Let’s drop “www” already

06 Feb
February 6, 2013

Last year, while helping my offline counterparts tackle the presentation our website in physical media, a horrible truth became evident: the fabric of time and space are filled with wwwaste. Sure, the universe is observed to be expanding, but here in our tiny blue dot, things are growing more and more cramped. I think this is also true of our brains – most importantly, our customer’s brains. Why fill it with three seemingly unnecessary characters (four actually)?

No WWW

Image via f00f.org

Worst of all, “www” seems to be so infused into our online psyche that I’m constantly annoyed by websites which don’t exist without them. By that I mean, typing in the domain without the dubyas leads to the online equivalent of Alderaan, post-Deathstar. You know the site should be there, but it just… isn’t. Inside me, millions of voices suddenly cry out in terror.

Most sites resolve to the fully dubyad version if entered without, but I still don’t see why it’s not the other way around. Why not just drop them?

Maybe I’m missing something that technical administrators are waiting to pull out of their encyclopedia-like brains to make me eat my own words. And to be clear, I’m not arguing to get rid of “ftp.” or “m.” and the like.

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. According to Yahoo! Answerer Maddy:

“There is no technical reason for a website’s name to start with “www”; indeed, the first Web server was at info.cern.ch. The “www” prefix comes from a common convention predating the Web, where an organization’s Internet servers are assigned hostnames corresponding to the protocol they serve.”

So, c’mon everyone: Let’s drop “www” already. What do you think?

Mockups – The Art of Linkshaping

06 Oct
October 6, 2010

Welcome back, Linkshape fans!  Today we’re talking about website design mock-ups within the website design production process we refer to as Linkshaping. Personally, I’m excited about this topic, because I’ve spent the last decade designing websites and other graphics and I have a lot to share.  Plenty of new clients have no idea what website design mock-ups are, so don’t be embarrassed if this is an area of discovery for you as well.  Even if you are familiar with the concept, you may still learn a thing or two about the way Linkshape goes about seeking approval for the website designs we are so proud to shape.

There’s a reason why we’re only just now talking about the actual design of a website. So much emphasis is placed on it – heck, it’s even the name of our industry and job title.

Hopefully through this series, you’ve grown to appreciate all of the background work that goes into and is built into a well-planned website. The previously developed project description, the valuable information gathered during the creative brief, and website design wireframes all lead to a website design that stands the greatest chance of success. Read more →

Email marketing, Part 3 – Send & Track

28 Sep
September 28, 2010

Our three part series on email marketing and creating effective newsletters for your internet marketing campaigns draws to a close today with part 3.  So far we’ve talked about creating the newsletter design, layout, and content.

To wrap things up we will now discuss actually distributing the newsletter to all of those eager subscribers and tracking the results of all your planning and execution.  First, let’s point out a few things.

3 Keys to Distributing an Email Marketing Campaign

  • Email Marketing Platform
  • Campaign Delivery Setup
  • Reporting & Analytics

The new face of networking with technology

21 Sep
September 21, 2010

From time to time, we take a break from website design and Internet marketing to focus more on the general business side of Online Business building.  Today, Linkshaper Deborah Frohnerath talks about personal networking and the impact that Internet technology has made on this important form of business communication.

Read more →

Email marketing, Part 2 – Effective Layouts & Designs

14 Sep
September 14, 2010

Welcome to part 2 of the 3 part series on creating effective email marketing newsletters for your Internet marketing campaigns.  As we discussed in part 1, creating and collecting content is probably one of the most difficult parts of putting together your company’s newsletter.  But now that you have all of the juicy little tidbits, it is time to put this delicious information in a format that your customers are going to want to open, read, and hopefully forward to a friend or colleague.

You should think of your email marketing newsletters as you would the parts of a book.

Think of your email newsletter as a book, but all on one page.  You will need:

  • Cover – the newsletter’s header
  • Table of contents – quick access bullet-points
  • Preface – your intro
  • Chapters – the content of the newsletter

Website Design Wireframes – The Art of Linkshaping

07 Sep
September 7, 2010

Avast!  Thar be our series on Linkshape’s website design process we call The Art of Linkshaping.  We’re returning after a brief change in the winds allowed us to explore the difference between custom website design and pre-built website design.  Understanding the difference between these two types of website design is important, because our remaining two topics really only apply to custom website design.

Today, we discuss website design wireframes, which mark a transition from the Strategy phase in the Art of Linkshaping to the Design phase.  Not all website designers or website design companies prepare wireframes before moving into the actual build of a website.  One reason for this might be what we mentioned in the first paragraph: they might be using a pre-built website design – and that’s fine, as long as you’re not under the impression you’re getting a custom website design.

Read more →

Custom Website Design vs. Pre-Built Website Design

01 Sep
September 1, 2010

Hello again, dear Linkshape fan!  Today we (sort of) interrupt your normally scheduled series on the Art of Linkshaping to discuss a important, but related website design topic.  That’s because I began this very article with every intention of talking about our next topic, wireframing and prototyping in custom website design.

Notice that I made a point to say “custom” website designs.  Before we can effectively talk about website design wireframing, we needed to talk about two very broad design classifications.  In writing this article about that topic, I realized that I was nearing the invisible limits I consider a good article length without actually having started to write on-topic yet.  And so I have rededicated this article to our new topic:

Custom and pre-built website designs

When it comes to the planning and executing the design of a website or Online Business, there are really two ways of going about it.  On one side, you have custom website designs and on the other, you have pre-built website designs.

Read more →

The Creative Brief – The Art of Linkshaping

24 Aug
August 24, 2010

Ahoy there!  There’s been a brief delay in getting new articles cranked out recently, mainly because the other Linkshapers have done a fine job of keeping me loaded with work.  Thanks guys!

Today, I’ve got my sea-legs back and I’m ready to continue our journey down the Linkshape website design and Internet marketing service process.  So far, we’ve gained a basic understanding of the approval process and the project description.  Together, these two topics lay the groundwork for the fun stuff that we get to do at Linkshape, which get kicked-off by the creative brief. In fact, the meeting we hold to conduct a creative brief is called the project “kick-off”.  It’s a jubilant sort of discussion – the project is starting and everyone is abuzz with ideas and aspirations for the journey.

Read more →

The Project Description – The Art of Linkshaping

04 Aug
August 4, 2010

Hey there, Linkshape fan.  Today, we continue our series on the Art of Linkshaping – our website design and Internet marketing service processes.  The topic of the day is the project description and although I’d say all of the topics I listed in The Art of Linkshaping intro are important for both a website design company and a client alike, if I had to nominate one for “Most Important”, this would be it.

Project description – what is it?

Let’s say you’re choosing a website design and development company to assist you in building your new online business.  It goes without saying that you’re considering getting Linkshaped ;) .  Perhaps you have a vision of what your online business should look like, what some of the pages should be, if you plan to offer an eCommerce experience, and if you’re really on the ball, you know what sort of marketing functions the online business will attempt to perform.

Read more →

Come sail away – The Art of Linkshaping Intro

20 Jul
July 20, 2010

Hello again, Linkshape fan.  Today I’m introducing a new topic series that focuses on the thing our little website design company calls “Linkshaping”.  We toss that term around liberally on our webpages and sales materials, but I feel it’d be helpful to prospective and new web design clients (or anyone else who’s interested) to understand what we mean when we talk about “Linkshaping” or “getting Linkshaped”.

Because it’s not a word in the dictionary, we do talk about what meaning our company places on the word “Linkshape” on our About Us page.  When we say “Linkshaping”, really we’re just applying our brand in reference to our creative service processes and the purpose of writing an “Art of Linkshaping” is to focus on some of those processes.  I’m always saying, “We’re big on branding,” right?

The first few posts will cover the following topics:

  • Online Business project scope
  • The Online Business creative brief
  • Website design wireframes
  • Website design mock-ups