Are you, like many business owners, off to a busy start of 2019? The beginning of the new year brings new goals, new challenges, and, ideally, a new website for your business. With so much going on throughout the course of a year, many will think about, and maybe even start to plan on upgrading their business’ old website, only to let their plans get back burner-ed when other issues with their business pop up. If this sound like you and your business, it’s time to make a change and make 2019 the year you finally get that new website up and running! To get you moving in the right direction, here are some of the many reasons why you need to get your new website launched in 2019:


  • Your website is STILL not mobile ready / responsive
    This. This is one of, if not the biggest, reasons you need to update your website in 2019: If your website is still stuck in the stone age of desktop browsers, and does not automatically reconfigure it’s layout based on the device it is being viewed on, then you really need to upgrade your website NOW. According to recent studies, people visiting a website from a mobile browser now account for more than 50% of overall visits. Obviously, that equals quite a few potential customers you would be turning away if they are unable to visit your website easily because it’s still stuck in the 1990’s!


  • Speaking of the 1990’s . . .
    Did you hire someone to design your website so long ago that you don’t recall how long ago that may have been? That’s a sure sign that your website should be updated. Website design trends are very much like fashion; while you may not need to keep up with the latest look to hit the market, you do want to at least put your best foot forward and keep the look of your website classy and modern. This means freshening up your website with a new look, new design, and new features (see above about Responsive / mobile optimized designs) every so often.


  • Slow load times and missed opportunities
    Remember the days when you would have to wait, and wait, and wait, for a webpage to display in your browser, particularly if you were on a page with lots of images? Thanks to a wide proliferation of high speed internet access throughout the world, this problem has largely been eradicated for many of our daily browsing activities. However, to search engines like Google, an extra bit of loading time could be construed as “slow” to their algorithms – netting your website a penalty signal when it comes to ranking and displaying your site in their search engine. Too many “bad” signals and you could find it difficult to draw an audience to your business site. To fix this, there are a variety of speed optimizations which can be applied to a new website throughout the build process that you will want to take advantage of.


  • Easy to update, easy to use
    Are there times you would like to add a video, a photo, or maybe some new text for your website, but are unable to because it was built at a time when all updates had to be performed in code? That’s another sign it’s time to upgrade. For the average business, user updatable content via an easy to use Content Management System (CMS) is a standard feature among modern websites; oftentimes via the ubiquitous WordPress Content Management System. Even if your website has an old CMS of it’s own, newer advances and upgrades to the core WordPress experience (along with secure, managed WordPress hosting from Meyer Computer, Inc.) make it worth the time and minor expense to update your website.


  • SSL? HTTPS? What’s that?
    You may have noticed for some time now, a small lock icon at the top of your browser when you go to many websites. That’s a sign that the website you’re visiting has a valid SSL certificate which, in layman’s terms, means your session with the website in question is validated to be secure and trustworthy. This is especially important in parts of the website that need that extra layer of security (and the peace of mind it brings) where a user might submit their personal, banking, credit card, contact, etc. information through your website. An additional bonus: This need for security when browsing is yet another important signal that Google looks for when determining how and where to rank your website in their search engine. No SSL is a no go with Google.


  • Making it marketable
    Does your website still have old, depreciated meta tags, text content that doesn’t reflect your current business as best it could, or maybe numerous pages with small amounts of ignorable text thrown on there as an afterthought? As the saying goes, “Content is King” and a website without content simply will not measure up to the expectations of your visitors or your best friend, Google. When you’re redesigning your website, keep the importance of content in mind, and make sure to work with your webmaster on an online marketing and search engine optimization plan that will get potential customers to your site and keep them coming back for more!


Ready to get your new website rolling for 2019 and beyond? Contact your local web design and online marketing experts at Meyer Computer, Inc. today!

Thinking of building a new website for your business, but not quite sure which direction to pursue? Have a look at some of our new and notable designs to help give you a few ideas:


Client: North Fourth Publications

Industry: Entertainment / Visual Arts


Notable Features:

  • Big, bold graphics coupled with video and text content rendered in a client specified font greatly enhances visual appeal and impact.
  • Parallax scrolling effect allows for background previews of graphic novel pages integrated for added visual flair.
  • Single page, “infinite scroll” type website allows for all information to be accessed easily with a few quick swipes of your finger or scroll wheel.
  • Fully responsive design is optimized for viewing on virtually any screen type.


Client: Sakamoto Properties

Industry: Real Estate


Notable Features:

  • Single property website perfect for marketing upscale real estate listings.
  • Designed to integrate with the client’s overall brand identity and brokerage website,
  • Single page, “infinite scroll” type website allows for quick and easy access to essential property information.
  • Optimized to be easily accessible on virtually any device.


Client: Karen L. Browne

Industry: Real Estate

Notable Features:

  • Advanced IDX Maui home search integration.
  • Maui Information and Condo Information databases allow for access to a wealth of information on the island of Maui as well as expanded condominium information.
  • Modern, easy to browse design aesthetic.


Client: Elizabeth Keller

Industry: Visual Arts


Notable Features:

  • Uncluttered design for local artist Elizabeth Keller.
  • Multi-format, easy to browse, image gallery showcasing artists’ latest and greatest works.
  • Responsive web design optimized for mobile consumption.


Client: Dr. Virginia Cantorna

Industry: Medical


Notable Features:

  • Accessible web design with important patient focused information directly on the front page; laid out in an easy to read manner for prospective patients.
  • Easy to update resources and FAQ pages to help inform prospective clients of the types of services Dr. Cantorna offers and assist in managing their expectations.
  • Quick access to office address, a dynamic Google map/directions, and office contact information on every page.
  • Fully responsive web design optimized for desktop and mobile.


Now that you have some ideas (and questions?) for your new website, schedule a free consultation with us today and let Meyer Computer, Inc. help you take your business online! Mahalo!

Many long time readers will no doubt recall as a premier source of information for those looking to buy, sell, and/or invest in the exciting real estate market on Maui. Over the years, the Maui Real Estate Directory mission has been to provide valuable information and insight on all aspects of the real estate market on the island of Maui in a consumer friendly, easily accessible format. For 2018 the Directory has received a number of upgrades in an effort to provide this information to a wider audience. Here is a look at some of the new and improved features of this valuable Hawaii real estate resource:

  • Mobile Friendly / Optimized Design
    The new has been re-built from the ground up with a modern user interface optimized for viewing on virtually any device. Try it on your phone, tablet, computer, or other device to see the difference at
  • Secure Connection (SSL/HTTPS)
    To help keep their users safe while complying with Google’s latest best practices, the Maui Real Estate Directory website is fully secure, as evidenced by the ever more common “Connection is Secure” icon in the address bar.
  • Enhanced Featured Maui Real Estate Agents and Maui Real Estate Brokers Pages
    Looking for a first home, second condo, or investment property on Maui but don’t know where to start? Visit the Featured Maui Real Estate Agents and Featured Maui Real Estate Brokers pages to discover the best real estate agents and agencies on the island. Compare information, visit their website(s), or contact them to discuss all your Maui real estate needs.
  • Maui Real Estate Resources
    Want a top architectural firm to design your new home? A construction firm to build it? Or maybe you want to finance a new home, or have one of your current properties appraised prior to putting it on the market? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then you should visit the Maui Real Estate Directory Resources section for an always expanding list of top firms and specialists on the island, ready to help you achieve your Maui real estate goals.
  • Market Trends
    One of the most popular sections on, Market Trends gives you the latest information on the state of real estate on Maui in a colorful, easy to read format. Published monthly by the Realtors Association of Maui, these real estate market reports are a great resource for consumers as well as for those in the industry.
  • Spotlight Blogs
    Saving the best for last: If you want up to the minute information on Maui’s real estate market and more, then take a long look at the Spotlight Blogs section. Featuring blogs from top Maui Realtors and brokerages, you will find a wealth of information ranging from current featured listings to upcoming events and items of interest in these articles. Come back to this section often as new blogs are added on a regular basis.

Want to find out more? Pop on over to and enjoy!

Are you making your list and checking it twice? You should be.

The holidays are right around the corner and any successful business preps for the season well in advance. From Black Friday and Small Business Saturday to the big “C”, these are the biggest shopping days of the entire year and are dates you don’t want to miss out on.

In the event that you haven’t quite made your list, let alone checked it twice, we got you covered! Here is our checklist to the holiday season for small businesses.

Stock Up On Extra Inventory
Take a look at last year’s orders to anticipate how much product inventory or basic supplies you will need to keep up with demand. Whether it is shipping supplies or printed gift certificates, be sure to order it ahead of time to avoid the express shipping charges and possible delays. And if this is your first year in business, tap into your industry for ideas as well as guidance through your first holiday season.

Decorate Your Windows and Store
Nothing draws a customer in than a festive storefront, so get creative! For our fellow friends in the tropics, opt to decorate a palm instead of the traditional pine or use seashells for ornaments. That added extra flair to your small business could potentially fill even the Grinch among us with the holiday spirit.

Check Your Website
And while you are making sure that your physical storefront is looking the part, why not give your online one a once over. Make sure that your website design is tidy, easy to use, and is ready for a busy holiday season. From finding your products or services to your e-commerce checkout, you want to make sure that it is all available and working smoothly.

Create a Holiday-Focused Marketing Campaign
Let’s face it, we live in a holiday-crazed society. The festive décor we know and love have even been making an appearance in most department stores before summer has even come to an end. So we encourage you to sit down and create a marketing campaign that is hyper-focused on the season. Show your target market that you have what they need and communicate your story as a small business with a festive flair!

Get Some Help
From last-minute preparations to crazed customers, we are sure you already have your hands full and the holiday season has barely begun. If you are hoping to spend this season more in the green than in the red or you are just feeling a tad overwhelmed, get in touch and schedule a free consultation. Our Maui team specializes in website development as well as internet marketing, so let’s chat about what we can do for you and your small business.

Good tidings to each of you, Happy Holidays!

Utilizing the most innovative therapies and procedures, Lyons Care Associates is made up of a multidisciplinary team committed to bettering the lives of their patients here on Maui. Through lifestyle modifications based on four pillars of service, this team of experts assists in better treatments, prevention of cancer, and overall wellness.

As a private practice that revolves around each patient’s unique medical requirements, these practitioners recently sought to create a new online platform that could better serve their clientele. In partnership with Lyons Care Associates, the website development and internet marketing team at Meyer Computer, Inc is excited to announce that our newest medical website has officially launched!

With a high-resolution welcome video, the new greets patients with glimpses of Maui’s lush landscapes and invites the viewer to get to know what this practice has to offer.

While you are getting to know this new and improved website, we thought we would point out some of the design highlights:

  • Comprehensive site navigation.
  • Quick access to learning more about cancer screening, oncoplastic surgery, lifestyle courses, and more.
  • Easy contact and inquiry form.
  • Google Map integration.
  • Convenient appointment option at the top and bottom of every page as well as throughout the site pages.
  • A CMS system that allows for changes to be made easily.

Not only are we delighted to add a different genre to our design portfolio, but we at Meyer Computer, Inc. are proud to provide the esteemed professionals at Lyons Care Associates with secure WordPress hosting. This new platform will not only enhance their patient relationships but also help them become a prominent medical resource here on Maui.

Looking to tell your story through a professional website? Schedule a free consultation today and let’s start creating!

One of the great things about having a website for your business is that it’s easy to change and update the information. Unlike a print brochure you can easily make changes anytime you like. That’s assuming of course your site is built using a CMS, or content management system. A CMS gives the website owner the ability to easily change content on their website without having to contact their webmaster. (If you’re a bit anal — I mean “detail oriented” — then this may not be a good thing. It’s 2AM, put down the mouse and go to bed.) There are many content management systems out there, but the most common one is WordPress.


It also makes you a target.


Of all active websites today over 30% are using WordPress. Of all active websites that are using a content management system, over 60% are using WordPress. Because WordPress is so popular and pervasive, there are thousands of add-ons and tools (plugins) available that can help you get the most out of your website. While this makes WordPress a great option for building and managing your website, it also makes it – and you – a target. A really, really big target. If you’re a hacker and trying to compromise a website platform, then you want to compromise WordPress. This means if you’re going to use WordPress to build your site, you’d better have security at the top of your to do list. And WordPress security is not just something to think about when you build your site, but something that must be part of your everyday routine as you go about maintaining your website. Here are some things to consider.

Strong Passwords

You’ve heard this one before. Probably many, many times. You need to use strong, secure passwords. If you’re using your website for business, then getting hacked is not just inconvenient, but also embarrassing, and possibly expensive if it causes you to lose business. It’s easy to pick a good password because WordPress helps by picking one for you. And if you want to change it to something that’s not secure, it will actually make you check a box saying: “Confirm use of weak password – because I want to be hacked and have some malware installing lowlife make my website their bitch.” Okay, maybe it doesn’t say it exactly like that, but you do have to confirm you want to use a weak password. Use the password WordPress picks for you, or use your own strong password.

Don’t make “Admin” your username

For malcontents to log into your website they need more than just the password, they also need an administrator’s username. The one used most often is “Admin.” So it’s quite easy to guess. So don’t use it! But you need to do more than that. The first user created when WordPress is installed is probably an admin. And finding out that username can be as simple as going to your website with ?author=1 tacked onto the end of the URL. ( If you can type this in and get to a page that has your admin username at the end of the URL, then you may want to add security measures to stop this.

Limit login attempts

If you have used an easy to find username, and a weak password, how do hackers get into your site? One method is brute force. They use automated bots that try different logins over and over. Fortunately, this is easy to thwart. There are plugins that will limit how many attempts can be made to get into your site. After a set number of attempts, the IP address of the attacker will be blocked.


It’s 10pm – do you know what your plugins are doing?


Use quality themes and plugins

Speaking of plugins, do you know where yours came from? Are they kept up-to-date and actively maintained? There are thousands of plugins out there. And not all are created equal. By using just any old plugin you may be adding security holes into your website. Before installing any theme or plugin make sure it’s one that is being actively maintained and is well supported by its author. If you find a premium plugin you’d like to use, don’t be tempted by one of the many websites that offer free downloads of premium plugins and themes. If it’s not from the vendor or a reputable source, you do not know what else may have been added. A backdoor to your website perhaps? Some nice malware? A few spam scripts? Just like you don’t want to buy your important medications from some website wearing a trench coat and hanging out in a dark alley, you don’t want to get your WordPress plugins or themes from these sites either.

Keep everything updated

One of the reasons you want to make sure you only use themes and plugins that are supported is because hackers are always finding new ways to get in. New exploits are always being found, and even the best software can have security holes. When new security threats are found, vendors will patch their code and you will need to upgrade. Patches and upgrades are always coming out for plugins, themes, and WordPress itself. It’s important that you keep all of these up-to-date. If you are doing this manually you should be checking at least once a week. The longer you wait to update your site, the longer you may be leaving the back door open for attackers.

Backup, Backup, Backup

Like using a secure password, this is one you hear all the time. And for good reason. If your site does get hacked, you may need to delete it and install a backup. That is if you have a backup. Often website owners assume their web host is backing everything up. But are you sure? Many times we have heard of users losing part or all of their website and finding out their host can’t restore it. You may have to pay extra to have website specific backups done, or if they are done, to get your files back. Check with your webmaster or web host and find out. But don’t stop there. You can run your own backups.

File and directory permissions

The files and directories of your website have a set of permissions. They are set independently for each file and directory and for the type of user. They say what can be done with each file, and who can do it. For example, you want everyone who visits your website to be able to read your content, so anyone should have read access to the files needed to view the content. But other files, files that contain configuration and database information for example, should not be readable by everyone. And they certainly shouldn’t be editable by everyone. Making sure all of these permissions are set correctly is very important. If you’re not familiar with setting these, there are WordPress security plugins that can help. Or contact your web host.

WordPress Database

WordPress websites use a database to store the information and content that make up the site. If a hacker can compromise the database, they have complete control. You can make this harder by making sure the table names in the database are not easy to guess. By default all the tables have specific names with a prefix of wp-. You can change this prefix when installing WordPress so your database tables can’t be easily guessed. There are also a set of security keys that need to be added when you first setup WordPress. These keys are used for encryption to make it more difficult for attackers to crack your login. If you’re installing WordPress yourself, be sure these keys are added correctly.


Would you like some nice malware?


Secure your own computer

If you’ve got the most secure WordPress installation in the world, but the computer you use to log into your site is compromised, then all that work may be for nothing. An attacker can just get the login information from your computer. (Along with the login’s to your bank accounts, medical history, email, work logins, Wanda’s online emporium of adult toys…) So make sure you keep your computer up-to-date and secure.

These are only a few of the things you should be doing to secure your website. There are more. If you have a webmaster or web host who you think is doing these things for you, don’t assume. Ask them. One thing to look for in your host is if they offer “Managed WordPress” hosting. With managed hosting you generally get many additional perks. Things like keeping your WordPress installation and themes and plugins up-to-date, and making sure your site is secure. They may also add additional WordPress specific security at the server level. Don’t just pick the cheapest hosting for your WordPress website. If you’re not an expert in site security, then find a managed environment that can handle that for you. If you’d like help managing your WordPress website, contact us today!

Shopping for a new website, some assistance in marketing your business online, or both? While there may be numerous options to choose from, there are also a number of considerations you will want to take to ensure you and your business receive the level of quality in service that you deserve. Here are a few things to consider:

Depth of Knowledge

Does your web professional know their stuff? Like really, really know their stuff? If you’re considering contracting someone to design your website, build your database, get you millions of followers on Instagram, provide customer service via Facebook, run your digital advertising initiatives, and make your brand #1 on Google, prepare for disappointment. Simply put, an effective web presence requires an effective team of experts doing what they do best to put your business in front of the eyes and ears of those who your business values the most: new, well targeted, customers. With the online landscape being an ever changing place, not only should you have a team in place to take care of your digital assets, but you want to be sure that they are qualified to do so. To assess their qualifications: ask them a few basic questions relating to web design, search engine optimization (SEO,) social media marketing, Google advertising, etc. Even better, schedule a meeting with our experts at Meyer Computer, Inc. and ask us how we can help your business grow online!

Marketing Strategy? What’s That?

Every business has a unique set of needs when it comes to marketing themselves online. While certain methods may work for some, they may completely fail when it comes to implementing them for others. When marketing your products, offerings, or services online, your chosen agency should be willing to meet with you to discuss a strategy tailored to the specific needs and goals of you and your business. If they instead attempt to offer you a “one size fits all” type of service, it’s time to move on and find an agency who will to work with you and your needs (i.e. the friendly, knowledgeable staff at Meyer Computer, Inc.!)

Seeing the Results

Now that you have your new website up and online marketing strategy in place, it’s time to take a look at tracking your progress, in the form of online analytics and reports. For example, marketing clients of Meyer Computer, Inc. have numerous reports available to them, many updated in real time, including:

  • Traffic Stats/Analytics Report
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Success Report
  • Social Media Activity Reports
  • Facebook Advertising Report

Ready, Willing and Available

Not only should your marketing agency be able to answer your questions during your initial consultation, but they should be available to answer any questions that may arise during your business relationship. Additionally, you should be able to meet (preferably face to face) with your agency to discuss current and future strategies, additions or updates of new marketing products/channels, current campaign performance, etc. at regular intervals. As we like to remind our clients, regular communication is essential to maintaining top performing marketing campaigns; so be sure to hire an agency that is aware of this very important fact.

Benefits to Hiring an Outside Marketing Agency

Marketing your business online is a full time job. From optimizing content, running and managing ads, analyzing traffic, to setting up and maintaining your social channels on a regular basis; marketing online can easily take a team of full time professionals to do properly. We are often asked for our thoughts on whether a company should hire someone to be their in house online marketer, or if they should contract an agency such as Meyer Computer, Inc. to help their business meet its potential online. As such, we have compiled a few items to consider prior to making a decision:

In House

  • Will your budget allow for having full-time employees dedicated to Internet Marketing? Salary ranges from $55,000/yr. for a beginner to well over $90,000/yr. a year for a marketing veteran. Not to mention the taxes and other expenses that come along with having additional employees.
  • In addition to budgeting for each new employee, remember that you will need to have a separate budget for buying ads online through Google, Facebook, etc. as well.
  • As mentioned earlier; online marketing, done properly, requires a healthy amount of knowledge, skills, and time commitment, as well as constant learning and adaptation to new methods, trends, tools, etc. Do your new hires understand all that their job entails?

Contracting an Agency

  • Prior to hiring an online marketing agency, meet with them to discuss the needs and goals of your business. You want to paint as clear a picture as possible of how you want your brand represented online, and what kind of growth you would like to see prior to hiring an agency for your marketing needs.
  • Discuss with the agency how their team members will best address your needs, what strategies they suggest be employed, etc.
  • Consider contacting other clients of theirs whom may be willing to give you feedback on their services.

Following these tips will help you make the decision which is best for your business.

If, after reading all this, you have more questions or would like to discuss how Meyer Computer, Inc. can help your business grow online: contact us today!

For decades, Akina Aloha Tours school and tour bus service has served visitors and residents on the island of Maui through a wide variety of transportation services for groups big or small. In early 2018, Akina Aloha Tours took the bold step of re-branding itself to their new name: Akina Tours & Transportation. This rather major name change brought about a need to revamp Akina’s entire lineup of promotional services; including a rather substantial web presence. That’s where the website and marketing experts at Meyer Computer, Inc. stepped in to help!

As the premier web and marketing provider of Akina Aloha Tours for many years, Akina Tours & Transportation asked us to assist them in transitioning the entirety of their web presence to their new company name as well as help in promoting a host of new and improved group tour and transportation services here in Maui, Hawaii. In a bid to maximize promotional efforts, Meyer Computer, Inc. created an entirely new customer-centric website for Akina Tours & Transportation, which has just launched!

Upon first entering the all new, customers are treated to an expansive selection of views from the island of Maui; starting with a high resolution intro video featuring Akina Tours & Transportation’s newest luxury mini-coach set against a backdrop of the lush green West Maui Mountains, and continuing with a vibrant slide show of some of Maui’s most enjoyable beaches. Once you have been awed by the initial splendor of Maui, scroll down to quickly “Get a Quote!” for group tour and transportation services, view a quick introduction to the Akina Tours & Transportation company, use the 4-up on-page quick menu to instantly view transportation service options, and discover the newest tours and latest happenings with Akina Tours & Transportation and the Island of Maui.

Delve deeper into the new and you will find everything you need to learn more about Akina Tours & Transportations tour and service offerings, reserve your group transportation, and much more! Some highlights:

  • High resolution photos detailing the many transportation options available.
  • 360 degree virtual tours of select passenger coaches.
  • Quick access to learn about and book transportation services for groups, weddings, corporate get together, and more.
  • Introduction to the new range of specialized tours being offered by Akina Tours & Transportation.
  • High definition tour video integration.
  • Custom “Build Your Own” tour informational page with quick “Get a Quote” booking prompts.
  • Integrated online direct booking of specialized tour options.
  • Easy access to custom quote and information forms throughout.
  • Convenient Search option at the top of every page.
  • Fully responsive/mobile optimized design.

As a premiere client, Akina Tours & Transportation also benefits from a wide gamut of internet marketing and optimization services offered by Meyer Computer, Inc. to increase client acquisition, direct bookings, top ranking in Google and other notable search engines, brand loyalty and recognition, community growth, current and prospective client engagement, and many other notable web metrics.

At Meyer Computer, Inc. we are proud to provide the knowledgeable owners and staff at Akina Tours & Transportation with web services that enhance their client relationships while helping to take their business to new heights (or, in Akina’s case, roads!) Mahalo!

If you’re thinking about a new website, and asking yourself “How should my website look?” Then you may be asking the wrong question.

Imagine you’re designing a race car and you’ve got a great idea for the paint job. You spend lots of time with your designer getting the look just right. Then, when you’re just about done, you say: “Oh, and it should probably go fast too.” This is exactly how many people approach designing a website. They have ideas on how it should look, what kind of images and colors they want, then when it’s done they start thinking about on-line marketing.

What do you want your website to do for you?

Like starting with the paint job of your race car instead of the engine, this is backwards. The first thing you should do if you’re designing a website, or re-designing a website, is consider your goal. What do you want your website to do for you? (But be realistic. It’s not going to wash your car, feed your dog, and take care of your kids… yet.) For example, if you’re an established musician you may not need to put as much thought into marketing or getting visitors to your website. There’s no direct competition because there is only one you. (Unless you’re Elvis.) You also may not need to think about marketing if you’re an informational site for a specific association or board, and there’s nowhere else to get that information.

However, most people do need to consider they’re going to be competing for visitors with many other sites. So if the goal of your website is to get more business, then it will need to do well in Google and other search engines and be primed to convert those visitors to clients. So the question shouldn’t be “how do I want my website to look,” but “how do I design my website so it will market well and bring in clients.”

Responsive, Fast, and Secure

The three main things you want to be sure your new website has are: a responsive mobile friendly design, a design that is built for speed and loads fast, and a site that is secured with an SSL certificate. Most visitors are going to be viewing your website on their phone. In fact some of your visitors may never even see the desktop version of your site. So designing with mobile users as your first priority is a given.

Your visitors have already left…

And mobile users may not always be on a fast WiFi connection, so speed is also important. So important that website speed is now a ranking factor in Google. If your website takes even a few seconds longer to load than the competition, then your visitors have already left and are now browsing your competitor’s website.

Another new ranking factor in Google is whether or not a site is secure. A secure site will be using an SSL certificate and only load over an https connection. And it’s not enough to just have an SSL certificate. You have to use it correctly. If even one image or script link on your site is loaded over a plain http connection you’ll lose the coveted little green padlock in your browser.

Website Design Aesthetics

Hawaii Web DesignOf course, just because the look of your website is not the most important thing doesn’t mean it’s not important. If your site loads fast and secure on mobile phones but is confusing to use and um… well, ugly, then you will probably lose visitors there as well. But what is a “beautiful” website? Are some colors better than others? Is there a perfect font? A perfect image? Not really. If we’ve learned one thing in over twenty years of web development it’s that everyone has a different idea of what makes an aesthetically pleasing website. Everyone has different favorite colors, and a different idea of what types of images they want on their site. But, there are a couple of concepts you can use to guide you along the way.


Okay, I’m not sure prototypicality is even a word. But the idea is this: The Internet has been around for quite a while now and everyone has an idea what a website should look like. And most people have an idea of what a specific genre of site looks like. Prototypicality means not making your visitors wonder if they clicked on the right link – wonder what your site is about. Studies show sites that more closely match users mental image of what that genre of site should look like are judged more aesthetically pleasing. And this all happens in less than a second.

But this doesn’t mean you have to make your website look just like everyone else’s. It doesn’t mean you can’t be creative or have a novel approach to your look. It just means to keep in mind users expectations as to how a website of your business type should look and function as you design. If it’s a shopping site, there’s probably going to be a “shopping cart” button somewhere on the right or top right. If it’s a real estate site, there’s going to be an easy and obvious way to search for listings. A news site will have top stories readily visible. An adult site will have… okay, enough examples.

Visual Complexity

Visual complexity can be difficult to define. But most people know it when they see it. Of course, they don’t visit a site and immediately think: “That’s a visually complex website.” They probably think more along the lines of: “this website is confusing,” or “this website doesn’t look very professional.” Visually complex sites are also judged as being less attractive.

This website doesn’t look very professional

But don’t confuse this with the complexity of the information on a site, or the amount of information. Visual complexity is more about how the information is being presented. Visual complexity is about having too many different design concepts going on at once. Some concrete examples are having too many different font styles, too many different layout styles, too many different types of graphical styles. Just because you can do something on a website doesn’t mean you should do something on a website. Remember blinking text and scrolling marquees? Ugg.

Cognitive Fluency

Maui Web DesignBoth prototypicality and visual complexity are examples of cognitive fluency – or “the ease with which information is processed.” The human brain likes things that are easy to think about. Not veering too far from what’s expected and not overwhelming the senses are two ways to keep your visitor’s brains happy when they visit your website. Some other examples:

Keep your fonts easy to read. This can affect not only readability, but the brain’s perception of the content. In one study participants were asked to estimate how long a particular exercise routine would take. The ones reading the instructions in a hard-to-read font estimated almost twice as long. So the font used to describe your product or service can actually affect what visitors think about your product or service.

Readability can also affect users perception of truth. Another study had participants judge the truth of a statement. One group read the statement with a light font on a light-colored background and the other a dark font. Those who read the statement with more contrast between font and background judged the statement more likely to be true.

In the end you want to make your website fast, secure, and easy to use. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your site is if you can’t get people to see it. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend picking out the perfect colors and images if it’s otherwise confusing and difficult to use. And if thinking about all this doesn’t make your brain happy, then we can help. Remember, don’t be this guy.