People

Responsive design means the site layout responds to any device (viewport) used to view it — desktop computer, tablet or smartphone. Content re-flows and may be styled differently for different screen sizes. Responsive design eliminates the need to build a separate mobile version of your site. Downhill Media uses mobile first responsive design.
Levels of readership are visual cues that draw a reader into your copy. They include headings, blockquotes, pull quotes, call outs, sidebars, typography, etc. Together they allow a reader to easily determine what the content is about at-a-glance. First level headings lead to second level, etc. drawing the reader deeper into your content.
Of course you can. The question is whether you should. Email is also a function of your web hosting account. Your domain mail is associated with your website domain name. For credibility — and to support your brand — it’s desirable to use me@mydomain.com.

Search Engines

Search engines can only index text. They can’t see images. The less text you have, the less there is to find.
Building your website is one thing. What you do with it once you have it is entirely another matter.There are many factors that affect search engine (SE) ranking. Among them:

  • Time — the longer a site is online, the more weight it has for ranking. Longevity = credibility.
  • Content — keyword rich content that is relevant to the topic of the page it’s on is important for search engine ranking. Concise content, written for readers (not search engines) is ideal. Lack of content, however, gives SEs very little to work with.
  • Competition — In addition to the millions of websites out there, how many are there that compete directly for your customers? Perhaps, many with websites of their own that may have existed for years.
  • Local Optimization — these days, factors external to your site are almost more important than what’s on your site. These include online listings, geographic references, back links to your site and more.
  • Social Media — just having a social media presence, boosts SE ranking. The more you engage your audience, the more credibility you give to your site. It helps establish you as an authority on what you do.

Keywords are words or phrases that people would type into a search engine (SE) to find something. They are very important, but not used in the same way as in the past. We used to put a list of keywords in the heading of each page. Because SE algorithms have changed, that’s no longer necessary. Today SEs look at page content for keywords relevant to the topic of each page. This is another reason keyword-rich content — and plenty of it — is important.

Technical

A dedicated IP address is a unique numerical address for your site. It allows you to access your site even before a domain name is pointed to it. With shared hosting, a hundred sites on a server may share a single IP address. If that IP address is blocked — as happens in countries like China — then your site is also blocked. If someone on your server is sending spam, your online reputation will suffer. Some programs/scripts for things like eCommerce, emailing, or chat require a dedicated IP address.
A content management system (CMS) is a database driven web application that allows users to manage their own content without requiring any programming knowledge. WordPress is widely used and user-friendly. It works nicely for a blog or as a CMS.
Absolutely. The POP email protocol commonly used for so many years is not ideal for this. With the growth of handheld devices and the trend toward using multiple devices, the IMAP protocol is now more commonly used. The difference? A POP account downloads messages to your computer and removes them from the mail server, making them no longer available to view from other devices or locations. An IMAP account is similar to Gmail in that all messages live on the server where you can view them any time, from anywhere, using any device.