Every Website Needs SSL

Every Website Should Have SSL

2017 was a huge year for website encryption. At the beginning of the year, roughly 46% of all websites on the Internet were encrypted with a Secure Socket Layer (SSL). That percentage has leapt to over 60% since September and continues to increase every day (source: Firefox Telemetry). This increase is not by accident but by design.

Numerous highly influential companies, including Google and Mozilla (FireFox), have made website encryption a priority. Specifically, they’re pushing for more sites to use SSL, a security protocol that provides privacy and data integrity to communications sent over a network
(in this case, the Internet).

How SSL Benefits Websites and Their Visitors

The obvious reason for protecting a website’s information is to keep it away from unauthorized users. But implementing SSL on a website has many other benefits, such as:

  • Increases site speed (allows for use of HTTPS/2, a new network protocol)
  • Helps prevent website hacks, stolen passwords and theft of other important information
  • Provides site visitors with peace of mind, building brand trust and loyalty

No Excuses: Now is the Time to Upgrade to SSL

In the past, sites often wouldn’t bother purchasing SSL because it was difficult and costly to install. Not so anymore. Recent advancements in technology have made installation much quicker and, if a web host supports Let’s Encrypt, the certificate itself is now free, automated, and open. There’s no longer an excuse for a website not to be secure! In fact, the new standard for building websites is to automatically enable SSL instead of installing it later.

Knowing If SSL is Needed, or If It’s Already There

A quick way to discover if a site is secure is to check its website address (URL). All URL’s start with “http,” but if the site is secure, the URL will start with “https” – note the “s”. Additionally, a green lock should be visible to the left of the address bar. If there’s no green lock, then it’s time to get an SSL!

14th Annual SIAA Awards: “And the Award Goes to… the Customer!”

SIAA Award Winner GraphicAlmost every industry has some sort of recognized award program, whether it’s sponsored by an industry association or a related industry publication. Receiving recognition for hard, thoughtful work can serve as a reward for employees, creating a sense of pride and ownership among staff. Awards also help companies in attracting quality employees, a task that is becoming more important all the time.

For Lime Valley, awards provide many of those same opportunities. On an internal level, awards season is a way to recognize the talents and creativity of designers, programmers, developers and copywriters. But on a more global level, receiving awards provides an opportunity to reflect on a successful project and celebrate with the customer.

Without the customer, there is no project and no award.

These awards are shared with the customer in a way that they can use them as promotional tools, celebrate with their staff and realize the value of their efforts in the marketing communications process.

The awards highlighted in this issue of Storyboard are Service Industry Advertising Awards (SIAA). The Service Industry Advertising Awards began in 2003 as a way to recognize the advertising excellence of the service industry. It’s a national competition that honors service industry providers, as opposed to popular consumer awards, for their contribution to marketing and advertising.

This year, over 1,900 entries were received. A national panel of judges evaluated and rated entries in 8 groups and 26 categories for execution, creativity, quality, consumer appeal and overall break through advertising content. The judges awarded 145 Gold Awards, 102 Silver Awards, as well as 74 Bronze Awards.

Lime Valley has won more SIAA Awards than any other agency in Minnesota.

Lime Valley Advertising Office BuildingWith six Service Industry Advertising Awards for communication excellence this year, Lime Valley has garnered a total of 63 SIAA awards, more than any other agency in Minnesota, over the last thirteen years.

Lime Valley has received a total of 18 Gold, 13 Silver, 9 Bronze and 23 Merit awards in the annual SIAA awards competition. The 2016 awards represent a range of project categories from educational services to publications and websites. The willingness and commitment to quality marketing communications on behalf of these customers makes these awards possible.

Total Awards Won: 18 Gold, 13 Silver, 9 Bronze, and 23 Merit awards

Lime Valley is excited to highlight these special projects and recognize the customers that make them possible. So cue the music. The show is about to begin!

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Lime Valley Acquires Web Development Firm VoyaguerWeb

A Growing Company! Lime Valley Acquires Web Development Firm VoyageurWeb

Lime Valley Has Grown!

As of January 3, 2017, the Lime Valley home office welcomed three new staff members as the acquisition of VoyaguerWeb, Mankato, MN became official. Details of the acquisition took several months to iron out, but in the end both parties came away from the deal very pleased and excited about the future.

VoyageurWeb and Lime Valley have had a long history of cooperation and working together, teaming up on projects and on special efforts for area non-profits. In addition, both companies share a strong commitment to education. Through work on various college program boards to continuing internship programs and ultimately hiring students, this belief in education stands out. The familiarity and mutual admiration between the two companies allowed the acquisition process to move forward smoothly.

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Marketing Budget.

3 Tips to Help your Company Through Difficult Financial Times

Don’t Panic! Now is the Time to Advertise & Promote

When the economy flounders and business drops it is easy to go into panic mode and cut spending. Oftentimes the marketing budget is the first to be slashed because it is not seen as integral to the survival of the company. As Henry Ford observed, this makes very little sense.

There are three things you can do that will help you through difficult financial times: stay in front of your customer, sharpen your strategy and utilize an advertising agency with the expertise to help you reach your customers without wasting precious resources.

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NGS Tradeshow Solution LVAI Storyboard Nov 2016

It’s Show Time!: Lime Valley Develops Effective & Economical Tradeshow Solution for New Generation Supplements

A tradeshow booth or display needs to do two main things. First, it needs get the attention of show attendees. Second, it must communicate clearly what exactly a company does. But for New Generation Supplements, it needed to do something else; it needed to be economical and easy to set up.

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Keeping it REAListic: Creating an Effective & Achievable Marketing Plan

For many companies whose fiscal year mirrors the calendar year, the fourth quarter is a mix of hurry up and finish this or, sell all of these and most of those before the end of the year. It is also the time of year for developing a marketing plan, setting the advertising budget and establishing priorities for the upcoming year. Well, maybe not.

All too often marketing communications plans get left until the last minute or are executed on the fly. And for many, it’s not because they don’t need marketing communications materials or don’t want them, it’s because for many, developing a marketing budget is still one of those great unknowns. But it doesn’t have to be.

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How to use Typography for your Advantage

Branding Tips: How to Use Typography to Your Advantage

Every second of every day, language is used as a form of branding, expression and communication in personal and professional relationships – at home or in the office. It is well known, however, that the mere fundamentals of language and vocabulary alone cannot convey all of the intended meaning of a conversation. Other tools, such as body language, cadence and volume are used hand-in-hand with verbal communication to indicate feelings, significance and objective. These tools can be translated into written communication as well. Text on a page can be transformed into rich, visual language with accurate and knowledgeable use of typography.

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08 2016 Behind The Creative Process

Behind the Creative Process

Communication knows no boundaries, and with that understanding Lime Valley Advertising is able to work successfully with clients in a wide range of industries. Lime Valley accomplishes this through its process of discovering key brand messages for its clients and then dispersing that message among various advertising mediums (a practice known as integrated marketing communications). IMC saves time and money by shifting the marketing approach to focus on content as a whole rather than the individual projects. This gives a client the ability to deliver relevant and quality content consistently, which allows its audience to position the company precisely where desired in the industry.

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Marketing Communication Excellence – SIAA Award Winners

The SIAA (Service Industry Advertising Awards) is a national competition that honors service industry providers for their contribution to marketing and advertising. This year judges reviewed over 1,700 entries from 500 agencies for execution, creativity, quality, consumer appeal and overall breakthrough. Lime Valley received eight SIAA awards for communication excellence this year. This is the twelfth year that the SIAA has recognized Lime Valley’s creative accomplishments in advertising. Over those twelve years Lime Valley has garnered 57 SIAA awards, more than any other agency in Minnesota.

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Permanence of Impermanence – Commentary by Cory Wendt

Nothing in life is permanent. This is my biggest motto in life, and the older I get, the more I believe it.

As a programmer and multimedia designer, I’m reminded of this truth every day. Every year coding languages upgrade and depreciate, grow and die, and if not kept up with, so will the programmer with them. Yet it’s not just languages moving forward, it’s Internet browsers, applications, programs, computers, operating systems, devices – yikes! I could go on forever and not even cover everything!

This proves that being a good—nay, a great programmer isn’t only about memorizing code once, but having the foresight and appetite to go out and research new code, standards and methods constantly. They say as long as you live, you never stop learning. I knew this would be the case after college, but I never imagined I’d have to learn so much so quickly after graduating. What I studied in school was only a drop in the bucket; what I’ve learned at Lime Valley in eight months feels like an ocean.

Sometimes I feel as if I can’t learn anymore, as if my brain will explode if I try to shove anymore into it, but I take great pride in all of the knowledge I hold. I know its value, and that if I don’t continue to tend to it dutifully like the flowers in a garden, it will one day return to the ether from whence it came.

Not even knowledge can escape the inevitable truth of our world: “Nothing in life is permanent.”

Cory Wendt is a Web Developer with Lime Valley Advertising, Inc.

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