Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Native App vs Web App: Which is Better for Your Business?

Should you choose a native app or a web app?
Apps are now assimilated as an integral facet of our daily life - Whether that is fulfilling our quest to conquer the world in Clash of Clans, checking out the latest sports and news from around the world from the SportsCenter or USA Today app, or running our lives via Evernote.

In all reality, what would we do without smartphones and apps to help keep our lives organized and at the top of our game? Knowing the ease it brings to your daily life, it's only normal you may be considering the development of an app for your business to provide your customers the utmost in resources and access. But what type of app is best for your business?

Not all apps are the same. The two apps that you may be considering are a Native App or a Web App. A Native App is installed directly on your mobile device and is uniquely created to operate on your phone, whether you have an iPhone, Android, iPad, etc.

On the other end of the spectrum, a Web App is solely accessed through a device's web browser. There is no installation that needs to take place to access a Web App. Consider thinking of a Web App as a cross between a mobile-friendly website and a Native App.

So, we come back to the question, what's best for your business? The following pros and cons to each option will hopefully provide you clarity in your quest to make the right moves for your business.

The Pros of a Native App
  • Faster processing time as compared to a Web App.
  • Offers the ability to use an app offline.
  • Integration with smartphone features, such as the camera, GPS, and push notifications.
  • Prime placement in app stores and marketplaces, like iTunes and Google Play.
  • Since apps need to be approved by an app store or marketplace, users enjoy peace of mind and security in their downloads.
The Cons of a Native App
  • Native Apps are typically quite expensive to develop, as compared to a Web App.
  • Developers need to create a Native App for each OS (operating system), such as for iPhone, Android, etc.
  • Users have to manually update a Native App if automatic updates are not selected by the user.
  • Native Apps need to be approved by an app store or marketplace before they can be downloaded or purchased
The Pros of a Web App
  • Does not require users to install new software to their phone or gain approvals from an app store or marketplace.
  • Updates are available immediately and do not require users to make updates to receive the benefits of an update.
  • No internal space is required to use a Web App on your phone.
  • Only one universal version needs to be developed for users, regardless of their phone's OS.
  • Generally, Web App's is less costly to implement as compared to a Native App.
The Cons of a Web App
  • No ability to search through app store or marketplace to find a Web App, though, there is some ability to do so in iTunes.
  • There is difficulty to find a Web App, unless a user is deliberately searching.
  • Web Apps are not able to be used offline.
  • It can be costly to provide updates to a Web App to ensure that users of any mobile device can access a Web App as it's meant to be accessed.
Our opinion? Combine the two for maximum exposure. Many tools available to CC Communications will blend the best functions of both a Web App and Native App into one management system. Otherwise, if you have a strong current customer base and are looking to boost their engagement or offer enhanced features, a stand-alone Native App may be your best option to pursue.

If you're still in flux, please reach out to us! We'd be more than happy to help you help you conclude the  best option for your business. Once your decision is made, please remember that CC Communications can be the source to help you develop a Native App or Web App. To contact the CC Communications team, please visit www.CCCom.com/ContactUs or call 704.761.4676.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

5 Signs Your Website is Craving a Redesign

This woman needs to call CC Communications for her web redesign needs.It happens to the best of us. What was created in the past is no longer good enough to compete in the
current market. It's time for a change. *gulp* Your website needs to be re-designed.

Website development is not always the most popular decision for a business to make, as it entails a lot of planning, preparation, and patience. However tedious it may be, it's absolutely essential for your brand and your online presence. Not to mention, the final product always makes the investment worth the wait, right?

Think of it this way. Would you ignore imperative maintenance for your car, denying it the capacity to run properly? Nowadays, your website is truly the car that drives your total business and to be successful, your car, no matter the brand, needs to be in tip top shape.

So, how do you know it's time? Here are five no-fail signs that your website needs some TLC.

Your Website is Not Responsively Designed
A responsive website is designed to equally well viewed on both desktop computers and mobile devices. Ever visited a website from your smartphone and the website took an unusually long time to load, did not format correctly, or you had to re-size your screen to see the website correctly? It's not your phone. It's the website. With 68% of the US population now owning and utilizing a smartphone, you simply cannot deny mobile users from a pleasant browsing experience.

You're Losing Visitors
Have you noticed that your website 'sessions' are slowly decreasing or have drastically decreased? Are the bounce rates of your website steadily rising? Answering yes to either of these questions is a major concern that can prove detrimental to the health of your business. If your website is beginning to turn off your visitors and potential clients, it's time to evaluate the current status of your website and what's leading them to abandon your website, or much worse, become a client of one of your competitors.

It's Been a While
Especially for businesses that are centered in Ecommerce or thrive on potential and current clients visiting their website quite often, a good rule of thumb is to re-evaluate your website design and development every 2-3 years. Though a complete redesign may not be necessary, updates and upgrades may be imperative. For instance, your business may benefit from an SEO campaign or social media integration. Need honest advice as to what is best for your website health? Contact the CC Communications Team - We'd be glad to consult with you!

Your Website Doesn't Fit Your Brand
Has your logo changed? Have you updated your business cards and marketing materials? Did you bring on new staff members without placing them onto your website? To be cohesive and to not confuse your potential clients with conflicting messaging, it's always wise to consistently maintain your messaging over all mediums. If your website is not reflective of how your company has evolved, it's time to explore a website and graphic design overhaul.

You Don't Have Control of Updating Your Website Content
If you need to call a web designer to make updates to the content or imagery on your website, we need to chat. By redesigning your website and adding in a CMS (Content Management System), your in-house marketing or management team and can  make instant changes to your website that will keep your content fresh, allow for increased SEO, and best represent your company at all times. Making updates to your website via a CMS is not only easy, it allows you to retrieve past versions if a mistake was made.

Have questions about the services that CC Communications provides and how we can transform for your web presence to wow your clients (and competitors!). Contact us at Marketing@CCCom.com or call 704.761.4676.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Domain Theft: A Cautionary Tale, Courtesy of the Trump Campaign

It's no secret that politics, especially during an election year, can get ugly. If a candidate isn't on top of their game a rival can quickly get the better of them, which was the case in a recent takeover of the domain, JebBush.com. Apparently Jeb's team forgot to renew his domain name, which was quickly snapped up by either the Trump campaign or a supporter. Suddenly all web traffic was redirected to donaldjtrump.com, the official website for his presidential bid. Oh snap!

Since Jeb has dropped out of the race, viewers are now pointed to a page of sponsored links, a form of cybersquatting that we'll discuss in a future post. Stay tuned!

Don't Let This Happen to You
Politicians are not the only ones susceptible to this type of hostile domain takeover. Businesses and brands also need to be aware of the same pitfalls when managing online assets. If someone takes ownership of your domain you could be facing a lengthy legal battle and/or a large expense to get it back.

Understand the Process
When your domain is coming up for renewal, you'll begin to receive email notifications. Typically you'll receive three warning emails over a ninety day period leading up to the termination date. If you miss them, then your domain becomes an open target for your competition. Here are some ways you can help prevent your domain registration from lapsing.

  • Keep your domain registration date on file and set up a calendar reminder.
  • Be sure you know which email address will receive the notifications. 
  • Use an email address that won't become dormant. Your IT manager may some day leave the company meaning their inbox could go unchecked.
  • Allow your web development agency to manage the process for you. Here at CC Communications, we provide this extra level of security as part of our ongoing web hosting services.
  • Remember your registrar. Since your specific domain name renewal date and contact information are typically viewable by anyone online, you may receive fraudulent email messages from other parties claiming your domain name registration is about to expire and offering to renew the license on your behalf.  Before responding, make sure that the organization sending you the message is in fact your designated registrar or service agent.  Take care to avoid sending your domain name license registration login ID and password information to anyone via email. Your legitimate registrar or service agent should already have a record of this information. Also take care to avoid providing any credit card or other online payment authorization information to via email, which is not normally secure. Always make sure that the representative offering to assist with your renewal is in fact your actual registrar or service agent, and not someone who is attempting to steal your domain name license or credit card information.