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Four Questions to Help You Select the Perfect Website Design Company

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Indianapolis Website Design and DevelopmentSelecting the right web designer for your website can be a tough decision. Costs, levels of experience, and expected outcomes all factor into the pick. You’re not alone if it all seems a bit overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be if you keep your process simple and focused. Consider these four questions for selecting the perfect website design company:

  1. Can you show me some examples of your work? A simple question and one that should be completely expected by a design firm. Of course you want to see what prospective company has done of late. Do they specialize in certain industries? Are they incorporating the latest technologies? How would they build the site? Do their designs incorporate their clients’ business objectives and strategies? You’re looking for designs that speak to you and match your rough vision.
     
  2. How do you ensure I can track the data? Building your new website is only part of the plan. You need to be able to gauge whether you’re reaching the target audience and achieving your organization’s goals. Your design firm should understand the importance of website strategy and analytics to measure site results.  They should also be able to train you on the process for assessing your traffic and conversion data.
     
  3. Indianapolis Web Design & Web Content ManagementWhat is your communications process? You’re investing not just in a firm’s design capabilities, but also in its ability to convey trust. Basically, you want to feel comfortable paying the bill. The firm you select should have a proactive plan to communicate with you about the status of your project throughout the process. At no point should you be wondering what’s going on with the creation of your website.
     
  4. What support and services do you provide? A new website is just the start of the relationship. You want a firm that’s going to be there to offer customer support, training, and a plan to help you make the most of your investment. A site is necessary to carve out your organization’s online real estate, but you need to feed it. Easy to use content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) solutions can go a long way to maximizing your website investment.

The four questions above will help you make the right decision when selecting your design and website development agency. Is your company in line for a new website? Marketpath can answer these questions and more, ensuring that your online presence matches your goals.

Contact us today at our Indianapolis office.

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Don't be a Screamer

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Don't be a Screamer - Write Great Marketing ContentIt's 8 AM on a Monday morning. I just dropped two kids off at school and one at daycare. The entire trip is about an hour of driving with constant chatter - sometimes laughing and giggling, sometimes whining or crying, usually just a lot of questions and bickering.

After my parental duties are finished for the morning I check out by listening to the 70's station on satellite radio and Player's Baby Come Back is streaming through the speakers. What a great classic song as I let out a sigh of relief.

I look at the car to my left. A mid-sized family sedan with two parents in the front seat and looks of stupefied exhaustion. Then I look in the back seat and there's a baby, maybe about six months old (when they find their voice). His face is red with anger and he looks as if he's been screaming for hours.

Back to the front seat. Empty, lost, fatigued, bloodshot eyes.

Then it dawns on me. Those parents are everyone else. Everyone is just like them. In a world where content is king and the screamers become louder and seem to clone themselves, we are all fatigued and lost. Yeah, I got all this from a screaming baby.

It's no wonder that neighborhoods and communities are choosing to stay home and inside more than ever where there's less noise, less screaming. It's no wonder more and more people are abandoning big tv and, instead, buying into choice with services like Netflix, Vudu, Hulu, and Apple TV. And it's no wonder people are jumping away from newspapers and magazines, only to subscribe to niche providers of greater interest. These choices all result in less noise.

The world is loud. And the noise level is still growing. If you're a marketer or content writer I have one request - don't be a screamer.

Instead, be a teacher. Be a storyteller. Be a philosopher. Be something. Just don't be a screamer. Nobody wants to hear what you have to say until you tone it down and provide something meaningful.

I ignore screamers (as much as possible) and relish in knowledgeable, engaging, and sometimes entertaining content, whether it be a video, a blog post or a white paper. If it's good, I'll share it with a few friends or coworkers. If it's fantastic, I'll be a fanatical advocate and tell everyone I know. And that's exactly what you should do - write or produce copy that is worthy of being shared by someone. Yes, I said "some ONE".

Seth Godin recently wrote a short post about how to write content that goes viral by writing for just one person. I like that approach. Screamers tend to be more vague and more general as they get louder hoping to catch the attention of the broader audience. But if you were writing to just one person, you'd focus less on catching everyone's attention and more on truly engaging that one, single individual.

Whatever you do, just don't be a screamer.

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Website Magazine Names Marketpath One of Top Content Management Platforms

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Marketpath is honored to have Marketpath CMS, our easy to use website content management system, named as one of the industry’s Top Content Management Platforms by Website Magazine. Last month, Website Magazine selected Marketpath CMS as one of their Top 50 Web Content Management Platforms (CMS), based on extensive evaluation criteria. 
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Startups Have it Easy, Sort of

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These days it's a lot easier to start a software company than it used to be. With the plethora of cloud services available at the click of a mouse companies can focus less on infrastructure logistics and more on their product. In this way, startups have it easy.

Before I continue I have a confession to make - Marketpath is not a startup.

Wow! That felt good! You don't know how long I've been holding on to that secret.

Ok, so maybe you read the about us page and you already knew that. We've been around since 2001.

We've claimed that we're like a startup but, in reality, that is far from the truth. We are established, healthy, and revenue positive. But along with being healthy we have our share of legacy systems with legacy problems. More specifically, we have a lot of old equipment running our infrastructure.

Wayback

In 2001, we purchased our first server. It was a Dell Poweredge 2500. I remember, because I bought it and was excited about the possibilities for that powerful server. General websites and web applications were a piece of cake. So, we added an email server and database to it. Then, over the next several years, we bought another server and then another. Initially, we only managed the servers. But then it changed.

In 2004, we moved to nFrame, a data center in Carmel, IN. Since then, we've had to buy all the firewalls, routers, switches, backup devices, metered PDU's, and all the other fun that comes along with managing a SaaS infrastructure. And that's just the hardware. There was a slew of software for everything from email to backups to databases.

For a small resourceful staff this was one heck of a burden, especially when things went wrong. We had to worry about single points of failure in infrastructure, server hard drives, backplanes, power supplies, fans, memory, SCSI cards, NIC's, and many, many other intricate and complicated devices going kaput. And then there was the software maintenance.

Me and other staff have spent many long nights standing above the air conditioning panel right in front of our rack. Luckily, in all these years, our longest outage for any website was limited to about 4 hours. And that's because when the you-know-what hits the fan, we got very creative.

Why Startups Have it Easy

Startups don't have to worry about infrastructure - at least in the same sense that Marketpath and every other software company that's been around for more than five years has had to. Infrastructure is a huge resource suck. Proper planning, implementation, and maintenance should be full time jobs. When everything seemed to be humming along nicely, some small issue was festering behind the scenes getting ready to rear its ugly face.

Startups can focus on building software and leave the infrastructure to the experts. Now there's Amazon Web ServicesMicrosoft AzureRackspaceBluelock, and many more infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) companies. These companies handle all the gory details and monitoring of core hardware devices. They provide virtual servers and other services that can be plugged into easily. 

Now, instead of having to high-tail it over to the local data center, customers simply jump on their iPad, launch the web portal and restart a server or provision more. Only the exact infrastructure necessary is deployed. In the past, we had to buy more hardware than we actually needed so we could scale up to meet demand. There were intricate formulas (that I never used) to calculate capacity needed now vs. capacity needed down the road.

Startups have this provisioning capability at their fingertips and can dedicate their time to building their business and building great software.

Don't get me wrong. Established companies have this too and often implement new projects in virtual environments. It's the legacy software that is the slow moving snail of adoption.

Virtual Marketpath

At Marketpath, we began our virtualization quest last summer. We implemented our internal project management and support system which was a simple database and web application. Not too bad.

Since, we've been 

 

 

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