Archive for February, 2014

Make Sure Your Website is Ready for Our Multi-screen World

Thursday, February 27th, 2014
We live in a multi-screen world, smart phones, iPads, iPods, MacBooks, etc. — every single one is capable of browsing the internet. Add that to the fact each one has a different resolution. As a result, many of the modern web designers and marketers are not sure what to do.

Statistics suggest mobile traffic is going to continue to increase:

56% of American adults are now Smartphone owners.

75% of Americans bring their phones to the bathroom.

Retailers’ apps with store mode gather five times more engagement.

By the end of 2013, there were more mobile devices on Earth than people.

80% of Smartphone owners want more mobile-optimized product information while they’re shopping in stores.

40% of shoppers consult three or more channels before purchase, compared to 10% in 2002.

Within five years, half of today’s Smartphone users will be using mobile wallets as their preferred payments method.

Consumers are spending 127 minutes per day on mobile apps.

Cyber Monday sales are up 30% and mobile sales up 96% since 2011.

Mobile searches related to restaurants have a conversion rate of 90% with 64% converting within the hour.

4 out of 5 consumers use Smartphones to shop.

More than 25 percent of consumers engage in online shopping only via mobile.

More than 57 percent of consumers will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Similarly, more than 40 percent of consumers will go to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience.

What are we supposed to do with all of these options available for Internet enabled devices? The idea of targeting specific devices and resolutions today is absurd.  There are more resolutions, phones, and platforms then you can list. By the time you finish designing and coding for each device, your website is out of date.

Here are some quick/simple fixes you should consider:

Avoid Flash, QuickTime, or any other plug-in that might not be available to a mobile user.

Do not exceed 960px wide or people will be scrolling forever.

Do not use fonts smaller then 11px.

Make sure primary site navigation is large.

Here are some long-term solutions to adopt:

Responsive Design is a viable solution. The idea to build a single web property that has the ability to dynamically change its display based on the device. This applies to low-resolution devices and high-resolution devices.

Remember when you are viewing a Responsive Designed site it is still the same website, but no matter what device your end customer is using the site is optimized. Responsive Design is the idea of having a single website that renders well on a multitude of devices.

Responsive design begins with your website, but becomes a part of your marketing strategy. How? The first step when contemplating a redesign of your website using responsive design is to look at your analytics. What types of devices are your visitors using to access your site? If your traffic has changed and they are now using tablets and mobile devices to access your site, you will benefit from a responsive website.

Here are six positive effectsincreased conversions, lower bounce rates, increased page rank, a stronger online presence, decreased development costs, and a competitive advantage.

The worst thing you can do is absolutely nothing.

This might sound obvious, but less than 10% of the ‘Top Million Websites’ were mobile ready less than two years ago. As Smartphones, tablets, etc. continue to proliferate, the failure to provide for these visitors will mean you risk alienating a significant portion of your target market.

Also do not make assumptions about the behavior of mobile users; or that mobile users are ‘on the move’. Did you know that 40% of mobile searches have local intent? Google showed that almost 80% of mobile searches occur at home or work.

Make sure your decisions about how to treat mobile visitors are based on actual data; in other words Test and Track. You cannot figure out how your mobile visitors are behaving if you do not track them separately from desktop visitors. You need to segment out the mobile visit data in order to make informed decisions.

Did You Know? Taken individually, spending on tablets increased 87.6% from the end of 2012 compared to the end of 2013, while the increase on Smartphones was 118.1% in the same period.

Will These Really Threaten Our Online Security?

Friday, February 21st, 2014

When it comes to online security, one would imagine that the rapid advancements in both hardware and software would lead to increased protection and less risk as the years go by. Unfortunately, those same advancements are also available to cyber criminals so what we are seeing is actually a rising trend among cyber attacks, as the methods get more sophisticated and the platforms become even less segmented. With the rise in popularity of mobile computing devices that use a single open source OS, the targets for cyber-attacks have only increased.

There are a number of new online security risks that have surfaced these past few years, and one would wonder if they will really threaten our online security for the long term or will they get addressed this year? These new online security threats include:


Last year saw the discovery of a new type of malware called Cryptolocker, which encrypts files it finds on an infected host and stores the decryption key on their own C & C server network. It uses a different encryption key for each new infection so the only ones who can decrypt the files are the makers of Cryptolocker themselves. The catch is that they ask people to pay them a ransom in exchange for the decryption key, which costs around $300 and should be settled within 72 hours or they will destroy the decryption key.

Cryptolocker’s targets were mostly individual users, who were most likely content with just reformatting their drives instead of paying the ransom, as their data usually isn’t worth hundreds of dollars. But do you know which ones do have data that are worth thousands, if not millions of dollars? Enterprises and businesses. It’s only a matter of time before Cryptolocker or new variations of it start to target large enterprises and businesses that handle so much data that it is usually more cost-effective to just pay the ransom than go through all the trouble of temporarily stopping operations just to rebuild their database.

Compromised Clouds

The cloud infrastructure has been around for quite some time, and most recently saw its popularity and use rise as companies start to realize its benefits in terms of cost savings and increased efficiency. However, it is still true that there are security risks involved, especially since not all clouds are equally well maintained and supported. If a company decides to go with a public cloud infrastructure with poor security, chances are they are merely extending the vulnerable space, which means they are increasing the number of areas that can be attacked while also limiting their ability to prevent or handle the attack immediately. Technically, the solution is to opt for a private cloud, but these types of clouds can be too expensive for most small to medium enterprises that they start to negate the benefits.

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