Monthly Web Roundup - November 2017

Posted by: Peta Reardon

The November edition of the Reliance Web Newsletter.

It's a big month for social media, with companies testing and introducing many quality of life features. Twitter has doubled the amount of characters in a tweet, with 280 becoming the new 140. Instagram is making it easier for users to stay up to date with the latest trends by allowing people to "follow" hashtags. And finally we have an article on how introducing good design to your email campaigns can increase your user engagement.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to send an email to support@relianceit.com.au or give us a call. We'd be happy to hear from you.
Until next time,
Peta Simpson
Role: Web Team Leader
LinkedIn: Connect with me
Twitter’s 280 character tweets are rolling out for everyone
After testing a new 280-character limit a couple of months ago, Twitter is now rolling out the new limit to everyone.

Twitter says you shouldn’t expect to see an apocalyptic flood of massive tweets now, though. According to its data, the number of tweets with a higher-than-average character count was small after the initial novelty wore off. In fact, only 5 percent of tweets sent by testers were longer than 140 characters.

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Instagram experiments with letting you follow hashtags
Sometimes, you don't want to keep up with individual people on Instagram as you do a trending topic -- say, the latest in tech or a big protest. That currently involves laborious searches for hashtags, but it might become relatively trivial soon.

Users have discovered that Instagram is testing an option to follow hashtags, not just people. While this only includes popular and recent posts (it could easily become overwhelming if you got all of them), it could easily give you a sense of what's hot and suggest new people to follow.

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How to Update Your Email Newsletter Design to Increase Clicks
Email newsletters are the perfect way to stay in touch. After all, people skim their emails on the bus, during their lunch break, and while they’re watching TV.

Even though email marketing delivers an ROI of $44 for every $1 spent, an individual’s email inbox is a competitive environment. According to Emfluence, the average click-through rate on B2C emails is about 4%, versus an open rate of 22%.

How can you encourage more people to take action when they receive your email newsletter? The answer is design. If you’re not using the best design for your emails, you might be disappointed by your results.

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Monthly Web Roundup - October 2017

Posted by: James Hall

The October edition of the Reliance Web Newsletter.

We have some fantastic articles this month from all over the web. To start with, a Sensis post about various ways to boost traffic to your website. Dropbox have overhauled their brand and made some interesting choices by shifting the conversation around "work" from strictly business to a more creative and collaborative one. And finally, do you have a Facebook or Instagram account and need some tips on building a process around these tools? Below you'll find a great article including a perfect plan for you to follow to get your social media strategy up and running.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to send an email to support@relianceit.com.au or give us a call. We'd be happy to hear from you.
Until next time,
James Hall
Role: Web Developer
LinkedIn: Connect with me
6 quick ways to boost traffic to your website
Here’s one of life’s conundrums: If you have a sleek-looking website but nobody ever visits it, does it even really exist?

Has your website not been seeing much love lately?. While forming a long-term digital strategy does take time and effort, there are some easy steps you can take to increase traffic to your website quickly. Try these tips from the link below.

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Dropbox Unveils Brave New Brand Identity
Dropbox has launched a controversial redesign of its brand identity, intended to help the SaaS standout in a market increasingly packed with pretenders to its throne.

What they’ve unveiled seems certain to split opinion. On the one hand, the previous identity was business-like and sat comfortably alongside other tools in your GUI; on the other hand, that identity is tied to a business model that Dropbox, it seems, no longer aspires to:

As our mission has evolved from keeping files in sync to helping teams in sync, we realized our brand needs to change, too. Our new brand system shows that Dropbox isn’t just a place to store your files—it’s a living workspace that brings teams and ideas together.

This isn’t a brand design, so much as a brand repurposing.

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How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy From Scratch
If you’re starting from square one, it might feel equal parts thrilling and overwhelming. You know what you want to do and why. You can see that others have climbed the social media mountain; you’ve got few ideas how to get there yourself.

It’d help to have a plan.

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Monthly Web Roundup - September 2017

Posted by: Lucas Bradley

The September edition of the Reliance Web Newsletter.

This month we take a look at how to keep your website up to date to stay in line with the latest "Mobile First" Google search update. We have a helpful guide on what to look out for when writing content for your website to keep it inline with SEO best practise. And finally 10 tips to assist with optimising images on your website.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to send an email to support@relianceit.com.au or give us a call. We'd be happy to hear from you.
Until next time,
Lucas Bradley
Role: Director
LinkedIn: Connect with me
Google’s “mobile-first” update is coming
Google is rolling out a new algorithm update that could see mobile-friendly website appearing higher in Google's search results.

The update will rank webpages based on the quality of their mobile content, so if your mobile content isn't up to scratch (or your website isn't optimised for mobile after all), your ranking in the search results could get hit, along with your website traffic, website enquiries and website conversions as a result.

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Website content writing tips that work
Writing first-class content has become a key feature of every SEO strategy. But writing content is more than just filling a web page with keywords and links. High-quality content requires creativity and excellent research skills. Too many websites and blogs carry content that’s hard to read, not at all informative, entertaining or inspiring. But a good content creator should want to get the edge on their competition and add credibility their organisation. And you can do this by learning how to improve your writing.

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10 must know image optimization tips
If you run a website or online store, image optimization is an art that you want to master. From attracting shoppers perusing Google images to reducing site load time - image optimization can be an important part of building a successful website.

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Monthly Web Roundup - August 2017

Posted by: Peta Reardon

The August edition of the Reliance Web Newsletter.

This month we take a look at Google and see exactly what they do as an Internet Search Provider. Facebook now has 2 Billion Monthly users so we see what this means on a global scale. And finally we have 3 common social media myths busted!

As always, if you have any questions feel free to send an email to support@relianceit.com.au or give us a call. We'd be happy to hear from you.
Until next time,
Peta Simpson
Role: Web Designer
LinkedIn: Connect with me
What does Google do?
How does Google work? What does Google actually do? For many of you this will be fairly old news. But for all the SEO newbies: let me explain (in easy to understand prose) what Google actually does. Understanding Google could really help you create an SEO strategy that works!

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Facebook now has 2 billion monthly users… and responsibility
“We’re getting to a size where it’s worth really taking a careful look at what are all the things that we can do to make social media the most positive force for good possible,” Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox told TechCrunch about the company’s new milestone. Thirteen years after launching and less than five years after hitting 1 billion, Facebook now has 2 billion monthly active users.

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3 common social media marketing myths - busted!
Digital marketing has become a key trend – and with good reason. Around 79% of Australian internet users are active on social media, with 15.48 million Australians logging into Facebook every month – more than 63% of the population.

Those usage stats are even more significant when you consider that people aged 13 and under can’t sign up for Facebook – any way you look at it, social media has become a key communications platform, a huge part of how we connect and interact.

But what you will find when you start investigating social media for your business is that there’s a lot of conflicting advice. Because social media has gained traction so quickly, there’s a lot of misinformation and misunderstandings around that can put you on the wrong path.

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Monthly Web Roundup - May 2017

Posted by: James Hall

The May edition of the Reliance Web Newsletter.

Following on from last month we take a look at the Sensis Social Media Report with some must-know stats from a business perspective. We also take a look at a practical guide on ways to optimize your images, ready to be served on the web. And finally, we take a look at a current web trend of 2017: Microinteractions.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to send an email to support@relianceit.com.au or give us a call. We'd be happy to hear from you.
Until next time,
James Hall
Role: Web Designer
LinkedIn: Connect with me
The 20 must-know stats from the 2016 Sensis Social Media Report
The Sensis Social Media report is an annual survey of 800 consumers, 1,000 SMBs and 100 large businesses on how they use social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Click below to see a graphical overview of their findings or you can also read their indepth report.

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Optimizing Images for Web: A Practical Guide
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, which is one of the reasons images are so important in ecommerce. Without the customer being able to pick up, touch and inspect a product, they rely heavily on the images to understand the color, the quality, and the story of the product.

So it goes without saying that your images need to be hi-resolution and crisp. But, this comes at a price. Large, high definition images can have huge file sizes. Put a few of these on your site and that snappy experience of navigating your online store can end up feeling more like swimming through molasses.

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Web Design Trends 2017: Microinteractions
Microinteractions are the subtle, but powerful ways to interact with a website. They are often found in hovers, click animations, scrolling effects, etc. While we’ve always had these types of design elements, designers are spending more time on them, making them more informative and more refined.

Probably the most used integration is the hover/rollover, where a visitor can simply move their cursor over parts of the site to see these microinteractions and interact with the site in that way.

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Tech Brief - RansomWare

Posted by: Lucas Bradley

On Friday a wave of cyber-attacks hit 100 countries worldwide. We've seen crypto locker type threats before and this one is no different, here are some key points to remember:

  • Windows security prompts warning you not to run something should not be ignored;
  • Unsolicited emails promising rewards or information you weren't expecting should not be trusted;
  • If you are ever unsure about the authenticity of an email, forward a copy of the email to your IT support company asking them to confirm if the email is safe
  • Networks that are kept up-to-date with the latest security patches, and updates regularly installed under a network management arrangement are not at thereat of being hit with this threat unless a user initiates the virus by manually running it and giving it permission to run;
  • Many Anti-Virus and Anti-Spam products will protect users from inadvertently running a malicious piece of software, however this protection only works if it is regularly maintained and updated.


As always, if you have any questions feel free to send an email to support@relianceit.com.au or give us a call. We'd be happy to hear from you.
Until next time,
Lucas Bradley
Role: Director
LinkedIn: Connect with me
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Monthly Web Roundup - April 2017

Posted by: Lucas Bradley

The April edition of the Reliance Web Newsletter.

Starting with a look at Dropbox, not only have they recently redesigned their webapp, they have also made some significant changes to their service. In particular the public folder function. We also take a look at some social media predictions from Sensis for 2017. And finally, we take a look at a current web trend of 2017: Duotone Gradient Imagery.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to send an email to support@relianceit.com.au or give us a call. We'd be happy to hear from you.
Until next time,
Lucas Bradley
Role: Director
LinkedIn: Connect with me
4 New Dropbox Public Folder Changes You Need to Know
Are you a Dropbox user? Then you should know that Dropbox’s Public folder feature has received some huge changes, Including the removal of the Public folder on the basic tier and rendering HTML content will no longer be possible starting September 1st. Click the link below to find out what you need to know about the changes to Dropbox’s Public folder.

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3 predictions for social media marketing in 2017
Social media marketing is no different - it seems like almost every week there’s a new advertising option or tool announced that can streamline workflows and maximise results.

Here are three key trends on which we expect to see significant focus over the next 12 months from Sensis.

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Web Design Trends 2017: Duotone gradient imagery
In the pursuit of staying more on brand, more brands are using duotone imagery and graphics for their websites. Spotify is a great example of this with their current Design

Not strictly duotones, but some designs are even experimenting with two or three colors and using the duotone effect. Think Instagram. While flat design helped us get rid of (most) gradients, using duotone imagery that combines a couple of colors together has proven to be a nice update to the old and tired gradients and solid color areas.

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Monthly Web Roundup - March 2017

Posted by: James Hall

The March edition of the Reliance Web Newsletter.

This month we see lots of changes to social media. Starting with Facebook, they have launched an interactive manual to break down their security settings to make it easier for all to understand. We also see Twitter has opened up room to include more content into their 140 character limited platform. And finally, we take a look at an upcoming web trend of 2017: Geometric shapes, lines, and patterns.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to send an email to support@relianceit.com.au or give us a call. We'd be happy to hear from you.
Until next time,
James Hall
Role: Web Designer
LinkedIn: Connect with me
Facebook Makes its Privacy Settings Easier to Grasp With “Privacy Basics”
Ensuring that your Facebook account is only accessible to people you know can be an overwhelming experience as the social network service has a privacy setting menu that is rather extensive.

In an attempt to make these crucial security settings more accessible to everyone, Facebook has launched a new "Privacy Basics" page that breaks down all parts of Facebook’s privacy settings into bite-sized chunks.

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Twitter's new, longer tweets have arrived
Tweets are holding steady at 140 characters, but a variety of additions to your tweets will no longer count against that limit. As The Verge reported Twitter said it was rolling out expanded tweets around the world. Media attachments including images, GIFs, videos, and polls will no longer count against the 140-character limit. Neither will quote tweets, though if include a link to another tweet in your own that will count as normal.

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Web Design Trends 2017: Geometric shapes, lines, and patterns
It seems as though the use of geometric shapes, lines, and patterns have really taken off in the late part of 2016, and I anticipate this continuing through 2017. There are various ways in which geometric shapes have made their way into websites. Be it the use of circles around images, photos that are geometric heavy, or the overall design of the site relies heavily on the use of lines and patterns.

There is nearly infinite amount of ways in which you an integrate geometric shapes, lines, and patterns into your website, and this could be one way in which designers take fat design to a new level (and even add some personality, as mentioned above). Overall, expect to see these types of design styles more throughout 2017.

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Monthly Web Roundup - January 2017

Posted by: James Hall

The January edition of the Reliance Web Newsletter.

In this issue, we take a look at various social media stats from 2016 including user counts in Austalia and some overall observations. We read about LinkedIn, who have finally launched a major redesigned desktop version of their app. And finally, we take a look at an upcoming web trend of 2017: Emphasis on Content.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to send an email to support@relianceit.com.au or give us a call. We'd be happy to hear from you.
Until next time,
Peta Simpson
Role: Web Team Leader
LinkedIn: Connect with me
Social Media Statistics 2016
Today we look at a report showing the most popular social networks in Australia over December 2016. We also recap the year as a whole and highlight the biggest changes to the social media landscape over 2016.

The Australian market is now in a mature phase, we don’t see large growth for all networks as we did a couple years ago, however there are still some significant changes to major services like Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp.

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LinkedIn Desktop Redesign Puts Conversations and Content at the Center
LinkedIn have completed the largest desktop redesign since its inception. Something they have taken the time and investment to build from the ground up and in concert with their new mobile app, to provide a LinkedIn experience that is more intuitive, faster and creates more value for you.

Most importantly, this desktop redesign brings conversations and content to the heart of the platform, so you can more easily share ideas, join a discussion, and discover news and topics you care about.

Click the link below to find out more and check it out yourself.

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Web Design Trends 2017: Emphasis on the content
We’ve spent years adding things to our websites such as sidebars, headers, banner ads, sidebar ads, calls to action, comments, popups, social media buttons, signup boxes, etc. All of these things have ended up cluttering our websites and taking up more and more real estate, taking the attention away from the entire point of a web page: the content.

In 2017, websites are likely to start moving back to basics and placing more emphasis on content. Whether that means we remove all of the other distractions we’ve spent years adding, or just making them take up less real estate is yet to be determined. Getting back to the heart of a website — the content — will be prevalent moving forward.

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Monthly Web Roundup - November 2016

Posted by: James Hall

November edition of the Reliance Web Newsletter.

In this issue, we take a look at a new feature that Instagram will be rolling out soon. We find out what Google has been doing with reCAPTCHA to make your webforms/website secure and how we can prevent spam from landing in your inbox. And finally, we take a look at the current design trends for this month on the web.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to send an email to support@relianceit.com.au or give us a call. We'd be happy to hear from you.
Until next time,
Lucas Bradley
Role: Director
LinkedIn: Connect with me
Shopping Coming to Instagram
Mobile has changed the way people shop. You browse products while waiting to be seated for dinner, make purchases on your commute into work, and compare prices online when you’re at a store to see what’s the better deal.

Starting this month, Instagram are testing a way for users to learn more about the items they view within an Instagram post.

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No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA
So, what is the importance of having a reCAPTCHA on your webform? What does it do or more importantly what does it do for you? Simply put captcha is state of the art spam and abuse protection for your website. It is a free service that is provided by Google that we can attach to your webform and will prevent spammers for sending through false data or even viruses through your webform and into your inbox.

In the past captcha has been a complicated process with the user attempting to decipher a scrambled image of letters and numbers. Google in their brilliance have now simplified it. It's as simple as checking a box. On the surface its simple, however this is fully backed by Google's secure infrastructure & learning engines. Even better it is now fully accessible for the visually impaired AND is mobile responsive.

If you would like to find out about integrating reCaptcha with your webforms please feel free to contact us.
Current Design Trends
Have you noticed a shift in design on the web recently? Bold colours, big buttons and shapes. A prime example is www.theverge.com which recently launched a redesign, stepping into bold colours and gradients and even created their own design language with the use of shapes and lines. Instagram's new branding with its bold colour gradient logo is another great example of this. Click the link below to find out more about the current design trends across the web.

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