WordPress Web Design for Small Business

If your small business website is using WordPress to spread the good news about your products and services, great! You’re halfway towards finally being successful online; but one of the mistakes many small businesspersons make is using a generic template to power their website. You just can’t use a cookie cutter WordPress theme if you want to leapfrog ahead of your competition, and you’re going to have to have a design that’s as unique and interesting as your business! Here we’re going to talk about what you need to look for when choosing a WordPress designer, and how you can really set yourself apart!

You Can do it Yourself with WordPress

You can do your own design with WordPress, but you’re going to need a lot of time to dedicate to learning it; the learning curve can be really steep, but you can do it! The first place to check out how to design your own small business WordPress site is the WordPress codex (learning depot). Here you’ll be able to learn all about themes (child and parent), how WordPress works and you can even learn a little PHP along the way. You don’t have to leave it all in the hands of a designer when you can do it yourself. Even if you end up hiring a web designer, you should learn a bit about it so you don’t have to sweat the small stuff and fix small problems that can cost you big money on your own.

Premium Themes

If you’re going to use a premade them, you’re going to want to choose a premium theme. These cost money, but there are price ranges that can go anywhere from $15-$200 (most won’t go this high, but it depends on what you’re going to be using your theme for). If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering “Why should I pay for themes when I can get them for free?” Free themes can be GREAT, but you have to keep in mind that there are tons of other people out there who have the same exact theme. When you’re running a business, you have to keep in mind that you need to stand out from your competition and have a design that reflects you as a company.

WordPress Saves You Money

WordPress saves you money, plain and simple. You shouldn’t have to worry about spending thousands of dollars to get a great small business site, but you should make sure it’s up to the quality and standards of your business. When you choose WordPress, you’re going to be able to get a fantastic website custom built just for you, but in half the time and without having to spend that “from scratch” price tag.

With WordPress you get all the perks your small business site needs to survive and thrive, but you can do it on a small business budget and really get a design that suits you as a company!

Everything You Need to Know about Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is one of the biggest buzzwords online… but what exactly is it? Web 2.0 web design is all about making the internet more interactive; if you used the internet 10 years ago you know it was all about reading content other people created and sifting through information. With the social web, we can interact, meet, discuss and more, all from the comfort of whatever web device you want to use. It’s all about choices, but when you’re a business owner your choices can get a little crazy! Here we’re going to go over everything you need to know about web 2.0 and how you can get the benefits of the social web and reap profits from places you didn’t even know existed! 

Why is Web 2.0 Important?

Like mentioned earlier, you have to realise that before web 2.0 came along the internet was like a book everyone could write in. With the rise of social media, we are all able to take part in the internet, no matter what our level of tech savvy is! It democratised the internet in ways that were never imagined before. If you want your website to shoot to the top of the search engines, you’re going to have to give your website a web 2.0 makeover. But what makes a site web 2.0, and what makes it a step in the wrong direction?

What Web 2.0 Design Is

Web 2.0 design is all about being social. You’ll want to have a website that gives the users a chance to interact with you. Widgets that allow people to share your content on Facebook and Reddit, Google+ buttons that help Google look at you that much more favorably; all these things help you have a great handle on the sharing aspect of web 2.0.

Web 2.0 web design doesn’t stop there though! You’re going to also want to look at multimedia experiences; if you have a blog, start incorporating video blogs so people can have a whole other level of dimensionality with their user experience. You want to create more and more layers to the user experience so you can get your readers and visitors really involved with your products and services.

People want to participate, so make sure you sign up and plug your website into social media. Have a Facebook fan page where people can sound off on your products and services, and have twitter accounts so you can share news about your products with the people who actually want to buy your products and services!

Going Web 2.0

If you want to go web 2.0 with your site, you’re going to want a dynamic solution like WordPress to make sure you’re taking full advantage of all the social web options that can help you get a jump start on your competition! We all know that business can be slow to change, and if you can beat them to the punch you’ll have the loyal user base to get ahead!

Turbo Charge Your Websites SEO for 2012

Every year brings new challenges in the SEO game, and 2012 is no different. Instead of losing ground, what if you had a cheat sheet of everything you needed to watch out for the upcoming year? Here we’re going to go over the top four ways to supercharge your website’s SEO efforts and stay ahead of the next Panda Update! A lot of the tips are common sense stuff none of us just never think about, but you’re going to find a surprise in here too. Keep reading and learn more!

Step Up Your Content

The next phase of Google’s Panda is focusing more on relevance than keyword densities. You’ll want to stop being a slave to the three percent rule and working towards making sure your site has interesting content that you yourself would want to actually read. The more relevant the content, the better you’re going to rank in the search engines. While you’ll still want to focus on keywords, make sure you mix it up in each article (and if you have a lot of articles, find a lot of keywords!)

Watch the Trends

Watching what trends are coming onto the scene will help you be more successful. You may not want to spend the time to keep track of things, but it beats shelling out thousands of dollars every month to an SEO company who knows what you’re doing better than you do!

Be Compatible

If you want to get more eyeballs on the page, you’re going to have to make sure your site is utilising HTML5 so you can get on as many different devices and browsers as possible. You’ll also want to make sure that you code is clean and small as possible, so the pages load as fast as they can. While everyone has broadband, some people are on mobile phones and the longer it takes for things to load is time that they can just go find another site that loads up on time.

Know Your Friends

Where you’re linking in and out of are going to reflect back on you more than ever, so you need to pay more attention to where your links are going to and where they’re coming in from. If most of your inbound links are coming from content farms like Ezinearticles (it’s okay if some, just not all) you may be in trouble. You’ll also want to make sure you’re not linking to low quality sites or their bad reputation can rub off on you.

Know Your Enemies

You need to pay more attention to what your competition is doing, and you’ll want to copy their better tactics. It’s not exactly cheating to do keyword research off your competitors’ sites, and you’ll also want to pay attention to what kind of content they’re putting out there too.

Now you know everything you need to turbocharge your site for 2012! Focus on evergreen content, work towards having better links, and be compatible with more browsers and devices.

Everything You Need to Know about Web Design and SEO Services

When you’re ready to bring your website to the next level, you’re ready to learn more about SEO services and web designing services. Having a website online is just part of the success puzzle, you’ll need to make sure you have a great design and SEO services to promote your site in the search engines where your customers are already looking for you! Why advertise when people are already looking for you, and all you have to do is let them know that you’re there?  Here we’re going to go over everything YOU need to know to be successful online, so let’s get started!

Web Designing Services

There are as many companies online offering web designing services as there are websites! You’ll be able to find great deals, but you’ll want to make sure that the person working on your custom website design knows what they’re doing; see if they have examples and references to show you who they’ve worked for, as well as some helpful information for you (like we do!) to better understand the design process.

A good grasp of user interface design (making the flow of information easier for people to use, for example the navigation menus) and colour theory will go a long way towards making your web design a great one! Each niche and industry will have certain colours that will make it resonate with your target audience, and negative colours that will turn them off as soon as they get to the site.

SEO Services

SEO and web design are very different; a web design is how your site looks, and SEO is how people find your site. If you write a lot of articles about shoes for example on your website, Google will think you’re a shoe site. If you target these keywords in a certain way along with different ones related to the topic, these are known as LSI keywords. LSI keywords help the search engines like Google know that a human wrote this content and that it’s actually a site worth seeing.

There are many kinds of SEO services online, and each business’ needs will be different. You may already rank for one keyword but want to start pulling people in with other search keywords, or maybe you just need good content for your site. You’ll want to talk to the company before you hire them and see if they have examples of keywords that they brought to the front page of Google, and if they have any former clients that you can talk to.

Professional Services Help Your Site

Professional services help your website get seen; if you have great SEO people will be able to find your site much faster and trust you more, and when you have a good graphic design you’ll be able to show people you’re serious about your online business. When you’re ready to make the jump to a professional website, invest in SEO services and a great web design to set you apart from your competitors!

The Past and Future of Website Design and SEO

Looking back at how SEO and Website Design worked in the past, it’s insane how hard it is now to get your website seen. If you want to know where SEO is going in the future, you’re going to have to understand how it started. Here we’re going to go over what’s changed, what will change and how you can stay ahead of the curve and avoid some of the rougher spots with all of the SEO and design problems the rest of us have had to deal with! Let’s get started.

In the Beginning it was Easy!

In the beginning of the internet, it was easy, but it was also filled with adult website links. You could look for anything innocuous and sweet, like children’s clothes for example, and you would somehow still come up with something in the adult industry. You could stuff your site full of keywords and game the algorithm of the search engines of the day. While it was easier back then to get ranked, the design was flawed; I think we would all take the internet of today over Geocities any day!

Design was another problem altogether on the past internet, even up until web 2.0 began to emerge back in 2006-2007. People had to stumble around tables and try and figure out how to place information where their visitors would actually be able to see them. There weren’t that many different types of browsers, but the ones we had were hit and miss.

And Now… It’s Hard

SEO for the current iteration of the internet is hard, but design isn’t nearly as hard as it once was. We have WordPress with drag and drop theme design, we have tons of theme repositories if we don’t care about having a cookie cutter theme, and we have the W3C organisation that holds sway over design standards. The internet is a prettier and friendlier place, graphically speaking, and we have the first internet to thank for it.

SEO is a bit more of a bear when you think about it. You can’t just load up your website with invisible keyword pages at the bottom, and you can’t use redirecting tricks like they used to. But you do have a much larger audience to draw from, and all the perks that the social web can give you! Sharing your website with the masses is easier today than it ever was before, and if you want to get the word out you have so many tools at your disposal today that you wouldn’t have had previously.

While search engine optimization might be hard, virtually anyone can make a website, buy a domain and have everything up in a matter of hours. Who knows what it’s going to be like in a matter of five years from now, but if this big leap forward is any indication the next jump in the web is going to be fantastic, but only time will tell!

Get the Website and Logo Design You Deserve

Is your logo looking a little… meh? Are you starting up your business and want a snazzy design that people associate with your company? Getting the right logo design for your company can be a real pain, but when you know what to look for you’ll be able to get everything you’re looking for in the same design! Even if you don’t know what you want for your logo design, the right logo design company will be able to help you get a logo that’s both attractive and functional; all you have to do is pick which one you like!

Why a Logo Design Company?

When we think of logo designers, we usually think of freelancers who just work by themselves. When you work with a logo design company, you’ll be able to get multiple perspectives, multiple ideas and a much better end result than you would with just one perspective from one designer. With the right corporate logo design you’ll be able to really reach out to the audience that you want to serve, and you’ll be able to get it done faster than if you had gone with a smaller design team of one.

Don’t Just Design a Logo

When you have your logo, you’re only half way done! You are still going to need a website design that will dazzle your customers too! A good web design will shoe people you’ve put effort into your website, and that you’re serious about giving them a great experience. Setting up a website on a CMS (content management system) like WordPress is the best way to make sure your design is beautiful and functional, and you’ll be able to work on your website without having to hire costly programmers.

Make it Sparkle

When you want to attract a whole other level of customers, you’re going to need to project that image of success. I don’t have to tell you how important image is, and image really matters when it comes to your website. You want to have it modern, clean and professional, you want to make sure it loads up correctly and most of all you want to make sure that it is SEO ready so you can play friendly with the search engines. With the right website design all of this stuff will be handled for you, and all you’ll have to worry about is doing is creating content and working on getting the search engines to notice you.

It’s the 21st century and you can’t avoid doing business the old way. You need a great logo that will attract and tell your customers what you’re about, and you’re going to need to make sure that it’s professional. A great website design will show your potential customers that you’re serious about doing business online. With the right design and design company, the sky is the limit! Why keep doing business the old way when you can really start succeeding online?

Four Elements of a Quality Website Design

When you’ve made the leap to a professional custom web design, you want to make sure it’s good! But unless you’ve been designing sites for a while, it may be hard to know what’s great and what’s fluff; here we’re going to go over everything you need to know to have a quality web design, and things to look out for that might be missing from your own design! Let’s get started.

Does Your Website Use a CMS?

A CMS, or content management system, helps site owners have a better grip on their websites without having to worry about understanding a lot of programming or code. WordPress is by FAR the best CMS out there, so if your website design is based on WordPress you’re in good hands. There are other CMSs based mainly around ecommerce and forum use like Drupal and Joomla, but there are so many we can’t mention them all here. You’ll want to make sure your designer is working with a popular CMS so if you ever need updates you will be able to find someone who can fix it.

Does Your Design Observe Best Design Practices?

Are the colours being used for your design associated with your niche or industry? Is the site easy on the eyes and welcoming? These kinds of things must be considered when you’re getting your custom web design created. A good designer will understand the flow of information and how to best represent it visually on the page.

Does Each Piece of Information Have a Home?

Might sounds strange, but each part of the site should have its own place on the site. The header and the navigation should be easily recognisable and not just one jumbled mess. Each part of the site from the sidebar, main text, footers and headers should be easy to find and have a clear path. This doesn’t mean you have to use big white or black lines to break them up, but you should make sure they make sense. You will also want to make sure each page like about us, contact us, etc. have their own pages and are easy to find in the navbar. Look at your favorite sites for inspiration.

Is the Code Compliant and Fast?

When most of us think of graphic design, we don’t even think of the code behind it. Great code that’s optimized for the web will increase download times; think of all the people who are using mobile phones to access your website, you want to make sure that they can access your site just as easily as anyone else!

Quality website design is all about speed, ease of use (for both you and visitors) and utilizing best design practices. Good designers will be able to help you make sure you hit your target, and they’ll be able to take your dreams for a winning website and turn it into a reality!

The Differences Between SEO and Web Design

When you’re working on your website, you’ll hear a lot of terms bandied about. A lot of companies say they’re experts in both web design and SEO, but these two things are just not the same thing! You’ll want to make sure they’re knowledgeable before they touch your site, and you’ll want to know a little more so you can make sure you get the most out of your website now and in the future. When you want your website to be SEO friendly, and you want people to like the way your site looks, it’s important to know what all these terms mean. Let’s get started!

A Friendly Web Design

When you look at a site and like the way it’s laid out, how easy it is to navigate, and of course you want to come back again, it’s a well designed site! Web design is the art and science of making websites look beautiful and work the way they’re intended to. A good web designer will know all about colour theory, how to use colours and create a great design to make sure customers “stick”, or keep browsing your site. The longer you can make a customer stick, the better your chances are for getting them to do what you want (buying a product, signing up for your newsletter, etc.). This is VERY different from SEO-friendly, keep reading for a better explanation of that.

Being SEO Friendly

An SEO friendly site is one that helps the search engines find you, index you, and of course helps propel you to the top of the SERPS, or search engine ranking position (like having your website come up on the first page for a popular search term). The higher you are in the SERPs, the better your website will do online. There are on page SEO methods you’ll have to do like properly using header tags and targeting specific keywords on your website to make sure your audience can find you when they need you.  

You Need Both for a Successful Website

When you want your website to be successful, you’ll need to be both search engine friendly, or SEO friendly as well as have a friendly web design too! It doesn’t matter if you’re running an ecommerce site or a portal for dog owners, being able to be found and keep your core audience on your page is the big recipe for success on the internet.

Many companies will tell you that they can create a beautiful website AND get your website SEO friendly, but they don’t have the proof to back it up. Ask for references and examples of sites they built, ask for keyword reports of people they helped launch into SEO prominence. Any good SEO and design company (like us!) will be able to provide this information and help you get your website on to road to winning online. Click here to see what we offer today, and start making money online with your website!

Why You Need a Custom Website Design for Your Small Business

There are so many small businesses on the internet, and one of the easiest ways to set yourself apart is a custom web design. But are custom web designs for small businesses expensive, and are they right for your business? Here we’re going to go over everything you need to know to make sure you’re getting a great custom web design, and exactly how it can help build your business brand. Keep reading!

Why Custom Web Designs?

When most of us start up a site we’ll look for a generic free template; this can do the trick for a little while, and hey it saves money! The sad thing is if it’s free and it’s online, you’re probably not the first person to have got the design. There will be thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of other small businesses with the same exact site, and when people come to look at your website it’s going to just get lost in the memory hole.

When you invest money into a custom web design for your small business, you’ll be able to stand apart from the others and show your customers that you’re serious about your business. Think about when you’re browsing on the internet, when you see a generic looking website you’re not going to listen to what they have to say are you? Neither will your customers. When you think like a consumer you’ll be able to finally answer the age of question of how to give people what they want.

How to Choose the Right Custom Design for Your Small Business Site

Once you’ve decided to get a custom web design for your small business site, you need to know what makes a design good or bad. Many journeys on the road to success have been quashed by a businessman who wants to completely design the site themselves; don’t hyperfocus on one or two issues that can be easily corrected, and bring some examples of sites you like and those that have elements that you believe could bring your site to the next level.

A great designer will be able to work with you and help you achieve your goal of a great custom website design; before you hire anyone make sure you get references to see how previous clients have felt about their work. It’s best to know who you’re working with before you sign contracts or make any agreements; never feel bad about asking a designer for references!

WordPress For Small Business Sites

When you’re building your new small business site, you’ll want to build it on a CMS (content management system) like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. These give you total control of your site after the designer has worked on it, and you’ll be able to get everything you need from the site too! Have a blog, an attractive landing page, and of course that jump quality that will attract new customers.

If you’d like to learn more about what a custom design for your small business site can do for you, click here.

Understanding Branding for Your Business

Everyone’s talking about branding, but what the heck is it and how can you use it to your advantage? There are many books out there who promise to teach you how to leverage brands, but do you really need them? You don’t actually have to do a lot to get your brand up and running, and you don’t have to spend a fortune either. What you will have to do is hire someone who KNOWS the ways of branding your kind of business backwards and forwards to really get the results you need. Here we’re going to talk about what branding is and what branding isn’t, why logos aren’t brands, how much money you’ll need to launch your brand, and how you can spread the word out there to get people talking. If you want to know everything about branding, keep reading!

What is Branding?

Your name isn’t your brand; your brand is the graphical and emotional representation of your company. Everything that your company is about that people think of is your brand! Think of Google and what they stand for, what do you think about Google? Everything that comes to mind is their brand, even down to the logo. The logo is part of the brand, but the brand isn’t a logo…

Why isn’t Your Logo a Brand?

Your logo is like the front running part of your brand, the visual representation but it doesn’t encompass everything about your brand. When people look at your company and everything it does, they’ll think of the logo first and then they’ll think of everything else. Don’t neglect the other components of your brand like public relations, product quality and more. A graphic designer can help you create your brand, but your customers will eventually define it as they see how your company is.

Does Branding take a lot of Money?

Branding actually isn’t that expensive; depending on who is helping you craft your brand, you’ll be able to get a good brand on a good budget. You can get help coming up with good ideas that will stick in people’s mind so they’ll know what kinds of services and products that you offer. A talented graphic designer will help you come up with these ideas and visualizing them so people will understand what you’re about. This is the most important part of branding and you need to pay close attention to it.

How to Use Your Brand

Brands aren’t built overnight, it will take time and effort to craft the brand that you want to put forward to the world. It will all start with an idea, and then you keep building on it day and night until it’s as sparkly as you need it to be to survive! Good brands will bring you new customers, better business, and the success you have always wanted! Be consistent, and you’ll really be able to get where you want to be!