Your Website is the Face of Your Business – Make It Count!
Every Business Needs A Great Website
If you want to generate new opportunities through a strong web presence, you must capture the attention of your target audience and convince them to take action. The proven method for accomplishing this is to provide great content coupled with solid web design and performance optimization.
Valuable content engages your visitors. Insights into the needs of your target audience helps create, and deliver relevant and meaningful content. Updating content keeps your site fresh, improves your search engine ranking, and keeps users coming back.
Website design is about creating a positive user experience. An experienced web designer knows how color, contrast, layout, typography, and graphics impact user experience. A good design must function well on a wide range of screen sizes.
Good website performance starts with selecting the right hosting service. Good design and image optimization minimizes page load times which are critical to keeping users engaged. Search Engine Optimization is key to improving your site ranking.
Website Design Services
The website design process we follow in developing new websites for small businesses consists of these four basic steps: Define, Create, Design, and Promote. The amount of work and time spent in each step of the process varies due to factors such as the availability of website content/graphics, complexity of features required, and the level of client involvement. The task of building a new website seems daunting, however, with professional help and some preparation, the entire process can be completed in as little as two weeks.
After an initial consultation, we will provide a fixed price quote for the entire website design project. We will work closely with you to develop and review the site development and make as many design adjustments as necessary to ensure your complete satisfaction before launch.
An important branding element in starting a new business or establishing your online presence is registering a web address (domain name) – one that users will remember and type correctly the first time. This is especially important if your website is an important element of your marketing strategy, and in most cases it should be, or if you want to use the domain name as your business email address (highly recommended).
Factors in selecting a hosting company include cost, reliability, availability (percentage of time of a year that the website is accessible), and support services offered. Important considerations in configuring the proper hosting services include: the expected volume of web traffic on your site, the need for secure transactions or data transmissions, and the potential need for email hosting.
Typically, a new website or redesign will be drafted on a staging domain so your current website is accessible until the new site is completely drafted, tested and reviewed. Once the draft site is ready to go live, we plan a migration to take place after hours or on weekends. This process can be completed within two hours unless the domain is going to be redirected to a new hosting platform. Moving to a new host can take from 2 to 24 hours.
For a totally new site with a new domain and hosting setup, we typically setup an “Under Construction” page and develop the site on your domain to avoid the migration step. In all cases you will have web access to the draft site for review and testing.
Our extensive visual design experience and knowledge of current web design trends will be utilized to structure the content to create a positive user experience. A good visual design helps define the site’s personality. A web designer requires expertise in color, balance, use of white space, typography, user behaviors, and current design trends. Page layouts will be organized in a way that is easy for the user to find information when scanning pages by using headers, short paragraphs, checklists, content boxes, and graphics. Graphic images have an extremely important impact on the look and feel of the site and will be carefully selected for the target audience and to amplify the content’s message. If search engine optimization is an important factor for the business, key search phrases will be determined and the content of each page will be fine-tuned to improve the site’s search engine ranking.
All websites are designed with WordPress, WordPress Themes and plugin extensions for additional functionality, as required. WordPress is utilized in more than 25% of the world’s websites and, in conjunction, with a powerful multi-purpose theme can produce custom designs with professional looking results. The design efficiency of this platform allows for a very affordable and efficient design process.
Content is king in terms of website success. A website’s content is the single most important factor in creating great website – it engages users and entices them to take the desired action, for example, buy a product, request a quotation, make a donation, or sell a service. Good content is valuable to a potential user, organized in a way that is easily found and digested, and engaging. Developing well-written content is one of the most time consuming tasks in building a website.
Typical sections of many small business websites include: About the Company, Personal Bios, Services Offered, Products Offered, Specialties, Testimonials, Frequently-asked Questions, Pricing, Promotions, Contact Info and Map, Educational Videos, Useful Links, Forms Download, and an Informational Blog. This list is, by no means, complete and will certainly vary by industry and type of business. It is a good idea to research a wide range of industry and competitor sites to gain an understanding of the standard and best practices, content, and closest competitor designs.
If you are struggling to develop site content, we can assist in the process of gathering draft material.
Use of graphics and photo images are extremely important in creating a visually appealing website. Selecting images with real impact requires consideration of resolution, size, copyright protection/licensing, color, composition, relevance to your message, and, for images with people, many additional factors like age, gender, and mood. Images may be your own, purchased stock photos, or photos taken for you by a professional photographer.
Based on knowledge of your target audience and website analytics (if you have a current site with analytics), we can determine how important mobile design to the success of your website and design accordingly. Optimized mobile viewing is becoming more and more important in designing a successful user experience. “Responsive” web design is a standard practice, but many considerations go into balancing desktop, tablet and mobile viewing.
If your business relies on being found through search engine results, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is critical to site ranking by Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Site ranking by search engines is determined by complicated and ever changing algorithms. A lot of time and effort can go into establishing and maintaining good SEO and the process is never ending. Basic SEO design involves writing content that uses keywords and phrases that would be used by your target audience searching for your products and/or services. We program all pages with a unique keyword/phrase and description (snippet) that will help search engines understand what is important about your business, rank your page, and direct searches to you.
The options to add functionality to your website are endless. The WordPress theme we utilize has many built-in design elements and features like blog posts, portfolios, image sliders, and submission forms. Depending on your specific needs there are many other functions and integrations that can easily be added to the site. Below or just some of these options to consider.
For an affordable annual maintenance fee, we maintain your website software, monitor the site for security and performance issues, perform regular backups, and assist with content and design updates. Maintenance agreements include the following services:
- Core Software and Extensions Updating
- Content Updates (Blog Posts, Testimonials, News, etc.)
- Security and Performance Monitoring
- Website and Database Backups
Why Web Design Matters
60% of people go to the brand or product site to find relevant information about it.
Create great content about your business and keep it current.
94% of first impressions, established in the first 2.6 seconds, are design-related.
Adhere to good design principles to create a professional look and feel.
75% of users admit they decide on a company’s credibility based on its website design.
Keep your website up-to-date with modern design trends.
The Art and Science of Web Design
Why do some websites leave you with a positive impression and others do not? Many site owners don’t think about the design effort that goes into building a great website. Technology is making it easier for the average person to create a website without coding knowledge, but design expertise is necessary to make a website look professional and not homemade. Designers are trained to consider the proper use of color, balance, white space, typography, hierarchy, page structure, and graphics. These are things that potential customers notice. Visitors to your site determine the credibility of your business by what they see and if they aren’t impressed they will go elsewhere. It’s the design expertise and attention to detail that makes the difference. We’ll help you put all the pieces together.
Our Design Principles
We follow a set of design principles that produce clean, modern sites focused on creating a positive user experience. We are extremely detailed-oriented and spend a great deal of our design time on the following principles.
Our Design Process
Our simplified design process reduces development costs and makes efficient use of your time. The website design process consists of four basic steps.
- Define strategy and conduct research
- Create and refine content
- Design and optimize the site
- Promote the site to the target audience
It takes a long time to learn how to do something simple.
– Marty Rubin