What to Ask Your Web Provider

With so many web providers out there, how can you find the right one? What questions should you ask? Read on for tips on what to look for when choosing a web provider.

  1. How will your company be there for me? When deciding on a web provider, make sure they will provide you with the attention and customer service you deserve. Ask questions about average response time to an issue, hours of operation, and ways to contact (i.e. phone, chat, email). You will also need to ask if there are costs associated with ongoing support and training, as these can really add up
  2. How will my web design look and what designs have you done? How your site looks to your visitors is crucial. Design can be tricky to implement if you don’t have a top-of-the-line designer, so make sure you’re doing your homework to find the best web designer around. Also, be sure to ask for a portfolio of designs from their current clients to ensure they make a good product.
  3. How will my site stay up-to-date? Many of the websites out there are created and then quickly become dated due to the speed of technological advances. New versions of browsers, PC and mobile operating systems can really destroy the way a website looks. Be sure and ask if this is something that is automatically done and what the cost would be.
  4. How will it look on a phone or tablet? With about half of website traffic coming via smartphone and tablet, don’t you think your website should look seamless on any device? Do you even have a mobile site? Google has announced that they will punish websites for not having a mobile-friendly version by lowering a site’s SEO ranking. To check if your site passes Google’s test, type in your URL here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.
  5. How will I be in control? Maintaining 24/7 access and control of your website is becoming more important, with changing trends and the need to supply fresh content. Make sure and ask how changes can be made and if they operate on a CMS (content management system) platform.

Now that you have some guidance and have carefully weighed all of the above factors, you and your organization should be in a good position to make informed decisions on choosing a web provider that is the right fit for your site.

If you have a current provider, asking these questions is valuable in order to remain relevant and up-to-date. Even if you’re not ready to take the plunge and switch it up, it’s good to be on the same page with your web provider.

Welcome Washington County Fair!

We are thrilled to have another Oregon client! One really interesting thing about Washington County Fair is that they do not charge admission to the fair. They do charge for parking, but if you take their shuttles, it is completely free!

The Washington County Fair is held at the Washington County Fair Complex in Hillsboro, Oregon! We can’t wait to launch this site!

 

Welcome Washington County Fair Complex!

We welcome the Washington County Fair Complex, home of the Washington County Fair in Hillsboro, Oregon! The Complex has a few options for renting their facilities, with a 24, 000 square foot exhibit hall along with various other buildings and pavilions! Various about what their facilities look like? Check out their virtual tour here: http://visitingmedia.com/site/washington-county-fair-complex/ 

We are so excited to launch this website along with the Washington County Fair Website!

 

 

 

 

Welcome Man Up Crusade!

We are so humbled that the Man Up Crusade has partnered with Saffire on a new website. Man Up Crusade is a non-profit organization designed to raise an awareness of domestic violence and generate funds in local communities for victims and families who have been affected by these issues.  The campaign title is the Man Up Crusade™ and is represented by the color purple and the purple ribbon. This organization works with various events (mainly rodeos and fairs) to bring awareness to this campaign.

Welcome Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair!

We are so excited to welcome the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair to the Saffire family! We have gotten to know the team there through the Florida Federation of Fairs convention and at the International Association of Fairs and Expos!

Every November, the Greater Jacksonville Agriculture Fair celebrates their heritage, culture and community, by providing good wholesome family fun, great entertainment, friendly competition and educational experiences for the whole family! 

Stay tuned for the launch of their awesome revamp website!

Welcome Coweta Country Fair!

The Kiwanis Coweta County Fair has been hosted by the Newnan Kiwanis Club since 1947 (excluding one year).  Every September, the lights, sounds and smells of the fair come to Newnan, Georgia; complete with hypnotists, carnival rides, youth livestock shows, and much more!

We are so excited to work with such a great organization and fair! Be on the look out in “The Dirt” for our design release!

Our favorite travel apps to make the going get easy!

With the start of Spring Break, Saffire wanted to share our tips and tricks of travel! There are many travel apps out there to help you plan your next business trip or dream vacation. Check out Saffire’s favorite travel apps to make the going get easy!

 


1.      TripIt
TripIt is a free travel app that manages your travel through automatically generated (but still editable) itineraries. This app is perfect for keeping different confirmation numbers and  departure/reservation times in one place! You can forward your emails to TripIt or even sync your email account with the app, which will then search your emails and automatically build an itinerary of your flight, event, dinner and hotel reservations. You can also access your itinerary from anywhere, on any device – even when you’re offline.

We consider this a must have when planning your own business or leisure trips. If you are planning trips for others, we would recommend TripIt Pro at the low cost of $4.09 per month.

TripIt

 


2.      Uber / Lyft
Both Uber and Lyft are a response to technological advances of geolocating and the frustrations of trying to hail a cab. With one click, a personal driver heads towards your exact location and takes you to your destination, in their personal vehicles. It may seem odd getting in a stranger’s car, but drivers are thoroughly screened and these companies conduct ongoing reviews of drivers’ motor vehicle records. These apps require each user to create a profile and enter their credit card information, creating a completely cashless system between drivers and riders.

With differing City regulations we couldn’t just recommend one app as many cities and airports only allow one app or the other to operate. For example, although the City of Austin, Texas allows and regulates Uber and Lyft, the Austin – Bergstom International Airport and the City of Austin have banned Uber from operating at the Airport, only allowing Lyft drivers to drop off and pick up riders. With differing regulations, it is essential to have both apps handy.

Uber & Lyft

 


3.      Airbnb / HomeAway
Airbnb and HomeAway are short-term rental search engines that let you book condos, homes, or even an Airstream trailer! Many times these listings are much less expensive than a hotel in a hotel district and are in areas that allow you to truly experience a destination like a local!

On all Airbnb and on many HomeAway properties, you pay through the website and the booking process is very similar to booking a hotel. You communicate with the home owner and they have to approve your reservation.

Airbnb & HomeAway

 


4.      Hipmunk
There are many flight and hotel search apps out there to choose from, but Hipmunk has become the office favorite for our many travels due to one amazing feature: the Agony feature. How many times has a normally 3-hour flight taken 7 hours due to multiple stops and layovers? With Hipmunk, you can “Sort by Agony” and pick the fastest and least complicated flights.

Another amazing feature is the HomeAway and Airbnb search integration with a normal hotel search. With Hipmunk, you can always find the cheapest accommodations, whether in a large hotel or a short term rental!

Hipmunk

 


5.      Pinterest
Pinterest’s Place Pins and Boards are great places to plan your trip! We recommend creating boards for your trip like:

  • Where to Eat in Austin
  • Live Music in Austin
  • Craft Breweries in Austin

The best way to find this travel suggestions is by searching simple terms like “Food Austin”, “Travel Austin”, etc. We also recommend following official Destination Marketing Organizations (i.e. Visit Austin Texas).

Pinterest

 


6.      Tripadvisor
What travel app list is complete without Tripadvisor? Tripadvisor is the premier travel review site with over 200 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.5 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions.

Planning and paying for a trip can be stressful and everyone wants to ensure they have an enjoyable trip. By using Tripadvisor, you can make informed travel decisions and then reserve your flight, hotel and dinner right there on the site.

Tripadvisor

 


 

Beyond the Lanyard: Chattanooga and San Diego!

Well friends, here I am for another fun episode of Beyond the Lanyard! What an amazing few months it has been for traveling on the Saffire circuit. I’ve had a blast “taking off my lanyard” on a few trips during conferences, and I wanted to share with you all the fun things we’ve been doing!

First of all, we went to Chattanooga, TN for the SFEA Convention, but got to see a few sights along the way. What a fun town! It was a little cold (and snowing at times!) which is tough for a Texas girl, but nothing was going to stop me from exploring! Chattanooga has so much to offer—restaurants, museums and an AWESOME aquarium where we got to spend a fun-filled evening! We saw HUGE fish that live in the rivers near Tennessee, and got to learn a lot about the topography of Tennessee.

We also went to an AMAZING restaurant called Urban Stack that served fresh, locally-sourced hamburgers and classic southern sides. Delicious!

Shortly after my trip to Chattanooga, I headed to the west coast for a little fun in San Diego! One of my favorite parts about my hotel was the location: only about a quarter mile from the beach! I enjoyed running on the beach boardwalk in the mornings. Since there were several military bases nearby, I had the privilege of seeing our troops out for their morning workouts too. A truly beautiful sight! We’re so lucky to have them!

Finally, I capped off my trip to San Diego with one of the most fun things I’ve ever done on a Saffire trip – RIDING A ROLLER COASTER! This roller coaster sat between our hotel and the beach. It was a very old, historic ride, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t move fast! WHOA! It was even more fun because I got to ride with my friends from lots of fairs around the country. I was so excited to see that fair managers could still enjoy a good carnival ride! What a blast!

Until next time travel team!