New Webmail Interface

As of September 5th, 2019, Big Tuna has launched our new mobile-responsive webmail interface with improved workflows. This update makes it easier for our clients to quickly send and receive emails, manage contacts, organize important events, and more – even on your smartphone! The new version of our webmail is faster, more accessible, and more secure than ever before – and most importantly, this update does not affect your existing inbox, contacts, settings, or other data.

Our old webmail interface is no longer available as it’s not mobile-responsive or as intuitive as the new version. To ensure you’re getting the most out of this new user experience, please be sure to use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, etc. to access your webmail swiftly and securely.

Webmail Overview graphic explaining the features of the new webmail platform design

Why Do All Websites Look the Same?

A question faced by many businesses looking for a new website is “Why do modern websites all look the same?” This is usually only apparent when looking at site after site and comparing them side-by-side that one comes to this conclusion, but there is some validity to it, and here’s why:

Google’s Best Practices

Google has been at the forefront of improving the web and establishing best practices, it’s why you no longer see websites that look like this: The World’s Worst Website.

With that said, Google has stated preferences for certain technologies, font families, and site organization – all of which contributes to a more uniform look across the web. By following Google’s best practices, your site is rewarded with improved visibility. On the flip side, failure to adhere to these practices may negatively affect your search engine ranking.

Grid Design and Device Accommodation

Responsive website design utilizes a grid system to make page layouts that are optimized based on the device a visitor is using to access the website. The grid organizes content so that viewing across all the different sized screens (desktop, laptop, tablet & mobile) is aesthetically pleasing and easy to view.

While the grid system has drastically improved the usability of websites across platforms (especially mobile) it creates consistent sizes and shapes that, once again, add to a more uniform look across the web.

User Friendliness and Meeting Visitor Expectations

As the web has evolved, users have become familiar with certain set-ups and have come to expect certain components to reside in familiar areas that function in expected ways. By adhering to website norms, a website is more user-friendly and will be less confusing for visitors. The goal, after all, is not to create a super exotic website but to create a dynamic marketing tool that works on all devices, browsers & operating systems, generates leads, converts customers and helps your business grow.

Research & Analytics:

The web has been a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives for going on two decades. We know what works and what doesn’t work. At Big Tuna we adhere to many tried and true methods for conversion as well as industry best practices that have proven strategic advantages.

In Conclusion:

It’s not just you… as the web has become more streamlined and built to work across various technologies, there has been a convergence in design. While there has been a bit of a loss in uniqueness (think Myspace vs Facebook) we feel this change is more than made up for in accessibility, consistency, reliability and most of all effectiveness.

The Importance of High Quality Images for Your Website

When it comes to showcasing your products or services, a picture is more than just a thousand words – it’s the potential for thousands in sales. In an age of visual culture and social media consumption, high quality images aren’t a luxury, they’re a necessity for attracting potential clients.

According to Social Media Marketing expert Jeff Bullas, “In an online store, customers think that the quality of a product’s image is more important than product-specific information (63%), a long description (54%) and ratings and reviews (53%).” furthermore, “…60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results.”

Taking the time to invest in high quality photos can mean the difference between a potential buyer choosing your company over the competitor down the street. Not only do high resolution, professional photos improve the likelihood of a call or a sale, search engines like Google and Yahoo favor original content (photos) over those using stock photography, helping your site rank better in terms of SEO.

barn photo no grid

Pictured Above: A Professional Shot Using the Rules of Thirds. (Photo Courtesy of Big Tuna Lead Graphic Designer James Keegan.)

Here are three affordable ways to help your company capture some high quality photos for your new website.

Invest in a Digital Camera

Your website’s gallery is a customer’s first impression of your service capabilities. While a quick snap from your iPhone is convenient, it won’t capture the full beauty of a well-manicured landscape or a elegant kitchen remodel. On the other hand, you don’t need to go out and drop thousands of dollars on a top-of-the line DSLR camera.

There are many advantages to investing in a camera, a key one being that you don’t need to spend the extra money every time you want to update your portfolio. Most digital cameras can be purchased for under $300, and if you choose to go the route of refurbished, you can easily find one under $100.

Some Tips for Shooting Your Own Photos:
  • Buy a camera that has a resolution of at least 16 megapixels
  • Use natural lighting for a shot rather than indoor lighting or the camera’s flash setting
  • Use the “rule of thirds” when composing your shot
  • Take lots of photos. With more options, you can take time and select the best from the bunch

Put an Ad on Craigslist

Craigslist is a great tool to use if you’re looking for a quick, easy way to find a local photographer. List your advertisement under the “creative gigs” section with all the details (location, date, compensation). You may be able to snag an amateur photographer for as little as $20 an hour.

Contact Your Local Community College

Another great way to get high quality, professional looking photos is to contact your local community college. Most colleges have a photography or media department with students itching to build up their portfolios. As an added bonus, most students are willing to work at a reduced price for the experience.

When a Smartphone is Your Only Option…

As a small business owner, you don’t always have time to stop what you’re doing to set-up for a photo shoot, we get it. If your only option is to use your smartphone, here are a few tips to get the most out of this less than ideal option:

  • Turn your phone sideways. Wide angle shots are better and more versatile than vertical shots.
  • Take A LOT of photos of the same project. Using slightly different angles and heights increases your chances of getting that perfect shot.
  • Make it a habit. Don’t set out to get some good pictures just for today – make it a habit. Encourage your employees to take pictures frequently, and don’t hesitate to send the best ones to the support team at Big Tuna so that we can update your site.
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