5 Exciting things about Social Web Video

LeanIn social web video playerHaving video on your website is a great way to engage users and increase your traffic. But what if there was a way to use video to create even more interaction with your audience? A company in Toronto, Canada has done just that by creating the first “social web video player”.

The LeanIn video player is the first of its kind to allow viewers to respond to what they’re watching by adding comments and creating notches on the video’s timeline. This allows new visitors to quickly see the most talked-about parts of the web video without wasting time trying to find the good stuff.

LeanIn has some features that I think will enhance your web video as well as encourage interaction on your website. Here are 5 things that are exciting about this new social web video concept:

1. Social Data

Find out which parts of your web videos work, and which parts don’t. You’ll be able to get refined statistics by analyzing comments, notches, and “likes”. The LeanIn Dashboard also provides more in-depth information so you can really to get to know your viewers.

2. Brand Your Video Player

LeanIn lets you embed videos from external video sites, like YouTube, while allowing you to customize and brand the player. This helps keep your identity consistent all over the internet.

3. Promote Social Media Interaction

Just because you have lots of “likes” on your company’s Facebook page doesn’t mean those people are actually coming to your website. By allowing video comments to be shared with LeanIn on Facebook and Twitter you have the opportunity to reach an entirely new audience.

4. In-stream Advertising

The LeanIn video player shows comments and activity from your friends on a real-time ticker while you watch your video. You can like their comments, see what they’re saying on other videos, and more, without leaving the player.

5. Get More Views

Since the LeanIn player gives a bird’s-eye view of video content, viewers can quickly find things that interest them and discover more of your web videos in less time. This will also give them more satisfaction since they are only watching things they find appealing.

If you haven’t already, head over to LeanIn and take a look. This is just one of the exciting new social media products that will create unique, enjoyable social web video experiences for your internet users.


How long does it take to make a website?

Everyone wants their brand new website as soon as possible–usually yesterday. But each website is unique, so the time it takes to create can vary greatly. In order to get the best results in efficiency and ease, consider this…

Relationships take time. It depends on you.

How long does it take to make a website?It’s important for the website design company to get to know the business or organization they’ll be working with and make a product that will meet their needs. It’s a process, and the client (that’s you) will be asked to participate in that process. The web company isn’t an expert in your field. We have to get to know you and your business and then take the things we learn and translate them into something that will work on the web.

So much of the web design process depends on the client. As web designers and developers, we are asking you to engage in the process with us. There’s much to consider in regard to your message and the content you provide to potential customers on your site. We don’t take this lightly and neither should you.

Of all the variables and factors that impact the development timeline for websites, it’s the relationship with the client (e.g., reviews, approvals, etc.) that has the greatest impact. For example, we’ve had almost exactly the same type of site take significantly different amounts of time to produce. Let’s call them websites A and B. With website A, there were problems with content and approvals and it took over six months from the initial meeting to launch. With website B, the client was participatory and the process went smoothly in regard to content and approvals. Website B took a little over a month from beginning to end.

Knowledge is power and leads to speed.

The technology industry (including web design and development) is an ever-changing business. Every day new things emerge that help make things better, faster, and easier. There are many options and ways of doing things. Having a solid understanding of all the available options is critical for success in the web design and development business. With this knowledge comes the flexibility to create websites with greater efficiency. For example, before the invention of WordPress, Joomla!, Expression Engine, etc., web designers and developers needed to design content management systems (or CMS’s) from the ground up. These open-source platforms can help make database-driven website development faster and less expensive. It keeps us from reinventing the wheel and allows for focus in other areas of production.

The type of website matters.

The type of website being developed can have an enormous bearing on the project time frame. A website can range in time from a few hours to a few months, to even a year or more. It depends on the project. It’s probably best to think of a website as a publication. Before you go into the process, think about all the things you want to communicate. Think of things you’ve written, or the things you need to write in order to successfully inform your audience and tell your story. How long will it take to write or develop all that content and the tailor it for web purposes? In many cases, it takes a considerable amount of time.

As with any communication piece, the content is just the beginning. (But keep in mind that the content needs to be great! The best websites have the best content.) Once that’s established, it’s important to organize and prioritize that information in a way that will lead to success through the website. Careful planning is key here. Once the content is developed and organized, the design and development process kicks in, which includes things like visual design, programming, usability testing, accessibility, and more. As we mentioned, it’s a process, and not usually a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all solution.

How long does it take to make a website? Here are some keys to success:

Stellar content
Planning, management, and organization
Relationship and communication
Great design and development

Ultimately, a professional website design company will be able to produce a website for you that will work well. However, you must realize that when you initiate a website design project with a professional company, you are in essence becoming part of the team. It’s important to contribute to the process and be a good team player.

Ideally, a standard website will take about a month to produce, but there are many variables to consider. A conversation with a professional website design and development company can help you get a better idea of your realistic time frame.

Have a website project in mind? Contact us to get started with a free evaluation.

How much does a website cost?

“They don’t hire me to design a website for the sake of designing a website. They hire me to design a website that’s going to help them grow their business.”

— Breaking the Time Barrier, Mike McDerment

A professionally designed website is the most valuable tool and the most important investment you can make in your business or organization. There’s no disputing that a strong web, and mobile presence is the central focus for any successful marketing campaign.

Websites are valuable.

In the past, companies spent considerable amounts of money on media buying in efforts to increase business. With new marketing techniques, the focus has shifted to investing in a strong online presence which includes websites, apps, and more. Websites should be created for the sole purpose of increasing business leads, generating revenue, and encouraging participation in your business or organization. Done right, the ROI can be dramatic. That’s not the case for many of the things on which we spend money.

website costWebsite cost factors


As important as time, materials, expertise, and effort are to the web development process, the best way of viewing pricing — when it comes to websites and other interactive products and services such as apps — is value. As creative professionals, our job is to make things that add value and have an impact on your business. We want you to be successful. We want the creative things we make to help you sell products online, increase donations, build business leads, and traffic. That’s our job. Making a website is simply part of the equation. We should be thinking bigger picture throughout that entire process and really focus on how we can make you successful.

In most cases, the value professional design services will add is the best way to determine price. This can manifest itself in form of long-term, or short-term, agreements where both parties analyze the business side of things and decide what works best. For example, we help one of our clients sell products online. We take a percentage of the online sales as our fee. The more products they sell, the more money everyone makes. It’s a great way to utilize creativity and ideas to grow business.

Perhaps it’s best to think of in terms how much you will gain as opposed to how much you’re going to spend. Determining fees based on value requires a conversation to determine requirements, etc.


In some cases, the value method isn’t the best fit and everything comes down to time.

Many people use the example of buying a car as a comparison for pricing a website and other forms of creative products and services. This analogy holds pretty well for web design and development. For example, if you look at the base price (or starting price) for a car, you will be looking at a number that will likely change by the time you actually make the purchase. As soon as you start adding the navigation system and other items, the price starts going up. In the same way, the price of a website can increase. The more features you add, the more expensive it is.

I think the car analogy is an okay illustration, but may be too “product-oriented” for an accurate depiction of website pricing. Cars are priced based on mass production. They are inherently cookie-cutter. Go ask someone to make a unique and custom car for you and I’d be willing to the bet the price will be pretty high. Websites can’t be priced like commercial cars because they are unique. They are one-of-a-kind and must be tailored to be effective. Making a website is more of a process than a product. If used properly. it’s a tool that never stops working for you.

So, I’ve often used the analogy of building a home to that of building a website. In many ways the process is the same: you plan/estimate (blueprints), conceptualize (renderings), build (construction). It is based on time and materials and the estimate is just that – an estimate. The numbers may need to be adjusted along the way to compensate for things that occur during the building process. The builder manages the process and works hard to come in under the original estimate.

Ballpark prices based on time

It’s also important to mention that, once a website is launched, it doesn’t stop there. It’s like a baby that never grows up or leaves the home. Again, a website is a tool that you have to use in order to grow your business. It takes effort. This is one reason why it’s important to build a strong foundation and do it right the first time.

The following outline will help give you an idea of how much you can expect to pay for a website. These numbers are based on actual projects and the time/materials pricing model:

Standard corporate websites, that may or may not include content management (the ability to edit your site), can range in price from $2,500 to $15,000.

Websites that include content management and more advanced features go from $15,000 to $25,000.

Websites that include all the bells and whistles like content management, eCommerce, and other types of online tools such as custom finance calculators, etc. can start at $25,000 and go as far as $60,000 and beyond. It really depends on the project requirements and the level of commitment and labor that will be needed to produce the website.

Ultimately, you get what you pay for

Everyone has experienced “you get what you pay for” on some level; the cheap weed-eater that doesn’t quite cut the weeds, the generic tires that had to be replaced a year later, the refrigerator that died right after the factory warranty expired, and the laptop that… well, don’t get me started. You know how it goes, buying things and deciding to make big investments is stressful. We’re afraid we’ll get burned and we’ve experienced that, in most cases, we get what we pay for. Websites are no different. You get what you pay for.

I think most folks would be surprised at the amount of expertise and labor hours that go into making an effective website. Web technology is ever-changing and web designers and developers are constantly having to educate, train, and keep up with what’s going on. It takes effort and commitment to stay relevant. Still, the per-conceived notion is that websites are somehow automated, cookie-cutter, or easy-to-make because the “computer does most of the work.” The truth is that is takes time to establish an effective message, gather and create effective content (which is critical), evaluate a target audience, produce an interface that’s usable and effective, and develop something that really works. The website itself is part of a process.

Professionally done, a website project is not like changing a tire. The process is unique and depends upon client needs. Also, there are many variables, which requires participation and collaboration from the client. It’s a partnership that includes getting to know the business, determining goals and priorities, developing an appropriate solution, and providing support throughout the process… and beyond.

The companies out there offering special deals such as a $200 website, or the “tech-savvy” brother-in-law that will do it for cheap, the do-it-yourself website building methods, and so on will not likely get the results you are looking for in the constantly-changing and competitive digital marketing world. You need something you can really use and a site that is built to last. It’s also important that you are engaging, memorable, and credible. This is achieved only through creative professional design and great content. Have I mentioned that content is very important? Well it is, and it’s typically one of the most challenging aspects of web and interactive development.

Again, making a website is a unique process for each client. It is a custom project and should be thought of as a partnership between the web development company and the client. An initial discussion is needed to help determine requirements and the price of any professionally produced website.

Do you have a website project in mind? If so, contact us for a free evaluation and estimate.