Firefox Quantum vs. Google Chrome

Firefox Quantum vs. Google Chrome

Which browser is faster?

Firefox Quantum is here.

Firefox’s new web browser is the most interesting thing to happen in the browsing space in a long time, and, yes, it will let you run all the tabs you want. But there’s one obstacle standing in Firefox’s way to greatness, and that’s Google’s browsing behemoth, Chrome.

Since its debut in 2008, Chrome has cemented itself as the web browser of choice for anyone who knows better than to use the default — a title that used to belong to Firefox. Over time, thanks to its speed and lack of bloat, Chrome made Firefox irrelevant.

Quantum aims to turn back the tide, partly by hitting Chrome where it hurts: speed. Firefox claims Quantum loads some popular websites twice as fast.

Each web browser was tested using default settings with no extensions or add-ons. Neither browser was enabled with an ad blocker or any functionality that didn’t come with the original download. Browsing history, cache, and cookies were cleared beforehand. Each test was performed three times.

Ares-6 test

Ares-6 measures how quickly a browser can run new Javascript functions, including a number of mathematical functions. You can read the nitty-gritty details here.

Better browsers get lower scores.

Firefox Quantum vs Google Chrome Trial
Firefox Quantum vs Google Chrome Ares-6

As you can see, when it comes to the speed of complex Javascript functions, Chrome absolutely destroys Firefox.

Winner: Google Chrome

JetStream

JetStream 1.1 tests a browser’s ability to run advanced web applications. It measures a number of tasks, including 3D cube rotation, integer math, and library parsing. You can see the full list here.

Better browsers get higher scores.

Firefox Quantum vs Google Chrome Trial
Firefox Quantum vs Google Chrome JetStream

This time, Firefox comes out on top, but not by much. This means it’s, according to JetStream, slightly better suited for “advanced workloads and programming techniques.”

Winner: Firefox Quantum

Speedometer

Speedometer simulates user actions on web applications (specifically, adding items to a to-do list) and measures the time they take. Check it out for yourself here.

Better browsers get higher scores.

Firefox Quantum vs Google Chrome Trial
Firefox Quantum vs Google Chrome Speedometer

When it comes to user interactions in web applications, Chrome takes the day.

Winner: Google Chrome

Chrome is still the boss

Unfortunately for Mozilla, Chrome looks like it’s keeping the top spot, at least for now. The only test that favors Quantum is JetStream, and that’s by a hair. And in Ares-6, Quantum gets eviscerated.

In reality, however, Quantum is no slug. It’s a capable, fast, and gorgeous browser with innovative bookmark functionality and a library full of creative add-ons. As Mozilla’s developers fine-tune Quantum in the coming months, it’s possible it could catch up to Chrome.

In the meantime, the differences in page-load time are slight at best; you probably won’t notice the difference.

Tips for Awesome Website Content

Tips for Awesome Website Content

Compelling and Informative

Many companies miss the point of having a website. Too often a grand marketing vision gets in the way of presenting useful information. The copy must be written with your customer in mind.

Here’s how many websites are developed. The decision-makers gather around the conference table and begin brainstorming. “Our website should include our mission statement so visitors know what guides us,” says one executive.

“It should look and sound professional, so let’s use stock photos and have Mary write the copy because she was an English major in college,” says another.

“We should have a page with all our products. But let’s not put too many details or prices because we want visitors to have to contact us,” says a third.

Someone from the sales department adds, “On the Contact Us page, let’s use a form with lots of questions that will help us make a sale. Have visitors tell us their budget and how soon they intend to make a purchase. And let’s be sure to get their full name, mailing address and phone number so we can have a salesperson pursue them.”

Are you cringing as you read these website suggestions? If not, you should be. They’re off-base and sure to alienate visitors.

The Visitor Must Come First

While all these ideas have merit for the company, they don’t make much sense for visitors. And that’s a big mistake. If you don’t put your visitors first, your website won’t be effective. Bottom line, it’s not about you!

The best websites are customer-centric. They’re designed to provide the information visitors seek and to present it in an interesting, organized fashion. They let the customer see the real you, which then builds trust.

They make it easy for visitors to complete whatever action they have in mind, whether it’s to buy a product, subscribe to a newsletter, or contact you for more details.

Your visitors don’t want cute or clever. They won’t take the time to decipher your meaning. They simply want to know how you’re going to solve their problem. Or, put another way, what are you selling and why is it right for me NOW?

Here are 15 tried and proven tips to help make your website successful:

  1. Start with a clear navigation.
    Organize your pages into logically-named categories and use standard terms on your menu. Visitors don’t want to guess where to go. They don’t want to analyze what you mean. And they don’t have the patience to embark on a scavenger hunt for facts.
  2. Use conversational English.
    Despite what your high school English teacher may have thought, nobody wants to read text that sounds like a term paper. Yawn. Write copy as though you’re speaking directly to the visitor. Use second person like “you” and “we.” Contractions are fine. And a friendly, informal tone is better than stiff, corporate-speak.
  3. Avoid industry jargon.
    Don’t use words or phrases that your visitors may not recognize. Use familiar terminology.
  4. Provide all the relevant information.
    When people search the web, they’re seeking answers. If your site doesn’t provide the facts, the visitor will move on to the next one in the search results. Don’t be afraid of sharing too much, and that includes prices. Studies show information-rich websites are the most effective in converting visitors into serious prospects.
  5. Leave out the hype.
    Visitors don’t want spin. They expect honesty and transparency. They crave facts so they can make an educated decision. Place all your cards on the table and let visitors draw their own conclusions.
  6. Make your home page a to-the-point summary.
    Since your home page is the most common entrance to your website, it should describe how customers will benefit from your content, products, or services. If visitors can’t quickly figure out what’s in it for them, they’ll click that back button. Poof, gone!
  7. Create unique landing pages for specific topics.
    While you might want everyone to come through the front door, the home page of your website, that might not be the best strategy. A more targeted approach is to create landing pages that speak to specific subjects. If someone is looking for information on say your product’s military application, he should land on your page that is dedicated to that subject. Landing pages convert at a higher rate than do home pages.
  8. Let pictures help tell your story.
    Stock photos are pretty, but do they tell visitors about the real you? No, they’re too generic. You can use them in some places on your site to help break up what would otherwise be a copy-heavy page, but when it comes to products and people, real photos work best. Visitors want to see what they’re buying and who they’re buying it from.
  9. Include trust-building content.
    Explain why your company is uniquely qualified to provide its products or services. Provide some details about your company’s history and achievements. Include a photo of the founder if it’s relevant. Consider dedicating a page to testimonials or case studies. These third-party endorsements hold weight. Customers buy from companies they trust.
  10. Keep your website up to date.
    If visitors notice that your content isn’t current, then your site loses all credibility. Continually update your site, add to it and remove any information that is obsolete. The last part of that sentence is critical, so I hope you didn’t miss it. You shouldn’t only add content. You need to also delete anything that’s no longer relevant. If the good information is buried, your visitor might never find it.
  11. Use a straightforward layout.
    Nobody likes clutter, and that includes visitors to your website. Clean, simple and organized works best. The more intuitive, the better, so visitors can easily find what they need.
  12. Make it easy for visitors to contact you.
    Put your contact information in multiple places so it’s easy to find. It should always be just one click away. Don’t make visitors work too hard to reach you. They might not bother, and you’ll lose them.
  13. Keep forms simple.
    If your website includes a form, such as on your Contact or Quote page, ask the fewest questions possible. Visitors hate completing all those fields, (don’t we all?), and they likely don’t trust you enough to provide all the information you’re requesting. Yes, you’d love to obtain their detailed information, but it’s what they prefer, not you!
  14. Include a call to action on nearly every page.
    Tell visitors what you would like them to do next. Lead them down the path to a sale or to contacting you. It’s great to be a quality source of information, but you also want visitors to know they can make a purchase.
  15. Make it perfect or as close to it as you can get.
    Spelling and grammar mistakes make you look like an amateur. So does poor wording. Review your work closely, or better yet, consider hiring a professional copywriter to craft your content.

In today’s information-saturated world, visitors to your website are likely to be impatient. If they can’t quickly find what they want, they’ll move on. They’re skeptical of anything that sounds “salesy.” If they could speak to you, they’d say, “Just the facts, please.”

To be effective, your website must deliver true value. Put your visitors’ needs and wants first as you create its content and watch your conversion rate soar!

If you found this information helpful or have any content tips of your own, let us know!

How to Make Your Nonprofit Site Effective

How to Make Your Nonprofit Site Effective

Creating a Strong Presentation

Your nonprofit’s website is a tool that should be used to engage, interact with, and mobilize your audience – a tool that should ultimately inspire action.

1: Know Your Audience

If you don’t know who your website is serving, you’re at a serious disadvantage. No matter how hard you try, it will be nearly impossible to create an effective nonprofit website – one that meets the needs of your constituents and helps you achieve your mission.

  • Focus on their needs – Who are your key groups and what do they care about? How do they interact with your site?

  • Use the right language – Know that writing is an art and a science. Every bit of content should showcase your mission. Avoid industry jargon and acronyms. Keep it simple, but include descriptors for clarity and improvement of search engine optimization.

  • Keep mobile in mind – Mobile browsing is the #1 method users use to access the internet. Is your content completely accessible?

2: Focus on Your Home Page

Your home page is your first opportunity to make a strong impression. Within the first few seconds of arriving, your users will form an opinion.

  • Prioritize content – Create visual hierarchy. What content elements are most important and deserve the best location? Remember your goals as well as your audience’s during this exercise – not everything everyone wants fits, or even belongs, on the home page.

  • Make sure people can scan through easily – Use of headers, content blocks, and visual design will allow users’ eyes to follow the right path of content.

  • Provide choices – Not everyone accesses your site in the same way; make sure you provide different ways to access information to accommodate this.

  • Test – Show your home page to audience members, and then ask them a series of questions about your organization and its mission. If they can’t answer them, consider refocusing and prioritizing your home page.

3: Share Your Mission

Sixty percent of all donors check out your nonprofit’s website before donating, and therefore you should tell them why they should give and what impact it will make. And, you should do it quickly, before they change their mind. Share your mission clearly and succinctly and make it actionable!

“Feeding Children, Growing Community”. This isn’t just a catchphrase, and it’s not just a mission statement. Seeing this tagline immediately informs the user that they will find compelling information on what your organization is about, how they can help and who is being served.

4: Use Compelling Imagery

Design controls what users see and how they process your content. Compelling imagery can mean many different things based on your audience but it’s critical for driving users to important content.

  • Infographics are fantastic. They allow you to visually show all types of content – from stewardship to impact to mission fulfillment to campaign progress – unmistakably and concisely. They are attractive and engaging, which are two key elements to successful imagery on any website.

  • Engage with eye contact. Photography that uses eye contact will allow you to make a personal connection with your user. Personal connections, trust, and emotional engagement are keys to fulfilling your mission! Which would better share the amazing impact Habitat for Humanity has on the community – an image of five volunteers building a Habitat Home with their backs to the camera? Or the eyes of the man for whom the house was built?

  • Share real stories of impact. Sharing stories of how others are affected by your work, your outreach, and your mission will build credibility and encourage empathy.

5: Ensure Ease in Navigation

If your users can’t figure out how to find the information they’re after, it might as well not exist.

  • Provide multiple interaction paths – not everyone accesses information in the same way, so make sure key content is accessible multiple ways – navigation, search, calls to action, etc.

  • Test yourself – Access your own site in different ways, see how easy it is to find key content, and adjust accordingly.

  • Two clicks or less for key tasks – (Hint: Effective nonprofit websites follow the two-or-less rule.) If not, revise your structure. You can’t have two clicks to everything, but you can prioritize and make sure key tasks and content are the easiest to reach.

6: Include Clear, Bold Calls to Action

Without a strong call to action, it doesn’t matter how brilliant your content is.

  • Remove all obstacles to action. If someone clicks “donate now,” they should not be taken to another landing page with all of the ways they can give. Effective nonprofit websites take people directly to the donation form where they can give that gift!

  • Provide both tangible and intangible options: Please give 10 meals to your community today; please give $10 today.

  • Calls to action should be clear and compelling.

  • Never say “click here.”

7: Showcase Your Stewardship

At least 60% of donors will visit a nonprofit’s website before donating. Create a strong presentation to show what impact they will have if they participate.

  • Show the impact of the support visually through infographics.

  • Be transparent – share your annual report and show how much of the support goes to the cause.

  • Say “thank you.” This seems simple, but it’s often forgotten. Your website is a great place to say it publicly.

8: Keep Content Fresh

People in general have incredibly short attention spans. This is even more relevant on the internet where information is constantly available.

If you don’t consistently update your content, people will assume that either you don’t have anything new and important to present or that you can’t be bothered to put in the time or energy. Neither of these are good scenarios, both of which could cause them to forget about you and never come back.

Fresh content is crtically important to driving traffic to your nonprofit website.

  • Utilize automatic feeds.

  • Add dates to content posted to the home page.

  • Gather user-generated content via blogs, forums, or posts and let your audience help keep content fresh!

9: Be Social

More and more, people are looking to engage with organizations through the various social media platforms. Utilize this direct communication to help promote, engage and provide a constant source of dynamic content

The world of social media is changing. It’s not enough to have a Facebook page or a Twitter account. The real power of social media is in harnessing its viral capabilities as an integrated channel with reach beyond the limits of your database and lists.

  • Incorporate social sharing on your site. It will contribute to website traffic and brand exposure.

  • Tweet, blog and post. Often. Make it a priority.

  • Use the Facebook and twitter widgets to pull social posts to your website for fresh content and relevant, engaging activity.

10: Provide a Personal Touch with Multimedia

Your users’ preference for consuming content varies, just as their browsing and navigation styles do.

  • Allow users to consume information in multiple ways – video, imagery, text, interactivity, and audio.

  • Invest in interactive design elements like virtual tours or maps – it helps bring a personal touch to your users, even through the web.

5 Ways Web Design Impacts Customer Experience

Impact Your Customer Experience

5 Important Aspects of Design

Web design is one of the most important parts of any Internet marketing strategy.

It has a huge impact on the digital customer experience in several different ways. Your site’s aesthetics, usability, and other crucial factors are essential to your company’s long-term online success.

But how dramatically does it actually impact your bottom line?

In this post, we’ll take a look at five major aspect of web design and how you can improve all of them.


1. Appearance

Web design most obviously impacts your site’s appearance. You choose how your site looks, which plays a huge role in your company’s first impression on new online visitors.

Often, you’ll hear marketing experts (including us) talk about web design in two extremes:

  • Older websites that look like they were made in 1996

  • Newer, sleeker websites that adhere to modern web design standards

Many websites fall between those two options, but they represent opposite ends of a spectrum.

It’s possible to have a site somewhere in the middle — one that looks attractive, but maybe it was last updated in 2007.

Regardless of how your site looks, the goal is to have it as current and up-to-date with modern design trends as you can.

Modern web design trends include:

  • Responsive design

  • Parallax scrolling

  • Big, bold fonts

  • Eye-catching “hero” images

  • Multimedia

Responsive design means using code on your website that makes it look and function the same, regardless of the device someone uses to access it.

So whether someone comes to your site from a smartphone or a desktop computer, they’ll get a great experience and find the information they want.

Parallax scrolling means overlaying two visual elements on a page and moving them at different speeds as someone scrolls.

Then, when someone looks through a page on your site, they’ll get a cutting-edge visual experience that keeps them engaged and reading.

Big, bold fonts have been in vogue for a few years now. Essentially, the concept refers to using sans-serif typefaces that are easy to read on screens.

That makes your customer experience smoother, and it lets your readers get the most value out of every sentence on your site.

Eye-catching “hero” images are giant, full-width graphics at the top of articles that give you a summarizing visual representation of the text below.

They got the name “hero” because these images champion the article with which they’re associated. They’re great for generating clicks for social media, and they’re ideal introductions to concepts on your site.

Last, multimedia refers to images, videos, interactives, and other visual elements that help break up text and educate your visitors.

Multimedia is fair game for just about any page on your site from a blog post to a 100-page downloadable guide.

When you include it, you make your content much more scannable, engaging, and enjoyable for readers.

But this all has to do with your site’s appearance. Web design impacts a lot more than just how a website looks.


2. Professionalism

Professionalism refers to the impression you make on your site’s visitors before they ever start reading your site.

When someone arrives on your site, you want them to understand that you’re a modern, respectable business. This impression is largely based on how your web design represents you.

Several web design elements contribute to professionalism, including:

  • A culture page

  • Photos of staff

  • Customer results

A culture page is part of your site that’s exclusively dedicated to talking about your company’s approach to daily operations.

Do you have certain values at your company? Do you maintain certain traditions? Do you celebrate anything unique?

These are all great additions to a culture page since they show what your company does besides work. Even your customers will be interested to see that your employees are happy.

Speaking of employee happiness, photos of staff can also go a long way in reinforcing professionalism.

Whether you choose to show them together at a happy hour or hard at work is up to you. Either way, you’re adding faces to your business that shows visitors you’re more than a brand name — you’re a thriving company.

Last, you can showcase customer results. If you can quantify your work in any way — even if it’s how many air conditioners you repaired last year — you can highlight that information on your site.

This demonstrates professionalism because it shows that you have your customers in mind, even those who haven’t converted yet.

Visitors who see that will understand that you’re a customer-focused business that values itself in terms of what you can deliver.

Still, professionalism needs another element that web design can offer — and it’s essential no matter what kind of business you own.


3. Clarity

Clarity means designing your website so visitors can find what they want as quickly as possible. This is often an overlooked way to vastly improve the visitor’s experience.

Most often, this means improving your navigation. Intuitive and familiar navigation styles allow your visitors to quickly find the information they want.

Today, navigation comes in a few well-known styles:

  • Breadcrumb

  • Drop-down menu

Breadcrumb navigation is inspired by the story of Hansel & Gretel.

Whenever someone clicks to a new page, your site automatically adds their previous page to a navigation bar. Then, a user can click back to that page in an instant if they want.

A drop-down menu lets someone hover their cursor over a menu title and see the pages that category contains.

Then, they can click on the page that interests them to get the information they want.

These navigation strategies can work together, too. Your homepage can use drop-down menus, and once someone clicks to a new page, you can use breadcrumb navigation on that page to let users go back to where they were.

Naturally, you have lots of other options for navigation. But these are the two most popular and useful in the web design world.


4. Load time

Load time refers to how long someone has to wait for a page on your site to display on their device(s).

Load time is a major Google ranking factor, and it’s become crucial to online success as more consumers move toward using the Internet on mobile devices.

The modern Internet user is concerned with websites that load in the blink of an eye and — more importantly — use minimal data.

So how can you reduce your site’s loading time?

  • Optimize image sizes

  • Remove auto-play multimedia

  • Use white space

First, you can optimize image sizes on your website to make sure your site loads as quickly as possible.

To do that, use .jpg files for your images. This is the best way to show high-resolution photos or graphics while minimizing the size of the file.

Next, you should remove auto-play multimedia like video and audio.

That means your users won’t use big chunks of their mobile data when they go to your site on their smartphones.

Plus, auto-play multimedia is an irritating way to promote content anyway. Most users will leave your page if they get there and there’s automatically a video in their face.

Instead, make your multimedia require manual activation on every page.

Last, you can use white space more frequently to reduce data demand.

White space is any unused space on your pages. No text, no images, no videos — nothing.

White space spreads out your text and elements to make them easier to see, especially for mobile users.

This makes it easier for visitors to understand everything on a page so they don’t have to re-read content.

In a nutshell, that makes white space work on two levels. It helps your pages load in a flash and it makes them more readable.

Overall, that makes web design crucial to the speed of your site. You can also use these strategies together to help your individual pages load as quickly as possible.


5. Conversions

Conversions are arguably the most important part of web design.

After all, your business won’t thrive online without them.

Web design can impact conversions in a thousand different ways, and they’re all important, but these three are some of the most impactful:

  • Color

  • KISS principle

  • Faces

Color sounds general, but in web design, it refers to a color scheme that intelligently uses contrast to highlight selling propositions.

So if your site uses a cool color scheme, use warm colors like red or yellow for your calls to action. That helps them stand out so people can find them more easily and convert.

The KISS principle is an acronym for “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”

The idea is that simpler designs are better designs. When you have an easy-to-follow, organized website, you make it that much easier for visitors to convert.

You don’t need loud backgrounds or showy graphics to sell your company online — it’s actually better to stay simple.

Last, faces may sound a little odd as a web design principle. But the idea is that human faces help visitors relate to your business.

You could use stock images, but this works best when you use your own staff.

Essentially, you show someone the human side of your company to make them feel more comfortable contacting you.

It may not sound like much, but that goes a long way in establishing trust, fostering a positive relationship, and eventually earning a new customer.

By using all three of these concepts at once, you make your site much more efficient at earning new customers.


How does your site’s design impact customer experience?

Do you know of any other ways to improve visitors’ experience on your site with web design?

Let us know!

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