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Tag: Website Design Tools

Content Publishers Expanding Beyond the Multiplatform Approach

Content publishers with the most success meet their audiences where they want to be met, and do it through the most-opportune channels. Today we are looking at some ways additional revenue opportunities develop for publishers in a time when digital media is growing.

An Informal Approach to the Best Website Design Review of Your Website You Can Conduct

As someone who’s looked at your website every day for a long time, you probably have no business reviewing your own website. There are probably things in the back of your mind that you’ve kept a mental checklist of – items that need to be optimized, altered and updated. Have you been writing these things down? Often, when we finally get the chance to update our websites, it’s months after we’ve discovered the original issue.

That’s why I’m going to give you a quick little checklist, based on our internal website design scorecard, to remind you of the items you should be paying most attention to. While these guidelines are by no means the complete list of website design practices, they are essential to sound, effective website design. We’re sure that implementation of these practices will result in happier, more satisfied, readers.

The Mequoda Magazine Content Business Model

Some of the most successful publishers let their users generate more than 99 percent of their content. The publishers that can do this become masters at building communities that draw users to both read and post.

Out of the nine subscription website business models, the community subscription website archetype is the only one where the publisher relies on its community to create the content. There are six premium (paid) archetypes, and three affinity (free) archetypes. This is one of the three free ones.

Usability Testing: 5 Heat Map Tracking Tools to Watch What Your Visitors Do

If you want to know why your website is, or is not performing, start conducting usability studies. A/B tests are great for content, but when it comes to seeing how users engage with your website, online heatmap tracking tools can make all the difference.

The Most Important Magazine Website Design Element Most Designers Forget

The keys to magazine website design are function and familiarity, not bells and whistles.
I’m always surprised by how many publishers want to reinvent the wheel when they launch a new magazine website design. If they have the budget, they’ll try to do it when they create magazine apps as well.

But the secret to great design

Mequoda’s Top 10 Subscription Website Publishing Posts of 2017

Our most-read subscription website publishing posts of last year show a continued interest in building profitable subscription websites and improving their speed and ranking.
Last year, publishers focused on increasing profitability through apps and subscription website publishing. As publishers continue to search for digital content success through subscriptions, we think the chosen top ten most-read posts

The Advancement of Website Redesigns Includes New Strategies & Tools

Website redesigns come from Salon and ProPublica; Harvard Business Review utilizes new website tool
Content publishers who make website redesigns and try new tools as part of an evolving digital strategy show their prowess in advancing their brand online.

Today we’re looking at three publishers who have recently gone this route, and the reasons for doing so.

Consumers are telling us loud and clear what they want—are you listening? How much would you pay for that information? Download a copy of our 2018 Mequoda Magazine Consumer Study for FREE instead, to find out how you can improve your digital magazine rapport with subscribers.

Our

Multiplatform Publishing Industry Changes Through Acquisitions, Personnel

Multiplatform publishing companies Billboard and Time Inc. make personnel changes; Corporate Board Member Magazine acquired by Chief Executive Group

A morphing environment for some multiplatform publishing companies involves new talent in key positions, as well as assets from other acquisitions. Today we look at both personnel and asset acquisitions from some major publishers.

Simple Types of Usability Tests for Creating Happier Users and Better Websites

Even though you might associate usability with website design, it’s been an important factor in our everyday life for at least a century. Frederick Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management, published in 1911, is the first instance where the world started paying attention to how people use things, and how we can help them be more efficient. In 1936, Frigidaire cited “usability” as a key feature of their new refrigerator. In 1943, Alphonse Chapanis made the case for redesigning airplane cockpits in order to reduce errors.

But it wasn’t until 1985 that Computer Usability Testing & Evaluation was published by Richard Spencer. Of course, by this point, usability wasn’t anything new, so designing computers that were most usable was a given. In fact, the war of operating systems, mainly between Microsoft and Apple, has been centered on usability since the beginning.

When home-accessible Internet arrived and websites became the next usability feat, Steve Krug published Don’t Make Me Think in 2000. I think we can all agree that web designers everywhere desperately needed this book back in 2000 and the web has become better for it.

Mequoda’s Top Subscription Website Publishing Posts of 2016

Our most-read subscription website publishing posts of last year show an interest in building profitable subscription websites and improving the usability and site speed of existing websites.
In 2016, toward the end of the year it was made abundantly clear to publishers they would need to focus on more simple site design with faster loading times.

The Best Online Shopping Cart System for Publishers

What to look for in an online shopping cart system, from Haven Nexus, to Shopify to WooCommerce

Ecommerce has become a core part of any multi-platform publishing business. Even publishers who are still selling print-only have developed online shopping experiences because the Internet has become the first place people search for new information products.

That one fact

Why Every Multiplatform Publisher Should Outsource Strategy, Technology, and Analytics

How to evolve into a rockstar multiplatform publisher by outsourcing these three jobs
 

Two keys to organizational success as a multiplatform publisher are streamlining the on-staff team members to focus on product management and channel management, while knowing what to outsource. Knowing what functionality to push outside to dedicated specialists who won’t be able to find

Best-Practice Font Tips for Effective Website Design and More Readable Content

A recent Digiday story on publishers’ new approach to site redesign reveals that in place of the customary massive overhauls every few years, magazines are now outfitting their portals with infrastructure enabling periodic tweaks and tune-ups rather than part-and-parcel transformations. The realization that redesigns are capable of doing more harm than good has fueled this change in thinking.

How to Build a Systems Team for Your Publishing Business

Your systems team must always have one foot in the present and one in the future, understanding how all existing technologies span and intercept to create a content marketing system
Publishers have been making organizational changes to deal with the realities of the modern marketplace. Often these changes are made as a reaction to changing conditions

Website Architecture vs. Web Design – Which Comes First?

Website architecture refers to the funnel that leads your customers from a page, to a point of interest, like a “buy now” button, or an email subscription form. It refers to the function of your website and its webpages. It does not refer to the colors on your website or your CSS stylesheet, but the actual structure of your website and its purpose.

Every page of your website should have intent. For example, before you “design” a page, create its structure. An article page includes a page title, URL, headline, subhead, body copy, and sometimes a photograph. Additional SEO elements include a meta title, a meta description and tags. These elements all contribute to the architecture of an article page.

How to Update a Magazine Editor Job Description for Multiplatform Publishing

Write an online magazine editor job description like a product description for a Swiss Army knife

Can you remember life before the internet, when a personal computer was another name for a hand-held calculator? When publishing was a process that required a printing press?

If you’re old enough to remember hot type, the pica stick, and manual

Website Affordance and Usability Tips To Make Users Feel Smart

Want to know a great way to confuse, distract and drive away new users? Design a website like a print ad. Go ahead, throw underlines under things that aren’t hyperlinks. Overdesign your button graphics so nobody knows that they’re clickable. While you’re at it, make it as hard as possible for someone to figure out how to get from one page to the next.

How An Internet Marketing Services Agency Could Catapult Your Multiplatform Publishing Capacity

Whether you’re outsourcing your Internet marketing services or building an internal Internet marketing services department, these 11 content marketing job functions are key

I’ve been running marketing services departments and companies for the better part of 30 years. Mequoda Group is an independent co-operative Internet marketing services company that currently supports 20+ client organizations. The most common marketing system configuration we’re supporting is a daily portal or blog at the core with one or more subscription websites, and an online store that sells books and videos. Our organization doesn’t produce any of the original premium content, but we do produce a lot of the affinity content that is used for audience development including white papers, blog posts, and social media. We also produce and analyze the email newsletters, email promotions, and landing pages that are used to generate revenue.

10 Top Subscription Website Publishing Posts of 2015

Our most-read subscription website publishing posts of 2015 reveal a desire for better understanding of building, publishing and pricing subscription websites
This year in our Subscription Website Publishing articles we’ve tackled everything from choosing profitable subscription models, to choosing the best colors and fonts for your redesign, and pricing your subscription websites appropriately. However, there are a

The Best Webmaster Job Description: 7 Key Duties

The evolution of a webmaster job description continues in the digital age

At Mequoda we have three system managers who manage more than a dozen websites, and with that, more than a dozen webmasters. Just like any other role, the webmaster job description continues to grow with its environment and is always adapting to many roles for an organization.

5 Signs of Bad Website Design & How to Fix

Websites are not magazines (most of the time). However, magazine content can be the basis of a successful periodical website that follows the basic rules of periodical website design and content management.

Best Digital Magazines, New Magazine Launches Highlight Min Events

Tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 3, marks MinOnline’s 13th annual Most Intriguing and Hottest Launches Awards Celebration, while Friday, Dec. 4, marks the entry deadline for its Best of the Web Awards. And late last month, the trade publication handed out its editorial and design awards. Truly, ’tis the season for the best digital magazines to make themselves known!

These are some of our favorite digital publishing events to keep tabs on. Let’s take a look!

Top Digital Publishers’ Hottest Hire: Platform Relationship Managers

The top digital publishers have risen – and stay – there because they’re willing to experiment, evolve, and tread along the cutting edge of industry-wide best practices while pushing out ahead of the pack with new practices. This includes everything from hiring trends to social strategy, mobile video trends to ecommerce website design.

To start off this week, let’s take a look at Digiday’s coverage in those four areas and then some.

Email Upgrade: 5 Responsive Newsletter Design Tips

To be a responsive website designer, you must know how to design a website to be viewed effectively on any platform. For example, a responsive website design would never include flash, because around 30% of the smartphone market is carrying a flash-unfriendly phone. Additionally, you find new ways to deliver pop-up ads that don’t slide off-screen, making them un-closeable on mobile devices. Or you remove them altogether when the browser detects they’re on a mobile website.

Website Masthead, Nameplate or Header?

No matter what you call your website masthead, the top of your website is a strategic website design challenge
A funny thing happened on the way to today’s post. While doing keyword research to discover what you, our audience, call the top of your website, I found some disagreement. Various posts at other websites, from Wikipedia

Publisher Design Tips: We’ve Found the Mother Lode!

As websites become more and more sophisticated, the look and feel of portals has become slicker but it many cases more confusing as media companies attempt to use every trick, tool, and toy they can to impress visitors, retain traffic, and convert consumers. This is understandable, and sometimes it even works! Recently, however digital magazines have stripped some of the bells and whistles away, as publisher design has moved toward simplicity.

The 8 Characteristics of a Subscription Website

Each subscription website business model we write about has a distinct combination of characteristics
When Mequoda writes about subscription website business models, we always include a chart that outlines eight different characteristics of the different models. As far as we know, we’re the only ones writing at length about publishers’ website architecture, much less going into

14 Best Website Design Guidelines for Improving Any Website

Since 2006 we have held these fourteen guidelines as the most fundamental principles of the best website design.

Every website is unique to its own audience, so you can’t include things like the best colors to use, or anything that will tell you exactly how to design a site. What we’ve put together is a report card that can be applied to any website, of any age. Like I said, this report card has existed for almost a decade and when we update it (like we did today), all of the rules still apply.

8 Subscription Website Homepage Ideas for Audience Engagement

These subscription website homepage ideas will help you provide a better user experience through website design

Mequoda has long quantified its own best subscription website homepage ideas, which we put into action with all of our clients. Having recently launched two brand-new websites and re-launched a third, this is an excellent opportunity to show you how we put our subscription website homepage ideas into action.

What Great Website Design Actually Means and How to Measure it

Have you started the venture on your next great website design? Maybe your original design was pretty great when you launched, but it’s been a few years now and it’s not so great. What exactly is the definition of great, anyway? Is it a good color pallette? A fancy design? Does it shuffle content more effectively, or draw your eye to the most important calls to action? Does it generate revenue for you? Has it been effective at building an email list? Are you consistently seeing more revenue generated through it than the month before?

You can probably guess at which of these questions are more important than others. If we have to hear another new marketing intern complain about pop-ups without looking at the 20-30% increase in email captures when they launched, we’re going to go all Nate Silver on them. Business goals – do you have them? Good. Are you willing to do what it takes to reach them? Great.

How to Price and Sell Online Magazine Subscriptions

Now that we’re 5+ years into the advent of the iPad and responsive website design has penetrated to a point where it’s now a must-have for Google-friendly sites, it’s become widely accepted that online magazine subscriptions and native tablet editions are the future of publishing. One challenge remains: Few publishers understand how to architect and monetize their content online.

Without a clear plan to profit from digital publishing, most publishers upload their magazine content to the web and cross their fingers that it’ll work. They may create a flip-book style or PDF version of their magazine and hope that’s enough to please their readers. At Mequoda, we have a bulletproof plan that makes finger-crossing unnecessary. And one of our clients, Prime Publishing, publishers of digital-only magazines I Like Crochet and I Like Knitting, is proving that online magazine subscriptions built natively can be a solid revenue stream.

10 Great Website Design Ideas that Make Lazy Visitors Click More

Reader engagement is a key metric important to all publishers. Time spent, pages per visit and return visits are all numbers that every online publisher should hold near and dear.

The problem with the information overload of the internet is that website readers get lazy. When they come in from search engines, they often click, find what they’re looking for and head off in another direction.

However, if you give them better reasons to click, they’re more likely to keep digging.

What Every Great Website Design Requires (And You Might Be Missing)

I’d like you to take a minute and decide the actions you’d like a user to take when they arrive at your website. If you were conducting any kind of simple usability tests, you’d want to do the same thing.

In a heuristic usability test, where you’re watching a user engage with your website, you are required to come up with 5-10 major tasks, many of which require the one element that every website design requires: a very obvious call to action.

Video, Ad Viewability Define Recent Digital Efforts

Video ad viewability continues to be a crucial part of multiplatform publishers’ plans, particularly if you’re working under an advertising-reliant revenue model, of course. But even if you’re not, solid video viewability can help keep visitors on your site, secure subscriptions, and sell other products. Here’s a sample of recent articles from industry magazine Min that touch on the topic of video ad viewability and others.

The Battle for Best Website Design Lies in These 16 Questions

No matter how many website awards there are out there, no one website could ever win the battle for best website design of all, because there are so many factors that come into play.

For example, some might think they have the best website design because their website is “pretty,” with loads of white space and great fonts. But if it’s not also search-optimized for someone to find it, then who cares? Another example is a site that’s completely search-optimized, even user-friendly – but there’s not a single call to action to be found. What’s the point?

10 Subscription Website Publishing Lessons for Profitable Website Design in 2015

If you publishing any kind of periodical, then you’re no stranger to subscription websites. This year we published more than fifty new posts about subscription website publishing.

Did You Know This About Your Millennial Audience?

You probably already know that millennials are big into using their smartphones to access the web. However, their ability to do so may be surprising to some.

Meredith Relaunches ‘Fitness Magazine’ Website With Improved Design

When major publishers like Meredith realize that a majority of website traffic is coming via mobile devices, a change is coming.

Publishers Redesign Websites for Modern Appeal

Three major publishers have made website design changes. Quartz, Fortune, and Bloomberg have all updated their websites to grab more attention and keep users more engaged.

Designing a Website: 12 Best Website Design Tools

Use these 13 best website design tools when designing a website

The most important goal when designing a website is to figure out the main funnel that gets a visitor to complete a transaction. That transaction may be monetary (a sale) or not (a subscription to your email newsletter).

Effective website design is based on efficiency, clarity, and user-friendly elements that take the visitor through the funnel.

Check out these thirteen best website design tools that cover all of the above.

Magazine Logos Are Trending Smaller

While digital publishers experiment with website design features like “sticky” navigation menus and infinite scrolling, one element is being overlooked or overplayed, depending on your perspective: logos.

The New Mequoda Pyramid

The Mequoda Pyramid supports the notion that products have a natural hierarchy
Publishers implementing a vertically integrated strategy use outside media to acquire new customers, leveraging “free media” first. They use content to build a permission database. They create many products in many formats and recycle, reuse, and republish content. Finally, they are able to pull customers

14 Burning Questions from the May 2014 Mequoda Intensive

Last week, at our quarterly Digital Publishing & Marketing Intensive in Boston, we discussed multiplatform publishing, digital magazines, audience development and subscription website best practices at length. During these sessions, we gathered some of the best burning questions from our attendees.

Three Subscription Website Best Practices from the May 2014 Mequoda Intensive

At Mequoda, we maintain the publishing industry’s most comprehensive database of website design best practices. These best practices are continually evolving and guide publishers to design and manage high-performance websites that deliver on three primary goals: using free content to attract, engage and retain users; selling and delivering premium content that generates revenue; and building online communities that dominate their target markets.

The New TIME.com Design: Same As the Old TIME.com?

It’s all good until you see that money still lying on the table.

That’s how we think of TIME.com here at Mequoda. Last week it unveiled its new website design, to the general praise and adulation of the industry.

Complete Guide to Subscription Website Publishing Is Now Available Free

January 31, 2014 – BOSTON — Subscription website publishing is one of the hottest entrepreneurial ventures on the Internet, both for novices and for legacy publishers struggling to make the leap from print in a digital age.

Top 10 Subscription Website Publishing Posts of 2013

Subscription websites are at the core of modern online publishing and have even been considered the Holy Grail of the industry.

The popularity surrounding subscription websites stems from the fact that they are among the most profitable websites on the Internet.

Any publisher or content marketer that is looking to have the most profitable website should know exactly how to build a subscription website.

Hearst Reactivates Past Subscribers With Email Insights

Direct Marketing News is reporting on how Hearst is using email insights to boost their subscriber base in both the print and digital worlds. Hearst has been using a massive subscriber database for years, but once the tablet showed up they realized they would have to market to those users differently. Elyse Dupré writes, “Converting print readers to tablet readers also helps Hearst cut direct mailing costs. So, Hearst decided to up its email marketing game and go from using email to drive engagement to using email to drive commerce and subscriptions.”

Website Facelifts are a Digital Publishing Trend

Website redesigns and facelifts have become a digital publishing trend for the summer. Here are a few highlighted redesigns.

Capital New York has all the details on the New York Post’s new website redesign. Interim Post editor Jesse Angelo talks about the redesign,”The new website will be a vastly improved experience for our readers – responsive design across all devices, better navigation and search, immersive and fun new features, and much more.” The Post will also be offering a host of new advertisement options as part of the redesign.

WSJ Launches First-Person Videos, Also Combats Unseen Ads Effectively

The Wall Street Journal has started to produce new first-person interactive videos, reports Journalism.co.uk. The first interactive video to be released details the “changes to the US healthcare system under the Affordable Care Act”. Author Sarah Marshall reports, “told from a first-person perspective with a headcam providing a point-of-view (POV) shot, the video allows users to click and explore different aspects of the story, such as related graphics, articles and videos.”