Website Design Services

If you have ever had an involvement with a website design company, you may well have experienced a great deal of mis-communication, mis-interpretation and missed deadlines.

What seems like the simplest of notions, turns into a 6 month headache.

As an integral part of a web design agency, i would like to offer up some suggestions as to why this can happen.

Let me firstly give you the web agencies argument, then i will reveal how this whole sorry process can be avoided and save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds at the same time.

An agency works to a spec document, usually prepared by the client or as a joint effort. A paper sitemap is created so we can see the site hierarchy and what links to where.

When this phase is complete, our web designers will begin to create a graphical interface to display your content in the best possible way.

This is where the first MAJOR problem occurs.

As professional web designers, we will proceed to create a website that delivers your business or personal goals, this has a direct impact on site design and layout.

Let me give you an example:

If we are tasked with creating an ecommerce site for selling a product, we will create a homepage where the visitor is guided into the sales process, every click they make takes them further down the path to the sale, after all, an ecommerce website should sell right?

Not according to some clients no, far better in their eyes, to have a beautifully sculpted landing page showcasing the latest and greatest web 2.0 or flash movie intro, culminating in the inevitable ‘click here to enter’ button, centred on the page.

To hell with search engine optimisation, they want their site to look the best!

This is always a bad start to a client / designer relationship and sets alarm bells ringing at web design hq with distant cries of ‘Oh no. we’ve got another one..’ emanating from the design office.

Sure, if you’re a big brand looking to release and market a new product then knock yourself out, but for Joe Bloggs paperclip sales? I think not.

This brings me to my second point – logo’s.

Do you really think that your company is SO important to the end user that they MUST be subjected to the monstrously oversized logo you are forcing the design team to integrate. What’s more, after we submit the site to you for initial sign off – 99% percent of the time we are sat waiting for the ‘can you just make the logo a bit bigger’ phone call.

Your site should be about the product or service, it’s not about your logo, keep this in mind next time you think half a page is ‘reasonable’ logo space.

It’s amazing how many clients play at ‘designer’ once the ball starts rolling.

So after wasting days or weeks on design tweaks that detract from your business goals, we finally submit and give you what you want, a site based on ‘this great site i saw on xyz.com’, a site i should mention that is already old fashioned and already out of date. We work for the future, not the past.

Just to point out that i’m not ranting here, this is cold hard fact, drawn from actual daily experiences.

The next stage can be even more disastrous, the integrating of content.

Now we are getting to the nuts and bolts of the project, the promise of content and imagery suddenly seems like a distant dream. We hear week upon week that the content is nearly finished, but it isn’t, it isn’t even started.

Many clients are under the illusion that writing content is easy, until they begin the task. Nobody likes writing content. Every word or paragraph is important and can be the difference between delivering the right or wrong message to your audience.

It’s not unusual for a web design agency to wait 6 months for content to materialise, it’s even less unusual for us to be asked to write the content. Why not just ask us to do this in the first place?

All the procrastrination is costing money.

For those that do bite the bullet and write the content themselves, they become lost in the Sitemap, many convince themselves that the sitemap is actually incorrect and that a new one should be generated?

This has massive implications, the web site design could well have to be broken down and re-started in order to accommodate the ‘small changes’ to the structure.

It’s not unusual to re-start a project several times, as the real aims of a website finally dawn on the client. By this time, the ever humble web agency is so brow beaten, that they simply agree, in the hope that the project will at some stage be put to bed.

I can fully empathise with the client, i realise that intervention isn’t intentionally done to upset the applecart, it’s just a lack if education and i don’t mean that in an offensive way.

To really drive this point home, imagine that you are a roofing contractor, highly specialised and having gone through years of professional training. You are half way through fitting my new fandangled roof when i casually pop outside and tell you that i think it will look better if you put it on upside down.

Now here’s the good part.

There is a new breed of web design agency surfacing. One where the client is rewarded for allowing the agency to perform their task without interruptions.
The client is asked to create a list of page titles and create content for those pages in advance. The also collect and imagery they wish to use. Design wise they provide a suggested colour scheme and a list of website they find inspiring (for design cues). Lastly they provide a list of keywords that will shape the tone of the site i.e fun, modern, contemporary, corporate.

All this material is submitted to the agency and that is the last input the client has.
The agency can then use the submitted material to create a fully functional website within a very short timeframe.

The client has to trust that both his submitted information is correct and that the agency will do a professional job.
The clients reward for this is a huge cost saving, sometimes thousands of pounds on a single project.

The agency is allowed to provide a professional service with a lightning fast turnaround time.
Now in the real world, there will always be clients out there who want to control the web design process, but for those who recognise that the job should be left to the experts, the rewards are multiple.
It certainly pays to be prepared doesn’t it?

Top Tips to Choose the Best SEO Agency

After you have put in assiduous efforts and time in doing SEO on your own, you might have discovered that no matter how much you try, your website will not rank well in the search engines. Even if it manages to get a higher page ranking, all your effort and time goes in optimizing the website and much of your tasks lag behind. In such a scenario, think intelligent and hire a good SEO agency for your website. With so many SEO agencies in the market today, it is indeed difficult to choose the most reliable among these, especially when the industry is filled with scams. Hence, there are certain tips that help in choosing the best and most reliable SEO agency for your website. Read on to learn more.

Check the company website – The best way to learn about a SEO company is via its own website. Not only it can help in getting to know what all services they offer, working procedures, web standards followed, whether accredited by some authorized agency or not, but also helps in knowing how much they are expert in website optimizing. If they cannot optimize their own website to a higher page rank, they are not worth hiring

Beware of a company that promises top ranking in search engines – If the company really does promise you 1st page ranking in search engine, there must be some discrepancies in their competency. No one can guarantee you a top ranking in search engines, not even more less competitive keywords

Services and experience – Before hiring a SEO company, make sure that they offer a wide range of services that are essential for effective search engine optimization. If a company offers keyword research, link building, content development, web designing, web development, and other important SEO services all under one package, with years of professional experience, it will be the best choice.

Seek work examples and references – Satisfied customers are the best person to know about the expertise and success ratio of the company. Ask the company for examples of different websites that they have optimized with references from clients

Work procedures – It is important to know what work procedures tactics the company follow. Do they adopt any black hat SEO trick for getting a higher page rank? Do they choose automated submissions? If they do, stay away from them, or else you can get banned from the search engines. Finally, do not get lured by false promises. Make an intelligent decision in choosing the best Company for your website.

Looking at How a Digital Agency Can Run Your Social Media Campaign

Social media websites are becoming increasingly instrumental in the field of SEO and a digital agency should boast experts who are capable of managing your social media campaign and capitalising on the SEO benefits that a well managed social media strategy can provide. A digital agency will set up various social media campaigns on the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

Not all digital agencies will be aware of just how advantageous a well managed campaign can be and for this reason, it is imperative to opt for a digital agency that can showcase how they have improved their clients rankings over a period. There has clearly been a substantial shift towards social media websites in recent times and they are becoming a vital cog within SEO circles.

Ways A Digital Agency Should Boost Your Presence

There are many avenues that can be pursued when using web 2.0 websites as an SEO tool and understanding how best to follow these routes is something that most businesses will leave to a full service web agency because they will be able to devise a strategy which yields the best results. Just some of the things a team of SEO experts will ordinarily do to make the most of such sites include:

Consider all the uses – It can be utilised for more than just marketing and PR purposes and a good digital agency will be well aware of this fact. Skilled SEO experts will also use these websites for branding, customer service and various other endeavors to ensure that they are making the most of the sites.

Measuring Success – There is no point developing a social media strategy and then not measuring the results it provides. A digital agency is likely to have the experts on staff who can spot patterns, trends and successful elements of a social media campaign and will tweak it as and when in order to make its performance as strong as possible.

Professionalism – If you allow your campaign to be run by a digital agency, the chances are that it will be run much more professionally and with more attention to detail. A social media strategy should be crafted with the end user in mind and this is something that a skilled full service web agency will be adept at.

Picking a digital agency is something which should be based on a number of different factors and chief amongst these will be their capacity to provide effective search engine optimisation (SEO) for your newly crafted website.

Best Web Hosting For Me and My Family’s Requirements

For a long period of time I have been planning to put by business up on the net. Though I sell quite a number of unique goods, my chances of striking it big in a small town are quite limited. A few days back one of my friends suggested me to launch a website. According to him, many other businesses from my town already had their presence on the net and they were earning a good sum of money due to the worldwide exposure their goods were receiving from their websites. My family was also intently listening to my friend and they too wanted to have their own website.

My wife wanted to showcase her unique grandma’s recipe to the entire world. My daughter wanted to have her personal website and so did my son. It seemed that I would have to fork out a huge sum of money to accommodate all their wishes. However my friend told me that there was no reason to worry about. According to him, there are professional web hosting agencies that are tailor made for my requirements. He explained to me that there was a professional web hosting company where I could host as many domains as I wanted with just one account.

This was not the end of the story. I would not have to pay any charges to register my domain since the package offered by that web hosting organization included a free domain name registration for life. I act as an agent for various software organizations and some of them provide trials versions for free. Since that would mean a good amount of disk space and also a good amount of data transfer when people downloaded the free samples, would I be able to host them on my website? My friend assured me that the web hosting company he was talking about provided unlimited disk space and unlimited data transfer too. That organization would also setup the server for free.

The website builder provided by that company would allow my kids… who had no idea about webpage designing… to design a professional website. The unlimited MYSQL databases provided by the hosting company would surely help my business a lot. This organization provides cPanel which is one of the best control panels of the web hosting industry. When he told me the costs I would have to pay for the same I did not believe it. In an era where prices of everything are inflating, how can these folks afford to provide such low prices?