Surelutions Web Design

Surelutions Web Design Website design, planning, and WordPress support for nonprofit organizations and small businesses. Founded in Chelsea, Michigan in 2003.
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Website design, management, and digital strategy consulting since 2003. Our long-term relationships with clients ensure that their websites, marketing plan, advertising, and social media all work together seamlessly to engage with customers, reflect their brand, and promote businesses.

The topic of negative reviews and comments on social media came up in a recent discussion with a client. Their situation...
06/16/2020
Your Business Needs More Negative Reviews. Here's Why

The topic of negative reviews and comments on social media came up in a recent discussion with a client. Their situation was a little trickier than just a negative review, but I thought it would be handy to share some good advice on the topic with everyone.This article from Neil Patel is an excellent read. I highly recommend it to anyone who manages a social media page for a business or nonprofit organization. https://neilpatel.com/blog/your-business-needs-negative-reviews/

Key points:
- Negative reviews give customers the opportunity to see how you handle customer support
- When you only have 5-star reviews, customers may wonder if they are fake
- Have an Action Plan within your organization so everyone within your organization knows how to respond well
- Dont' get defensive or angry - be empathetic, respectful, and factual
- Take the problem offline (DM, PM, email)

Have you ever had a negative review? How did you handle it?

If you’ve put all of your focus on avoiding negative reviews, you’re going about reviews all wrong. You may find that hard to believe, but it’s true. Here’s why you need negative reviews and some of the ways that they can be beneficial for your business.

06/11/2020

When was the last time you updated your social media banners? How about those changes in hours & services posts on your front door? Are your digital ads in the local news looking good? If you need a bit of an upgrade, good news -- we have some extra design hours available in June.

We normally only offer graphic design to ongoing clients as part of a larger vision to keep their website, brand, social media and communications looking sharp. But since a lot of our scheduled work in June is technical stuff related to website improvements, we have some extra design time we can play with.

Comment below or send us a message and let us know what you need help with. (Current clients: As always, send us a support email if you need anything, we're here to help with both technical and design stuff for you

I'm so proud of my little midwest rural town for taking a stand against racism! This is a huge gathering (and mostly soc...
06/09/2020
About 300 people rally at Pierce Park last week - Chelsea Update: Chelsea, Michigan, News

I'm so proud of my little midwest rural town for taking a stand against racism! This is a huge gathering (and mostly socially distanced) given how small Chelsea is. Also feeling grateful that I've had opportunity to connect with Chelsea One World One Family and the Chelsea Equity Challenge efforts that allow me to contribute my skills to the cause. https://chelseaupdate.com/about-300-people-rally-at-pierce-park-last-week/

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Joanne Ladio for the information and photos in this story.) More than 300 people gathered in Pierce Park on Thursday, June 4, for a rally in support of Black ... Read more

06/08/2020
Introducing Crayola Colors of the World, Skin Tone Crayons & Coloring || Crayola

Brilliant! I bet they already had most of these crayon colors. What a smart and thoughtful way to use what you have to serve customer needs. Sounds like there was also a clever "out of the box" partnership with a makeup expert. https://www.crayola.com/worldcolors

This is a great example of using what you have to serve your clients, but communicating (or packaging) it in a different way, while also sharing your values. That's an important concept to think through as you're planning website improvements as well.

Are you communicating your services in a way that speaks to what people need and want right now?

https://www.crayola.com/WorldColors Introducing Crayola Colors of the World, a product line that celebrates the diversity of kids (or anyone!) and gives them...

06/07/2020

Random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon.

I'm in a few Mompreneur type groups and often see a fervent "No MLMs" when people ask for ideas on how they can earn some extra money. They don't want MLMs because there is a markup on the products -- like "they are totally overpriced because you have to pay for the entire upline to make money".

I often wonder if those people know how stores make money? It's not like Target buys an item of clothing direct from the person who sewed it for the exact cost of the fabric and thread.

Hate to break it to you, but it's all a big upline. Every step of the designing, production, distribution, advertising, displaying, storing, and selling of an item involves paying lots of people along the way. Your $100 shirt probably cost $1 in materials.

I have no great love or hate of MLMs -- some are amazing, some are shady. But to dismiss an entire business model because people are getting paid is just silly and narrow minded. Do your research. Buy from people and companies you trust. Shop local whenever you can. If people are getting paid to provide a product or service that you love, then it's a win-win. Let's keep them in business.

Cheers to all the moms (and dads) who are kicking butt with their side hustles, whether MLMs or not.

I'm curious, what MLM products are you a fan of? (Mine are Young LIving and Mary Kay)

06/02/2020

What BIPOC* businesses and organizations are you supporting and recommending right now? Got one? Tell us about it. Love one? Share who they are and why you love them. Don't know any? Keep tabs on this post and get inspired to diversify where you are spending and donating your money.

Share your favorite podcasts, authors, too, if you feel so inspired.

(*Black, Indigenous, People of Color. If that acronym is new to you, you def have some work to do -- It's only too late if you don't start now.)

I didn't intend to put my page in quarantine with me and my family during the COVID shut downs. But I've been t...
06/02/2020
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice

I didn't intend to put my page in quarantine with me and my family during the COVID shut downs. But I've been too busy helping clients adjust to the constant changes and telling them not to ignore their FB pages (oh the irony). I should probably share add some useful website tips and stuff here right now, but frankly there's something more important than my business or your business to talk about.

It's people's lives. It's racism. It's the stuff we don't want to talk about because it makes us uncomfortable. We need to quit being so polite and start helping fix things. It's ok to admit that you are completely clueless as to what to do, it's just not ok to stay there. So if you want to help but are completely clueless as to where to start, here are some suggestions:

Medium article about what white people can do for racial justice: https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234 . This includes suggestions on supportin black business owners, books to read, historical context, and much more.

Chelsea friends - Join the One World One Family conversation and Equity Challenge group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1092728431107534/.

Ann Arbor area friends - Join the United Way of Washtenaw Equity Challenge - lots to consume here to find out where you fit in to the solution
https://www.uwwashtenaw.org/21-day-challenge-catalogue . This is our local county. If you are in another area, just google equity resources and your county name.

A conversation on race on the NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/your-stories/conversations-on-race

Racial equity tools website article about white privilege: https://www.racialequitytools.org/fundamentals/core-concepts/whiteness-and-white-privilege

Ready to really dig deep and learn? Check out coaching and courses at JORE consulting. https://joreconsulting.com/

If we're not fixing the problem, we are the problem.

**Note this article is continually updated to ensure each item is accurate and needed today.**

For any friends and neighbors in the Chelsea, Michigan area who would like to share this list of restaurants and other p...
03/20/2020
Chelsea Area Restaurants and Stores Currently Open during COVID-19 shut downs

For any friends and neighbors in the Chelsea, Michigan area who would like to share this list of restaurants and other places still open during the COVID-19 crisis, here's the Google doc you may have seen in the local discussion groups. You can't share a link from a private group outside of a group, so I posted it here for easier sharability.

For others not in our local area -- this simple google doc has been very popular in our community the past week. If you'd like to create something similar for your community, but aren't sure how, l'd be happy to make a walk-thru video for you. Let me know what questions you have. ~Leslie

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YLbNdxXv4pUXe7fX9NmbEV1yXNe2R6oHSN0zyDLoYzA/edit?usp=sharing

Chelsea Area Restaurants, Stores, and Activities Open during COVID-19 Shut Downs List created by Leslie Surel - Feel free to email me with additions or corrections: [email protected]. This list is being updated regularly as info is shared with me. Businesses that are temporarily closed are s...

Cool Tool: Link Contrast Checker - I've used this little tool about 50 times this week as I'm working on a new website d...
02/27/2020
WebAIM: Link Contrast Checker

Cool Tool: Link Contrast Checker - I've used this little tool about 50 times this week as I'm working on a new website design and color palette for an education-based client. It's a handy dandy checker that allows you to try out different color combinations of background, text, and link to make sure that they have sufficient contrast for WCAG Accessibility standards. https://webaim.org/resources/linkcontrastchecker/

Link Contrast Checker You are here: Home > Resources > Link Contrast Checker This tool requires Javascript. Link Color Please enter a valid hex triplet, or use the color picker. Hex color picker Lightness Body Text Color Please enter a valid hex triplet, or use the color picker. Hex color picker Lig...

2020 WEBSITE CHECK LIST - PART 1: (I will be emailing out details on all these topics, so if you have a website, be sure...
01/30/2020

2020 WEBSITE CHECK LIST - PART 1: (I will be emailing out details on all these topics, so if you have a website, be sure to subscribe to stay in the loop: http://eepurl.com/bRJ_lL ~Leslie)

Do a quick Google search and you will find all kinds of jargony lists about the 2020 Must Haves for your website, and they will include bells, whistles, design tricks, and fancy widgets. But before you go adding that shiny chat bot to your site, make sure that you do some essential housekeeping first. These are not your "nifty to have" upgrades, these are "you are way behind and already losing business" upgrades.

Would you be shopping for pretty new table linens while your basement is flooding? Nope! It's not as much fun, but sometimes you just gotta call the plumber first!

So here is Part 1 of the equivalent of "your basement is flooding" to do list for your website:

🔒 1. SSL certificate - Your site needs to be running with https:// and not http://, with all pages and links secure. Some browsers aren't even allowing visitors to go to sites that don't have a valid security certificate. So if you don't have one, you are turning away visitors before they even get to your home page.

📱 2. Responsive design - even if you think your audience is "not tech savvy", chances are at least 50% of them are viewing your site on smaller devices, whether a smart phone, chromebook, ipad, or small laptop. If your site isn't responsive, they will have a difficult time browsing, getting in touch, donating, signing up, or whatever purpose they are there for.

🛡 3. Privacy Policy, Terms of Service, and related policies - if you are collecting user data (and you are, if you have a form or are running analytics) you need a policy in place that states what information you're collecting and how it is being used. More and more laws are being passed to protect our privacy (good!), so our websites need to be up to date with this information for our visitors. We have an easy solution to get this into place for you, so send us a message if you need info.

---------Next up.... Part II of our must have list -------------

I'm not sure who decided that today was Data Privacy Day (perhaps the most boring holiday ever?), but it seemed like a g...
01/28/2020
Does your nonprofit organization's website need a privacy policy and terms of service? Spoiler: YES. | Surelutions

I'm not sure who decided that today was Data Privacy Day (perhaps the most boring holiday ever?), but it seemed like a good opportunity to share our blog post about privacy policies for nonprofits. The information is pretty much the same for anyone who has a website, with additional requirements for those who are affiliates and making sales on their websites, so read on..

The short version of the story is that no matter if you are a nonprofit organization, consultant, small business, or any type of business you should be planning to add a privacy policy, terms of service, and other legal information on your website.

The GDPR in Europe has been in effect for quite some time now, and many states in the U.S. are following suit. Whether you're catching up, or getting ahead of the requirements, having these policies on your website should be at the top of your website to do list.

Nervous or confused? Send me a message and I'd be glad to help you get the info or resources you need to take action.

Let’s cut to the punch line. If you have a website, you need a privacy policy and terms of service. It may not yet be the law in your area, but likely will be in the near future. You should have a policy in place to notify your website visitors about what information you are …

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?" - Martin Luther King, Jr.
01/20/2020

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?" - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Feeling grateful that we have active community members, organizations, and businesses coming together to honor Dr. Marti...
01/12/2020

Feeling grateful that we have active community members, organizations, and businesses coming together to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his message to stand up and and make a difference. We were happy to pitch in and help out by creating the poster for this collaborative event.

12/31/2019

Happy New Year! Raise your glass and crack open that shiny new planner or bullet journal. Cheers to fresh starts, new initiatives, and a successful 2020!

Wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and lovely holiday break. I hope you're taking a few da...
12/23/2019

Wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and lovely holiday break. I hope you're taking a few days off to enjoy your blessings!

Does feeling useful make you feel happy? What do you enjoy doing that makes a difference to others or makes you feel use...
12/11/2019

Does feeling useful make you feel happy? What do you enjoy doing that makes a difference to others or makes you feel useful?

Pantone's Color of the Year is always a fun discussion! The 2020 Color of the Year is "Classic Blue". There is much deba...
12/06/2019

Pantone's Color of the Year is always a fun discussion! The 2020 Color of the Year is "Classic Blue". There is much debate of whether it's calm and beautiful or boring as heck. I think it's a lovely color, but not exactly inspiring. What do you think?

PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, the Pantone Color of the Year 2020. A timeless and enduring blue hue, timeless in its simplicity.

Cyber Monday: Here's a friendly reminder to all our software-purchasing friends (which is probably all of you!), that Cy...
12/02/2019
Resources | Surelutions

Cyber Monday: Here's a friendly reminder to all our software-purchasing friends (which is probably all of you!), that Cyber Monday is a great time to renew your licenses or buy those digital tools you've been putting off buying. Here's a list of some of our favorite tools in our web design business: surelutions.com/resources -- nearly all of them are having sales that at midnight on Monday.

TECH TIP: Don't buy software you don't need, just because it's a good deal. Use special sales to SAVE money on purchases you would be buying anyhow. Don't load up on products you'll never use.

Resources Our favorite premium plugins, business software and digital tools Here’s a hand-picked list of some of our favorite tried and true tools and resources that help us build and design websites and run our business here at Surelutions. Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. That...

11/25/2019

Copywriting Tip: The correct way to write numbers when writing an article, blog post, or marketing piece, is to spell numbers one through nine, and to use digits for numbers 10+, according to The Elements of Style book. We had to practically memorize that book back in my newspaper days. Other resources such as The Chicago Manual of Style and Associated Press Stylebook deem that numbers less than 100 should be spelled out, unless you're using measurements.

There will always be exceptions, of course. Whichever method you prefer, your organization should have a general rule to follow and be consistent.

11/25/2019

Some organizations see their website and social media tools as IT expenses. The more knowledgeable ones recognize their digital presence as a marketing hub and development opportunity. Besides all those things, your website and social media are communication tools that people are depending on for your services.

How do people get help if they need you? Will they use that handy form on your website? Will they email you using that contact info you have listed on your Instagram? If you're a social services nonprofit and someone sends you a Facebook message late at night urgently needing a food or shelter, do you have someone minding the channels?

When you're a business, it's good practice to be reachable to keep customers happy. When you're a nonprofit organization, sometimes people's safety and well being depends on it.

Need a review of your website and digital presence? We should talk. Email [email protected] or send us a PM here on FB.

11/21/2019

Love this inspiration from @marieforleo:

"When there’s something your heart wants to create and you hold back, you’re stealing from those who need you most."

What does your heart want you to create?

WordPress released version 5.3 yesterday, with some pretty neat new features. As always, we will be updating our client ...
11/13/2019
WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”

WordPress released version 5.3 yesterday, with some pretty neat new features. As always, we will be updating our client Care Plan sites slowly and carefully this week to make sure that there are no glitches or problems. If you manage your own WordPress website, you'll want to first make sure that you are running PHP 7+ and have a good, restorable backup in case anything goes wonky when you upgrade. https://wordpress.org/news/2019/11/kirk/

Version 5.3 of WordPress is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. The new editor continues to become more refined with intuitive interactions, a focus on accessibility, and …

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Surelutions helps nonprofits and mission-focused small business to plan, design, and grow their website. We help you create a website that is the hub of your marketing and communication strategy.

Surelutions was founded in 2003 by Leslie Surel, a Michigan native who began her career as a designer and project manager.

Surelutions specializes in WordPress website design, management, and strategy. Ongoing collaborative relationships with clients (many for over a decade) help ensure that clients’ websites, marketing plan, advertising, and social media all work together seamlessly to engage with visitors, reflect their mission, and promote their organization.

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