Find Web Developers
Find Web Developers

Building A Website – Tips For Choosing A Developer And Maintaining Your Website

August 15th, 2018

Web sites should be looked at as real estate on the World Wide Web. It is an investment which could make you money or leave you high and dry. If not created with class and strategy, it may also leave you and your company with a bad reputation. If your content is not valid or placed properly, you may never get your point across. Web sites, even those for strictly informational purposes, gain reputation over time. Companies and web crawlers (also known as spiders for search engines) are constantly monitoring web site activity and generating reports about YOU. These reports contain information such as traffic coming and going, links to and from other web sites, value of your content, content to keyword ratio, download speeds, and your behind the scenes coding.

Just like real estate, a well developed web site with a good history, reputation, and traffic is a gold mine! Domains that were once purchased for $10 are now selling for millions!!

You may be wondering, “How do I create such a website?” The most important thing to do is research and compare website developers before choosing one to work with. Start out your search by visiting Google.com and type in something along the lines of “website designer” or “web site developer”. If you would like to have someone local, be sure to also type in your city and/or state. The nice thing about Google is that they have a ranking system which puts the most visited sites with the best content at the top of their lists.

Take a look at the sites near the top of Google’s list. You will want to compare the layout and designs of the sites. Do you like them? Are they up to date and appealing? Do they have adequate information about the things you are interested in? Is that content written well? A developer’s website is a reflection of their work so make sure you look it over thoroughly. Also see what companies, if any, they are affiliated with and who their clients are. Make sure that their client list consists of multiple industries and are not limited to online businesses. Many developers will create their own online sites which are not owned by outside clients, but they will list them in their portfolio as clients anyway.

Take a look at their portfolio and visit the sites they have created. Analyze them. Make sure they are all up to date and appealing. Make sure the site layout and navigation is easy to use and functional. Take into consideration who their clients are and what industries they serve. Do they seem reputable?

If you find a developer that you like and may be interested in, the next step is to contact them. If you email or leave a message, make a note of their response promptness. Ask them a lot of questions about your ideas and concerns. Make sure they answer you appropriately and knowledgably. Ask questions about their refund policy, how they deal with revisions, what methods of customer service do they offer and what is the response time, do they offer maintenance and back ups, what does the design include, how are they going to drive traffic to your site, and anything else that is important to your project.

Once you have agreed on a price and what the project will entail. Provide the designer with an outline of your needs. Be as detailed and specific as possible. The more detailed you are, the more likely the designer is to get it right the first time. Be sure to confirm the expected date of completion.

After your site is completed and launched, it is up to you to make sure that it grows and builds a reputation for itself. You can do this by driving traffic to your site through pay-per-click programs, affiliate programs, link sharing, paid advertising, and more. Your developer should be able to help you with these things and provide more information about your options.

It is important to use some method of website traffic monitoring. This will give you details and statistics about the visitors to your site and their behavior. The reports in these programs will help you to determine if your site is performing well or if you need to make some adjustments. If you chose a good developer, they will be on top of this already. If you are unhappy with the results, be sure to let your designer know.

A well planned and developed site should last a long time. However, it is important to maintain it, update it with fresh content, monitor your traffic, and eventually give it a make-over. Far too often I see websites forgotten and left to fall behind modern technology and trends. It is a shame because your website is a reflection of you and what you were willing to invest in your business. Nurture your website and it will blossom into a profitable investment.

Hiring a Good Web Designer – The Dos & Dont’s

August 14th, 2018

Unless you have been living under a rock or in Pakistan where the government can curtail or even cutoff your internet access, you know that the internet has changed the way we acquire goods, services, and information. If your corporation doesn’t have a website today, it is like you don’t exist.

However, even with this never ending explosion, many small and mid-size businesses are still hesitant about adding a website to their marketing plan. I am not telling you this just because I produce websites. I am telling you this because common sense dictates that I do. It is the common sense in me that says having a good website will not only give your customers access to your services 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, but it will also expose your company up to a wider customer-base.

Unless you feel confident about designing, developing, and programming your own website, you need to hire a professional website development company. But, before you interview web development companies, you should first determine what your goals are for you website, including:

  • Are you strictly interested in e-commerce?
  • Do you want to attract more customers?
  • Do you want to give your existing customers better service?
  • Do you want repeat customers?
  • Are you interested in showing video, commercials, interviews, etc.?
  • Are you looking for an informational site that would introduce your company to individuals or companies?

Once you determine your goals, you are ready to begin the process of hiring a web development company. But, simply doing a Google search won’t do; you must find a web team who will help promote your professional image to your customers while making the online process as easy as possible for you. Below are some basic steps to take in order to find the website development company who will build the perfect site for you:

Do Your Homework: Examine the Competition’s Websites

Before you hire a web designer, you should have an idea of what you want for your web site. Sometimes the best place to start is with your competition. Research your competitors’ sites and take note of who designed them (it is usually listed at the bottom of the home page). Take notes about what you do and don’t like about their sites. What do you think of the design of their website? Does the functionality in their website make sense? Do they offer shopping or are they purely informational? Is there enough of what you are looking for or too little?

Then take your research a step further. Start combing the internet for any type of site that you like. A good starting point is reviewing a web design company’s portfolio. Two of the best web design portfolios are: Digital Peabody Portfolio and Unleaded Software’s Denver web design Portfolio.

Do Identify Your Individual Business Needs

Once you have done your homework and have selected a web design firm that meets your needs, you ought to present your business’s key objectives to the web design firm. In addition, make note of your customer-base, as they may look for certain functional or design aspects in your website. Think about the types of information that you need in your website. For example, if you have a new or growing business you may want a section about “Employment Opportunities” Or another example is a “Terms and Conditions” section that explains your company’s policies. Each business is unique and will have a different set of requirements for a website.

Once you have a solid definition of your requirements, and your likes and dislikes in terms of website design, you will be able to present them to a web design firm. Hashing out all of this before you chose a web design firm will help you get exactly what you need in your company’s website.

Do Research the Web Designer

It is very important to work with someone you trust, so before you begin interviewing designers you should review designers’ on-line portfolios to see if you like their particular style. Ask the designers to explain design decisions in the portfolio and request a brief description of the overall process. In addition, make sure you check references. Ask the references if the web design firm meet their expectations, satisfied their timeline, and were they easy to communicate with. One of the reasons why you should work with a professional web design firm vs. a freelancer is that the professionals tend to be significantly more responsive than somebody who works by and for themselves. Talent is one thing – but reliability is equally as important. So while professional web design firms may cost a little bit more than freelancers do, the peace of mind that you will have is priceless.

Are you ready to get started?

If you would like to get started, please call Unleaded Software’s VP of Business Development, Lauren Engel. You can reach her at 312-933-3430 or 303-468-5707. Be sure to ask about discounts for new websites!

Choosing The Right Web Designer

August 13th, 2018

As a business owner, you understand the importance of planning and executing everything as flawlessly as possible. You also understand the necessity of having a strong brand, a memorable identity and a unique product or service. As such, you should choose your web developer wisely to ensure that your new investment is both planned thoroughly, developed to suit your organization and will ultimately add value to your bottom line.

With today’s applications and tools, any old hacker can create a website but is it really usable? Have they really done their homework on how a website should be designed not only to support your brand but to effectively promote your products/services to your target market? More often than not, the answer to these questions is simply no. Your website will play an extremely vital role to the success of your business thus it is critical that your web developer understands what it is you do, how you do it and who you do it for.

When approaching a web developer to design a professional website for your business, you should ask yourself some questions:

Do they have a solid reputation?

Firstly check whether the web developer has been in the industry for some time. More often than not, designers advertise themselves as being professionals when really all they have under their belt is a homepage or two. Your web designer should be utterly professional and have a firm grasp of the industry he/she operates in.

Do they understand the importance of branding?

Our branding is but one element of our business model that helps us differentiate ourselves from our competitors. Just like your business cards and other marketing collateral, your brand should be effectively portrayed through your website also. If your web developer doesn’t realize this, then you should turn around immediately and walk the other way.

Do they understand usability & functionality?

Websites are virtually nothing unless they can be easily used. Internet users don’t want to spend hours trying to find what they’re after on your site. They want to be able to type in a URL, point, click and find what they want instantaneously. Your website should be intuitive and extremely user friendly. Theoretically even your grandmother should be able to work out how to use it!

Do they understand cross browser compatibility?

One of the biggest problems on the web at the moment is the noncompliance to W3C CSS and XHTML standards between various web browsers. These standards have been put in place to ensure that each browser will render or display standardized code accurately. The web developer you choose should be able to assure you that your website will function properly in any browser at all.

Can they provide a Content Management System?

A Content Management System (CMS) is basically a tool that allows you to quickly and easily update the content on your website. By providing you with the ability to modify this content yourself, it ultimately reduces on-going operational costs as you no longer have to pay somebody to keep everything up to date for you.

Do they understand Search Engine Optimization?

Its common knowledge that everybody uses Google, Yahoo! and other search engines to find the websites they’re after. In order for you to appear within the first ten or so results, your website must be thoroughly optimized using specific keywords that your target audience are likely to search for. Ensure your web developer can provide you with a fully optimized site and firmly understands the importance of doing so.

At the end of the day, your website is a costly investment that should be thoroughly planned, designed to specification and smoothly deployed. It should accurately portray your brand, promote your business, expose your products and services and increase your revenue. So, take your time in finding a developer who’s just right for you because if they can’t understand your business then nobody who visits your site will either.