Category Archives: Alter Endeavors

Need Website Support? AE’s Hosting Plans May Just be the “Ticket”

website support

There are so many working parts to a website it won’t be long before it needs some help. Perhaps the content is dated, or in your images, you have that funky old haircut. Exactly what were you thinking? Or even worse, text is floating in the left margin, one of your menu items returns a 404 and your contact form notifies aliens when completed because no one you know gets an email. And then everyone’s favorite. “What on earth is my password?”

Looking at the website support landscape we knew it was difficult for small, independent organizations to get friendly, timely and helpful support for anything ranging from DNS problems to new pages to bad punctuation. Countless clients have complained to us that their last developer is out of business or won’t respond in a helpful way. Perhaps their site is hosted at one of those companies that spend too much money on questionable super bowl commercials to have excellent, timely and friendly support. Dealing with big companies, especially when there may be more than one involved, can be so frustrating and unproductive.

We listened. Alter Endeavors has combined flexible hosting and web management options with a helpful, responsive and easy to use support ticketing system where you can get help with your website issues no matter how big or small.

Alter Endeavors offers three options to help manage your website. Two are ongoing plans and a third option provides help only when you want it.

Basic Website Hosting Plan (Ongoing)

This plan is best for individuals and small companies that have websites that are important to them, but require only occasional, less complicated updates. It provides safe, secure and best-in-class hosting. We lease and manage our servers from Media Temple and we take care of support issues through them for you.

The plan is priced at $35 per month or $348 yearly. If you should need it, the opportunity to use our ticket support system at our standard rate of $125 is also available.

The base price on this plan covers standard backups and maintenance as it relates to basic hosting (keeping your site up!) It does not cover items or issues that may break or become outdated within your website or happen outside of our control such as problems at your registrar. For that, you will need to use our ticket system and pay the $125 per hour.

Deluxe Website Management Plan (Ongoing)

For those of you that place super importance on keeping your website in tip-top operating shape and have the need to update it fairly often, we offer our deluxe website management option.

It includes so many benefits and I don’t like super long paragraphs, I’ll include a bulleted list!

  • Everything included in the basic plan mentioned before, plus:
  • Monthly Site Backups
  • Hacking Protocols – In the very unlikely event your site goes down from hacking or a code update glitch, Alter Endeavors will recover the last working version of your site from our site backups (no more than 30 days old) to be sure you have a working site. We will then dive into the issue to determine the root issue and resolve it at no additional cost to you.
  • Necessary WordPress theme and plugin updates for security and stability
  • Quality Assurance checks after updates to be sure nothing on your site broke after an update
  • 1 hour of support to be used however you wish (towards design, content, coding, training, etc.) – Can build up to 3 support hours in reserve at a time (if you don’t use an hour one month, it will roll over to the next month with a max of 3 hours in reserve at a time). Our response time on support tickets for this service is within 8 business hours.
  • A reduced hourly rate of $100/hour (instead of our agency $125/hour) for additional support time during normal business hours – (9AM-6PM CST Mon – Fri)
  • A reduced emergency hourly rate – $175/hour (instead of $250/hour) for any immediate support time needed outside of our normal business hours
    Whew! That’s a lot for only $200 per month, so if keeping your website up and available, updated and looking good is important, this is the program for you.

Ticket Website Support Only (Hourly rate)

If these plans are not quite what you’re looking for, consider registering with us for hourly support. You can do this by sending an email to steve@alterendeavors.com and we’ll put you down as a person that is entitled to our excellent support system at our standard hourly rate of $125/hour.

You can read more about the details of our hosting plans at this link Website Support and Hosting.

Meet Christopher Jennings!

Christopher Jennings

Every once in awhile, we like to shake it up at Alter Endeavors and spotlight one of our incredible people and their accomplishments. It’s past time for us to brag on Christopher Jennings.

Christopher Jennings aka “Topher,” the Director of Website Operations at Alter Endeavors, just got back from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) National Conference in Los Angeles. That’s right, besides running the most complicated department at Alter Endeavors, Christopher S. Jennings is a man of many talents.

Christopher has worked at AE for a little over 3 years now and was our very first hire after Nick and Jamie (the owners). So, it should go without saying that Christopher means a lot to us —he’s like family. Not only does he head up the department of Web Operations at AE, but he’s also an illustrator and author for children’s publications. Like we said earlier, superbly talented.

Topher has illustrated dozens of published works for children (and he has even written a few of them too). Though he’s obviously extremely talented, he’s also incredibly versatile. He’s worked in publishing, gaming, editorial, advertising, entertainment, animation, commercial, apparel, apps and even drawn greeting cards for American Greetings. (Phew. What a list!)

It’s Topher’s focus on children’s books, and why they are important to him, that makes him extra incredible in our humble opinion. As a kid, reading didn’t come easy. His mother read him picture books to ease him into it. Picture books allowed him to learn to read while making sure not to discourage or dissuade him in the arduous process of learning how letters formed words. Huge props to Christopher’s mother, who says she still has Green Eggs and Ham memorized from all of those repeated readings. Although picture books helped Christopher read, their visuals also fostered Christopher’s love for the fun (but important) things, the light-hearted things, and how to visually interpret those things.

Christopher is the author of Hello, Texas! as well as the author and illustrator of the picture book Animal Band, both published by Sterling Publishing. He has drawn for published works for such companies as Penguin Group Books, Scholastic and Stone Arch Books (to name a few.) Christopher was chosen as the featured illustrator for SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) in September 2015. That year he was selected from volunteers around the country and given a grant—SCBWI flew Christopher up to New York, all expenses paid, for the annual conference. In October of 2016 Christopher took the reins as illustrator coordinator for the Austin chapter.

When asked what his favorite part of the creative process is, Christopher replied that “he loves the revision process.” Not only does this make him an exceptionally talented artist, this is why Alter Endeavors has built so many impressive websites over the past few years for some really important folks. What’s more, people love working with Christopher. He is kind, patient, understanding, experienced, and forward-thinking.

Not many super creative folks are able to be even half as organized and focused as Christopher, which has a lot to do with why he was made animation lead for the film A Scanner Darkly and why so many folks choose to work with Alter Endeavors. We are proud and thankful to have Topher as part of the Alter Endeavors core family. If you want to check out his awesome work, click here.

 

4 Tips for Recent College Grads

In March I submitted my resume to Alter Endeavors.  As a senior business major with a focus in marketing, I was looking for an entry level job in those fields. After the long process of applying for jobs and going to interviews, I accepted the Social Media Intern position here at Alter Endeavors.
Trust me, I know those last months before graduation can start to get stressful if you haven’t found a job, a place to live, etc. It can be terrifying not knowing what’s on the horizon, what to expect in interviews or where you’ll be living a year from now. We spend the first 20 years or so of our lives in a structured school system and then suddenly we are adults with jobs.
In my last few months before graduation and my first few months after, I’ve learned a few things I wish someone would’ve told me.

 

Here are 4 tips for recent college grads:

1. Ask questions

Throughout the interview process, it can be tricky learning about a company or the potential job you’re applying for. While it is important to learn as much about the company and their culture before your interview, sometimes you might not be able to find the answers to your questions on their website. This is where you need to be sure to speak up and not be afraid to ask questions. If you are well-prepared and knowledgeable about the company, they will be impressed with your questions. A company wants to see your interest in them as well as your drive to learn more about the company. Not only will you go home with a better idea of the job you are applying for, the interviewer will see you take initiative in learning about them and appreciate the effort you put into the process.

2. Be yourself

It can be hard going into an interview and feeling like you need to talk yourself up as much as possible. To a certain degree, you need to promote yourself, but don’t create a whole new persona. While commenting on your accomplishments is important and necessary in the interview process, it is also important that you get to know the company culture as well as the potential employer. At the end of the day, if you tell the interviewer you’re relaxed because their company is relaxed, but you prefer a well-structured day, then you’ll end up getting frustrated with your company. You need to find a company that fits best with you and vice versa, or someone will end up being unhappy with the relationship. So, be honest with yourself and your interviewer, and you will be more likely to find a great match for you.

3. Never stop learning

I know some of you don’t want to hear this. You’re thinking, “Are you serious? I just got out of school, I thought I was done!” But, constantly learning and looking for new information and ideas is important. For my job as a Social Media Intern at Alter Endeavors, keeping up with new practices and trends can make or break your success in marketing for a company. Online marketing is still relatively new, and it changes day by day. My boss is always sending us articles about new trends and the best social media strategies and practices so that we can stay on top of what is going on in the industry and change with it. Adapting to your industry is necessary, and the companies unwilling to do this tend to die out with the old practices.

4. Don’t be afraid to change

Lastly, we all know change can be hard. You get comfortable, and the idea of changing can be daunting. It may seem like too much work or too far out of your box, but sometimes that’s how the best ideas are thought of or created.  Working for a small company, I have learned that being able to adjust and wear many different hats is a necessity. While larger companies may have you specialize in one area, being open to change and being adaptable can benefit you when they may be trying to fill a more senior position. Over my years of playing soccer, I had multiple coaches tell me that for them, the best player isn’t the one with the most skill but the one who is coachable and willing to try new things. This ability to be innovative and unafraid of change can be the difference in your company’s long-term success.

If you work hard, ask questions, be yourself, keep learning, and adapt you’ll be okay.  Keep these tips in mind, save yourself the trouble of applying for jobs that aren’t a good fit for you and make a good impression on the jobs that are. For us recent college grads, after-college life can seem intimidating, but we’re more ready than we know.

Three Benefits of a Diverse Portfolio

diverse portfolio

Many agencies will specialize in one particular industry or type of client. If you peruse our portfolio, you will see that our clients range from local businesses and brands to doctors, financial firms, authors, speakers, thought leaders, lawyers, resorts, apartment complexes, commercial real estate and more.  The benefit of specializing in a particular industry or vertical means that an agency will become highly proficient at representing a specific type of client or industry online.  Alter Endeavors has taken a different approach.  Website design, development, and online marketing are all extremely dynamic.  Instead of positioning ourselves as experts, we prefer to be known as life-long learners.  There is no way to master something that is constantly changing, alternatively, we place our focus on research and ethically following best practices for sustainable growth that can adapt with variable platforms and burgeoning client needs.  Our diverse portfolio enables us to experiment and apply effective strategies across various fields.  Specializing may be easier, but we are more concerned with what is best, not what is easiest.

Three ways our diverse portfolio benefits us and our clients:

Relationship-Based

The clients of agencies that specialize all have something in common—they are involved in the same industry or vertical.  Our clients all have something in common too—they all have a relationship with Alter Endeavors.  The best way to get new clients is to keep the ones you have and grow through their word-of-mouth recommendations to others.  We don’t want to build your website and disappear, we want to build a relationship with you and retain you as an ongoing client. Building trust online is a strategy we use for our clients and ourselves. You can’t fabricate integrity, but you can build trust online by implementing a well-rounded digital marketing strategy and continuing to meet the needs of a growing brand.

Best Practices

It may be easy to spot all the differences between our diverse clients, one is a moving company another is an expert on introverts.  The real strategy is isolating what successful brands in various industries have in common. We are able to identify best practices that transcend specific verticals and help our clients thrive.  Clear calls to action on a web page and a design that directs visitors to take the desired action are one strategy that can be applied to almost any client.

Compare and Adapt

A huge element of an online presence involves experimentation. Everything from a social media strategy to Facebook ads requires patience and a willingness to try something new.  When we work with clients from diverse industries, our experimentation powers are magnified because we are able to compare what is working in one field and apply it to another.  As life-long learners, we are prepared to be surprised by what we can learn from the success of our smaller clients and adapt that for our larger clients and vice versa.  A diverse portfolio provides us with the opportunity to compare and adapt.

The next thing we want to learn: how we can help your unique brand grow!

So, You’ve Been Burned By Your Digital Marketing Agency…

burned by your digital marketing agency

A number of our clients come to us with burn scars—battle wounds from working with a digital marketing agency who either could not or would not live up to what they promised to deliver.  Sometimes an agency is overwhelmed, does not understand the client’s brand, needs, or the agency is simply dishonest. Regardless, at the end of the day, your brand may be suffering from serious burn scars.

Having a negative experience with a digital marketing agency can carry some advantages. Ultimately, the experience makes you wiser and more knowledgeable about what to do and what to avoid when you start shopping around for a new agency.  That being said, how can you make sure you are signing a contract with an ethical and competent agency; one that will deliver a product built on best practices while understanding your brand and helping it grow the right way? The answer? You need to do some homework before signing on the dotted line. Dig deeper to discern the true nature of an agency before contracting with them.  Here are a few things to consider before choosing a digital marketing agency.

Ask Others

Asking others about reputable agencies can go both waysask for recommendations and references. Query colleagues, business partners or other brand owners in your industry about which web agencies they used.  You will probably get recommendations for companies you should contact and some companies you shouldn’t. Once you contact a digital marketing agency, don’t be afraid to ask for references of recognizable (i.e. easy to find online and well-established) brands they represent. You wouldn’t hire a babysitter without doing some background work, why would you trust your website or online presence to just anyone?

Is The Price Too Good To Be True?

If you have a few proposals from different agencies in front of you (which you should), and pricing between them is radically different, you need to seriously be asking WHY. 

Typically, pricing variations within a digital marketing agency are based on four things: team, technology, process and expertise. Someone that comes in really cheap may be relying on some kind of automation service and/or outsourced contractors to produce and disseminate content and/or build platforms. This may be totally fine in certain cases with certain companies, but diligently assess the quality and customization of their work for other clients.

Outsourcing, if very well managed, can be totally great; however, experience has taught us over here at Alter Endeavors to keep all of our services US-based simply due to communication and timelines. It makes us a little more expensive, but we are also able to control the outcome of services rendered much more closely, quickly and efficiently. This may change for Alter Endeavors if we ever come across an outsourcing resource that we feel meets our needs.

Technology can also mean automation. Some automation, especially when it comes to analytics and goal tracking is great. For example, we created Catch Engine to help automate some aspects of lead generation or review acquisitions, but not everything. If any agency says they can have you simply fill out a survey and then put you into their system for insta-automated-magic success, run away as fast as you can. Things need to adapt and change constantly, and artificial intelligence isn’t far enough along (yet) to replace the human element in this process.

Speaking of process, ask about it. Cheap pricing can possibly mean an agency is new or inexperienced or dishonest enough to simply ignore the need for a process to discover and help achieve brand goals online and off within a promised time frame.

Lack of experience or expertise may also be a reason for cheap pricing. The agency may be hungry and is willing to work for peanuts in order to build experience and their portfolio. It may be that an agency, although inexperienced, could be able to quickly adapt and grow into an effective marketing machine for your brand, just be careful that their inexperience does not cost you time, money or reputation.

On the flip side, seriously question higher-priced agencies. Just because they are the most expensive does not mean they are the best either. Ask the same questions above and vet them further with the following techniques as well.

Have More Than One Conversation

Just like if you were buying a car or a house, don’t be pressured into doing something you are not ready to commit to.  For many small to medium-sized businesses, the budget required to create a website or maintain a social presence is not insignificant.  Before entrusting any agency with your funds, interview them more than once.  You want to make sure that the digital agency is a good fit for your brand.  Be honest with the agency about your needs and timeline and a reasonable agency will do their best to give you a good idea of what they can accomplish and how they can meet your needs. Good agencies will tell you upfront when they are not a good fit for your brand, but will then suggest someone they think might be—something we do over here at Alter Endeavors more often than folks expect. 

Ask About the Team

If you have met with a representative of a digital marketing agency in person, more than likely, your first point of contact will be someone working in sales.  As the conversation progresses further, don’t be afraid to ask to speak directly with someone you will be working with.  The process of building a website is very intimate—you will be entrusting this agency with passwords, your email and more.  Ask to be put in touch with your potential point of contact.  A good relationship with your point of contact is necessary, especially if you might be signing up for an ongoing social engagement. You will be corresponding with your account manager on a monthly basis or more.

Know Your Goals

Sometimes a less than satisfactory website or failed social campaign isn’t the result of an incompetent agency, but a premature or undeveloped business idea.  In order for an agency to execute a solid product, you need to enter knowing your goals and your business. A deadline, eager business owner or half-baked plan can lead to a hastily put together website or social media presence that doesn’t truly represent the brand or achieve the desired goals. Put the time and thought into developing your business, sales funnel and calls to action first.  If you don’t have all the details ironed out, it’s not a deal breaker.  You may need to build extra time into your website building or social media planning process so that your agency can assist with your overall branding strategy.

No agency is perfect, including Alter Endeavors, but great agencies know this. Great agencies have systems in place to deal with infrequent mess-ups and failures. They are also constantly proving that their successes far outweigh the occasional, inconsequential blunder. There is definitely a difference between an agency who can help your brand thrive online and an agency who cannot —maybe even hurt it. Want to start a conversation with Alter Endeavors about your online presence?  You can ask us ALL the questions (we don’t mind).  Our goal is to build a powerful and sustainable online presence that will help you grow your brand!

A Visit from St. Nick (Alter)

a-visit-from-st-nick-alter

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house
Not a person was stirring, not even Papa’s mouse.

Instead he surfed the web on his phone with care,
After finding the wish lists- based on Facebook shares.

The children were snuggled all in their beds,
While visions of checkout carts danced in their heads.

Thank goodness for E-commerce, Mama exclaimed.
We can buy our favorite goods, in Austin, from Maine.

The website was clean, and the design so slick,
Papa knew in a moment, it was built by St. Nick (Alter).

St. Nick even did maintenance so the site wouldn’t crash,
the week before Christmas to make businesses cash.

Social media, blogging and SEO,
His team of experts knew the way to go.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

“Now Teylor, now Rachel, now Amber, now Aubrey.
On Topher, on Christie, on David, on Jamie.”

How did Papa find this site you might ask?
Page 1 on Google, and targeted ads.

He had only just clicked, but he knew what to do.
There were CTAs a plenty to guide him through.

And then in a twinkling, Papa loaded the next page
when suddenly his phone died, his head filled with rage.

So he grabbed his iPad to pull up the site.
It was CSS responsive, so design fit just right.

When Papa was done he checked out and paid,
After reading their blog and “liking” their page.

And finally he thought, after closing the site:
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night”

4 Reasons to Invest in a New Website Before January 1st

Invest in a new website

Ready for a new website right away? Let’s go! 

Whether you ramp up or ramp down your business during the holiday season, it still means the end of the year for any business. With only weeks left in the year, every entrepreneur is looking at how they can prep for next year while trying to see what they can write-off before the end of this one. So do yourself a favor and plant at least one seed at the end of this year that could help grow your business by leaps and bounds before or by this time next year. Invest in a new website before January 1st!

Reserve a Spot For a New Website

If a new website is on the horizon for your company in 2017, signing a contract before the end of the year has the additional benefit of also being a tax write-off!  Even if you don’t intend to begin the process of creating a new website on January 1st, we are providing the option to reserve a spot for your brand’s website in 2017. 

No Rushing

As is often the case with most things, people tend to put off important tasks that need to be completed by a specific deadline. We don’t recommend rushing the process of creating, designing and developing a website. By planning ahead, you will save yourself the additional cost of having to pay for the project to be expedited.

Take Action While Competitors Don’t

Gear your brand up for a successful 2017 by getting ahead of competitors who are shutting down while you are moving forward.  You don’t need to have all the details figured out, but you will rest easy knowing that you have a solid website design and development plan in place.

Your Website is Tax Deductible

Yes, you heard that right.  Your website is considered a business expense for your taxes.  While the IRS has not outlined specific website deductions, a website is treated like software when it comes to taxes.  When you purchase a website from a third party (like Alter Endeavors), we assume responsibility for the website’s functionality and the costs are treated like software costs and amortized (spread out) over 3 years.  If the total cost of the website is less than $25,000, you can expense 100% of the cost in the year it was paid.  Even if you decide to amortize, you will still see a tax benefit in 2016!  These guys do a job of explaining if you want more info.

Still Not Convinced?

If you have more questions about why you might need a new website or why you should work with Alter Endeavors. We can help make quick work of your research. If you’re in need of more information about the benefits of having an interactive and responsive website or why Alter Endeavors is the right team for the job, here are other convincing points. 

Why do I need a website? 

How much does a website cost?  And other questions answered.

Why should I work with Alter Endeavors? 

Plunge into 2017 with a powerful new website by signing a contract with Alter Endeavors before January 1st!  Begin your transformative digital journey here.

Viral Marketing – Is It a Myth?

viral marketing

Is viral marketing a myth? One of my favorite requests from potential clients is, “I want to go viral.” or “I want my brand/company to go viral.” When a prospect demands virality (not to be confused with virility), it opens an opportunity for Alter Endeavors to educate and guide a client towards real digital marketing success, defined by target audiences, conversion goals, and user flow. Viral content has very little control over how it spreads and who it spreads to, thus the name. Going viral can be great, don’t get me wrong, but popularity for popularity’s sake does not offer guaranteed exposure to ideal clients…nor does it necessarily help a brand achieve their financial or networking goals. Instead, what about a rock solid marketing framework with creative, engaging content, reached goals, social engagements and conversion numbers?

First, let’s define what “viral” means. When a YouTube video goes viral, for example, it is being shared organically and indiscriminately and freely, like an infection (hence the name…) Content, whether a gif or video or image or story, goes viral because it fulfills some kind of entertainment value. So, when you bring your brand to Alter Endeavors and say, “I want to go viral,” are you really trying to tell us that you want to lose control of your marketing and branding to the masses for 5 seconds of entertainment? Probably not. I think what you mean to say is, “I want to maximize my brand’s exposure to my intended audiences, driving as many people to my defined calls to action as possible and reaching my marketing and sales goal with the budget I have laid out for these efforts.” If this is what you meant to say, then Alter Endeavors is a great fit for you and your digital marketing efforts. Look at companies like Dollar Shave Club and Squatty Potty. Their unprecedented successes were textbook situations of preparation meeting opportunity, which some folks may interpret as “lucky” and others misinterpret as “viral”. Now, the questions is, how do we help?

You are the expert of your business. We provide a digital marketing framework with a a creative edge that will give your message legs online in the most successful way possible. We thrive at helping businesses manage their online presence long-term through continuing our internal education and adapting to change across all relevant digital platforms. By tuning into webinars, reading industry articles, researching new ways to run Facebook ads or participating in other professional development activities like attending Social Media Success Summit (which I am currently attending), our digital marketing efforts on behalf our clients find the greatest success possible with the intended audience. Simultaneously, we think of new and creative ways to help brands engage with a greater scope of their target audiences by engaging with them through new, creative content.

That being said, don’t go floating off into the stratosphere thinking Alter Endeavors is going to make your business an overnight success. Rarely does a company, especially one struggling to stay afloat, experience instant gratification from our digital marketing efforts. Our primary goal is longevity for your brand, helping to establish your business as a trusted and vested member of your community. Whether your community is the physical area surrounding your business, a defined digital audience, or both, the best way to grow a business is through word-of-mouth. Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report finds that 92 percent of consumers say they trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising. A flashy video or the best ad copy isn’t going to help you grow sustainably, building a relationship with customers and having those customers share their experiences with others over and over again will. So, how can you build credibility online?

Through maintaining a consistent social presence, you can remain top-of-mind with current and potential clients, build relationships, solicit reviews, address customers who had a less than stellar experience, feature fan-generated content, thank fans for engaging with your brand, send Catch Engine surveys to drive positive online reviews (and manage bad customer experiences), gather data and intelligence on your topic area, and more.  The strategy we recommend for your business will be tailored to your industry, community and needs.

Our ideal client, those we have the most success with, are other salt of the Earth folks who pursue their brand with passion and integrity.  Join us in growing your brand in a sustainable and ethical way.  Want to get started, contact us!

Why You Should Be a Hold’Em for Heroes Sponsor!

Heroes for Children

How do you feel about kids with cancer?

Our answer: Love the kids, hate the cancer. 

Howdy, howdy! We are actively looking for sponsors to join us in supporting the Austin Hold’Em for Heroes 2016 poker tournament! If not you personally, rope in your company or a friend. We are looking to have at least 250 folks participate in the event this year.

Alter Endeavors supports this event and this organization because of the DIRECT impact they have on families fighting for their children’s lives. For the past 3 years Alter Endeavors has been involved, this poker tournament has succeeded in directly helping dozens, if not hundreds, of families in huge ways by simply helping them cover things like mortgage payments, plane tickets to cancer treatments, paying bills, etc.  Heroes for Children is a unique organization because there is no other organization that provides such versatility in restoring normalcy and brining comfort through each family’s journey.  Other charities that provide assistance whether financial or otherwise come with more stipulations in how funds are allocated. Heroes for Children provides funds that families can use to take care of their greatest needs.  

What’s more? The people we are helping could easily be any of us. Cancer has a crippling effect on families in so many ways—emotionally, physically and financially. We believe in this program so strongly because nearly every penny donated goes to help those in need, and we have met folks who have directly benefitted from this organization. Not only do we donate every year, we now serve on the committee for this event because we believe so strongly in this cause. 

The 6th Annual Hold’Em for Heroes poker tournament will take place on Wednesday, November 2nd at 6:30pm at the Austin Club.  The event is run by professional dealers.  Re-donations (buy-ins) are available.  The ten winners have the opportunity to choose between a variety of awesome prizes.  Read more about the different sponsorship levels here.

Becoming a sponsor will enable you to benefit an extremely worthy cause while also giving your business great publicity.  Through becoming a sponsor you will also have the opportunity to network with other philanthropic-minded business owners and sponsors.  You will be able to invite employees or clients to enjoy an evening of poker, fun, giving back and the chance to win prizes sponsored by brands like Kendra Scott and Yeti.

Even if you don’t like poker, consider donating, get your company involved or share with someone who might be interested. We are in serious need of a couple more of the larger sponsors. The sooner we can get commitment from sponsors the better off we will be, so please don’t delay your decision. It’s an incredible night, and it has a huge, direct impact on our local community.  

Where Are We Going?—Mobile Friendly Websites

mobile friendly websites

In January, Apple’s iPhone will celebrate its 10th birthday. At the time, the idea that one could surf the web and be on the cell phone at the same time was not only revolutionary, but seen as unnecessary. Previous “mobile web” experiences were incomplete, information based, and lacked the design and branding elements now crucial to a mobile website. The idea that mobile friendly websites would now just be a series of listed out links seems prehistoric—yet this was the reality less than 15 years ago.

Back to the present, as consumers, we use the internet daily. The average adult spends over 20 hours a week on the internet. With the prevalence of smart phones, this number will only grow. According to a Morgan Stanley study, the number of global users who accessed the internet via a mobile device was larger than the number of desktop users. Where does this tie back in to business applicable? 65% of new visitors to your website this month will be accessing your site through a mobile device, including tablets. The mobile revolution has begun online. Is your business ready for those potential customers? If you were to access your website through your phone as a customer, would you feel comfortable spending money with your company?

Oh yes, and there is also a major SEO component to being mobile responsive. Mobile responsive encompasses a webpage being CSS responsive, having quick load times and low data overhead. These are all major factors in Google’s search algorithm. As of April 2015, Google prioritized mobile friendly sites in their rankings and boosted those sites in their rankings. Also known as “Mobilegeddon”, the most drastic difference in the algorithm was felt in mobile search. If your website is not mobile friendly, it is very likely you don’t rank in mobile search at all.

What does CSS responsive mean? Based upon the browser window size, the structure of a webpage changes. In practice, the structure will change for iPhones, Tablets and Desktop. A site can be CSS responsive but not mobile friendly at all. However, a mobile friendly site must be CSS responsive. How is this possible? Again, mobile friendly includes CSS responsiveness, quick load times and low data overhead. If a site is CSS but takes forever to load, the site is not mobile friendly at all. Quicker load times are essential because on average you have 3 seconds before a mobile user will leave your site. If a site takes a minute to load, you obviously just lost 33% of the time a customer will spend on your site (ultimately meaning less conversions). Low data overhead simply means that a user will not use a significant amount of data to load the page.

If you’re not sure if your site is mobile friendly, click here.

At Alter Endeavors, we build well branded and mobile friendly websites. Our team of designers and developers have mobile specific experience that can help your business be ready for the future of the internet—which is in the palm of our hands.