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Category Archives: Website Tools

How SEO Marketing Can Help Your Business

By | Blogging Tips, Search Engine Optimization, Web Development, Website Tools | No Comments

Getting Up To Speed with SEO Marketing

In today’s internet savvy society, SEO marketing is radically changing the way businesses can reach customers. SEO marketing can improve a company’s internet presence tremendously and we at Vroooom Web feel nothing is more important in the current market.

The goal of SEO marketing is increase traffic to a company’s website to the company’s target audience. This is done by increasing the chance that the company we represent is found easily on search engines.

The goal is to provide users searching for keywords or phrases to be directed to the company we represent. Relevant key words and phrases are chosen after thorough analytical research in order to ascertain the correct target audience.

This increased web presence can only help to maximize total sales and allow the company to reach more markets. By allowing Vroooom to handle the marketing side of the business, this takes the burden off of our clients and allows them to focus their energy in other areas such as production.

Another important reason to get in on the SEO marketing game is simple: competition. The most successful companies know the best way to stay ahead of the competition is look toward the future and new trends. As more and companies begin to utilize this process, the companies that do not will begin to be pushed into internet obscurity.

Another reason to invest in the process is due to the ever growing use of the internet. Internet use continues to grow with the creation of smartphones, tablets, and other portable internet devices. Online shopping has also become a massive industry due to convenience and the ability to compare prices. A company without a proper online presence is missing out on a huge market that could potentially bolster sales.

Contact Vroooom Web today and let us help your company become something more.

Website Grader Review

By | Website Tools | No Comments
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Website Grader Review

Website Grader Review

If you’re looking for an easy way to see how well your website stacks up in regards to basic steps necessary in assessing the quality of your website, then Website Grader is a good place to start.

WebsiteGrader.com is simple to use, and will provide you with some great information about your website, it’s SEO, and how it will perform.

Simple type in your website’s domain name (www.yourdomain.com) and click the “Generate Report” button.

After a few seconds the grade and report for your website will be generated and you will have an easy view of things like how many pages are indexed, if your pages have correct meta tags, how long your website has been active, when the domain name will expire, and more.

It will also assess whether or not their is a known blog detected for your domain name, and if your site contains conversion forms and RSS feeds.

What Does The Grade Mean?

Now, I have seen excellent websites that were designed correctly get low scores, and vice-versa. There is always room for error, but 9 times out of 10 Website Grader does a great job at providing you with a basic assessment of your website. It’s pretty easy for a properly design website with an average marketing strategy to score in the high 80’s, and if your website is updated frequently and maintained then it is very feasible to get it in the high 90’s.

I Have The Information. Now What?

With the information that Website Grader provides you with, you should have what you need to make some basic and easy changes to get your score up. Start and the top and work your way down the list until you have optimized the suggestions given to you in each section.

Want the best news?

It’s FREE to use and requires absolutely no sign-up or commitment.

Mobile Web Design

Which Browser is Best? Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome?

By | Internet Marketing, Technology News, Website Tools | No Comments
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Internet Explorer, Firefox & Google Chrome

[poll id=”3″]

Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome?

There are literally dozens of browsers that we could discuss, but these 3 consistently rank in the top 3 most used (with the exception of Safari), with Opera sitting at number 4 but not even producing numbers worth discussing.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer used to dominate the world wide web as the only browser even worth considering to use, with about 90% of users using it as their primary browser. And then came Firefox. Firefox quickly took off becoming the second most used browser on the market, and it succeeded in capturing some of the dedicated Internet Explorer users. Firefox is now the primary browser for approximately 26% of computer users.

Internet Explorer’s biggest failures are its security risks and how slow it functions.

It has also become a recent pain for developers, as it follows its own sets of rules in how it displays divs, tables, icons, images, links, header tags, and more. It used to have the freedom to dictate these things, but soon it will need to realize that the market is growing, and it can no longer operate under the same old code that it has always offered.

Firefox

Firefox’s success has shined by offering it as an open-source browser. Open-source simply means that it is driven by a large community of people, in which nearly anyone can develop tools, plug-ins or add-ons that can be downloaded and used in Firefox. Firefox was also the first browser to offer tabbing, instead of having to open new windows, which often led to a messy task bar.

One of Firefox’s biggest benefits is the add-ons and plug-ins that it offers. The spectrum of tools offered range in everything from web developer and design tools, to shopping and coupon tools, to entertainment tools. The list goes on for everything, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for now, chances are that it will be developed in the near future.

Firefox is much faster than IE, but a bit slower than Google Chrome.

And Then Came Google Chrome

Google Chrome is the moderate in-between, which is now used by approximately 13% of users. It does not offer as many add-ons or plug-ins as Firefox, but it makes up for the missing tools with speed. Google Chrome is by far the fastest browser around, and it’s URL field double as a search engine tool. A very nice addition.

Both Google Chrome and Firefox display web pages and special functionality similarly.

Google Chrome’s only downfall is that some special features and custom web applications may not yet be compatible with Chrome.

So, Which Browser is the Best One?

I cannot name a “best” internet browser because both Firefox and Google Chrome have their benefits, with very little negative aspects surrounding them. I can however tell you that IE is quickly turning into an antique browser. It’s slow, has too many bugs, and refuses to work in harmony with other search engines.

If you’re not big on add-ons, then Google Chrome the best internet browser for you. It’s extremely fast, and offers some great search tools built into the platform.

If you want flexibility in regards to add-ons and plug-ins, then Firefox will be your browser of choice. There is a countless number of features that can be very beneficial for developers, designers.

Internet Explorer is really only good for a few things, one of which is pulling up old, out-dated websites that are only compatible on IE. The other is for compatibility testing, which really isn’t a benefit, just a necessary use.

Facebook Browser & Search Engine

With Mark Zucky basically taking over the world one Facebook user at a time, I suspect that he will be launching either a new Facebook browser or Facebook search engine one day. He has the marketing platforms in place, along with the technology vehicles to move users over from other browsers and search engines.

The 5 Best Firefox Add-ons for Web Development

By | Website Tips, Website Tools | No Comments
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The Best Firefox Add-Ons

The Best Firefox Add-Ons

Firefox is an amazing web browser for a lot of reasons. It’s fast, usually reliable, and offers the ability for add-ons and plugins to integrate within the browser. There are thousands and thousands of different plugins that you can use, but not all of them will be worth your time. We personally use these plugins here at VRoooom Web, and we feel like these are the top 5 web development plugins you can use with Firefox.

1) Web Developer

Web Developer Toolbar

Web Developer Toolbar Firefox Addon

Web developer is an add-on that adds various web developer tools to Firefox. The amazing tool gives you a ton of new options to use when developing a webpage. You can do a wide variety of things, such as disable your cache, disable images on a page, outline images, view information about every single element on the page, check for important tags such as meta tags and alt tags, and much more. It almost has too many features, many of which I never even have to use. It even has quick links to validate all your CSS and HTML. I’ve used this plugin countless times while developing new sites, and it definitely saves you tons of time.

 

2) ColorZilla

Colorzilla Firefox Addon

Colorzilla Firefox Addon

ColorZilla allows you to quickly get a color reading from any point in your browser window using an eyedropper. You can then copy and paste the hex code into any other program. It also has a color pallet so you can adjust this color. Zooming allows you to select the exact pixel you want the color of, and a newer feature allows you to measure the distance between any two points in the browser.

 

3) IE View

IE View Addon

IE View Firefox Addon

This one might be just a personal favorite of mine, as I use it entirely too much it seems like. IE View adds Shortcuts to your right click menus that allow you to view whichever page you’re on in IE. Simply click the option, and IE will launch and automatically load whichever page you choose. You can also open link targets in a new IE window. It’s very helpful when you’re trying to get your CSS displaying universally across all browsers. We all know how annoying and tiresome IE can be when it comes to that.

 

4) Awesome Screenshot: Capture and Annotate

Awesome Screenshot allows you to take screenshots of a webpage. You can either choose a certain portion of the page to take a screenshot of, or grab the entire page. After taking the screen shot, you can then annotate it to your liking with circles, arrows, rectangles, lines and text, blur sensitive info, and then upload to share with one click. Other screen capture plugins have been large and bulky for the task they accomplish, yet this one is small and lite. Doesn’t get in the way and works fast and efficiently when needed.

5) Firebug

Firebug is a nifty little tool that allows you to inspect any portion of code on a page, and modify it right then and there. You see the modifications you do live on a page, so you can test edits without having to upload the newest version every time you make a change. It also has a built in CSS editor so you can make live changes to CSS on a page as well. A network monitor shows you what parts of your page are taking the longest to load, breaking down load times file by file. It also has an extremely helpful error log for JavaScript, CSS, and XML. This is a very helpful add-on for anyone doing any web development at all.

The 5 Best Firefox Add-ons for Web Development 1

Piwik VS Google Analytics: A Battle of Website Statistic Software

By | Website Reviews, Website Tips, Website Tools | No Comments

A Battle of Website Statistic Software: Piwik VS Google Analytics

Recently we’ve came to the attention of a new (new to us anyway) website stats software by the name of Piwik. On the homepage of their site, Piwik claims it aims to be an “open source alternative to Google Analytics.” We currently use Google Analytics on our websites, so we were eager to give Piwik a try to see the differences of the two.

One of the biggest gripes to me with Google Analytics is the fact that once you add your site to the system, Google then has all your data available to them. While this isn’t a big deal to some people, I’m not too comfortable with Google knowing about all the sites I own, how many visitors they received, and the exact search terms visitors are searching to get there.

On the other hand, Google Analytics is extremely easy to install on a website. It takes very little time, and very little coding knowledge. You simply enter in your site information and paste a little snippet of code into your pages. After that you sit back and the visits start registering. All the stats and graphs within Google Analytics are also extremely professional and clean looking, and they aren’t hard to read at all.

Piwik itself had a very easy install, simple upload the files to your site and go through their easy installer (literally 5 minutes at the most!). On the first look, the dashboard layout is very similar to Google Analytics. The charts and features look a little more basic compared to Google Analytics, but they are still very easy to read and ultimately look neat. After using it for a while, Piwik seems to actually register data more accurate than Google Analytics does.

Piwk's Dashboard

Piwk's Website Analytics Dashboard

Anything that is in Google Analytics can pretty much be found within Piwik. Another plus side is that when you install Piwik on your server, every last bit of data is yours and yours only. But that also means that if your server goes down, so does your stats and your stat tracking. Google Analytics has the plus side of being hosted on Google’s servers, which have a very, very tiny amount of downtime, if any at all.

Piwik runs using PHP and MySQL, so a little knowledge of those languages may be needed, although definitely not required. I was able to set up Piwik without seeing a bit of PHP or MySQL coding at all. Knowing PHP or MySQL is really only required if you would like to make your own custom edits to the software. As far as setting up the tracking code, it just takes a tiny bit of HTML to input on the page you wish to track stats for.

Google Analytics Dashboard

Google Analytics Website Stats

Overall, I think Piwik can definitely be a contender in the web analytics world. It may take some more time for it to reach that point, although Piwik seems to have a much larger amount of support overseas. It may be a great alternative for Non-Profits and larger corporations that sometimes only use open-source, free software, even though Google Analytics is free.

It also may be a good alternative to those paying big bucks for web tracking analytics such as Omniture.

We plan to keep working with Piwik over the coming months to see which we prefer. We may even find a use for Piwik on some sites and Google Analytics on others. If you think you may enjoy using Piwik, definitely give it a go. You can always install it without messing up your Google Analytics stats if you ever decide to switch back.