Friday, May 30, 2014

Hello, My Name is Dave, I Create Websites for a Living and My Web Presence Sucks

After many years of developing for the web for clients and always using the excuse that I simply don't have time to work on and maintain my own web presence, it is past time I rectified that situation.  To be clear, it's kind of embarrassing.

My clients could use the same excuses that I have.  Promoting your business or organization is time consuming and there isn't just one path you can take.  In the age of social media, it becomes even more difficult to stay current across multiple outlets.

Since what I am doing is what I assist my clients in doing, I think one way I can help them is to blog about my experience as I transition from having a (long outdated) web site to managing my online presence in a thoughtful and more complete way.

A few weeks back, I updated my website.  I used a "less is more" approach in order to ensure that I would get the new site launched.  Too many times over the last number of years, I came up with a new design or concept, but never followed through on it.  This time I figured I could make a site that was simple and then add to it as I had time or had the need.  I've made a copy of that initial launch here incase someone stumbles on this blog post in the future and my site is more developed than it is right now.  For those with websites they know are outdated, here is a link to the version of the site that I had been using up until this new one was put in place.  Note the 2009 in the URL.  You are not alone.

This blog is one of my next steps.  I also started a Facebook page for inVisual and discovered at some time in 2010 I had created a Twitter account that at some point had gotten hacked.  So my social exposure for inVisual was a Twitter feed full of spam.  I deleted the old posts and was pleased to discover that some of my clients were following my Twitter account even though I hadn't promoted it at all.

At the time of this writing, here are some of the recommended heights and widths for the images you can use in the mast head of Twitter and Facebook:

Facebook -
Profile Picture: 180px x 180px.  This one caused me some problems as my logo kept getting pixelated when I uploaded a JPG version of it.  I finally tried saving the logo as a PNG file and it was much clearer.

Profile Banner: 851px wide X 314px high.  This one didn't matter whether it was a JPG or PNG, there was some pixilation after uploading.

Twitter -
Profile Image: 500px X 500px.

Profile Banner: 1500px wide X 500px high.  I used PNGs for both of these, just to be safe.

I also filled out description information for both and added the Facebook Like and Share buttons to my site using Facebook's share code generator located here.

I'll finish up this blog post now and then work to design the blog theme to match my site.  I'm also setting up a subdomain of http://blog.invisual.us as the location of the blog, which requires some DNS changes.  I won't outline those here, as they're best left to the web people like me.  Once the blog is ready, I'll link it to my live site, which will of course mean that I have to continue to with this process and to document it.  Or else you will all know about it.