Sanmita Welcomes Ithaca Agway

Sanmita is pleased to welcome Ithaca Agway & True Value as our newest client. We are designing a dynamic new website for Ithaca Agway that will feature a responsive design. In addition, the Ithaca Agway site will be powered by Sanmita’s exclusive content management system (CMS), AcademicsWeb.

Ithaca Agway is our first client outside the higher education industry. This is particularly exciting for us because Sanmita is actively growing its business into new industries. We have more than ten years expertise working with higher ed clients, and we are eager to apply our knowledge to new business sectors, including small businesses. Ithaca Agway is a great partner for our first foray into this community.

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Higher Ed and the Latest Facebook Features

Social media giant Facebook just unveiled two new features that could benefit our friends in higher education. The social media network is introducing new video ads that pop up and play (without sound) automatically in a user’s Newsfeed. In addition, Facebook now offers a direct donation feature for individuals to contribute to an organization directly from a Facebook page.

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Improving Web Accessibility

When you tackle a website project — a new site or a redesign — web accessibility must be a top priority.  By federal law, websites must be usable  and accessible by people with disabilities. In reality,  it can be challenging to ensure a website is compliant, but advancements in design and planning are making this process easier.

At Sanmita, we are committed to accessible design and our work complies with all mandates. Our exclusive AcademicsWeb content management system (CMS) is Section 508 (ADA) compliant and web standards compliant.

Increasingly, accessible design is regarded as high-quality design because it emphasizes a clean look and usable, thoughtful navigation. Responsive design, which allows websites to adjust to any screen size and any type of device, helps with accessibility as well. (That’s just one of the many reasons we advocate for responsive design.)

But achieving accessibility can be challenging, particularly for sites with many levels of content and features. So what can you do to see if your website complies? Here are some ideas:

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Key in 2014: Ramp Up Social Media Marketing

Attention marketers: Social media marketing should top your to-do list for 2014. Mobile usage is exploding and social media commands a large share of time on mobile devices. That means fresh opportunities to develop social media strategies and expand your reach.

Just how rapidly is mobile use growing?  In the U.S., adults will spend an estimated 1:03 per day on tablets in 2014, up from 40 minutes per day in 2013 and just 20 minutes per day in 2012. Smartphone usage jumped dramatically too, to an estimated 1:07 per day in 2014 from 43 minutes per day in 2013 and 22 minutes per day in 2012, according to

Meanwhile, online computer time is tapering off, down to 2:19 per day in 2014 from 2:27 per day in 2013 and 2:33 in 2012.

Social media is the top activity on these mobile devices. In 2014, social media will command 28.4% of smart phone usage and 19% of tablet usage.

To increase social media marketing, think of fresh ways to engage your users.

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Now Available: Our Responsive Design Tool

Just how ubiquitous are mobile devices?  Take a look around on the bus, a plane or a restaurant, and you’ll see most people using a device. Smart phones and tablets users are untethered and free to browse, shop and share from anywhere. For marketers, this creates opportunities to reach potential clients no matter where they are.

But, when mobile users go to your website, what do they see? Does your website look like a shrunken version of its desktop iteration, with tiny print, crammed navigation and miniscule photos? Or does it adjust, preserving key information and images at a usable size?  If it is responsive to any device, you’re in a great position.

A responsive website automatically adjusts to any screen size and any device. This creates a positive user experience and helps your institution or business improve reach.

Want to check if a website is responsive? Sanmita can help. We’re so committed to responsive design, we’ve developed a complimentary tool to check if any website is responsive. With our tool, you can see how a site looks on a tablet, smartphone and desktop.

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Beyond Facebook: Fresh Plays on Social Media

As our higher ed friends hunker down for finals, we’re looking ahead to 2014. One hot topic: What’s next for higher ed in social media. By now, most schools are firmly established on Facebook and Twitter. So we’re thinking of some of the up-and-coming networks.

Colleges and universities are always looking for fresh digital marketing ideas and social media offers opportunities to connect in fresh, unusual ways. For 2014, consider ramping up your school’s presence on fast-growing Instragram and Pinterest.

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Texas Wesleyan, Sanmita Partnership Grows

At Sanmita, a key indicator of our success is when clients return to us with new projects. That’s why we are thrilled to be working with Texas Wesleyan University on a third collaboration. This time, Texas Wesleyan tapped Sanmita to implement a responsive design solution for their main website,

Sanmita will implement the responsive filter on Texas Wesleyan’s existing content management system.  Sanmita already created a responsive design solution for Texas Wesleyan’s main site through our smart filter technology, so the implementation will be a smooth transition.  Responsive design is critical to making sure your website is a positive experience for the largest possible audience   — particularly users viewing on mobile devices.

With our innovative smart filter responsive tool, Sanmita can make a website responsive in just 4 weeks and at 1/3 the cost of creating an entirely new website.

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Lessons From Cornell Drupal Camp

Here at Sanmita, we’re fresh off Cornell DrupalCamp 2013 and eager to share some of the highlights. For us, it doesn’t get much better than gathering 180 web professionals to discuss Drupal and higher ed web solutions.

Among the biggest headlines is Drupal’s explosive growth in the higher ed industry. In the last decade, the number of higher ed institutions using Drupal-based systems has jumped to nearly 3,000 sites (There are about about 4,000 accredited institutions in the U.S.). That includes main “.edu” college and university sites, as well as internal portals, blogs and digital signage, according to Acquia, the for-profit company provides Drupal services and support. Chris Hartigan, Acquia’s GM for Higher Education, says Drupal sysmtes now account for 27% of higher ed website management systems and growing rapidly.

So what makes Drupal-based websites and products so popular with higher ed? Read more

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