Monday 12 September 2011

Tips to Hiring the RIGHT Website Design Company

While we can all agree that websites don't happen magically - there's a lot of work that goes into those websites that work well and are pleasant to look at - it can be harder to figure out how to hire a website design company that will give your business the kind of web design you envision. Of course, the decision is further clouded because there are innumerable choices available these days, from hiring a freelancer all the way up to choosing a big website design company specializing in high-end web designs. All business owners across the globe, these days are presented with a wide variety of choices - and choice is good, right?

Sure, having abundant choices is great, until it leads to analysis paralysis.

Your website will determine the level of business activity you can conduct online. It will determine online - even SMS messaging - methods for communicating with existing and new customers. It will additionally act as your press box and your virtual business' front door. So, you don't want to play around with a decision that's this important.

Let's take a look at some hints that will help you hire the best website designer or web design company for your website design:

  1. Do a little thinking upfront first. For example, does your website design need to have a completely unique, one-of-a-kind look, or can it have a similar layout and look and feel of other sites on the web? For those businesses with just a few products, or those starting out, a template option may work just fine to keep funds down at the start while they grow their business. For those with an established business, a large number of customers, and a larger number of products, it may make more sense to put a little more effort, time and money into the website to keep their brand growing.
  2. Do a little homework upfront as well. Look, any creative and established website designer or web design company will have a number of satisfied clients, so interview them as references of course, but you should also ask them - even if they ended up happy with the work - what went wrong, what was bumpier than they expected in the process? You'd be surprised what a little digging can reveal about a firm.
  3. Learn from the mistakes of other businesses. You're a connected business owner, so call up other business owners and ask them what they would do differently when selecting a website designer or website design and website development company. Ask how long the process took, what it involved, and what you should expect. Sure, you can ask who they hired after, but finding out the dirt about their website design project will go a long way toward defining how you should tackle your own.

Before you hire an individual website designer or a website design & development company to build your website, it's important to spend a little time surfing - on the web, that is. By spending some time working with other sites, you'll know what features you want and need in your own website design. All business owners need to think carefully about the options you want to provide your customers - for communicating with your teams, for ordering your products, for providing feedback, for obtaining information or support. Then, list those as requirements for your business' site.

Don't just note the things you like - take note of the things you dislike as well. A list like this can go a long way toward helping any designer give you exactly what your business wants and needs while avoiding the features that irritate. Remember, if the feature bugs you, it will probably bug your customers as well. Either way, it's a great point of discussion with the web designer you choose and it shows the designer that you've done your homework and you really care about the details of your business' website.

Sunday 4 September 2011

Top 8 Mistakes in Website Design

When building a website or engaging a web design company to build a website for you it's important to ensure your website does not contain any of these top 8 mistakes in web design.

Website Design Mistake #1: Spelling Mistakes 
Often content for your website is produced quickly and missed the normal spell check that you would do on marketing material. It is unprofessional to have words that are spelt incorrectly on your website and you should double check all materials.

Website Design Mistake #2: Using Frames
This is more a technical mistake made by developers who are trying to cut corners and produce work quicker. By using frames URL's stop working, navigation becomes difficult and your page can not be book marked. All of this leads to a negative user experience and can dramatically affect your website.

website design company
 Website Design Mistake #3: Complex URL's 
Users of your site who like a certain page will at times try to remember the page so they can easily navigate back to the page. URL's which contain things like? ahdf45! 872 become confusing to the visitor and will distract from further visits.

Website Design Mistake #4: Non-Standard Link Colors 
When you are trying to link to another page within text most users are used to seeing blue links, so when you change the link color this can confuse them and cause them not to click. When trying to navigate a user using text links try to stay with the standard blue.

Website Design Mistake #5: Not Formatting a Print View 
Believe it or not, a percentage of your visitors will wish to print out your page so you need to ensure you provide a print view of your page that does not lose any important information.

Website Design Mistake #6: Text Layout 
Newspapers break up their paragraphs into short and sharp sentence groups for a reason; you should do the same for your website. By making short and sharp sentence groups you will entertain the reader for longer and achieve your goals of conversion.

Website Design Mistake #7: Pop Up Windows 
This is a major mistake made by some developers where they open an entire website into a pop up window. Users are comfortable with browsing your site in their browser not a pop up window. Don't over complicate your site and confuse your user.

Website Design Mistake #8: No Clear call to Action 
The fundamental error of many small business websites is the lack of a clear call to action. We've all seen bland small-business brochure websites with nothing but endless descriptive paragraphs. If you aren't leading users to commit to an action (buy a product, contact you or subscribe, for example), then you are losing them.
Driving traffic to your website is important, but that traffic is useless if your primary call to action is a plain "click here" link buried in a sea of text. Call-to-action buttons are a great way to grab the user's attention, and these buttons can be the key to higher conversions. Investing time and consideration into creating successful calls to action can help guide users and address their needs while achieving your own business goals.
As you can see there are many mistakes that are often made with regards to website design and it's important to avoid these mistakes. When hiring a website design company make sure you ask them about these specific areas and see what other issues they are also aware of.