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All entrepreneurs, freelancers and small businesses will need to send out business proposals to ensure steady operation and growth.

But sending them out via PDF or Word documents could be hurting your close rate.

The PDF file type is an outdated model that was invented in the 90s. Today, we’re using much faster and more capable mobiles that can do a lot, including being able to optimize text-rich media into a readable form.

If you really want your business plans to have a higher rate of success, consider webpage proposals. They’re definitely more advantageous compared to the PDF in a number of ways:

Benefits of Using Online Business Proposals

1. Web-based Plans Are Ultra Responsive

Having future clients open a PDF file on their smartphone often leads to disastrous results.

PDFs haven’t evolved with the times, and as such they’re clunky, stiff and can’t scale on smaller devices such as mobile phones and tablets. The problem is, most of us have tablets and smartphones, and if it’s not viewable on these platforms, we usually close it out instead of reading it to the end.

But not web pages. They’re optimized to be viewed comfortably on your client’s device, whether it be tablet, notebook or smartphone. When you create a web-based business plan you have a good chance that your prospects will read it to the end. It takes out the tedious and sets you up for greater success.

2. Online Business Plans Are Secure

Sending out a proposal in PDF is like sending a file- once they download it, they can do what they want, e.g., share, upload to their site, forwarded, etc. This could lead to several marketing and sales problems when the client sends it to a competitor for positioning, pricing and negotiation purposes.

Web pages are more secure as you can easily set a password, a time when the client can view the proposal or a limit to the number of visits. You control how people see your plan and ensure utmost privacy and security at all times.

3. Web Pages Are Made For Interaction

Aside from being flat, PDFs are large, static and non-interactive. While you can certainly put in some pictures, they’re not as intuitive as a web-based proposal.

You’ll quickly find that trying to interact with your client in a PDF platform will prove to be impossible. All the ideas, upsells and packages you want to offer won’t make it to a PDF.

On the other hand, a webpage can have various interactive content, including spreadsheets, forms, audio, video and others embedded with just one click. Tools such as pricing calculators are a welcome sight if your client would want to find out the total price as they tally upsells without having to open a calculator app.

4. They’re Trackable

With PDFs, emails and Word docs, you’re left guessing whether or not your client has seen the proposal. It’s largely a hit or miss affair when you’re calling and doing follow-ups to secure their business.

PDF technology hasn’t caught up with the times, which means that there’s no way to interact or see if prospects have seen it. You miss the golden opportunity of a timely follow up and a chance to seal the deal right then and there.

This isn’t the case with web proposals. Every action, from knowing how long they viewed a certain section to finding what they clicked and what device they used will be at your disposal. From there, you can create mini-opportunities and improve your business plan the next time you want to pitch to a new client.

5. They’re Customizable

When you’re using business templates such as that from Qwilr, you’ll be able to customize the design, content and make it a professional and stunning piece to impress your clients.

Web-based proposals are the complete opposite of PDFs- they can be pleasant, convenient, professional and yet have exciting, modern elements at the same time. You can cater the content and embeddable accordingly, depending on your product, service or who you’re pitching the plan to.

What’s more, you can save time and still have a great proposal at the end of the day. Proofread and check for spelling or grammar issues, then upload it for the client to see.

Now that you know the advantages of going with an online web-based proposal, there’s no turning back in using outdated models such as PDFs and Word files. Impress future clients with your ability to create a professional-looking business plan that’s easy to view on any screen, interactive and comes with built-in tools so they can approve of it as soon as they finish reading.

You can also benefit by knowing whether they’ve opened the page (which sets the pace for the follow up) and analytics that allow you to improve your webpage proposal over time.

The post The Advantage of Creating Proposals Which Are Webpages appeared first on BootstrapBay.

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When you’re developing a website, the last thing you need is a security breach to compromise everything you’ve worked on. You probably take measures to keep your process safe from any malicious hackers. Unfortunately, there is another way in.

Collaboration leads to the best results in web development. Ideally, you’re working with a team in which everyone gets each other, bringing out the best in each team member and becoming more than the sum of the parts.

However, where security often fails is at a human level. If you just think of how many viruses and phishing scams have spread in the past, it has been down to people ignoring antivirus software or willingly giving their login details away to the wrong people.

Your team is probably more savvy than that, but even so, you should make an effort to ensure that it’s easier for them to stay safe than to accidentally leave openings to hackers.

Here is the software that will help you do that.

A Good VPN

Whenever you go online, you’re putting yourself at risk. Your data is being broadcast, including your location and many personal details. This can lead to identity theft, and in a team setting, major breaches. You can easily solve this problem with a virtual private network (VPN), which hides your location and encrypts your data.

If you’re not convinced about paying for a VPN for everyone on your team you can try the best free VPN. However, you will need to take the plunge at some point and splash out on this vital security software. The sooner the better, as the more team members online without a VPN, the more likely your data will be compromised.

A Password Manager

Let’s be honest. We all laugh at the fact that password is still one of the most popular passwords on the planet, but we are all pretty careless with our own passwords anyway. How could we not be? Remembering more than one password is difficult, and while your web browser does it for you, the moment you’re on a different device or browser, you need to recall it for yourself.

Furthermore, creating a password with all today’s requirements (which don’t even help) is work.

A password manager ensures that you never use your old passwords again, while never having a problem with remembering them either. A good password manager like 1Password works on all devices. You just need one strong password to open it up. It will create exceptionally strong passwords for you. You don’t have to go through the process yourself, and nor do you have to even look at the new passwords.

Asking everyone on your team to up their password security on their own is idealistic at best. A password manager for everyone’s devices is a far more secure way of counteracting any breaches.

Security measures are only as good as their implementation. Make sure that you use solutions which are easier to implement than to ignore, and you won’t have to worry about a thing!

The post The Software Everyone On Your Web Development Team Needs appeared first on BootstrapBay.

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The Web Wind of Change

They say that the only thing constant is change. However, not all changes occur at the same rate. In the world of technology, things happen remarkably fast. As a technology consumer (you’re one if you regularly use the Internet and have a computer and/or smartphone), you only have to look back at the past three years to realize how much the tech products and services you use have altered.

Take, for instance, mobile phones. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an Android or iOS fan, the changes have been enormous. In 2016, Android 7.0 was released. As of the time of writing this post, the latest version of this operating system is 9.0 (codenamed Pie). Three years ago iOS was in its 10th iteration. This year, Apple has rolled out its 12th update. Within that relatively short period, numerous improvements have been made. Compared to low-level software updates, the visual changes in icon design are easier to observe. Another interesting fact is that a decade ago, both Android and iOS weren’t even among the top 2 mobile operating systems. Nokia’s Symbian and RIM’s Blackberry were ranked as the top 2 operating systems at the time.

Typically, incremental changes happen more frequently, but it is the revolutionary ones that have a profound impact on our lives.

The rapid advances in IT that have taken place over the last 10 years can really make one speechless! Being a web user, you only have to look at the websites you surf on a daily basis to be able to appreciate the profound changes that have taken place in web development and design over the past decade.

1. Increased Adoption of Web Standards

Over the past 10 years, we’ve witnessed major improvements in website security, page speed loading, content formatting, and HTML5 and CSS3 design. A decade ago, our web experience was limited in many ways. Security was a major concern for users who were unsure whether they were being phished or spied on during online transactions. There were websites that couldn’t even be viewed in some browsers. Fragmentation and slow-loading web pages were also an issue for users, even for those with decent internet connection speeds.

Today, the security of personal data has been greatly improved. Two-factor authentication is now required on online banking and trading websites that process sensitive user information.

Thanks to the adoption of HTML5 and CSS3, webmasters are now finding it much easier to build sites that work flawlessly in different browsers and devices.

At bestcustompaper.com, you won’t experience any security and usability issues. And students in need of academic writing help can readily attest to this.

2. Explosive Growth in Integration of Social Media

A decade ago, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter were still underdeveloped. However, their growth was greatly accelerated thanks to the major breakthroughs in mobile technology that took place in the early 2010s.

The widespread popularity of social media caused web designers and developers to seek ways of connecting users’ online activity to their social network profile. One of the benefits of such integration is that we can now register on third-party websites using our Facebook, Twitter, or Google accounts. Another method involved sharing content found elsewhere on the Internet on social networks. Embedding social media profiles (Facebook pages with Likes count) and content (Tweets and Instagram photos) on websites was another integration method that is used to this day.

3. Growth in Adoption of Platforms and Tools that Simplify Website Building

10 years ago, building a well-designed, high quality, and multi-purpose website required significant expertise and money.

Today, there are different tools and platforms (e.g., WordPress, Magento, Shopify, jQuery, node.js, etc.) that help both lay users and professional web developers quickly and conveniently create all sorts of websites. Although some of the platforms have been around for 10 years now, their usage has increased dramatically in the last decade. Nowadays, for a few hundred dollars or less, anyone can create and host a high-quality blog, news site, e-commerce store, or a personal/corporate website.

4. Broad Adoption of Responsive Web Design

Believe it or not, there wasn’t such a thing as responsive web design (RWD) in early 2009. The idea of adapting websites to various screen sizes and devices was unimaginable back then. Smartphones, as we know them, were in their very early years and their prices were generally higher compared to today. This meant that web designers mainly focused on desktop and laptop screens, creating multiple site designs for popular screen sizes. User experience was, therefore, limited and depended on a specific browser.

However, the explosive growth of smartphones and smart TVs in 2010 caused web designers to develop pages that could adapt to all screen sizes. Today, it would be an aberration for a website not to be responsive, given the dominance of mobile site traffic globally. In fact, RWD has become so important that Google penalizes websites that are not responsive enough.

Given the ever-evolving nature of this field, the points listed above will have to be constantly revised or else they will quickly lose relevance. Keep this in mind when reading this article in 2 or 3 years!

The post How Web Development and Design Have Changed Over the Last Decade appeared first on BootstrapBay.

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One of the main goals for any business website is to convert visitors. Maybe you want them to buy a product, or just sign up for your email list. Whatever it is, you have a goal in mind for what you want your visitors to do once they reach your site.

However, your conversion rate may not be where you want it to be. If so, you’re probably getting a little frustrated. After all, conversion rates are pretty important to businesses of any size, and having a low number isn’t ideal. You’ve probably started searching for ways that you can improve your conversion rate, particularly through your website, and that’s how you ended up here.

Luckily, improving your conversion rate isn’t typically too tough. In fact, there are a few changes you can make to your website that will help to drive that conversion number higher. Here are a few strategies to get you started:

Remove Choices

One of the first things you should look at is the number of choices you’re providing to your visitors. Studies have shown that when you provide too many choices to your customers, they are less likely to take action. The amount of choices ends up distracting them to the point they are unable to decide, and end up leaving the site.

Keep your website simple. Each page should have a single goal, and all of the elements should be geared towards that goal. For instance, don’t create a landing page that advertises several different products. Instead, have a unique page for each product or service. On your homepage, limit the number of links to other pages, opting for links to only the most important ones. This will help steer your visitors where you want them and make things simpler, thus resulting in more conversions.

Speed It Up

Speaking of choices, chances are your website isn’t the only one that might interest your target niche. They have other options, so if they grow impatient with yours, they’re likely to look elsewhere. That’s why the next thing you should look at is the speed of your website. People these days are impatient, and if your site takes more than a few seconds to load, your visitors are probably going to leave.

Make sure all of the images on your site are optimized for the web, as large images take a long time to load. Sometimes we don’t even realize the size of the images on our site – particularly if you buy a website or are using images found online – so it’s important to check this out and see if it’s the culprit.


If you’re using WordPress plugins, make sure they are operating correctly and that you’re only using the ones you really need. Beyond that, if your site is still running slowly, look into switching over to a faster server.

Optimize the Layout

Next, take a look at the layout you are using for your website. There are two major methods for website design layout, and using one of them could result in a better conversion rate. This might require either editing your website directly, or perhaps using a different WordPress theme, but the results could be worth it.

The first method comes from the world of photography and follows the rule of thirds. Imagine dividing up the visible page into three equal sections, both vertically and horizontally. You’d have two lines running horizontally, a third of the way down the page and a third of the way up, and the same for the vertical lines. Where these lines meet on this grid is where you want the most prominent parts of your webpage to appear. The human eye tends to be drawn towards this area of an image, so by placing the most important parts of a page here, you make your site more appealing.


The other method is called an F-Layout. The F-Layout is similar to the rule of thirds, but you’re essentially ignoring the bottom right corner. Imagine a big letter “F” on the page – this is where our eyes tend to focus first on a webpage. Place your article titles, banner images, etc all through this area for maximum effectiveness. To learn more about the F-Layout, you can check out this guide.

The Importance of Colors Image Source

Finally, pay attention to the colors you’re using on your website. Too many colors can lead to a distracting page, which in turn leads to people leaving the site. On the other hand, not enough colors can make a page boring or hard to read, which will also lead to a drop in viewers.

As a guidelines, stick to no more than 3 primary colors for your website, and a few of their shades. For example, if you wanted to use white, green and yellow on your site, some grays or different tones of green might work, but you wouldn’t want to add in reds and blues too.

Use colors that contrast well with one another, and which represent the type of mood you’re trying to set for your site. Blues and greens are often used to express loyalty and trustworthiness, while reds can be used for passion and yellows for happiness.

Once you have your color scheme, make sure you’re using them in a way that will help your visitors. For example, a yellow link on a green background is likely hard to read, and therefore less likely to get clicked. You can use colors to make the most important parts of your page – headers, buttons, images, and links – stand out from everything else. This will help to improve user experience and point people in the right direction.

Focus on User Experience

When it comes to improving your conversion rate, the thing you really want to focus on is user experience. If users are having a hard time finding their way around your site, or if the page is unpleasant to look at, they’re less likely to convert on your desired action.

Take some time to examine your current web design and think about how you can improve it. Do you need to move some elements around on the page? Change up the color scheme? Or does your website simply load too slowly?


So, whether you’re starting a website from scratch, you just bought an existing website, or you’ve been running a website for a while now, put a lot of thought into the web design. A few simple changes can go a long way, and the result will not only be happier visitors but an improved conversion rate.

The post How Changing Your Web Design Can Improve Your Conversion Rate appeared first on BootstrapBay.

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Web designing can be interesting yet tricky for newbies and shockingly some professionals. Have you ever wondered why some webpages feel homey, looks simple yet appealing? Such webpages deliver more than others with complex and artistic designs. The secret? Well, those exotic webpages have certain errors; while developers of others pages go overboard with many page elements (more on this later).

Why do errors occur?

Mistakes occur in web development because of the mindset of the developer. Developers usually get carried away thinking they are the users. They hold the erroneous belief that if they like the site, then users would too.

Also, they sacrifice usability and usefulness on the altar of creativity. They focus on creating dashing websites by giving priority to looks over performance. They should rather create pages visitors (no matter their level of education) can surf seamlessly without assistance.

What Are the Common Web Design Mistakes and How Do You Avoid Them?

Here we have ten common web mistakes that novices and some professional alike commit and how to avoid them. Do read on for more Web design for beginners’ hints that will offer you some easy remedies.

1.Neglecting the Business Goals

It is common for a novice developer to get overtaken by the zeal of creating a ‘fantastic’ webpage while neglecting the goal of the business itself. What is the purpose of a good-looking page that cannot deliver the needed traffic? A page must be able to draw maximum online traffic and in turn, increase the sales of that business. It must provide visitors with awesome user experience (UX).

2. Sacrificing Site Typography on the altar of design

It’s a common error for a beginner to focus on creating a stunning site at the detriment of quality contents. “Content is king,” therefore presenting the content of a webpage is more important than its design. Content must draw visitors, otherwise the page will soon start losing traffic.

3. Adding frequent pop-ups and modals

Newbies and even some pros have the knack for overwhelming visitors with pop-ups and models once they get to their page. Getting blasted with pop-ups as one browses can be annoying. It prevents flow and seamless browsing. For instance, having the pop-up “who can write my essay now” blast the screen while visitors are on a writing page should not be done with ease, else it will reek desperation.

4. Readability issues

Many novices are guilty of creating websites that look awesome but not legible enough. They should pay attention to colours, highlights, font types, font colours, background, patterns and so on. If after creation, the presentation elements of the page do not compliment one another to make reading easy and fun, then the entire process is wrong.

5. Overuse of Whitespace remover

Whitespaces improve the readability and appearance of webpages. However, whitespaces must not be too much. That is why the Whitespace remover tool is used. If the designer uses too much Whitespace remover, the page will appear dense and jumbled all over with texts, buttons, checkboxes, tabs, etc. Optimum use of Whitespaces to improve the user experience.

6. Overuse of images and animations

While images and animations attract the attention of visitors to pages, too much use of them can be upsetting. As it with anything, the use of images and animations must be done optimally. Images must be relevant and used where necessary while the animations should have ‘Skip’ button for the optional view.

7. Neglecting mobile device optimization

Welcome to the age of smartphones and other mobile devices. The mistake of creating webpages and ignoring mobile device optimization is rampant. Today, the majority of online traffic comes from mobile devices and smartphones hence the need to optimize webpages for mobile device usage. A mobile optimized webpage will be easy to view on screens of those devices and images, texts, etc will load fast on them.

8. Crowding up the site with too much information

Trying your best to fit an entire college football team into a Ferrari will look awkward in every way. Likewise fitting too much information to a webpage will have the same effect on viewers. Bombarding visitors with too much text is sure of losing them fast. Only essential information need be on the webpage, and these must be concise and short.

9. Throwing the web standard out of the window

Websites have standards that aid the creation of usable pages and applications. Novice developers commit the following blunders:

  • Using the wrong DOCTYPEs
  • Using old-fashioned HTML
  • Neglecting adequate formatting or intricacies of inline or block elements such as adequate us of h2 headings etc
  • Forgetting to validate code or ignoring the result of the validation

10. Using More Than 3 Fonts

When developing a webpage, the rule is to use at least two types of fonts and at most three. More than three font type produces an overwhelming effect on visitors. An adequate number of font types has a way of increasing readability level and traffic to the websites. For best result use simple and easy to read fonts against fancy fonts for that clean and professional look.

Conclusion

Recall that the key to successful web design is simplicity! The simpler the design, the more user-friendly it becomes. If you manage a web design blog, let me know other common errors in the comment box.

The post 10 Common Mistakes in Web Design Newbies Should Avoid appeared first on BootstrapBay.

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You spend a lot of time and money trying to drive people to your website. You may even outsource internet marketing tasks, letting a dedicated group of people handle it for you. The result is more people coming to your site, but you’re still not getting the type of sales results you’re after.

In a perfect world, everyone who visitors your e-commerce store would turn into a customer. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. In fact, you may have found that the majority of people who visit your site don’t become customers. This is alarming at first, until you realize that every e-commerce store deals with the same problem.

The question then becomes how can you increase the number of people who convert into customers? While you may not be able to turn every visitor into a customer, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive for it. In an attempt to answer that question, here are five methods that have been shown to increase conversions rates for you to consider:

Improve Your Site Structure

One of the first things you should take a look at is the structure of your site. The structure means how the site is laid out, or how the pages link together. If you were to write down all of the pages of your website, and draw a line in between the pages that link together, what would that picture look like?

There are two main reasons why you’ll want to focus on site structure. For starters, an improved site structure makes it easier for your visitors to get around. Studies have shown that visitors only give a website a chance for a few seconds before deciding if they want to stay. If your site is confusing, and the visitor can’t easily find what they’re looking for, they are more likely to leave.

The other reason is SEO. Search engines know that visitors like well-organized sites, so they push these sites up higher in the rankings. By improving your site structure, you can increase where you appear in search results, and therefore draw in more visitors.

With more visitors enjoying their time on your site because of easy navigation you are sure to see an increase in your conversion rates. So, take some time to go over how your site is currently laid out and look for ways to simplify it and make things easier for your visitors.

Use High-Quality Images and Video Image Source

Next, look at the images and video you’re using on your site. When the image loads, does it look blurry? Does it have clear signs of being edited? Do your videos look like they were made twenty years ago? If so, this is likely sending an unflattering message to your visitors.

Whenever you use images on your site, make sure they are of a high quality. You can find plenty of free stock images online, most of which look great on the web. Choose ones that not only fit your site or blog posts, but also look like they were taken by a professional photographer.

The same goes for video. Video is a great way to draw in customers, but only if you do it well. For example, let’s say you created a video to demonstrate one of your products. If the video is grainy, or the audio doesn’t come through clearly, this won’t provide much benefit to your visitors. On the other hand, if the video looks great, people are more likely to watch it. If this video keeps people on your site, or better yet converts them, you’ll see a rise in your conversion rates.

Offer an Incentive

A great way to increase your conversion rates is by providing an incentive to your visitors. For instance, imagine you have a potential customer who is currently trying to decide which product to buy among several options, yours included. When they come to your site to learn more, they are greeted with a pop up message that tells them about a ten percent discount for new customers. As long as your product matches up well with the others, this type of incentive might be the answer to getting them to convert.

Or, let’s say you’re an app builder. You just launched a new app and you want people to try it. If this is eventually going to be an app that people have to pay for, you could offer it for free to the first people who sign up. Or you could provide some other type of bonus item in exchange for testing out your new app.

Common types of incentives to offer are free shopping, discounts, or bonus items. Think about what you can offer your visitors, then go over the numbers to make sure you can afford the incentive. If you can, this is a great way to boost your conversion numbers quickly.

Tweak Your Checkout Process Image Source

Another thing you can look at is your checkout process. If your checkout process is too long or complicated, chances are some of your visitors will simply give up. To avoid losing these customers, you’ll want to simplify things.

Make it so your customers can check out with as few clicks as possible. Add features so that it’s easy to update the customer’s cart with new products or remove products if they changed their mind. Use as few form fields as possible so that they don’t spend too much time typing. Find shopping cart software that allows you plenty of options so that you can have a truly optimized checkout process

Besides this, you can also look into cart-abandonment software. This software helps you to reach out to people who added things to their cart, but never checked out. Since these people were interested enough in your product to add it to their cart, it might not take much to turn them into a sale. Perhaps a simple reminder will do the trick, or you can offer a small discount to drive the price down.

Use a Chat App

Finally, one of the more popular trends lately is to use a chatbot. Chances are you’ve seen these already on other sites – they’re the little popup boxes on the bottom of a site offering to answer any questions you may have.

Chatbots accomplish a few things. First, they help to make your site feel more personable by allowing your visitors to ask questions rather than dig into your site to find the answers. Second, to get your visitors to interact with your site, keeping them around longer. Finally, if the chatbot can’t answer the question, they can connect the visitor with someone from your business, who can then work to turn that person into a sale.
Chatbots are typically easy to set up and affordable to run. When you combine this with the benefits to your conversion rates, it’s no wonder that so many sites are starting to use them.

Aim for Perfection, But Manage Expectations

The goal of every e-commerce site is to generate sales. To do this, you first need to get people to your site. Every business has their own way of doing this – from promoting their products on social media to utilizing customer loyalty software. However, one thing every business has in common is wanting to turn those visitors into customers at a higher rate.

Even if you implement all of the strategies above, and they improve your conversion rates, they won’t convert everyone. And that’s okay. Your goal is to convert as many people as possible and turn them into sales. But by aiming to convert everyone, you’ll find new ways to improve your e-commerce site. So even when you inevitably fall short of 100 percent conversion, you’ll still end up better than you were.

The post Five Proven Ways to Increase Your E-Commerce Conversion Rates appeared first on BootstrapBay.

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