The new internet gold rushApr 02, 2014
The odds are you won't find a suitable .com name when starting with a new business. With more than 100 million .com domains registered, there's just nothing to choose from anymore. Your name is long gone and by now there aren't many good derivatives or two-word combinations either. Feel the frustration? You are not alone. Every new business, every ngo, every company going through rebranding face the same frustration. Tens of thousands of people every day.
Such a scarcity has of course led to the emergence of a massive new market. For starters, most of those 100M+ .com names are not in active use. Vast majority never quite were. They were (and are still being) registered in a the initial dot com gold rush. Just open Sedo.com where you can choose from millions of .com names, price tags starting with 50 bucks and going up to tens of millions of dollars. Or go to Namestation which helps you either combine a smart new .com name from language engine or crowdsource this task from its community.
Neither of those options are helpful for most of the naming cases. There can only be one johndoe.com, just a single .com for any unique brand name that you sometimes can't flavor with additional words. So, three additional trends are reshaping the .com world for already a few years now.
First came the mindshift. Dot com wasn't always considered the only true god at some point anymore. Hip startups went on and established themselves on alternative domain name endings like del.icio.us or instagr.am. Thousands of them turned for .io names. United States, America and British Indian Ocean Territory? Not anymore. These once-local domain name endings started to live their own lives as part of the global branding village. It It soon led to common companies embracing originally Columbian .co — like a lean, fresh, more powerful version of .com.
Second came the discovery that world is bigger than United States. Dot com always had this American flavor to it. Couple it with the original strict English-language character set limitations (e.g no ç, õ or 人 allowed in the names) and you have a problem of enormous size — a problem for more than 6 billion non-English speakers. If you want to distinguish yourself culturally or language-wise from the US-centricity, you've felt this problem. So IDN, International Domain Names were rolled out to solve it. Well, IDN didn't quite go mainstream in the end. Istead, it became a potential goldmine for scammers (çomcasť.com anyone?) and jokers (☃.net). Additional rules are now in place to prevent the registration of scammy 'exotic' domain names.
Reselling Edicy: Veebimajutus.ee experienceMar 21, 2014
There are tons of website building services and softwares – Wordpress, Joomla, Squarespace – to name some. Why did you go with Edicy?
Actually the client makes the final choice. Anyone who prefers Wordpress, can get it as easily as Edicy.
How did the integration of Edicy went? What were the steps that turned out to be most complicated ones?
Integrating over API went without any issues, nor did we have any complications. Still, some trade-offs had to be made, but it is understood when talking about a ready-made software.
Your clients can see Edicy logo and branding – something that many resellers wish to avoid. Do you find it not important or is the branding even beneficial?
I can’t really speak for others, but we don’t try to hide Edicy’s brand and believe it has rather been good for us. You don’t have to everything yourself and a good collaboration helps both partners.
How much time and effort does Edicy take on daily basis?
We’ve made everything fully-automatic. This means that our “Make-a-web-yourself” service including Edicy, hosting and e-mail service, doesn’t take more effort than other hosting services we offer.
Has Edicy been the one you were looking for?
Yes, we are happy in any possible way. Of course there is always room for improving our cooperation and I’m sure we’ll do that :)
Veebimajutus.ee has been offering Edicy for 6 months now. Would you recommend it to others as well? What should a good reseller keep in mind?
If one is looking for a simple website building alternative for clients or partners, then Edicy is definitely a good choice.
Designs – we got themMar 20, 2014
Luckily, Edicy is a perfect tool for everyone – one can choose a ready-made template or create a unique design with our developer tools.
Ready-made design template
Customizing the template
Major update for web developersFeb 25, 2014
Our ecosystem has expanded significantly over the last couple of years. Thousands of exceptional custom websites have been built on Edicy. Most of them are crafted by our partners and freelancers from around the world.
One of the most requested features by a swarm of web developers has been the ability to alter the looks and components of individual pages and blog posts. For example to give each blog post a unique thumbnail or cover image. Or apply a different background image for any of the pages on a site.
Today we are happy to announce that this major update — custom data fields — has been released and available on all paid accounts. You can now bind any kind of data not only to entire site but also for each page or blog post separately.
The scope of possibilities is huge — unique background colors, Facebook post images and other OG-tags, text attributes, icons for menu items, configurable widgets like distance / price / tax calculators or Flickr galleries, page layout modulators etc. Go ahead, read our renewed API for more or jump straight to the examples. Feel free to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd be really happy to help you get new flexible customer websites up and running.
Design basics for the rest of usFeb 11, 2014
You don't need to hire a designer for every design task — just like you don't have to call your copywriter when writing everyday emails.
Understanding design and being able to apply it at the basic level doesn't require you to have talent or have formal design education. It's a lot easier than learning French and it pays off handsomely — just like being able to read and write. This is rather important to remember — don't be afraid, design is not for designers only.
Design isn't art. Great design makes products usable, bad design makes them useless. Designer is an engineer connecting products with their users.
In web, design helps the visitors to use, read and understand the content of your website. A website with great design takes the effort away from the visitor. It's easy to navigate, find info, reach answers and become your customer.
I'm going to give you a few simple rules that help you apply basic design in your work with content. These rules also help you be a better partner for designers when hiring them for a design job.
LayoutSimple layout. Humans are pretty bad computers. Don't try to make them think, instead adapt your design to their simple, linear abilities. Simple, geometrical and consistent — that's what a layout should be. Use as few differently designed elements at a time (at once on screen) as you can. Keep the navigation consistent across the site. Use grid-based layout to present content in a neat and harmonious way.
Readability. It's difficult to read long lines of text. That's why all newspapers give you multiple short columns instead of one wide. In web, columns aren't so nicely implemented technically and are a bit counterintuitive — we are happy to keep scrolling a single column. But the lines of text in this column should still be optimally just 60 characters wide. A bit more is a good compromise — as we can't have multiple columns in web. This blog is for example 80 chars wide. Another important factor of readability is character size. It should be bigger than you think. It's now basically accepted that a standard body text in web should be 16px — more than what you are reading right now.
Whitespace. Rookie designers try to fill up every corner of the canvas with some information. Such cluttering is both very hard to "read" and looks unmistakenly cheap. Embrace emptiness. Empty space — whitespace — gives the content it surrounds a lot of value, a lot of attention.
Responsiveness. Until recently, websites were designed for a single usecase — for viweing them on desktop/laptop screens. Since then, most of us have adopted smartphones and are browsing the web from a variety of tiny screens. Moreover, instead of mouses clicking, clumsy fingers are tapping the links and buttons. Therefore designs must be flexible and fitting — responsive — on all kinds of devices.
ContentWriting. Copy is the most undervalued part of design. Design is about usability, understanding. The easiest way to spread understanding is through explaining it with precise, short and sufficient words. True — every customer has specific needs and they use different sentencing when searching the web and might not find you if your site doesn't include those wordings. So you should cover a variety of different words to attract those searches. The solution is to keep the main pages short, simple, precise flavored with your branding and style. But the blog and some lower level pages should be abundant with words attracting the long tail of searches and interests to your website.
AestheticsMinimalism. Most of what I said above was about being as simple as possible. It's both about making the design task solvable and reaching a nice contemporary result. Simplicity isn't dull. Human mind associates order and simplicity with beauty. Minimalist scandinavian design is beautiful. Don't experiment unless you get paid for finding your own unique style as a designer.
Colors. Some colors match, some don't. You don't have to guess, it's pure mathematics unless you are a superstar designer who can basically match anything (because he can). Just go and pick colors yourself for your website theme.
Typography. You don't have to stick to 5 fonts of the olden times in web anymore. There are hundreds of free and not so free webfonts. But don't 'get crazy'. Unless you know you are good enough in typography, stick to the Arial-like sans fonts or Times-resembling serif fonts. Comic sans and other 'funny' fonts should be left to professional use :) Oh, and be sure that the font you choose supports the languages you intend to use on your site. Not every font has cyrillic or even East European characters included.
Be honest. Avoid cheese. Being honest is priceless. Instead on illustrating the team section on the website with a stock photo of smiling people of every gender and nationality, use pics of your own team. Never use stock images of shaking hands and suits of cheesy businesspeople. Show your real customers, real workplace, real products.
Build your e-commerce solution with SnipcartDec 10, 2013
7 tailor made "suits" from best Edicy mastersDec 09, 2013
The simplicity of Edicy does not only rely on the everyday usability, but also on the fact that we are offering a one-stop-shop for running a site – hosting, content and domain management, code editor with a knowledge base for more technical people, as well as a super friendly helpdesk.
And we've been rewarded a thousand times for our work – each day sees more and more tailor-made sites built on Edicy, pleasing on the eye, helping people in their daily life while offering and finding different services.
omaasi.com / youroffice.ee – these two sites created by Velvet Digital Paper have been out there for more than a year. Both of them use a similar one page layout onto which a blog and product list has been built using our catalogue tool. Both of the sites are also optimized to look good on mobile devices – a feature common to most Edicy sites unless deliberately built differently.
tallinnbicykleweek.ee / minuunistustepaev.ee – a revolution in the streets and evolutionary changes in mindset. Edicy has the honor of hosting sites of a number of NGOs who not only care about the people and physical environment around them but have transformed this knowledge into beautiful and functional websites. With the help of designers of course. Two of them, Tallinn Bicykle Week and "Day of my dreams" are combining photos and simple messages to interact with their viewer – a smart move since photos of actual people and events are powerful means of telling a story. Especially when speaking about web – long texts belong to books printed on paper.
PS: about the revolution on streets – klick here
filmmusic.ee / tab.ee / lightbiennale.ee – sites for different festivals and events, promoting Estonian composers, architectural heritage and the magical work of light designers. All of these sites originate from dudes at aku.co. These sites create a good showcase of what can be done with our catalogue tool – events, authors and publications can be filtered by name, event title or other characteristics to create a holistic overview for the visitor. The coding of these three sites has been done by Fraktal.co and Newtime.
On changing the worldNov 21, 2013
Fast forward to Day Two. Real life starts kicking in, stuff gets serious. You'll soon discover that it's a journey full of routine and burden of responsibility governed by the one and only God. The Cash Flow. And there's far too little Cash to keep the juices flowing. Not many will buy your stuff. Only your team, family and friends really understand how important your work is and how nice a guy you are. How great products you make. How much superior your product is to your competition.
Turns out that everyone else is busy manning their own holes to push their own products in exactly the same crappy situation. Competition is enormous, oxygen is scarce.
But hey — this will most probably change. You'll survive. If you really are good at what you are doing you can run but you can't hide. They'll discover you. You'll be drawn out from your little hole. Your products will be bought. Your passion and craftsmanship will be loved. You'll make at least a mid-sized dent in the universe.
You don't need to change the whole world. Change it for as many as you can. No one ever will reach each and everyone in the universe.
But do consider the marvellous idea of starting a new business diligently. Maybe switching your lousy job to a great one instead will do the trick.
Life behind the simplest web creation tool