What do you look for in a website design company?

There are about 1.5 billion websites out on the internet today. Even if only 200 million of these sites are actually active, that’s still hundreds of millions of websites vying for your attention. So, the question is, what makes a good website? And better yet, what do you look for in a web design company to get the best site possible?

THE LOOK

When you first see a website, the visual appeal is everything, especially at first glance. As we said before, there are millions upon millions of active websites fighting for your attention out on the interwebs and you need a website that stands out. So, when looking for a website design company, be sure you choose one that has created aesthetically pleasing designs. Choose one that knows who you are as a company and who you’d like to become.

The design of a website is critical to bring your website out of the early days of the internet and into modern times. In website design, this would be the area of expertise for a front-end developer. A website designer is (or has) a graphic designer and this designer has the creative abilities to create logos and other graphics to help convey to viewers exactly what your website is about and what you hope they do next. The front-end developer takes what the graphic designer has given them, plus their own technical and creative skills to implement a layout, colors, fonts/copy, graphics, and photos using unique codes to make your website come to life.

THE TECH SPECS

Your site can look amazing, but that doesn’t always guarantee people will see it. It is important to find a website design company that not only has the creative juices you are looking for, but also the brains to back it up. You need a company that is familiar with the use of keywords, meta tags, knows how to get on Google, and knows how to make your site mobile friendly.

THE MARKET

Once a website looks good, runs correctly, and can be found easily through search, the work of a website designer doesn’t have to end there. The best website design companies market your website, bringing in viewers that would not have seen your website otherwise. In today’s world, there are multiple routes when it comes to marketing and your website designer should know them all.

With the help of the way a website looks and its back-end help, the marketing should help the website complete its 360 job of bringing viewers in, having them stay, and then have them accomplish the website’s goal. This goal can be anything from making a purchase, to starting a service or even just acquiring knowledge.

THE MONEY

You know the age-old saying, ‘you get what you pay for’? Well, that phrase also comes into play when it comes to designing websites. Cheaper doesn’t always mean better, especially when you are looking for a long-term investment of your company in the form of your website. Web designers who seem too good to be true based on their prices, tend to be not so good.

Lower-priced web designers tend to be newbies, who aren’t confident in their skills or don’t have enough solid experiences with a full portfolio. Lower priced designers can cut corners when it comes to design, copy, marketing, or in the technical back end. If you truly believe in your business and want a website that shows just that, it’s better to turn to a website design company that has a robust resume.

But just because you want a company that knows what they are doing, doesn’t mean it should cost you a kidney and your first-born child. There is a happy medium between the two!

TO SUM IT UP

We know how to make your website look great from all aspects. Everything from what you see on the site, to what is going on behind the scenes, with the experience to back it up. What’s even better is that we are a company you can trust. As a top 3 searched web design and app development company and with a 4.9-star rating on the beloved Google, we have designed websites for over 250 happy clients. As much as we believe in a job well done, we believe in keeping things local. We do not outsource any work overseas, having all are working designed and developed in sunny Palm Beach County.

Why Navigation is an Important Aspect of your Website

A well-designed website has many factors ranging from design to copy to accessibility. When it comes to accessibility, one of the key things to remember is navigation. How well can a reader view your site? Are the navigational links easy to find, and as the word itself would suggest, navigate?

Types of navigation.

There are a few different types of navigation options you can have on your website. The most common ones are menus. These menus can be seen going on top of the page (usually underneath the header) or as a sidebar. Both of these menus can contain dropdowns, giving you additional category options. There are also footers, which contain links to the website’s main pages, as well as, privacy policies, contact information, and the like. Breadcrumbs are also popular sources of navigation as they can link you with relevant pages. Breadcrumbs are especially useful for retail type sites. And of course, with the immense popularity of searching the web on smartphones, hamburger menus are now the norm. You may recognize these menus as three horizontal lines on a mobile site’s webpage, this is basically just a menu that easier to visual on a smaller screen.

Organization is key.

 Your navigational tool needs to be conveniently located for visitors. You want it in a place that is easy to find and easy to refer back to. If something is too hard for a user to find, they may just give up on your site entirely and that is the last thing you want. Don’t go too crazy with how much you put in your home page navigation, too much can be overwhelming. Good navigation can improve SEO and can help get you placed higher on search engines.

Designing your navigation bar.

Keep the navbar coordinated, in a smooth flow and easy to read font and color. However, it is important that every page contains not only your navigation bar, but also a logo, even if it is the header itself, and make sure it links back to the homepage. If you have a large site, group relevant sections together in a drop-down menu, and sub drop-down menus. For example, Women’s Fashion > Bottoms > Denim. Just make sure those categories are clear and concise.

Let the analytics speak for themselves.

Once you put your site together, don’t let that be the end-all-say-all. Keep track of your analytics and notice the pages that get more attention than others. If you find one page on your navigation bar gets little to no traction, while a page not listed in plain sight gets more, it may be a good idea to switch the two. You can also reconsider renaming one of the links to a keyword that is more desirable to visitors.

And finally, test!

This one is simple. Test each link to see how long it takes you to reach your destination. If you are looking for a specific product or piece of information on a site, do a test to see how many clicks it takes you to get there. If it is more than three, you may want to find a faster way for the visitor to get there. Also, test your links for any possible errors. Nobody likes a broken link! Be sure to test ALL your links before going public, from every angle in which someone can access them.

In the end…

If your content is the heart of your website, then your navigation is the brain. You can’t make the heart work without the brain’s help and likewise with the navigation and your content. So, spend a little more time working on the navigation link and help your visitors enjoy your site even more.

What information do you need to build a website for my business?

In order for us to build you your dream website, we are going to need a little help on your end. We want to know so much about the business you’d think we started it together. This is everything from your name, company information, contact information, color schemes, and more. Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start or if it seems overwhelming, we are here to help you!

WE NEED THE TECHNICAL STUFF

Domain name: You have the name of your business, but what do you want your web address (URL) to be? If your company name is long, you don’t always want your full name in your URL. Think of something informative, but short, so people can remember it easily and type it quickly and get to your site as fast as possible.

Hosting: Where do you want your site to live? Now, this may not always be the client’s choice, unless you have a particular hosting site you’d like to use. There are many out there and as experts in the field, we’d know the best one to suit your needs.

WE NEED COMPANY INFORMATION

In order for your company to do well, as website designers, we need to know what your company is all about. Basically, we need a 411 on your company, that way most if not all questions regarding your company can be found on your website.

Business Name: This is an obvious one, how also can we make a website without knowing the name of your business?

Purpose and goals: Does your website promote a service? Do you want viewers to buy a product? Are you hoping that the viewers learn something? What do you hope comes from the website, whether it be the amount of traffic it gets, the number of clicks certain links receive, how many return visitors, or even something else?

Logo and colors: Every company should have a logo that makes their company more memorable. After all, think of all the logos you can remember without even seeing the name of the company. McDonald’s anyone? Plus, we need colors. Every company should have brand guidelines and these guidelines would include your color package and maybe even a font package.

About: Every website needs an ‘About’ page where you can easily get background information on a company. This can be anything you’d like the viewers to know from your company, basically, think about your who, what, where, when, why’s and how’s. This can also be the place to explain the hours of operation.

Products/Services: Depending on the goal of your website, it would be important to have what you are selling on your site. Whether that be a product or service, having information pages on those products and services would be key for your business doing well.

Contact Information: No matter the purpose of your website, it is critical that your viewers have a way of reaching out to the company owners. A contact information page allows your viewers to reach out to you with potential questions, concerns, or suggestions. All would promote better customer service, thereby making you a reliable business.

Other ideas: If it applies to your website, it may help to have testimonials/reviews about your product/services from real-life clients. It is also beneficial to have a FAQ page, where commonly ask questions can be answered upfront. It is also a good idea to have a privacy policy page and a terms and conditions page to protect you legally, as well as, a blog, news/press releases, and even an email sign up.

We know your company is your baby and this website is a part of that. We want to make this process seamless for you with our extensive knowledge and expertise. We are a top 3 searched web design and app development company and with a Google 4.9-star rating. Having designed over 250 websites, we know what we are doing and can’t wait to help you achieve your company goals. We are locally owned and operated in Palm Beach County and we are ready to help make your website dreams come true.

Drupal vs WordPress

This can be a controversial topic for two experienced PHP developers with a preference for either platform. I am a huge fan of Drupal, but I use more WordPress websites for clients. All passions aside, here is my unbiased opinion of the never ending debate. (However, FYI, your reading this on a Drupal site!)

I'll be switching back and forth with using the terms modules and plugins, so here is something you should know: WordPress extensions are called plugins, while Drupal extensions are called modules. These are downloadable groups of files that add functionality to your website.

Before we get into which CMS you should use, lets talk about what they have in common:

Similarities of Drupal and WordPress

Both CMS's are open source PHP / MYSQL platforms. They both have a very large network of developers that are constantly extending and creating new modules or plugins to bring enhanced features. Its very easy to add optimized content to either platform. You can edit said content, add images, and both come with a built in blog. By built in, I mean that the functionality is in the core installation package.

Both are free!The majority of the the modules (all the best ones) are contributed to the to the central repository and version controlled. You can't beat that. Once you learn what are the major modules are, you'll be well on your way to rapid development of your website.

The Differences between Drupal and WordPress

Out of the box, Drupal core provides a robust user account system that allows for multiple access levels. WordPress requires plugins just to achieve this. Obviously the administrative UI of each backend is different. WordPress is a bit more user friendly to the non computer savvy. Drupal does have a module (Admin UI) that sets up a drill down navigation menu on the top of every page for admins. I always set this up for clients with ecommerce stores.

WordPress

Drupal vs WordPress - WordPress Backend

WordPress has an app! The WordPress app (available for iOS and Android), allows an admin to add pages, posts, and upload media to their website. This is great for businesses or professionals that are out in the field doing jobs.

Accessing theme files is something the WordPress allows you to do right through the backend as well. If I need to quickly add a Google Analytics script to the header of a WordPress website, FTP isn't even required. This is nice, and allows for quick editing of PHP files.

Notable WordPress Websites

time.com - Time Magazine
sonymusic.com - Sony Music
blog.ebay.com - Ebay Blog
techcrunch.com - Tech Crunch
wired.com - Wired Magazine
dowjones.com - Dow Jones

Drupal

Drupal vs WordPress Drupal Backend

If you are looking for any type of web app, or advanced functionality, Drupal has support for setting up custom web services and APIs. Anything heavy in user accounts, possibly a user portal, support ticket system, custom forms, or role based access control (permissions), this will be handled much easier with Drupal.

Notable Drupal Websites

whitehouse.gov - US Whitehouse
dev.twitter.com - Twitter Development Community
fcc.gov - Federal Communications Commission
ing.us - ING Financial Services
investor.gov - US Securities and Exchange Commission
sba.gov - US Small Business Administration
The important questions to ask
Popular CMS web frameworks - Drupal vs WordPress

If you are trying to decide between using Drupal or WordPress, here are some questions that I usually ask a potential client before we come to a decision on what platform to use.

1. Are you going to have a secured website (https://)?
2. Will you be having users login and create accounts?
3. Is your website going to be ecommerce?
5. Will you have custom UIs or advanced forms to be filled?
6. Will your data be shared with a smartphone app in the future?
If you answered YES to any of the questions above, I would recommend Drupal. WordPress is used by more than seven times the amount of websites than Drupal. Because of this, it is constantly being hacked for vulnerabilities. The Drupal security team is always on the ball and releases updates and reports every week.

What about the front end themes?!

This is an easy one, WordPress wins. I have seen some of the most beautiful themes come from WordPress developers. Once a good standards compliant developer gets the hang of the WordPress Codex (theme functions), their work is amazing. Don't get me wrong though! I have seen just as nice front ends on Drupal websites, but 4 out of 5 times when I stumble across a 5 star website front end, its a WordPress.

Drupal and WordPress both have visual composers for their themes. I'm not a huge fan of themes like this though. They inflate the database, and make the web pages load slower. Funny thing is, when I started using Drupal in 2009, I couldn't believe all the amazing configuration options that some themes had in the backend. Drupal uses a block system that allows you to place components in the sidebar, footer, etc... WordPress calls this same type of feature widgets. Widgets give you a drag a drop interface to move components around your front end theme.

Both contributed (free) and premium themes are available for both WordPress and Drupal.

Get a quote on a Drupal or WordPress website

If you are planning on developing a WordPress or Drupal website, feel reach out to us for an estimate on your project

Why am I not on Google?

Having a fancy website that looks amazing isn’t worth a dime if you can’t get traffic to it, which is why most website owners are turning to marketing companies to increase their online exposure. With Google, Yahoo and Bing accounting for trillions of online searches a month, its no secret that search engine marketing is one of the most powerful ways to maximize your online exposure.

Building a search engine friendly website does not mean that you will show up on the top of the search engines. To have a strong position in the search results you need to perform many mundane processes which consist of content creation, syndication and promotion in various methods. The more competitive the industry is, the harder it will be to out rank the competition. For example if you own an industrial scale calibration company it will probably very much easier for you to show up for “industrial scale calibration” than it would for someone who owned an insurance agency that wanted to show up for “insurance company”. The reason is because all of your competitors are more than likely utilizing SEO as part of their marketing efforts or they may have hired an SEO company to do the job for them.

If done correctly, SEM can be used as a way to grow a business very quickly and can increase revenue substantially. Many huge marketing companies started off by simply ranking their websites for strategic keywords organically that brought them enough business to grow into a INC 5000 company, the power of search is truly unbelievable. Its no secret that search engine marketing services have become very popular and expensive because of the financial benefits that they yield.

Ecommerce SEO Company Pricing VS Standard SEO pricing.

Search engine marketing services can be quite expensive, especially if you want to show up for many search phrases. If you own a shopping site and you are looking for an eCommerce SEO company to get your product pages to show up for product names on the organic side of search, you could be looking at spending a pretty penny on search marketing services.  This is because each product page will require a set of processes to ensure that it stays above the competition in the search results. Pricing can vary depending on how aggressive you want to market, the important thing is to not get hung up on pricing but rather the quality of work you will be receiving. Professional marketing companies can integrate ROI tracking with Google Analytics so that you can see first what kind of profits your marketing campaigns are providing you with.

 

If you are just a local contractor looking to show up for a few dozen search phrases related to your industry you can probably get a good marketing company to do so for less than one thousand dollars per month to start off, but assuming that the results they deliver are profitable then it would only make sense to market more aggressively in the future. The goal of true marketing company is to provide more revenue and to increase the profitability of the marketing budget by analyzing the data and making educated decisions to increase the efficiency of your campaign. This is a service that that our friends over at The Miami SEO Company offers to its clients, feel free to contact them for a free consultation and mention that you referred to them by the Website Supply for a 10% discount on any services!

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