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Archive for the ‘Web Design’ Category

10 reasons why your website sends people away (or sucks basically)

Monday, June 27th, 2011

websitessuckIf you’ve ever wondered why you’re not getting the level of enquires you wanted, conversions you dreamed of or general business success from your website then here’s 10 hard hitting pointers as to why.

1. It’s ugly and old.
Granted beauty is in the eye of the beholder but has the design of your website fallen out of the ugly tree, hit every branch on the way down and then been beaten with an ugly stick? You have 3 seconds to make a first impression on a visitor and it’s the overall design/colours/style they see first. People are harsh judges and you wont get a second chance.

2. Your site colours cause blindness.
We’ve seen sites where we needed medical attention for temporary blindness caused by the severity of the colours used. For example; bright pink might be your favourite colour but the majority of the word disagrees so use it sparingly. Also light text on dark backgrounds strains the eyes.

3. It’s a mess.
A mess can mean a number of things such as multiple font types and multiple font sizes, things in different places, images all over the place, multiple colours applied to different texts, random patches of bold, italics, underlined all over the place. You might have a wonderful design but if the content is a mess then that’s the weakest link and it will be a ‘Goodbye’ from the visitor.

4. Pointless splash pages.
Do you remember luminous socks? Yeah, they went out of fashion about the same time as splash pages. A splash page is that sort of ‘pre’ page you sometimes get which is sort of a teaser to the main site. It’s often a flash animation that you have to wait to load. Waste of time folks, most people have scampered before it’s even loaded.

5. It’s busy busy busy.
6 Columns of text, 20 choices to make, moving boxes here, flashing boxes there every inch of the landing page is screaming for your visitors attention at the same time…. you get the idea don’t you…it’s a fail!

6. The copy is drivel and way too long.
When entertaining at home would you tell your guests your life story before they’ve even got through the door and gotten comfortable with the surroundings? The same is said for your website. Don’t bore your visitors with paragraphs of information before they can get acquainted. Give them enough to get them interested, and then the option to read more. Some will want to read more and some wont so cater for both types of visitor. Use a copywriter to write text that will engage with your visitors and just the right amount.

7. You’re making your visitors think.
Is the way you channel the visitors to the right information difficult & cumbersome for them? Are the most important things right in front of them (and this is the important things to your potential customers not to you, most don’t care what you think is important)? Can people find their way around easily enough? Do they know where they are at all times? Are you holding their hands or are they fumbling around? Don’t make them have to think.

8. Contact Details.
Your visitors may not know who you are, there’s a lot of scammers out there are people are quick to judge and be cautious. Don’t give them a reason to flee by withholding your contact details, especially your address. Simply having just a contact form or email address is a major fail on a website. There should be a landline number (not just a mobile), your full trading address and if you’re a Ltd company your registered office address as well.

9. Don’t ask – Don’t get.
Are you asking your visitors to buy, to contact you, or do ’something’? This is called a ‘call to action’ if you’re net asking (or telling even) people to do something then they aren’t going to do it and might become ambivalent and go elsewhere.

10. You’re not listening.
You don’t listen to what your customers do and don’t like and you don’t act upon this valuable feedback. Maybe you aren’t listening to the advice given by those around you? We all handle criticism differently but take it all on board, embrace it and do something with it as it could mean the difference between failure or success.

So there you go. Do you think your website is as perfect as it can be? Room for improvement? Does it need a little TLC? Do get in touch with us if you’d like our honest opinion on your website and you’d value what we’d say, be it good or bad.

We love to hear your comments so please do leave them below.

Finding an Ecommerce Web Designer

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

If you have recently set out to find an ecommerce web designer, you might have struggled with not the choice on offer – there are hundreds out there – but exactly how to pinpoint the best company for your business.

Whats on Offer?
If you are setting up a stall, a shopping website that you will use as a brand then your site will need alternative solutions to that of an informational site.  You may be a retailer or wholesaler, whichever category your business fits into you need to research just to find a specialized ecommerce web designer.

A good all rounder will be able to provide you with not just web design they will have experience with content management, ecommerce and other software that makes it easier for a website owner.  They will also offer search engine marketing solutions and going a step up they may offer you offline marketing and branding services too.

Let’s focus on the design.  Services and benefits you should see offered on any good designers list are:

  • Cutting edge graphics design software and/or digital photography solutions
  • Creative design, start to finish (and in-between!) plus marketing assistance
  • Ecommerce systems
  • Payment processing
  • Stock control systems / warehouse management
  • Mail order
  • Marketing ability (campaigns, software, social media)

With the experience of website ecommerce, your selected web design team can create or transform your website into one which enables business growth, has an online presence to envy your competitors, and can enhance your business brand.

Choosing a design and additional features can ensure that your website can be well managed, easy to maintain and can maximise revenues through its improved efficiency.  The after sales service and support is important too, not forgetting the price is within your business budget.

In summary, finding ecommerce web designers takes time and can be costly, however making the right choices at the start can help your business increase revenues with an on-trend functional website which manages transactions and can provide shopper enjoyment.

Get in touch via our contact us page to find out more information abotu how we can help you with your online website shop project.

How to choose your website designer – introduction

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Choosing a web design company to take your idea and business forward can be, for most, a daunting and worrying task. There are literally thousands to choose from. It’s so easy these days for someone to get free software, knock up a few web pages and call themselves a web designer so where do you start?

How do you cut the wheat from chaff? How do you make sure you’ve hired the right people? Well if we’re honest there’s no 100% full proof method but here are a few pointers to help you along the way. We’ll try to cover some points in greater depth later on on our blog.

1. Do you know anyone else who has had a professional website built? Do they have a recommendation for you?

2. If not and you’re looking for a local design company then look at other websites that are local to you but not in the same line of work as yours. At the bottom of the site should be a link to the company that designed the site so you can look at the web design company’s own website.

3. Does the company look professional? Does it instil confidence in you? Does their website feel honest or is it just one long sales pitch?

4. Look at portfolios of work, look at their other websites. Is there consistency in design? Do they all look professional?

5. Does the design company display customer testimonials? This is a good sign but of course companies will only show the best comments so email or call other clients listed in the portfolio and ask how they found the company you’re vetting and how was doing business with them, were there any problems etc?

6. Do this with as many web design companies as you feel you need to and perhaps produce a short list of 2 or 3 and then contact them by phone or email to make a first response. Are they keen to help you and listen to you or are they keen to try and sell you something you maybe don’t need?

7. Don’t expect a price immediately. Every website is different and any company that rushes in to give you a price probably doesn’t 100% understand what it is you need and that might be a warning sign. This really depends on the complexity of your project of course. A simple site is easy to price for example.

8. How busy are your short listed companies? Don’t expect that people can fit you in right away, In fact a busy company is a good sign. There are exceptions of course but if a company can fit you in right away why is this so? Why are they not busy with lots of other clients work? A busy company is a good sign of a good company.

9. Companies that don’t advertise is a good sign. Don’t reach for the yellow pages to find a company. Companies that get the majority of their business through recommendations don’t need to advertise in yellow pages but are harder to find.

10. Make sure you feel you can work with the company and the nominated contact. Even if they are recommended to you at the end of the day you just might not get on with them and that’s not good for you or the web design company.

11. Do the short listed companies use separate specialists or are all (or just one) the staff multi skilled? It’s better to have a designer to do the design and a developer to do the programming, each with his own specialist knowledge.

12. Ask your short listed companies if they are aware of validated standards of programming and if they are aware and comply with the accessibility standards?

13. Do make sure you are open about your budget, this isn’t an exercise to get eh cheapest quote it’s an exercise to get the best value for money and get you the best website for your money to get as your business will rely on it. If your short listed companies seem price focused and ready to match and beat quotes then maybe they aren’t the right one. Company should be confident in their price and that it matches the service they offer. Your other research with contacting past customers will confirm whether the service is good or not.

Working with your web design company doesn’t need to be a chore and taxing. It should be pleasant and fun, to a degree. Do expect to work with your chosen company, providing input and also listening to their advice. They, after all, are the experts. Trust in them like you would your accountant or solicitor.

When you have your short-list then perhaps ask the advice of friends or family who can be a little more objective and maybe give some vital input and advice that you may of overlooked. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what looks great to you might look bad to someone else so straw polls can be valuable.

New website for Local Food Direct launched

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

We pleased to plug our latest piece of web work for Local Food Direct right here in Norfolk. Local Food Direct works with over 50 local producers and suppliers to deliver the delights of Norfolk and Suffolk straight to your home. They’re a non-profit enterprise, working to support local businesses, reduce carbon emissions and make sure that local people have access to the best local food!

As well as the e-commerce website front end especially built to cater for the unique challenges that come with ordering fresh and weighted food online there is a bespoke back office system that takes care of the full order management process.

Before & After

wllf_before wllf_after

Our client is extremely pleased with the outcome and has received many compliments from users and customers of the website.

Local Food Direct’s website can be found here:

The champagne is on us

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

champagneWho likes drinking champagne? Who likes drinking free champagne? Well we’re pleased to say that the champagne is on us.

Celebrate success
We think success should be celebrated. And success is something we’ve been delivering to our clients for over 7 years.

So now whenever we launch a new website for one of our clients we’re going to be sending them a bottle of champagne so they can toast their future success straight away!

This is not a gimmicky promotion. It’s not a time limited offer neither. We realise no one will hire us to design and build their new website purely on the basis they will get a bottle of champagne. As stated above we do think it’s right to celebrate success and we’re confident that’s what a new website from us will bring you.

So if you want success with your online marketing then get in touch and you’ll be toasting new clients in no time at all.

Get a bottle for recomending us
In addition to the above if you are the one that recommends us to the client then we will also send you a bottle of champagne when the website launches.

So if you know a company that could do with our advice and expertise then just get them to get in touch with us and don’t forget to get them to tell us that you recommended us so you’ll get that bottle of champagne delivered to your door.

We’re even using a local wine specialist The Perfect Wine here in Norfolk to choose and deliver the champagne.

So here’s to your future success!

PS: Please do not tell anyone who doesn’t like free champagne
PPS: Don’t tell anyone who doesn’t like getting new clients