What are the key questions to ask when choosing a website designer?

There are quite a number of web design firms out there so how do you choose which one is right for you?  These are the key questions you need to ask.website design

How much do they charge and what is included?

If the company offers a fixed price what is included in this?  You should request the inclusions to be provided in writing to avoid any nasty shocks further down the line.  When looking at the cost you need to establish whether the costs include a bespoke design and whether the website will have a Content Management System (CMS).  A CMS will allow you to update your website yourself, meaning you can change content as and when required without the need for a developer.

You also need to find out if the price includes the registration of the domain and whether the domain will be registered to you.  When the website is complete does the cost include the hosting of the site? You will need to establish what on going support is included.

Once the website is completed SEO work on the website is often needed.  Make sure you know what, if any, search engine optimisation is covered by your price package.  If any of the services detailed above aren’t included find out how much they are and ask them to be added to your package.

How will you be charged?

You need to establish how they will invoice you, whether that will be monthly or when certain milestones are reached, such as a payment after design sign off.  Also find out what the deposit amount is before work begins.

Profile picture of Laura Hunter Design TeamWhere are they  based and who are the team?
You need to decide how you want to work with your web designers.  Do you want to work with someone locally, thus allowing you to have face to face meetings and catch ups easily or are you happy to work remotely with them over the phone.  You will want to know who is part of the web design team and what their roles are. A lot of companies farm out various parts of a project to freelancers, often in other countries, so you need to clarify who is working on your project.

Can you view some of their work?

Are you able to look at other websites they have completed to see the quality of their work.

Can they provide references?

Be wary of online reviews, actually try to speak to some of their existing web design clients to gauge how they found working with the company and whether they produced the website desired.

Do you think you can work with them?

It is important that you enjoy talking and working with whichever company you chose. You have to ask yourself, do you actually LIKE the designer? Do you believe they’ll act ethically? Will they stay focused to the task at hand, or do they ramble and waste your time? Do you feel you “click” with their personality and values? Do they offer you invaluable insight and advice about your site design?

These are vital questions to answer regarding any potential web designer.  We will always provide you with a clear pricing structure and make clear what is included in the price.  We pride ourselves on getting to know your business and providing the best website for you.  Contact Us for more information.  We look forward to hearing from you.


5 Quick Fixes to Improve your Website

Your website should always be an ongoing project.  Once your website is out there you need to review it often to check that all details are up to date and correct, thus ensuring your users have the best experience possible.  Everyone wants to increase their website reach so here are some tips on how to improve your website in terms of user experience and SEO.

Check your spelling and grammarspelling-998350_1920
It goes without saying that a website with poor spelling and grammar will reflect badly on your business.  A study by Global Lingo found that 59% of those surveyed would be put off buying from a website with poor spelling and grammar.  The majority claimed that they ‘would not trust the company to provide a good service’.  This makes sense.  If a company doesn’t take the time to ensure it’s own website is correct what message does that give about their attention to detail.  We recommend that you always ask someone to proof read your website or why not use a professional copywriter?  Often when writing yourself you stop seeing the text because you know it so well.  A different pair of eyes is always a good idea to ensure quality.
Check for broken links
chain-297842_1280It may not seem much on the surface, but broken links can do serious damage to your website.  Broken links can stop the search engines crawling your website and as a result lead to pages not being indexed.  In addition, a website with broken links isn’t going to provide a great user experience.  When ranking a site Google is more likely to rate a site with no broken links higher than one with them.  If your competitor’s website provides a better user experience it is likely they will outrank you.  We can help you by giving your website a health check to identify links that need to be fixed.
Check that all your images have ALT tags
The ALT tag adds a text description to an image on a web page, and should be used for all images, graphical bullets, and graphical horizontal rules.  The most important function of an ALT tag is to explain to a blind user what an image is displaying. Search engine crawlers also use ALT tags to decipher what an image is or what it is representing.  By using ALT tags your website will be accessible to more people and search engines will understand your website better.  If you have a wordpress site these can be added easily in the CMS system.  Having a website you can easily update yourself helps with issues like this as you have control and can add tags easily to help your search ranking.
Add social media linksmobile-phone-426559_1920
Social media is alive and kicking, and if you want to capitalize on these channels as marketing tools you should include links on your website, preferably on every page.  When sending social media messages contain a link back to your website to draw people in.
Compress and scale your images

Research shows that mobile users will only wait a maximum of four seconds for a website to upload.   Therefore it is important your website loads quickly.  The time it takes a webpage to load depends on the size data. A quick fix is to compress and scale your images before loading them to your site.  When you blog make sure you have scaled your image before uploading it to your site.  You don’t need fancy software to do this, we love pixlr.com which is free and easy to use.

Your website should always be evolving.  Most people searching for a product or service will go to Google first.  As a reflection of your business it is vital your website reflects your core values and gives the user the best experience.  Don’t let your website stand still, keep it relevant and useful.

If you would like further advice or help with your website needs Contact Us now.  We are always happy to help.

Why a good copywriter is vital to website design

When you decide to build a new website for your company or refresh an existing site it is often easy to get carried away with the design of the site. Of course this is a vital part of website design but the content of the site, the words that will hopefully draw people to you are sometimes neglected. If the copy on your website is riddled with errors and doesn’t read well this will immediately turn people away from your website, even more so than poor website design. In addition Google algorithms such as Phantom penalise sites that contain spelling errors and broken links.

Why a copywriter is a worthwhile investment 

Writing effectively is not a skill we all possess. You may be an expert in your field but the skill of actually writing about it is often tricky, however accomplished you are at running a business. But every website needs good copy. I rather like the analogy of a well designed website with bad content being like going on a date dressed to impress and then having nothing to say when you get there!!!web-947271_1920

Having your content written by a professional copywriter is a smart long term investment for your website both in terms of SEO and visitor retention. How can anyone expect a high quality product or service from a website with content that is badly written and strewn with errors. If the user doesn’t find the information they are looking for they will just move on to the next site. The best type of online copy is usually straight to the point and easy to understand.

As a copywriter I can get to know your business and write great copy to help your business convey the right message to potential clients.  Don’t neglect this vital part of web design, Contact Us now.