- Content Management
- Search Engine
- Cross Browser
"Our website looks great, but no one can find anything."
"Our website does what we want, but our audience can't relate to it."
We hear this all the time. Either you get nice design or good technology. But it is rare to hear that a web development company actually sat down to spend time understanding the purpose of the website and the needs of its users. Sleight-of-Hand Studios is that kind of company. Whether your website is five pages or five thousand, it has a purpose and an audience. It's our job to understand both and bring the best design and technology to the table.
We begin our web projects with a business discovery. It is at this phase that we learn about why you need a new website and what your organization expects from the new website. This isn't simply a discussion about features; it is a deep-dive into organizational objectives. There is a reason you need to invest in a new website. We need to understand the expectations of all the internal stakeholders.
We then focus on your audience. We turn to a process that relies upon user-centered design principles, user interaction requirements, and accessibility needs. By fully understanding the needs of your audience we can ensure that your technology and design choices best align with your mission objectives. The success of a website always comes down to the user experience.
With the expectations of the organization and the audience in hand, we are ready for content review, architecture, design, and development. You get all this from experienced staff who understand that a website is not something you give to your IT department to code, it is a business tool and an investment central to your communications strategy.
Whether you need discovery, design, development, or all three services, you can be sure we understand the big picture.
Content management provides the ability for an organization like yours to update the content on your own website. If you have a site that requires frequent refreshing or needs collaboration of many contributors, then a content management system (CMS) is right for you.
A content management system ensures that new content follows the design of the website and that the structural integrity of the code behind your website is preserved. It allows you, your staff or your audience to update your website without any knowledge of programming for the web.
We can develop systems at all levels of complexity. A simple CMS will allow your business to edit content and keep your message fresh. A complex system will allow multiple users, even your audience, to contribute content to the site with varying levels of responsibilities and oversight. It is also the ideal way to execute ecommerce. Our team has expertise building both WordPress and Drupal content management systems.
Ask us if a content management system is right for your organization.
Drupal is one of the most widespread content management systems in use on the web, and is favored by many government agencies, corporations, and associations, as well as an increasingly growing number of educational institutions.
Sleight-of-Hand Studios specializes in open source Drupal websites facilitating Web 2.0 initiatives for community building, collaboration, user-generated content, transparency, security, and engagement. We are an active member of the Drupal community, and follow best practices for working with the Drupal platform. This includes staying current with Drupal standards and latest code releases. We participate in the testing of new modules and releases, including the just-released and long-anticipated Drupal 7.
Community building in the Web 2.0 environment is a powerful way to interact with your audience. Research shows that organizations who are listening to their community can be more responsive and are viewed as more engaged. Social media allows for multi-way conversations. Enabling the audience to speak with you and with each other strengthens the community as a whole. The implementation of social publishing tools facilitates these communications, including complete community interactivity, forums, blogs, wikis, calendars, messaging, integration with social networks, and walls for members and groups.
The Drupal framework provides both a content management system and powerful social publishing tools that are integrated in a single install. The benefits of using the Drupal publishing capabilities include:
- Zero software licensing costs
- Freedom from vendor lock-in
- Configuration of tools, rather than custom development, to meet your specific needs
- A global Drupal support community who is current with social media advances
- Reduced data redundancy across systems
Web 2.0 is a catch phrase for collaboration and communication on the web. Have you considered how social-networking, blogs, forums, wikis, and other collaborative techniques might enhance your brand awareness and your web presence?
Because Web 2.0 is an audience-focused approach, the use of collaborative tools significantly increases the effectiveness of your communications. Creation of dynamic content by you and your audience builds interest through participation. The benefits for you are increased loyalty and trust, shorter sales cycles, effective outreach, and lower customer support costs.
We can integrate Web 2.0 functionality, such as blogs and forums, directly into your website. But we can also help you understand how to use many available services, such as Facebook, YouTube and Flickr, to create an integrated digital marketing strategy.
Let us show you how you can leverage Web 2.0 in your business.
SEO is the process of getting your site to be found by the search engines. You don’t necessarily need to invest in buying keywords to make your website SEO friendly. Good organic SEO is a product of two things – good website coding and good website content.
Code that is poorly constructed will keep Google, Yahoo and Bing from ever coming to your website. They need to be able to “read” the code, just like your audience needs to be able to read the content. We follow the best practices to adhere to the standards expected of the search engines. You might hear phrases like “semantic markup” or “coding with divs”. These are some of the expected norms for now, and new ones are on the way. Our technical team ensures that your website is coded to keep the search engines happy.
Of course, there is a balance between keeping the search engines happy and keeping your audience happy. This is where good website content comes into play. The search engines actually have expectations as to what they want to see in the content, but these can never be at the expense of your audience. First we make your website readable; then we align it to SEO standards. Our writing team understands how to execute this strategy.
There are times when you want to go further and use paid ads to create online marketing campaigns. Sleight-of-Hand Studios can work with you on your unique requirements to execute pay-per-click advertising. We will provide you with experts to set up the right advertising program for your needs and budget.
eMail marketing is the effective and highly affordable way to get your message out to your constituents, customers, clients, or members — and build strong, successful, and lasting relationships with them.
We can help you comply with the CAN-SPAM act to ensure the best possible outcome for your email marketing campaigns. Keep your email reputation in tact by using an email marketing strategy that will authorize and authenticate your emails.
There are many reputable email marketing providers from which to choose. Sleight-of-Hand Studios has chosen to be a Constant Contact business partner. Using best business practices, we set up your account, create custom templates to match your brand, run your campaigns, and analyze the results. And once it is sent from your desktop, your email will be handled according to email marketing best practices so your domain is not blacklisted.
We can help you develop an email marketing strategy as well. This ensures that you will capture and convert inbound leads to your website so that you can turn these leads into sales and drive revenue.
We can manage your entire campaign or just the pieces you need to get started. The best thing about signing up for Constant Contact through us is that we will always be there to help, even if you want to do most of the work yourself.
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To provide the best possible experience to our audience, we monitor what browsers are in regular use and check all our website code for cross-browser compatibility. Our goal is to provide state-of-the-art capabilities to those using current technologies, while still furnishing a usable site to those using older technologies. As you can see from the latest statistics below, there is a point of diminishing returns once usage falls into the lower percentages, at which point we consider a browser obsolete.