Last week, we had an amazing session with Kena Peterson of Bright Ideas Website Design. Kena presented the topic: Making Your Website Stand Out From The Competition. This session had a ton of great information! Here are a few things that were covered:
Kena Peterson is the proud owner of Bright Ideas Website Design, LLC. Kena has been involved in the graphic design, website development and public relations arenas for various employers and colleagues for over 20 years.
As a part of her experience, she has been able to work with a variety of clients and organizations and enjoys learning more and more with each project. She enjoys working with WordPress and its various plugins, programs, themes, builders and more.
She is a wife and proud mom of three children. She lives in Parker, Colorado and enjoys volunteering, exploring the outdoors, sampling craft beers and participating in her children’s extra curricular activities.
During the session, we had a lot of questions we weren't able to get to. Kena was nice enough to write out some answers for us! You can find them below.
How powerful or necessary is video for websites? Or should videos just be used for social media?
I would say that video is incredibly powerful for both websites and social media. Being able to tell a story through movement and video is a wonderful way to communicate and stay current. I would absolutely recommend adding video whenever possible.
Do you suggest photos of videos on the homepage?
I think it depends on what your product is or what your company does. Certain types of products lend themselves to video while others work with photo. If you can create your own video – then I would absolutely include it. Sometimes, however, photos may be the more logical choice. There are tons of fantastic stock photos that not only tell a story, but that are very affordable. I always suggest using photos with people in them.
For testimonials – do you suggest text/copy or video?
I think either work well. Written/text testimonials are great for skimming or for adding a rotating widget or plugin showcasing those testimonials. Videos are very powerful as the audience can see the person giving the testimonial – which gives more credibility to what they are saying. I would use video sparingly as people don’t often take the time to watch a bunch of them at once. A combination of both video and written are a great compromise.
Is there a limit to how many videos I can upload to my website?
No – but be aware that you can take up a lot of space uploading videos. I prefer to upload videos to my YouTube channel and then take the code and embed them into my websites. This offers two ways for clients to find your videos and doesn’t bog down your website server.
Are there any data-proven optimal amounts of tabs/menus to have on a home page? How many are too many? Too few?
Keep your menu minimal, with a maximum of six or seven categories. This way, users will be able to process the information better and reach their desired pages faster. If your site contains lots of information, you can break it down into sections using a dropdown menu.
After I publish my website, can I go back and edit my info?
Absolutely! Depending on which website builder you are using – there are a variety of ways to edit and update your info. Simply login, edit and save/publish.
Fewer words or more words? I’m thinking about cutting my verbiage by 50 percent…which is best?
I think there is a happy medium of how many words are too many or too less. Remember that search engines read top to bottom and the more information available, the better. Make sure you tell your visitors what you do and why they need you or your product. Utilize headlines to differentiate topics. Also realize that sometimes less is more…too much text will turn visitors away and will lead to confusion and frustration.
Do you recommend WordPress?
I absolutely recommend WordPress – I use it to build 90 percent of my websites. It’s easy to install and update. There are tons and tons of free plugins. Help and tech support is easy to find and search engines do very well when searching WordPress websites. The best part about WordPress is that it’s easy to use and flexible enough to make different types of websites. That’s the main reason why WordPress has grown so much in popularity. According to a recent survey, WordPress powers 32.3% of all websites on the internet.
What is a plugin for WordPress?
A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. Plugins can include calendars, chat features, countdowns, timers, social media buttons and feeds, photo galleries and more.
In your opinion, what is the best and easiest to use/maintain appointment scheduling for a website?
I personally use gmail calendar for my website calendars and enjoy Calendly.com for appointment scheduling. Both work well together and are very user friendly.
Why is secure hosting so important?
If your hosting is not secure, you could be hacked or targeted by malware. Any of these attacks could cause your site to lose all its data. Without a secure host doing regular backups all your data, the time and money you put into the site could be lost.
Can I build my website and shopping cart on a mobile device instead of a desktop computer?
I am certain you can…I just haven’t done that yet! Never say never…that may be my next project!
What do you mean by monitoring analytics?
Monitoring analytics means you look at the website statistics to see how users interact with your website through their behaviors and activities. It is the entire process of collection, analysis, and reporting of data generated from the interaction of the users with your website. The reports from the analytics tools allow you to understand user interactions such as the length of time they were on the site, which pages they visited, and if they clicked on links or filled out forms, etc.
What is a stock photo? Where do you get them and how should I use them?
Stock photos are pre done photography that you can purchase and use on your website. I use these types of photos a lot as they are incredibly cost effective and they look very professional. I tend to seek out photos of people who could be using the product on my website or doing something related. I prefer depositphotos.com, istockphoto.com and 123rf.com.
What pages should a site have and how many?
I would say it depends on the complexity of the product and how many the client wants. I tend to ALWAYS have a home page/landing page, contact page, about page, services page, testimonials page and pricing page.
Is using a black background with mostly white captions and some titles in red a bad idea for a consumer experience? Any colors to stay away from?
I would say that generally using a black background with white and red lettering is not the best idea. Making things hard to read is not a great idea and not ADA compliant. I would stay away from light colors and yellows…and would be careful when using script style fonts.
How do I find a professional to manage my website?
I offer this service and would be happy to talk with you about it. I would also check Facebook website groups to start. Certain website design companies might also be able to help.
Should I have social media feeds on the homepage of our website?
Absolutely! I highly recommend having anything that encourages engagement or being able to gather “likes” or fans of your company is a great idea.