Marketing Your Business Through Social Media

It is very important for a business to choose proper marketing strategies to invest in their company to be successful. One of the most useful and cost-effective marketing tools inside of digital marketing a small business can use to reach their target audience is through social media. What makes social media so powerful for marketing? It has been studied that over 97% of businesses are using it to reach their audiences, below are several reasons why.

Your Customers and Competition Are on Social Media

One main reason for small businesses to be utilizing social media for their marketing strategies is the fact that many of your customers are spending their time on these channels already. Studies have shown that 70% of the U.S population has at least 1 form of social media accounts created. With the great mass amount of people accessing these platforms, sometimes even multiple times each day, it creates a great opportunity for businesses that are wanting to reach online audiences.  Not only are your potential customers using social media but so are many competitors. No matter what style of industry, or who the targeted audience is, social media can impact your business marketing. To remain competitive is important to build a presence online in social media to present your brand in a unique way to show your industry expertise and knowledge.

Social Media Marketing Is Cost-Effective

Choosing to use social media for your marketing needs will help you cut costs for advertisement without sacrificing results. Social media will cost you time that you invest in creating and posting content more than the actual dollar amount associated. Even just a simple few hours a week focused on your account can see great results. If your company decides to use social media advertising as part of your marketing strategy, depending on the goals of the campaign it can still be inexpensive to run paid ads on media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Improve Search Engine Rankings

When increasing your online appearance through social media, there is a good chance you are also, in turn, improving your search engine optimization at the same time. Search engines such as Google may use social media presence as a factor in website ranking. Brands that tend to be successful have healthy interactive social media accounts that can flag their accounts as valuable and trusting. Search engines also pay attention to behavior on social media that has content with links and social signals, such as likes, and shares associated with the posts as well. Ranking factors are in a constant change but having an updated and well-maintained social media account will typically always bring positive effects.

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing.  All work is done in-house, we never outsource services from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming and phone app development, to search engine optimization and paid advertising, our professionals provide results.  For more information on CPS check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.



The Difference of a Custom-Made Website


When owning a business, one of your top priorities is to find the best way for your customers to find your company and promote the desired appearance to provide a unique first impression to potential new customers and will create interest for them to reach out to begin working with. The way technology is today, it is important for your company website to display your company in a professional, creative, and responsive way that will set you apart from your competitors. Unfortunately, in the web design market, many phrases of “custom design” are used but not to its true meaning. What makes a website truly custom made? Let us take a closer look at web development and understand what will be the best website for your business needs.

Using Templates

One of the most common ways to start a website is by using a simple site such as WordPress or other companies such as Wix or Squarespace that provide a theme that allows a person to choose different templates that can be purchased and edited with their personal business information. These type of website creations are chosen mostly due to the low startup cost aspect as well as development times are much shorter. However, as with many things in life, you get what you pay for as it’s always said. There are disadvantages that should be considered when using these website creators as well. Many other businesses could be using the very same templates that you have chosen so this will remove the uniqueness and will not stand out as much from competitors.

Choosing A Custom Design

Quality web design is an art and science incorporated together. The placement of pictures, videos, shortcuts, etc is all arranged in a specific format that has been analyzed for industry trends and to better target a business audience. The main goal of a customized website is for the visitors to gain a complete visual representation of a company and what they have to offer. Having a custom website will also allow the possibilities for specific features to be utilized as well whether you are needing to incorporate e-commerce capabilities or be able to utilize CRM software to input data from a website. Another large aspect that will impact a custom-designed website is your SEO placement. Google can recognize a site’s uniqueness and in turn, will promote a higher rank than a standard template website.

Weighing the Options

Making business decisions is not always easy and of course, everyone is always hoping they are making the right choice based on the facts that they are presented with. A company that is just starting out and needs to get a website up fast and inexpensively may get away with a template or website with starter sites available. Keep in mind, these templates should be used as just a simple stepping stone and the only way to reach the top of your business’s potential is by choosing a custom design. Several websites will state that custom website design is dying however that is far from the actual truth. There is no doubt, as time continues on there are more templates being used each day but this will only give a custom-designed website even more of an advantage, it’s better to stand out than to blend in with the rest!

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing.  All work is done in-house, we never outsource services from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming and phone app development, to search engine optimization and paid advertising, our professionals provide results.  For more information on CPS check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.



Benefits Of Managed IT Services for Your Computer Needs


Running a business of any size is no small task for a person to accomplish. It can be quite stressful to always be deciding what is best for the company and finding new ways to make it more profitable and efficient. Knowing the ins and outs of your business is key to being successful but what happens when you require additional services such as computer IT that personnel at your business are not familiar with? We live in a world full of computers that are designed to make our lives and businesses easier to run and maintain but when the systems potentially go down or need upgrades as time continues to change rapidly with technology you will find there is a new problem to resolve. Outsourcing your IT needs or more specifically using managed IT will benefit your business dramatically and below you will find exact reasons why.

Preventative solutions that reduce risk

Every business investment will require some type of risk. When utilizing a managed IT company to service your computer IT needs, much of the risk is removed since you will gain the expertise and knowledge of the professionals in the IT field and will understand the compliance and security issues to be on the lookout for. Also, with the expert knowledge, precautions will be installed and will receive better performance with little to no downtime. Daily system scans are done on the entire network of the company to verify no security issues or will be informed of smaller issues that can be repaired faster than if a problem was neglected and became much larger in turn saving more money.

Predictable and Controlled Expenses

A customized plan will be designed by the managed IT consultants to provide the best solutions for your business no matter size if a small business or a global industry leader. Considerations that will help determine the plans that are enough for your company will be details discussed such as budgets, timelines, and future upgrades that are required to take place.  Once the proper plan is decided, it will give a peace of mind knowing that your IT will be able to maintain and provide quality service that you will not have to question what will be covered and what repairs won’t. Having managed service providers also help minimize the likelihood of inconvenient, and sometimes very expensive network disasters. 

Quicker Service

When businesses work with managed IT consultant’s they will receive the quickest response time support. Wide range of services include 24/7 system and network monitoring, server/ workstation installation and maintenance, security audits, employee troubleshooting and much more. At CPS, we also have a customer support portal that allows customers to request immediate support through in house IT ticket system that consultants can receive day or night. Proper monitoring of systems will inform your IT professionals when an issue is found before it becomes a large issue to save more downtime as well. Communication with software and hardware vendors can be done directly through managed IT company so that a business owner does not have to take additional time trying to understand technical terms or complicated conversations.

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing.  All work is done in-house, we never outsource services from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming and phone app development, to search engine optimization and paid advertising, our professionals provide results.  For more information on CPS check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.



What Exactly Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a very broad term. In the age where computers run our entire lives, most people not working in the industry itself don’t know the full reach that digital marketing encompasses. On the outside it seems, at its most simple, to be the act of increasing more online exposure for a business or brand. That is essentially what digital marketing is, but it really is so much more than that. Let us explore some major elements of digital marketing to more properly understand the scope of it as both an industry and an idea in and of itself.

Email marketing:

                Email marketing is an extremely popular form of digital marketing that only gets stronger over time. The benefits of this method are vast but among the most important is the fact that it is in real time. When compared to print marketing such as fliers and posters, email marketing does not require outside factors like print shops to create and deliver the material. Marketing through email is a quick process that keeps you and your client more up to speed and regular, so nobody gets left behind with content and material.

Search placement:

                Search placement can also be called “search engine optimization” or “SEO”, but all mean roughly the same thing: making your company’s website more searchable on the internet. Since the act of searching for something via search engines like Google takes up the great majority of online searching activity, it’s crucial that your website shows up in results after specific keywords relevant to your business are searched. With tools such as Google Ads companies can keep track of keywords people are searching and where their own website ends up in those searches. Companies can use these metrics to shape and evolve their online presence to better place on the most popular search engines online.

Blogs:

                After your company collects and understands some great keywords that puts their site high up on Google’s search results, you can use those keywords to create a blog to further utilize those terms. When writing articles for a blog, it can benefit your website greatly when you have articles that incorporate those important keywords because doing so puts more links to your site in the search results that aren’t your specific homepage. If a potential customer is searching for a certain service you provide but doesn’t know very much about the service, it benefits both you and the customer if your site can provide a blog article directly explaining the nature of that service. Keeping up with blog posts weekly or monthly provides a database of specific topics any potential customer can find through searching for similar topics. The more blog posts you post, the better exposure the website should get in general.

Analytics:

                A program like Google Analytics can give any business owner the keys to a wealth of metrics and data that can give that owner a much better understanding of who visits the site and what their goal is to visit. If your company targets a certain demographic using analytics can make it easy to see charts and tables of data directly related to that exact audience. Analytics can also open your eyes to a possible wider spectrum of audiences you may not have expected, which you can then use to grow your business. Simple metrics like age range of the visitor or even which mobile device was used to visit can help any business alter any methods to target the audience best suited for their product.

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing.  All work is done in-house, we never outsource services from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming and phone app development, to search engine optimization and paid advertising, our professionals provide results.  For more information on CPS check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.

Digital Marketing Trends Not to Be Ignored In 2019

Marketing trends have changed more in the last 5 years than any other prior period of time and don’t show any signs of letting up anytime soon.  No longer can marketers rely solely on a campaign of generic paid advertisement or perform basic website optimization; in 2019 the digital marketing landscape has expanded to encompass detailed SEO, Social Media Integration, Content Marketing, detailed Paid Advertising, and more.  No longer can we dismiss the reality of artificial intelligence; it is an important part of the future of advertising online.  In this installment on the future of digital marketing, we will discuss key trends you will want to implement into your strategic plans.

Search Engine Optimization A/B Split Testing

One of the most important trends you will want to implement is the use of A/B split testing.  This allows you to isolate variables that increase traffic volumes to your website in an effort to target your approach to changes in website content.  Different online tools can be utilized to point out areas of potential, examples where page impressions are high but the CTR is low, to improve in order to increase clicks and traffic. 

Artificial Intelligence

It is estimated that by the year 2020, AI technology will penetrate almost every new software products and services.  AI is effective in analyzing different consumer behaviors and search patterns.  Data is pulled from various social media platforms, blog posts, and such in a manner that helps companies understand how customers are finding their products and services. 

Programmatic Advertising

This type of advertising allows AI to automate the buying of ad products in order to target more specific audiences.  Real-time bidding opportunities, as with most all real-time strategies, allow more efficient, quicker use of data relating in higher conversions and lower costs to acquire them.

Chatbots

Chatbots are computer programs that are designed to simulate conversations with human users via the internet, text, or phone.  This would allow your company to be in constant contact with customers, no matter what time or day it is.  Chatbots allow for 24/7 responsiveness. 

Personalization

In order to stand out above your competitors it is crucial that you personalize your marketing approach including content, emails, products, services, and more. Generic ads are annoying whereas personalized ads are appealing.  When emails are sent based on personal behaviors they are at least 3 times more effective in boosting sales than mass e-mail blasts.

Video Marketing

Another important trend to prepare for has to do with video marketing which doesn’t just involve YouTube.  It is proven that video marketing on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn causes higher engagement with a wider audience. 

Influencer Marketing

Influencers are well-known celebrities from Instagram and YouTube with a large number of followers. Similar to word of mouth promotion, we are more likely to take recommendations from people we trust. Influencer marketing has been proven to be more effective than corporate advertising. 

Micro-Moments

These are the times when we turn to devices like smartphones to take immediate action.  Moments where we want information right away and do not what to wait for it.  Marketers need to take advantage of the moments when people are searching for products, services, or information.

Digital marketing, just like SEO, is ever changing.  No two strategies are the same and therefor there isn’t a one size fits all approach that can be taken when providing comprehensive digital marketing strategies for clients.  It is important to keep an eye out and be observant to up and coming trends that are occurring around you. 

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing.  All work is done in-house, we never outsource services from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming and phone app development, to search engine optimization and paid advertising, our professionals provide results.  For more information on CPS check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.



Traditional Marketing Methods Don’t Translate into the Digital Era – CPS Can Help!

Can you even remember what it was like not to have access to the internet everywhere you went?  It is hard to imagine there is anyone out there that is not using the internet.  The number of internet users rises on a daily basis which has led to a change in the way consumer shop which means that the way businesses conduct business must also change.  Offline marketing is not nearly as effective as it once was.  Because we use marketing to connect with people when they are ready to buy, where they are ready to buy it is important that companies expand their reach into the digital world.

There is not really any way to compare print marketing with digital marketing.  They are two very different beasts however; in theory they have the same objective – to promote your products or services.  They just have very different methods of achieving this end result. 

Digital marketing is all encompassing.  It includes all marketing efforts on electronic devices and the internet.  It allows businesses to use digital channels like Google & Bing (search engines), Facebook & Twitter (social media), Email, YouTube, PPC, and other websites to connect with users. 

In order for digital marketing to be effective, a campaign must support the goals of the customer.  Connecting with users where they are and when they are ready to purchase online requires a spectrum of tactics and it is up to business owners to decide how each method can be used to market their company. 

Examples of Digital Marketing

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Pay Per Click
  • Email Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Marketing Automation
  • Online Public Relations

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the process that is followed when optimizing your website in order to land on the top of the first page of a search engine.  The first organic positions have proven to receive more traffic than websites that are placed on the second+ SERP.

SEO can be done on a website pages, off of websites, and on the backend of websites. 

On page SEO involves content creation, the text which users will reach when opening a page of your website.  Keyword research is performed to ensure your content is made up of search terms users are entering to find you.  Higher placement on search engines occurs when your website provides the solution to the users need.

Off page SEO involves the creation of inbound links. This is what gives your website authority.  The number of links back to your site from outside sources shows search engines that you have clout, which increases rankings for the search terms you care about. 

The last aspect is technical SEO.  Every website has a backend.  There are a number of platforms developers can use to create your website.  Here at CPS we use custom coded backends which means that our developers hand code each aspect of your website unlike template platforms like WordPress that use plugins.  This allows us to better focus on the technical aspects of SEO including: image sizing, structured data markup, CSS file optimization (all 3 increase the speed at which your website loads) and Meta tags (which helps with optimization).  

All three – On Page, Off Page and Technical search engine optimization are used in Google’s algorithm for placement in their SERP.

Content Marketing

Through the creation of and dispersing of different types of content assets business are able to increase brand awareness, boost traffic, and generate new leads, all of which should lead to more customers. There are several channels to create content marketing including:

  1. Blog Creation and Regular Posting
  2. Ebooks, Whitepapers, and Case Studies
  3. Infographics

Social Media Marketing

Through the use of regular updates using social media companies can increase brand awareness, boost traffic, and generate new leads, all of which should lead to more customers.  There are a number of different social media outlets that companies can use that all attract users in a slightly different way.  I am sure all of you by now have heard of Facebook however there are a number of other SM products including: Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Paid Search & Display Advertising (Pay Per Click, PPC)

PPC is a popular method of advertising your website that involves publishing ads targeted to researched keywords.  When the ad is clicked, and a user enters your website you are then charged a nominal fee. Pay per click through Google Ads is the most common PPC.  Advertising ads are placed within Google search and display networks which includes Google SERP and YouTube.  Placement is determined by your budget, keywords QS, targeted ads, and competition.  Other Pay Per Click channels include Facebook, Twitter, & Linkedin.

Affiliate Marketing

Performance-based advertising includes when you receive commission for promoting someone else’s product or service on your website.  This includes video ad hosting using YouTube Partner Program and posts of affiliate links on your SM accounts. 

Marketing Automation

This type of marketing uses software to provide basic operations without users entering information uniquely.  Software enters repetitive information for users so that they do not have to do it manually in several different locations.  These scheduled automatic postings can be done in several previously mentioned areas of marketing including:

  • Newsletters
  • Social Media Posts
  • Emails
  • Lead-Nurturing Exchanges
  • Tracking and Reporting.

Email Marketing

Email is a common method that all companies use in communication with prospective, new, and current clients.   Emails can be sent often or infrequently.  Emails keep your company in constant contact with people that have previously expressed interest in your business.  If you are looking for an inexpensive way to promote an event or upcoming sale an email marketing campaign is a terrific marketing tool to use.  There are many types of emails that can be sent including:

  • Newsletters
  • Updated Blog Posts
  • A Follow Up to Website Visitors
  • Loyalty Program Member Emails
  • Customer Nurturing Emails Such as Recipes or Tips

Online Public Relations (PR)

Public relations online is similar to that of PR in the “real” world.  It gives business the opportunity to earn coverage through different digital mediums.  Traditional PR might include volunteering at a local food bank that a news outlet is covering.  You are giving to the community and in return your good will is publicized.  Online PR is similar, the channels commonly used include:

  • Social Media – Talking to journalists on different social media platforms allows you to form relationships and grows your media opportunities
  • Online Reviews – Engaging with customers that leave both positive and negative reviews allows you to add a human element to your brand and protect your company’s reputation.
  • Replies to Comments – Just as you respond to online reviews, responding to comments left on Blog posts, social media content, and other types of website materials gives you an outlet to engage with and produce conversation that centers around your company website.

Long gone are the days of approaching marketing as a one size fits all process.  In the digital age that currently exists it is important to meet users where they are and show them how your products and services meet their needs.  Everyone has a different approach when using the internet which is why digital marketing is key to ensuring that you are reaching customers where they are and when they are ready to act.  By creating a digital marketing strategy that encompasses a variety of means you are sure to reach a wide variety of users with your digital message.

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing.  All work is done in-house, we never outsource services from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming and phone app development, to search engine optimization and paid advertising, our professionals provide results.  For more information on CPS check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.

What’s the Difference Between Computer Viruses and Malware?

Often the terms malware and computer virus are used interchangeably however they are in fact not the same.  A computer virus is just one type of malware that a computer can become infected with.  It is a commonly used term to describe an infection within a computer system.  The term malware is a broader term and refers to any and all malicious software that infects a computer, including a computer virus.  Two common types of malware that users are familiar with are spyware and adware.  It is crucial that users install protection software to fight off new malware as it occurs. 

Malware infections are infecting computer systems and mobile devices at growing rate.  Malware is a software program that has been created to cause damage and spread infection from a host system to systems the host comes in “contact” with.  Including computer viruses, malware includes various types of software including trojan horses, worms, adware, and spyware.  The most aggressive malware, known as ransomware, works to gain financially from computer users. 

Viruses:  As previously stated, a computer virus is one type of malware on its own.  A virus is infectious software code that is used to infect a host system and spreads when it runs.  Computer viruses are most often spread when software is shared between computers.  It is similar to a parasite in that the virus “feeds” off the host computer and spreads from the host.  Once the host shares the virus it then continues to spread to systems that it is shared with.   A lot of users with viruses end up with them due to receiving and opening an email that has a virus infection. The more the email is shared, the more systems ultimately become infected.

Adware: Infected software that comes through in the form of advertisements is known as adware.  This type of malware that provides advertisements in order to bring in revenue for the source.  The infected ad is shown to the computer user and when the ad is installed the system is infected.  Adware software is coded in a manner that it uses the sites that users often visit to create related ads.  Although all adware does not have the intent to harmful it becomes a problem because it slows down computer function and can be quite aggravating. 

Spyware: Software that spies on your online activity and tracks where you go on the internet in order to gather information on the user is known as spyware.  Users do not consent to the tracking and often do not know it is running.  Spyware is a difficult type of malware to detect.  Employers may install spyware programs to monitor the online activity of users.  Employer installed spyware software will not spread.

Worms:  A worm is a malware type that duplicates itself and annihilates the information and files that are saved on the pc including the operating and data files.

Trojan: Trojans are a virus that has been created in a manner that builds user trust by making them think they are about to tun a safe program.  They are designed to steal information and then take over the files within the computer system.  In larger commercial settings, Trojans can make network resources unavailable to users when they try to reach it.

Ransomware: The most malicious type of malware is known as ransomware.  Users are unable to access the system until they have paid a fee.  Often times a pop-up shows on the computer screen which states the user has been locked out.  It will state that a ransom fee needs to be paid in order to remove any restrictions that have been placed on the system.  Cryptolocker is the most well-known type of ransomware today. 

If you believe that your personal computer, server, or network workstation has become infected with malware it is critical that the system is shut down and immediately scanned by software that is specifically designed to locate and remove infections.  The professional IT specialists at Creative Programs and Systems can perform these scans via remote desktop, in person at your location, or on-site in our Brighton, MI location. 

Creative Programs and Systems, CPS, is an all-inclusive IT solutions company offering a variety of services including: managed IT services, IT consulting, residential computer services, custom programming, website design, iphone & android app development, and more.  More information can be found at https://cpsmi.com.

Software Development For iPhones and Android Using Cordova


One of the greatest challenges of a software development company working with iPhone and Android apps is time to develop on both platforms. While native programming these devices has its positives, rapid deployment of software is crucial in maintaining a profitable business model.  Using Cordova (PhoneGap) to achieve this, we have realized 200-300% reductions in time to market. Several of our apps run on Cordova and are available in the Apple Store, Google Play and Amazon.

Cordova allows you to keep one set of source code for both platforms, utilizing HTML and JavaScript.  This means you can simply develop your software one time for both devices and deploy.  Cordova comes with a breath of plugins from camera management, screen rotation, keyboard pop up, uploading file and more.  You install Cordova, add required plug-ins and develop.

Cordova is available here http://cordova.apache.org/

If you really want to speed up design time, you can actually develop your phone or tablet app on a website, using Chrome, FireFox or Edge.  Utilizing the CSS and HTML power of real time editing, you will see many apps can be produced in 1-2 days.  This allows for greater profit margins, less stress, and an ease on deadlines.

We have developed a technique to do just that.  By using the code below, you will disable Cordova (PhoneGap) in the browser view.  Then you upload the www project files to a website you have control of and can edit it right there.

var isApp = document.URL.indexOf( ‘http://’ ) === -1 && document.URL.indexOf( ‘https://’ ) === -1;

if(isApp){

                loadScript(‘cordova.js’, function(){  })

}

This code works by checking the URL of the device.  When running in app mode (on a device) the system does not use http protocol.  When in the browser we do.  This code simply checks to see if we are on a browser or not, then includes the cordova.js file.

This will allow you to program your app without the errors in the console on a website.  To continue to speed up development, we utilize jQuery.  If you are not familiar with jQuery, it’s a library of incredible useful shortcuts and tools for JavaScript.

jQuery may be downloaded here http://jquery.com/.

I highly suggest you rip out much of the default code that comes as a new project in Cordova.  The only thing you really need to include is the cordova.js file.  Using simple document ready function for the JavaScript replaces the cumbersome device ready code provided in the project.  Using jQuery $(document).ready() will fire when the page is loaded.

Using a combination of the process above, one should be able to rapidly deploy apps for home or business use, in a stable and reliable environment.  One of our big concerns when we first started this process was how Apple would react to an app not “natively” programmed in XCode.  The team at Apple will not reject your code because you used Cordova.  We have multiple apps in the Apple Store programmed using Cordova.  Give it a try, you will not be disappointed.

Creative Programs and Systems, CPS, is an all-inclusive IT solutions company offering a variety of services including: managed IT services, IT consulting, residential computer services, custom programming, website design, iphone & android app development, and more.  More information can be found at https://cpsmi.com.



Mistakes That Decrease the Longevity of Your Laptop

Purchasing a laptop isn’t a small investment and can be quite expensive if you need to repair or replace it.  It is important that a laptop is kept in top shape to increases its longevity and effectiveness.  Here are some tips on what to avoid in order to keep your laptop running efficiently for as long as possible.

Don’t Take the Term Laptop Too Literally

Nope, unlike the name states a laptop should never be set on top of your lap.  The truth is that by putting a laptop on your lap you actually decrease the lifespan of your machine.  A laptops processor, which is the brain of the PC, gets hot!  The vent to release the heat is likely to be located on the bottom of the laptop where ventilation is scarce.  This vent if covered by pants or blankets the laptop overheats. Another side effect of putting a laptop on your lap is that dust begins to settle.  Even when this dust is then removed using canned air it is not really removed, it is just shuffled internally which can hurt the processor and internal workings of the laptop as well.

Don’t Forget to Shut Your Laptop Off Occasionally

It is so easy to simply close the laptop lid at the end of the night without shutting it down however this isn’t always what is best for the health of the laptop.  Many of us fall into this trap because the next morning when we want to use it, the computer boots up within seconds.  By shutting down your laptop on a regular basis, it allows the PC to install the fixes that need to run in order to update the software vulnerabilities.  Laptops, like desktops, do not apply the fixes unless the computer is restarted.  For the best results we recommend shutting your laptop down at least once a week (or more).  

Don’t Overlook the Importance of a Surge Protector

Using a surge protector should be quite obvious however, so many people forget to use one when using their laptops.  It is common to hear that you should unplug electronics during storms.  If your laptop is plugged in and lighting hits and the computer is not plugged into a surge protector, you will likely fry your laptop.  

Don’t Disregard the Importance of Installing an Antivirus

This too should go without saying, an antivirus is critical for the protection of your laptop.  Antivirus protection is essential for both laptops and desktops as it keeps the bugs from getting into your systems.  Which let’s be clear, happens all the time when you are surfing the internet.  Malware and virus’s make your computer run hot and can “break” your laptop.  Antivirus should be installed and regularly updated to keep your system safe.

Creative Programs and Systems, CPS, is an all-inclusive IT solutions company offering a variety of services including: managed IT services, IT consulting, residential computer services, custom programming, website design, iphone & android app development, and more.  More information can be found at https://cpsmi.com.

When Do You Know Your Computer Issue Needs A Computer Technician?

There are a number of ailments that can curse your PC.  Most computer issues can be troubleshot at home however more complex computer problems may require professional computer repair by a trained technician.  Do-It-Yourself repairs may seem like a solid idea, however, overtime it may make more sense to take it to a computer repair store.

Software and hardware issues can often complicate the process of computer repair.  When Do-It-Yourselfers start digging into their computers they can often have a difficult time getting the pieces put back together. There are some issues that just need an expert’s touch including some of the issues below.

Blue Screen of Death

The most common ailment seen by the experts at CPS have to do with the blue screen of death, commonly referred to as BSOD.  Not only is it the most common issue to see it is also difficult to fix.  When your laptop or desktop computer screen turns blue it means that the PC’s system has experienced something traumatic in which it had to come to a forced, abrupt stop.  More often than not the problem has to do with the computer’s hardware or driver.  This causes a STOP code to appear (the blue screen of death) and the computer shuts down. 

When this occurs the only way to cure this computer ailment is to take it in to a computer repair store for a technician to diagnosis and repair it.  Through a series of computer diagnostic tests, the technician will be able to determine an official computer diagnosis.  Many issues give the Blue Screen of Death Error Code.  Depending on the error code your computer is displaying, the pc troubleshooting steps differ.  This is one of the reasons it is so important to take it into a computer repair technician over fixing it on your own.

Graphical Errors

Another common issue that is known to occur when you turn on your computer is that the screen is a muddled mess.  Graphical errors may be common, but the necessary fix isn’t always which is why you should take it into a computer repair store for repair and diagnosis.  Graphic issues are most often associated with software.  If your screen looks distorted and the images are not displaying correctly it is time to take your PC in for diagnosis. 

The technician will run some tests to determine if it is a software issue as sometimes a graphic disruption can involve a video card driver. A computer repair technician will have the capabilities to troubleshoot graphical errors.

Other common computer issues that occur which require a pc technician include blank monitors, operating system errors, virus warnings, and such.  Contact the technical professionals at Creative Programs and Systems for any and all of your computer repair issues

Creative Programs and Systems, CPS, is an all-inclusive IT solutions company offering a variety of services including: managed IT services, IT consulting, residential computer services, custom programming, website design, iphone & android app development, and more.  More information can be found at https://cpsmi.com.