Storage Wars/ External Hard Drive vs. Cloud Storage

A dilemma faced by so many individuals and small businesses …Should I rely on my computer’s hard drive? Is an external hard drive for backup purposes necessary? Or should I shift all my data to the cloud? Maybe I should do both?

The good news is that you are asking the question! Make sure your data is backed up …. Hoping things will “just work” is wishful thinking and will bite you someday. Whether you have a terabyte worth of vacation photos or a host of sensitive documents sitting on your computer, you want to keep your data safe, secure and accessible. A big part of achieving these goals is choosing where your data will live.

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of having your data stored on a physical hard drive:

  • Pro’s
    No ongoing costs
    Relatively fast
  • Con’s
    It will eventually fail
    Has to be constantly connected
    Can be easily lost

Let’s look at the pros and cons of cloud storage and what this means for your website:

  • Pro’s
    Access data anywhere on any smart device
    • Frees up IT resources to focus on the core competency of the business
    Up to date – Lets you work with the most current hardware and Operating Systems
  • Con’s
    Unmonitored Access to Data: The relatively open access to data that the cloud offers and the subsequent ease of transfer of this data makes it difficult for an organisation to monitor business data
    Size limitations. Depending on bandwidth availability, every organisation will have a threshold for the most reasonable capacity of data that can be transferred daily to the cloud. These limitations will have an impact on backup strategies
    Internet Connection. Cloud-based storage requires an internet connection and performance is tied to internet bandwidth. If service is disrupted, your employees are potentially idled until the problem can be rectified.


So, which do you choose?

We recommend going with a cloud backup solution coupled with an external hard drive. This is your best bet for always having your data on hand and for getting fast recovery if there is an issue. Just make sure that you are actually performing backups. Also … make sure to check periodically that the backups are actually working!

(source: bigdata-madesimple pioneer-solutions)

Is television still the dominant screen in the living room?

Not too long ago the television was the main screen we watched for information and entertainment, but in today’s digital world internet connected devices have made an impact on this tradition.

A recent survey was carried out by award-winning research agency, Sparkler, looking at how the use of different devices have changed the way we view screens in the living room and the results were quite surprising.

Contrary to what most of us believe, research has shown that only 50% of UK adults say the TV is the main focal point in the living room, interestingly though 70% say they use a connected device whilst watching TV and for 16-34-year-olds as much as 87%.

One-third of adults check their emails, instant message or text whilst watching TV and 25% shop online. The research showed that the time people are engaged in unrelated TV activity is 60%.

It appears that there is more equality between different screens and that people switch between group and individual activities such as social media, emails, messaging and shopping.

There was a time when ad breaks were the key times for people to check emails, message, put the kettle on etc, but now this is not the case, in fact, research shows that more online activity takes place during a program as opposed to the ad break.

So how does this affect your advertising? Whilst traditional advertising still has a place in the media mix; digital advertising along with online activity and innovative ways to attract your customers attention through digital marketing are now equally if not more important to reach your target audience.

If you would like more information on how to make sure you obtain a return on investment and how to measure the results of your digital advertising, then drop us an email at engage@buzzdigital or give us a call, we’re here to help you grow your business.

Should You Split Up With Your Sidebar?

If you have a blog or website, we highly encourage you to take a long hard look at what’s on your page. Is it there because it should be there? Or is it there because you’re told it should be, or simple want to fill up space? Do you really need that widget in your sidebar? Is it really an effective use of your online real estate?

There’s a chance that over time, you’ll continually pack on the pounds of excess “stuff” on your website, much the same way we gain weight during the holidays. But these items often stand in the way of accomplishing your goals. Taking the time for spring-cleaning is definitely well worth it. Let’s look and some of the reasons that distinguishes a useful sidebar from a useless sidebar:

Useful sidebar

  • Any content that needs to be highlighted again, or highlighted by a different categorisation method can be done well in the sidebar. Anything that requires skimming is great in a list within a sidebar.
  • Categories, Post titles, and indexes and so on that would lead directly to content can help the user navigate to content quicker. Suggested topics or titles are not recommended, and should be secondary navigation.

Useless sidebar

  • Depending on how large the particular navigation bar is, a compromise may be a reduction in size of associated menus. With a reduction in size, the elements should remain clearly visible. A smaller menu bar still hides content.
  • Sidebars are notorious for becoming wastelands of useless widgets and too much information. Especially if you have two (or more) of them on the same site!

So: Sidebar or No Sidebar? That’s a bit of a trick question. Sidebars are a very important piece of the web design puzzle. They should always be planned for adequately, and not treated as extra space to do whatever with.

Have you ever changed up one element on your blog and seen major results? I would love to learn from you. Share in the comment section below.

(source: wpmayor)

Love is all around! Is your website ready for Valentine’s Day?

Oh, Valentine’s Day! One of the finest days of the year, a day when e-commerce businesses can drive some serious revenue.

Perhaps not everyone will get all lovey-dovey and starry-eyed, but online sellers can love this time of year because of the increased sales potential. Even if you don’t sell jewellery or flowers, you can still use effective web design and digital marketing tactics to leverage success from this widely celebrated event.

If you are on the hunt for some fresh actionable e-commerce marketing ideas you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at our list:

  • Purposeful web design

Since you only have one chance to make a first impression, be sure that your website clearly shows that you’re ready to fulfil all your shoppers’ Valentine’s Day needs. Headlines in a flowing typeface convey warmth and sentiment. Just keep it simple and clean. Overly ornate fonts can be hard to read, especially on smaller devices like phones and tablets. Red is the go-to colour for passion and romance. Use it, but be careful. It can also be too cliché if overdone.

  • Switch up your logo to show you care

Show your playful side, and let your customers know that there are real, live humans behind your brand. Though the logo itself won’t spike your sales, it’s a nice touch to show you care.

  • Make sure to reach out through email

Don’t wait for your customers to come to you. Use email marketing campaigns to let shoppers know you’re there and ready to help. Segment your list and personalise your emails for better results (e.g. male versus female). The more personal you can make it, the more buyers will feel like you’re talking to them instead of the whole world, and people like doing business with a company that cares about their individual needs.

  • Share the love by donating to a charity

Valentines doesn’t necessarily have to be the corporate sell out that it usually is. For every order you can pledge to donate to a charity that’s close to your heart. This could be the trigger necessary for your customers to take the dive and make a purchase from your store.

  • Promote your offers with Google AdWords for immediate traffic

Google AdWords can be used to gain short term success for your Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns. Additionally you should use other key celebratory events throughout the year to maximise the promotion of your products. Events such as Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Day allows your business to create a range of creative marketing campaigns. These are events that are celebrated by many people throughout the UK therefore this opens up new sales opportunities for your business.

Are you looking for e-commerce hosting? Our technicians are fully equipped with a diverse set of skills and xperienced in creating responsive websites that not only provide a smooth user-experience, but also aim on turning your users into customers. If you require a brand new website or simply need your site updating, then the Buzz Digital team would love to hear from you.


Web Trends 2017

The first thing of which there is no doubt is that things are changing and are never likely to stop, perhaps the biggest driver here being the fact that more and more people are viewing the web on mobile devices. This means that every site has to be designed to be visually effective on these smaller screens, as well as being easy to navigate and fast to load, a mix that makes getting it right quite a tall order.

So the million dollar question is: What are the hottest design trends for the upcoming year? We’re glad you asked! As you know, Buzz Digital offers the most stunning website templates to help you begin your website on the right foot. Let’s take a look at the design trends that are going to take over 2017 – and how you can use them to keep your website looking fresh:

  • Draw attention with GIFs

All right. Let’s be clear. Overusing Gifs and animations can definitely hurt your website’s UX (User Experience). But done in the right way, you can bring your website to life by accenting important aspects ultimately bringing your design to the next level without making your visitors squint.

  • Think outside the box with 3D geometric shapes

The use of squares and other geometric shapes also looks interesting, the idea it seems stemming from Google’s material design. Cleverly used, this design methodology looks anything but flat, and we have been using it for client’s for some degree already, so it will be interesting to see how this one catches on with other designers.

Known as “low poly,” this technique was originally used in 3D models and computer games and has now found its way into graphic design both for the web and print.

  • Desktop Push Notifications

We’ve all experienced the power of push notifications. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, it’s so hard to ignore that little ding or buzz. So hard to not whip out your phone and engage with whoever’s pinging you. And now, many websites are trying to bring that power to the desktop.

At Buzz Digital we have always aimed to do this, it being so necessary to make our client’s websites stand out amongst the crowd. These notifications keep our client’s website and company in the visitor’s mind throughout the day, as they get small reminders and alerts, again something that we agree wholeheartedly with.

  • Direct chat with support

Chatting with customers and responding to their questions helps personalise a company’s web presence. Apps like Intercom modernise the support experience by mirroring how messaging works on social media sites like Facebook. The ability to get help immediately also helps build trust in a brand.

Wrapping it up

Whilst we think everything on this list is pretty great, don’t try and fit every single one of these trends into your new website.Some will work for some companies, others won’t. Pick and choose which styles and capabilities your client both needs and wants. Trying to do too much will instantly decrease the UX of your website. So be selective, be careful, and, most importantly, be creative.

Do you have your own web design predictions you don’t see listed here? Let us know what you’d like to see even more of in the comments below!

(source: business2community

Tis The Season To Prepare Your eCommerce Website

It’s that time of year again and eCommerce News reports that 76% of consumers will be buying half of their Christmas gifts on-line. And it turns out, 29% of UK customers had already started buying their Christmas presents as of September, this year. So, you can bet your customers had already started their Christmas shopping way before relentless advent calendars started creeping into the supermarkets.

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5 Reasons to Consider A Website Redesign

So, you’ve finally decided to update your website with a fresh new design, that’s great! All websites undergo at least one minor facelift at some point in their life. A redesign can be a wise investment, though – after all, your website is your primary online marketing tool. By following best practices and using a strategic approach you can help your brand garner ROI as well as brand visibility. Let’s look at five reasons you should consider a website redesign:

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