2014 has been a great year for Van Ons. The significantly grown team moved in in February the new office and we were allowed to, among other things, Decathlon, Joolz and the New York Media Group* welcome as new customers. Jerry Helmers wrote in his column about the founders in De Telegraaf. We gave up presentations WordCamp.

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In addition to creating WordPress websites, links and applications, we also experimented and built with other techniques. This month we launched the iBeacon application for the Top 2000. For the Zaanse Schans we used data feeds from WordPress digital screens. There were for Exact Online applications with which WordPress can be linked to the accounting program. These were included in the Exact Online App Store in several European countries.

The Van Us Team would like to wish everyone happy holidays and a successful new year!

* And a thousand and one customers. Also celebrities and the largest newspaper and magazine publishers in the Netherlands, by the way, but we cannot say anything further about that.

The iBeacon technology (comparable to a GPS signal, but very accurate, especially indoors) is at #7 on this list 'Mobile trends for 2015' from Fonk. We estimate employability to be higher if more parties - as Van Ons has shown - talk and write less and, above all, act less, that first (test) case is like the first sheep over the dam...

These are 5 trends that we expect in 2015 for websites and applications that our existing and future customers will encounter.

5. More open source (also in government!)

We could include this 'trend' in a comparable list every year, so perhaps not really a trend. Yet we increasingly feel (and hear) within large organizations the cry for open source and the decisiveness to actually implement it. Even if certain software does not have all the functionalities that an enterprise version offers, it can be set up faster and often cheaper.

In addition to tight planning and a well-defined budget, there is something else very important with open source solutions (and the party you choose for them): flexibility! Think of it as the difference between a speedboat and an oil tanker. If new wishes unexpectedly arise during a project or if it is not yet 100% compliant, open source makes it possible to make adjustments and refinements.

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4. To test? Optimize

“A website is never finished”you sometimes hear. Van Ons is happy to ensure that a site is finished and that there is room for further development. If there is no longer any attention for a site after delivery, you are doing yourself a disservice. Functions can always be better or nicer. More goal-oriented. More effective. The most important thing is that the product provides a service to (future) customers or members or patients or users and is usable.

So test! And optimize. This could be for search engines, but also keep the focus on the end user. Show flexibility,. If something doesn't work for the user, a better solution must be found.

A continuous process because if you stop, you are actually saying that the end user stands still and never has new wishes.

Ordered before Joolz and the New York Media Group we were working continuously in 2014. Improvements in design, ease of use and sometimes also technical SEO have ensured that the sites are faster, easier to manage and also display well on mobile phones.

In the case of Joolz, which sells striking strollers, online sales have clearly increased.

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3. Better WEB design!

With an emphasis on web. The time when someone who can draw a little or organizes newspaper columns for his work (all respect for these people) also designs a site (whether or not for a neighbor or second cousin) is over, or should be over. Professional organizations deserve a professional web design. In line with the corporate identity, of course, but tailored to the medium. This list of 15 web design trends from Emerce is a good indication of the possibilities and is full of elements that we fortunately see more and more often with our customers.

AG5 let, for example, by the German Upstruct develop a strikingly fresh design in HTML. Fully responsive and this made the technical realization quick and targeted. This customer gave himself the advantage of knowing what was coming from minute 1.

Tip: involve a technical party in the design process. Then technical knowledge and a designer's eye really merge, which should turn out well!

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2. All-inclusive web development

In recent years it has been common to make everything work well in Internet Explorer 8 (2009). Nowadays more and more clients and agencies (and, for example, couches) this separately, but you can count on a whole range of other matters that must be properly arranged when building or expanding a new website. Think of:

– Responsive design. A design that has been developed for mobile, tablet and (ever larger) desktop screens. This year, for example, we took care of the switch from Doctor Leenarts to a fully responsive and WooCommerce optimized theme.

– Retina support so that logos, icons and fonts also look beautiful on crystal clear Apple screens.

– SEO. WordPress in collaboration with the Yoast SEO Plugin already does this very well, but additional advice about writing content, using sitemaps and the correct redirects is often required. A few actions in the settings of the Yoast plugin and in webmaster tools of the best-known search engines also ensure that the technology does not hinder success in the search results.

This year we assisted, among other things: Hello Rose and BNA (discussed in the point below) hereby.

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1. Links

In 2015 it is unnecessary for information to be locked up in one system. It is increasingly desirable to link the new website (or app or platform) to various systems. This could involve accounting software or a planning tool, for example. Complete HRM or CRM systems based on WordPress are sometimes requested. Professional tools with well-documented APIs (what is that?) can always link Van Ons to WordPress. However, we always ask the central question what the end goal is, because every tool must be used for what it is best at.

We often advise against WooCommerce – a plugin that allows you to expand WordPress with webshop functionalities – if the intention is to become the next Bol.com or Amazon. The quantity of products is not so much the challenge (a common misconception), but it is not the best tool for this end goal. Managing all your leads, associated addresses and contact moments in WordPress is possible, but a specialized CRM package may be better.

We saw the problem for web shops that separate accounting often arises. That of the webshop software (WooCommerce, or for example Shopify) and 'offline' sales. The question about that link is ConnectPush set up.

The new website of the Trade association of architectural firms (BNA) that we developed is a good example. Course and contact details, for example, come from AFAS, where all member information is already stored. Registering for a course will soon be done via a separate tool that also connects to AFAS. The best tool has been selected for each problem.

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Epilogue

We would also like to take all these tips to heart. At the beginning of 2015 we will introduce a new website that better highlights all our work and we will introduce a new corporate identity. Until then!