• Responsive Websites vs. Mobile Apps: What’s Right For My Business?

    When it comes time to decide what sort of technology strategy is right for your business, one of the questions many people get stuck on is: Should I build a responsive website or invest in a mobile app? Having worked as a Project Manager for a prominent mobile app developer, and now working as the Senior Product Designer at Site Assembly, I am in the unique position to share the pros and cons of each approach to help you decide the right path to take for your business.

    Mobile App Development

    Pros

    If you’re a small business with a niche customer base and a hyper-focused product or service, a mobile app may be a good, supplementary fit for your responsive website. Notice, though, how I said supplementary.  If you own a painting company and your goal is to make it super easy for your existing and future customers to get free estimates, instantly, then developing a free mobile app may be the answer. Or, if you’re a delivery-based company who needs to keep track of your drivers and gauge completed deliveries, creating a mobile app may be a good fit.

    Cons

    Mobile Apps aren’t all they’re chalked up to be. One thing many app agencies have done well is to make developing a mobile app for your business appear as if it’s the only good option. It’s a lie! Don’t fall for it. You can, and should seriously consider, the benefits of going responsive rather than developing a custom, mobile app. And if you’re thinking about paying a few hundred bucks for one of those App Builders, do not even think about it!

    Unless you fall into a small category of businesses that truly cannot achieve their desired functionality, optimally, through a responsive website, then exploring the feasibility of developing a mobile app may be the way to go. Otherwise, it’s likely that your best bet to convert site visitors into customers and market your business is to go responsive.

    Pros of Building A Responsive Website

    Pros

    A well-designed, responsive website should act similarly to a mobile app when visited by a user. What I mean by that is, if I am an artist who wants to showcase my artwork and provide a platform for other artists to showcase their artwork, a proper responsive website, when viewed on a mobile device, has the ability to act and feel like a mobile app. Logins and signups, commenting, and “liking” are all features that can be seamlessly integrated into a website and optimized for a mobile experience.

    While you may only be able to access a website by entering the URL into the browser bar, or, saving the site to your Home screen, the overall experience will be similar to that of a mobile app, once you arrive on the site.

    Features from a Desktop version of the same website may have more user features or larger design elements, while the mobile-responsive version may appear “stripped down” with fewer features and more whitespace. The point here is, if you hire a good design team like you’ll get at Site Assembly, accomplishing an optimized mobile experience by way of responsive web design, rather than mobile app development, is not only possible, it’s expected.

    Cons

    While there are truly endless possibilities for designing a responsive business website, there are certain use cases that call for the development of a mobile app. Games, GPS-based apps, and mobile-first social networks are a few examples. Otherwise, it’s probably in your best interest to consider the benefits of a responsive website. Responsive websites have the ability to look good on desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile screens simultaneously. Whereas, mobile apps are typically developed natively, or, for one, particular platform.

    If this article helped you feel free to contact me at daniel@siteassembly.com. To sign up for an account and get help with your website, click here.

  • What If Managing Your Website Was As Easy As Ordering A Pizza?

    TAMPA, FL — Last night, I ordered a pepperoni pizza from one of my favorite pizza restaurants. Needless to say, it was delicious. But it’s not the pizza that takes the proverbial cake here: It’s the online ordering process. I had opened an account with this particular pizza place a few weeks back, so all I had to do was log in, choose the pizza I wanted, and click a single button to pay. That was it. It was like magic.

    Within minutes, my pizza had arrived at my doorstep and I was happily indulging in one of America’s favorite Friday night meals.

    What if managing your website could be that simple? What if, when you needed some images updated on your website, all you had to do was log in to submit your order? Soon after, your personal Site Expert would deliver gooey, website goodness, right to your virtual doorstep.

    Sounds crazy, right!?

    Well, it’s not. In fact, Site Assembly has been perfecting the automation of website management for over two years now — constantly finding new ways to make managing your websites easier and more affordable.

    In a few weeks, we’ll be releasing our new, user-friendly website management platform called Frontdoor, a nod to how simple it is now to order a pizza online, while also symbolizing how we are able to deliver quality work right to your virtual front door!

    Site Assembly’s Frontdoor platform gives you the tools and insights you need to make smart website decisions. Just sign up for an account and “plug in” to your website to enjoy real-time Analytics, page speed reports, mobile-friendly scores, site recommendations, and more.

    Need something updated on your website? Just submit a ticket and sit back as our Site Experts handle your request.

    Stay tuned for next week’s blog for an inside glimpse into our new platform.

  • 5 Online Tools Every Small Business Should Be Using

    *Disclaimer: I, nor Site Assembly, have a vested interest, or financial stake, in any of the below-listed websites or services.


    If you want to get ahead as a business owner today, you must adopt new technologies, utilize available resources and learn things you may not have had to learn as a business owner in years past. To maximize adoptability, many of the services and resources mentioned in this article are not only free, but extremely easy to learn and use. So easy, in fact, that millions of business owners just like you have already started using them. Of course, these services aren’t going to be of much help if you don’t already have a
    website.


    Email Campaign Manager

    Mailchimp and Constant Contact are two of the most widely-adopted email management platforms on the web. However, it doesn’t matter which email management software you choose, only that you use one. Mailchimp and Constant Contact offer clean, easy-to-navigate user interfaces, as well as built-in email template generators and email tracking features. Mailchimp’s free plan provides more than enough functionality to run email promotions, collect customer information, send out weekly newsletters, and track important analytics.


    Live Chat Integration

    Today, the philosophical concept of “customer service” has more-or-less transformed into “client concierge”. i.e. Instead of having a single point-of-contact for your customers to reach you, it’s now important to have and maintain several at a time. One way you can expand your customer service experience is by integrating a simple live chat service in to your website. By doing so, you can communicate with potential customers, generate new sales, track online conversions and garner valuable feedback. Both Live Chat and ClickDesk—among others—provide a free, basic plan to get started.


    WordPress (for blogging)

    Here at Site Assembly, we’ve used dozens of publishing platforms and content management systems (CMS) to manage our client’s publications. Still, many business owners do not understand the benefits of blogging. If you’re a small- or medium-sized business and you’re not blogging, it’s time to start! Out of the hundreds of platforms that allow you to blog without a huge learning curve, we feel WordPress is the best! WordPress is always free, easy to setup, and has a seemingly endless network of online resources to connect with other bloggers, find relevant answers, purchase additional extensions, and watch tutorials.


    Facebook Business Pages

    Social networking is a tired term, but one that certainly hasn’t lost it’s meaning. As a business owner, it’s your job to connect with your fans and clients, and engage with them in new and creative ways. Thankfully, the world’s largest social networking platform offers a simple way to do just that. By setting up a Facebook Business Page you can connect with your fans and followers, run promotions, boost your online presence and keep your clients talking. Setting up a Business Page on Facebook is super simple and only takes a couple of minutes to get started!


    Google Analytics

    At Site Assembly, we integrate Google Analytics into every web page for each website we build. Why? Because it’s necessary to understand how your site visitors are using and interacting with your website, and what can be done to optimize their site experience. Google Analytics offers an inside glimpse into important website-related data such as page hits, site visits, demographical information, and other important statistics that can help business owners decide if new features should be implemented, and how to get more visitors to their website.