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CitrusKiwi's Web Design and Internet blog

Here we give hints and tips about web design, seo, and internet things. We also discuss online security issues and showcase new client websites.

Are phone videos OK to use on websites?

One thing is for sure, video is IT! As the Boomers and the Gen Xers become much less of a driving force in the buying market, those in the know see a new trend in how the up-and-coming purchasers - the Millennials - are consuming online content. Those of us who have been in website design for a while used to design shorter pages, minimizing scrolli...
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EU, GDPR and you

Today, May 25 2018, marks the introduction of a new law in the EU regarding privacy of data. For most of my clients (primarily based in the USA and some in New Zealand and Canada), the EU seems an awfully long way away. At best, if you're in New York, it's a little over 7 hours flight time to London. Or, if you remember that Britain is, techni...
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How do you handle a situation where someone has made up a story and falsely accused you of things that NEVER happened on social media?

First rule of ANY review - good or bad - is to reply PROFESSIONALLY, HONESTLY and COURTEOUSLY. There are 4 reasons for this. First, you encourage those who have left positive reviews by thanking them and adding a little something about why you enjoyed their project. Second, by adding something about their project, you showcase you areas of expertis...
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Yelp, Manta and Google are always asking me to use their services. How can I use these services for a better online presence?

There is no one right answer. How you can get clients is geographic, demographic and industry related. A properly constructed and optimized website is the foundation for any marketing strategy. Yes, I'm biased because that's what I ​do, but it's also a fact. Make sure your designer knows what they're doing with on-page SEO and it's IMPERATIVE your ...
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3 free & easy Windows productivity tweaks for 2018

Over the New Year I added a new SSD drive to my computer. Nope, THAT wasn't free, but it was pretty easy, AND it is FAST! In case anyone's interested, I bought a 1Tb Samsung 850 PRO III SSD. Note, get the Pro, not the EVO. They come in all the same sizes, but the PRO has better specs, with double the guarantee - 5 v 10 years. A new drive meant relo...
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Desktops/laptops/brick and mortar still popular shopping

If you're like me, you'll have heard that around 90% of all buying decisions start with an online search. And about 60% of those searches are done on mobile devices. A recent survey of 1000 people has revealed some very interesting shopping facts. 1. In store shopping is still popular though decreasing over most age ranges. The surprising trend is ...
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Backups

A couple of times in my computing life, I've had that sinking, cold pit in my stomach where I realized that I've lost data and have no backup. It's not a fun moment, but, fortunately for me, the data wasn't irreplaceable. I was stupid, but lucky. With some websites taking hundreds of hours of input, I can't afford to take that chance. We take regul...
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What to look for in your SEO company

SEO is one of those industries which has, somewhat fairly, developed a bad reputation as a bunch of "snake-oil" salemen (and women!). How so? If you have a business email you'd have, at least in your life, gotten an email (usually from some foreign company) promising #1 on page 1 of Google - guaranteed! The problem is, no one can guarantee such results (at least shortterm) as no one but Google knows their algorithm that does the ranking. SEO usually takes time and the client needs to view this as an investment and know that they are trying to help their business for the longterm. The bad news/The lies "Guaranteed" results are only achievable one way - scamming the system. The problem with this is that Google is smart. They'll catch you. Guess what happens to your ranking then? That's if they don't totally ban your site from their index. Get...
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Health Care Data Breaches

While Healthcare isn't what we do, data security, and online security in general, is something we're very interested in. I got an email from IDShield today as part of my membership (IDShield is part of the LegalShield umbrella which we are affiliate, and recommenders, of. I thought it so important that I've added as a post so all my readers can be warned - cybercrime is huge and getting bigger. Is your healthcare data for sale? There are, alledgedly, 655,000 patient records for sale on a dark web marketplace. The hacker who's selling them, claims they are from 3 separate healthcare databases. Healthcare ID theft is the golden goose of ID theft. Steal someone's credit card details and you can sell them for $50-100 - limited life, limited value. But get hold of someone's medical ID - that's worth thousands to sell, and even more to use. Read the whole...
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Passwords and how to store them

Passwords and how to store them Just recently, one of our clients had their GoDaddy account hacked. The hackers, fortunately, only pointed the domain at a random Vietnamese hosting company - it could have been much worse. However, the client had to go through all the hassle of being without a site for over a week, and dealing with getting access to their account so I could reset their settings. It could have been so much worse though. 2-step authentication If you have an account (like GoDaddy's) that offers 2 step authentication, turn it on. This sends a text to a specified phone number which the person trying to log on must enter to get in. It's a great layer of security, and simple to set up. Is is more painful for you to then log into your account(s)? Of course, that's the point. However, it sure beats being hacked!...
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Press "1" for English...

Feeling a little low today? Try this link to cheer you up - never fails with me! Warning, you may need an Australian slang book handy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syPSHe0kzMs How many times, have you phoned "customer service" and gotten someone you cannot understand. As an "import" it probably happens to me a little more, especially if that call center is based in the South, Though I rang DirectTV last week and got a very helpful girl based in Mississippi, and, while she had a strong Southern accent she was very understandable. Everything we do in business, especially how we interact directly with client and potential clients impacts our businesses. I cannot understand why companies have "customer service" departments where the customer is clearly unimportant and service is a superfluous word. Yes, no doubt they are cheaper than hiring an American with English skills to do it, but does anyone in management or...
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Behind the Scenes

I've had a client, from time to time, ask why they should keep paying their monthly subscription. Fair question. As business-people, we all need to be looking at our expenses and trimming where necessary. First though, let me ask a question.  Why have a website? With nearly 90% of all purchases starting life as an internet search there's really no question why. The fact is, whether it's a new hair product, a vacation, a car or even a house, we all head to one of the search engines to start our hunt. And if a business doesn't have a solid web presence, then they're already well behind the pack. So, back to the original question... Why continue paying every month? What the client is really asking is, WIIFM (What's In It For Me)? And, again, that's a fair question. Some business-people see adverts on somewhere like Craigslist for a website...
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Time to revamp your site for 2015

Wow - already January 17, and, to our embarrassment we look at the date of my last post..... The truth is, it's been pretty busy since late last year and then with Christmas and New Year, the blog got a little neglected. And now we're neck deep in revamping our CitrusKiwi site as it needs an overhaul. There have been things we were never totally happy with and we have tons new content going on it; so keep checking back! Expected launch date is the month's end (hopefully this month!! LOL!) Every year... We recommend that you look very critically at your site at least once a year. If you're one of our clients, then you'll be getting regular updates about traffic and rankings. From the traffic reports you can determine which pages visitors most frequent, and then you can spend time honing those pages to new-client-producing dynamos! And the...
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Mobile v Responsive v App v Nothing

I was asked this week, whether, 1) A "mobile type" website is needed at all, and 2) if so, what type? That's a great question and, at least, showed that the asker was engaged with basic website design ideas, or, at the very least, wanting to know. As the old saying goes, "The stupidest question is the one never asked!" Do I need a mobile version of any type? First part - "Do you need a mobile ready version of your site?" An unequivocal, "YES!" There is no doubt that a website that is not easily viewed on a mobile device is already at a serious disadvantage. And, with 60% or more searches conducted on some type of mobile device, that puts your business in a bad internet state. Which type to have? The 4 types are in the headline - Mobile, Responsive, App, or Nothing. They all work a...
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Why your website is a hacking target

I quite regularly hear clients and non-clients alike boldly proclaim their website is safe because it's small and insignificant. It doesn't have sensitive data such as credit card or social numbers on it. The reality is quite different. The 3 main hacking reasons Malicious "joyriders" For want of a better term (and to be polite!) I'll liken them to someone who steals your car, races it round town, then crashes it into something and runs off. These hackers are in it to either hack you because you're there, to see if they can, or to deface your site, either with nasty stuff or to promote something that's "dear" to them. This sort of hacking is usually very evident when you, or you client, visit the site. Data thieves These hackers are out for information, stuff they can either make use of - credit card details, social numbers, etc - or...
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Flashlights apps stealing your data

A few weeks back, someone on Facebook alerted me to the raft of permissions I, and every other app user, blindly says "Yes" to when installling them. We give them permission to take photos and videos, send and receive messages, snoop round in our data. The list of permissions is truly staggering. But this last week, I read that one of the worst culprits is the humble flashlight app - or more correctly, some of them. It seems that some of them have taken noseyness to a whole new level sending all types of info back to their authors. Take the "Super bright LED Flashlight" app. This is what it can do (YOU gave it permission to when you installed it!): control flashlight - well that's what you'd expect, but... retrieve running apps modify or delete the contents of your USB storage test access to protected storage take pictures and...
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Google ordered... and complies

It's a truly wonderful thing to see giant, Google, lose one (or 2 in this case). From a designer's and SEO's point of view, Google is like living in olden days when one felt the need to "please the gods". With over 60-70% of search traffic, getting it wrong with Google is bad for business. Because of their economic situation, they have huge power to do pretty much whatever they feel like - even if it's wrong, who can afford to sue them? However, 2 recent court cases have brought at least the glimmer of a smile to the "Google haters". First in Europe, and now Japan. Courts from both areas have ordered Google to "forget" individuals pasts - including debts, convictions and other "embarrassing" data under Europe's and Japan's tough anti-defamation legislation. This all seems wondeful, and, for the individuals concerned, it probably is. However, when we view the...
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2 for the week

We're pleased to launch 2 new sites this last week, both sporting the new slider module we've recently gotten hold of. In the past we've avoided these types of sliders as they've been, in the main, Flash based and Flash doesn't display on Apple devices. As we try very hard to make sure your site displays correctly across all devices, then Flash was out IMHO. However, with the advent of CSS3 and HTML5, the options have opened up, allowing sliders like these to be within the reach of everyone. To all my existing clients, we can now offer you this free of charge if you want it - that's the power of having 12 hours free maintenance every year - you never have to worry about how much it'll cost. A slider like the ones on these pages will use about -35 hours to set up depending on its complexity....
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Lessons from a Lovebird

"Out of the mouths of babes, oft time come gems." This well-known saying, probably derived from Psalms in the Bible, should remind us to always be on the lookout to learn a life lesson in the most obscure of places. Today, I have 2 posts, as I felt compelled to write this second one, not about how to exponentially multiply your traffic, guarantee 100% click through, or how to have the best website in the world, but rather to share a few "gems". When you're down, sing louder! Life is full of ups and downs, good and bad, want and plenty. How we react during these times determines who we are. When Kenya, our Lovebird, was getting low on water or food he'd sing and chat to us even more than normal. Without being a whinger, when life is tough, gather your friends around you and ask for support. A...
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1 sentence email grabs cold clients' attention

If you've been in business more than 6 months, and especially if you've tried some sort of internet marketing, then you'll undoubtedly have a bunch of names and addresses of people who looked, but never bought. Here's a 1 liner email that will really grab their attention and garner a pretty good response rate. Firstly, I have to admit that this isn't my idea, but I loved it and unashamedly nabbed it to send to all my customers, because I thought it was brilliant. An Aussie firm is using and is, reportedly, doing great things with it. And, let's face it, if they contacted you, then did nothing, what have you got to lose? What emails get opened? I get lots of "buy this" emails every day. Most I delete without opening, some I open, scan, and delete. All that effort is just wasted on me. "Make $xxxx in 5...
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