6 Elements of an Outstanding Small Business or Nonprofit Website – Quiz and Checklist

There are currently over one billion websites online - that's almost one website for every four Internet users - but few of them stand out from the crowd. Many have a sense that their websites blend into the background noise of the Internet more than they should but they don't know precisely why... or what to do about it. Yet how to stand out from the rest of the Web is not a secret (and if it was a secret we're about to break the story). The majority of those 1 billion + websites are poorly maintained, difficult to navigate, not up to modern Web standards, and don't offer their visitors much value. It isn't difficult to get your website to truly stand out. Follow this checklist and do whatever it takes to get a 100% and we guarantee that your website will get more visitors and more conversions than it has previously. [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame]   #1. Well Maintained Is your website well maintained? Web standards change over time - and so must your website. Does that upset you or make you feel pressured by our ever-evolving computerized society? We feel for you. We really do! Our own company has to keep up with the changes and that means constantly reeducating ourselves. The good news is that you probably don't need to be constantly re-learning the Web's virtual landscape. Your web-developer or friendly drag-and-drop-site-builder-app should be doing that for you. You can tell that your site isn't well maintained without getting technical if your site has: Broken links Broken images Visible…

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What’s the Difference Between RGB, HEX, CMYK, and PMS Color Values?

Driving through Roxy Hill and Windy River I winded my way down south. The early spring leaves were emerging, elegantly presenting a vast range of yellows and greens. A large wisteria tree heavy with lavender, mauve, and violet flowers was waving its treasures in the breeze. As I turned the bend, a long row of cherry and dogwood trees welcomed me with a vast array of pinks and corals and cream blossoms above me. Oh I wished if only I could blink my eyes like the shutters of a camera and capture all that I saw! Perceiving and Creating Color From leaves and flowers to websites and logos, color imparts its beauty and emotion. Color - It's About Light The eye has the ability to take in an incredibly large spectrum in a blink. It can distinguish ranges, tints, densities, and tones so quickly we do not give it a thought. The eye is a fascinating organ of the human body with an anatomy that works with the nervous system and brain. Its speed in taking in information and processing it is rapid and outstanding. Understandably then, vision is the one sense out of all the five senses which people treasure the most. Creating Color for Digital and Print Material How do we take all the colors that we see and put it on a screen or on paper or clothing? The truth is we cannot perfectly replicate the natural spectrum of light and color, nor what the eye and brain does in microseconds. We do however have several tools of color that work within the environments of print and screens to bring some amazing photos and images to life…

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Elk Creek Designs

"Joshua at Rystedt Creative was beyond helpful when we ran into technical issues with our website. His extensive WordPress and Woocommerce knowledge helped to answer all of our web development questions. He was always available with a friendly demeanor and ready to talk us through our questions and what needed to be edited or changed on the website, and even showed us via screen-share the exact steps necessary. We greatly enjoyed working with Joshua and would recommend him to anyone!" – Mallory Olson, Elk Creek Designs and Rocket Active Gear A regular client of ours recently launched elkcreekdesigns.com. Elk Creek Designs is an e-commerce store for custom printed products. They sell everything from mugs to canvas wall art. Elk Creek Designs wanted to get their new site cleaned up and ready for Black Friday shopping but ran into a few snags in the process. We've been working with them ever since. We have assisted Elk Creek Designs by... Providing product centric graphic design Elk Creek Designs has a wealth of product images. We incorporated these images in designs for sliders and product collections. Designing Valentine's collection image pairs We combined product images that belong in the same collection to better illustrate the products found in each apparel collection. Designing slider images We also designed three new slider images for use on Elk Creek Design's homepage. Walking them through how to build some new product pages themselves Elk Creek Designs' team wanted to build out some new product pages for their Christmas products that matched other product categories on their website. Yet they were unsure if how they were doing so would work properly. We walked them through how to build…

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Maryland LFL

Lutherans for Life is a national nonprofit that exists to equip Lutherans to be "Gospel motivated voices for life". LFL accomplishes this goal through publications, classes, prayer, financial assistance, and training. Despite being a national nonprofit, LFL relies on local and regional Life Chapters to engage churches, volunteers, and donors. Until 2017 the state of MD lacked an LFL presence. The majority of Lutherans in MD are not well connected with pro-life issues. Yet a large group of Baltimore area churches, pastors, and lay people got together to found the first Life Chapter in the state of MD. Thus Maryland LFL was born. MD LFL exists to equip MD Lutherans to understand, speak out on, and help their neighbors who are wrestling with issues such as: Abortion, Adoption, Bioethics, Creation, End-of-life, Family living, Post-abortion healing, Fetal development, and The Christian sexual ethic. Rystedt Creative provided MD LFL with branding and WordPress Development with features that are essential to non-profit work. Branding Design LFL already has a well established brand and logo. It was essential that MD LFL, as a regional Life Chapter, expressed that brand while also being unique. We carefully chose colors and fonts to complement LFL's existing branding while also giving it a Baltimore flare (that bright orange). Additionally, we provided MD LFL with their own version of the LFL logo so that they could easily brand themselves on and off the Web. Website Development After MD LFL's branding was established we moved on to actually building them a home on the Web with a website all their own. WordPress Theme Customization In order to keep MD LFL's costs low we chose to customize an existing WordPress theme…

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Welcome to Rystedt Creative Services

Increase Your Online Reach There are seemingly endless requirements for running a successful business or organization. Organization management, accounting, advertising, and customer relations alone can add up to an overwhelming tax on resources. Plus, you need to present a polished online image. Yet you still need to do what got you into your business to begin with! Since the Internet's initial public growth in the early 1990's businesses and nonprofits have been leveraging it to increasing success. Today it has become indispensable for running a successful organization. The Internet may be where your clients, customers, or donors first discover you, peruse your menu, order your products, chat with your representatives, or double check your hours of operation. Regardless, you need a strong online presence. So do the people who depend on and love what your organization does. Rystedt Creative exists to make this task easier. So you can spend more time doing what you love. Rystedt Creative offers three closely related services: 1) Copywriting Services Perhaps you have found that growing an organic online following takes a lot more time than you initially planned. From well-written long-form blog posts to witty and engaging social media content and SEO ready landing pages and product descriptions your clients want to hear from you - and often. Yet regularly updated online content can be a job in itself. That's where we can help. We write this content for you so you can use your time doing whatever got you into your niche in the first place. 2) WordPress Development Perhaps you are one of 50% of businesses who still do not have a dedicated website. Or you may have an aging site with…

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Total Restoration Services

Total Restoration Services is a restoration contractor located in Hampstead Maryland that specializes in facade maintenance, above and below grade repairs, waterproofing, and more. For over a decade TRS has been restoring and repairing buildings throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia, Washington D.C, and Delaware. Their team has over 50 years of combined experience working on historic architecture, industrial buildings, residential and commercial buildings, and speciality facilities. Despite this wealth of experience, Total Restoration Services had virtually no presence online. They had built a successful business but began to wonder "How much are we missing out on by not being online?" That's an excellent question and one that they turned to us to help answer. So we began a journey with TRS to help launch a website that would give them more visibility online. Atmosphere Design Before we begin writing any code for a website we establish the atmosphere and branding for that site. Total Restoration Services came to us as an established business with an existing logo and reputation. We selected fonts, colors, and layouts that stayed consistent with their past while also bringing their company into their online future. Website Development When we began working for TRS they wanted to keep their website under budget while still getting the best product possible. In order to accomplish this they asked us to develop a site using their existing print promotional materials and project photographs. We designed their site to incorporate all of these existing elements and showcase them in the best (and most search engine optimized) fashion possible. Copywriting However, towards the end of the project, as the scheduled launch date approached, Total Restoration Services realized something important. Their print material…

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Jennifer Zucconi Nutrition

Top notch service and design! Joshua took me from having zero real estate to one of the most beautiful “homes” in the virtual neighborhood! In starting my business there was so much to think about. Website development was something I knew I’d have to outsource…I had NO idea how or where to start! The first time I talked with Joshua he spent most of our conversation listening as I shared about my emerging business, my anticipated goals, and my very scattered ideas of how I envisioned my website. He’s definitely a good visionary, because he took my fuzzy ideas and transformed them into a crystal clear, and beautiful, reality! In addition to his visual creativity, his SEO expertise has helped lead many searches to my site. Joshua stayed in constant contact with me as he was building my site, and he continues to be a great resource for me while I’m up and running. He responds very promptly, answers my (many) questions completely, and has taught me how to begin using the behind-the-scenes elements of my site. I’m so glad I found Rystedt Creative! Joshua was instrumental in creating a wonderful place for me in the virtual world. Whether you’re starting from zero or you have a fixer-upper, Joshua and Rystedt Creative can create a space you’ll be so excited to invite visitors into! - Jennifer Zucconi Jennifer Zucconi is a Dallas area registered dietician and food sensitivity specialist. She contacted us to help her launch her virtual dietetics practice! When we began working with Jennifer she had no branding, logo, or website. She had all the knowledge, expertise, certifications, and (most importantly) passion. All she needed was a helping…

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Renewed Strength Personal Training Studio

Renewed Strength Personal Training Studio is a local fitness and training studio that was concerned about a competitor's position in Google search engine results pages (SERPs). In certain searches this other fitness coach was also ranking on page one or even above Renewed Strength Personal Training. Yet their competitor's website is poorly designed compared to Renewed Strength and the services they offer are limited. So why were they still ranking well? SEO on Wix Renewed Strength contacted us to ask if we could evaluate their Wix powered website and determine what could be done to improve their search ranking. We evaluated both Renewed Strength's website and their competitor's site and then provided Renewed Strength Personal Training with a four step plan for improving their ranking. Structured Metadata One of those steps was implementing robust structured metadata on their webpages. Renewed Strength's website was using barely any structured metadata and thus not taking advantage of the local SEO benefits available when you provide your business data in this format. The studio decided that this step, in particular, was one they wanted us to take on. Navigating Wix's Limitations However, Wix limits what kind of metadata can be added through their admin panel (eg no Open Graph tags). Yet structured metadata works as long as it is inserted into the header of your web pages and Wix does allow you to insert custom code into the headers. So we got crafty! We evaluated what metadata Wix was already implementing (only two tags), coded unique metadata for every page of Renewed Strength's website, and added that code to their Wix pages using an alternative method in the Wix admin panel. With this and…

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Does Your Blog Need a Web Developer?

Blogging is a great way to share your brilliant insights to the world. But if you’re a writer and not a web developer, you probably don’t particularly enjoy all of that technical stuff that comes along with maintaining your blog's web presence. (I know I don’t.) Setting up a blog, managing hosting (including security and backups), customizing your theme and webpages all take time. And when you’re trying to live the life or run the company that your blog centers around, the things you need to do to maintain your blog can easily sap the precious moments you’d rather use for writing. That’s why your blog needs a web developer. So you don’t waste your time managing the technical details of keeping your blog running. Here are some of the key areas where a web developer can improve your web presence and boost your blog’s reach: [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame] Let Your Web Developer Handle Hosting, Backups, Uptime Monitoring and More Right out of the gate, there are some technical issues that a blogger must handle before even drafting a first post. From choosing a domain to finding a reliable host and putting systems into place to maintain security, it might take a few hours or days before your blog is up and running. And that’s before you even do the fun stuff, like choosing a theme or sticking your logo on everything. Depending on how much research you want to do to find the best host or security plan, you might spend a good amount of time trying to figure out just…

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15 Common WordPress Mistakes Small Businesses Make (and What to Do About Them)

WordPress is a powerful content management system (CMS) that meets the needs of countless small businesses. Many small businesses launch the first version of their website themselves. You slave over it, tweak it, launch it, and sit back basking in your shiny new website's glory. Yet we all make mistakes from time to time... and too often, with the Web, we don't realize our mistakes until they've come back around to hurt us. We at Rystedt Creative have worked on small business WordPress websites for bloggers, dietitians, restoration contractors, and more. Throughout our work we've come to just expect some mistakes on websites we stubble upon, review, or work to improve. [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame]     Here they are! The 15 most common WordPress mistakes small businesses make. Try to avoid these mistakes as you build your site or improve upon it. #1. Starting With the Wrong WordPress Platform There are two ways you can build a WordPress website: WordPress.com's hosting service or WordPress.org's open source software hosted on a server of your choosing. Many small businesses looking to launch a WordPress website assume that these options are identical... they aren't. WordPress.com is the official WordPress hosting service and thus wants to provide their customers with the smoothest experience possible. In order to do so they limit what you can do with your WordPress website. Want a custom domain name? You'll need at least the Personal tier for $4/month Think you may need to edit your website's look with CSS (or have a web designer do so)? You'll need at least the…

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