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Keith Rowley
Top 10% Web Development

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Member Since April 2019

Port Hacking, NSW, 2229

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Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Web Design

What's the difference between a web designer and UX designer?

This question made me smile! When you visit a website, you automatically rate it - it's fast, it's slow, it's easy to buy, it's a nightmare paying for something or it's a breeze, it looks good, it looks bad etc. It's all about the experience.A Ux or Ui designer will tell you these things and more. But so will a good web designer/technologist - we jsut don't use Geekspeak.I often think that a lot of terminology we have to deal with is useless geek-speak, and that's how I feel about these terms, Ux and Ui. It sounds important, but really, if your website isn't a smooth and pleasant experience then you'll know all about it and so will your visitors - without the geek-speak!Let me enlarge on this. Color is important - very, very important for its pscyhological effects on a website visitor. And yet we don't have 'Cx designers' as a separate entity  - we expect our designers to have that expertise and to design something that is optimised for readers and buyers, that won't stress their eyes or put them off. The same is true IMO of Ux and Ui - ease of use is a non-negoriable reality.When we (or any other competent agency) are designing a site, we put all of our experience into it - the experience and knowledge of artists, web technologists and business managers such as myself. We do not expect customers to go chasing Ui, Ux, Cx, Bx or any other x factors. Some people will be offended by this opinion. But by profession I'm an engineer and business manager. When i was describing high-tech products and systems to customers I stayed away from technical terms and spoke about benefits. I do the same with my own business. 

Keith Rowley answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Web Development

What are the best website platforms for dummies to develop a simple site?

Sorry - that 675 is a typo - it should read 50-70! Apologies.

Keith Rowley answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Web Development

What are the best website platforms for dummies to develop a simple site?

OK so where to begin?! I'm going to assume that you're serious about development and tell you what I use and why.Firstly, I use Wordpress (WP) which accounts for some +30% of all websites as the basic platform.  It's superbly supported and updated and it's free. There are thousands and thousands of free software plugins to go with it. You could build a good solid professional site on WP and not pay a cent for the software.BUT you must think of WP as a skeleton - it needs flesh and that flesh is provided by themes, which used to be known as 'skins'. Themes provide a host of appearence options and technical facilities on top of WP. Many are free, but even thr specialized ones for real-estate sites etc are a very reasonable price - around $675 max and usually less.Do you need code for this? No - but I'll tell you what - knowing a little CSS to get around some finicky parts of any theme can save you a lot of time and heartache. So learn some css - take your time and do it gradually as you build your sites.Next, you need other WP plugins for payments processors, and a host of othr functions - mostly free.Finally and very importantly, you need a good editor that dorsn't produce bloated code. the Wp editor is basic - even the new one. A good visual editor will work together with your theme to make beautiful pages that load fast without writing code. Again though, a little CS capability can save your life!I recommend Thrive Architect and Elmentor as editors. you will have a learning curve but nothing like wiring code!Sites buut ith these technologies can be easily maintained by their owners.Finally and formest! If you're going to do this, you need to learn about the back-end at the host - CPanel usually. this is where you install WP, set up emails check problems. This si where you actally begin.You asked about alternatives. I am aware of Wix but the sites i've seen so far have not impressed me. there are probably others. usuallly they claim to be free, but as soon as you need to do serious things, charged-addons become needed.Good luck and hope tgat helps you a bit.

Keith Rowley answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Business Management

What's the difference between business development and marketing?

1)  Marketing, properly executed  is structured activity that introduces companies and products to markets is has identified and segmented. Marketing people make initial contact with the customer base they have defined. They use materials they have designed to leave a lasting impression and the potenatial customer wanting more. They enunciate the customer's pain-points and establish the identity and unique nature of the solution their company has. Marketing has deep roots in its parent company and shallow roots in the customer base.2) Business development (BD) has deep roots in the customer base and slightly less deep roots in its own company. It is the business of BD to develop long-term, meaningful relationships with cusomers and prepare the for the advance of the sales team.You can now assess how important business development is for small business without further guidance.

Keith Rowley answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Web Development

Is there a difference between hiring foreign and local web developers?

In additio to the points made by Ivana Katz - all of which are valid, and which I will not repeat:ACCOUNTABILITYFLEXIBILITYLONG TERM BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPCUSTOMIZED SITES RATHER THAN COOKIE CUTTER SITESRISKWe get approached occasionally to 'fix' a website. We don't accept most of these jobs becuase thw site in question has often been built so badly that the best course of action is to delete it and start again - that's a real RISK.Another RISK - if you need a complex site such as that for a real estate agent, them you need some future proofing - and a cookie cutter done on a cheap WP theme for instance, won't provide that,Anoher RISK - site performance. A potential client of ours had paid an overses company around $1,000 US for a complex site. It took 30s to load on desktop and he wanted it 'fixed' - sorry, but no thank you.Going local can also carry these risks unless you hire a professional - a company prepared to put its performance pledges where they belong - in the development contract.Hope that helps. 

Keith Rowley answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Online Business

What to look out for when hiring a digital agency to build your website?

This answer comes from my digital agency, but I think this is objective.Firs, never buy anything from anyone withput beig able to specify it i terms of performance - you wouldn't buy a car like that so why wooud you buy a website in that way? So firstly, Get your performance specification defined for mobile and desktop and be careful t specify the Internet bandwidth in the test regime. Some agemcies will sell you on appearence and give you a website sl slow it's no damn use.Secondly, you should have a good iea of what your website should look like - but don't be stubborn - you should make  match between speed and appearence and function.Make sure the agency doesn;t quote you an apparently great price but then you need so many 'add-ons' it costs a lot more in the end. Specify what pages and functionality you want.If you want to maintain your website yourself, make sure it's made on Wordpress - far and away the best choice. The ask how much for 2 hours training if you need it.Also ask if there are any annual fees for plugins when sing software. Mosrt designers will use free plugins but if you have special needs, then paid plugins should be use d- don't let your supplier fit pirate parts!Make sure you can have twp or three iterations of the website at the quoted price - the first iteration is almost never what you thought you described!Finally, for the actuakdesign - do speak with w designer if you are not yourself competent - you have a few seconds to capture a visitor so speed and peearence are critical.That's just a fast mind-dump. Hope it helps you a little and best of luck to you.PS - Final advice - NEVER let a agency bury you in geek-talk - ever! The agemcy's job is to turn your request into a website, not to teach you techno-geek! 

Keith Rowley answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Online Business

What’s the cost to build a Shopify, Squarespace, Wordpress or Magento store?

Let's start with woocommerce. There are two parts to this: 1) Building the basic store with all relevant pages. that runs to arund $3k5 and 2) Stocking the store. The cost of this depends on which tools are being used. Adding products manually is very time-consuming and can be costed on a labour basis or per-item basis. in addition to the building cot the one-off plugin costs must be paid - usually no more than $200 - $400 total. I've used Woodropship in the past for importing products fromAli Express, but it no longer works and is not properly maintained. Find something similar. However, once the products are imported there's still work to do on images, descriptions and pricing if you want a top quality store. Shopify is different. it's easier to load a theme and you can fo it yourself using a free theme. However you need plugins just like Woocommerce and these are always paid monthly - not one-offs like Woocommerce plugins. The main cost here will be importing products and again it depends how you do it.. Hope that helps a bit. I don't us Magento or Squarespace.  

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Keith Rowley answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Web Design

What's the difference between a web designer and UX designer?

This question made me smile! When you visit a website, you automatically rate it - it's fast, it's slow, it's easy to buy, it's a nightmare paying for something or it's a breeze, it looks good, it looks bad etc. It's all about the experience.A Ux or Ui designer will tell you these things and more. But so will a good web designer/technologist - we jsut don't use Geekspeak.I often think that a lot of terminology we have to deal with is useless geek-speak, and that's how I feel about these terms, Ux and Ui. It sounds important, but really, if your website isn't a smooth and pleasant experience then you'll know all about it and so will your visitors - without the geek-speak!Let me enlarge on this. Color is important - very, very important for its pscyhological effects on a website visitor. And yet we don't have 'Cx designers' as a separate entity  - we expect our designers to have that expertise and to design something that is optimised for readers and buyers, that won't stress their eyes or put them off. The same is true IMO of Ux and Ui - ease of use is a non-negoriable reality.When we (or any other competent agency) are designing a site, we put all of our experience into it - the experience and knowledge of artists, web technologists and business managers such as myself. We do not expect customers to go chasing Ui, Ux, Cx, Bx or any other x factors. Some people will be offended by this opinion. But by profession I'm an engineer and business manager. When i was describing high-tech products and systems to customers I stayed away from technical terms and spoke about benefits. I do the same with my own business. 

Keith Rowley answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Web Development

What are the best website platforms for dummies to develop a simple site?

Sorry - that 675 is a typo - it should read 50-70! Apologies.

Keith Rowley answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Web Development

What are the best website platforms for dummies to develop a simple site?

OK so where to begin?! I'm going to assume that you're serious about development and tell you what I use and why.Firstly, I use Wordpress (WP) which accounts for some +30% of all websites as the basic platform.  It's superbly supported and updated and it's free. There are thousands and thousands of free software plugins to go with it. You could build a good solid professional site on WP and not pay a cent for the software.BUT you must think of WP as a skeleton - it needs flesh and that flesh is provided by themes, which used to be known as 'skins'. Themes provide a host of appearence options and technical facilities on top of WP. Many are free, but even thr specialized ones for real-estate sites etc are a very reasonable price - around $675 max and usually less.Do you need code for this? No - but I'll tell you what - knowing a little CSS to get around some finicky parts of any theme can save you a lot of time and heartache. So learn some css - take your time and do it gradually as you build your sites.Next, you need other WP plugins for payments processors, and a host of othr functions - mostly free.Finally and very importantly, you need a good editor that dorsn't produce bloated code. the Wp editor is basic - even the new one. A good visual editor will work together with your theme to make beautiful pages that load fast without writing code. Again though, a little CS capability can save your life!I recommend Thrive Architect and Elmentor as editors. you will have a learning curve but nothing like wiring code!Sites buut ith these technologies can be easily maintained by their owners.Finally and formest! If you're going to do this, you need to learn about the back-end at the host - CPanel usually. this is where you install WP, set up emails check problems. This si where you actally begin.You asked about alternatives. I am aware of Wix but the sites i've seen so far have not impressed me. there are probably others. usuallly they claim to be free, but as soon as you need to do serious things, charged-addons become needed.Good luck and hope tgat helps you a bit.

Keith Rowley answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Business Management

What's the difference between business development and marketing?

1)  Marketing, properly executed  is structured activity that introduces companies and products to markets is has identified and segmented. Marketing people make initial contact with the customer base they have defined. They use materials they have designed to leave a lasting impression and the potenatial customer wanting more. They enunciate the customer's pain-points and establish the identity and unique nature of the solution their company has. Marketing has deep roots in its parent company and shallow roots in the customer base.2) Business development (BD) has deep roots in the customer base and slightly less deep roots in its own company. It is the business of BD to develop long-term, meaningful relationships with cusomers and prepare the for the advance of the sales team.You can now assess how important business development is for small business without further guidance.

Keith Rowley answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Web Development

Is there a difference between hiring foreign and local web developers?

In additio to the points made by Ivana Katz - all of which are valid, and which I will not repeat:ACCOUNTABILITYFLEXIBILITYLONG TERM BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPCUSTOMIZED SITES RATHER THAN COOKIE CUTTER SITESRISKWe get approached occasionally to 'fix' a website. We don't accept most of these jobs becuase thw site in question has often been built so badly that the best course of action is to delete it and start again - that's a real RISK.Another RISK - if you need a complex site such as that for a real estate agent, them you need some future proofing - and a cookie cutter done on a cheap WP theme for instance, won't provide that,Anoher RISK - site performance. A potential client of ours had paid an overses company around $1,000 US for a complex site. It took 30s to load on desktop and he wanted it 'fixed' - sorry, but no thank you.Going local can also carry these risks unless you hire a professional - a company prepared to put its performance pledges where they belong - in the development contract.Hope that helps. 

Keith Rowley answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Online Business

What to look out for when hiring a digital agency to build your website?

This answer comes from my digital agency, but I think this is objective.Firs, never buy anything from anyone withput beig able to specify it i terms of performance - you wouldn't buy a car like that so why wooud you buy a website in that way? So firstly, Get your performance specification defined for mobile and desktop and be careful t specify the Internet bandwidth in the test regime. Some agemcies will sell you on appearence and give you a website sl slow it's no damn use.Secondly, you should have a good iea of what your website should look like - but don't be stubborn - you should make  match between speed and appearence and function.Make sure the agency doesn;t quote you an apparently great price but then you need so many 'add-ons' it costs a lot more in the end. Specify what pages and functionality you want.If you want to maintain your website yourself, make sure it's made on Wordpress - far and away the best choice. The ask how much for 2 hours training if you need it.Also ask if there are any annual fees for plugins when sing software. Mosrt designers will use free plugins but if you have special needs, then paid plugins should be use d- don't let your supplier fit pirate parts!Make sure you can have twp or three iterations of the website at the quoted price - the first iteration is almost never what you thought you described!Finally, for the actuakdesign - do speak with w designer if you are not yourself competent - you have a few seconds to capture a visitor so speed and peearence are critical.That's just a fast mind-dump. Hope it helps you a little and best of luck to you.PS - Final advice - NEVER let a agency bury you in geek-talk - ever! The agemcy's job is to turn your request into a website, not to teach you techno-geek! 

Keith Rowley answered this question

Official FAQ
Official FAQ, Inquisitor at SavvySME

Online Business

What’s the cost to build a Shopify, Squarespace, Wordpress or Magento store?

Let's start with woocommerce. There are two parts to this: 1) Building the basic store with all relevant pages. that runs to arund $3k5 and 2) Stocking the store. The cost of this depends on which tools are being used. Adding products manually is very time-consuming and can be costed on a labour basis or per-item basis. in addition to the building cot the one-off plugin costs must be paid - usually no more than $200 - $400 total. I've used Woodropship in the past for importing products fromAli Express, but it no longer works and is not properly maintained. Find something similar. However, once the products are imported there's still work to do on images, descriptions and pricing if you want a top quality store. Shopify is different. it's easier to load a theme and you can fo it yourself using a free theme. However you need plugins just like Woocommerce and these are always paid monthly - not one-offs like Woocommerce plugins. The main cost here will be importing products and again it depends how you do it.. Hope that helps a bit. I don't us Magento or Squarespace.