Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Website Tools

Colin Cartwright

These days, your website is a direct representation of your electrical business. It's also likely the first thing most of your potential customers will see, so you really want that first impression to be a good one. Think about how you feel when you visit a website for the first time and you're greeted with a slow web page that's full of wild colours and low quality images. You likely move on to another site and never go back. You certainly don't want your first time visitors reacting that way to your website do you?

Here are five tips on how to make your website give a good first impression.

1. Design for your target audience. The first thing that your visitors see is the general look and feel of your website. The overall design should be appropriate for your target audience. For example, if you are an electrical contractor who mainly works on industrial installations, you probably don't want images of home owners and residential breaker panels emblazoned across all your web pages. If you're a residential electrician, then those types of images will work great for you, as long as you tie them into appropriate text content. More on that later.

2. Tailor your colours. Colours also have a big impact on first impressions, so choosing colours that suit your type of work will definitely help.
• Select a colour scheme that is appropriate for your type of business and your target customers. For example, if you do a lot of commercial or corporate work, you're better going with neutral blues and greys rather than opting for a more industrial colour scheme like black and yellow.
• Use bright colours in strategic places to add some emphasis, just like how bright signs attract your attention in the real world, but try not to overdo it.
• Keep colours consistent throughout your website.

3. Keep it consistent. While we're on the subject of consistency, the layout of your content should be clean and well-organized. For example:
• place your logo and company name on top of every page
• in your navigation menu, use clear labels for each category or section of your website
• organize and divide your pages into sections that are consistent throughout the site. There is nothing worse than jumping from one page to another and finding everything in a different place
• include a phone number in the footer along with your copyright and company name. You'll be surprised how many people look there first.
• If you're re-designing your website, sketch out your design or bookmark some favourite websites before meeting with your web designer. This way, they will have a better idea of what you're looking to create.

4. Make it easy to read.
• Format the text size in a font that is easy to read. Avoid using a font that is small and difficult to read for your main content. A font size of 12pt (or 16px) works great for your main text with your headings being larger.
• Black text on a white background is still the preferred choice of many people, so keep that in mind if you're planning a re-design.
• Leave enough spacing between each line so your text doesn't look bunched up and crowded together.
• Break up long blocks of text into shorter paragraphs so that your page doesn't look so intimidating to read.
• Use subheadings if you can to organize your page and assist your readers.
• Keep your pages narrow so that your readers will not have to track from the left all the way to the right while they are reading. If you can't use one narrow column, look at breaking it into two columns.

5. Use images to add value. Avoid adding images just for the sake of it. All your images should relate to, and add value to your text. This will help reinforce the message you're trying to get across. Prevent pages from loading slowly by cropping your images to the exact size you need instead of uploading them and letting your web server re-size them for you. You can reduce your page load times substantially if you use free online services like https://tinypng.com or https://kraken.io to compress your images before uploading them. Finally, a gallery of images showing your recent work is always nice to have, but make sure all the images you use are high quality. You don't want your visitors to think you do poor quality work, just because you used a bad quality photo in your gallery. Don’t laugh - This has actually happened.

Conclusion

Try to be consistent in the look and feel throughout your website. A consistent and well organized website tends to create a better impression about how you do things in general. If you have a messy, inconsistent website, your potential customers might think that's how you are with everything, including your work. A little bit of planning and organizing of your content, along with these web design tips, should help your website create a good first impression.


 

Colin Cartwright works with electrical and industrial automation companies to develop websites and online sales strategies that are specifically focused on generating more sales. With over two decades of direct sales experience in the electrical and industrial automation industry, as well as another 15 years of web design experience, Colin brings a vast amount of industry knowledge and sales orientated skills to your electrical or automation website project that you just can't get from the average web design firm. Visit his website at www.electricalwebsolutions.com.

 

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Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 permit....no record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion

 


 

Surgelogic RecallProduct: Surgelogic™ NQ SurgeLoc™ Surge Protection Device.

Issue: The Surgeloc Surge Protection Device can experience an arc event, which can result in a fire hazard.

What to do: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled surge protection devices and contact Schneider Electric for instructions on receiving a free equivalent replacement surge protector.

 

 

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Terry BeckerBy Terry Becker, P.Eng., CESCP, IEEE Senior Member

The electric shock hazard has been neglected.  Journeyman Electricians have accepted been shocked as part of the job, a “right” of passage, a badge of honour. 

This has not been acceptable and Journeyman Electricians may not be aware of the long term sequela health effects of receiving multiple low voltage electrical shocks and how it may have impacted them.  With respect to treatment there is only a single formal recognized treatment centre in Canada, the St Johns Rehab Centre. Electrical Injury Program.

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EIN Code Quiz 2Take this opportunity to test your knowledge of the Canadian Electrical Code - Part 1. Here are two questions on essential electrical systems: health care. 

You'll find the answers in EIN articles written by our code experts — mainly Bill Burr and Terry Becker — and of course in your own best practices. Answers will be posted on our website in a few days and published in our next issue. Good luck and share your results with our Facebook group: Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussions.

 

 

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Product News

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Extech Non-Contact High Voltage DetectorFLIR Systems has announced the availability of the Extech DV690 its first non-contact high voltage detector with a detection range of up to 69,000 volts (69 kV). The industrial-grade DV690 provides early warning alerts of energized electrical components for utility lineworkers, telecommunications installers, first responders, search and rescue teams, and tree removal services.

The DV690 features five flexible mounting options: handheld, around the neck, clipped to a belt, strapped to an arm, or attached to a universal spline hot stick. The three handsfree possibilities allow the most optimal operation to efficiently and carefully complete a job. Using a hot stick creates a safer distance to target, extending operator reach.

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Milwaukee Radius Compact Site LightThe M18 RADIUS Compact Site Light with Flood Mode provides a two-in-one solution for area and task lighting with less to carry. The compact LED light delivers 2,200 lumens in area mode and 1,000 lumens in flood mode. The light offers up to 16 hours of run-time with the option to be plugged in using the AC inlet for extended run-time.

Its compact size allows you to take this site light on and off the jobsite effortlessly and its 4-1/4" metal hanging hook allows you to easily hang the light overhead. The durable light is equipped with a high impact polycarbonate lens to withstand harsh jobsite abuse. The LEDs never need to be replaced and are backed by a limited lifetime warranty. 

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Panel PC1200With the Panel PC 1200, B&R introduces a compact and cost-effective all-in-one PC. Equipped with the latest Intel Atom processors and up to 256 GB of mass storage, the Panel PC 1200 is ideal for running HMI applications under Windows or Linux operating systems.

With 2x Gigabit Ethernet and 2x USB 3.0, the Panel PC 1200 is ready for integration into any machine network. Compact CFast cards are used for data storage.

 

 

 

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Peers & Profiles

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EIN Green 100 400

By Blake Marchand

This past December Jennifer Green was honoured with Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award for the Skilled Trades category by WXN (Women’s Executive Network).

“It is truly an honour to be recognized by WXN and to be among this group of amazing women,” said Green of earning the distinction. “Throughout my career, I’ve worked with many great mentors and team members – to them, I say thank you for always inspiring me. I am absolutely thrilled.” Green is an industrial mechanic millwright by trade and works with Skills Ontario as Director of Competitions and Young Women’s Initiatives. 

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Jo Istanbul Four Seasons ABy Owen Hurst

Recently, Electrical Industry Canada has developed a relationship with Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE), a non-for-profit group developing resources and networking potential for women and all working or planning to work within the renewable energy sector. Aside from being the WiRE President & CEO, Joanna Osawe is the Global Business Development Manager of Major Projects for DMC Power Inc.

EIN sat down with Osawe to learn more about WiRE and the substantial benefits it provides. Joanna is very personable and open regarding her career and her ambition, as well as the opportunities she is developing for women nationally and globally. 

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Stephanie SmithBy Blake Marchand

“It was quite surprising,” said Stephanie Smith of being named EHRC’s Leader of the Year. “Leadership in 2020 has certainly been a challenge for everybody in the world let alone the nuclear industry or the electricity industry.”

An engineer by trade, Smith spent the majority of her career with Ontario Power Generation (OPG). She was the first woman to be certified by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station where she served as Plant Manager and was recently named the first President and CEO of CANDU Owners Group. Smith is also a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion.

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