Looking Good Doesn’t Always Come For Free: A Quick Guide to Fonts and Images

To stand out from the crowd and make your message pop, you may spend hours scouring the web to find the best and most creative fonts and images. But keep in mind, the perfect font or image you find may come at a steep price if you don’t have the right license or permission to use them.


Fonts are creative works that are considered a type of intellectual property. They can be trademarked or subjected to copyright laws whether they are part of a computer program or a standalone product.

Fonts and font families are often created by designers who receive royalties for the use of their work, and therefore many are copyrighted. For the designers to earn a living, it is common for marketers and other creative professionals to purchase a license to use the unique font.

Avoid future cease and desist letters in regards to your font choices, by making sure that you understand the license requirements for the use of the font. Some licenses may come with limitations to how many users have access to the font, transferability and commercial usage.

Paid fonts are worth the cost if you want to ensure proper rendering across multiple platforms from print to TV, to the web as well as access to a wide variety of characters in the font family.


It’s easy to get caught up in how simple it is to save an image from the web and use it in your own project. But that doesn’t mean that you should.

Like fonts, images are created by photographers that intend to receive royalties for their work and have copyrighted their pictures. While there are many different licensing permissions when it comes to using images, always be sure that you have adhered to the license guidelines or have permission from the creator to use their work.

There are plenty of free sites that allow for free usages like Unsplash and Pixabay, they just ask that you credit the photographer. Or you can create your own graphics for free. I like using Canva for their free templates and images.


A lot of money, time, resources, and talent went into creating the perfect font or image that you found on the internet. The person behind the asset makes a living off of their creation, so the least we can do is to pay to use it.

When you purchase a font or image, you are not only supporting the creator, but you also have a high-quality product that you can use throughout all of your branding.

As the saying goes, “you do get what you pay for.” If you invest in a good font or images, they will play integral parts in your brand or company’s toolkit.

Home Officing: A Creative Oasis

Back in 2014, Freelancers Union surveyed professionals nationwide to discover that 34 percent of the US workforce were freelancers. In a recent study by the same organization, freelancers are expected to become the majority of the workforce by 2027, based on the steady growth in recent years. You can read more about the findings in this October 2017 Upwork article.

As the workforce changes, the traditional office setting is evolving into a more nomadic lifestyle as people begin to spend a majority of their time working from home or taking up residency at a local coffee shop or co-working space. If you google “coworking space okc,” there are at least six different locations that have popped up in Oklahoma City in the past couple of years.

I began my own freelancing adventure almost a year ago, and my home office currently consists of my kitchen table and my laptop. Although sometimes you can find me at the local coffee shop or the downtown library. There should be a saying, “Have a laptop and noise-canceling headphones. Will travel.”

While I am just beginning my freelancing journey, I do spend a majority of my time working at home. For me, it’s essential that the space be clutter-free, comfortable, and quiet. Working from home allows me the most control over my environment to get down to business. Someday, when I’m ready to move my side hustle from the kitchen table and into an actual home office space, these are some of my must-haves to really get my creative juices flowing:

  • Must have a door. This is probably an obvious requirement for many reasons such as privacy, noise and distraction reduction. Luckily, I do have two spare bedrooms that aren’t being used for much of anything, so finding a space with a door isn’t a problem.
  • A window for daydreaming. I freelance content for websites, blogs, and social media. This requires a lot of focus and concentration. But it also includes a fair amount of time for me to stare out into space as I’m trying to work out the next sentence or message in my head. I like the idea of a window that overlooks into a green area. I saw an example of a web designer’s home workspace and their desk was situated in front of a window with a view of a beautiful leafy bush. That sounds like a perfect place to inspire many creative thoughts without the distraction of looking onto a busy street.
  • Comfy-but-not-too-comfy desk chair. Let’s be honest, after a few hours of sitting on a kitchen chair, I’m ready to call it a day. It is not comfortable. My future home office space must have a comfy and ergonomic office chair with a comfy cushion and sturdy back support. But not too comfy to where I can just sink in and take a nap. It needs to be able to keep me focused and productive. In the meantime, I could upgrade my kitchen chair with seat cushions and back support cushions that are relatively inexpensive.
  • Double monitors. It’s hard to design on just a laptop screen or even when I’m doing research for an article and have to flip back and forth between multiple tabs. I so wish I had more than just this 17” screen to stare at for hours. It’s a total eye strain. I was recently introduced to the concept of a portable monitor. They are usually around the size of a laptop screen and can easily fit into a backpack or laptop bag. I love the fact that it’s a space saver and on days when I decide to venture out of the house to work, I don’t have to give up any screen space.
  • Inspiration designs. I want my space to inspire me from the moment I walk in. I would want it to be my creative oasis. Green is said to help contribute to productivity, so painting the walls a nice soothing green might not be a bad idea. Afterwards, I would fill the walls with images and quotes that inspire me and give me the confidence that what I’m writing isn’t complete crap. I think just having that alone in a work area would definitely help to motivate me. Some of these quotes would be perfect to frame and hang.
  • Notepad and writing tools. Sometimes I’ll be in the middle of researching info for one social media post or article, and something will come into my mind for future content. Having a dedicated notepad to write this down quickly will save me so much time and keep me on my current track of thought. Usually I switch over to a “notes” doc and quickly record my idea and then switch back to where I left off. In reality, a pen and paper would be a more efficient way to hold onto that thought without disconnecting to where I was.
  • A space for my phone. So many times I stop what I’m doing because I see a notification on my phone. Next thing I know, I’ve spent 20 minutes looking at Twitter and totally forget what I was working on. In my future home office, my phone will not have a space on my desk but somewhere else out of site.
  • Reading chair. I’m often in the habit of buying books that tailor to creative writing, digital marketing or web design and they often end up on a shelf never read. In my future home office, I’d like to set up a little reading area with a comfy chair to encourage me to set aside time to actually start reading those books. This area can also serve as a useful “brain break” when I’m working hard but have reached a wall in my productivity.
  • Keyboard comfort. The way my current office workspace and kitchen table “home office” is set up, it often leaves me with wrists that ache and arms that have fallen asleep. I have glasses but don’t usually wear them, meaning I have to pull my laptop up close leaving my arms and wrist in a crunched position for hours. Raising my laptop up, using a chair with arms, and investing in wrist pads, can all aid in reducing the strain to my wrists. Pushing back my laptop, using a dual monitor with a larger screen and wearing my glasses could probably work wonders as well.

Having a home office doesn’t require a lot of fancy high tech equipment, at least not for my purposes. Things like a desk, an office chair, and a reading chair can easily be picked up at the local Goodwill or garage sale. All I really need is a decluttered and quiet space that inspires creative thinking and keeps me motivated.



Diversity Over Experience – Meeting Uber’s Apprentices

I recently read an article by Ginny Fahs about Uber’s Apprentices called Meet Uber’s Software Engineer Apprentices. The reader is given short bio information on each of Uber’s newest apprentices. It’s easy to see that none of the apprentices had the traditional background of computer science, IT or other technology-based degrees.

I think the most interesting part of the article was the different life experiences of each person. Uber seems to value the diverse backgrounds that the apprentices can bring to the company. I can understand how this would be appealing. If all of the employees had the same programming background, it might be hard to think out of the box to inspire creativity and innovation.

For example, some of the past work experiences for the new team members included a science teacher, a psychotherapist, photographer, and a psychologist.  Some of the commonalities in the apprentices is that they were looking for a career change and took on a coding boot camp to provide them with the introductory experience that helped them land the apprenticeship.

In the bios, most made mention of how passionate and supportive their team members were. The company culture at Uber seemed very inclusive. Companies like Uber can really benefit from hiring outside of the “normal” technical fields and bring people in that prove to be self-motivated and life-long learners. I think ambitious employees can bring value to a company that wants to be at the forefront of innovation, regardless of their educational background.

10 Tips I Learned from Chris Coyier’s Let’s Write Semantic Markup

In my latest class assignment, I watched the video Let’s Write Semantic Markup. The video was posted in 2011, and I do think that it could have been accomplished more efficiently with CSS grid. However, the point of the video is to recreate a Photoshop layout in HTML only with semantic markup.

Here are the tips I’ve learned from the video:

  1. Don’t worry about the looks at this part, focus on being as semantic as possible. Avoid switching from HTML to CSS when coding semantically.
  2. When naming classes try to use a descriptor without specifying what the part looks like. For example, if you are naming a navigation menu that is in a gray bar, name it as “main nav” instead of gray bar nav. This is to future-proof the code in case there is a redesign in the future.
  3. There should only be one ID tag per page (although from Chris’s comments and the guest comments on the video, this seems to be highly debated).
  4. Avoid using IDs for styling, but they are helpful for JS.
  5. Code the main content first before any sidebars or asides.
  6. Don’t use all caps in HTML. Save it for CSS styling.
  7. Don’t depend on divs use more semantic tags when possible. e., header, nav, main, footer, aside.
  8. Create a hierarchy of tags when necessary. For example, nesting <section> inside of <article> to show that the article is the main part of the page and sections are secondary info.
  9. Think of fieldsets as groups. They are more useful to use instead of divs in some cases if there are multiple grouped sets of inputs.
  10. Write code in order of importance rather than layout order. e., main content before left sidebar. You can use CSS to float where they need to be.

White Space Is Not Your Enemy – Chapter 8

This assignment had me choose an outdoor image to use as color inspiration for a restaurant. I chose a photo by Nick de Partee on Unsplash.

Something about the rustic look of the lightbulb against the green of the blurred background drew me to the image.

Using this photo, I was to answer the questions below:

  • How does your chosen color scheme “fit” the communication purpose of your restaurant (or another type of) site?

From this photo, I wanted to communicate an atmosphere that was trendy, rustic, and maybe had a farm-to-table sort of vibe.

  • What is your main color? State the color (in your own words, i.e., burnt orange, etc.) and paste in the hex code that you got from the photo using the ColorZilla eyedropper tool.

I used a lot of a dusty greenish gray throughout the mock-up. #738588

  • What are your accent colors? State the color and paste in the hex code that you got from the photo using the ColorZilla eyedropper tool.

My accent colors were a tannish color #c9a885 and a deep forest green ##385148

  • What are your dark colors? State the color and paste in the hex code that you got from the photo using the ColorZilla eyedropper tool.

My dark colors were black and the deep forest green

  • What are your light colors? State the color and paste in the hex code that you got from the photo using the ColorZilla eyedropper tool.

My light colors were white and the tannish color

  • Where will you put your “spots” of color for visual emphasis?

I used the tan color to draw attention to the page headers and I used the dark green on the event calendar.


White Space Is Not Your Enemy – Chapter 4

Web Site examples of the 13 design sins.


This is the website of the author Suzanne Collins who wrote the Hunger Games trilogy. I really hope that she has a better website out there somewhere and just never set up redirects. Which is probably a sin on another list.

Sins committed –

  • Cheated or Missing Margins
  • Trapped Negative Space


This website is for the art school at Yale University. It is editable by the students.

Sins committed –

  • Busy Backgrounds
  • Bulky Borders and Boxes
  • Too Many Fonts


This website is a small yard sign company in Tulsa.

Sins committed –

  • Tacky Type emphasis
  • 4 Corners and Clutter
  • Bulky Borders and Boxes


If you heard of the movie – The Room, it really should come to no surprise that this website is so, so, bad.

Sins Committed –

  • Centering Everything
  • Warped or Naked Photos
  • Stairstepping
  • Tacky Type Emphasis
  • Too Many Fonts
  • Bad Bullets
  • Windows & Orphans
  • Justified Rivers


White Space Is Not Your Enemy – Chapter 1

1. Choose one of your favorite material possessions. Describe the details of appearance, function, and the relationship between form and function.

One of my favorite possessions is my purse. It is simple in shape, small-ish rectangle bottom and it flares out wider at the top. Two straps at the top of the bag and a zipper. It has no pockets inside, just a wide open space. The outside color is a garnet color, and the inside of the bag is a pale pink. There is a little leather strap looped around one of the main straps with a square at the bottom of the little strap. This square has the shape of spade cut out, a symbol of the purse’s maker, Kate Spade. On the front of the purse on small gold print is the logo of the brand. The bag is made from 100% leather will clean-lined stitching all the way around.

The function of the purse is to carry things around. Like my wallet, keys, a hairbrush, various coupons and random slips of small paper.

To describe the purse’s form and function, I would have to say that the form does limit some of its function. Kate Spade is a well-known purse designer, and the form is very clean and minimalistic. It would function better as an object that holds things if the purse had some internal zippered pockets. But true to the style of Kate Spade, less is more. It’s a bag to be looked at and admired, but it does serve its purposes of carrying things, without sacrificing its iconic look.

2. Locate an item that has gone out of style. How do you know it is out of style? What clues does the object communicate that date it? Why is it outdated? Is it because of its form, function or both?

RIP The Cassette tape.

I know this has gone out of style because music can now be downloaded digitally onto your phone or laptop. It is rare to find a store that still sells cassette tapes or the devices to listen to them on. Long gone are the days of the Sony Walkman. Cars don’t even come with cassette tape players anymore.

I believe that it has become outdated first because of the advent of the CD. No more need to rewind to hear your favorite song or break out the pencil to spin the little tape back into place. According to Wikipedia, most of the major U.S. music companies had discontinued production of cassette tapes by 2003. In the late 1990s or earlier, CD started to decline because of smartphones. We can record and listen to music on our phones and download it onto the cloud to keep forever.

Form and function both contributed to its decline. Tapes were bulky to carry around as with their players. Although, the Discman was equally as bulky. The function no longer services its purpose since the cassette tape was limited to less than 20 songs. Now, your phone alone can play thousands of songs without the hardware or limitations that cassette tapes had to contend with.

3. Find an example of graphic design that communicates really well. What draws your eye first? Make a number list in order of the way your eye travels around the layout. Make a list of the information the design conveys. What emotions does the design produce?

Design to Explain’s Lil Joe Kid’s Toy Shop 

This super cute design is perfect to represent a toy store. The font, graphics, and color immediately send the message that it is designed with children in mind. I especially enjoy the flexibility of the little bear. It will look great in different mailing pieces as showcased on the Behance page. The bear can hold different objects that reflect whatever product or message it is trying to convey. The colors of the piece are eye-catching and the small design touches in the lettering give the piece a lot of fun personality.

The order my eye travels around the design

  1. The typography of “Lil Joe
  2. The bear
  3. The assorted toys at the bottom
  4. The yellow paragraph print
  5. The “Toys, Games and Bikes” line

The information that the design conveys

  1. It is a toy store
  2. It is for kids
  3. They have stuffed animals
  4. Probably targeted to the ages of infants to 10
  5. Great store to buy gifts
  6. It looks like a high-end store but the copy says “at discount prices”

The design evokes the nostalgia of FAO Schwartz or boutique toy shops. It makes me feel happy. The font, colors, and graphics are fun and happy.


Who Benefits From The Dismantle of Net Neutrality?

Who benefits from the dismantle of net neutrality

Tomorrow is when the FCC votes on whether or not net neutrality is dismantled. If you haven’t been paying attention, you might want to listen up now. This bill could affect the future of how we use the internet. Or it could not. In my opinion, this vote is surrounded by a lot of what-ifs, possibilities, and maybes. There is a lot of speculation of what large telecom companies could do or wouldn’t do. The uncertainty of it all is pretty unsettling.

I’ve heard a lot of talk about the terrible things that could happen if it was dismantled. This got me to thinking about why it was even up for debate. I have this naïve opinion that if someone is pushing for an unpopular vote, then they must have a good reason to do so. So I dove a little deeper into what net neutrality is and what are the benefits of dismantling it.

What is Net Neutrality?

My understanding is that the net neutrality ruling blocks internet service providers or internet-based services like Netflix and Hulu from jacking up prices. Without it, internet providers could create service packages based on how customers use the internet instead of a blanket price based on how many gigs you want to use per month. I’m making an assumption that the dismantling of net neutrality means more money for large telecom conglomerates and less money in my pocket. Without net neutrality protecting the consumer, businesses can control how fast the internet speed is and how much of the internet we get to use.

Let me back this up with a more definitive answer on what net neutrality is. According to Wikipedia:

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.[1] For instance, under these principles, internet service providers are unable to intentionally block, slow down or charge money for specific websites and online content.

Net neutrality sounds like common sense to me. Before this 2015 ruling, ISPs were on an honor-system to be kind to their customers and not be greedy. But, turns out some companies were greedy, like AT&T disabling FaceTime unless customers paid for a more expensive plan. Net neutrality was put in place to protect the consumer from this instance and many other violations. So why the need to overturn the ruling?

Ajit Pai’s Reasoning to Overturn Net Neutrality

The FCC’s vote to overturn net neutrality is headed by the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, who voted against net neutrality in 2015. Pai’s reasoning is that internet services providers should be able to voluntary promise to uphold the principles set by the net neutrality law by including them in their terms of service. However, my own concern is that the terms and conditions could also add a clause of sorts allowing the company to change those terms at any time.

Pai was recently interviewed on PBS Newshour and answered his thoughts on why he is proposing to scrap net neutrality. This is what he had to say:

Well, I favor a free and open Internet, as I think most consumers do.

My concern is with the particular regulations that the FCC adopted two years ago. They are what is called Title II regulations developed in the 1930s to regulate the Ma Bell telephone monopoly.


And my concern is that, by imposing those heavy-handed economic regulations on Internet service providers big and small, we could end up disincentivizing companies from wanting to build out Internet access to a lot of parts of the country, in low-income, urban and rural areas, for example.


And that, I think, is something that nobody would benefit from.

The Benefits of Dismantling Net Neutrality

Pai gave one example of why he felt that there was a need to end net neutrality, particularly the Title II regulation. Here’s what I was able to find on the other benefits to dismantle it:

  • Currently, there is too much government regulation involved. By rescinding the net neutrality bill, it creates healthy competition.
  • The current regulations are already written with big corporate interests in mind. If released from government control, more small companies will have a say.
  • The possibility of better services at a lower cost.
  • Rescinding net neutrality will protect consumers’ privacy from government hands.
  • Under government control, the internet is subjected to political whims.
  • The possibility of more free data plans – Verizon and T-Mobile let customers watch some content provider services for free. To increase competition, more companies could do the same.
  • FCC will no longer regulate telecoms. The Federal Trade Commission would be in charge but doesn’t have the authority to make rules. This could be good or bad. Less control over the internet but also less control to make positive changes in the future.
  • Removing the Title II regulations will free up smaller companies to get the financing that they need.
  • The current Title II regulations hurt small internet companies in rural areas because they can’t compete with the expenses necessary to comply with the Title II rules.
  • The light-touch regulation of the 1990s up until 2015 allowed companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to flourish. Opponents of net neutrality want to go back to where the market was monitored but not micro-managed unless action was required.
  • Government interference is not necessary because the market itself will hold telecoms and ISPs to fair practice.

Title II – What Does It Mean?

Some opponents of net neutrality will bring up the fact that the law is based on the 1930s ruling and shouldn’t be applied to the internet. The ruling in question is Title II of the Telecommunications Act which reclassified ISPs as utility-style “common carriers.” This subjected the providers to strict regulations.

The regulations ensured that service to all citizens is secure and reliable. Treating it as a utility makes having access to the internet a civil right. However, it should be noted that the FCC commission that voted on the Obama-era net neutrality did not put in place any pricing regulations which is part of standard utility classification.

What is the future of the internet?

In my research, it seemed that both sides of the argument talked a lot about theoretical issues. Could the dismantling of net neutrality mean better internet prices? Sure. Could it mean more internet access to low-income, rural families? Possibly. Could it also suggest that those same low-income families would have to pay more to have access to individual websites or content providers? Maybe. And could ISPs throttle some content provider services depending on if it competes with their own interests? Perhaps.

There are too many what-ifs when it comes to the agreement for or against net neutrality. However, I can’t help but be wary of something that big money-making corporations are for, like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon, and the internet pioneers and content providers are against.

I have a set of my own what ifs that affect my work. As a web design student, I worry if the lack of net neutrality protection will force me to have to pay more to ISPs just so my sites can be found on their services. Will the small local roofing company I work for have to pay to have access to the social media sites that I manage? It’s already hard enough to compete organically on these sites without paying to place ads. Will I now have to worry about the audience views going down even more because not all of them will be willing to pay for a social media package?

If anything is for sure, it’s that the future of the internet is filled with uncertainties.  Who benefits from the dismantling of net neutrality today could no longer be the case in 5 or 10 years from now. With the way the internet evolves, it could even be sooner than that.

Professional Growth Activity: Module 6

Name: Jenn Clore
Activity: Google’s Grow with Google Small Business Workshops
Description of Activity: free training, demos, coaching with Googlers and more.

Date(s) of Activity (also include times):

12/6/17 10:30a – 2:30p

Student Evaluation:

Why did you select this activity?

The topics were of interested to me in regards to my full-time job, and it was free. The workshop topics included presentation skills, search engine optimization, coding basics, and how to get found on the web. Another significant factor was that the workshops were presented by Google. As a web design student and a digital marketer, it’s always important to me to keep learning on ways to get found on Google and to better my professional skills.

Would you recommend this activity for other students? Why or why not?

Yes. It was an excellent opportunity to network with members of the community, meet local businesses invested in moving OKC forward in technology, and the presentations provided high-level overviews of search engine optimization and even some basic javascript.

The workshops I attended were:

Get Started with Code – This workshop taught you how to use javascript to create a sidebar in a Google Sheets document. We got to use Google’s script editor. I didn’t even know that Google offered one. For an intro to code workshop, I don’t know if I would have started right away with Javascript, but what can you do in one hour with many people who have no experience with code. I’m just proud of myself for recognizing that it was Javascript and I had a high-level understanding of the concepts presented in the workshop.

Intro to Online Marketing – This workshop went over how to create a free Google My Business listing, some tips on SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, how to optimize for mobile, and how to test your mobile and page speed.

Using Data to Drive Growth – This workshop gave a general overview of what a business owner should be thinking about when gathering data from Google Analytics. Some of the points discussed were using the data to determine if your customers would be interested in a new product, where your customers spend the most time on your site, the age range of your customers, and what to do with that information regarding marketing.

What did you like best about this activity?

I liked that they gave us workbooks with copies of the presentations or activities that we completed. They were good take-home pieces to reference in the future.

What did you like least about this activity? How would you make the activity better?

I thought it was super crowded but in a way that was great news because it meant that the community was interested in the information that Google had to offer. I wish the Intro to Coding class started out with something more basic instead of javascript. Maybe the standard Hello World HTML page to show people the basics would have been better. However, I figure that they were also trying to showcase Google products by having us use Google Sheets and Google script editor.

What is a creative idea/concept you can take away from this experience and possibly implement into your work?

I want to take the time to test mobile speed in my future web design projects. I wasn’t aware that they had a website for that: testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com 

In one of the courses, the instructor talked about the 5-second “Grunt” test. In 5 seconds, could a caveman figure out from your site: what service or business you offer, how can you get it, and what is it about.

I also learned about a new Google app that was recently launched. Primer is an app that gives you 5-minute interactive lessons on creating a business plan, marketing your website, and designing a great website. I’m definitely going to make use of the app.

Is Your Website Trustworthy?

Is your website trustworthy?

The thing about taking a course on web design entirely online is that sometimes the videos, articles, and other material you have to read for the class, just aren’t updated fast enough. Take, for example, the most recent article I had to read on the topic of trustworthy web design – Prove It: What Makes You Trust a Website? by Lorelle VanFossen

It’s evident that the page hasn’t been updated in years. Since 2012 to be exact. I can’t lie that I’m a little hesitant to trust the information I’m reading about the trustworthiness of a web design from such an old article. But I dove in anyway, and despite the old-school design, VanFossen does raise some timeless and legit points on what makes a person not trust a website.

Trust Triggers

VanFossen talks about how trust triggers have a significant factor in a site’s credibility. These are the elements of the site that has to be seen clearly and immediately before the “back-button syndrome” gets triggered. A website only has a few seconds to prove its trustworthiness before the back button gets pushed. Elements such as a clear and concise logo, clean images, and a strong message all contribute to a page’s trustworthiness. However, what conveys trust for one website, may not work the same for others. It all depends on the user’s definition of what makes a site trusted.

In Dennis List’s article, “Trustworthiness of Web Sites (2006)”, another old source but still relevant today, he states,

I propose a working definition: that trust in any object can be measured by the willingness of visitors to interact with it in some way. When the object is a web page, which means not just looking at the page, but believing the information presented, or acting on it.

Sounds like List just defined UX years before the term became popular.

Content with Personality

One major point in the VanFossen’s article is to make your company and website sound more personable. This may only work for some companies, but I have done this in my own practice as well. The company blogs should give a personal feel. Talk about the employees that help to make your product or service successful. In the blog, convey your brand message with topics that would make your audience smile or identify with. Let your audience know who the company is behind the scenes. To quote the article, “Don’t leave it to their imagination.”

Website Credibility Factors

I did my own research to find a more current article that talks about website credibility. I found an article published in September 2017 by Neil Patel that provides a thorough analysis, 41 Factors That Influence Your Website’s Credibility.

The articles from Patel and VanFossen both talk about B.J. Fogg’s Four Types of Credibility Study.

  1. Presumed – assumed credibility based on where the user has heard about your brand
  2. Reputed – Word of mouth credibility based on the advice of others
  3. Surface – the subjective opinion on how the website appears to be
  4. Earned – the visitor’s opinion based on their interaction with you

Based on Patel’s article, here are a few actionable items that you can do on your website now to achieve some of the credibility types in Fogg’s study.

  • Provide helpful FAQs – Don’t make your visitors work to find the information they need.
  • Always be updating – if your website is frequently updated with new blog posts, it shows to the visitor that you are actively involved in maintaining the site and finding new ways to answer potential questions.
  • Show your testimonials and reviews – Word of mouth referrals are an essential part of gaining new customers. Reviews can boost the credibility of a good company.
  • Display trust seals – If you are affiliated with reputable companies and services, let your visitors know. Membership badges from the Better Business Bureau or secured website badges give your visitors the peace of mind knowing that your site and business has been verified by trusted 3rd
  • Minimal questions – Only ask for the information you need. If you are asking for someone to sign up for your free email newsletter, it may be a little unsettling to fill out a form that asks for more than just name and email address.
  • Guest blogging – The more you can lend your company name to other respected sites by providing useful information, the more credible you can make your own brand name.
  • Clear Design – Typography, grammar, navigation, and a professional design all play significant parts in the credibility of a website. If the site looks spammy, has misspellings, slow to load, or confusing to navigate, these factors could immediate red flags to any new visitor.

Three Main Takeaways

Here are my three main takeaways from I gathered from both articles about website credibility.

  1. Your website must answer the visitor’s question without them even putting it into words. For example, if a visitor uses google to search for “box fans,” a good and credible website should be well designed to answer more than just “box fans, ” but any follow-up questions they may have such as:
    • What kind of box fans
    • What has others said about these fans
    • Where are the fans made
    • How much do they cost
    • How long does it take to deliver
    • What is the warranty
  2. It’s easier to trust something when there is little to lose – If the visitor is required to enter in any information, be clear about what the steps are, what the expectation from receiving this information is, and only ask for what is absolutely necessary.
  3. Giving the site personality gains trust – An About Us page, blog articles about company culture, testimonials and reviews all contribute in providing the visitor with a bigger picture of what the company is all about.