Vigour Graphics Wins Top Award at 2024 Australian Small Business Champion Awards!

Vigour Graphics Wins Top Award at 2024 Australian Small Business Champion Awards!

We are thrilled to announce that Vigour Graphics has been honored as the Winner of the prestigious 2024 Australian Small Business Champion Awards in the category of Web Development. With an impressive pool of 5,500 business entries from across Australia, the Gala Event held at The Star in Sydney was a celebration of excellence and achievement in the business community.

As the founder of Vigour Graphics, I am bursting with pride at this incredible accomplishment. This recognition is not just a testament to our dedication and hard work but also to the remarkable talent and commitment of my incredible team: Jemay, Irish, and Lorie. Together, we have poured our hearts and souls into delivering outstanding web development solutions that exceed our clients’ expectations.

At Vigour Graphics, we are passionate about supporting regional, rural, and remote businesses, and this award is a validation of our commitment to making a meaningful impact in these communities. Additionally, our dedication to empowering women to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams and turn their passions into thriving businesses has been recognised and appreciated.Vigour Graphics - Business Champion Award Winner 2024

Winning the Australian Small Business Champion Award is a tremendous honor, and we are immensely grateful for this recognition. It inspires us to continue pushing boundaries, delivering excellence, and making a positive difference in the lives of our clients and the communities we serve.

Thank you to the Australian Small Business Champion Awards for this incredible honor, and thank you to everyone who has supported us on this remarkable journey.

#AustralianSmallBusinessChampionAwards #VigourGraphics #WebDevelopment #SmallBusinessExcellence

Mobile-First Websites: Why We Prioritise This in Your Design

Mobile-First Websites: Why We Prioritise This in Your Design

In today’s rapidly evolving digital space, over 50% of web traffic comes from mobile devices, adopting a mobile-first approach in web design is not just a recommendation—it’s become a necessity. Mobile-first design is crucial for your business and it provides a significantly enhanced user experience and engagement.

Understanding Mobile-First Design

Mobile-first design is a strategy we use where designing a website. We create a plan which includes the mobile version, which is then adapted to larger screens. Mobile-first design emphasises simplicity, load efficiency, and an interface optimised for smaller screens, often leading to innovative solutions that improve overall usability.

Why Mobile-First?

  • Increased Mobile Usage: The shift towards mobile browsing is undeniable. Most users now access the internet via smartphones and tablets. By designing for mobile first, we ensure that the majority of your users experience the best version of your website.
  • Improved User Experience: Mobile-first design focus on core content and functionality. This not only helps in delivering a cleaner, uncluttered layout but also improves the site’s usability on small screens. Features like touch-friendly buttons, optimised images, and responsive menus contribute to a seamless mobile experience.
  • Better Performance: Mobile-first sites load faster. Fast load times reduce bounce rates and improve overall engagement.
  • Enhanced SEO: Google’s algorithm favours mobile-friendly websites. By adopting a mobile-first approach, we enhance your site’s SEO, making it more likely to appear higher in search results. This visibility is crucial for driving organic traffic to your site.
  • Future Scalability: Mobile-first design makes it easier to adapt to new technologies and screen sizes in the future. It lays a flexible foundation that can evolve with advances in hardware and user habits.

How we Implement Mobile-First Design

To effectively implement mobile-first design, we use the following strategies:

  • Prioritise Content: We determine what is essential and what can be omitted or presented differently. This helps in maintaining focus and clarity in user interactions.
  • Adopt a Responsive Layout: We use fluid grids and flexible images to ensure your site adjusts smoothly across different screen sizes and orientations.
  • Test Extensively: We use regular testing on various devices and browsers. This is crucial to ensure your mobile-first design looks and functions as intended across all platforms.
  • Enhance Accessibility: We  ensure that your mobile site is accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. This includes readable fonts, adequate contrast, and navigable elements.

Mobile-first design is not just about making a website mobile-friendly; it’s about starting the design process from the perspective of mobile users. This strategy helps in creating a more engaging, accessible, and user-friendly website. By focusing on mobile experiences from the outset, we can cater effectively to the largest segment of the market, enhancing both reach and impact.

Cybersecurity: 11 steps towards security

Cybersecurity: 11 steps towards security

When it comes to cybersecurity, there are several important measures that businesses website owners should consider implementing.

Here is some advice to help enhance cybersecurity:

1. Keep Software Up to Date: Regularly update all software and applications, including operating systems, web servers, content management systems (CMS), plugins, and themes. These updates often contain security patches that address vulnerabilities.

2. Strong Passwords and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Encourage the use of strong, unique passwords for all accounts and systems. Implement multi-factor authentication wherever possible, which adds an extra layer of security by requiring additional verification steps.

3. Employee Education and Training: Educate employees about the importance of cybersecurity and provide training on best practices. Topics may include recognising phishing emails, avoiding suspicious websites, and using secure Wi-Fi networks.

5. Data Backup and Recovery: Regularly backup critical business and website data and store it securely offsite or in the cloud. Test the backups to ensure they are reliable. Having backups enables recovery in case of data loss due to cyber incidents or other disasters.

6. Secure Website Development: Follow secure coding practices when developing websites or web applications. Regularly update and patch the CMS, plugins, and themes. Remove unused or outdated components, as they can become targets for attackers.

7. Firewalls and Network Security: Implement firewalls to protect network infrastructure and restrict unauthorized access. Utilise intrusion detection and prevention systems to monitor network traffic for suspicious activities.

8. Secure Payment Processing: If your website involves e-commerce or handles payment transactions, use secure payment gateways that comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements. This helps protect customer payment information.

9. Regular Security Audits and Vulnerability Assessments: Conduct periodic security audits and vulnerability assessments to identify weaknesses in your systems. Regularly scan for vulnerabilities and address them promptly.

10. Incident Response Plan: Develop an incident response plan that outlines steps to be taken in the event of a cybersecurity incident. This includes procedures for containing, mitigating, and recovering from an attack.

11. Engage with Security Professionals: Consider seeking assistance from cybersecurity experts or hiring a cybersecurity consultant to assess your systems, provide guidance, and help implement appropriate security measures.

Remember that cybersecurity is an ongoing effort, and threats continually evolve. Staying informed about emerging threats, staying vigilant, and adapting security practices accordingly are crucial for businesses and website owners to maintain a strong cybersecurity posture. Hope that helps.

Why we build with WordPress

Why we build with WordPress

Choosing the right website platform for a business can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it can be difficult to determine which one will best suit your needs, especially when it comes to startup costs, additional tools, and ongoing licensing fees. However, WordPress is a great choice for businesses. It is a popular and secure website development framework that combines professional design with powerful tools and applications to create an impressive and professional website. Additionally, it is relatively affordable because the large WordPress development community shares their contributions, making it accessible to all businesses.

Benefits of using WordPress include:

  • Ease of use: WordPress is user-friendly and easy to use, even for those with little to no technical experience, once we build your site, we can teach you how to make simple changes. It has a simple and intuitive interface, making it easy to manage. This makes it perfect for micro businesses.
  • Search engines love WordPress sites: WordPress is optimised for search engines, which means that it is designed to help your website rank higher in search engine results pages. This can help increase your visibility and drive more traffic to your website. Additionally, WordPress allows us to easily implement SEO best practices and use SEO plugins to further improve your website’s SEO.
  • You have control of your site: WordPress gives you full control over your website, which means you can make updates and changes to your site whenever you want. We can also install plugins and themes to customise your website’s functionality and design.
  • The design of your website is 100% customizable: WordPress allows us to customise the design of your website to make it look and feel exactly how you want it to. We can create a custom design. Additionally, we can use plugins to add extra functionality and features to your website that will attract customers to your website.
  • Manage your website from any computer: WordPress allows us to manage your website from any computer with an internet connection. This means we can make updates and changes to your site from any location, which is particularly useful for businesses with remote or mobile teams, out-of-business -hours response times and if you want to do some changes as well.

If you’re looking to design or improve your company website, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are Australian WordPress Professionals and can help you springboard your online presence overnight to achieve the professionalism your business deserves.

Ways to attract customers/clients to your website

Ways to attract customers/clients to your website

– Have an aesthetic website

– Optimise your product listings

– Solidify your website SEO

– Be accurately placed on Google Maps.

– Build an email list, start a newsletter

– Google Reviews, ask to be reviewed by your client

– Testimonials, ask every client after close of sale or transaction 

– Email sequencing triggered after an action on your website

– Quality blogging, if you are time poor, pay to have them written

– Guest blogging, blog for a business referral partner, make sure it links back to your site

– Harness the power of social media

– Submit your site to local online directories

– Post on forums

– Offer a free resource (ie a downloadable item) in exchange for their email address

– Outreach marketing (reaching out to potential customers, influential individuals, or brands with a strong relationship with your target audience.)

– Say it with your email signature

– Focus on quality information on your site, content is King as well as technical SEO

– Use high-quality images. Invest in a photographic session.

– Provide an excellent customer experience and support service

Check them off against your site. Hope this helps. Nat:)

The Giant Mailbox

The Giant Mailbox

Adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for businesses worldwide, and Toowoomba business owners are no exception. To keep their businesses running and ensure their services are offered with social distancing in mind, many have had to come up with innovative solutions. One such business owner is Natalie Fogarty, who owns and operates Vigour Graphics, a company that provides web design, graphic design, logos, and branding.

Natalie has been busy during the pandemic, with many businesses approaching her to put more emphasis on online marketing. As people were spending more time shopping online instead of visiting physical shops, Natalie saw a surge in demand for her services. However, working from home meant she had to find a way to make her services more COVID-friendly. Clients would often come to her house to collect their orders, so she needed a solution to safely exchange freight, brochures, business cards, and other printed items.

That’s when she came up with the idea of building a giant COVID mailbox. She enlisted the help of her husband, as well as her mother and father-in-law, to build the mailbox. Natalie wanted to make sure that the mailbox was not only practical but also a nice feature along their road. She decorated it to personalize it and make it her style.

The COVID mailbox has been a hit with her clients. It provides a weather-proof, secure solution that keeps everyone safe and provides contactless delivery. Natalie said, “Now that restrictions are more relaxed, we still use the mailbox, especially for clients who are time-poor and just want to pick up or drop off their jobs quickly and easily at a time that suits them.”

Natalie’s COVID mailbox is an example of how businesses can adapt and find creative solutions to the challenges posed by the pandemic. She believes that it’s important for businesses to learn to adapt during these hard times. “With the new ways we have to do business, we need to think smarter,” she said. “Some of the solutions are so simple to work around. To me, my COVID mailbox made perfect sense for a home business.”

As we navigate the new normal brought on by the pandemic, businesses must be willing to adapt to survive. Creative solutions like Natalie’s COVID mailbox can help businesses provide their services safely while maintaining social distancing.