<![CDATA[Weebly.com - Blog]]>Sun, 07 Feb 2016 16:49:40 -0800EditMySite<![CDATA[5 Things Your Online Portfolio Needs]]>Thu, 04 Feb 2016 21:12:02 GMThttp://www.weebly.com/blog/online-portfolioWhether you are a designer, marketing professional, photographer, or really anyone with projects to share, an online portfolio can open doors and bring visibility to your work. It's the perfect place to showcase your talents in a crowded marketplace.

Not sure where to start? Here are five design elements that every online portfolio needs.

​1. Stellar Images

A great image makes a powerful first impression. A hero header – a photo that stretches across the top of the screen from edge to edge — is a highly visual option that gives your images room to shine.
When it comes to choosing a the best image, opt for one of two things:
  • Use images that represent your work. This can include design work, photos, art or even products.
  • Use an image of you! If you do something that's particularly interesting or have work that's harder to present in the hero format, go for a photo of you in action. (A nice portrait can also be interesting.)

Images can include anything from photos to video to illustrations. And don't stop with the homepage and header. Sharp, crisp images should be the ongoing theme on every page of your website design. 

Weebly theme to try: Slick

​2. Only Your Best Work

Don't fall into the trap of trying to include everything in your online portfolio. Just because you have unlimited website space, doesn't mean that you should post every project you've ever done.

Include projects that are recent, have won awards, show your range of skills or come from a client that would provide a great referral. Avoid projects that are dated, feature a trend that does not work anymore or come from a client with a failed relationship.

Include short descriptions with project work to give context to the images. How did you complete it? What is your favorite part of the project?

Weebly theme to try: Oasis

​3. Contact Information

Whether you are available for work or not, make sure to include your contact information on your portfolio website. The goal of a portfolio is to bring attention and recognition to your work. Including contact information gives your site credibility and lets people know the work is yours.

This does not mean you have to list a personal phone number. Consider using a contact form, or post links to a social media profile where users can contact you.

Weebly theme to try: Highlighter

4. Your "Story"

Add a personal touch to your portfolio with your “story." How did you get into your current field? What styles or designers do you look up to?

Your story does not have to be long or particularly involved, but it is the personal touch that should set you apart. Your story might include things from your resume (but is not a listing of jobs and qualifications).

Keep it simple. Aim for something that makes you stand out, and that you don't mind sharing.

Weebly theme to try: Paper

5. Style

Your online portfolio should match your design style.

Even if you start with a defined template, customize it to your tastes. Use colors that appeal to you, typefaces that draw you in, and an overall style that falls in line with your work. This should be pretty easy to do, but the challenge is often battling that feeling that you need to include everything in your site design. It is perfectly fine to go with a minimal style, if that's what appeals to you.

A clean, easy to read, highly visual site will draw in visitors regardless of style. A website design that matches your style will help give potential clients an even better idea of the kind of work and products you will deliver.

Weebly theme to try: Venue

Does your online portfolio already include the elements above? If not, today is the day to work on creating a stronger, more visual version. Remember, this might be your first impression for new clients or future professional opportunities — make it a good one.
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<![CDATA[Building a Visual Brand for Your Website]]>Mon, 01 Feb 2016 23:12:18 GMThttp://www.weebly.com/blog/building-a-visual-brandYour visual brand is more than just a logo on your homepage; it is an identifier for your website or business. Branding is the key to creating a lasting impression so visitors can relate to your personal story and shoppers can find your products. But how do you create a presence that people recognize?

Start with the visuals.

​1. Create a Color Palette and Stick To It

Some of the most iconic brands in the world – Coca-Cola, McDonald's, UPS – are identifiable by a single color. The thing that these companies all have in common is that they have a distinct color palette and they always use it.

It's a lesson that any website, of any size, can learn from. Every brand should have a unique color palette that includes one signature color and up to three hues. All brand materials, websites, printed materials and social media marketing tools should use the same color palette.

It's important that brand colors be used in all communications to establish a visual connection and consistency. Plan the color palette well; it's something that should stick with your brand over time.

It's easy to change your site's color palette from the theme tab in the Editor

​2. Develop an Image Deck

Just as important as color are the images that come to mind when someone hears a brand name. When you think of your own brand, what do you visualize?

A good image deck includes a set of images that can be used – and reused – in brand communications. 

The best image decks include plenty of photos that define your unique personality. These can either be product photos, aspirational lifestyle images, or even just personal photos. They should all be high resolution images that can be cropped and used at different sizes. It's also important that your images feature uncluttered backgrounds and connect visitors to your site in a positive way.
UO Smart Beam Laser Project utilizes a strong selection of website images that showcase the product, along with engaging imagery and video showing the device in action. One of the elements that makes this image deck work so well is the lack of a defined background, so each photo can be used (and reused) in a number of different ways.

If you don't have your own image library, start building a deck from our set of stock photo options. If you want to create an image deck with your own photos, check out our guides on taking professional website photos and product photography.

​3. Use a Common Set of Effects

The design “tricks" that are displayed on your website will eventually become part of your visual brand association. From deep shadows and outlined typography to photos that are always displayed in black and white, these effects can showcase your unique identity.

These visual effects also include the way photos are framed or the types of imagery or typography in your digital materials.
Little Rosie & Me connects colors in the main brand logo to colors in many products and other visual brand elements. While shoppers can buy items in other colors, the showcased product imagery always matches the brand. The theme is carried to Instagram as well, where brand photos are clearly distinguishable.

​4. Match Text to Visuals

Words and visuals should convey the same message and emotion. It's a connection that sometimes gets forgotten in visual brand planning. Think of it as a message deck to go with your image deck.
Create a set of phrases or paragraphs that will be used consistently for the brand. VSTUDIO uses some of this language right on the homepage.

Your message deck should include:
  • Mission statement
  • Brand description for footers and press releases
  • Short description for social media
  • Main messaging for homepage 
  • Secondary messaging for other important pages (like about pages or blog sidebar) 
  • Call-to-action language
  • Tone and style so that messaging feels like it always comes from the same voice
Now think about your website and brand. What words and images come to mind? Use these concepts, and the tips above, as a way to start building your own visual brand.
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<![CDATA[Bring More Traffic to Your Site with January's Top Apps]]>Fri, 22 Jan 2016 01:28:23 GMThttp://www.weebly.com/blog/bring-more-traffic-to-your-siteNew year, new website goals. Driving more visitors to your site is probably one of the top goals on that list, and we have a variety of tools in the App Center that can help.

Let's take a look at this month's top 3 apps for bringing traffic to your website. 

Swell

Swell helps you build an engaged audience for your site. The app is designed to help you increase visitors, followers and revenue (for shop owners) with your own custom rewards program.

​Swell helps you get visitors to your site by linking social media, email marketing, and gamification strategy into a single easy-to-use package. Swell works by creating linked campaigns across channels — starting with a simple social media campaign followed up with an email. Then, visitors are encouraged to return to your website to collect rewards points.
Babies at the Barre uses Swell in a few interesting ways. The app is linked on the website with an “Earn Rewards" pop-up on each page. Swell's mobile app is also used to reward customers for coming into any of the company's four studios for classes. This check-in feature is one of the tools that makes Swell unique from other traffic generating platforms — it gives merchants the ability to reward customers at both brick-and-mortar locations as well as online.

Site Booster

Getting found by search engines is a big part of traffic growth for websites of all sizes. Site Booster lists and monitors your website in all of the major business directories and search engines, including Google, Yahoo and Bing. The app also helps users find your physical location (if you have one) by plotting it on online maps.

Using Site Booster starts with just a few pieces of key information: your business address, hours and phone number. The app does the rest, so you can sit back while users come to you!
For the Love Creations is using this app already to help generate leads and traffic. Google the business name to see listing information in the search results page with the company logo, map and physical address prominently displayed in the local information box on the right. 

Better Coupon Box

Nothing attracts customers like a great deal. Better Coupon Box helps you create high-value coupons and distribute them to the right visitors. The tool allows you to create a pop-up box with a discount for site users — creating a strong call to action that works on all devices.

A core feature of Better Coupon Box is its integration with social media. You can offer discounts or special codes to customers if they follow you on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. It's a win-win. You drive sales and increase your social media following.

The tool tracks user actions and can draw visitors in with a coupon offer if they're about to leave your site. It can also target special offers to new or existing customers. To keep your campaigns seamless, coupons also integrate with popular email marketing tools.
Dharma Yoga Wheel uses Better Coupon Box to engage users in multiple ways. First-time visitors are prompted to like the store's social media profiles with a landing pop-up box and all visitors are treated to a “get discount" box in the bottom corner of the screen, which also activates with a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram follow. And they're not alone. Retailers Black Out Bands and DingaDing Terrariums also use similar features to increase sales.

There are many more apps available in the App Center. Browse the site for apps and tools that best fit your website needs. If there's an app you'd like us to feature or add let us know in the comments! 
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<![CDATA[Inspiration from Academy of Art University]]>Wed, 20 Jan 2016 01:18:01 GMThttp://www.weebly.com/blog/inspiration-from-academy-of-art-university
At the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, students from the country's only fashion journalism program are shaping the future of their industry with a digital-first focus. We're proud to be a part of this movement as we partner with the Academy of Art to help these students create their own online portfolios, magazines, blogs and digital storefronts.
Graduate Justice McNeil uses Cento's black and white color scheme to give her site sharp, consistent branding. The minimalist theme emphasizes her polished imagery and typography, without getting in the way, letting Justice tell her story in her own words.  

Dairia Kymber, MA Fashion Journalism candidate and editor-in-chief of Idealist Mag combines high-end fashion photography with the Collective Journal theme to draw visitors into her digital content with a full width splash page that flows into a digestible blog style layout.

​For creative producer Marcello Pautasso, it’s all about highlighting his impressive library of work, which he executes with an eye-catching background GIF in a customized header on the Clean Lines theme. ​​​
It's important for these fashion journalism students to quickly update their content, and evolve the sites themselves as the industry they cover changes and grows. A similar attitude is useful for any website owner, the willingness to keep things fresh and unique as your personal brand, business or industry changes will help you stay successful. We look forward to seeing more creative sites from Academy of Art students in the future!
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<![CDATA[3 Landing Page Templates for Your Website]]>Fri, 15 Jan 2016 00:08:20 GMThttp://www.weebly.com/blog/landing-page-templates
Whether it's through social media, email marketing, or even offline word of mouth, just getting visitors to your website isn't enough. Showing your visitors what to do once they arrive is crucial. That's where landing pages come in.

Think of landing pages as road signs. A good landing page directs your visitors to take a specific action in order to produce a specific result. (Turn right to get on the highway; click here to sign up for our newsletter.)

A good landing page helps you better serve your visitors, and helps them complete positive actions on your site, like buying a product or joining your email list.

So how do you create a good landing page?

It all starts with a landing page template. A strong template gives you an easy way to start creating a landing page that's unique to your website. Here are three landing page templates to help you find your way.

Landing Page Template 1: Standard Page
Whether you're running a consultancy, art studio, eCommerce site, or personal portfolio, your landing page should make it easy for visitors to understand who you are and what you do. The more they know, the more likely it is that they'll want to interact with you. 

This standard landing page introduces a small consulting business. Notice that everything you need to know about the business is condensed into a single paragraph. Write the intro for your landing page as if you have five seconds to get your reader to take an action – in this case, the content directs visitors to send an email for consulting assistance.

Do It Yourself: To build your own version of this landing page, add a new Standard Page to your site and set the header type to Landing, then you can begin to edit the template content. Change the header to find the perfect hero image. Then, simply add a headline, text, button and image elements right below the header.

Pay close attention to the call to action button, make sure the text is aligned with the rest of the content to really drive engagement. Feel free to add more visuals like a media gallery or social feed in the body whitespace above the footer to round out your landing page.  ​

Landing Page Template 2: Blog Spotlight
A blog is a great way to establish your personal brand and unique voice. Showcasing your voice can help you stand out in a world crowded with competing sites. Use a landing page format to introduce your blog and increase engagement through newsletter or RSS feed sign ups. You will build an audience of interested readers who will keep coming back for more. 

Do It Yourself: To make this blog landing page template you'll need to create a Blog page with a Landing header. Use a theme like Impact for extra room to customize landing page elements before the blog begins. Try putting a "click here" button to invite sign ups for your reader lists and make sure to add an interesting author sidebar section as a secondary value proposition that will work in tandem with your lead landing page content. 

Landing Page Template 3: Storefront
A landing page template for your storefront can increase conversion rates and drive more sales from your online store.

A clever headline and lead-in paragraph make the pitch for your products along with a high-quality image. Use a strong call to action on the lead button. You don't want visitors to this landing page to "learn more" you want them ready to "buy now" with a link to your product. This landing page template uses the "buy now" button and links below each product to drive visitors to individual product pages. 

Do It Yourself: Create a store page with the Landing header type. Then add text and image elements above the product section. Next, customize your storefront with products (and strong product photos) to round out the storefront landing page. 

A Little Work Goes Along Way


Even though these pages are easy to build with just a few simple elements and layouts, they provide lots of value by tailoring your message to visitors entering your site for the first time. Once you create the initial versions, take a look at performance numbers like page traffic or store orders to understand how your landing pages perform. Share your own landing page templates with us along with any tips you have for creating great landing page experiences.  
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<![CDATA[6 Ways to Get More Sales on Your Website]]>Tue, 12 Jan 2016 19:27:45 GMThttp://www.weebly.com/blog/6-ways-to-get-more-sales-on-your-websiteOne of the biggest potential growth areas for your business – large or small – is in eCommerce. Did you know that the design and tools you use on your site can impact the bottom line? Not sure where to start? Don't worry. You'll be an eCommerce pro in no time with these six tips to help you drive more sales.

1. Drive Business with Coupon Codes

From free shipping to a percentage off the total sale to a fixed discount, a coupon code can help people come to your website for the first time, or return as a repeat customer. Coupon codes entice more visitors and can lead to more clicks and purchases.
Maximize the potential of the Business plan to create the perfect coupon code. You can send unique or limited quantity codes to specific customers or create a general use code, such as The Pretzel Princess, which often posts a coupon code for users right on its homepage.

Pro tip: For unique codes, you'll want to use a combination of letters and numbers that's easy to type but not too easy to randomly guess. Log into your store dashboard to set the parameters for your next coupon promotion.
2. Promote Products on Social Media, PPC and Email

Use social media, pay-per-click advertising and email marketing to create a buzz about your website and draw in shoppers.
Show off your best product shots on channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Use the same text and imagery in pay-per-click advertising and email campaigns so that you have more chances to interact with and engage shoppers. Note how Michi Leung's Cattitude shop includes social share icons for each product. Can't buy it now? Drop a hint.

Pro tip: Combine campaigns with a coupon code and you have the start of a powerful strategy. Getting started with a campaign couldn't be easier thanks to all the great apps and tool integrations available in the App Center.

3. Monitor Website Stats to Reach Customers

Do you know who your customers are? Do they know you?

Log into your Dashboard to keep an eye on potential shoppers in one place – weekly visitors, page views, form submissions, blog comments and store orders. Take that a step further with custom forms to stay in touch with visitors; each time a customer fills out a form – such as signing up for an email newsletter – you can get in touch right away.

Pro tip: Collect recent form submissions weekly and make contact with customers. Offer a unique coupon code or highlight a featured item.

4. Showcase Your Product Line

Shoppers want to see and experience products before buying. Showcase everything your shop has to offer with strong images and product descriptions. (You might even think about refreshing your design theme to better showcase new and existing products.)
Start with a great theme. It'll make a new design or visual refresh easy and can give your shop just the makeover it needs. A design update is especially appropriate for introducing new products or giving new life to popular items. Savages Biker Apparel uses a clean design and striking images to highlight each item below a branded hero image.

Pro tip: Use a theme with plenty of room for big visuals and space between elements. Try Unite or Haberdasher from the theme gallery.

5. Feature Product Videos and Testimonials

Shoppers love to know exactly what they are getting. Use videos and customer testimonials to show shoppers why they should buy from you.

The nice thing about either of these strategies is that they help to create a personal connection between your website and the user. Video and social media integration are popular and highly engaging tools that can help you tell that story – and sell more items. 

Pro tip: Use high definition video to have customers talk about and show your products, and keep clips to less than 30 seconds.

6. Keep Tight with Branding

Keeping your brand top-of-mind is critical. It starts with a logo that should appear on all pages of your website and throughout all communications so that every customer knows who you are. This includes using the same URL, logo, colors and product images everywhere you plan to advertise.

Buy a branded website domain, such as Ecosox.com. Then make sure every element of the website and other marketing campaigns use that same logo and branding, including your email address and social media campaigns. (Ecosox has the same logo with the same placement on every page of the website.)

Pro tip: An integrated shopping cart with checkout on your domain, which is available on the Business plan, helps customers feel good about their purchases with a professional look through the final steps. (And with a branded checkout, you don't have to worry about users abandoning their carts because they are worried they have stumbled onto another site.)

How have you used Weebly to boost your online sales? Share your tips with us in the comments!
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<![CDATA[How to Create a Custom 404 Page]]>Tue, 05 Jan 2016 17:44:48 GMThttp://www.weebly.com/blog/how-to-create-a-custom-404-pageSometimes pages go missing. It may not be the stuff of mystery novels, but it's a fact of life for any website. You change your site, remove a page, an old link turns up dead, or a user mistypes a URL. The end result, a potential new visitor gets left staring at what's called a “404" page. It's Internet lingo for lost.

Lots of websites like to spice things up with a custom 404 page, turning a mistake into a powerful moment of viral entertainment. Make an engaging 404 and you may even get featured on a website like this one.
A website is at its best, though, when visitor needs overlap perfectly with your site goals — when everyone gets what they want. A custom 404 page is no exception.

Here are a few guidelines before we get into the how-to:
  • Own the mistake. Have fun with your 404 page if you want (and if it makes sense for your brand), just remember that it's a means to an end. Never blame the visitor for the mistake, find a way to show them it's an error page without being negative. 
  • Guide them to other content. Show your website visitors how to find the stuff they probably wanted in the first place. Likely, it's information you want them to discover anyway, like your blog or online store.
  • Provide a way to get in touch. This way, visitors can report the issue if they want, but more importantly, they'll have a way to communicate with you directly. Even better, a personal response to a message like this builds trust. It shows you care enough to offer personal attention (and it's an easy way to build your contact list).

Creating a custom 404 page in Weebly is a lot like building any other page.

1. Create a new “Standard" page. Hit the Pages tab, then the + button, and choose “Standard.
2. Name it “404." A page named “404" is automatically used as the 404 page. As long as you name it 404, we'll take care of the rest. Make sure you check the "Hide in Navigation" box too. You don't need a custom 404 page in your site navigation.

​3. Add content.
 For this one, keep it simple. You want the links to other pages to be front and center. Don't inundate visitors with too much information — just get them back on track. You can customize the banner and other images if you'd like, but really, you could get away with just a simple list of links to other pages. If you sell products on your site, consider adding links to the most popular items. Besides helping users get oriented, you can help them discover things on your site that they didn't even know they wanted. When you create the new page, just click the “Choose Layout" button at the bottom of the screen to pick from a number of options.

4. Use custom buttons. You can promote engagement by using buttons instead of basic text links. Customizing these button labels can give users more confidence about what they'll see after they click. To do this, select the button with the label you want to change, choose “Button Text," then type in the new label.
And you're done!

Taking these few quick steps turns a mistake into an opportunity. Instead of leaving visitors stuck, you get to guide them directly to the best parts of your website. Have you created a custom 404 page that helped drive more traffic to your site? Share your custom 404 pages in the comments!
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<![CDATA[Celebrating a Remarkable 2015!]]>Mon, 28 Dec 2015 18:54:11 GMThttp://www.weebly.com/blog/celebrating-2015
From one of the biggest launches in Weebly history, to some truly inspiring stories and powerful journeys, 2015 has been a remarkable year. With a community that’s now built over 30 million sites and receives over 250 million unique visitors each month, it’s also been a year growth. Cyber Monday sales to your eCommerce sites grew 80% since last year and set a new record for Weebly store sales in a single day!
As good as 2015 has been, 2016 will be even better. We’re investing big in platform improvements, while adding some groundbreaking new features, including the launch of an official Weebly Community. Helping entrepreneurs like you build successful businesses and bring big ideas into the world truly inspires us, and the feedback we continue to receive from our community directly impacts product development as we work to build a platform that serves you better each year.

As we move into 2016, let’s take a moment to look back on the highlights from 2015:

  • Carbon - The next generation of Weebly. We reimagined the platform with a host of new features and updates. Carbon introduced the new App Center, Dashboard and Developer Center, along with updated Mobile Apps and a responsive theme overhaul including brand new themes Oasis, Paper and Slick. We also completed a full refresh of the Editor, with over 200 post-launch changes focused on upgrading performance and providing the best website building experience anywhere.  

  • New Domains - We launched 9 new domains to help you localize your website for different regions around the world (or set yourself up with multiple domains). We also officially launched Weebly in the UK, France and Germany!

  • Page Layouts - Goodbye blank pages. Page layouts made it easier than ever to create a site with predefined page frameworks that automatically populate blank pages with real site elements. These layouts provide both guidance and inspiration, making it easier than ever to create the perfect page.

  • SimpleChat - Real-time chat support from your phone. SimpleChat allows you to answer customer questions via text message. This powerful tool integrates directly with your online store and lets you connect with customers from anywhere.


  • IFTTT Integration - Plug your favorite services directly into your website, blog or online store. Connect Weebly with tools like Evernote, Dropbox and Google Drive to create your own customizable events and automated tasks.

  • Square Partnership - Square helps millions of businesses accept offline payments, and now you can now use Square to power online payments with direct integration into your online store. This partnership makes it easier than ever to connect offline and online payments to help your business grow.

What was your favorite addition in 2015 and what do you hope to see in 2016? We’re excited for the new year and we can’t wait to bring more exciting features and updates. Stay tuned!  
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<![CDATA[Theme Spotlight: Impact, Dusk and Birdseye]]>Thu, 03 Dec 2015 17:29:53 GMThttp://www.weebly.com/blog/theme-spotlight-impact-dusk-and-birdseyeAs a business owner, blogger or website builder, you want good-looking themes that show off your products or personal brand. You want usable designs that help your visitors quickly find what they need. You also want a website that works on every screen, from desktop to smartphone.

To help you get everything you need from a website theme, we've been updating our top themes to make them even more useful and attractive.

Today, we'll look at the latest versions of Impact, Dusk and Birdseye. We've made each one responsive, which means they'll automatically adapt to any screen-size, so you don't have to worry about readability issues for visitors or customers on mobile devices.

Impact

Besides the new responsive design, we've updated Impact's fonts, upgraded the color palettes, tightened up the layout and even overhauled the full width header to help bring your content to life. To top it off, the Store section is laid out on a grid for easy-to-scan product shots and improved information display. 
Marthe Mekuria uses Impact to share her art with the world in a way that's simultaneously accessible and sophisticated. The large banner image really sets the tone and brings her personality forward. Impact makes it easy for visitors to see her entire catalogue of work and purchase her pieces directly with a sharply designed shopping cart and smooth checkout experience. 

Make Impact your theme and impress visitors with a new site design. 

Dusk

Dusk delivers the design character necessary to make a big statement to your audience. The smartly-positioned site title highlights a strong homepage banner section built perfectly for your hero images

Dusk also received some font love and a new color palette, as well as a revamped header and an improved layout.

E-Z Eat chose Dusk to highlight its innovative product. Dusk helps the company tell its inspirational story with well designed slideshows and embedded video. 

Get started with Dusk today, it's easy to preview your content on Dusk (or any new theme) directly from the Theme Gallery. You can switch back and forth between themes without loosing your work.

Birdseye

Birdseye was first announced two years ago and has been a popular theme ever since. To provide the update it deserved, we took a close look at some key design elements. 

Birdseye combines Dusk's beauty with Impact's sense of urgency. Where Dusk draws the eye downward for navigation, which makes for a stunning opening shot, Birdseye keeps the site title and navigation at the top, providing an early focus on the navigation menu with a dramatic full width header image. 

The new version includes redesigned store categories, fade-in animation for headlines and a gorgeous splash page.

Readydesk uses Birdseye's strengths to create an impressive eCommerce experience. The site opens with a great photo, strong headline and clear call-to-action elements that let visitors understand and purchase products directly from the homepage.

Learn more about Birdseye and try it with your site. 

We hope you enjoy the updates to Impact, Dusk and Birdseye. With these refreshed themes, you can make a great first impression and keep your audience interested on every device. Share your thoughts about these themes in the comments!
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<![CDATA[Shopping and the Art of Desirability]]>Wed, 18 Nov 2015 23:51:32 GMThttp://www.weebly.com/blog/shopping-and-the-art-of-desirability
With holiday sales revving up earlier every year, you're probably wondering the same thing everyone else is: how can I take advantage of the season to sell even more of my products?

Even when you have a great product and a solid marketing campaign, it can be tough to compete during a time when the world's consumers are faced with more options, are under more stress to choose well, and have less time to pick out the best gifts. Quality will only get you so far, especially if you're at the helm of a lesser known brand selling lesser known products.

You need some extra tactics to help you stand out. Let's look look at some basic principles of persuasion and desirability that can make the products on your website look more appealing.
I'll Give In So You Do, Too

First up, the principle of concession, which basically is what happens when one person in a negotiation meets the other halfway.

A sales person, for example, might set a high price on an item at first, and then come down on it a bit in the interest of hooking the customer. The customer then feels like the salesperson has made a concession, which taps into the customer's sense of mutual obligation. The sales person reduces the price, in other words, and the customer's will power is reduced right along with it.
To apply this concession theory, create your own product markdown incentive in your online store. In the Editor, you can do this by editing your product details and entering a new, lowered price in the "Sale Price" field.

Hurry Up!

Next is the principle of exclusivity. This is the idea that people feel more attracted to a situation in which they are among the select few who get to experience it. A party invitation means more when you know the guest list is short. Membership in a group is more enticing when you know the group puts strict limits on who gets invited. Not everyone gets the special black credit card, so when you get pre-approved, odds are, you're going to jump in.

Disney used to execute on this idea to extreme success. Rather than offer up its entire catalogue of movies, it would release sale copies of each movie for just a short time once every seven years. If you ever went to a video store during one these sales periods, you know how much the demand for a movie had been driven up by this artificial sales constraint.

This limited release created a massive demand that kept the Disney name in every holiday sales conversation by every family in America.

You can do a similar thing on your site with the Business plan. Just pop over to the Coupons Editor and set up a coupon that lasts for a short time — one day, for example — and then place the promotion all over your website and any other marketing materials you have.
Someone Swears By This

Finally, try tapping into the principle of authority. Here's how it works:

When a product's reviewer is either an expert on a subject, well known for some other reason or is considered a trustworthy critic, everyone else in the world tends to trust the product more than one without a similar review. This is how Oprah drives her book-of-the-month picks to bestseller lists. She's in a position of influence, and a whole lot of people trust her opinion. The mere mention of a title she likes can mean millions of dollars for publishers. Likewise, a positive review from “Car and Driver" magazine can generate a great deal of revenue for automotive manufacturers.

On your own website, go to the "short description" field in the Products Editor and add a testimonial by someone well-known who has purchased one of your products and said something positive about it.

Of course, the hard part is getting someone well-known to say such a thing, but that's a different subject. You can also work to get testimonials from your best customers. Send an email or reach out on social to any customer that you’ve had a personal interaction with in the past and see if they’d be interested in supplying a short testimonial for your business.

What type of principles do you use to promote activity on your website? Share your tips and experience with us in the comments!
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