A Little Something To Think About: Microsites

One of the great things about the open-source CMS solutions we work with here at Sanmita is that they’re so easy to use. With a minimal amount of training, anyone accustomed to using a computer for word processing or email can be shown how to update content on their website. And keeping content fresh and up to date is crucial for your users and SEO!

Leaving content management all in the hands of one person is fine for a smaller organization, but when you start talking about a complex site such as for a university, the sheer amount of continual updates to personnel, publications, events, etc. can become cumbersome, if not impossible, for one person to deal with.

little thingsOne way to make it easier to keep a complex website up to date is to create microsites — smaller, multi-page sites with their own dedicated navigation within the larger website.

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Surviving Site Migration

It’s officially fall, and here in upstate New York that means trees are starting their annual wardrobe change into spectacular shades of gold and crimson. The days are starting to get shorter, and the honking of Canada geese migrating south for the winter reverberates in the crisp air.

flock of migrating canada geese birds flying at sunsetMigrating geese are a wonder to behold: one can’t help but stop and marvel at the sight of dozens upon dozens of the large birds filling the sky as they fly noisily overhead in their characteristic “V” shaped formation.

Migrating websites, on the other hand, tends to inspire looks of terror and loathing!

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Why You Should Get Excited About Information Architecture

Information Architecture, or IA, is one of those vague-sounding terms which can seem to spiral off into abstraction when you read about it. Even a simple definition can sound pretty yawn-worthy:

“Information architecture is a combination of organizing a site’s content into categories and creating an interface to support those categories*”

Wordle.net-IA-TaxonomyIn reality though, well-planned and executed IA is a vital aspect of development that’s crucial to website success.

First of all, let’s dispel the myth that IA is some kind of techy mumbo jumbo that’s expressed only via convoluted flow charts.

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Engage With Your Web Visitors By Providing Interactive Web Elements

I recently attended a seminar with a variety of different presenters and topics. I was really excited about all the different workshops I’d chosen to attend, but at the end of the day, one really stood out from the rest. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in a good way!

All the workshops followed a somewhat similar formula: there was a presentation, followed by an activity, ending with sharing among the participants. All the workshops except for one, that is. In that workshop, the presenter simply gave a lecture without any interactivity or sharing. And despite dealing with a fascinating topic, the consensus was that particular workshop stood out as weak and boring in comparison to the others. Attendants felt that interactivity and sharing within their groups, on any level, made the workshops much more rewarding.

The appeal of interactivity is especially strong in the web world. Think about it: even little things like mouseover effects or drop-down menus somehow make your visit to a site just a bit more personalized and interesting, don’t they? And consider having the opportunity to express your opinion — whether in the real world or in the social media world, being able to express yourself makes a visit more meaningful, compared to just watching or listening, right?

So when one of our clients asked the other day if there were ways they could incorporate more interactive elements on their website, we were happy to help!

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Grow Your Supporters! Integrating Newsletter Signup On Your Website

WateringAIf you’re in charge of your nonprofit’s email newsletter, you’ve probably given some thought as to how you can grow your list of subscribers.  And that’s important, because working to increase the number of your supporters should be done on a routine basis.

But before jumping into specific techniques about how you can increase the number of people signing up for your nonprofit’s email newsletter, it’s important to first consider the issue of spam.  If you believe people won’t mind you adding them to your email list without their knowledge simply because you’re doing good things in the world, consider this what lawyers would call your “notice of dissuasion:”  plain and simple, you should NEVER add people to your email newsletter without them knowing. It’s a big no-no for all kinds of good reasons, but that’s not what I want to focus on today.

The next thing to know is that when it comes to email lists, size actually isn’t the most important thing to consider! If you have a huge email list filled with thousands of people who don’t care about your cause and delete every email you send, your email efforts will be a waste of time.

The goal is not simply to grow your list — it’s to grow the number of people in your community that you engage with on a regular basis.  To grow the number of supporters with whom you’re routinely maintaining relationships.  To grow the number of people that give their time or money to support your organization.

But where do you find those kinds of email addresses?

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Every Project Has A Story To Tell

Sanmita PortfolioWhen you’ve developed as many websites as we have, you can’t help but marvel at how each individual project presents a unique set of challenges, circumstances and achievements. Each one really does have its own story — and people love to hear stories!

An online portfolio is an excellent way to showcase achievements and build credibility with your users. Individual stories can take the abstraction out of your content and make it more relevant to your audience. And don’t forget SEO — external links always help to improve your rankings!

Take a little stroll through the portfolio section of our website, and click on an image to read the case history. Each is a little story about the particular issue or issues we had to address, and what we did to find a solution.

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Sanmita To The Rescue!

Imagine building a great website that attracts 99% of your business. The site is powered by a really nifty tool that beautifully showcases your products.

Now, imagine that the creator of that tool decides to pull the plug and remove it from the web entirely, effectively removing all your products from the internet? And just to make things interesting, you’re given only 30 days to find another solution and get it online?

Unfortunately, this is no imaginary situation!

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Web-Based Technologies Are Shaping The Future of Higher Education. Is Your College Ready?

Since 2012, the nonprofit open online course (MOOC) provider known as edX has partnered with over 50 institutions and attracted some 2.5 million students from every country in the world.  The combination of new technologies applied to non-traditional learning methods is proving to be a revolutionizing force in higher education.

At a recent Campus Technology Conference, edX CEO Anant Agarwal told participants that the methods being used by edX can be incorporated within a blended learning environment to improve student success rates and better understand student learning behavior.

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Version 4.0 of WordPress, named “Benny” is available

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Version 4.0 of WordPress, named “Benny” in honor of jazz clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman, is released today. This release brings a smoother writing and management experience we think we all will enjoy.  This release enhances content editors experience on using WordPress as publishing platform. Key features of this release are:

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Sanmita Launches Newly Remodeled Website

Have you ever watched one of those home remodeling shows? Where an interior designer comes into an ordinary house and during the course of a week, transforms it into a fresh, gorgeous showcase that hardly resembles what it was before? Although the basic structure remains the same, everything is more efficient, better organized and much more inviting for guests. And they do it on a limited budget!

Now think about your website. It’s basically the online home for your organization. Has it become stale? Cluttered? Out of fashion? Do visitors find your site interesting and appealing, and are they able to easily find what they’re looking for? If you think your site is starting to look a little dowdy, it’s time for a website remodel!

 

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