Web Design

Should you take advantage of a free website?

Posted on January 29, 2021 at 8:28 am

Many businesses have had to make drastic changes to how they run their busines and this may include having to sell all their products and services online. With many retailers and independent shops having to close their doors, they would simply miss out on all sales unless they got up and selling online.

If you have a business but do not have a website or are starting to set a business up then you will obviously be interested to know how much a website is going to cost you. The cost of a site varies drastically depending on how complex it needs to be, how large it is, how much traffic it is likely to receive and what the aim of the site is. For example, a website that is designed to show information and images will cost a lot less than a website that needs to sell items and have a checkout process.

There are even some places that you can get a free website from or design your own for a minimal fee. These websites are often ok as a basic site to start off with but you often find that you very quickly outgrow them. They are usually quite restricted in terms of what you can do and therefore there will come a time when you need functionality or design changes that are not possible.

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Working closely with your clients as a web designer

Posted on December 24, 2020 at 10:29 am

If you are a web designer then it is important that you work closely with your client to ensure that they get exactly what they want. Before starting any website project you should try and ensure you have a detailed brief. You need to speak to your client and find out exactly what they need their website to do. It may be that they don’t fully understand exactly what they need in which case you will need to possibly advise them of what they should include ok their site.

It is important to fully understand what the website needs to look like and how it will work as once the site has started to go into development any further changes will incur additional time which someone will have to be responsible for. If the client has signed to agree to a brief and then wants to change something further down the lines then you can tell them that there will be additional costs incurred. If you have not got a detailed brief then they may argue that it should of been included in the initial design. It is important that your client can trust you and this is something that you will help pave the way for a better working relationship.

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Working as a website designer

Posted on November 14, 2020 at 1:30 pm

If you are looking for an interesting career with good prospects becoming a website designer may be the job for you. There is a difference between a web designer and a web developer and although both roles are necessary to build a successful website one person could fulfil both roles. A web designer is more concerned with the appearance of the site, the design and layout of the pages whereas a web developer is concerned with the functionality of the site and the coding that makes the design become reality.

To be a successful web designer you need to have an interest in art and design and be able to make the site appealing to visitors and potential clients. Editing images and video may be a required skill as new websites include more of this medium to convey their services and products.

Meeting with clients to discuss their requirements, suggesting possible outcomes and producing sample pages will be a part of the role of web designer along with keeping up to date with current developments.

It is not always necessary to have a degree qualification to get employment as a web designer as there are roles available for trainees and apprenticeships are sometimes offered by larger companies.

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Getting ready to set your new website live

Posted on July 2, 2020 at 1:02 pm

Having a new website go live can be exciting for many businesses’ owners. First impressions are very important and it is vital than you ensure that your website is displaying and working properly before you set it live.

The search engines can take a little while to index all of your pages, and even when it does there is no guarantee that you will rank high enough to attract a large number of visitors. To make your website rank higher you need to have great SEO behind it and constantly be updating the site to not only improve the rankings but even to maintain them.

If you cannot wait for the search engines and your SEO to start having an effect then you should think about using other sorts of marketing alongside it. This may be Pay per Click marketing or social media marketing.

With Pay per Click marketing, the ads can go live almost instantly and if you have set the campaigns up correctly, you can get the right people to your site the day it goes live. When setting up any paid for advertising you need to know what you are doing as errors can be costly and you may find that your budget gets used up quickly with little qualified traffic to your site.

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How easy is it to build your own website?

Posted on May 23, 2020 at 8:52 am

Building your own website is not as difficult as it might seem and as an increasing number of businesses are using their online presence to promote themselves it is an inexpensive way to achieve this.

Many people worry that they will need to learn coding to be able to build a website, but this is not necessary if you use a website builder program to support you.

The first step will be to plan out the structure of your website for instance what information do you want to have on your home page, how many pages will you need and what content will need to be displayed? Once you have decided on the content of your website you will need to register a domain name which is the address of your website, allowing visitors to find your site when browsing the internet. When deciding on your domain name choose a name that is short and easy to spell to make it easier for potential customers to find your site.

Once you have registered your domain name, choose a website builder program and upload your content. You can adapt colours and fonts using the templates provided.

Optimising your website to make it rank higher in searches carried out is an important aspect of this process and can be achieved as part of the web builder platform.

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Designing a website to promote your gardening business

Posted on April 30, 2020 at 10:10 am

Your gardening design website should be a window to your business and should encourage visitors to employ your services by allowing them a glimpse of what their garden could look like. There are some features of the website that are essential to this type of site and others that can be added at a later point in your website development.

A gallery or portfolio of different designs that you have made reality will be an essential part of the site along with before and after images of your work. Potential clients will probably look at these to get ideas for their own gardens so the images should be good quality and show a range of types of garden from small modern gardens to more expansive ones. Optional features could be shown such as water features and raised beds etc.

A customer review page will be a valuable asset to the website even more so if satisfied customers would be prepared to give a video tour of the completed project.

For many householders, the cost of having their garden redesigned is important so a rough guide on your website to your pricing structure would be a useful addition. Contact information and a rough guide to the area that you serve would need to be shown on your home page which shows a stunning example of your work as a background image.

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Choosing the best colour scheme for your website

Posted on March 29, 2020 at 6:00 am

The internet is full of colourful pages so when you are deciding on the colour scheme for your website it is important to carefully choose the main colour theme and even the colour of action buttons and banners to achieve the results you are wanting.

There has been research carried out into colour psychology and the effect it has on people’s perceptions of a brand and their behaviour and although there are disagreements about some aspects of this it does seem to have some credence.

If your website is advertising products for children, it is usual to use bright vibrant colours as these represent fun and enthusiasm. However, beware of using too many colours on all pages as this can make your site look unprofessional.

The colour schemes that are more apt for websites aimed at female customers use blue, purple and green as their main colours whereas those aimed at the male sector use black, blue and green. Blue is used quite often when you want your website to convey trust and reliability which is why many banks use blue in their logos and on their websites and some social media platforms also use blue.

Should your website be promoting a business which is based outdoors an obvious colour choice would be to have some green elements within the design scheme.

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Make sure you test a website prior to setting it live

Posted on February 29, 2020 at 12:21 pm

Having a new website can be exciting and business owners are often keen to get the new site live as soon as possible, especially if there has already been delays. Despite this, it is vital that you carry out testing on the site before setting it live and letting the public access it.

If there are bugs on your website then customers will find it frustrating and may leave the site without completing on a sale (for ecommerce sites) or contacting you (if it is a lead generation website). For this reason it is always better to delay the launch a day or two to ensure that the site is working and displaying correctly first.

Its not just how a site is displaying that needs to be checked. All functionality like contact forms, online calculators and checkout processes all need to be checked vigorously. You should also spend some time checking the site on multiple browsers and multiple devices such as phones and tablets.  

It may be that you need more than one person to test a website, as if you have programmed the site or been heavily involved in the design of the site then you may skip over things and miss them.

When testing a site make sure that it not only works as it should but that it is secure.

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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.

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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.


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