Friday, March 27, 2015

What's in a Name? Tips for Choosing a Domain Name

Whether you are developing your first website, thinking of starting a site or you already have multiple sites in the workings, choosing a domain name is one of the most significant factors that figures into any new website. You may think—it’s just a name…but the reality is a domain name represents the property that the website will have on the world wide web and like anything else in the world, LOCATION is everything!

Whether you’re have a little trouble coming up with a domain name or you’ve thought of a few but they are already taken, here are some tips that will help you choose a new domain name that is memorable, relevant and most of all effective for your upcoming website.


Relevance Matters in Domain Name ChoosingFirst things first, you have to make sure that you choose a domain name that is relevant to your plans for the website or the product or service that the website will be promoting. You may like the idea of choosing a catchy domain name just because you like the name but if it doesn’t have anything to do with what the site will be about then it’s best not to choose it. Not only are irrelevant domain names confusing to humans, they can also make it difficult to rank the site within search and may be marked as spam if you aren’t careful.


Short Domains are Memorable Domains
Whenever possible, keep the domain name as short and relevant as possible. Short domain names are easy to remember, leave less room for human typo error and just work better than long, drawn out names. It’s easy for someone to remember a one or two word name that is relevant to the product or service being offered—longer names are more difficult to remember and easier to mistake.


Effective Domains Incorporate Keywords
If you haven’t done this before then there’s a chance you aren’t real sure about the use of keywords and the effectiveness of keywords when it comes to website development but the reality is, effective domains incorporate keywords right into the domain name. If you haven’t researched keywords, it’s time to do so—you’ll want to have a good list of keywords already established prior to developing the website and even prior to choosing the domain name. For instance, if your are starting a site for a shoe store consider including keywords related to shoes in the domain name. Don’t go overboard, one or two keywords will be sufficient (remember, short domain names are easier to remember).


What to Do When the Domain Name You Have Chosen is Already Taken
So, you’ve chosen a domain name and now you realize that the name you chose that incorporated keywords and was short and sweet is already chosen—now what? Consider variations of the domain name such as using a hyphen in between major words or a phrase of the domain name. Often times the single word variation of a domain will be taken but hyphenated versions will still be available. The downside is that when you choose to use a hyphenated version of a domain name there is a chance that your visitors will forget to insert the hyphen and this could drive your traffic to your competitor’s site (something you definitely don’t want to happen).



For more information on website development, keyword research and choosing an effective domain name, contact Bay Street Software Inc. today or call at (803) 389-8899.

7 Reasons Why Your Business Should Invest in SEO

Google the term “Is SEO dead?” and what comes back in return is over 44 million references including the aptly titled article of the same name by fellow Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers. In his article DeMers shares a conversation he had with Sam McRoberts, CEO of VUDU Marketing and a widely published expert in the SEO field.

When queried if in fact SEO  is dead, McRoberts said “SEO is far from dead” but added the caveat that “it’s changed so drastically that people really need to learn to think of it as less of a s tactic, and more of a branding play.”

Not sure I agree with that assessment but regardless of that and contrary to what you may have read recently, organic search engine optimization is far from dead.

In fact, many companies are making a renewed commitment to investing into developing solid, SEO optimized web infrastructure that is search-engine friendly, given the engines’ continued commitment to improving their algorithms over time.

 Here’s a list of seven specific reasons why your business should definitely consider investing in your organic SEO:


    It still works – First and foremost, the techniques employed to improve SEO still work. Even though data regarding organic traffic from Google was pulled fairly recently, the techniques themselves remain sound. Plenty of SEO case studies performed post-Hummingbird can verify this.
    It is not going to stop working any time soon – Based on the way search engines appear to be developing, it is not likely that SEO will cease to be effective any time in the foreseeable future. On some level, even audio and video searches ultimately depend on keywords the same as traditional text-based content; this link ensures the continued success of SEO techniques as long as it exists.
    It is cost-effective – Compared to the costs associated with other forms of online marketing such as PPC advertising, social media marketing, or purchasing leads for an email marketing program, SEO provides fairly good ROI. While PPC may drive more revenue and social media may be more important for your image, your organic SEO in many ways remains a bedrock of your online presence.
    Search engines grabbing more market share – Somewhere between 80-90% of customers now check online reviews prior to making a purchase, and this number is only expected to increase. It won’t be long before virtually everyone is searching for products and services online. Do you want them to be able to locate your business, or not?  Without organic SEO in place, people will have a very hard time finding you and will instead find your competitors.
    Rise of mobile bandwidth and local search optimization – Later this year, the amount of traffic delivered to mobile devices is expected to exceed that delivered to traditional desktop devices. With this dramatic explosion in mobile usage, a whole new world of effective SEO techniques have opened up for companies, such as local search optimization.
    Not having a healthy content profile is damaging – With each and every update to its search algorithm, Google and other engines change the way they look at websites. Things which didn’t exist a few years ago, such as social media indicators, are now given fairly high importance in terms of their impact on your rankings. Not building a healthy content profile spread out months and years is potentially damaging to your business, as it is one of the factors Google evaluates when looking at your site.
    Your competitors are doing it – “Remember, SEO is a never-ending process,” says Jason Bayless, Owner of BestSeoCompanies.com, a website which tracks and ranks the efficacy and service of many of the nation’s leading SEO providers. “If you’re not moving forward and improving your position, you’re losing ground to a competitor who is. That’s a simple fact of how the process works.”  Don’t let your competitors out maneuver you by ignoring this valuable tool for your business.

Investing in organic SEO is more important now than ever before, despite the current difficulty everyone finds themselves facing regarding the lack of organic keyword data and traffic. Your business definitely needs to have an SEO strategy in place if you are interested in succeeding in terms of online marketing; it remains one of the single most important components of any organization’s branding efforts and online presence.

Our Websites are Mobile and Tablet Friendly



Over half of all viewers are looking at it and sharing it using mobile devices. Imagine if over half the individuals that clicked on a link to your content using a mobile device couldn’t read it properly? That would absolutely kill your marketing campaign.






Simply put, not having a responsive website design will hurt your business. Get responsive and provide all of your website visitors with a pleasant experience. This will keep them engaging with your brand, ultimately resulting in conversions, sales, and revenue for your business.

Why Switch to a Responsive Website?


Lately, many companies are moving their websites over to a responsive website.  What exactly is a responsive website?  Why is it such a big thing?  Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). Essentially, when you have a responsive website your website is seen on tablets and mobile devices the way they were meant to be seen, beautiful and functional.

Here are six reasons why you need to make the switch to a responsive website design right now. The longer you delay, the more users and revenue you can expect to lose.

1. Mobile Growth Will Not Slow Down

2. Google Loves Responsive Websites

3. Responsive Websites Load Faster

4. Provides Great User Experience

5. Adapts to New Screen Sizes and Devices 6. Large Percent of Social Media Referrals Come from Mobile.



For more information on how you can get a responsive website that looks beautiful from all devices, call us at (803) 554-4188 or email us at sales@baystreetsoftware.com



Lately, many companies are moving their websites over to a responsive website.  What exactly is a responsive website?  Why is it such a big thing?  Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). Essentially, when you have a responsive website your website is seen on tablets and mobile devices the way they were meant to be seen, beautiful and funtctional.
Here are six reasons why you need to make the switch to a responsive website design right now. The longer you delay, the more users and revenue you can expect to lose.
1. Mobile Growth Will Not Slow Down
2. Google Loves Responsive Websites
3. Responsive Websites Load Faster
4. Provides Great User Experience
5. Adapts to New Screen Sizes and Devices 6. Large Percent of Social Media Referrals Come from Mobile.

For more information on how you can get a responsive website that looks beautiful from all devices, call us at (803) 554-4188 or email us at sales@baystreetsoftware.com
- See more at: http://baystreetsoftware.com/blog/why-switch-responsive-website#sthash.8qdywFxo.dpuf
Lately, many companies are moving their websites over to a responsive website.  What exactly is a responsive website?  Why is it such a big thing?  Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). Essentially, when you have a responsive website your website is seen on tablets and mobile devices the way they were meant to be seen, beautiful and funtctional.
Here are six reasons why you need to make the switch to a responsive website design right now. The longer you delay, the more users and revenue you can expect to lose.
1. Mobile Growth Will Not Slow Down
2. Google Loves Responsive Websites
3. Responsive Websites Load Faster
4. Provides Great User Experience
5. Adapts to New Screen Sizes and Devices 6. Large Percent of Social Media Referrals Come from Mobile.

For more information on how you can get a responsive website that looks beautiful from all devices, call us at (803) 554-4188 or email us at sales@baystreetsoftware.com
- See more at: http://baystreetsoftware.com/blog/why-switch-responsive-website#sthash.8qdywFxo.dpuf

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Bay Street Software Inc. Career Opportunities

Why Join Our Team

Bay Street Software, Inc. continually seeks to hire talented individuals to join our growing company. We’re proud of our high-quality Drupal website products, and look for the brightest, hard-working, most innovative individuals who share our commitment to our values, to our products and to our corporate customers. We offer exceptional career opportunities and are a growth-oriented company.

Stability

We have been in Software Development for over 15 years with Fortune 500, National and International clients.

 

 Wide Variety of Customers

Many different types of customers means there are always new and exciting things to work on.

 

Variety of Technology

We build in a large varitety of tehcnologies; Java, HTML5, CSS3, PHP, MYSQL, Apache, Lynx, Drupal, etc.

 

Experience

Experienced software development management, engineering and customer support teams.

 

Advancement

Opportunity for career growth and advancement.

 

Financial

Competitive salary and bonus plan.

 

Hours

Flexible work schedule and possible work from home days.

 

Environment

Great work enviorment, family friendly, company parties, and company sponsored trips.

6 Phases of the Web Site Design and Development Process

 

6 Phases of the Web Site Design and Development Process


The Web Site Design and Development Process
 There are numerous steps in the web site design and development process. From gathering initial information, to the creation of your web site, and finally to maintenance to keep your web site up to date and current. The exact process will vary slightly from designer to designer, but the basics are the same.

Information Gathering

The first step in designing a successful web site is to gather information. Many things need to be taken into consideration when the look and feel of your site is created. This first step is actually the most important one, as it involves a solid understanding of the company it is created for. It involves a good understanding of you – what your business goals and dreams are, and how the web can be utilized to help you achieve those goals. It is important that your web designer start off by asking a lot of questions to help them understand your business and your needs in a web site. Certain things to consider are: Purpose: What is the purpose of the site? Do you want to provide information, promote a service, sell a produc? Goals: What do you hope to accomplish by building this web site? Two of the more common goals are either to make money or share information. Target Audience: Is there a specific group of people that will help you reach your goals? It is helpful to picture the “ideal” person you want to visit your web site. Consider their age, sex or interests – this will later help determine the best design style for your site. Content: What kind of information will the target audience be looking for on your site? Are they looking for specific information, a particular product or service, online ordering?

Planning

Using the information gathered from phase one, it is time to put together a plan for your web site. This is the point where a site map is developed. The site map is a list of all main topic areas of the site, as well as sub-topics, if applicable. This serves as a guide as to what content will be on the site, and is essential to developing a consistent, easy to understand navigational system. The end-user of the web site – aka your customer – must be kept in mind when designing your site. These are, after all, the people who will be learning about your service or buying your product. A good user interface creates an easy to navigate web site, and is the basis for this. During the planning phase, your web designer - Bay Street Software - will also help you decide what technologies should be implemented. Elements such as will any contact forms be needed, integration of a shopping cart, image galleries, ability to have users log into the site and manage an account, etc. are discussed when planning your web site.

Design 

Drawing from the information gathered up to this point, it’s time to determine the look and feel of your site. Target audience is one of the key factors taken into consideration. A site aimed at teenagers, for example, will look much different than one meant for a financial institution. As part of the design phase, it is also important to incorporate elements such as the company logo or colors to help strengthen the identity of your company on the web site. Your web designer - Bay Street Software - has already created over 20 prototype designs for your web site. These can be found at our Portfolio Page. Here you can view many styles and designs that would work best for you.  Our team members are available to help you with this process. Either way, we allow you to view your project throughout the design and development stages. The most important reason for this is that it gives you the opportunity to express your likes and dislikes on the site design.   In this phase, communication between both you and the Bay Street Software designer is crucial to ensure that the final web site will match your needs and taste. It is important that you work closely with your designer, exchanging ideas, until you arrive at the final design for your web site. Then development can begin…

Development 

The developmental stage is the point where the web site itself is created. At this time, your web designer will take all of the individual graphic elements from the prototype and use them to create the actual, functional site. We start your site on a Bay Street Software sub domain; http://mysite.baystreetdev.com, here you can view the progress of your site as well as work with your Bay Street Software team member in 'tweeking' the site to be exactly what you want.   Elements such as interactive contact forms, or ecommerce shopping carts are implemented and made functional during this phase, as well.

Testing and Delivery

At this point, your web designer will attend to the final details and test your web site. They will test things such as the complete functionality of forms or other scripts, as well last testing for last minute compatibility issues (viewing differences between different web browsers), ensuring that your web site is optimized to be viewed properly in the most recent browser versions. Bay Street Software designers are well versed in current standards for web site design and development. The basic technologies currently used are HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
As part of testing, we check to be sure that all of the code written for your web site validates. Valid code means that your site meets the current web development standards – this is helpful when checking for issues such as cross-browser compatibility as mentioned above. Once you give your Bay Street Software web designer final approval, it is time to deliver the site. We as your web designers offer domain name registration and all our sites are provided our web hosting services as well.  Once these accounts have been setup, and your web is now pointing to your domain, the site should be put through one last run-through. This is just precautionary, to confirm that all files have been uploaded correctly, and that the site continues to be fully functional. Other final details include installation upgrades like SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is the optimization of you web site with elements such as title, description and keyword tags which help your web site achieve higher rankings in the search engines. The previously mentioned code validation is something that plays a vital role in SEO, as well. There are many strategies that we offer and are available that further enhance the default Drupal / website functionality – many of which directly relate to improving your SEO, as well. There are a lot of details involved in optimizing your web site for the search engines – enough to warrant it’s own discussion. This is a very important step, because even though you now have a web site, you need to make sure that people can find it! This marks the official launch of your site, as it is now viewable to the public.


Maintenance

The development of your web site is not necessarily over, though. One way to bring repeat visitors to your site is to offer new content or products on a regular basis. Your Bay Street Software web designers will be more than happy to continue working together with you, to update the information on your web site. Bay Street Offers multiple levels of maintenance packages at reduced rates, based on how often you anticipate making changes or additions to your web site. If you prefer to be more hands on, and update your own content, we incorporate into you Drupal site many user friendly tools. These tools, with some basic training, allows you - the website owner - the ability to easily add, change, edit all content on your site. You are given access to a back-end administrative area, where you can use an online text editor (similar to a mini version of Microsoft Word). You’ll be able to edit existing content this way, or if you are feeling more adventurous, you can even add new pages and content yourself. The possibilities are endless! It’s really up to you as far as how comfortable you feel with updating your own web site. Some people prefer to have all the control so that they can make updates to their own web site the minute they decide to do so. Others prefer to hand off the web site entirely, as they have enough tasks on-hand that are more important for them to handle directly. That’s where the help of a your Bay Street Software web designer comes in, once again, as we can take over the web site maintenance for you – one less thing for you to do is always a good thing in these busy times! Other maintenance type items include regular site backups, security upgrades, additional functionality, search engine optimization, social networking management, etc.


For more information on Bay Street Software Inc., click here to view our website.





Sample Websites

At Bay Street Software Inc., we own various high end and professional website sample.  Ranging from colorful and whimsical to sleek and dark, we have a style for everybody in what they are looking for in their business website.  We want your online presence to reflect your business, so diversity in our website samples is a must!

You can simply click this link to view all our Drupal 7 Sample Sites, but here are a few of what kinds of samples we have to offer!






Take a look at our many varying styles and designs that we have to offer, and remember, everything is customizable to your own personal preference. The sky is the limit with Bay Street Software Inc.!


For more information on Bay Street Software, click here to view our newly designed website.