Professional & Affordable

Mariposa Web Design specializes in affordable websites for small businesses.  As a sole proprietor based on Long Island, I know how important it is for you, as a small business owner to keep costs down.  I can help you get your business on the web for a fraction of the cost of large agencies.

Web Solutions by Mariposa Web Design

  • Business to Consumer Websites
  • Business to Business Websites
  • Custom WordPress Themes
  • Content Management Systems
  • Website Updates and Redesign
  • Website Maintenance

I’ve developed a way for you, the small business owner, to get a website up and running, without hurting your bottom line. My simple, informational websites are affordably priced.

What can a small business website do for you?

  • Expand your business by being available to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Your website is an online catalog or brochure that can be easily updated at any time.
  • A quality website helps to give your small business a more professional image.
  • Improve customer service by offering information and resources for your customers that they can access online whenever they need it.
  • Sell products online without the need for a brick and mortar location.
  • Promote your services. Perfect for lawyers, doctors, accounting firms, virtually anyone!
  • Generate leads for your business.
  • Gather information about your customers by offering surveys.
  • Recruit quality employees by posting job opportunities online.

Getting your business on the web does not need to be complicated or expensive.

Simple, Effective Designs: You want to get your business on the web without breaking your budget. I want to help.

By working with you to create simple, effective designs, I am dedicated to giving your business the added benefit of a web presence while keeping your costs down.

Want to know more? Send me an email or call! I will gladly discuss your project needs with you.

Need more? Need a custom site with more functionality? E-commerce? Interactive websites? Contact me to discuss a custom solution to fit your needs.

Beware domain registration “scams”

If there ever was a reason to purchase domain privacy with your registration, my most recent domain buying experience is the perfect example.

In the less than 10 days since registering a new domain for a client, since I put my own contact information on it, I’ve received a barrage of email solicitations and even a phone call in the middle of the night.  I suspect that phone call was part of this because the caller ID was blocked.  A few days later, I get another blocked call.  This time I picked up and found myself speaking to a guy from India asking if I’d just registered a domain.

He hung up on me when I questioned his motives.

I use the term scam loosely because what they’re doing probably isn’t illegal.  But they are taking advantage of people who may not know better.  One such email came in labeled as a final notice that I must register my domain with the search engines or it will never be found. (For a fee of course).  I know that claim to be false, but someone new to having a website may not.

Another common scam I receive is by snail mail.  A notice informing me that my domain name is expiring and I should lock in my low low renewal price of $45 per year before it’s too late.  This is on a $11/year domain name.  The fine print explains what’s really going on, keeping it just this side of legal (in my opinion), but it’s deceptive and predatory.

If you’re new to domain registration and find yourself suddenly receiving warnings or notices telling you to send money for any reason, be very careful.  Unless that message is from your registrar where you bought the domain (who will obviously send legitimate renewal notices) , chances are they’re just trying to get you to buy a product you don’t need.  Often at over-inflated prices.

Need a domain?  Visit http://www.mariposadomains.com.  I would be happy to give you advice on the do’s and don’ts of domain registration.  Contact me for more information.

Office 2013 Crashing on Startup

I came across an offer from Microsoft where they are selling Office 365 as a subscription rather than having to buy the software outright.  Having used Adobe products as a subscription, I thought this was a fantastic idea.  I can upgrade my software and keep it up to date for a fairly low monthly fee.

I installed it on two computers.  One, a brand new Windows 8 computer.  It seems to work fine.  Admittedly, there isn’t much on that computer to interfere, but I also haven’t done much to really test it out to its fullest.  I only know that everything opened and stayed open when I tried it.

The Problem

Now on to my Windows 7 machine.  This machine is about 4 years old with a ton of files and programs clogging up the works a bit.  The first thing I noticed is Outlook 2013 would crash as soon as I tried opening my old pst file.  The good news is I could open it in safe mode and it seemed to work fine.  (Open your start menu then type “Outlook /safe” into the search bar without the quotes.  Yes there is a space in between Outlook and /safe.)

How to Fix It

Once opened in safe mode, click File then Options.  Click the Add Ins tab.  On the bottom drop down where it says Manage, select COM Add Ins then click “Go.”  From here, you can disable your add ins.  I disabled all of mine, so I can’t tell you which was causing the problem.  Outlook 2013 now opens in normal mode without a problem.

I ran into the same problem with Word 2013.  First thing it did when I tried to open a document was crash.  This time I got a message saying it was having trouble with the ABBYY FineReader add in and asked if I wanted to disable it.  I said yes, but Word still kept crashing when I tried to open a file.

Once again, using the same method as above, I opened it in safe mode.  (winword /safe)

There were only two add ins.  This time it wouldn’t let me disable ABBYY FineReader add in saying only an administrator can make changes.  I am the administrator!  I tried opening Word as admin the normal way, but it still crashed and I couldn’t disable the add on.

As a last ditch effort, I simply uninstalled ABBYY FineReader.  I don’t use it, so I probably won’t miss it.  If ever I need to convert a PDF to text, I will have to find something else to do it with.

There you have it.  Disabling add ins using safe mode on your Office 2013 apps seems to fix the problem of it crashing on startup.  I have to say I’m a bit disappointed that I had to jump through these hoops to get my new software running.  I’m hoping Microsoft can find and fix the problem so others don’t have to do the same.

Best of luck to you!

Proud to Announce Long Island Pro Design, LLC

I am very excited to announce the formation of Long Island Pro Design, LLC.  DBA Mariposa Web Design.  I have decided to take my business up another level, and the formation of my LLC is just the beginning.

What will change?  Nothing besides the name and address at this point.  I will still be offering the personal one on one service I always have.  I like to give each and every one of my clients the personal attention they deserve.

What is the new address?  I’ve closed my Uniondale location and have returned to Baldwin as my primary address.  You can send your mail to 1620 Grand Ave., Box 1756, North Baldwin, NY 11510.  If you already use the P.O. Box 1756 address, you may continue to do so.  Please note the 626 RXR Plaza address will no longer be able to accept mail at the end of this month!

I’d like to thank each and every one of my amazing clients for their support and for trusting me with their website needs.  I couldn’t do this without you!

Announcing new look for Galina Carroll Designs!

Check it out!  Galina Carroll Designs has a new look!

What a wonderful project this was!  Galina Carroll is a talented artist who designs the most beautiful knitwear.  I have some of her pieces and I have to say they are very unique, stylish and simply beautiful!

Check out her new site and stop by her online store to see her products!  Hope you love them as much as I do!

www.galinacarroll.com

 

New Gluten Free Blog for Long Islanders!

Live on Long Island and looking for Gluten Free restaurants?  Check out this new blog: Go G-Free With Me!

I had the pleasure of working with these wonderful ladies as they were setting up their new WordPress blog.  Using the Thesis Theme as a starting point, I helped them customize the menu, throw in a fancy Google Font and set up a fabulous justified gallery plugin.

Check it out!

gfree

 

How to Improve Google Rankings

Getting your website ranked high in search engines like Google does not happen automatically.  In most cases, it is not enough to just create a new website.

Who is your competition?

To get an idea of what you will need to do, you first need to know who you are up against.  Run a Google search of your keywords and see what comes up.

When I search “Web Designers” I get over 98 million results!  In recent years, Google has improved on its search results by trying to serve up more relevant local results even for the most general keywords like “Web Designers”.   Even so, 98 million results from websites that have been online longer than yours is a lot to overcome.

The age of your website can be a double edged sword

Age is just one key factor in how a website will rank.  A website that has been around for several year and is kept up to date with relevant information will be given more weight than a brand new site.  On the other hand, an old website that is not being updated will fall in the ranks because Google may see it as no longer relevant.  A website is not a set it and forget it solution.  If you forget about your website, so will Google. 

How to keep your website relevant in the eyes of Google

Simple.  Keep updating it.  Even if you just make small changes to the content, Google will see that it’s been updated recently and will give it the attention it needs.  Make sure to use the keywords you are targeting and keep the content relevant.

What keywords do I use?

Obviously, you want to choose your keywords based on what your site is about.  For example, I sell website design, so my keywords will be focused primarily on website design.  Because website design is a fairly broad term with millions of competing websites, I will want to narrow my focus.

Who am I targeting?  Finding a niche is a great way to narrow your keyword focus and improve your search engine rankings.  I target Long Island.  The keyword “Long Island Website Design” is a lot more specific and will get better results in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.

But I can do better than that.  I don’t market myself to large corporations.  My customers are generally small business owners.  Add that to my keyword I have “Long Island Small Business Web Design.”  I still have some competition, but my chances of being on the top page of Google are quite good.

How long does it take?  With active marketing and aggressive tactics such as outside link building and continuous site updates, if you have a fair amount of relevant content, it could take a few weeks to a few months to get to page one on Google.  There are many variables at play.  Your keyword.  Your competition.  What your competition is doing.  The age of your domain.  The amount of content on your website.  The type of content.  The list goes on and on.

Can you guarantee top placement?  No.  Nobody can.  If someone tells you they “guarantee” number one placement in Google, they are either a scam or are using “black hat” SEO to get you there.

What is “black hat” SEO and if it works, why don’t I want to do it?  “Black Hat” SEO tactics are generally frowned upon by search engines and can get your website black listed.  That means you could have the best content available, but Google won’t give you the time of day.  Some black hat tactics include keyword stuffing, hidden text, and duplicate sites.  Google likes to see unique relevant content and will reward you with better placement if you follow the rules.

If you break the Google rules, you may find yourself in the top spot quickly, but once you’re found out, you will lose your spot and may get your site removed from the results entirely.

Truly, the best way to win favor with the search engines as well as your visitors, is to provide the most informative information you can in an easy to follow format.  Your visitors will thank you for it.  What good is top page ranking if once someone gets to your site all they see is keyword stuffed text that makes no sense, and they can’t find what they are looking for?

If you have questions about SEO or are interested in having me take a look at your website, feel free to give me a call or drop me an e-mail.  No pressure.  Promise!  (516) 670-5757

Happy Holidays!

A lot has been going on at Mariposa Web Design in preparation for the new year.  I can’t believe how fast the time has gone!

Are you ready for the holidays?  I’ve finished most of my Christmas shopping and only have two more gifts to wrap.  I got a bit of a late start, but I’m feeling pretty good about it.

So what’s in store for 2013 at Mariposa Web Design?  Each year has brought new goals for my business as well as steady progress even during the tough economy.

New Billing System

I’ve just switched my hosting accounts over to a new billing system.  If you’re a hosting customer, hopefully this will make things a little easier for you to manage your account.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Need a hosting account or hosting and maintenance plan (also new!)?  Visit my other site at www.liprodesign.com/whmcs to place your order.  Need help?  Call or e-mail me!

Free templates!

Who says you can’t give anything away for free?  Well, I can’t tell you how many small business owners contact me for services only to find out that getting a custom website is out of their price range.  I do my best to keep my prices low, but I have to eat too.  So I’ve decided to scour the web for free templates to offer for download.  If you want to install it yourself and make your own updates, you don’t owe me a thing!  But I’m certainly available to help in any way I can, and as always, my pricing is more than fair.

I’ve posted some of the free website templates already, but there are more to come in the next two weeks.