New Site Release: Brain, Child Magazine

bc-portThis week we had the privilege of releasing a new site for Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers. In addition to having a unique, custom design, this site utilizes the WordPress blog functionality in an unusual and effective way to display web-only content from this excellent magazine. Other features include a fully-functional product store and online subscription purchase and management.  The owners of the magazine are able to click a button in our interface to generate an accurate mailing list when it comes time to send out the next issue.

From the Editor, Marcelle Soviero: “At Brain, Child we strive to bring the voices of women of different backgrounds and circumstances together on the page and on our website. Through essays, fiction and feature stories our writers provide their unique perspectives on being mothers and women while addressing readers as thinking individuals, not just medicine-dispensing, food-fixing, boo-boo-kissing mommies.”

The website for Brain, Child presented new and different challenges for us, and we’re excited to help the magazine reach more and more people online.

Visit www.brainchildmag.com and give it a try!

A New Year Approaches

We might be inclined to take a moment and look back on 2012 and remember all that was accomplished. At NFR, that would be quite a list as many things have changed in our business over the past 12 months.

Ppbc_icon_checklistBut looking back isn’t really our style. Instead, we are looking at 2013 and planning the new year.  I hope you are thinking about the opportunities for your business in 2013, and ways you can position your business for success.

Of course, we stand ready to help with your website. As you think about your online presence for 2013, ask yourself:

  • Are your images current? (Still using that headshot from 2003?)
  • Does the design of your site reflect the quality of your business?
  • How current is your site text? (Still advertising a sale from last Spring?)
  • Does your site look good on modern computers and mobile devices/phones?
  • Does your website and print material match so that you are easily identified? (business cards, letterhead, mailings, etc.)
  • Are there website features you’ve always wanted? (e-store, video, forms, photo gallery, events calendar etc.)
  • How does your site do in a Google search?
  • Is your website connected with your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook accounts?

It may be time to consider a new site design or a refresh. Need help? I invite you to be in touch for advice on how to make your site come alive, so that you can start 2013 with your best foot forward!

Changes at Google (and North Forty Road)

For years we have recommended Google Apps for Business as a great way for small businesses to get high-quality email services with enterprise features. Google Apps allows you to use your own domain name for email, yet also take advantage of all the great online services Google offers, such as Google Drive and Google Calendar. Until recently, Google offered these services for free to organizations that used fewer than 10 accounts.

Now, however, Google has changed their policy. If you already are a Google Apps for Business user, your free account will continue to be honored. However, new users will have to pay $5/per user/per month or $50/per user/per year. That’s still a great value for any business, considering the services Google bundles together, but it is most definitely not free! To learn more about these changes, visit Google’s Enterprise Blog.

It is fair to say that we would still recommend Google Apps for Business. Think about it: there is no software for you to install, upgrade or maintain.There are no mail servers to worry about. There is not a calendar server or a file server that needs to be maintained. You get a virtual office with file storage, best-in-class email services, and innovative collaborative tools all with 24 hour support. That’s worth the money in our book.

Our business is changing too. We are focusing more and more on making great websites for innovative and expanding businesses. We remain focused on great value, but we are also doing more with websites than in the past. The websites we are now building leverage the latest technologies on the web. We are investing our time and energy in bringing very capable websites to our clients. This means we are not as focused as we have been on other aspects of our business, such as hosting and tech support.

Consequently, we plan in the next year to partner with great service providers who can meet the support and server needs of our clients. We anticipate migrating many of our hosting clients to new hosting providers who will also provide tech support. For our customers, this should be a seamless process. The only thing you’ll probably notice is a new name and address on the billing invoice for your hosting. Rest assured that we will inform you of any changes to your account before it happens.

Also rest assured that we will continue to work to create great websites for our clients. The web continues to provide a fertile foundation for innovation and expansion and we intend to help you utilize the web for your business to the fullest extent possible.

Two New Sites Released

http://maison4.comMaison4 is an interior design company that specializes in all areas of interior design, including space planning, lighting design, furniture selection and window treatments with locations in Boston and Phoenix. Their web site includes information about their services, as well as a storefront with hand-selected items for home decorating. Congratulations to Maison4 for launching their new site.

vecofcanton.comAlso this week, we launched the new site for Veterinary Emergency Center of Canton, CT. VEC of Canton offers a 24 hour emergency clinic for household pets. No matter the time, they can care for your pet, complementing the services of your regular veterinarian. Their site includes a visual design with detailed information about their services. We are proud to have worked with this new small business as they launch both their site and their services.

Contact us today to start work on your new web site!

New Site Launched: the Carter Notch Inn

http://carternotchinn.comThis week we are excited to announce the launch of a new website for Carter Notch Inn. The Carter Notch Inn is an award winning bed and breakfast located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The Carter Notch Inn provides an elegant location for your next fall foliage adventure, cross country ski trip or summer escape. Their new website showcases their various bedrooms and amenities, as well as introduces you to the attractions in Jackson, NH. In addition, to previewing the rooms available, links on the site allow you to reserve a room for your next trip.

Congratulations to the Carter Notch Inn on the successful launch of their new site. Contact us if you are ready to launch your new web project.

New Site Release: Brick and Stone Expressions

We are excited to announce the launch of the new website for Brick and Stone Expressions. Brick and Stone Expressions creates original and unique stone products for fundraising projects, memorials for pets, monuments for significant moments and events, decorative stones for gardens, and even drink coasters and other specialty products. Brick and Stone Expressions is able to offer custom designs that express your personal sentiment or capture your corporate identity. Their website needed to showcase the wide variety of stone products and designs they offer and communicate to potential customers the various options available. Congratulations to Brick and Stone for launching a new web site with North Forty Road.

You can visit the new site at http://brickandstoneexpressions.com/.

Two New Sites Released!

Today we are happy to announce the release of two great new sites:

LaFrance Medical Aesthetics: A Bristol, CT – based company that provides high-quality cosmetic treatments that generate natural, subtle yet amazing results. LaFrance clients enjoy an upscale, comfortable environment and access to top treatments for a wide range of conditions. Their website reflects their culture of quality and their simple aesthetic of beauty. Plus it provides valuable information to potential clients and useful tools for scheduling appointments.

Rosie’s Laundromat: Rosie’s is a fresh take on an old idea – the laundromat reinvented for the modern world. Offering a full-service laundromat, with state-of-the-art washers and dryers, Rosie’s goes above and beyond other laundromats by also providing a great atmosphere and a concierge service for all your laundry needs. Rosie’s website reflects their spirit of fun, while also inviting customers to come check out their reinvention of the laundromat.

Congratulations to LaFrance and Rosie’s Laundry for launching their sites with North Forty Road!

NFR’s Communication Plan

One of our primary goals at North Forty Road Web Studio is to be your trusted web advisors. To that end, we strive to provide a high quality web product that meets your needs. But we also strive to provide customer service and support so you never feel left out in the cold when you need help. Today, web sites are mission critical tools, essential to your business plan and success. We want to do our part to ensure your success.

In the weeks ahead, we also hope to improve our communications with you. We want to provide you with useful information and helpful tips to keep your business running well and to allow you to utilize the latest tools on the internet. At the same time, we don’t want to inundate our clients with needless email or anything that might be perceived as “spam.” We want to increase the value of your relationship with us, not detract from it.

So, here is our strategy for communicating with you:

  • We will continue to send out a monthly e-mail newsletter. This newsletter will be the only regular email we send out (excepting our billing emails, sent by our billing system based on your billing schedule) and we sometimes even take a month off. This means, the most email you will get from us is once a month. Sometimes, of course, there are special announcements that require us to send out an email to all our clients, usually regarding server status or a security concern. That is a rare exception to our once-a-month email rule.
  • We will publish a weekly blog newsletter, that will contain helpful tips and hints. This blog will be posted on our website for anyone to read. Our monthly newsletter will be composed largely of these blog posts.
  • Usually, our blog posts will be brief, one-item stories that are focused on something useful for your business. But occasionally we will write a more in-depth article to help you reflect more deeply on how you are using the internet to further your business goals.
  • Since we are increasing our blogging content while keeping our email newsletters low, we will post the blog updates through our LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. If you follow us on Twitter, you will always know when there is some fresh content on our blog.

We want to be your trusted web advisors. Please let us know if our communication is useful to you, or if you have other ideas on how we can more effectively fulfill our mission of meeting the internet needs of business.

New Site Release: Bristol Hearing Aids

Bristol Hearing Aids

We’re proud to announce another new site release, for Joanne Cyr-Callaghan at Bristol Hearing Aids, a company serving the needs of people with hearing loss. Joanne has a growing business that needed a new, improved web site. Our custom design gave her a great look at a great price.

Our professional design team took cues from Joanne, and developed a site that is clean, modern, and simple, yet contains the vital information her clients and potential customers are looking for. We also are developing a mobile version so folks can find her business easily on the go.

Check it out at www.bristolhearingaids.com!

Are you using this hot summer to your best advantage?

For some, Summer is a time to slow down the pace of work, to recharge the batteries, and to prepare to be better, more excited, and more productive once the busy Fall hits.  A great way to hit the ground running this Fall is to spend some time now focusing on your marketing.  Take a few moments to think about how you are reaching your customers, and use some of our tips below.

Do an e-newsletter, like this one. Email marketing continues to be an easy way to connect with your customers, and it works! (You’re reading this one, right?) Some studies have shown interesting facts, like:  Did you know that people are more likely to open and read an e-newsletter on a hot, sunny day?  Also remember: The more personal, the better – your customers will feel more connected to you if you simply converse with them. Contact us to talk about setting up your own e-newsletter campaign.

Update your website content: This is a great time to click through your own website. Maybe it is time to upgrade text and images and to add something new. Remember that your website is not like a printed brochure – the message should grow and change with your business. Contact us for advice on how to improve your website. 

Invest in internet marketing: Have you had a Search Engine upgrade on your website recently (or ever)? Have you checked the statistics of your site visits and how people are finding you online? A small amount of time on your part and some financial investment can truly make your website work for you. Contact us to discuss your own marketing situation, and how your website can be part of your sales team.

We look forward to hearing from you, and wish you a well-balanced summer: rest, relaxation, and readiness for the Fall!