How Web Design Agencies Can Use Non-Compete Clauses To Protect Themselves From Ex-Employees

For web designers whose web design agency or business is large enough to have employees, they must be aware of the risks that can exist. One of those risks is when an employee leaves, whether that be mutually or following some kind of dispute or unacceptable behaviour that has led to them being dismissed.

In truth, this presents more than one risk as that ex-employee could potentially go on to take actions that can compromise their ex-employers web design business. A prime example is them deciding to set up their own agency and knowing what their ex-employer normally charges clients for web design and maintenance, they contact those clients and under-cut prices. Another is a current employee imparting confidential data to other web design agencies.

Those are just two of many nefarious actions a current or ex-employee might take, and though rare, it is more than worth it to take steps to prevent these sorts of behaviours. One of the legal and legitimate ways to do so is to use non-compete clauses.

Non-compete clauses include stipulations that the employee agrees to when joining a business and prevents them from taking some of the actions that we referred to. As for how web designers can use non-compete clauses to protect their web design business, below are five important ways to do so.

7 Reasons Why Custom Web Design Is Preferable To Templates For Business Websites

Ever since the first web design template was created, the debate has continued as to whether a custom web design or using web design templates is the best option. We are going to be upfront and say that in our experience custom web design is superior to using templates.

That is not to say we are totally dismissive of website templates. They certainly do have a role to play in web design and for someone with a small budget who needs a simple website, templates do provide an excellent means of creating their very own piece of online real estate.

However, for most businesses, having a Professional Web Design Company create their website gives them a greater chance of benefitting from having an online presence. In addition, there are several advantages of custom web design, seven of which we have explained below.

10 Reasons Why Your Digital Marketing May Need A Revamp

If you have been trying to use digital marketing as means to boost your revenue, how have the results been? If they are positive then we congratulate you, however, if you have thus far been frustrated by the lack of positive results, then please do not be too upset. In truth, according to Slinky SEO Agency you are one of many business owners who have found digital marketing has not provided you will the ROI you were expecting…yet!

The ‘yet’, is all-important because one of the great features of digital marketing is no matter how far from hitting the goals set for it a campaign might seem, there are plenty of ways to turn it around. To achieve that, one of the first things you must do is assess the current status of your digital marketing and in particular identify what reasons it may not yet be firing on all cylinders.

For many business owners, this can be an awkward process as many of the failings may point directly at them. We ask you to go through this process with an open mind and not be reticent about admitting you have gone wrong. Better to identify where the problems are, fix them, and look forward to improved results, than to bury one’s head in the sand. Here are 10 reasons your digital marketing might need a revamp.

What Is SQL Injection?

If you have come across the term ‘SQL Injection’ and always wondered what it meant, the answer is that SQL stands for ‘Structured Query Language, and so by default SQL Injection must mean ‘Structured Query Language Injection’. If you are still somewhat bemused, then we can assure you, once you have read the rest of this article you will have a fuller explanation which hopefully clarifies it for you.

We will state from the outset that SQL Injection is not desirable, and in truth, it can cause individuals, businesses, and organisations no end of problems. The clue is the word ‘injection’ and the fact that an SQL injection is an attack by hackers or cybercriminals on the database of an online property such as a website, and the queries made to it by applications.

What Can Happen During An SQL Injection?

Some SQL injection attacks can cause nothing more than an inconvenience at one end of the scale, through to a full-scale attack on the website’s server and its data or the disabling of a website so that it cannot function.

7 Of The Best Email Marketing Tools For Small Businesses

Any small business which is not using email marketing as part of its overall sales and marketing strategy is missing out on a hugely effective means of communicating with its prospects and customers. More than that, it is highly likely that their completion is using email marketing and thus gaining a considerable advantage over them.

What makes this scenario even more regrettable is that email marketing is not difficult and is made easy due to the number of excellent email marketing tools, software and services that are available. These allow you to create and manage email marketing campaigns all within one interface, and most of them can be automated for maximum effect and efficiency. Here are 7 of them, that can all provide a huge return on investment given their low cost.

Aweber

As one of the oldest and most popular email marketing tools available Aweber has been responsible for helping businesses generate billions of dollars in sales via email marketing. It is one of the easiest email tools to get started with and has several ways to help small businesses create and implement a successful email marketing campaign. List management, email templates, autoresponders, segmentation, A/B testing and tracking are just a few of its many features.

GetResponse

This is another extremely popular and well-established email service that makes email marketing for any small business as simple a process as there can be. It has plenty of email automation tools which include a drag and drop campaign builder, autoresponder, list management and list segmentation so that you can send a precisely targeted email to specific subscribers. GetResponse can also integrate with other services and tools including SalesForce, Zen Desk and Google Docs.

5 Types Of Web Hosting Explained

The choices you have to make regarding hosting your website, obviously include the web hosting company, however, beyond making that decision, you also need to determine which sort of hosting you require. The reason for this is that your website’s size, its complexity, its popularity in terms of visitor numbers, what functions it has, and the type of business the website represents will all influence what is the most appropriate type of hosting for your website.

In the main there 5 types of web hosting that should cover the vast majority of websites in the sense that one of them will be suitable. Not all hosting companies will offer all 5 of these and it might be the case that they only offer two or three. You also need to factor in the possibility or even the likelihood that your business grows and as such, you need to expand your website.

At that point, the type of hosting most suited to it may need to change, and if the most suitable type is not offered by your current hosting provider then you have the task of choosing a new one and migrating your website over to them. For this reason, it may be wise to select a web hosting service that provides the hosting types that will allow you to expand. As for those 5 web hosting options, here they are…

Shared Hosting

This is the most popular and cheapest hosting option which usually suits the vast majority of websites. With shared hosting, all files for your website are stored on a server that also stores the files of other websites. Your website will also share bandwidth with other websites too. This can mean that even if your hosting plan offers you ‘unlimited’ bandwidth if there is a lot of traffic visiting the other websites on the same server as yours, it can cause your website’s speed to fall.

10 Steps To Successfully Migrate Your Website To A New Hosting Provider

There can come a point in the development and expansion of your website where you need to migrate it. The reason could be to move it from a shared hosting to a VPS, a dedicated server, or to a new web hosting company altogether. With any website migration, there are risks, especially if a specific set of steps are not followed in order.

These risks include the website no longer functioning properly, missing elements, a loss of data, poor website performance, and it can even cause your website to no longer be indexed by the search engines and therefore lose its rankings. In order to ensure none of the previous risks manifest themselves into reality here are the 10 steps you should follow when migrating your website between hosting companies.

#1: Retain Your Existing Website…For Now: This first one is not actually a step but a definite ‘DO NOT’, which is under no circumstances should you take down your existing website from its current hosting until it is properly migrated and tested as being 100% operational on its new hosting.

#2: Create A Copy Of Your Website: You next need to create a copy of your current website and upload it to your new hosting account. One point here that as you are keeping your current site live, you will initially need to upload the new one to a subdomain as the same domain cannot exist for two separate websites, even if they are identical.

How to Avoid Being Regarded as a Web Spammer

Whether you personally carry out your business website’s SEO, it is done by someone else in-house, or you employ the services of an external SEO consultant, in all three scenarios, it is Google’s rules that you are playing by. If their rules have a preference for something, it should be done, if there is something that they don’t like, it needs to be avoided where ever possible.

One such area to be aware of is in relation to what Google considers spam. In particular, Google has a spam filter, whose main purpose is to weed out spam content and activities, and the websites who are creating it. At this point it is important to make the distinction between poor content and spam content or tactics.

Poor content is simply content that is written badly, difficult to consume or which simply does not give any visitor a positive experience. This may create some issues in relation to ranking with specific metrics like the time visitors stay on your website being noted by Google as being poor. They may push down your websites ranking on the SERPs, but you would not be flagged as having used spam.

Are we switching off to email in favour of social media?

Social media activity continues to grow at an astonishing rate, with billions of tweets and mentions a day. This is no indicator that email activity is declining, in fact in the over 55 age group, email usage is actually increasing.

Yet there are examples of companies stopping email marketing altogether in favour of only using social media to communicate with their customers. In our recent round table we discussed whether email marketing was going to be replaced by social media.

People’s interaction with email is ever-changing, whereas once there was a ‘right’ time or day to send an email marketing campaign, it isn’t that simple anymore. People read emails multiple times, they triage them and decide to read them in more depth later, they read long emails on their smartphones during their commute, they read business emails on the weekend. All of these behaviours have occurred in the last few years, and break all the pre-existing ‘rules’ of email marketing.

The Benefits Of Paid Web Hosting Over Free Web Hosting

When you start your search for a web hosting service for any new website you wish to create, you will soon come to realise that there is no shortage of choices to be made. There are several different types of hosting services, and an absolute abundance of hosting providers, all hoping you will choose them.

Whilst many of the choices you make have several variables, one decision only has two options to choose from and that is the choice as to whether you wish to pay for your hosting or choose a hosting service that is free of charge. There are merits to both, but in this article we are going to explain, why, in most cases, opting for a paid hosting service provides several important benefits, that free hosting cannot give you.

Ability To Have A Unique Domain Name

If your website is related to your business, and in particular, if you wish to build that business into a recognisable brand, it is essential that you have a unique domain for your website. Many paid hosting companies actually include a free domain of your choice when you sign up with them.

With a free web hosting company you will have to pay for your domain separately, and the other main issue is that you might not even be able to use a unique domain name. Instead, you will only be able to use a sub-domain. That means that instead of your website having ‘myawesomebrand.com’ as its domain, for example,  you may only be able to use ‘hostingservice.com/myawesomebrand’, which is far from memorable and looks ugly.