What are the stages when having a new website built?

Posted on September 17, 2021 at 1:23 pm

When having a new website built there are often many stages that it needs to go through in order for it to get to the point when it is ready to go live. Although all designers and programmers / web agencies may work a little different, they often all have the same basic approach. They will usually start by taking a brief from the client. This will tell them what the need the site to do and what sort of content / functionality is required. Once they have this the project will be quoted for. It may be that the client is given a fixed price or it could be that they are given an estimate which will be finalised after designs have been agreed.

The next stage is usually the design process. Again, different web designers and agencies will vary how they di this. Some may visualise every page of the website site others may only do one or two. Some may not even create visuals but will instead show the client ideas of how they believe the site should look and function. Once the visuals are agreed the site can usually go into the production stage. This stage usually takes the longest but once complete and testing has been done it can then go live.

Posted in Design

Is it time for a website refresh?

Posted on June 14, 2021 at 12:23 pm

If your website was designed a few years ago then it is most probably in need of a face lift. It may be that it is functioning ok but the layout is a bit dated. If this is the case, then you don’t need an entirely new site, just an update to the design. Often the hard work is getting all the content and working out how the site will link in to the other pages but if you already have this then a simple change of colourways or changing the font can make a huge difference.

Another way to update your site is to change the images. Often companies go along for months not realising that the images on their site are out of date. It may be that you still have staff members on the site that have since left or your old office premises in the background of your photos.

Ideally the site should never be worked on live and therefore a copy needs to be taken for the programmer to work on in the background. Once they have completed all the changes, they can then upload the relevant files and so there is no down time in the site.

Posted in Design

How to make your website stand out for the right reasons

Posted on October 22, 2020 at 5:05 pm

When designing a website, you need it to stand out from the crowd but this needs to be for the right reasons. There is no point in designing a website that looks great but is hard to navigate round or that has too much information so is over-crowded. This is likely to just put people off and most of these people will not visit you’re the site again.

It is important to get the design of your site just right from the start. Do not let a website go live that is not right as first impressions count for a lot and you may not get another chance to change someone’s mind.

It is important to keep up to date as to what your competition is doing. You do not want to copy their website but you may decide that you also want to add some of the functionality they have on their site on yours. You should also be looking for ways in which you can add more to your site than they offer – having a USP that you can promote through your site. Work closely with your web designer and don’t be scared to ask their opinion after all they are the expects .

Posted in Design

Going over your website before it goes live

Posted on September 30, 2020 at 1:19 pm

If you are having a new website built or having major changes made to your existing on then it is vitally important that you spend some time checking the site before it goes live to the wider public. If you set a website live and there are issues such as links not working or images no displaying etc this can have a negative impact on your business as it does not give off a great first impression. You will often find that people that visit a website that is not working correctly will leave and not return. You are better to delay the site for a few days whilst you fix the issues before setting it live, especially if you already have a fully functioning website that receives a lot of traffic.

Every so often you should check your website for errors even if the site has been running for years with no issues as things often come up with new browser updates and changes to the content management software you are using which may break the layout etc.

You can check the site manually by clicking links, filling in contact forms etc but you may also want to use a number of the many online tools out there that will check your site looking for broken links, errors in the code and browser compatibility  issues.

Posted in Design

Using images and photographs on your website

Posted on May 11, 2020 at 11:39 am

If you have decided that your business would benefit from having a website to promote your company online the first decision to make is whether you are going to design and build it yourself or employ someone to do this for you. If you choose to take on the challenge of building your own site there are many helpful tutorials online to guide you or you could use one of the companies that provide a template for you to base your website on.

Using images and or photographs on your website is a valuable way to promote your business in an exciting and attractive way as some visitors are put off browsing sites that have an abundance of text on their home page. There are however guidelines that must be followed when using images to avoid contravening copyright laws.

Stock image sites can charge a one-time fee when using their images whilst others charge for a single use or for a certain time for some of their images. Try to use images that are in the public domain or those that have a creative commons license as these can be used freely. If you are confident that your own images are of good quality, then they can be used instead.

Posted in Design

Making sure your website displays correctly on different browsers

Posted on February 18, 2020 at 9:31 pm

When designing a website you have to be very careful to ensure that you do not do all your testing just for one browser. This is not recommended as different browsers display certain code in different ways so you may find that your site looks great on Firefox but awful on Internet Explorer for example.

Often programmers tend to favour a particular type of browser so it is easy to neglect testing compatibility on other popular browsers. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chome, Safari and Opera are amongst the most popular and even within theses browsers you have multiple versions. It is not always possible to check the compatibility for every browser version and screen size but you should do as many of the most common ones as possible.  Normally a programmer will tell you what browsers they will test the site on but if you are unsure always ask.

Although fairly straight forward, this is very important to do as you may find you lose visitors instantly if the site is not displaying correctly for them. The may be reflexed in a higher than average bounce rate, which occurs if a visitor leaves a page straight away without interacting with anything

Posted in Design

Is your website clustered?

Posted on March 28, 2019 at 1:24 pm

A website can be a powerful selling tool. You want to give your customers lots of information and showcase your products of services. But you need to do it in a tasteful way and be sure that you don’t actually end up putting people off by having too much on there.

Research shows that a website that has too many adverts or too many moving parts or simply just too much information can be overwhelming and off-putting. Often many of the people that actually land on these types of sites will leave without even trying to look for what they came on to the site for. If there is constantly moving banners, with little time for them to actually read them or annoying pop-ups that keep coming up, you need to rethink your site and quickly.

A website should be easy to navigate round with information that is easily accessible when needed. It can help to have a simple search function for people to use who know exactly what they want to find.

Simple changes such as shrinking the description of products and adding a click to expand option can keep the pages consistent and tidy whilst still allowing your visitors to access the information if they wish to.

Your home page is often the first page that a visitor lands on, so take plenty of time to ensure that it is right.

Posted in Design

Website navigation structure is important

Posted on December 15, 2018 at 11:14 am

Website navigation structure is important

When it comes to designing your website you may not think too much about the navigation. It may be easy to not think about the order of the navigation, the type of navigation you have (drop downs or separate tabs) and the colours you use on it. Also, the positioning of the navigation can play an important role when it comes to encouraging visitor’s to click through to the relevant pages.
Your navigation should be in the same place on every page to show continuity and to make it easy to navigate around. Think carefully about how many tabs you want on your navigation. Too many and it can look cluttered and you may find that on certain devices it drops down on to two lines.
Colours are also very important. You should try and use colours that are in keeping with your corporate identity. The colour of the writing needs to be easy to read and clear.
It is important to have a link back to the home page on the navigation and to have a contact us button as this is what people generally expect to find in the navigation. You should also try and keep the pages in order of what people will expect to see. You may want to consider having a navigation that moves down the page as they scroll so they do not have to scroll to the top of the page to jump to another section.
Always check any changes or new website on different device screen sizes and different browsers as compatibility issues can happen.

Posted in Design

How to choose your web developer and designer

Posted on July 28, 2017 at 11:23 am

When it comes to having a new website designed and programmed you will want to find a company or individuals who are capable of handling your project and who have a proven track record of creating websites that are successful.  Web designers vary in price, some charge £30 per hour whilst an agency may charge upwards of £60 per hour and approximately the same for a programmer.

If you decide to outsource your website project to an over seas company then you may be able to make a huge saving but you may also have to consider other points that could delay your project or make it more stressful. You may then have the difficulty with working with someone that lives in a different time zone or may not speak very good English, making it harder to portray exactly what you want and get answers to your questions quickly.

Always have a brief that you can talk through with your designer and programmer and be open to listen to their advice as they are the professionals and often will be able to advise you of better ways of doing things.

Posted in Design

Design software

Posted on February 29, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Designers use a number of different software applications to create logos, print work and website visuals. Some designers swear by MACs for design work but with Windows PC’s now offering compatibility with the majority of popular design software it may not be as essential.

One of the most popular design packages is created by Adobe. Adobe offer many design software applications such as InDesign, PhotoShop and Illustrator.

You can chose to buy this software outright or recently Adobe have create a cloud version that can be rented on a monthly basis. Adobe CS 6 is the latest complete suite available to buy and costs in the region of a thousand pounds, but Adobe are no longer updating this version so you will have to opt for the cloud version if you want the latest software. The entire suite costs about £45 per month to rent on the creative cloud option.


Posted in Design

Next Page »