There are lots of ways to promote your business and many vehicles with which to get your marketing message across to potential customers. But sometimes the very best way to deliver your message effectively is to hold up a mirror to your potential customers and show them that people just like them have found what they were looking for with your products or services.

Today’s Webs example site does just that. By showcasing the successes of their past clients, brothers Tyler and Travis Blessing of T-N-T Fitness do a great job of letting their product speak for itself. The ‘before and after’ technique of marketing is a very effective one because it speaks to people who are searching for something as the person they are right now. Some marketers choose to show shoppers the ideal of ‘what could be’ thinking that people will be inspired to by their products based on the results alone. But many times people are doubtful that a product or service will work for them as well as it did for the person in the picture. Showing them a ‘before’ allows them to see themselves as your customer.

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Since our theme on the blog this month has been building community around your business, it seems appropriate that our Webs user example site today should be about community as well. A bit of a departure since we are not talking about marketing a business in this edition, instead we’re going to look at a great website created by a group of high school students in Los Angeles to help in the effort to combat bullying.

The website DontBeABully.net is the project of Middle College High School students Chinonso Anokwute, Rigoberto Flores Trigo, Carla Torres, Marquis Mark, Maria Espericueta, Zaria Keaton, Stephanie Henriquez, and Miguel Morales. These self-titled Whiz Kids participated in The Aspen Challenge in 2013, a program in which LA area students came together to work on issues that matter to them and present their solutions.

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For today’s post on web design tips and trends, we’re bringing out the big guns. Meet Justin, Mikael, and Rebecca — Webs’ intrepid team of UI/Product Designers.

What do you think is the biggest trend in web design right now?

MikaelFlat design is getting a lot of attention right now. That is, putting colors and images right up against each other without drop shadows, bevels, and gradients. Think Window 8 and Microsoft’s new look. While flat design can be really nice, it’s important to use it appropriately – as with any other design trend. Do not just follow a trend, but do what makes your website look best and communicate the message — and your brand – better.

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In keeping with this month’s theme of trends and inspiration, today’s example site was chosen for its great use of a major trend in marketing right now: content marketing.

Content marketing is a strategy that involves creating and sharing various types of content (articles, photos, whitepapers, etc.) with the goal of boosting SEO, driving traffic, building loyalty, and acquiring new leads. If you’ve been reading the blog here for awhile, you’re no doubt already familiar with Content Marketing – not just because we’ve talked about it before, but also because a blog is a great example of content marketing!

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Unless you are a graphic designer by trade, creating a website from a blank canvas can be a seriously daunting task. That’s why many sitebuilders offer templates over which users can lay their content, logo, images, etc. when creating a website. This option makes attractive websites infinitely more accessible to personal and small business website owners.

The trouble with the template model is the lack of variety that can occur. It’s not a great feeling to spend hours loading all of your content into a website only to discover over the next couple of weeks that there’s another site out there that looks just like yours.

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Today’s Webs user example website comes to us all the way from Reykjavik, Iceland! Jon Arnar is an artist who uses his website to promote his exhibitions, show off his fantastic body of work, and sell paintings through an online store.

Aside from being up-to-date and robust, one feature that really makes Jon’s site stand out is his use of a very appropriate Webs theme called “Gallery” (appropriately).

This is a clean and understated theme that offers a little something extra toward the footer to give visitors a sense of place. This is especially nice for artists like Jon who live in a particular city but sell their artwork to people all over the world.

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This week’s Webs user site is a great example of how small businesses can use branded events to promote themselves and create exposure and buzz. One of the big advantages of having a small business with the interaction you can foster with your local community. It’s a great way to get your name out there, form relationships, and get people spreading the word about your business.

Beantown Cornhole, located in the Boston area, builds and sells high quality boards and bags for the game of Cornhole. In addition to the products that they sell, however, they also host weekly contests and charity tournaments year round. This strategy serves two important marketing purposes:

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Time for another great website example from a Webs user! Feels like it’s been awhile since our last example site review, so let’s dive right in.

Today we’re going to take a look at the website of El Faro Restaurant in Summit, Illinois. The first thing you’ll learn about El Faro form their website is that this is the home of the Giant Burritos (we’re sold already!). The second thing you’ll notice is that they are open 24 hours, which is great because the middle of the night is the perfect time for a giant burrito.

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It’s a chilly, gloomy Wednesday here in Silver Spring, Maryland, so we’re happy to feature an example site full of beautiful photos of tropical fruits!

Today’s example site, Wilstra Foods, was actually built as part of a recent contest among members of the Webs support team. The challenge was to build a great site using Webs’ SiteBuilder3 platform and using the features to the maximum. And we think today’s website does just that! Which is probably why Damion was the contest winner…

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One of the great things about featuring Webs user example sites as long as we have been is that we get to see how they change over time. Once such example comes to us today from Kim & Ellory’s Kitchen, a personal chef and catering service run by a husband and wife team.

We first featured Kim and Ellory’s site in June, 2011. At that time, their company’s website looked like this:

Since then, as their business has evolved, so has the style of their website. Here is their website today:

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