'm glad to be back in my den this morning, but if I hadn't popped my head out to check the weather "out there," I would have missed out on learning and networking opportunities that I couldn't have had any other way.

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A picture is worth a thousand words and helps with searches too

I learned recently that images play a role in improving your website's search rankings. It isn't an image by itself, but the words associated with an image, that can make a difference. There are three places where words are connected with an image:

  • The file name
  • Alt text (alternate text) that appears when the image can't be viewed
  • An optional caption that goes with the image

Using file names and image properties in Squarespace or Weebly to include possible search words is a good practice for improving the search rankings of your website.
 

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You're the boss, so be the boss of your time too

If you have started your own business recently, I encourage you to read this article for tips about how to understand where your time goes, so you can become more deliberate about the choices you make: "My Biggest Mistake as a Solopreneur – And What I Learned From It." After I found this helpful advice a couple of months ago, I started keeping a log of how I was spending my time on marketing and learning activities related to my website design business and also how much time I was spending on personal social media and a personal website and blog I maintain. Now I am much more deliberate about how I spend my time online and I've narrowed down my business-related social media focus to Facebook and LinkedIn and I aim for weekly blogging.

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Why compressing files to save space is like stuffing pillows into a suitcase

When you have limited disk storage (such as the free 15 GB of storage you get with a Google account), it's important to know how to store files in a way that takes up the least amount of space. When someone asked me the other day about what it means to create .zip files to save storage space, it occurred to me that the process of compressing files into a .zip file is like storing pillows in a suitcase.

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Encouraging Facebook Page Likes from your website

I wanted to learn how to put a "Like Our Page on Facebook" button on a website. It turns out there's a Button Configurator in Facebook that does most of the magic. You then put the code the Configurator generates into your website as code. Here are the steps I used for my KerryAThompson website on Squarespace. Instructions for sites on Weebly are included where they differ.

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What's the personality of your healing business?

I came across an article today about developing a "brand" for your healing business that echoes much of what I think about as I'm helping small businesses plan the design of a new website. Your business "brand" is who you are and what you have to offer as a healer. The colors, images, and text you add reflect what you have to share with clients as you help them on a healing journey.

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