Why WordPress Makes Website Design Easy

If you’ve ever tried to design your own website, you know how hard it can be! Trying to figure out code, margins, what colours to use can be so frustrating, and half the time your site will end up just a big mess that you end up abandoning; even worse you may spend tons of money trying to find someone to fix it. Why spend all that time and money on a website that might not work when you can use WordPress? With WordPress website designs, you get everything you need and none of the stuff you don’t.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a CMS, or content management system, that allows you to publish content like images, videos, text and more in blog format or build entire sites. It’s a push button solution that lets anyone of any skill level finally have the website that they want. When you’re trying to get the business website that you want, WordPress is the fastest and cheapest way to get there!

How WordPress Makes Design Easier Than Ever

WordPress revolutionised web design with themes! Themes allow you to download many different designs and “skin” your website. While you can use one of these themes that tons of other people are using, you’re going to want to make sure that you use a unique design that really showcases who you are as a company and business. You can have a designer to go over a theme that you’ve found for free, and customise it.

Save Money with WordPress

Having someone design your website from scratch can be expensive, but you’re going to want to find someone to help you create the best design possible. Theming WordPress is a lot faster and easier on designers than other frameworks, and you won’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get a great website. But design isn’t the only way that you will save money with WordPress:

  • WordPress has built-in SEO tools that help you get noticed by the search engines! Why spend more money on SEO than you have to when you can get half the work done for you up front!
  • WordPress offers a great knowledgebase to get your WordPress site off the ground. You won’t have to hire a programmer to install it for you when you can do it yourself.
  • WordPress has millions of plugins for every need. Display multimedia on any device and publish all kinds of content at the click of a button.

WordPress is a great tool for anyone; if you’re opening your website for the first time or deciding to overhaul what you have, you’re going to love WordPress. You won’t have to spend a lot of time and money to get the website that you need to be successful, and you’ll always be able to find a designer that can help you customise it to your tastes and needs. No matter what kind of business you have, it’s the right choice for you. Check out the WordPress site here and see what else it can offer.

 

The Three Things You Have to Have in Your Web Design!

There are three things you have to have in any website design, but what are they? If you’ve been struggling with what you need to finally make your own website design pop, you’re going to have to learn these three secrets to really make yourself stand out from the competition! Why be another face in the crowd with a boring website design when you can use creativity, content and compatibility to quash the competition? Here we’re going to go over what you need to do to start standing out, and how you can get the results you need within a week!

Content

Content is such an important part of design; I know it sounds a little counterintuitive, but they really do go together. You need great content with corresponding images that keep the reader on the page, and you want your content to be laid out in such a way that you can get the attention of the reader too. It should flow in the content box (the area of your website design that’s specifically for content) and your content should work with just about any design if you ever upgrade or when you have to do a format change.

Creativity

Without creativity, a design is lifeless. A great website designer will be able to help you get the website design you need to capture the attention of your readers, but it will also be designed with user experience in mind. People should be able to navigate the site easily, and they should be abel to find whatever it is that they’re looking for. If a design doesn’t communicate, it’s not a design; it’s just art and art isn’t much help to someone who’s trying to sell products and services on the internet.

Creativity also means creative uses of code to get your point across; you’ll want to make sure that you’re not using too many images, too much processor intensive stuff like flash and JavaScript! You wnt to keep the size of the website down as much as possible, and it should be optimised to give your users the best experience possible. But it’s not all about creativity, it’s also about compatibility!

Compatibility

If you want to beat your competition to a pulp, you want to be accessible to everyone that’s looking for you! You want to be compatible with all PCs, Macs, mobile phones and devices like the iPad. People are changing the way they browse, and it’s estimated in the next five years 60% of all web traffic in North America will come from mobile phones and devices. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you’re going to want to make sure you stay ahead of the curve and prepare for the mobile revolution!

You need to make your site as accessible as possible; clean code, creative use of images and great content will give you that advantage you need to be successful online!

A Flash In the Pan: Avoid Flash Designs for Longevity

Remember the last great flash website you saw? Neither do I and neither do your customers. To be fair there are a lot of beautiful flash websites out there, but they’re functionally crippled and if you want SEO done? Forget about it. If you want a website that will grow with you you’re going to need to go with HTML5, AJAX, and other modern technologies that will give you the advantage over your competition. Here we’re going to go over the disadvantages of Flash and what you can use in its place to get a beautiful functional website that is great for customers and search engines.

Flash is Over

The internet has spoken and flash is over. It started with Steve Jobs only supporting HTML5 and canvas over Flash because of the wealth of adult content and apps. Here are a few more nails in the coffin of flash websites:

  • Bad GUIs

Bad GUIs are part and parcel for Flash. It can’t help it, it’s just how it was made. But modern devices demand clean and crisp user interfaces that can be used with the touch of a finger or the click of a mouse. Flash on the other hand was designed for tiny screens and mice/keyboard only. You want your users to be able to take advantage of what you have to offer no matter how they interface.

  • Mobile-What?

50% of all web traffic in Canada is now mobile device traffic. This means Android phones, iPads netbooks and anything else on the go. People want to be able to access information while they’re commuting, traveling around, at work (as long as the boss isn’t looking); Flash websites just don’t play well with tablets and mobile devices. Like mentioned above people use their fingers but there’s also screen resolution issues, bandwidth intensive interfaces that are designed for wired speeds and other problems that makes using a flash site on a mobile device hellish at best.

  • Not So SEO Friendly

A sad fact of flash websites… they’re just not SEO friendly. They have strange URLs (if anything is separated at all) and half the time text can’t be indexed. Adobe, the developers of Flash, tried to resolve this but even they are on the HTML5 train with their AIR applications. Flash just isn’t supported like it used to be and even YouTube has switched over the HTML5. You want to have a modern website that’s going to play well with the search engines, that takes advantage of modern technologies and gets you ahead of your competition.

You want a modern website? You want to get in touch with your customers and get search engine love? Leave flash in the past and integrate modern technologies like HTML5, AJAX and more to give your audience a truly interactive and social experience! We can help you transform your old dependable website into a customer friendly authority; it’s the easiest way to get ahead of your competition, so why wait?

Why Your Business Needs a Professional Web Design

When your site or business is on the internet, the job is far from over! You’re going to need a professionally designed website that shows your potential customers that you’re serious. While a professional web design may not seem that important, think back to your own experiences; if you see a poorly made website you probably think it’s cheap, you may chuckle a little, but you’re not feeling a lot of trust towards this site and probably won’t be doing any business with it, would you? Your potential customers and visitors are just like you, and you want to give them the experience that helps them do business with you.

Make it Reflect You

You want your website to reflect you and your business as a whole; this is exactly why you want to avoid any cookie cutter web design templates that you can get for free or for cheap! A lot of these will be used by thousands upon thousands of other websites, so you’ll want to make sure that your website is YOUR website! The last thing you want to do is have your visitors previous experience with a site that used the same template colouring the experience they have with you. When you have a unique web design, you’ll be able to show people who you are as a business, and that you care enough about their experience on your site to make sure it’s designed for use by modern browsers, mobile users and more!

Customers are Visual Creatures

When you’re shopping online, you want the best of the best, we all do! You’ll want to keep this in mind when you choose your website design; your website needs to be easy to navigate with good design that helps people move towards the point of sale of call to action that the site’s there for. While content does go a long way towards persuading your potential customers, a great design can and will seal the deal, making your website profitable in less time. In times like these, who doesn’t need a boost? Cater to your customer’s desire for easy visual layouts!

A Real Designer Will Help You Communicate

The purpose of design is to communicate an idea; if it’s not communicating an idea it’s just art and you don’t want a piece of art! You want a cogent design that helps you and your customers get stuff done. A real designer will help you get everything up and running, help you communicate and get your users where you need them to be. They’ll be able to bring your vision to life, and give you that edge over your competition that you need to survive in this competitive marketplace.

When you want to stand out and get things done, you want a custom web design. A custom web design will show your customers that you’re a real business and that you’re serious about what you’re doing.

Top Three Ways to Fail at Web Design and How to Avoid Them

Web design is such a fickle thing and it’s so easy to turn a great design into a bad design; if you’ve ever wanted to know how to make your design a winning one, you’ve come to the right place! Here we’re going to talk about how to tweak your design if you already have one, and if you’re creating a new one from scratch you’ll be able to make your web design built to last.

Fail #1: Slow Loading Sites

A slow loading site will never be successful; I know this sounds a bit harsh, but it’s true. You just can’t expect people to wait on your site to render in their browser, especially if they’re using a mobile device. If you want to fix slow loading sites you need to go through this quick checklist:

  • Are the images in your design web optimised? If you’re not sure, ask your designer to take a look at it or check out the sizes by right clicking on the elements and clicking “properties” in your browser window.
  • Your page needs to be >100k. Each page should be under 100KB, but you won’t have to include multimedia that loads from somewhere else like YouTube for example.
  • Are you using too much JavaScript? Also known as AJAX, if you’re using too much of this in your code you’re begging for slow load times. Prioritise which code snippets are the most important and comment out things that are unnecessary to the design.

Fail #2: Compatibility Issues

You want to make sure that your website is compatible with as many browsers and devices as possible; this means you’re going to want to nix any Flash or third party plugins that you’ve been running on your site. If you want that great interactive element to your website, consider upgrading everything to HTML5; it plays well with iPads and mobile devices, and you’ll never have to worry about an exploit running amuck with your visitor’s machines.

Fail #3: Bad Navi

When you build your site, you want people to be able to find their way around! If you’re using a static HTML website, you may want to switch to something like WordPress; you’ll be able to have crisp clear navigation that helps your users find what they’re looking for and the search engines to get you indexed properly.

If you have an existing site and you don’t want to suffer through a format change, you’re going to want to take a look at your existing navigation section. Are there things that are nested (link through, like a daisy chain) more than five deep in your navigation? It’s good to provide an in-depth navigation, but you don’t want it to be so long that at the flick of a mouse your visitors will have to start back up and try and find what they were looking for all over again.

Having a successful web design is all about paying attention to details, and with a few tweaks your website can really pull in the customers you need to be successful online!

Bringing Your Business Online with Great Website Design

Website design is one of those necessary evils; you have to have it but you’re not sure what it’s worth or what makes a design great! We know it can be hard when you’ve had a brick and mortar business coming online, but here you’re going to learn everything you need to know to have a successful launch. While this isn’t a complete guide (there’s only so much we can cover in a 500 word blog post) you’ll know a lot more and be better prepared to get your site online. Let’s go!

Why You Need a Website Online

Making the leap from physical to digital can be a little nonsensical, but if you want to stay competitive you’re going to need to make sure your current and future customers can find you online. With a great web design you’ll be able to make sure your business keeps growing year after year, and you’ll also be able to have a whole other level of interaction with your customers. It’s time to make the change!

Getting a Great Website Design

When you’re looking for a great website design, you might be confused by some of the terms. One of the first things you need to do is look at the designer’s previous designs; do you like the way they look, have they worked with companies in the same industry or niche as you? Experience with what works in your field is important, so if you can find a designer who has done work like the kind you need before it’s the most ideal situation. If not, see if they’re up for a challenge, a talented web designer is always up for trying something new!

Website Design Isn’t Just Pictures

A great website design isn’t just pictures, it’s also great clean code that keeps everything working and running smoothly. You’ll want it to be beautiful AND compliant (run one of their reference or sample sites through the W3 schools validator here) and when you know they can write great code, you’ve just found a good designer! You’ll also want to make sure it runs on a CMS like WordPress so you can go back later and add blog posts or update the content without having to hire a programmer to do it for you. While this might seem like the easier option (hiring someone else) it can get really pricey after a while and it’s just not worth it.

Finding a Great Website Design

You can find many different free designs online, but you want yours to be unique and to reflect your company as a whole. A good designer will be abel to work with you to make sure that you’re getting the best design for your industry, as well as a way to make a great impact with your target audience. With the right colours, navigation, layout and content, your website can easily hop to page one on the Google rankings! Click here to find out more about our own design services today.

10 Website Design Tips You Have to Know!

There are a lot of junk website design tips out there; I know I’ve read my own fair share of them! If you’ve been struggling to find a way to set yourself apart from the competition or you just want to make your website pop, you’ve come to the right place! Here we’re going to go over the different ways that you can spruce up an existing web design or make it special from scratch, so let’s get to it!

1. Make it Unique

You want your website design to be unique, so avoid any cookie cutter templates that other websites are using. If you can’t afford a custom web design, put the work into it to make it unique!

2. Text Matters

While images are great for SEO, you need to make sure you put a lot of text content in your website; ditch style for substance.

3. Be Modern, Be Functional

Your website has to be both modern and functional, so make sure you don’t head too much towards trendy territory. Your website has to communicate and push your browsers towards the thing you need to do (like buying your awesome products and services, for example), but it has to be pretty enough to keep their attention.

4. Make it Fast

Your website can’t take too much time to load or people will just give up and find somewhere else to get their information. If your website is slow loading look at how many different images are on the page and if the code is optimised.

5. Keep the Audience in Mind

Whenever you’re designing your website, think about who is going to be visiting it. You don’t want to use dark colors for a trust seal website, or bright colors for a site that’s selling death metal CDs; always keep your audience in mind.

6. Make it HTML5

While Flash is common, you’ll want to make your site with HTML5 to make sure that it works on the iPad and mobile devices.

7. Keep all Your Pages under 100KB

Sounds hard, but it doesn’t have to be. If each page is kept under 100KB, you’ll know that everyone can visit your site!

8. Make it Vertical

While a horizontal scrolling effect can make your site pop on a computer screen, you have to keep in mind your mobile device visitors, as well as people who just won’t think to scroll to the side instead of up and down.

9. Compatibility is Key

You’ll want to make sure whatever design you go with can be rendered in all browsers on all devices.

10. Keep it Clean

You’ll want to keep your design as clean as possible; this means clean gradients, web safe colours (check it out in Photoshop to make sure your colours are web safe) and clear shapes to get that modern and clean look you need to move products and services.

Now you know what to do to get a web design that pops.

Why Your Site Needs to be W3C Validated

When you’ve looked in the html of most designs, you’ve probably noticed that there is a little piece of code that is at the top that validates it… but why is this there, and what is it for? When you’re having a site designed you need it to be W3C complaint and validated! The W3C stands for the World Wide Web Consortium, and they set the web’s best standards and practices for design and code. If your design can pass their standards for compliance, you’ll be able to show up on all modern devices (like tablets, mobile phones and computers for example) and browsers, plus load quickly on most connections.  W3C validation also checks your grammar and spelling too, so you’ll be able to make sure that everything is on the level!

What W3C Validation Does

Every time we turn around there are new updates to CSS, HTML (xml, dhtml, how many more htmls can there be?!) Javascript and more that it’s hard to keep up. A W3C validation check at the beginning of your code helps you know that your site is always valid, and if something becomes outdated you’ll be able to get it fixed quickly.

  • Make Sure Your Site Works with Any Browser: There are about five different browsers that most people use, and dozens out there that may not render things correctly. W3C compliance means you’re going to get the exact same result in every browser, every time. There will be a few quirks that make the pages a little different in some instances, but on the whole you’ll be able to give it a uniform experience.
  • Shrink Down the Size of Your Site: Modern websites can easily become bloated blobs of code, but with W3C validation you’ll be able to cut down the size of your code and keep it fast loading for people even on slow connections! You might think everyone has high speed internet now, but even mobile phones can be a little slow.
  • Reach a Wider Audience: When people can access your site across a wide variety of browsers and platforms, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience. If people can’t get your site to load, they’re not going to come back again and see if it works that time. When it loads, it works; when it works they’ll look to you as a resource!

What W3C Validation Means for You

When you are having your website redesigned or designed for the first time, the designer should check to see if your code is valid. It’s one of the easiest signs for you to know that you are in good hands with a professional designer. They’ll also check their own code for bloat and lag with the validator, so you’ll know you’re getting clean clear code in your new site and it’ll be small enough to load on even the junkiest mobile phone! With W3C validation you’ll be able to sidestep the most esoteric code errors before they end up on your website, and you’ll be able to put a professional face forward.

How SEO Affects Website Design

Have you ever heard the saying “Design follows copy”? If not, you need to! What content is on your site will dictate design, and you should never have the design of your website done before you have copy! But one of the most important parts of content is SEO, and if your design isn’t good for SEO it’s not going to help you make money online. But, hey, who cares about SEO? Here’s why you should:

There are two sites online that are selling personal security products like hidden cameras. One retailer has opted for a CMS called OpenCart but never bothered to implement even basic SEO on his website design; the second retailer is using WordPress with an SEO suite that makes sure all of his pages are tagged correctly, that his keyword appears 3-4% of the time on every page, and that high PR websites get pinged from time to time. The first retailer fails and never gets customers to his site because no one knows he’s even there. The second retailer who paid attention to SEO and worked hard to get in the good graces of the search engines like Google and Bing is highly successful.

When you pay attention to SEO, you’ll be able to be successful online. But how do you know what you’re doing is right, and what is SEO anyway?

What is SEO?

SEO is a set of different methods that get you link love from Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines! When you play by their rules, you’ll start showing up for your keywords and get much more traffic than if you just handed out business cards and hoped that people just come to your site on their own.

What do SEO and Design Have to do with Each Other?

Web Design and SEO seem like their worlds apart,  but they’re not! Design is the visual representation of your site, but design alone can’t drive sales and signups. SEO pushes people to your website, but if your site looks cheap no one is going to buy anything. These two things work together in tandem so you’ll be able to get the results you need to be successful online. You can’t be successful with a pretty site and no SEO, and you won’t be able to drive sales with great SEO and an ugly site. You’ll want to make sure both of these are taken care of before you launch your website.

What is Good Design?

Now that you know what good SEO is, you need to know what good design is:

  • Appealing to your audience
  • Good navigation and clean coding (loads quickly and people can find their way around)
  • SEO optimised content
  • Images that are tagged and relevant to the website
  • Prominent logo and contact information

Your design should put your potential buyers at ease. With great web design, great SEO and all the information they need about your product at their fingertips, they have no excuse not to buy!

WordPress: Blogging Made Easy

Blogging is a fact of life if you want your business to be successful online, but getting started blogging can be just plain hard. When you use WordPress all the hard stuff is taken care of for you, and all you have to do is come up with stuff to write about! If you’re tired of struggling with complicated website software, hiring programmers and designers to constantly update your design and site, you need a WordPress website design. The best thing about WordPress is that it’s FREE; you won’t have to spend a dime on upgrades (but once in awhile you may have to update your design to work with new features).

What is WordPress?

If you’ve never used WordPress before, you are missing out! This CMS (content management system) allows you to publish your content fast and easy, and it has all the SEO tools you could ever need to leapfrog ahead of your competition. It’s built around the idea of “push button publishing”, meaning you shouldn’t have to do anything more than press a button to edit or publish your content. So if you’re tired of trying to get a blog that works, you need WordPress!

What You Need for WordPress

You’ll need a few things for a WordPress blog before you start setting it up. You’ll need hosting and a domain, and you can get these through HostGator, 1and1 and a whole host of other different web hosts. You can check around and find coupons (especially for GoDaddy and HostGator in particular) to bump down the price of your hosting and domain. Whatever host you go with, make sure it comes with databases and supports PHP5 (PHP 4 at the least).

Getting Started with WordPress

After you have a good host and a domain name, you’ll want to install WordPress. You can get the latest version of WordPress here, and you’ll save the zip to your computer. You’ll extract the zip and place the folder on your server with FTP (if you don’t know how to do this, check out the install guide for WordPress here) and you can start installing it. Make sure you read the install guide; it’s not that hard to get it up and running.

Once WordPress is installed, you’re going to want to make your first post! You’ll want to click on the “Posts” tab in the admin panel, and then you can fill out the title box (this is where the title of your post goes) and then you fill out the content box. When you’re done, you hit publish and you’re ready to go! If you ever want to edit or delete a post it’s just as easy as making one, all you have to do is pick the option and go.

Using WordPress to start blogging is the best way to get your website out there. While there are a lot of other CMSs, none do the job that WordPress does. Check it out today and see what it can do for you!