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4405 East West Highway Suite 308
Bethesda, MD 20814
USA

301-312-6803

Washington Graphic Services is a Washington DC area Graphic Design Communications Company. We specialize in the design and development of marketing materials, brochures, annual reports, logos, customized graphics, web sites and website maintenance, ecommerce solutions, custom web applications, content management websites and branding.

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Blog

 

 

Keep your Website Updated and Current-Get New Clients!

john mier

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Your website content is vital to keeping current and getting new customers.  Every update you make to your website helps you get new visitors, customers, and drives traffic to your site.  An  old website without updates of any kind may be viewed by search engines as a “dead” entity – with no life and nothing new to offer.

Frequently updated websites offer search engines a haven for fresh content and sources of new information for their search requests.  Simply put, if you update your website often with high quality content, search engines will love you for it.

New Content Means Search Engine Indexing

Don’t confuse this phrase with the thinking that fresh content will give you higher indexing.  That may not be the case.  However, the more frequently you update your website with articles, downloads, and new web pages, the more frequently a search engine will stop by to visit your website.  When search engines look at your site more frequently, you have the opportunity to achieve higher rankings based on the content you provide.

Google Loves Frequent Updates

Google is the world most used search engine. Google has tremendous influence on webmasters and how websites are constructed.  When Google expresses its love for websites that update frequently, this is a sure sign that you should add fresh content to your website as often as you can.

New Content, New Keywords

Publish new content, this gets you more opportunities for your site to contain more keywords.  Keywords are high on the algorithm chart for search engine indexing and ranking.  Frequently added content, such as blog or article postings, allows you to optimize the article with pertinent keywords that can attract visitors to your site.

Washington Graphic Services updates/designs websites and gets you new customers. Call Us!

Your Company Needs a Blog

john mier

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If your business is like most, there is no shortage of potential competitors that provide similar products and services to what you offer. One effective way of setting yourself apart from the competition is by starting a company blog.

A blog can help your business in a number of measurable ways. First, even if two companies make a similar product, no two companies are identical. A blog gives your company an opportunity to show what sets you apart and makes you different from your competitors. The practice of creating regular blog posts, in itself, has the added benefit of developing and displaying your expertise in your field. Also, a blog can improve your search engine optimization. This will allow your site to be found more easily by potential customers, without having to pay for additional marketing.

One of the most important things a blog can provide for your company is a continuous line of communication between your business and your customers. Periodically checking in with your customers and letting them know what is new with your company, or maybe letting them know about an interesting development in your field will keep you in the minds of your customers. This makes them more likely to give you repeat business when the need arises, or recommend your business to a friend.

Additionally, a company blog can tie in nicely with any social media platforms that your company may use. Regular blog posts can provide you with a steady stream of material for social media posts, and conversely your social media can drive traffic to your blog. This combination can be particularly effective for small business trying to build stronger relationships with their customers.

If you would like to learn more about what a blog can do for your company, or if you are interested in getting help with content creation, call Washington Graphic Services today!

Outgrowing Your Shared Hosting Environment? A VPS Could be Right For You

john mier

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Virtual private servers (VPS) are a relatively new form of web hosting that is quickly growing in popularity. A virtual private server is created by partitioning a physical server into multiple virtual environments, so that each has its own operating system, disc space, and bandwidth.

A VPS is a great middle ground, which provides the control and resources of a dedicated server at a significantly lower price. Additional benefits to VPS hosting are:

  • Customizable memory and bandwidth depending on your site’s needs, which can be scaled up if needed
  • Included SSL certificate for added security
  • Full control over your virtual server
  • No risk of other sites on a shared server impacting your site’s performance

If your site is outgrowing its shared hosting environment, and could use the added bandwidth and control of a VPS, call Washington Graphic Services today to find out how to get your site up and running on VPS hosting today!
 

DATABASE DRIVEN VS CUSTOM CODED WEBSITES

john mier

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Washington Graphic Services designs and writes content, and programs custom websites for businesses large and small. Often, custom coding a new website makes the most sense for our customers, but others require database-driven websites such as WordPress.
Some websites require a specific style and design that can only be achieved by custom design and coding. This process can take longer but the end result is only limited by the creative team and programmers.
One of the most common types of dynamic web pages is the database driven type. This means that you have a web page that grabs information from a database (the web page is connected to the database by programming), and inserts that information into the web page each time it is loaded.
If the information stored in the database changes, the web page connected to the database will also change accordingly (and automatically) without human intervention.
This is commonly seen on online banking sites where you can log in (by entering your user name and password) and check your bank account balance. Your bank account information is stored in a database and has been connected to the web page with programming, thus enabling you to see your banking information. Another plus to templates are that clients can see how it functions prior to programming and that can be a great sales tool.
Allow Washington Graphic Services to show you our portfolio of created websites, and find out how we can create one for your business.

New Private Office Available Now

john mier

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Downtown Bethesda: $950-$1,450 mo
Brand new private office(s) available with parking for tenant and FREE parking for your customers/clients. Office (1) 200 sq. LARGE with window, private heat/air controls. Office (2) 360 sq. VERY large corner office windows two sides plus walk in closet. Suite has lobby private entrance and suite is on main floor NO STAIRS, handicapped compliant. Bathroom and kitchen in suite. Rent includes everything, parking, utilities, taxes and WiFi/Ethernet Internet (high speed). First lookers usually take them... Call John Mier Today! 202-468-3649

Getting WordPress up and Running

john mier

During the early stages of the internet, most sites were created with a simple HTML file. These sites essentially operated as a document that a visitor could view remotely. Most individuals and businesses today expect quite a bit more functionality from their sites. Increasingly, websites are using WordPress as a way to achieve that functionality.

WordPress is a Content Management System that, once setup, provides a very easy to use dashboard for a user to add and edit content on their site. What makes WordPress so powerful, and popular, is its use of a database and page templates to create pages dynamically. This means that your content (blog posts, etc.) is stored in a database, and your page templates are kept separate from your content. This allows your site to have a handful of different page templates, but be able to generate an essentially unlimited number of specific pages by inserting the content that lives in your site’s database into those templates.

In order to get a WordPress site up and running, WordPress must be installed, a database must be setup, then the WordPress theme and its template files must be configured to look and behave the way a website’s owner intends. Compared to a single HTML file, this process is quite a bit more complex, and typically requires knowledge of several more programming languages.

Washington Graphic Services has extensive experience with a variety of Content Management Systems, including WordPress. In order to achieve the design and functionality you desire, WGS can help you select a WordPress theme, set it up on your server, configure a database, handle all of the required customization, and have your site up and ready for visitors. Once completed, you are able to add and edit content on your site using a simple, user-friendly dashboard.

If you’d like to know more about what your site can do with WordPress, contact Washington Graphic Services today!

Does your website need an SSL certificate?

john mier

If you are looking to make your business’ website more secure, you may have come across SSL Certificates as a potential recommendation, but what exactly is an SSL Certificate, and how does it make your site more secure?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer - this technology is used to provide a layer of privacy and encryption between different communicating computer applications. You may have noticed when visiting a website, a green lock on the left side of your URL bar - this is SSL in action.

When an SSL certificate is installed on your domain, the information of your users is unreadable to anyone who attempts to steal it. The only people able to decipher it are the intended recipients at the other end of the connection.

The primary reason to use SSL is to protect sensitive information sent between computers and servers, such as credit card numbers, passwords, and other personal information. With an SSL certificate, your customers can do business with you with confidence that their information is going to be safe from identity thieves and potential hackers.

As a bonus, users are increasingly able to recognize when a site has an SSL certificate installed, and they feel more secure completing transactions. Also, an SSL certificate can even give you a boost with your search engine visibility, as Google recently announced that they will be more likely to show your site in search results if it has an active SSL certificate installed.

If you would like to step up your site’s security by installing an SSL, contact us today to learn more!

Does your site need a Content Management System?

john mier

You may have heard the term Content Management System, or CMS, in regards to you or your business’ website. But what is a CMS, and how do you know if one is right for your site?

First, a CMS is an application that allows you to create, edit, and publish content to your website. This includes blog posts, images, video, pages, etc. This allows you and your team to add and manage the content of your website with a user friendly interface, while including support for multiple users and collaboration.

There are several major reasons why a CMS might be right for your site: 1) You need blog functionality 2) You need to frequently update your site’s content 3) You need to add/remove pages from your site on a regular basis.

Alternatively, if your site is made up of information that is largely static, or that seldom needs changing, then a CMS is probably not necessary. It is important to consider your site’s specific needs, as there are tradeoffs associated with using a CMS, such as potential security issues and increased page load times.

Overall, the majority of our clients prefer the flexibility of a CMS. The ability to add a blog to your site if needed, or to quickly update content through a simple dashboard interface makes a CMS a better fit for most businesses.

If you or your business are interested in adding functionality to your site, or have further questions about what Washington Graphic Services can do to help you and your business get the most out of their website, contact us today!

Advertising a brand identity through a presentation folder

john mier

Advertising a brand identity through a presentation folder

Presentation folders are great printed materials that are used to present to the client to give an introduction about a company’s profile, services and other info. It is common that sales people are required to have this marketing collateral especially when dealing with clients. This folder can house customized proposals, letters, sales brochures, business cards and flash drives too.

Whatever a company decides on what to include in their presentation folder, it should always be clear and appealing to its target audience. It should also visually convey the message that your company would want to say. Be sure to include only important elements and useful content. Corporate folders are often printed on thick, sleek card stock to give an initial impression of the quality. Message-wise, it should also depict the company’s purpose and relevance.

Washington Graphic Services showcases premium and creative presentation folder designs for our clients to increase sales and stand apart from your competition. Call Washington Graphic Services to have our team design and build a folder for your business.

Retail, Building and Office Signs

john mier


Most businesses undergo a detailed signage review by a consultant when they first open or rebrand, but those aren't the only times you should evaluate your location's visual communications. There are many great reasons to conduct regular reviews or audits of your signage.

Statistics to consider:

  • 78 percent of customers have chosen to enter a store based only on its signage and graphics.
  • 68 percent of shoppers have specifically bought an item due to signage. Packaging is VERY important too.
  • Studies show that signage attractiveness directly correlates to how much time a visitor spends engaged with the subject of the signage!
  • 40 percent of consumers have decided not to shop at a store because the poor condition of its signage caused them to assume its goods or services were not of high quality.

Your signage also needs to adhere to laws, state and local. Municipal signage regulations change often, and many businesses are not compliant with their city's signage codes and don't know the rules for variances and exceptions. A regular review can help your visual communications remain within the law.

 
For expert assistance: Call our team!

We have 20 plus years experience in designing, creating and building signs for businesses and organizations in the Washington DC area. You can look to us for affordable, custom exterior signage, window graphics and other outdoor solutions that will help you attract more customers. To get started, contact us today!