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Squarespace website design

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Why You Need Access to all of your Log ins for Your Website

Bold & Pop : Why You Need Access to all of your Logins for Your Website

Stop right now and ask yourself... Do you have logins for your website, domain name and administrator accounts on your email? If your answer isn't immediately YES, then this blog post is for you. Today we're going to chat why it's so imperative that you have access to all of your accounts, even if someone else is managing them for you (which is totally okay!). 

Why You Need Your Logins

So let's dive in! No matter who designs or is managing your website, make sure to keep good records of all of your login information. This includes your:

  • Domain name

  • Platform login (Wordpress/Squarespace, etc.)

  • Hosting information (if applicable for your platform)

  • Administrator email account that allows you to create new or delete email accounts

This may sound like simple advice, but it is so important that you have access to your accounts at all times. But Anna, I'm not tech-savvy and that's why I have someone else managing my website. I hear you and that's totally okay! A ton of our clients do that with us as well, but no matter who is managing your website I want to make sure you have access to all of your accounts if need be -- for a few reasons.

As Squarespace web designers, we have unfortunately seen too many clients go through the painful process of trying to track down this information and even had it held hostage from previous web designers (which is a wholeeeee other story 😱). While you may absolutely love your website today, our businesses grow and evolve and having that information will be key to making future edits.

Another scenario we've also seen, which is a little bit of a head-scratcher to us, is web designers that go MIA. Which is problematic for SO many reasons, but sometimes people's designers either shut down their businesses or are impossible to get ahold of to make edits. And while we'll never really understand how anyone could do that to their clients or past clients, it unfortunately happens... Which is why it's super important you have all of these account logins! We know there are so many GREAT designers out there, but there are also some bad apples so we just want to make sure you're protected -- no matter who you work with!

Why We Recommend having Accounts in Your Name

Now here is the bonus advice to the point above. If possible, we highly recommend having your accounts put in your name -- for a few different reasons. 

  1. For ownership purposes: We'll talk about this a little more in the next point, but we highly recommend that either you create your accounts or they are put in your name. Whenever we work with our clients, we always have them create their own Squarespace accounts. Or if they need help setting them up, we'll do it for them but with all of their info. We take care of all of the set-up and design once the account is created, but we like to have our clients set up their accounts because afterall, they belong to them!

    Second, at our business, we don't handle any account billing for our clients. A lot of our clients will come from backgrounds where they paid their web designers monthly for their hosting/domain services/email/maintenance/etc. but that's not something we do at our biz. By having everything direct, our clients are billed directly for their accounts and there are no monthly design fees from us. This is another reason why training all of our clients on their websites is so important to us. They may decide to just have us make edits in the future, but we want to make sure they are empowered to make changes and know the ins and outs of how things are set up. No matter who will be managing your account and when though, having the accounts in your name is important on the ownership end of things.

  2. For troubleshooting and account information: Remember when I talked about clients having their account info held hostage? Yikes, yes this really happens. Well, if your accounts aren't in your name then you can't even reset the password to gain access. In fact, if you call, the services won't be able to provide you with any troubleshooting or account information because technically you don't own them. This is troublesome for a WHOLE lot of reasons! What ends up happening is you may design a brand new beautiful website and then not be able to switch your domain name over because you can't get access to the account. Which will then send you on a treasure hunt of finding out who the account is under and getting them to call in and have things adjusted. Which sometimes isn't a huge deal if you are working with responsive awesome people, but unfortunately that's not always the case. Or if your designer has gone MIA then you might also be SOL. So let's just avoid that scenario completely right?!

    Now back to my non-techy friends... I know having your name on some of these accounts may sound scary, but I promise it's not. You can still have others manage the accounts for you, we just want to make sure you always have access. That the accounts are in your name, the recovery email is set to you, and you can call whenever you want and ask as many questions about your account if you ever need to. Another cool feature is most companies allow you to add a tech contact on your account. Once you've added your designer to your account, they have the abilities to call on your behalf and set up the techy side of things, but the account is still in your name. WIN for everyone!

Why it's Important to Check Your Agreements

Last but definitely not least, make sure to look through your agreements and make sure you have 100% ownership of your website and all affiliated accounts. This is why we think it is so important to have everything in your name. It is your business afterall, so you need to make sure that either the accounts are all in your name or that it is explicitly stated in your contract. I could tell horror stories for days... but let's just leave it at it's important that you maintain ownership of everything. There are just too many things that can go wrong when you don't and we like it when you guys are happy so it's better to be safe then sorry!

Have more questions on this topic? Drop us a comment below or shoot us an email! We're always happy to offer our advice 😃

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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5 Ways to Improve Your Website’s User Experience

Bold & Pop : 5 Ways to Improve Your Website’s User Experience

So you’ve built your website… YAYYY! You have your homepage, products or services, about page, blog and any other pages you need and it all looks bomb digs! Whoop! Whoop! But have you taken a second to evaluate whether or not your site flows properly and allows for easy navigation? This is your website’s user experience and it is just as important as making your site look amazing! Not to worry though, we’re walking you through some of the easiest adjustments to make to improve your site’s user experience so your site not only looks amazing but also provides a great experience for your users. 

But first things first, why is this important to your site?

User experience (UX) design focuses on the functionality, usability and efficiency of your website rather than the visual aspects (although they should go hand-in-hand when designing your website). Creating a positive user experience helps users quickly and easily find what they are looking for which ultimately helps:

  • Encourage them to stay on the site longer

  • Encourage return visits

  • Encourage referral traffic

  • Increase sales and/or inquiries

Alright now let's get into the nitty gritty -- Let’s improve that UX design!

Navigation

Take a peek at your navigation. What do you have in it? If you have a ton of links in your navigation this can be completely overwhelming for your user! An easy way to clean this up is to either combine some into a dropdown menu or to move them into your secondary navigation in the footer.

Bold & Pop : 5 Ways to Improve Your Website’s User Experience

We suggest having no more than 7 main links in your navigation (excluding a customer login or shopping cart link). This will keep things concise allowing you to highlight the main points of your website with all your other information in dropdowns or the footer. 

Another point when it comes to your navigation is to rename and/or reorder your navigation. Make sure your navigation titles are clear and to the point. If you have an online shop, title it Shop instead of something like Catalog or Lookbook so users know they can buy directly from your website. It can be tempting to get creative to add a little personality but just make sure they clearly define what that page is about if you do! 

Also keep in mind that we naturally read from left to right so make sure the most important pieces of your website are listed first in your navigation. This is why most website navigations are in the order of Home, About, Services/Shop, Blog, Contact. This is because most new users will come to your website and want to learn more about you then your services and then contact you. However, really take some time to think through how your ideal client would flow through your website since every industry is different. This may affect how you decide to order your navigation.

Above the Fold

You want to keep your most important information on each page above the folder. Above the folder means the part of your page that your users see before they begin to scroll. This will give your users a quick view of what they can expect from that page ultimately help keep them on that page to explore longer.

This is where your web design meets UX design though. You don’t want to load the top of the page with so much information that you overwhelm your user either. Consider if there is a way to rearrange your content to provide the important information upfront in an aesthetically pleasing way. Finding a balance can be tricky but this will ultimately help improve your UX while still keeping your site beautifully designed!

Call-To-Actions

This is so insanely important in creating a positive user experience. Your call-to-actions (CTAs) direct your users around your website so you want to make sure they flow in the best way possible. While your navigation will help with this, implementing call-to-action buttons and graphics throughout your website will help encourage users to click through and explore your website even further. This can be as simple as creating buttons saying “Learn More About Our Services”, “Shop Now”, or “Check out our portfolio” in appropriate areas on your site. You typically want these after content that has already explain a little more though. For example, at the end of your About page it may make sense to add a CTA to direct users to your portfolio. Something along the lines “Interested in learning more about how we can help? Take a peek at our portfolio!”

Take a look at each page on your website and see where it makes sense to add some CTAs so you can help direct your users around your website and ultimately land a sale or inquiry! 

Homepage Design

Your homepage is a snapshot of your overall website so you want to make sure you are highlighting the main points of your business right up front! Chances are most of your new traffic is landing on your homepage first so the design of this page is essential to directing those users around your website to keep them on your website longer to learn more. (Because nobody likes to land on a site that they 1) have no idea what it's about and 2) can't easily navigate to the information they are looking for!) 

Bold & Pop : 5 Ways to Improve Your Website’s User Experience

We suggest evaluating the main pages you’d like your users to visit and then create graphics for the homepage to direct users to those pages. This can be graphics for a homepage slideshow and/or various buttons. Consider your various services or product categories and how you can direct users to these pages. You may also have seasonal or holiday specific promotions you’d like to offer meaning you can swap these graphics out when applicable!

Search Bar, Summary Blocks, and/or Category Buttons

Now that you have everything else all set, you might want to consider implementing additional features to make it easy for users to find what they are looking for or similar content. This can be as simple as implementing a search bar and displaying it in a prominent area so users can easily search your entire site and/or blog.

Other options would be to add category buttons. This makes the most sense for your blog and/or your shop. You want to make sure your blog posts or products are first categorized appropriately. Then create your category buttons (custom graphics or simple buttons through Squarespace) to add to your blog sidebar or on your shop. This will make it seriously easy for users to click on that necklace category button to see all the necklaces you sell increasing your chances to sell even more (Score!).

Similarly, you can use the summary block on Squarespace to add related blog posts to the bottom of each of your blog posts. This will show your user related posts they may be interested in helping them get more of the information they are already interested in.

Bold & Pop : 5 Ways to Improve Your Website’s User Experience

As you can tell any steps you take to make it easier for your website visitors to navigate your website so they can find the information they are looking for is essential for improving their user experience. Take your time going through your website page by page evaluating where you can implement some of the tips above. This way you can have a beautifully designed website with a great UX design as well!

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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4 Ways to Use Squarespace Cover Pages

Bold & Pop : 4 Ways to Use Squarespace Cover Pages

We have another Squarespace feature for you! Today we're talking all about Cover Pages, which are a versatile and totally awesome feature offered on the platform. Cover pages are simple one-page websites that are used to direct the focus on your audience on one thing. You can use them when you're working on website updates, as opt-ins, or as a landing page. The really awesome part about cover pages on Squarespace too is that they have a number of templates available just for this reason! So you can easily pick out a template, add in your text and features and you'll be ready to roll. So how do we take advantage of this feature? Here are 4 different ways you can use them for your website.

Under Construction Pages

One of the most common reasons we use cover pages for our clients is when we’re working on website updates. If we’re doing a full makeover we’ll usually design a landing page for our clients so that they can let their audience know that they’re in the midst of website updates and offer call-to-actions for where they can keep up with them in the meantime. By making your cover page the homepage, this will allow you to keep your website up while you work on edits behind the scenes.

Here's an example of a cover page that we recently created for a project we're working on with the Harlem EatUp! Foundation. They have a few key events happening during the time we're building the website so we were able to utilize the cover page feature to highlight each.

Bold & Pop : 4 Ways to Use Squarespace Cover Pages

Simple Landing Pages

Another option is utilizing the feature for a temporary website. Maybe you’re working on a project behind the scenes and won’t be launching a full website for awhile but you want a place to direct your audience. Ding, ding, ding, use a cover page! This allows you to hype your project prior to launch and include call-to-actions like adding your newsletter sign-up, having a form, or contact option.

Here’s an example of a “coming soon” cover page we worked on with an exciting international lifestyle brand to give you an idea of what you could do.

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Opt-in Pages

Another really great use for cover pages is to use them as opt-in pages. Whether you’re promoting a new program, service or freebie, a cover page might be a great option. We really love that it's right built in and we don't have to use another service too! Here's a look at one that we have set-up that we can direct people for signing up for our newsletter.

Bold & Pop : 4 Ways to Use Squarespace Cover Pages

Direct your Audience

Want to direct your audience to different parts of your website depending on their needs? If you offer consulting and e-courses and want to streamline your user experience this could be a great option for you. You can also use the feature to create a simply homepage that showcases buttons that will lead your audience to the pages that are most applicable for them.

Just another reason why we love Squarespace so much! Are you using the feature creatively? We'd love to hear what you're doing. Share with us in the comments.

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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