February 16, 2016

6 Requirements for Building a Cost-Effective Website

1. Responsive scaling – Your site must be programmed so it scales to be easily viewed on any internet access device – from desktop computers to smartphones. https://socalwebworx.sanclementedev.com/wordpress/category/responsive-websites/
2. On-Site Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Every page needs to be optimized both on the page and in the source code. Consider the Page Title, Keywords, Description, H1 & H2 Headers, sufficient iterations of Keywords, Links within the site will draw the viewer and search engines in deeper to your content and Keyword Rich Content.  https://www.socalwebworx.com/
3. A ‘back-end’ user friendly administrative interface for easy text and image revisions in-house.
4. ‘Sticky Features’ (such as newsletter sign-ups and discounts) will encourage visitors to interact with your website, stay on the site longer and view more pages – all increasing the odds of a follow through on your call to action.  https://socalwebworx.com/wordpress/website-design-planning-make-it-sticky/
5. Designed and developed for a user friendly experience. One example is the choice of text & background colors. As an example: black text on a light background is easier on the eyes than white lettering on a black background. User-friendly websites have easy to find and use navigation and should include a sitemap.
6. Go with professionals, including a custom website designer to reinforce your unique services/products; professional photographs – look your best!;  a professional marketing copywriter for benefits oriented wording that effectively sells your company; programmers who can execute your site feature requirements.  https://socalwebworx.com/wordpress/what-is-product-photography/

Follow these guidelines and you will be on your way to a productive website that is easily found on the internet.

February 15, 2016

Keeping Your Website Up-To Date

We find that these issues are the most frequently discussed in the current website design and development community:

1. Custom versus Template based websites.  In a recent post I’ve gone into detail on the pros and cons on both sides of this important issue. You can read the post in full here: http://socalwebworx.sanclementedev.com/wordpress/template-websites-vs-custom-websites/
2. Mobile-Friendly websites. Also known as ‘responsive’ websites, these get the highest ranking from Google on smart phone searches.  Read the two relevant posts here:  http://socalwebworx.sanclementedev.com/wordpress/mobile-first-web-design-did-you-know/  and   http://socalwebworx.sanclementedev.com/wordpress/category/mobile-friendly-website/
3. Keeping your website platform and plugins current. Monthly maintenance for your website may be overkill, but to overlook implementing timely updates can result in a host of problems including the eventual breakdown of some functionality on your website.
4. The appearance of your website can be crucial to keeping new visitors on your website and leading them to take the action you desire. The appearance of your website should be consistent with your overall branding and needs to look current and fresh. Dated designs and color selections, among other things will lead to fewer conversions to visitor action.  More here:  http://socalwebworx.sanclementedev.com/wordpress/websites-as-part-of-larger-marketing-efforts/
5. Updating website functionality. Visitors expect to have a positive and easy experience on your website. They also expect you to have current features and functionality such as an easy to view product samples and galleries.
6. Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This has been a high-ranking issue of discussion for years with no sign of letup. As Google changes its algorithm and shaking up ideas on SEO, it continues to move the field of website design and development into new arenas. Read more on these posts:  http://socalwebworx.sanclementedev.com/wordpress/category/smart-phone-websites/


February 11, 2016

Trending: Distinguish Your Website Design With Illustrations

Filed under: Branding,Custom Website,Website Illustrations — Tags: — Jeff Weissberg @ 10:04 am

Traditionally web designer’s turn to client provided and stock photo images. But a new trend is emerging in website design: hand-drawn art and illustrations.

Illustrations offer a uniqueness and human touch to your site design that can’t always be met with photos. Moving forward, a unique design will become increasingly important. Especially as we are now mired in a mass of similar looking copy-cat template based designs.

Website Illustrations
With drawings produced by a specific illustrator, you can convey your message in a more creative and distinctive manner. When you commission an illustration artist to bring your ideas to life, you’ll be assured of a standout website branded to reflect your unique message.  The illustrations can be carried forth into other marketing vehicles to brand your site for a very particular niche. And you will have one-of-a-kind images not found in any stock photo or stock image gallery, or most importantly not any competitors website.

Website Illustration
This is your chance to stand out from the crowd and be early to latch onto an emerging trend in website design.

Illistrations for unique website design
Photos courtesy of Spencer Hallam.


February 8, 2016

Template Websites vs Custom Websites

Filed under: Blog Articles,Custom Website,Template website — Jeff Weissberg @ 11:47 am

This is another in a series of posts on the subject of using website templates versus building a custom website.

Do you remember the phrase – you get what you pay for?  That pretty much sums it all up from our experience, but in case you’re not convinced, here are a few key points to consider.
• ‘Template based’ websites can be a fast and economical way to build-out and launch a website on the Internet.
• The positive benefits above will only be achieved if you are willing to follow exactly the template format.
• From a time-cost analysis perspective you need to consider the significant time it can take to choose a template (aka theme) from the large selections from many providers. Finding a website template that is exactly as you want the layout to be can be hard as the fields for verbiage and images are predetermined.
• Keep in mind that the template you choose has already been used by others and will continue to be licensed by many more into the future. Maybe 100’s or even 1,000’s of other companies will have the same exact website layout as you. Some could be competitors for website traffic and even in the same industry.
• In our experience, most website projects that begin with a template often increase in project scope up to a custom website. In the end, the user often wants layout changes that require re-coding sections or all of the website. The template  becomes more of a jump off point in the website design and layout process.
• Templates offer very specific functionality which is generally limited. ‘Plug-ins’ can be obtained to run a variety of functions (ie: scheduling calendars, e-commerce, etc.) Some plug-ins are free but many require payment(s).

Template websites can be fast and economical and we recommend these as a jump-off point for business startups. You may want to allow for some wiggle room in pricing for possible customization. Beyond this we recommend selecting the best design/development for your needs and proceed with a custom designed website. Custom designed websites offers many benefits which will be covered in a future post from this series.

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