The Savannah Development & Renewal Authority (SDRA) works with the local government and private sector to plan, develop, and promote greater downtown Savannah. It is important for an organization such as this to have an appealing, user-friendly website that includes all the information businesses and residents need or want to know. That is where we come in. Robmark Web, a website development company in Savannah, GA, has recently launched a new website for SDRA.
The new SDRA.net showcases a responsive design for ease of access on all mobile devices, and includes several features that let residents and businesses alike stay informed on the happenings of downtown Savannah. Businesses have the ability to use the interactive calendar to view available dates and reserve promotional kiosks on Broughton Street and/or banners located on Broughton Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, as well as learn about and apply for ribbon cutting ceremonies. Website visitors can also view and download Board Agendas/Board Minutes, nominate businesses for SDRA’s coveted Golden Broom award, and review Quarterly Block Party information. The website also offers industry resources, including maps and graphics of the greater downtown Savannah area. Last but not least, the new blog feature lets users stay up to date on the latest news and happenings from SDRA.
Needless to say, the SDRA website provides plethora of information about planning, development, and advocacy efforts on sites and projects in the downtown Savannah area. Visit SDRA.net, toggle around, and don’t forget to check their social feed for current events and updates.
Over the years, web design has become quite beautiful. Simple and attractive sites have become the standard, compared to the chaos that was web design in the first twenty years of the Internet.
We should be proud of how far we have come in web design. While working toward more streamlined designs, we have also reaped the benefits of ease of navigation (when done correctly), standardization in building techniques, ease of prototyping, and strict grid layouts lending themselves to responsive design.
The one downfall is that websites are all starting to look the same. Where has all of our creativity gone? There are several factors that are leading to this cookie cutter trend, including the following:
Responsive design: The simplicity of sites has increased in correlation with mobile usage and the need for responsive design. The layouts need to be basic in order for the grid to collapse for a streamlined look on any device.
Layouts: When you take away all the personality from most websites that you see today, you will notice there are only about five common website layouts.
Free Photography: There are several free or cheap stock photography websites that make beautiful photos easily accessible to website designers. Photography makes or breaks a website, so having these attractive, high-resolution assets readily available can be a huge benefit. However, have you noticed there are some pictures that are so attractive and so easily attainable that they are used everywhere?
In most circumstances, a more standard design is the better choice, whether it is due to time or budget constraints. But just because the framework is standard, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun or clever! Let’s get weird. Let’s get out of our web design box. One way we can do this, while keeping the overall design simple and responsive, is to get funky with the layout. Instead of going straight to a template, draw a design on a piece of paper and do something you have never done. When we said think outside the box, we meant literally. Often you see portals or call outs on a website in simple square blocks. Think geometric! And lastly, use stock photography as an idea, not an end product. Add your own spin to the image to make it unique to you and your brand.
Though it seems the majority of sites are all starting to look the same, there are still some incredible designs out there. Follow this link to see some great examples of web designers thinking outside the box.
Stay In Savannah has been a part of the community for years, providing visitors with an online directory of local events, dining, shopping, nightlife hotspots, and places to stay to help best plan their Savannah vacation.
Now the same hospitality group that brought you Stay In Savannah is bringing the trip-planning experience to one of the fastest-growing cities in the country—Nashville. We are excited to announce that StayInNashville.com has officially launched! Filled with beautiful photography and streamlined navigation, StayInNashville.com offers visitors a wealth of information on the top restaurants, nightlife, shopping, attractions, sports venues, and events in Nashville, TN. Complete with interactive area maps and the ability to share listings with friends, StayInNashville.com makes planning your next trip a breeze. And what’s a trip to Nashville without indulging in live music? The new website includes a directory of live music venues, including the city’s most iconic spots like Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Café. Stop by Robmark Web’s newest website, StayInNashville.com, and start planning your trip today!
Fox Sports has been successful at increasing its audience on social platforms like YouTube and Facebook, but wanted to see a similar growth in their website traffic. The popular sports channel set a goal and achieved it, but how did they do it?
About six weeks ago, the company began rolling out a new mobile and website design, which has three key features that focus on user engagement: A fixed social bar that makes it easier for users to share and comment on articles; a semi-infinite scroll with four consecutive stories; and personalized article recommendations based on a user’s browsing history.
Prior to the redesign, the sports website had a “fundamental problem,” according to the company’s SVP of Product Development, Devin Poolman. “Whether they were coming from mobile or Facebook, in our traditional experience, we weren’t giving them a lot of opportunity to do anything other than read that story,” said Poolman. The old design was focused on URLs; user clicks on a link, user reads the story, and that was it. If the user wanted to read more stories, he or she had to proactively search for them, which led to a drop-off.
The three main new features implemented are popular website trends that several successful websites have already implemented, including the popular social news site BuzzFeed.com, and are features that almost any company can implement on their own website. Let’s take a deeper look at these features.
Fixed social bar
In the social world we live in today, people are always sharing, liking, commenting, tweeting, pinning, and more. Making it easy for the user to do all of the above not only satisfies them, but it also helps with your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), because search engines see social signals as a positive for your ranking on the search engine result pages. Every time an article is shared, it opens another door back to your website, which also helps with SEO.
Semi-infinite scroll/infinite scroll
Infinite scroll means you can continuously scroll through content without ever reaching the bottom of the page—think Facebook or Twitter feeds. Semi-infinite means it will populate articles as you scroll, but users will eventually reach an end. In terms of Fox Sports, users will scroll through four articles before reaching an end. Infinite scroll isn’t the answer for every website, as it all depends on the website’s goals, but for websites that curate a lot of content or provide a lot of user-generated content, it could be a good way to get content exposure and to provide a fast and easy browsing experience.
Based on search history and other articles you may have read on the website, a website can provide suggested articles it thinks a user may be interested in. By providing these article suggestions, it is increasing the time users spend on the website and the number of pages visited, while decreasing the bounce rate.
These additions to FoxSports.com have led to a 23 percent increase in pageviews and a 37 percent increase in time spent per visitor, as well as a 14 percent decrease in the bounce rate. These are very impressive numbers for just six weeks. If you’re interested in implementing similar user engagement-focused features to your website, give us a call! Robmark Web’s website development team is ready and able to help you reach your website traffic and user engagement goals.
Robmark Web, your Savannah-based web development company, is excited to announce the launch of a new website for the St. Louis-based, non-profit organization, Pianos for People.
The new Pianos for People website is a responsive site, that will function across all viewing platforms, and is complimented with a beautiful and simple design. The website’s navigation presents information in a stylish, straight-to-the-point manner. Users can easily find information about the organization including the leaders of the organization and any news or updates within the organization. Users will also be able to find information regarding applying for a piano, donating a piano and signing up for free piano lessons through Pianos for People’s piano school.
Pianos for People is a non-profit organization that connects people of limited means who need pianos with pianos who need people. There are thousands of people whose lives can be enhanced through music and thousands of silenced pianos anxious to come alive again! Pianos for People gives donated pianos to families, troubled teens, under-funded schools and others, in need of an artistic outlet.
If you live in the St. Louis area you can apply for a piano, donate a piano or apply for free piano lessons. If you are like us and live outside of the St. Louis area, you can donate to the cause via monetary donation online.