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What should I put in my sidebar?

The WordPress sidebar is made of widgets that you can add or edit in the Appearance section of your Dashboard … and the number of sidebar plug-ins available is limitless. It is easy to get carried away with the ease and flexibility but there are a few items that should be included in your sidebar that…

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Three Tips for Choosing a Web Designer

If you are landing here, you may be in the market for someone to develop a website for you. Maybe you’re launching a new book, starting a new business, or just want to write a blog. Those are great reasons to have a website! But, how do you know how to choose someone to set…

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When and why to hire a professional photographer for your website

Many small businesses don’t figure a photo shoot into the expense of their website and often it shows when profits are not there. A great website is your best marketing tool and with so many websites out there it is important that your website stand out. One of the best ways to accomplish this is with…

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When a user lands on your website, what do you want them to do?

This is one of the first questions I ask people when we begin the process of starting a new website. And often times, this stops people in their tracks, because so often they are concerned about what *they* want the website to do, or how they want it to look, instead of what they want…

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What NOT to put on your website

When people ask me what to include on their website to make it work, I always start with telling them what NOT to put on their site: Just say no to the flash intro. Sure it was cool in the 90s, but today it is annoying to get to a site and have to wait…

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Does my small business website need a photo gallery?

Maybe. It really depends on what type of business you have. Is showing your potential customer examples of your work important? Then yes, a photo gallery is great. Some examples of sites that I recommend photo galleries on include: contractors who do renovations or custom builders landscapers artists If you are a business that offers…

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How I became a web designer

Hi, I’m Susan Sullivan. I’m co-owner and web designer at Sumy Designs. I represent the creative side of the Sumy team. This fact will impress you even more when you know I have degrees in English and Anthropology. I graduated from Ball State University many years ago, but not many, many years ago, a distinction that…

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Why I Love the WordPress Community

When we started out in web design eight years ago, we didn’t use WordPress. We were old school, using lots of Photoshop and lots of HTML and CSS. It wasn’t a bad way to be, but we got more and more requests for blogs (this was before WordPress evolved into a full CMS) that we…

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Managing Multiple WordPress Sites

Got a lot of WordPress websites? I do! Since about 99% of all websites we create are with WordPress, as you can imagine, that leaves me with a lot of sites to manage. Each time a client asks for a change, I need to login to their WordPress dashboard and update it. With well over…

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Tips for working from home successfully

Working from home is fabulous on many levels – it also has its challenges, but today’s technological tools make it easier than ever. Sumy Designs has successfully operated from home offices for over eight years so I thought I’d share some of the benefits and challenges and a few of our tips to do it…

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Why should I use a newsletter manager instead of sending from Outlook?

Do you send out an email newsletter? Do you have lots of things to say and people who want to read it? That’s great! But let me ask you this – how do you send it out? Do you use a newsletter manager like Mailchimp or Constant Contact? Or do you send out your mass…

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What is Lorem Ipsum?

Do you scratch your head when  you see this? Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus aliquam dolor diam, ac tincidunt purus sodales in. Proin quis metus eu risus varius aliquam vel eu erat. Fusce fermentum rutrum dui, ut sollicitudin neque varius a. Proin fringilla turpis purus, vel pulvinar tortor viverra sed. Praesent…

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Keyword Stuffing and Why you Shouldn’t Do it

Ever hear of SEO? That stands for Search Engine Optimization. This term  basically refers to the process of getting traffic to a site through organic (or natural) listings in search engines. It’s getting your site found. Often individuals and business are fooled by SEO marketers who claim they can make their websites #1 on Google…

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How do I find a web designer I can trust that won’t steal my money and disappear?

Good question. And believe it or not, we’ve had a lot of business from people who hired a web designer only to have them disappear without a trace. No response to emails, no phone number to call, no business name to query. Just gone. Now you have no website and no money. I am sad…

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To Blog, or Not to Blog

We often get asked by clients whether they should have a blog. “Why would a business website need a blog?” they ask. Here’s why: websites that blog regularly get 55% more traffic and 67% more leads. Um, yeah. So when asked, I always recommend that people blog on their website. But, those statistics have one…

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