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Mobile apps vs. mobile sites

We've found that there's a lot of confusion about the difference between mobile apps and mobile websites, even amongst many so-called developers - believe it or not! The difference is very simple. A mobile app runs natively on your mobile device and must be installed on the device; many can be used regardless of whether you have an internet connection. A mobile website is a version of your website that is stripped down to make it faster to load on a mobile device and easier to read and navigate on the small screen. Usually there are less graphics and extraneous information on mobile sites, but you should always include the option for mobile visitors to choose to view the full site.

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What are QR codes and how are they used?

glerin_url_qrcodeIf you aren't familiar with QR codes, I can pretty much guarantee that you've seen them around and just didn't know what they were.  QR (Quick Response) codes are similar to bar codes but can hold much more data; they enable you to pass along information to clients and prospective clients who are able to scan them with a QR code reader, usually a smart phone.  The codes can hold data such as: a web url, contact information (vcard), a Google maps location, and SMS message composers.  The sample at right contains the url to this website:  http://www.glerin.com.
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Site Maintenance, or how to avoid losing your data - and your mind

We all know we need to keep our websites backed up, but let's be honest: how many of you actually follow through and keep a current backup?  And I don't mean just files; you need to backup your database also.  Good intentions don't count when your site has been hacked or your server explodes.  We can take the pain out of backing up your site, but you need to set it up now - not after your data has been lost.

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The one thing you must do this year...

If your website doesn't have a mobile version, you must correct that!  Too many sites either display poorly on mobile devices, or even worse, don't display at all.  Recently I tried to visit a site on my iPhone, but it opened up to a blank white page; when I got back to the office I browsed to the site on my laptop and found that it's built entirely on Flash.  That results in nothing to display on the iPhone!

Luckily, when I initially tried to visit the site I wasn't looking to buy or researching a company I may want to do business with; if that had been the case, they would have had a lost sale.

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Down with boring newsletters!

Face it, we're all bombarded with too much information today and the last thing we want to do is read more of it - UNLESS there's something in it for us!  If you want to make sure that your subscribers read your newsletters, and maybe even pass them along to their friends, you should concentrate on providing helpful or fun information rather than dragging on about your company and how great it is - BORING!

Newsletters aren't so much about promotion as they are about creating and maintaining relationships with your customers.  By providing helpful or fun content, you'll make your readers look forward to the next issue rather than just deleting it unread from their inbox - or worse yet, unsubscribing themselves from the newsletter.  Which brings me to another point: your newsletter should always include an Unsubscribe link; not only is it rude not to do so, it's actually illegal.

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