Gutenblog

<  Blog Home
June 2014
June 2014
Gutensite-Etch-a-Sketch
By

Businesses need to make sure they have taken every step to be found online. This means having a beautiful, SEO optimized website, having a presence on the social media platforms where your customers frequent, and also being listed in appropriate business directories such as Google maps.

The problem is, as the online gatekeepers evolve, their recommendations for businesses change. All the time. Recently, I discovered Google had lovingly converted Gutensite's Google Places profile (the old business listing recommendation) into a lonely, empty, shell Google Plus profile, with no followers, not posts, etc. So we suddenly had two Google plus social pages for our business: our regular Gutensite page and another empty page that was the "verified" business listing, which is what shows up on Google Maps, and as the local business information in the right sidebar if someone searches for Gutensite.

This is confusing for visitors, and becomes redundant, splitting our followers across two profiles, each functioning as half of a total solution. Surely there must be some way of merging these accounts.

I spent hours over several weeks, looking for answers. But all I ever found were a lot of complaints and images of people banging their head against their keyboard. I was finally able to get in touch with a Google support person, who initially appeared as confused as the rest of us. He didn't seem to understand why it was problem, and he didn't know of anyway to "merge" the two accounts.

But I am happy to share that after a lengthy phone call, and several emails back and forth, he located a fantastic support document that explains how to merge your business' Google Plus Social profile with the Google Plus Local profile. The title of this document, "Connect a Page to Google Maps" is not ever going to help people solve the problem because it's not intuitive how that relates (but it does).

So if you haven't checked recently, you log into Google Plus, and look at "all pages" see if Google has created a second profile for your business as well (they supposedly converted everyone automatically). If it hasn't, you'll probably need to first convert your Google Places profile to a Google Local profile (good luck), and you'll want to "verifiy" your address (they send you a code in the mail). After that, the instructions for merging the accounts should help.


June 2014
June 2014
alloro_design
By

We have released several new designs in the last few months and we haven't had time to brag about it! Today we are launching Alloro. The visual equivalent of afternoon champage, this design is timeless, traditional, luxurious and makes all the content it touches turn to gold.


April 2014
April 2014
church_relevance_logos_post
By

We're excited to share that Church Relevance included 2 logos designed by Gutensite in their best church logo designs for 2013. The logo we created for  City Church San Francisco made their best of for 2012 so it's our second year in a row! They included our branding for the Resurrection Brooklyn Church Network and Imago Dei Church in their list of "Distinctive. Memorable. Timeless" and "aesthetically pleasing" logo designs.

See their full list of Great Church Logos


April 2014
April 2014
Inc-Problems-with-Small-Business-Websites-Infographic
By

Inc. recently ran an article and infographic about the biggest challenges small businesses have with their websites. We've been saying this stuff for years, so we thought we would share.

The main problems small businesses have with their website include:

  1. No Clear Call to Action
  2. Poor Design that Doesn't Impress and Engage
  3. Difficulty Updating Content
  4. No Way to Measure Success
  5. Poor SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  6. Not Optimized for Mobile
  7. No Designated IT person

Our CMS makes it easy to update your website, our support team helps every step of the way, our sites are Mobile/Responsive on every sized device, and we  function as the webmaster and technical team for our small business clients. Furthermore, when we build websites for our clients, we make sure clients figure out what their conversion goals are, so we can help them design a website that funnels traffic to those conversion goals and measure the results. This means every page includes a call to action, e.g. you view a profile and see a button to "Contact Jane", you read a blog and are encouraged to sign up for the newsleter, you view the prices and then take the next step to "Sign Up". Your website needs to be a funnel.

SEO is an important ongoing process that helps increase your free "organic" traffic. But once people are at your website you need to make sure it's "Human Optimized" as well. That is where good design, by experts who understand UI and visitor behavior, makes all the difference. If your website isn't optimized in these ways, you are missing out on the benefit that it could be providing for you. Your website should not just be another expense, it should be a vital part of your business strategy, paying for itself and in fact driving much of your revenue stream. If it isn't doing that, you are missing a great opportunity.


April 2014
April 2014

By

This is probably too geeky for most people, but for the sake of transparency I wanted to let you know what our status is in regards to the recently popularized "Heartbeat" security threat. "Heartbeat" is a flaw in OpenSSL, a protocol that manages the secure connections of the servers that run 2/3 of the websites in the world. Essentially it allows hackers to theoretically view 64KB of the current memory space (that's a lot of data). This random, raw data, but it could contain secure information like passwords and private SSL keys.

Lots of servers had implemented other protocols that made them secure against the vulnerability. And other servers, like Gutensite, are theoretically vulnerable to the attack, but since each connection has it's own resources the only user information an attacker could get was their own information, e.g. not other users passwords.

As soon as news broke about the vulnerability, and a patch was issued, we immediately updated all our servers. You can check our servers with this tool and see they are secure.

This vulnerability has been present since 2012, and it would not surprise anyone to learn that the NSA engineered it themselves, given the stream of revelations regarding their misbehavior to undermine all sorts of public security protocols in the past decade. But it's not clear that it was known by hackers during any of this time.

Although we aren't a large target like Yahoo!, it is possible that Gutensite's private key for our SSL Certificate could have been compromised, although only a select group of of operators like the network operators, the NSA, or criminals with a few million dollars of equipment in the right locations, could use that information. But just to be safe we reissued the certificate after the patch was in place. Everything should be as secure as possible now.

We also implemented Forward Secrecy, which essentially generates a new key for every connection, which make SSL far more secure than it was even before. If someone somehow steals your ssl key from one connection, it won't decrypt data from another connection.

We recommend that clients who use SSL ask us to resissue their certificates as well, just to be safe. And it's a good idea to change your password (something you should do regularly anyway).


March 2014
March 2014
Gutensite as Primary CMS for Rackspace Marketplace

Today we are proud to announce an official partnership with Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX) as the primary CMS for their Marketplace. Our hosted website builder & CMS makes it easy for Rackspace small business and nonprofit customers to design, deploy and grow beautiful and powerful websites. Gutensite's user-friendly technology and dedicated expert support helps clients make websites that accomplish real world conversion goals, which become a valuable part of their organization’s business strategy.

By leveraging Rackspace’s OpenStack®-based technologies, Gutensite makes it easy for those who already love Rackspace to build an amazing website on top of Rackspace’s hybrid cloud. Rackspace Cloud Servers ensure easy scaling when traffic and load increases as an organization grows.

“Gutensite is built with open source server software, databases and programming languages, and we chose Rackspace in part because of their shared commitment to OpenStack, the open source cloud computing platform for public and private clouds,” says co-founder & CEO Chadwick Meyer. “This commitment to open source principles and no restrictive contracts, reflects our shared values for making sure clients are empowered with the best solutions available and remain loyal only because of our superior product quality, service and support.”

Every individual Gutensite runs on a Rackspace Cloud Server. Clients can start in a simple, affordable multi-tenant environment or migrate to their own dedicated Cloud Server, which could be a cluster of load-balanced servers or any other custom configuration required. Scalability and customization is available for every client. And by providing hosting for each website, Gutensite ensures that the CMS continues to evolve to meet client’s needs over time and server infrastructure continues to perform at maximum efficiency.

“Selecting the most appropriate content management system for your project can be tricky,” said John Engates, Rackspace CTO. “By aligning efforts with Gutensite, we can offer a hybrid cloud solution, while Gutensite takes care of a site’s CMS needs so business owners can spend more time focusing on their bottom lines.”

We are honored to be part of this fantastic community and look forward to our ability to help more small businesses and nonprofits create websites that become integral parts of their success.


February 2014
February 2014
Succulent
By

Return on Investment

A great website should be one of the most vital parts of your business strategy, not only easily paying for itself but driving a significant portion (if not all) of your business sales. We have clients whose businesses were completely transformed by their website. They saw what worked and now invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in their website year after year, because it delivers a great return on investment.

Unfortunately, many people "get a website" because they think it's what they are "supposed to do". They don't have a strategic plan for integrating their website into their business' success. And they think an $8/mo website is a good deal. But they never stop to ask what that basic website is actually costing, in terms of lost revenue and opportunity!

If you ask the business owner who makes $1,000,000 from their $100,000 per year investment, who would they say is getting the better deal?

It's not so much a matter of how much you spend, but ROI for every dollar spent and how much lost opportunity is costing. If your competitors are getting more traffic than you and making more sales, how much is that worth?

Every business and industry has different opportunities and potential to capitalize on opportunity. If you paid $100,000 to get a million visitors next month, you couldn't possibly handle all those sales. So you may not recoup your investment. But a careful, incremental strategy, can customize a solution that delivers valuable ROI for $100, $1,000, $10,000, etc.

Examples of Business Saving and Revenue Generating Features

So instead of thinking about your website as an extra business costs on your checklist, think about it as a source of massive revenue potential.

  • Establish an Impressive Brand. Promote your brand with a professional image that is online 24/7 for the world to see. Provide a professional image that your sales and partnership develop team can confidently direct leads toward which will impress the client and make sales much easier. You can also associate your brand with helpful content on your website that will increase SEO and bring in more visitors.
  • Funnel for Conversion Goals. Everything on your website is a funnel to get your visitors to complete your desired actions, e.g. when they look at your team they are invited to contact the person, when they read an article they are invited to ask the author a question, when they download files they are asked to provide their contact information. Everything funnels to your conversion goals.
  • Product Sales via Online Store. Increase your revenue by selling more products and services through an online Ecommerce store.
  • Generate Contact Leads. Solicit phone calls from visitors on your website, or gather contact information from interested visitors by making it easy to contact you. You can motivate visitors to sign up for your service or provide you with their contact information in exchange for access to special features, private information and reports, physical merchandise sent in the mail, or other members only services.
  • Customer Support for Administrative Processes. Increase customer satisfaction and reduce administrative costs by allowing customers to update their own information, manage support requests, or provide them with answers to questions like Directions, Hours, FAQ, Tutorials, etc.
  • Service Platform with Online Tools. Be a platform for doing something awesome online. Or provide more ordinary online services that empower visitors or members to interact with your business’s services in valuable ways. For example: Searching and Mapping Data, Searching and Playing Multimedia, Cost Calculators, Facilitate Communication, Games or other Fun Features.
  • Informational Resource. Save a lot of time communicating with customers or members by publishing your latest news, description of services, and other helpful resources.

These are just a few high level ideas, but if integrated with your business, any single one of these could be worth thousands of dollars of savings or new revenue.

We would love to consult and help you analyze your entire business operation, sales and marketing strategy, and support, and suggest ways that you can dramatically improve the ROI of your website.


February 2014
February 2014
pinnacle_blue
By

Meet Pinnacle—vintage travel poster meets passport meets playbill. For the adventurous and the romantic. Comes in faded blue, slate, classic red, saffron and mahogany.

pinnacle_slate

pinnacle_red

pinnacle_saffron

pinnacle_mahogany


January 2014
January 2014
blog_wolfram
By

Introducing the Wolfram, a rich, dramatic portal with floor-to-ceiling background images. Comes in 5 colors: Stormy Blue, Camel, Blood Orange, Emerald and Pink Fusion.


January 2014
January 2014
custom_design_lg
By

HealCodeWe're excited to announce that the new year is taking off with a new partnership between Gutensite and HealCode, whose MINDBODY widgets integrate seamlessly to provide class schedules, class descriptions, staff profiles and prospect contact pages. Visitors can register to become members online, view trainer schedules, make appointments and register for special events. Packaged with Gutensite's exceptional features & design, health clubs and spas can get their websites in top shape.

Learn more at Gutensite for Health & Fitness

Or visit our Fitness Demo