BlogThe latest going's on at STW Design
Having a website is not a one-off thing you’ll need to ensure that it’s updated and optimised continuously. Web development and optimisation goes hand in hand together as they both affect each other. For instance, your speed site can affect your SEO and so does your website’s content. Below are some tips on how to improve your overall site for better optimisation.
This year, Google announced that any website that is not using HTTPS would be classed as unsecured. So it’s vital to switch to HTTPS to ensure your website is secure. Other extra benefits come with enabling your HTTPS, and this includes faster loading speed which is essential for user experience and SEO.
Remove unnecessary plugins
Using too many plugins on your site can cause many issues including lower rate and slower loading times. Make sure that your website is only using the essential plugins and it’s critical to remove any unnecessary plugins.
If your website speed is still slow, compressing your image file will help your site load quicker. Image compression will cut the file size of the image, and as soon as the files are reduced, your site should load faster than before.
Minify the files
If your files are too big, it would be ideal to use a minification technique on your coding files. The minify technique will ensure your codes are clean and easy to read. Any unnecessary characters are removed to help free up some space.
Prefetching can help increase the loading times between navigating from pages to pages. By enabling this option, your site will fetch any necessary information and links before they are used. Therefore the loading times for navigating around the pages are much faster as the important data are already being collected before they are even shown.
Taking the essence of your business and condensing it onto a series of web pages can be a complicated process. For that reason, when designing your website, the agency adheres to a fairly logical design process, in order to deliver their services as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Creating the perfect web design for your business will take time and money to get it just right. But once you have a company branding and a fresh new look, you will hopefully notice more potential clients and customers staying on your page. However, it will take some extensive planning to get it exactly how you want it and working well. This is a job that usually needs professionals.
Most professional companies will fill out a ‘Creative Brief’, the main master plan which sets out parameters for how your webpage should look and what it needs to contain and do. You can either meet up to do this or if you feel confident, they can send you a creative brief document to fill out yourself.
They will have many questions for you at this point such as:
– What services and products do you offer?
– How are these different from other similar products and services on the market?
– Do you have a logo (and if not do you need one)?
– Do you have any colour preferences for your site?
– What theme and general styling would be appropriate?
– Do you already have an existing media (photos/images/other designs)?
…and quite a lot more.Once you have the Creative Brief, a designer will use that to produce a fixed price quote for the design and construction of your website.
It’s time to get together any materials that might be useful in the design and creation of your site. If you have a company/organisation logo, then this will usually feature prominently in the design of your site, and may inform theme and colour usage. If you don’t have a logo but have specified that you need on in the Creative Brief, then you produce this first, before commencing the creative design of your webpage.
– If you are a member of any industry associations or accreditation schemes, then purpose-made logos can usually be found and are useful for establishing credibility on your new site.
– Do you have any existing photographs of your product or service? If not, and you’ve decided that your new webpage should feature high-quality photographs, then consider using a professional service.
– Perhaps your business is already fairly established and you have a range of marketing materials, brochures, flyers or business cards – in other words, you have some visual branding in place, and you have decided that your website should continue the theme. If so, the designers will ask you for examples and preferably original computer files.
– The agency will start to make revisions to your chosen web design concept, to bring it to perfection, based on your feedback. There may be several revisions in order to perfect your site to your taste.
– Once you are delighted with your revised web design concept, the designer will convert it into a functional web layout that can be used and viewed quickly on the web. Your web layout will be made using the latest HTML / CSS techniques for standards-compliance. This is a complicated, work-intensive process, but once complete, you will have the foundation for your webpage.
– The web layout will be duplicated and populated with content – images, text, movies. Any specific modifications required for each page will be made along the way.
– Online stores, contact forms, database front ends, online applications or any other specialised content will be prepared and integrated into your website at this point.
– The second refinement and revision cycle will be site-wide and will cover everything. You’ll be able to view your developing webpage online and note any changes you need to be making. That could be changed to text, links, site structure, image placement or functionality of any interactive content.
– Your webpage is spell checked, technical page details are checked, it is checked for strict HTML and CSS compliance. Test pages and unused files are removed, web space is created (if you don’t already have your own), and the site is uploaded to the web – you’re ready to go!
To generate popularity for your website, gain visitor’s trust, and most importantly, keep them there for longer than 4 seconds, you’re going to have to catch their eye with attractive, professional design that stands out and is easy to use. Good designers concentrate on creating clear, eye-catching, professional designs, that are easy to read and navigate, and compliant with modern web standards. That last bit – ‘web standards’ – is important, and ignored by many: this is what ensures your site can be viewed by everyone, no matter what computer and software they have, for years to come. If you need a professional company to take over your website design, it’s always important to find the very best, but within a reasonable budget.
If your website will feature photographs of your product or service, then high-quality images are vital. This might be a physical product such as furniture, or jewellery, or the interior of a property. The photos should be in-focus, well-composed, with good colour balance, contrast and lighting.
If you don’t have your own photographs already, there are many professional companies available who specialise in this sort of photography. For interior shots, you can create 360° ‘virtual reality’ panoramas using a specialised rotating tripod head.
Start accepting online payments with your new website, streamline your business operation, and draw in new sales. Only a few short years ago the emerging world of online shopping, or ‘e-commerce’, was regarded by many shoppers as a shady area, something you wouldn’t want to get too close to with your credit card details. Nowadays, that perception has completely changed, and online purchasing is seen as a legitimate, secure and increasingly established way of doing business. In fact, for many businesses, even those offering traditional services, online sales and bookings become the way of generating customer bookings or product sales after developing a website.
It’s essential to have a good e-commerce design that has been created by professionals. It should be easy to navigate, show products and services being sold clearly and are easy to search for. It should also include key features such as a shopping cart. The page should have all the relevant information such as “About Us” and terms about deliveries and returns. All of these aspects, as well as needing to be visually appealing will help consumers ease of use and satisfaction.
A custom-built shopping cart can be created for your site, to match the products you wish to sell. There are several approaches to take, depending on the complexity of your online store, the degree of integration you want with your site and whether or not you are prepared to sign up for internet credit card facilities with a payment processor. There are many solutions available. The top ones recommended are PayPal and Worldpay.
You may want to do something more complex with your website, like an online test of some kind, a customer survey, or a log-in system. In that case, that’s where ‘online applications’ come into play.
Designers can also add an online application as part of your existing website, or factor it in, as part of the development of a new one. All application development work is done to an agreed quote. If you need to build a brand new website or already have one which needs updating and developing, professional web design companies are happy to help and make any changes you might need.
Responsive Web Design
One thing to consider with the rise of mobile and tablet technology is whether your website performs well on a range of devices. Google has introduced ranking metrics for sites that don’t work or have bad User Experience on mobile devices. With this in mind, it is worth investing in a responsive website for mobile and tablets.
Lastly, you should take the decision about web hosting service. This might be a bit tricky as there is plenty of web hosting companies. However we recommend to use common sense, it doesn’t has to be VPS if you are not planning to drive a lot of traffic, but choosing an unlimited web hosting option would be a good idea.
Small businesses often have the idea that they are too small to need a website. Many of the local businesses don’t have websites because that is what they think or because they don’t have the time or funds to create one. No matter the size, your business needs a website. There are many different options to choose from and the simple and straightforward ones are not that expensive. You can even create one yourself if you don’t have another option. This is why your business needs a website:
1. You can sell further than local
With online businesses and advertising being the way to go today, many local businesses have lost customers. It is easier for people to just go online and find what they want. For this reason, it is very important to have an online presence so you can still reach your audience. It also helps you to do business with people further afield. What you lose locally, you can make up with customers from elsewhere.
2. You can show off and sell instantly
We live in a time where people want to know what they are buying and they also want it immediately. Your website is the ideal place to show your products or services through pictures, slideshows, portfolios, or similar tools. If you can make your products or services available to buy online, you will do even better as people want it now.
3. You can communicate with new and existing customers
A website is not just for advertising your business. It is also a great way to stay in touch with your customers and communicate through emails, newsletters, etc. You can also offer special deals and vouchers on your website which will keep them coming back and staying loyal.
4. You can get feedback from your customers
Feedback is very important to stay on top of what your customers want and need. It is also a good way to learn about and understand areas where you can improve, adjust, or expand. Customer feedback can help you improve your business and how you operate.
These four things will make a major difference in your business and your results.
Having a website for your business is essential if you want to be successful in today’s environment. If you need a new website or would like to update or overhaul your existing website, it is good to hire a web design company. Before you hire them, however, you need to consider a few things.
What do need for your website?
To answer this question, you need to know what you want your website to say and what you want to accomplish. You need to know how much money you can put into this design. You also need to make a list of features, needs, and requirements that the website must have. This will give you and the developers a clear idea of what is needed and what is possible within your budget.
What is your timeframe like?
Building a website is not something that happens overnight, especially not if you want a large site with all the bells and whistles. You need to have a timeframe in which it must be finished. You also need to consider whether you will be doing of any of the work yourself and how much of your time that will take.
What is the company’s process?
Before you hire a company, find out about their process of web design. A company who has a clear process and is able to give a reasonable timeline and when certain parts of the process will be delivered is the best type. If you approach a company and they cannot give you a clear process, steer clear.
What do they offer?
Many businesses are looking to redesign their websites to have better SEO so they can receive better results. This means that you would need a company that specialises in SEO, content management systems, and other related processes and features. Make sure that the company you hire offers the services that you need.
Obviously, you need to also consider the cost of the whole process. Get quotes from different companies and then make your choice. Choose the company that offers everything or at least the most of what you want and need from your website.
Tablets, smartphones, gaming devices, and other mobile devices have made it a necessity to have a website that is mobile-friendly. Statistics are showing that more people are accessing web content through mobile devices than through computers or laptops. This means that your website may be looked over or may lead to a poor experience if it does not work on mobile devices. If you want your website to perform well on search engines and also be user-friendly, you need to make it mobile-friendly. Here are some benefits of having a mobile-friendly website:
Improved user experience – People are sending each other links on instant messages and social media everyday. Most of it happens on mobile devices. If your website is not mobile-friendly, it will appear as a mess of unorganised buttons and words. Users will not visit the website again and they will walk away with a bad impression of your business. If your site loads fast on mobile and is intact and easy to use, you will reach more people and convert a lot of visitors to sales.
Faster load speed – A website that is mobile-friendly will load faster than one that isn’t. Time is of the essence when it comes website visitors as they want it fast and they want it easy. A faster loading speed means that your site visitors won’t have to wait for the site to load and won’t get frustrated because it doesn’t load at all.
Better Google results – What Google says, we do. If you want a successful website that draws customers and makes your business a success, you need to do what Google says. Being mobile-friendly is part of what Google’s latest algorithm looks for when it ranks websites. To improve your chances for higher rankings on search engines, you need to have a mobile-friendly website.
The bottom line is that you need to be mobile-friendly to have the best success with your website. People want fast, mobile, and efficient. If their first experience is unpleasant, they are unlikely to return.