Web Design

Learning CSS from scratch

Posted on December 29, 2018 at 12:01 pm

If you are thinking of becoming a web designer then one of the first skills you will want to master is CSS. CSS effects the layout properties of each page. It is used to tell different elements where they need to be on the page and how they should be displayed on different devices. It should also be used to set fonts, colours and sizes of images etc.
You do not need to memorise every single CSS command and you can often look them up very easily, but it is very handy to master a few of that you will use often. It is worth trying to understand how the CSS elements work and properties that you can assign to them. Understanding how the page is laid out using CSS will allow you to solve problems easier and get your site working as it should do. It is also important to keep up to date on CSS, as new browsers and browser versions are released new CSS styles may also be released and older ones no longer supported. If you design a site based only on one browser then you may find it doesn’t work when visitors are using a different one.

Posted in Web Design

Is having more than one site confusing?

Posted on August 30, 2018 at 1:14 pm

Some businesses have more than one website and often this is done to allow them to better compete in slightly different areas. If for example you have a website that sells kitchens and bathrooms, you may decide to split the site in to two, one for kitchens and one for bathrooms. This then allows you to theme that site more specifically to the one term rather than it having to be broader. Other people have two sites for different types of visitor. So they may have a site that is for personal users and then a site that is for business users.

You should be aware that a visitor may land on the wrong site so it is good to have a visible link between the two as if you do not the visitor is likely to think that you are not the right company for them and leave. Having a simply banner or button which says are you looking for… and then click here to redirect can be enough to retain the traffic between the two sites.

You must make sure that your sites are not duplicates of each other, some people used to do this and out the site on different URL’s in hoping of getting ranked twice. Google and the other search engines will chose to ignore one of the sites and possibly blacklist both.


Posted in Web Design

Keeping up with the times when it comes to websites

Posted on April 27, 2018 at 1:47 pm

A website can be a great selling tool for your business. You may have an ecommerce website that allows you to sell products direct to consumers or other businesses or you may have an information website that is designed to gain inquiries.

Over time technology advances and new and innovative ways of doing tasks evolve. It is important that you keep up with these as well as any advances within your particular industry. For example many of the industry leaders may be developing apps for their website to allow people to browse or purchase on the go. If this is the case then you may also want to look at doing them same.

Websites are very forgiving in that you can often easily add to or take away from them but sometimes adding in extra functionality can be costly and you may have to budget this in to your marketing.

Some companies feel that their website is sufficient and that they get sales or enquiry’s through it so why change it, but often these are the companies that start to fall behind and then find themselves with a lot of work to do trying to get back where they need to be in order to compete.

Posted in Web Design

Why might it be time for a redesign?

Posted on January 17, 2018 at 3:46 pm

If you have had your website for a few years and are happy with how it is performing then you may wondered why you should change it. The old saying of if it’s not broke why fix it often comes to mind, but by leaving your website too long without updating it you may be missing on customers and even Google rankings.

When someone goes to a website they like to see relevant useful information that relates to the search term they put in on Google. The way in which you display this information is often set up when the site is first built and over time with advances in technology, you may find that there is a better way to do so. With many people now using mobile phone to view websites, it is important that the information is displaying correctly and in an easy way for them to read and navigate through.

If your site looks a little outdated then your visitors may have this impression about your business. You want them to see that you are keeping up with the advances in your industry and that you are innovative.

Posted in Web Design

Ecommerce preplanning for the main seasons

Posted on December 19, 2017 at 9:52 pm

If you have an ecommerce website and rely a lot upon how many sales it generates then you should already understand the importance of being prepared for the main seasons and any important dates that are coming up. Most businesses start to plan for Christmas towards the end of summer, giving themselves a good few months in which to create a festive campaign, get any work on their website done that is going to be needed and have time to market it in advance.

With Christmas already upon us, business owners should be looking at how they are going to get ready for Easter or possibly Valentine’s day, some of the next major events on the calendar. With this in mind it is easy to forget your current campaigns that are running. Many businesses will be looking to start their January sales very soon and although they may already be in place, it is important to keep an eye on them as well and ensure that they are drumming up the traffic that you would expect. Make sure that you keep your marketing company in the loop of any major events you want to market for and give them plenty of notice to create the material needed and to market it.


Posted in Web Design

Do you need a professional logo?

Posted on November 15, 2017 at 12:13 pm

If you have recently set up a business then you may wonder if you need to have a logo created. If you currently do not have a website or business cards etc then you may not need to worry about a logo straight away, but as soon as you start to do any marketing and / or corporate stationery (business cards, letter heads, etc.) then you may want to get a logo created. Allowing your customers to see your logo and start to recognise it will help build up your brand. It will allow your customers to start to recognise you from your logo and whether it be from a poster, social media account or business card.

You can try and create a logo yourself or use one of the many sites that allow you to create a logo based on a template, but you may find that these logos simply are not high enough quality to be used on some of the media you want to.

The cost of having a logo created professionally will usually range from £150 upwards to a few thousand pounds. Often the price depends on if you want the company to create a corporate identity for you as well or just a logo and how large your organisation already is.


Posted in Web Design

Creating a quote for a website

Posted on September 29, 2017 at 10:27 pm

If you are in the web design business then you need to be able to create quotes for potential customers. It can be hard to quote exactly on the cost of a website with out spending a lot of time finding out the ins and outs of what they want. If the customer has a specific idea of what they need then you will need to fully understand this in order to give them an accurate price. If they are not sure exactly but know that it will only be a basic 5 page site with text and images and possibly a contact form then you can usually give them a price that should be accurate without having to spend much time discussing it with them. Many people want to know a ball park figure before they even meet with you, but be very careful quoting a price without understanding what is involved. If you do this, then you need to reiterate that this is a base price and once you have the full specification you will be able to give them a more accurate cost for the project.

Once you have a fixed price be sure to give them a written quotation and state that alterations to the specification may incur extra costs.


Posted in Web Design

Marketing your business

Posted on April 28, 2017 at 10:36 am

There are many ways in which to market a business and these are often broken down in to online and offline marketing. Some avenues of marketing work better for some businesses than others.

Below are a few examples of marketing for you to consider when working out where to spend your marketing budget:

Website: A website can be the most powerful selling tool for any business. With many people using the internet to find products and services they need, it is vital for all businesses to have one.

Pay per Click advertising – This is a form of online marketing that allows you to create an advert on the search engines and their selected partners. When the ad is clicked they are taken to a page on your website. You usually pay a price per click.

Leaflet dropping – This is a form of offline marketing when you produce a leaflet about your businesses product’s and /or services. You can then distribute these through doors or in shops etc. If you want to be able to track the response from leaflet dropping then you may be able to set up a dedicated telephone number, email address or even website URL to allow you to track the responses.


Posted in Web Design

Changing your company logo and name

Posted on February 27, 2017 at 10:35 pm

If for whatever reason you decide to change your logo and company name then you will need to make changes to your website. It is often advisable to keep the layout of your website the same to start with to give your customers confidence that they are dealing with the same company as previous, unless there is a reason for wanting to have a fresh start. You should always inform your customers of a name / logo change in advance so they expect it and still recognise your brand.

There might be a few places in which you need to change your company name and logo on your website and other places on the web. Firstly you should check through every page and make a note of where each is mentioned or featured. Don’t forget to check downloadable PDF’s, online forms and banners.

You should also change all your social media accounts to the updated version of the logo / company name and may need to log in to Google to change your business listing on Google maps etc.

When changing a logo, be sure to check how it will work in all instances for example on a white background and a black or colour one.

Posted in Web Design

Should you include ads in your website design?

Posted on December 24, 2016 at 11:47 pm

Many businesses start off with a clean website and then often they get a bit carried away with ads and banners and very quickly clutter the site up. Previously everyone used to add pop-up windows to their websites. Very quickly web developers learnt that this is not what people want and therefore if they want to have ads on the site they needed to be done in a more subtle way.

Before adding ads to your website you need to weigh up the benefits from having them. If you are thinking about letting third parties advertise on your site then you need to work out the monetary value of each advert and also how much work will be involved in building the system to allow you to upload the ads, track clicks etc.

Ads can put visitors off, so it may be worth trialling a few to start with to check how your visitor stats compare. Never allow customers to upload their own adverts with them being checked first as if it is on your site you will be seen to be promoting it.

Posted in Web Design

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