Web design and development

How to Redesign Your Small Business Website to Increase Your ROI

The return on investment (ROI) from a website redesign rests on factors like the cost of the new... read more

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Web design and development

5 Tips for Improving Web Design

A website, for many, is a lifeline for business owners. And for some, it’s just a placeholder to... read more

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Nina Meiers Web Strategist at XD
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I love what you said about writing authentically; it's something I always try to do by listening to what the business owners says to me on the phone. Often there is a real mismatch between what the web copy says and what the business owner thinks and how he or she operates.
Web design and development

Why installing a WordPress SEO plugin is not the end of the story

If you have a WordPress website or blog, you want to attract as much traffic as possible. This is... read more

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Web design and development

Designing our digital life: how UX designers are shaping our modern reality

403 Forbidden nginx/1.11.4read more

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Web design and development

Website Design Check That You Should Not Ignore

Designing a website is not easy rather it is arduous and complicated. You will have to communicate... read more

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Michael Evans Manager at 3leaps
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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
There definitely is some great information to keep in mind with your article, however, I find some of it to be a bit out of date (e.g. Mootools and supporting IE6). Also there are great frameworks to allow you to prototype in code instead of creating static designs and then translating it to code, Twitter Bootstrap and Zurb Foundation are two of the most popular. Having Photoshop skills are great, but if you are looking for a much lower barrier to entry, consider using free and open-source software like GIMP (basically Photoshop) and Inkscape (similar to Adobe Illustrator) for your needs. In fact Inkscape's native file output is ".SVG" which is great since HTML5 picked up native support for SVG.
Web design and development

Top Considerations before you Invest in Going Online

We have all heard it before: Every business needs to have an online presence to be successful.... read more

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The top considerations before going any ware in marketing are how well douse the considered option fit with your business plan and marketing strategy. Going on-line is just one of so many options, it is likely that it is neither important or affordable for some enterprises, and essential for others.
Web design and development

Cool Tips For SEO Friendly Web Design

Making a website SEO friendly is one of the major challenges that a website designer face. It means... read more

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Michael Evans Manager at 3leaps
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software developer

Excel file unlocker tool readily unlock Excel password and open Excel file password instantly.... read more

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Questions

How do I know which is the right web development firm?

James LiddellOwner at Liddelldev
Hi Guys,This one is simple. You can do the basic research like, have they worked with people in my industry? Do they know my local area etc.These are great as an initial vetting process, at some point you have to slim down the choices.Example:If you are a local provider, look for someone local, who may have some experience with your audience, who they are and how and why they buy. HERE IS THE REALLY IMPORTANT PARTBest tip is to get on the phone. Make contact somehow and see how receptive they are to you.Communication is a huge part of getting your project done, and done the way you want it done. You will get a great read on this with your first few messages or conversations.Does this designer have the time and will to help YOU?Someone who is willing to look after what you need is the best fit every time.Does your designer understand what a website is for you? Are they telling you the can create a clean design that looks great and has X amount of great features?NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR.Does the designer ask you what you need the website to do? What are your goals? What does a successful site achieve for you and your business?This is what you want from your designer.A designer who understands a site is a tool, an investment that needs to make a return to earn it's keep is the one for you.You can tell the designer who your audience is and how you want to engage them with your site. A good designer listens to this and creates a site with you, to meet these goals.
Andrew NguyenBusiness Development Manager at Advisible
Hi MorraGreat questionWhat type of Websites do we build?AdVisible builds beautiful websites that have a powerful impact on your business. We don’t churn out thousands of websites like a factory production line; each website is handcrafted by our team of in-house designers and developers, so we maintain quality control and make sure the process is as streamlined and enjoyable as possible for you and your team. We’ll take care of every aspect of your website, so you can focus on growing your business.Please message me for more information and samples of our work.
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Who are your preferred Facebook advertising service providers?

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Web design and development

5 critical mistakes that can tumble down your web design’s looks

Regardless of the career field we choose, we find our way through the mistakes. In this post, we... read more

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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
As a designer myself, I have several other additions. - Not making the website responsive and/or adaptive for different devices - Having a separate mobile website (with different or missing content from main website) - Designing too much for aesthetics and forgetting how customer will consume or find info - Using so many plugins that the page load times are unbearable - Using stock templates instead of designing from scratch, the good clients can tell
Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
Kristy, show us some designs that tick most of these boxes you are talking about...
Questions

When looking for a web designer/developer, what qualifications should we ask to see?

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Web designing is related to Technical, graphic skills and creativity. A Complete web designer should have above 3 qualities. You can ask questions related to these skills. You may ask following Questions. 1. What are your technical skills? This question is related to his basic technical skills like his knowledge about Html, css, graphic designing tools etc. 2. Can you make responsive website? This question is about how much technology geek he is. Nowadays mobile friendly websites are in demand and also need of the time so he is able to develop mobile friendly websites using html 5, css3, bootstrap, jquery etc. 3. What was your recent delivered project. This question will give you an idea about his past work and quality of work. These are the question for the website designer. you can ask those question from the developer but you should ask about what programming language he knows and about his previous project relevant to your work.
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
As mentioned above, it is important to make sure they have a body of work (portfolio) that you can access and take time reviewing. It is also a good idea to look for any testimonials from previous clients. However, it is still worthwhile to contact several clients for more detailed information if desired. It is important to feel comfortable working with a designer or developer.Be willing to give them a list of your needs or more formal requirements. This can give them the ability to provide you a more accurate quote. Also, if you are unsure of what you want to do, start out giving them a smaller job. Ask them to review your current website (from a design and/or development perspective). This way you can hear what they think needs improvement as well as how they would potentially make that happen.Also, be sure to discuss your needed timeline. Many business owners disregard having a time line in mind, however, the turnaround time can greatly impact the price. Rush work will always cost a premium.Lastly, keep an open mind. Designers and developers (myself included) prefer to have the ability to produce great solutions. Micromanaging these roles will not produce the desired results. It is okay to ask for changes, but be specific when giving feedback so they know what needs changed. Remember, hiring the services of a designer or developer is no different than going to see a doctor or having a plumber come over. They are the experts so show that you trust their judgment. Would you second guess a doctor telling you about a procedure or a medication? If your drains were backed up would you tell the plumber he doesn't know what he is talking about? The answer to both of those questions is hopefully, "No".In that same light, be reasonable with a designer/developer. Remember you hired them for a reason. Also, designers and developers talk. If you are labeled a problem client, you'll likely have trouble landing any other designer or developer in the future. We don't like to work with frustrating people if we can avoid it.
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What qualifications do you have or when looking for a web designer/developer what qualifications should we ask to see?

Question for all web designers/developers. read more

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What do you love/not-love about your laptop... have you seen any awesome pre-fin-year sales on these laptops?

Philip BrookesOwner at Aktiv Tactics
I use a 13" MacBook Air and I *love* it's battery life, light weight, and robust construction. I travel a lot, and when a carry-on bag is limited to 7kg every gram counts. When I'm at my desk, I have it hooked up to a 24" external screen, position it on a stand, and use a wireless Apple keyboard plus a wireless Logitech mouse to have essentially a dual-screen desktop configuration.Irrespective of which brand of notebook you purchase, I'd definitely recommend you invest in an SSD (Solid State Drive) - they're so ridiculously faster than a traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD) that it'll blow you away. You might think it's just one small part of the equation, but you'd be wrong - the specs of my Macbook Air are nothing special (1.8GHz i5 with 4GB RAM) but due to the blazing fast SSD this machine has handled everything I've thrown at it including Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Aperture, Microsoft Office suite, Dropbox, Google Drive, and scores of apps/windows active simultaneously - with a HDD you'd need to double all the other specs to make that possible. I can't recommend SSD highly enough.
Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
I love connecting mine into a good old fashioned docking station with all your plugs and screens connected and ready to go. This gives you the best of both worlds, full desktop experience and fully mobile on same machine when removed from dock.
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Questions

Where do I start looking to obtain my web address? Who do you find are the best web providers?

We refer our clients to www.domain-names-only.com if just after a domain name. Be sure to get the DNS Zone Manager option - it's free.Vast range of TLDs. Domain registration privacy is also available on .com domains.If purchasing a domain name as part of a hosted services package then we refer clients to clickonIT.com.au. Vast range of TLDs. Domain name pricing is the same as service above and major benefit is all services managed from a single account manager/login. Domain checker features finds available names in all TLDs.Prinicpal advantage with both systems is quality support. 95% of the time you don't need it, but when you do it's usually urgent and important. Support is local and solves most problems fast.Domain registration is subject to the rules and regulations of a variety of different authorities and agencies so procedures and requirements are often changing. Choosing a domain name and maintaining it as part of your business identity and IP are serious issues often taken lightly.While most registrars do offer a virtually identical system, some do it better than others, so check them out and ask questions as you are doing here on SavvySME.Good luck!
Philip BrookesOwner at Aktiv Tactics
Personally, it's been our experience that the *management* of your domain is frequently the biggest concern, not the basic registration. Many companies can offer domain registration, and while the domain is just parked there you don't experience any issues. You can, of course, point the domain to someone else's Name Servers and configure your domain through somebody else's domain services, but in our experience the smoothest and cleanest experience has been when we register and manage all our domains in the one spot, with a company that has a speedy and effective Zone Manager/Domain Management tool. NetRegistry (or their wholesale spin-off TPP Wholesale) have one of the best Domain packages on the market and it's competitively priced (though not as cheap as GoDaddy or some of the other 'discount' domain registrars). We've picked up a number of clients and transferred them across to our Reseller offering which we purchase from TPP Wholesale when they've come unstuck at the time they need to make changes to their domain configuration. And no matter who you use, you'll make you life a heck of a lot easier if you try to consolidate as many of them as possible to the one provider - there's nothing worse than numerous login credentials spread across multiple registrars and the owner can't remember how to log in to any of them.
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How do I sell web development services for the first time?

Some good suggestions above. I would like to add - start with what you have in your hand. Do you have a background in a particular industry where you already have contacts? Are they likely to need websites? Establish your position, and let people know you are meeting their online needs. If you try and be everything to everybody, you are increasing competitors rather than clients. Ask yourself where the open doors already exist. Create a landing page that targets that industry and then promote it.
Brad LyonsOwner at SMS Fusion
When I first launch something new I spend big with adwords. Then once I know the most popular key words people use I buy those domain names. Adwords puts your site at the top instantly and helps you gain an understanding of what people are typing when searching for your services. So I would recommend spending a large amount for the first week of adwords to ensure your ad is always at the top, then wide back the spend as you start to see the common keywords. Modify your current site to ensure those key words are in your content and buy up the keywords as domain names.
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Questions

Why do web designers create ugly sites for clients?

Some professional web design companies create some ugly websites for clients. I understand that the... read more

Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I think that overall many clients are unwilling to give designers and/or design agencies the freedom to create something genuinely interesting and unique.It has been a staple in my professional design career to run into clients that have no design experience, but feel they are perfectly qualified to judge or dictate design. These same clients wouldn't argue with a lawyer, plumber or mechanic, but designers are not respected as a profession in many parts of the world. This perception needs to change.The best way is to limit who you work with as a client. Remind them they came to you and you want their business to succeed. Sometimes you need to work a client up in phases of what they consider "risk". Innovation and design are both tricky business.The other issue is many junior or hobbyist designers do not understand how to correctly structure information to create easily consumable content. The structure of the information is just as important (if not more sometimes) than the visual aesthetic.
Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
Many call themselves web designers but do not understand the fundamentals of what makes a brilliant design to suit the given client.Yes design is subjective, but unfortunately too many designers are charging clients for something which is way of the mark to clients that do not know otherwise (but not their fault as they are not meant to be the experts).As anyone can be a web designer, authority on this service comes with no official accreditation or certification.
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I'm running Facebook ads but no one is signing up on my website, what do I do?

I'm using Facebook ads to drive traffic to my website (Home). Many people have clicked the ad but... read more

Great advice Joel. I use Facebook ads for a few different reasons. Sometimes its to get people to like the post, and from there I invite them to like the page. Sometimes its to get them to sign up for a free offer (also called an opt-in or lead magnet), in which case I direct them to a LeadPage specifically set up to garner their email address in return for a free resource that is of value to them. And sometimes I throw $10-$20 at a post just to see what happens. When I first started using Facebook ads I was bitterly disappointed that people were not clicking, signing up etc. Now I treat each campaign as a bit of an experiment - did it work, who is looking, who is clicking, which posts do they like/not like. As Joel said, please feel free to add more detials and tap into the power of the Savvy SME Mastermind.Bec
Joel WarrenDesigner & Strategic Marketter at Wiild Interactive
Hi Cassie,This is a common senario. The main problem is you are directing traffic with what I assume is an engaging ad if it's getting clicks, but then you directing them to a homepage - which generally don't have a strong sales narrative. I'm generalising here but that's my experience.If you visit your own website is there a clear direction to take the action you want people to take?If so- great, but then consider if the websites directive as related to what you discuss in your ad? If not people may be getting confused or not finding the right action to take on your website.If you are directing paid traffic to your website it worth considering this as a "campaign" and setting up the supporting structure to make it successful. I.e. use a landing page specific to the ad, so you get a consistent message that's obvious and can't be mistaken.Consider what you are giving people in exchange for signing up? Are you targeting the right market? is it valueable to that market? Are you expecting too much from a single interaction? Do you have a something in place to nuture them after they sign up so they eventually purchase?Sorry bit of a brain dump, but hopefully there are some gem's in there.If you reply with more detail I can advice more specifcally.Be amazing,Joel Warren
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