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Top of Mind from 3by400

Our blog posts are the result of issues and opportunities we see in our daily work. They are designed to increase understanding and provide a source of vision for your web presence.
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The Looming Accessibility Fight

For a while now, any website that receives funding from the federal government has had to conform to guidelines that make the website accessibile to the disabled. The buzzword here is Section 508, after its location in the US legal code. There's a small but lucrative sub-practice of web design that helps site owners pass muster in this area. But the net may be widening. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, activists are pushing for a wider interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They argue that all e-commerce websites have to be 508-compliant. So far,...

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How Not to Do a Mobile Site

There are waves of charlatians that we see in the web industry: a couple of years ago there were SEO consultants, then there were Social Media consultants. I'm starting to see Mobile Web consultants make the rounds now. These people will set up a 'mobile friendly' version of your website at some other domain name like m.yoursite.com. This is the way things were done a couple of years ago for feature phones, not today's smart phones. In fact, Google specifically recommends AGAINST using a separate mobile version of your website. The modern way of doing mobile-friendly websites is just to put...

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IE9 Coming When You Least Expect It

One of the things we test extensively on our sites is cross-browser compatibility. We try to make sure that your site looks the same (or as close as we can come) on all major browsers. One would think that all browsers are standards-compliant and would render web pages the same. Not so, especially with Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It's getting better with each release. Speaking of new IE releases, this story says that Microsoft will be rolling out IE9 automatic upgrades to all XP, Vista and Windows 7 users. Hopefully this will mean that the percentage of users who are on IE7...

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What Makes You Unique?

What makes your business or organization unique? What should people deal with you, rather than any of the other similar outfits? What makes you stand out from the crowd? This is the sort of information the home page of your site should convey. Some call this the unique value proposition. Another way of thinking about this is the answer to your prospect's question "Who are you and why should I care?" I thought about this again the other week when we lost a client. Yes, that does happen on occasion. This was a client who never updated their site, never wanted the site to a hub of business activity, wouldn't listen to any of our suggestions or proposals. They moved to a different service provider. I asked them the obvious question: "why?" This was his reply:

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Another Reason to Update Content

Probably half of our clients rarely, if ever, update their sites. We don't update our home page often, but we do blog semi-regularly. It's just become more important to all of us to update our web site's content regularly. Why? A post just appeared ont the official Google Blog (you didn't know they had one, did you?) entitled Giving you fresher, more recent search results, Google will now more heavily weight freshness of content. How heavily? They're rather vague about that, but the article seems to indicate that this will be a major shift for Google. My take-away from this is

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