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Guide to choosing the right web design company

judge the book by its coverThis Time DO Judge The Book By It's CoverChoosing a web design company can be a little tricky, and many times it's a gamble, but if you know what to look for, you can save yourself a lot of stress and frustration. If you don't, however, you could be stuck with poor service and empty promises, as well as being faced with ridiculous bills. Take time to empower yourself with the following knowledge, and learn to spot a bad choice in web design companies from a mile...

LOOKS

This is one of those times, that judging a book by it's cover is in your best interests. A web design company's website is it's book cover, so naturally, if their website is not stimulating...chances are that they will create an unstimulating design for your website...which in turn, is YOUR book cover. If your book cover is amateurish, your potential client may very well pass you by, imagining that your service, or product, would be as exciting as the site they've just seen...

LOOKS vs PRICE

If the client liaison of the web design company drives a Ferrari, there's a very good chance that they are overcharging their customers. Web design prices vary greatly. There are no set guidelines for quality ,nor are there any recommended pricing structures, so one must use one's own discretion here. I can't tell you that R 4000 is a good price for a small website, because it depends on the web design itself. If I may use a fine art analogy here. R 1 million is a ridiculous price to pay for a Trechikoff, but an incredible bargain for a Van Gogh.

EXAMPLES

If the web design company does not supply examples of their work or some form of portfolio, it can mean one of two things. Either the company is just starting out and has no work to showcase yet, or they are not confident enough to display their work because it is not very good. The other problem I've come across here is when a web design agency has a long list of clients that they have allegedly done work for, but no links to the work itself. In cases like these, you can rest assured that at least half of their clientele are made up and the other half of their clientele are upset by their shoddy workmanship. Bottom line is: If the company is any good, they will proudly display examples of their work. If the company just doesn't have any work to display, you're taking a gamble. It's your call.

lazy and unreliable manLazy and Unreliable ManSERVICE

There are three kinds of service you will come across in the web design industry. The first kind are lazy and unreliable, the second kind are very enthusiastic and will promise you the world, but won't deliver, and the last kind (which is the kind you are looking for) will get back to you promptly, and meet, or even exceed your expectations. The latter is very difficult to come by. Here's how you can spot the different kinds...Should you ask for a quote from a web design company or get in touch with them via email and they do not get back to you within twelve hours, then you can expect this kind of service for the entirety of the job. They are lazy and do not feel that you are important enough for them to reply promptly. The second kind is more difficult to spot. This kind are skilled in promotional talking but lack the technical skill/knowledge to deliver, so asking a few technical questions should do the trick. Instead of listening to the words they use to reply, watch their body language to see if they look uncomfortable with the question.

LOCATION

A good internet connection for both parties, in most cases, rules out the significance of where the designers offices are located. In fact, if you have a tight deadline, it is probably better to have an online relationship because when you send an email with instructions, the web designer is already at his/her computer to make the changes, as opposed to having to drive back to their premises and prepare themselves for work mode again. Even material for the job can be emailed because unlike their graphic designer counterparts, the files are low resolution, therefore small in size. One thing to keep in mind though, is that if their offices are in a very exclusive area/office park, you can probably expect to pay "exclusive" prices.

SEO

A good web design company will design your website with search engine optimization in mind. It is no good to have a beautiful website that no one is ever going to see because search engines can't read the format in which it was designed. Ask your designer about their website marketing options. A lot of companies say they offer this but really don't know much about it. If a designer can't tell you exactly how they have optimized your site for search engines, then they probably have not.

meeting a deadlineMeeting a DeadlineDEADLINES

The last factor to take into consideration is the web designers ability to work within given deadlines. In a deadline situation it is almost always better to deal directly with the person/s who are going to be doing the work. In many large corporations, they will send a client liaison to receive instruction from the client, but in many cases the client liaison is only trained to appease the client, by saying "yes we can do that", "sure, you will have it tomorrow", but does not have an inkling of what the work entails, and then will go back to the designer only to be told that there are problems with what was promised. This back-and-forth liaising lends itself to miscommunication and is ultimately a waste of valuable time. The best way to see if a web design company can meet your deadline is to give them a smaller job first, with its own deadline. The Bible says "Those who can be trusted with little, can also be trusted with much".

For more information, or to request a free quotation, please contact us

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Why Stealing Meta Data From Another Site Is A Dumb Idea

stealing web page materialStealing Web Page MaterialIn the search engine realm of things, I meet a lot of “pros”. I also see a lot of their handiwork when it pertains to web site optimization. But more and more, I see a lot of really poorly written, (and often times stolen) bits of web page material, that makes absolutely no sense.

The common thing to do among web site professionals, is to try to gouge the customer for as much as they can. This includes trying to carry the project off without a hitch, to show some bit of competence. I find this done with a lot of web designers, who have never been certified though an SEO, (search engine optimization) program of any kind. These types will actually steal the meta data off another web site, and then jam it into your pages, hoping that it will work. They change a few of the keywords, and pray to God that you won’t catch them.

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Why Your Web Designer Should Know About Web Marketing

Marketing IdeasWebsite Marketing IdeasMany excellent web designers know next to nothing of web marketing, and this can be a big problem. Marketing a site in search engines requires that the site be designed in a search engine compatible format. Many beautiful sites do not fare well in search engines at all, simply because of the way they have been designed. Here are some things web designers should know about web marketing.

Load Times

Beautiful sites with lots of graphics may look awesome, but are often so slow to download that web visitors, particularly on dial-up connections, will simply go elsewhere, before the site even finishes downloading. Some search engines may also penalize sites for being too slow.

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What Is The Color Of Your Website?

color emotion brand guideColour Emotion Brand GuidePsychology behind the colors that can make or break your website’s success.

Did you know that the values associated with colors can have a significant impact on your website’s success? And did you know that you can change your visitor’s feeling, mood and reaction by using different colors on your website?

Some professional web designers do not realize the impact that a single color can have on their project when designing a website for their clients. In reality, the meaning of colors will send the first message of your website to your visitors. You don’t have to be a genius to find out why since it is obvious that the first thing they (visitors) see is the color of your site!

I have studied one hundred visitors to evaluate their patience for uploading a web page. First, I tried a plain black background page and the average waiting time was up to 2.47 seconds. Then I tried a plain white background page and the average wait time for uploading the web page increased to 4.89 Seconds.

The reason is just fear. People are afraid from black and darkness and they feel vulnerable when they see a plain black page. I won’t go in detail about this subject in this article but if you would like to know more you can always visit our site at http://www.websitedevelopmenttech.com and get more information about color psychology.

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What to avoid to make your website design effective?

content is like waterContent is Like WaterThe effective design is the one which is maximum simplified and conformable to your users because they are your main purpose. This one, simply and clearly announcing what your website is about. This one, quickly offering the users exactly what they are expecting to see on your pages, without being troubled with insignificant information. The big mistake made by a lot of web designers is to project their activities from their own point of view, without thinking about the user.

Factors, damaging the website design effectiveness

Additional time needed for website downloading
Badly written content
Complex design, abundant in elements
Difficult navigation, incomprehensible for user
No validated program language

Additional time needed for website downloading

Your pages downloading time is extremely important. Your users will shut your website down very quickly if you make them wait because of your slow downloading pages. The other sites are just a mouse click away from them.

  • Not important if you are talking about graphics, multimedia, scripts, applets - be cautious about their location on your site. Don't insert them without judging their position, just because you or your designer had an idea about it. Design them small-sized, too.

Copywriting SkillsCpywriting SkillsBadly written content

The text that is ready for print has nothing to do with the text for the Web. According to Jacob Nielsen, Web usability guru, users have more difficulty in reading the information on computers than on printed editions. They would rather scan it than read it profoundly. Huge text blocks are unreadable and couldn't allow them to do it.

Means to make text more readable and effective could be effectuated by using:

  • separate paragraphs
  • titles
  • subtitles
  • indentations
  • bullets
  • bolds
  • hyperlinks
  • different fonts and sizes

web frameWeb FrameComplex design, abundant in elements

  • Don't complicate users work by complex and abundant design, making the website confusing in terms of its downloading and its appearance on their screens.
  • Avoid frames. They could seriously damage your website usability.
  • Having a site, made on FLASH you can't explain fast and clear to users what his content is about, what it would be useful for, what they could win, using your services, because only its downloading will take several minutes. If you insist however on including FLASH elements, much better variant is to insert them in a detached small file, with definite size, but inserting it, you have to possess some clear purpose. It refers much more to your home page, which is your website main portal.
  • Don't leave your pages without comprehensible title tags, clearly explaining what your page is about (title tag is the page title you see on the top of the browser).
  • Don't leave your site home page without text, explaining to your users who you are and what you are talking about on your site.

poor navigationPoor NavigationDifficult navigation, incomprehensible for user

  • Don't upset user with bad navigation, making him feel lost. He could enter your site by each of its pages, not only by the home page. If he/she enters by another one, he/she must understand what is his/her position on your site, where he/she could go by clicking the corresponding link.
  • Don't leave your site without a site map. The site map gives thr user the possibility to orientate quickly and easily on it.
  • Always put a link to the home page on each of your pages, plus the firm's name and logo, making them a link to the home page too.
  • Don't allow the existence of an orphaned page, where a user could feel lost.
  • Don't change the default color of the hyperlinks, because users are expecting to see them exactly that way. When a text is blue, the user is used to thinking it is a link, and if it is purple, that it is a visited link. The different colors from the default ones will throw them into confusion.
  • Don't make a text blue that is not a hyperlink. That will also confuse them.
  • Don't put a link that leads to the same page, only those that go to other page sections.

program codeProgram CodeNo validated program language

The code your site is written in is validated depending on browsers from different types and versions.

  • Incorrectly written program code will make your site users close it immediately due to its bad appearance in their browsers.
  • Correctly written code is the best way to ensure your pages are appearing correctly in as many browsers as possible.  It includes old versions and versions that will be published.

For a free quotation, or to discuss your requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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