The 2012 holiday shopping season is off to a record start, and there’s still a lot of shopping yet to be done in the month of December. With the big box stores’ Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales out of the way, this may be the perfect time for small businesses to fill in where those major retailers disappointed consumers.

The infographic below from LivePerson shows some key holiday shopping trends and attitudes that can still be useful through the rest of this year and in your planning for the 2013 holiday shopping season.


It’s the middle of the week already! Time to take a look at another great small business website created by a Webs user.

Designkandy is a small custom stationery and art business in California. The owner, Simone Klein, has created a very elegant website to showcase her talents, entice customers, and link them to her Etsy and Zazzle stores.

There are a lot of elements on that work to present a professional image. Follow Simone’s lead by:

1. Customizing your theme. When you’re building your custom website, choosing a basic theme is just the first step. Once you’ve made your selection, there are many ways to customize it to project exactly the look and feel you want. Start from the ground up by choosing from hundreds of images, textures and colors for your site background. Next, browse dozens of web safe fonts for your header, footer, sidebar and copy. You can then customize the color of the font in each of these locations. This is a great way to achieve a look that really reflects what your website is about.


Now that you’ve decided to start your own business, explored your financing options, and come up with a name, it’s time to think about your brand.

[Ominous music here]

Fear not. While branding is a crucial part of your future success, it can also be broken down into completely manageable parts.

When you were coming up with your name, you likely already put a lot of thought into your branding without really meaning to. A great second step is to come up with a tagline or slogan. Even if it doesn’t end up being integral to your logotype or your small business website, it will help you distill down your thoughts about what you want your business to be when it grows up.


Happy Monday! With Thanksgiving coming up, we’re shuffling this week’s blog around a bit and bring you an example site on Monday for a change. Today we’re going to look at Scarab Pictures, a fantastic photography portfolio site made by a Webs user. There are a lot of great things about this site that we talk about often — consistent branding, the use of imagery, simple navigation, etc. Another thing that Claire, the owner, is doing well is keeping a current blog for her business.


Brian Spero is a frequent contributor for Money Crashers Personal Finance. He writes about financial topics ranging from budgeting and business to careers and couponing.

So you’ve cultivated an idea for an online business that you’re certain can’t lose. The only hitch is that it’s going to take time and money to get your venture off the ground. Being an entrepreneur is about believing in yourself and doing whatever it takes to make things work, so don’t let a limited budget impede your path to success.


Limited time: Save 40% on a new Webs package with the code WEBSBLOG40 at checkout! Click here.

What is a Facebook Like Box?
Essentially, it is a way to encourage Facebook users to like your page by showing them on your website who is already connected with you, and what kind of things you post. According to Facebook:

“The Like Box is a social plugin that enables Facebook Page owners to attract and gain Likes from their own website. The Like Box enables users to:
– See how many users already like this Page, and which of their friends like it
– Read recent posts from the Page
– Like the Page with one click, without needing to visit the Page”


Last week, MarketingProfs reported on a recent study that found 51% of US mobile subscribers owning a smartphone as their cell phone of choice. That’s 119 million pairs of potential eyeballs on your mobile website. Is it optimized for mobile browsing? A good litmus test for this is to ask yourself if you visitors could get what they need from your site while holding a cup of coffee, walking down the street, and trying to hail a taxi. Because that’s more than likely the type of circumstances in which they’ll be viewing your site. If not, here’s some advice to get you on the right track.


So, you’ve decided to take that entrepreneurial spirit and your big idea and start your own business. Congratulations!

You’ve got a plan, you’ve made the commitment, and you’re ready to become the next household name. But before you can do that, you’ll need that one missing piece: the name part.

Now, maybe you’re among the lucky few whose business name came naturally like a bolt from the blue – but maybe not. For a lot of new businesses, the naming process can be one of the hardest parts. Not only will it be on your letterhead, business card, and web address in perpetuity, it will also have implications for all the future branding decisions you will make.


When it comes to web design, there has historically been a fair amount of hand-wringing about keeping everything on the page “above the fold” — in the space on the screen that you see before you have to scroll down. In recent years, there has been a lot of pushback against this idea, saying that it is dated.

And while we certainly agree that it’s unnecessary to keep all of your content above the fold, there is still overwhelming evidence that you had better put your best stuff up there if you want people to keep scrolling. According to an eye-tracking study reported by Jakob Nielson, visitors spend 80.3% of their time on what they can see without scrolling.


It’s been just over a week since Microsoft launched the its newest operating system, Windows 8. The much-anticipated new offering has met with mixed reviews, as do all new tech gadgets, but over all the response seems to be positive so far.

There are tons of in-depth reviews out there (like this one from Engadget) with all the details you could possibly need about this new OS. So what we’re going to do today is a run-down of that’s new with Windows 8, who should get it now, and the nuts and bolt of upgrading.



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