New Program To Build Websites For Small Businesses Impacted By COVID-19
A new program called Website Jump Start is seeking applicants in order to create websites for 24 local businesses through the Central Virginia Small Business Development Center.
Albemarle County’s economic development project manager, Jennifer Schmack, noted how many businesses have quickly pivoted to an online presence during the pandemic and how the program hopes to help them.
“We hope this program will enable local businesses to make a more permanent transition to digital points of sale and marketing that will set them for long-term success in an increasingly virtual marketplace,” Schmack said.
The websites will allow businesses to bolster their online presence and operations. Completed sites will be built using WordPress to include a home page, contact page, product page, and contact form. Other features can include a video, eCommerce or shopping cart setups as needed along with connection to a payment system.
Applicants can apply from within Charlottesville along with Albemarle, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, Orange, and Rappahannock counties.
Of the 24 selected businesses, about a third of the selected businesses will be veteran, minority, or women-owned.
The website construction process also entails a personalized training session to instruct the client on access and updates to their site.
As of this week, Schmack said that there have already been over 10 applications. With 24 grants available, applications will close once the 24 businesses are chosen.
Meanwhile, CVSBDC Director Rebecca Haydock explained that as the applications are starting to “come in fast,” there is no concrete deadline as the program could potentially expand.
“The program may receive more slots so we aren’t specifying,” she said.
Haydock says that more information will be available soon.
The Website Jump Start program is sponsored by GO Virginia along with the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle County.
Interested applicants can apply here.
Spotify Launches New Design For Desktop App And Web Player
Spotify today announced that it has overhauled its desktop app and web player with an “improved look and feel” that offers design parity and also makes both the app and the web experience easier to use.
According to Spotify, it took “months” of tests, research, and user feedback to develop the new, cleaner design that’s simpler while also offering all of the useful features from the desktop app.
Using the desktop app and then switching to the web player will feel like a seamless experience now that the two share the same general design. There’s a redesigned Home experience, search has been relocated to the left side of the navigation page, and listener profile pages feature top artists and tracks. Users can now start a radio session for any song or artist using the “…” menu.
It’s easier than ever to edit and customize playlists, and there’s a new embedded search bar for quickly locating new songs and podcast episodes to add. With a new dropdown menu in the top-right corner, Spotify desktop app users can edit Queue and view Recently played.
Spotify users on Mac can download the new Spotify app for desktop from the Spotify website or use Spotify in the browser through open.Spotify.Com.
Spotify Revamps Desktop, Web App Design — Including Downloads To Your Computer
Spotify’s desktop app was the company’s first portal into its music service before mobile phone came to dominated, but Spotify said the desktop design hasn’t kept up with changes over the years.
Spotify has refreshed the look and feel of the desktop app and web player for its streaming music service, the company said Thursday, including the ability to download tracks to a computer with its desktop app for people who are paying premium members.
It also made the design of its web player and desktop app more similar to its mobile app, so that using Spotify across platforms is more cohesive, Spotify said in a blog post. And Spotify simplified playlist creation and added more controls for web or desktop users, like the ability to write descriptions, upload images and drag and drop tracks into existing playlists.
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“We constantly test, develop, and launch new features,” Spotify said. “Yet along the way, we felt that our desktop app experience hadn’t kept up, and that it was time for a change.”
Spotify also added new keyboard shortcuts to assist with many more tasks, the company said. Within the desktop app, PC users can press Control + ?, and Mac users, Command + ? — that will bring up a full list of all commands available.
The news came about a month after Spotify held an event to reveal a list of announcements, including plans to launch a new subscription tier called HiFi for high-quality audio later this year and an expansion to more than 80 new countries. At the time, the streaming-music giant also unveiled podcast exclusives and a suite of new tools for artists and podcasters.
Spotify is the biggest streaming music service by both listeners and subscribers in the world.