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April 18th, 2017

Spring Cleaning | Tuesday’s Tip

Posted by liveBooks

Tuesdays Tip

Tuesday Tip 1000PX

Spring is officially here – the time of year where we can start putting away our winter coats and boots and get excited for warm weather, sunshine, and being outside. Spring is also the time of year that allows us to take inventory of the old, polish it up, sweep it out, and dust it off. This same concept of “spring cleaning”  should apply to your business as well – and most importantly your website. When was the last time you really did an overhaul of your site? If it’s been awhile, now is the perfect time and we’ve compiled a list of things to focus on first to get you started!

Content Clean-Up

Make a conscious effort to do a truly comprehensive content clean up. This can range from something as simple as going through your portfolios and galleries and deleting older photos, adding new work, or moving images around, to actually digging in to your analytics and seeing which pages get the least amount of traffic and editing from there. Website design trends are moving toward cleaner, simplistic, and clutter-free – so really evaluate whether each page of your website is absolutely necessary and providing value to your audience.

Update Your Events Page

One of the things we see all too often is event pages that are far outdated – even by a few years. Take the opportunity to make sure your website is updated with your upcoming workshops, speaking engagements, photo expeditions, or any other important events you’re partaking in. Nothing looks more unprofessional than inaccurate information on your website – plus, this will be a great way to promote the events you care about and hopefully garner more attendees.

Calendar

Calls to Action

One thing we’ve often noticed that’s missing from photography websites are clear calls to action. While most of the focus should be on your imagery, you also want to make sure you’re telling your audience what you want them to do. Whether that’s booking you for a job, project, ad campaign, or even buying prints, tell them what you’d like them to do and make it easy for them to do it. Having a button on your pages can be an ideal way to lead customers to your end-goal: contacting you!

Update Your Contact Information

If you’ve recently moved your studio or changed your contact phone number, it may be time to look over your contact page. Is your new contact information up-to-date? It can become easy to overlook this simple step, but doing so may cause you to lose a great deal of clients!

Also, try to have your contact information readily available in multiple locations on your website. Customers don’t want to search through countless pages to find your phone number or address. Remember – adding a map to your pages can be an ideal way to attract new customers!

Red Phone

 SEO Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be something you focus on all year ’round, but if it’s not your strong suit definitely take the opportunity now to pay extra attention. If your goal is to increase traffic to your website (which we think it should be!) then make sure your keywords, tags, descriptions, titles, and content on your pages are working for your business. If you’re not ranking as high with search engines as you’d like, it might be time to overhaul your old SEO tactics and start fresh with these tips!

Experiment With New Website Designs

We know that completely changing your website design is a huge undertaking – but small, subtle changes can be made to create a fresh new look without all the stress of a total re-design. Switch up the images on your homepage. Change the names/titles of your portfolios. Add a new page – such as a blog – to your website. All of these changes will keep your website up to date, as well as give returning clients new things to look at and explore.

Want to explore other design templates? Take a look at all of our responsive templates now to begin!

Website Templates

What “spring cleaning” are you conducting on your website? Email us!

Tuesdays Tip

If you are currently have a storefront with WeddingWire and have received three (3) or more client reviews, you are eligible to place the WeddingWire Rated logo on your website! Learn how you can begin with our simple tutorial below:

  1. Log in to your WeddingWire account
  2. Click ‘Showcase Reviews‘ under the ‘Reviews‘ tab
  3. If you are eligible, you will see the WeddingWire Rated badge under the ‘WeddingWire Rated‘ heading
  4. Click the ‘Get the Code‘ button
  5. Copy the HTML code
  6. Open your liveBooks dashboard
  7. Click Content
  8. Click on the page you wish to add your ‘WeddingWire Rated’ logo
  9. Click the green ‘+‘ icon to add a content block to the desired page

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10. Highlight and click the ‘HTML‘ content block

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11. Paste the HTML code you copied from your WeddingWire account into the HTML box.
*For more information on how to use this content block, click here.

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12. Save and publish!

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Tuesdays Tip

The liveBooks8 website editor allows you to create a custom navigation bar that fits your website’s specific needs. Whether this includes a drop-down menu that organizes your portfolio galleries, the use of social media icons, or the use of links and buttons, you’ll be able to customize every aspect of the navigation bar. Check out the video tutorial below to get started!

Is there a new liveBooks8 feature that you are excited to learn more about? Let us know at social@livebooks.com!

Tuesdays Tip

The process of uploading images to your liveBooks8 website doesn’t have to be a daunting one! With some planning and organizing, your images and portfolio galleries will begin to take shape before you know it. From recommended image sizes to uploading your images in order to create image galleries, this tutorial will help get your galleries on their way to perfection!

Tuesdays Tip

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The liveBooks team would like to wish you a Happy New Years. We know that with the beginning of a fresh new year, many people get wrapped up in new projects and goals. Why not make one of them cleaning up your website? Here are a few tips that will help get your website ready for a new year with a fresh start!

  1. Update your image gallery

Sometimes you get caught up with work, whether it’s at photoshoots, editing images, creating editorials, and forget to update your website with the new images you’ve created. Updating your images is an important part of showcasing your work. This is especially important for your homepage. Now is a great time to look at your recent jobs and see which images would be best to showcase.

2. Check your links

It’s important to check your external and internal links continuously throughout the year. Links that don’t lead your audience anywhere create a poor user experience. They are less likely to go back to your website once this happens. It is especially important to check external links as other websites may change page names, website URLs, etc. Internal links are equally as important but are under your control. Check these every time you change a page name within your website.

3. Optimize your SEO 

SEO is one of the most important aspects of your website! The liveBooks8 platform allows you to control SEO on a page/photo level as well as as on a site-wide level. It’s important that all of your SEO tags, descriptions and titles be up-to-date. Now is a great moment to look over these parts of your website. Still need some help understanding what SEO is and how you can optimize it on your website? Read our SEO Everything article!

4. Remove any outdated information from your pages

As a new year begins, it brings the opportunity to showcase new works and events that you would like your clients to see and attend. Potential clients interested in attending your events and conferences could be lost if they see that you have not updated information for the 2017 year.

5. Update your website’s copyright footer

Your website’s copyright year will not automatically update. Make sure that if you have a copyright on your website, to change the year from 2016 to 2017! This is especially important in the footer – the place where most people forget to look through.

These simple tips will make your website look both cleaner and more professional. As the new year begins, make sure to set aside some time to complete these tasks. They will make your website look both more professional and will help attract the right clients in 2017.

Tuesdays Tip

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be one of the most important features that your website can have. This feature encompassed the technical requirements needed to improve your website’s rankings, drive organic traffic, and increase awareness in search engines. liveBooks is proud to boast that our built-in SEO tool offers our clients the ability to customize their SEO settings on a photo, page, and site-wide level.  Additionally, all liveBooks8 sites automatically include micro date that search engines, web crawlers, and browsers can extract and process to provide a richer browsing experience for users.

Learn how to start utilizing our SEO Everything™ tools with our quick tutorial below.

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Have you been paying attention to how your website’s search engine mobile performance results have been doing? If you haven’t, it’s time to start now! Google has now announce that it will create a mobile index separate from its existing search engine. Due to the fact that over half of Google searches are now being made through mobile devices, it was only a matter of time before Google took actions to improve its users’ experience.

Google plans to create two separate web indexes – one dedicated to mobile pages and another to desktop pages. Mobile versions of the pages will be prioritized on its search results page. A desktop version will be displayed if the website has no mobile pages available.

What Does This Mean to Your Website?

Google will now place value on mobile pages when indexing a site and determining its position on search results. Once Google sets the change in motion, websites that do not have mobile-friendly designs will likely see significantly reduced search engine traffic.

If you host your mobile content on a separate subdomain, this could cause some problems for your search engine results. This is to say that if, for example, a mobile user attempted to access “yourcompany.com” on a mobile phone, they might see the URL displayed as “mobile.yourcompany.com”. If this is the case for your website, it may be time to revise the content you display on the mobile website. Google will be prioritizing the content on that subdomain rather than your desktop version.

Testing Your Website

You can now test how your mobile website is seen by Google’s web crawlers! Visit Google’s test for mobile friendliness to find out how your website performs. You will enter your website’s URL and click the “Analyze” button. If you’re website is seen as mobile-friendly, a green message will display letting you know.

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liveBooks is Ready for Google’s Mobile Index. Are you?

liveBooks is ready for this change in search engine indexing! We are proud to say that all liveBooks websites are fully-responsive. Regardless of screen size, your website will adjust its width and features such as text and images to optimize its mobile visibility.

If you haven’t started using liveBooks yet, start your free trial and begin creating your beautiful, fully-responsive website today!

Tuesdays Tip

liveBooks offers many options for you to customize your site’s mobile navigation. With its standard settings, your site will come with mobile navigation style that matches your chosen theme. You will be able to customize options for navigation within the Design tool:

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  1. Select Design from the Dashboard navigation bar.
  2. If not already selected, select the Sitewide tab on the righthand sidebar.
  3. Select Navigation

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4. Select the Mobile tab to view your mobile navigation design settings.

5. Dropdown your icon options under the Layout dropdown menu. We give you 45 icons with over 130 icon style and shape variations to choose from, providing unique customization for you and your business’ brand. Select from the icons you see here.

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6. Take a look below Layout and you will find all of your icon settings. Change how the icon looks and animates here:

(A) Icon – choose your icon color via presets or leave it without one.

(B) Shape – add a shape beneath your icon or leave it without one.

(C) Symbol Size – adjust how large or small you want your icon to appear.

(D) Icon Position – have your icon appear on the left or right side of your site.

(E) Style – have your navigation appear from above or slide in from the side of the screen.

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(F) Reveal – select how the navigation reveals the menu items:

  • Fullscreen – fill the entire screen with your navigation menu, on the click action.
  • Push Content – choose this option to have your navigation menu push your content over, on the click action.
  • Overlay Content – choose this option to have your navigation overlay on top of all your content, on the click action.

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(G) Animation – 5 different animation effects

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(H) Trigger – choose how your navigation menu is made visible:

  • Label & icon – include the first navigation item’s title with your icon on the side, the styled expandable menu displays beneath.
  • Icon only – show only the icon.

(I) Use mobile navigation on all devices – enable to display the mobile navigation in all viewports/devices. Currently available on two layout types: Top Navigation (Logo Above) and Top Navigation (Logo Below).

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7. The Text panel adjusts default styling and font choices for all views of your navigation menu.

(J) Select your desired font and stylings for your navigation menu.

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8. Within the Expandable Menus panel, design how the navigation menu appears on reveal.

(K) The design settings made here are for your navigation menu if you enable a navigation menu that appears on a click action.

(L) Sub-Navigation – choose “Always expand” to make all sub-navigation pages visible in the expanded menu. “Expand on click” makes an arrow appear and will require the customer to click the parent navigation item to view the child pages.

9. Select Save and Publish to make all of your navigation changes live now.

Tuesdays Tip

Video galleries are here! Now you will be able to add multiple videos on one page in a grid format. With the change in size of the video preview, your viewers will be able to easily choose which video they want to see. Adding a Video Gallery block to your page is simple – here’s how you can start creating yours:

  1. Select Content from the Dashboard navigation bar.
  2. From the Content tool, select the Page you’d like your Video Gallery on, from your list of pages.

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Note: In this scenario, we will be working in a Generic page type.

3. From your page, select the green (+) button between content blocks, you will see all of your available block options.

4. Select the Video Gallery option:

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5. The block will immediately show up on the page. Select the green Add Video button to input your first YouTube or Vimeo video:

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6. Now, go to YouTube or Vimeo‘s website in a new tab or window. Navigate to the video of your choice, then simply copy the video’s URL to your clipboard.

  • Vimeo: Select Share on the video player, then copy the URL (Right-click and Copy or CMD+C for Mac | CTRL+C for PC)

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  • YouTube: Select Share under the video player, then “Copy the URL” (Right-click and Copy or CMD+C for Mac | CTRL+C for PC)

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7. Head back to the liveBooks Dashboard on the Page you have been working on in Content.

8. Now paste the video’s URL into the item you added earlier.
(Right-click and Paste or CMD+V for Mac | CTRL+V for PC)
Note: You may also paste the video embed code into the item, but we find pasting the URL easier.

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9. Repeat steps 5-8 for as many videos you’d like to have in your Video Gallery.

You will notice that after you paste the URL, the platform grabs the video’s Title and Description from the Video source (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo)

10. When done, select the green Publish button to make it live to your website.

October 21st, 2016

Major Browsers to Block Flash Soon!

Posted by liveBooks

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The liveBooks team has been working vigorously this year to migrate many of its clients from the Flash-based Legacy platform to the HTML5-based liveBooks8 platform. The HTML5 platform offers responsive templates that you are readily able to edit on your desktop, tablet or mobile devices! With it a ton of new features are also available – including advanced SEO tools and options for customizations, such as varied portfolio and gallery layouts, a library of hundreds of font choices, drag and drop design, in-line editing tools and much more!

In addition to the added features that the HTML5 platform offers, there is one big reason why you should migrate from your Flash website as soon as possible. All major browsers have already set into motion the blocking of flash sites!

Safari:
In June, Apple announced that the version of Safari that comes on macOS Sierra will block Flash by default across all websites. This means that if your website runs on Flash, your visitors will be greeted by the following message:

safari-block

Apple has taken a very big stand against Flash since 2007. This is due in part to Flash websites having slow loading times, being a drain on laptop batteries, and continually having security issues. The measures that Apple has taken will continue to detract visitors from visiting your Flash website.
(Sources: PetaPixel, The Verge)

Chrome:
Google announced in May that Chrome would start to block Flash websites with the launch of Chrome 53 in September. More importantly – in December 2016, Chrome 55 will make HTML5 the default experience. Those websites that only run on Flash will need to be enabled by the user to display properly.
(Source: Chrome Blog)

Firefox:
Mozilla Firefox will retire Adobe Flash as soon as 2017. With the release of Firefox 53, Flash plug-ins will require the user to actively click-to-play. Though Mozilla hasn’t directly stated that Flash will be completely retired after the click-to-play change, the move is apparent.
(Source: ARS Technica)

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Though Adobe Flash helped make the Web a rich and dynamic experience, a new generation of technology has pushed for a big change in website platforms. The liveBooks8 platform is the optimal choice for our Flash users to transition to.

To learn more about liveBooks8 and its main features, please visit this link.

To see our migration options and schedule your migration, please visit this link.

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