Kika Marketing & Communications Inc.
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Content Marketing: Creating your branded bit.ly

Everyone hates long URLS specially the ones with a lot of cryptic url parameters. It’s long, non-descriptive, and difficult to remember. You’ll also have a hard time posting these long urls on social sites with “character-limits” as it will surely eat all of your character bandwidth before you can even post your actual content.     This is where services called URL Shorteners comes into play and it was developed with one sole purpose - to shorten your long URLS. Now, you might be asking “Isn’t it using services like this will have a negative impact on my SEO?”. If we’re talking about 5 years ago, yes, but today, URL shorteners have evolved and it’s actually quite mandatory to have it if you care a lot about your online exposure and SEO. How? It’s by customizing your shortened urls using your own brand.     Bit.ly is a free url shortener service.   In this guide, we’re going to use one of the most popular URL shorteners service called bit.ly. If you haven’t already, open your favorite browser and visit https://bitly.com/. Feel free to read about its features. This guide assumes you already have a bit.ly account, so before continuing, make sure to sign up and login. After logging in, you will be redirected to your bit.ly dashboard.     This is your  bit.ly dashboard. Notice how our links are customized based on our brand (it does not use the bit.ly url).   Your bit.ly dashboard shows all of your created bit.ly links. In case you’re already using bit.ly, you’ll notice that your links are formatted like this http://bit.ly/1iidA9N. This is the default formatting and url naming of bit.ly and most of the time, it’s enough for the majority of users. But this is not what we want! We want our links to stand-out among the rest!     On the top right of your dashboard, click the MENU icon. This will show you your account menu list. What you want to click here is the SETTINGS button which is under the options menu.     Upon clicking the settings button, another window will popup with 3 options. What we want here is the ADVANCED SETTINGS button.     The advanced settings menu is where we can find the option to customize our bit.ly links called Brand Short Domain. Upon clicking this link, it will show us the necessary steps to customize our default bit.ly generated links.     The steps involved sounds scary at first, but it’s actually pretty simple. It basically involves buying a domain name and setting up the necessary DNS records on your domain name so that it points to bit.ly servers.     You can use domain registrars like namecheap in purchasing your own domain.   There are a lot of domain registrars available and it’s up to you which ones to use. For the purpose of this guide, I’ll be showing you how to set up your your domain’s DNS servers to point to bit.ly servers (assuming that your domain was purchased from Namecheap). If you haven’t purchased a custom domain yet, go ahead and purchase one first.     Namecheap dashboard showing all of your purchased domain names.   Upon signing up and purchasing your custom domain from namecheap, you are now able to view all of your purchased domain names on your dashboard. Click on the manage button to setup your custom domain. This is where we will assign the necessary DNS servers so that bit.ly can start using it.     On the manage page, find the NAMESERVERS settings uption and change it from Namecheap BasicDNS to Custom DNS.     Input the DNS servers listed on your bit.ly branded domains settings page. It will then propagate to bit.ly servers and sometimes it takes 24-48 hours to be fully setup. To verify if your custom domain is now usable, head over to your bit.ly dashboard and under SETTINGS > ADVANCED SETTINGS > BRANDED DOMAINS, enter your own custom domain on the field provided and click VERIFY DOMAIN.   Once verified, you will see something similar above. Congratulations! You can now start using your branded bit.ly links!   -   “What if my domains were purchased using a different domain registrar?” The process is going to be pretty much identical. You just need to know where to find your domain’s settings page on your preferred domain registrar. Every domain registrar has a settings page where you can update/change DNS records.   “Will it really take up to 24-48 hours before I can use my own custom branded domain?” Most of the time, no. My personal branded bit.ly link only took roughly 20 mins to propagate. Just regularly click the verify domain button on your bit.ly dashboard to check if your custom domain is already verified.

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The 10 Web Design Trends of 2018

Over the past 5 years, a lot of things have changed in the world of web design. It updates so fast that sometimes it’s a bit tricky to keep up with the changes. With the growing number of new web technologies available, features that are near impossible to create years ago can now be easily added to any website.     Here at KIKA, we strive to keep up and adapt with these changes. Our team of designers and developers are always on the lookout for the latest web technologies to further help our clients in marketing their brands. With so many design trends popping out left and right, we asked them the 10 biggest web design trends of 2018. 1. More Animation Movement and animation is a powerful engagement tool. More and more companies uses animation to attract customers and make their overall marketing much more interesting.   https://teatrlalka.pl/en 2. Color Vibrancy “Web Safe” colors are now a thing of the past. With advancements in display technology on both mobile and desktop, big companies are now using the term “Super Saturation” in their designs to attract people’s attention.   http://circulardev.com/nike/cortez/ 3. Semi Flat “Gradients” were big many years ago but it was overtaken by the concept of “Flat Design” (thank you Apple!). This year, “Gradients” are slowly creeping back its way to the forefront of the design industry and a lot of big companies are now starting to utilize it in their designs.   http://www.symodd.com/ 4. Asymmetry Grid layouts were the main driving force of every website for the past 5 years. Today, design agencies are using "non-conventional" layouts to bring new direction to their designs.   https://flayks.com/ 5. Big Typography Content is always "king" and this is true for typography in 2018. Expect more impactful type in web design this year.   http://www.boite-a-oeufs.com/ 6. Mobile First The term was first coined way back in 2009 and this has been one of the most important things to consider when designing for web. Mobile has officially surpassed desktop in mobile browsing and more than 50% of internet users are from mobile.   7. Drop Shadows Drop shadows adds depth to any UI and this effect was even made popular thanks to Google's Material Design guidelines.   https://material.io/guidelines/material-design/elevation-shadows.html#elevation-shadows-elevation-android 8. Illustrations Like animation, more and more website are gearing towards the use of illustrations in conveying ideas. A lot of big companies like Facebook has been using illustrations in their product and ad placements since 2017.   https://www.pikmykid.com/ 9. Page Transitions Complex page transitions were only possible back in Flash, but with the continuous improvements in web and animation technologies, page transitions is now starting to be a norm in every web design.   http://xmas.evs.com/2018/ 10. Flexbox Flexbox is CSS3's new advance layout model for responsive web design. This is now starting to be a standard in web design with Bootstrap 4.0 being the first one to adapt the technology.   https://getbootstrap.com/

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The New Standard in HTML5 Animation

I've been in the industry for 10 yrs now (started doing interactive stuff as a freelance when I was 19) and I encountered every new technology when it comes to making things move on screen. Flash was the main standard back in the day when it comes to animation and you're considered as one of the "cool kids" in the industry if you know how to control this technology. The Flash technology made me pay a LOT of bills and taught me how to be a designer and an adept programmer at the same time. But as any other technology, change is inevitable and that change was accelerated by Apple's Steve Jobs - making Flash's popularity dwindle over the years.

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