Creative Web Design

By contracting a creative web design company to design your new website as opposed to a more traditional web company, you give yourself an unmeasurable edge over your competition in the eyes of your potential customers.

Traditional design companies focus on purely getting a site put together with relevant information, that functionally works. Enter Web 2.0 and more traditional marketing avenues venturing into the marketplace, and creative web design companies have come into the game.

By ‘creative web design’, I refer to websites which still have the functionality and relevant information consumers have come to expect, but have a huge focus on the aesthetic aspect, and use traditional marketing ‘wow factor’ to capture the users attention, and last longer in their mind than those of the competitor.

Picture a billboard with great graphic design and immaculate choice of imagery, compared with an ad on the side of the road simply with a name and number. While you may have chosen to look at both, the creative approach will prompt you, the audience, to remember the creative billboard.

Now picture two websites, side by side. One with a flash intro page, immediately showing a montage of images and grabbing y our attention; which leads into a visually beautiful website where every pixel is perfectly crafted into alignment. Next, a bland website showing you purely text and a basic navigation. The difference is so enormous it’s like comparing Black and White TV with a 3d Movie Theatre.

Through the use of the latest and greatest technology, a creative web design company will use Flash, jQuery, and HTML5 to visually engage the user; however this is where the pitfalls of a creative web design can come into play.

Many years ago, around the year 2000, many graphic design companies started to see an emergence in the marketplace for web services. Many of these companies had employees with a little web experience, enough to get by, and as such they began offering web services. What they didn’t understand was functionality, valid mark-up, cross-browser compatibility, or SEO – all things which a more traditional web design company would take into account.

While this would be classed as a creative web design company, often their creative web design’s wouldn’t be successfully converted from a design into code, and having mis-alignments in a design (especially cross-browser) became commonplace. Without experienced developers on-hand, many of these problems became overlooked, and many substandard creatively designed websites are still around today, with more and more being sent live on the world wide web every day.

For this reason, when looking to hire a creative web design company, you should always be sure to look into their operation, most reputable companies won’t mind you asking a few questions. In a creative web design company, the people building your site should be working as a team. The days of all-rounders are over, and when creativity is to be combined with functionality, it is essential to have a ‘designer’ as well as a ‘developer’ work on your project.

A designer is generally artistically minded, and may have worked as a graphic designer in the print world at some capacity. Thei r goal is to create a visually appealing design for your approval. This will be a static image of what your website is going to look like, as it is much faster to edit a graphic than to edit a coded website. Most creative web design agencies work in a similar fashion, as this allows for the complete artistic talent of the designer to be used, and complete use of the imagination of not only the designer, but also the client.

Once a design is approved, a developer steps in to convert this to a web format in standards compliant code. This may include implementation of a Content Management System (CMS), and generally involves some mild Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as well as cross-browser compatibility. Once this is done, your brand new creative web design is all ready for the World Wide Web.

You need to choose a creative web design company that can fulfil all of your needs from creating a website which suits your brand image and captivates the user, to something which will navigate easily, rank well on search engines, function the same across your entire user-base, and ultimately lead to more conversions in your market.

The main things to keep in mind when choosing a creative web design company are their design to implementation process, their cost, their portfolio, and ultimately the level of service you can expect. I am an online consultant, and can help you shoul d you have trouble finding an agency, or even if you would like me to help in assessing another agencies ability to meet your needs to come up with a creative web design that will fit your needs and help in squashing your competition.

Success With Starting a Small Business Online

Statistics are showing that there are more people today who are making the decision to run their own business instead of working for someone else. Operating a business without having to depend on a company paycheck, is a great feeling. Doing work for yourself that is not just a clone cubicle job is another rewarding feeling. These things are a big part of why many people choose to open their own businesses, and are what makes self employment so desirable. The pressure of having everything rest on one’s shoulders is usually enough to frighten away the masses though. Making the decision to be in business for yourself, should never be made lightly.

Starting a small business online, is a lot safer and easier than taking the chance and spending a life savings on a brick and mortar business. Running a business from the comfort of your own home or place of choice, and not having to spend time on traveling to work, will make things a lot easier and less time consuming. The time that you save on unnecessary things, can be utilized to enhance your business. The idea is to work smarter, and not harder! Business is not rocket science, but you need to be on top of things and think like a true leader in order to succeed.

There are so many new small businesses starting up online daily. There are many that are doing very well financially but the majority of websites that are online today do not get a lot of viewers. that is because the people who know what they are doing, are getting the lion’s share of the various markets. Making your small business a successful one needs the right type of website and the right type of customers drawn to it. Before starting any business, it is a good idea to plan first what you want to sell and how you want your site to appear to people searching on the web.

The process of market and niche research is very important, and should always be the first step when starting a business online. This would then be closely followed by keyword research, to ensure you were going after the correct and “selling” keywords. The types of words that people in the “buying mood” use when they utilize the search engines such as Google and Bing. I cannot stress this enough, market and keyword research is the most essential step towards success on the web (or in any business for that matter).

The second most important thing is your website; how it looks, and how well it operates. The appearance of your site is so very important, because the look of your site can either turn people away or have them interested in what you want to convey. Whether you have something to sell that is very useful or something that a lot of people are looking for, your site must appeal to the public for your business to become a successful one. Regarding operation, your website should not be hard to navigate and find the important items or information. It should be logical in its layout, and all functions should work as intended. If a potential customer receives a 404 error when trying to buy a product of yours, chances are good that he will not finish the purchase.

If you take care and time to design your product, you should do the same when designing your online business structure and your website. No matter who creates the website, only YOU can properly design how it will operate. If you choose to have developers work on your web design and SEO, make sure that you are able to articulate that design properly before work begins. As long as you follow through on all of your information, and advertise your product correctly, your online business will be a great success!

Purchasing a Small Business Online – Advantages of Buying Established Websites

Purchasing a small business online has become a popular way for new and or modestly established internet marketers to get started making money online. In much the same way selling a website has become a way for developers to extract cash from their creations, leaving the burden of managing sites to others.

Purchasing a Small Business Online Has the Advantage of Longevity and SEO Credentials
An established website has a distinct advantage over a newly built one, namely that advantage of having been spidered / crawled by search engines numerous times. This means that a number of highly credible backlinks to the site have already been established, making the site’s content (and offers) much easier for the search engines to find.

How to Extract More Value Out of an Existing Web Presence
Although existing sites may have the advantage of being thoroughly crawled by search engines, many times the site design is poorly optimized for what ultimately became the existing content on the site. Often times a little dusting off of the content, dressing up the site title, keywords, and description (to better match the page contents) can bring a dramatic increase in traffic for little or no cost to the new owner. More (targeted) traffic to a website inevitably results in more money.

Tips on Starting from Scratch
Although it is easier to simply throw down some money and buy an existing internet property, there are many times when no existing properties are for sale. When there are no established sites for sale sometimes the next best alternative is to partner up with someone already in the space. That’s where a good affiliate program can come in handy.

Purchasing a Small Business Using an Affiliate Program Template
Highly profitable web businesses many times will offer pre-made site templates to affiliates who sign up for their program. This can be a great way to get an optimized, professional, highly attractive presence in that market quickly. The new affiliate will pick up a domain name to use and load the template onto a hosting account for that domain and have a new high quality site to promote up in a day. Then it becomes a question of creating content and building some targeted backlinks to get the site indexed.

Purchasing a small business site template this way can be a good way for a new web marketer to get started. It has the advantages of the professional sales content and end product already made with only traffic generation left for the new affiliate to do.

Starting a Small Business Online

The first thing you have to do is decide what type of business you would enjoy. It is important to offer products or services that are of interest to you. Once you figure out what type of business you want to start then you will be able to take the necessary steps to set your business up online. You will need to advertise your business so that people can get to know all about what you are offering. Advertising can be done online or offline for your new internet business. You will find many internet advertisers to help you with advertising your new business. This will help to lead traffic to your business website.

When starting up a small business online you will need to put products or services on your website. If you do not have a website, there are many web designers who would be happy to offer you their services. There is always the option of making your own website – all it takes is a little hard work and the patience to learn something on your own. You will need to think very carefully, about what products and services you want on your website because you want items that will have a good chance of selling to make your small business a success. It is a good idea to place a few items up for sale just to see how well they do. Then you will know how much inventory you will need to carry for each item. After your website is set up, you will need to advertise as much as possible.

The internet is a great place to set up a small business. If you advertise often, you will get a good deal of customers looking at your website to buy your products or services. Any information that you need to know about running a small online business is available online. You can research products and services to see what is selling well so that you will know what to offer your customers. There are countless resources online for tips on running a small online business. Just be sure to make sure the sources of the advice you take from the internet are reputable. It is very important when starting a business to take advantage of all the marketing and advertising tools you can get to make your business a success. Your website will need to generate enough traffic to stay in business – the more your website appears in search engines, the more traffic you will receive.

The prices of your products and services should be competitive with other websites offering the same products or services, so it is good to do some research in advance to know how to set your prices. Your website should be interesting and easy to navigate, and you should have a contact email on your website for customers to contact you to ask any questions about your products and/or services. This will encourage your customers to come back again. It takes time and patience when operating a small online business. You have to advertise and build a website so that people know what you are selling; these things take time so it is important not to get discouraged in the beginning.

10 Steps to Hiring the Best Web Designer Or Web Design Company For Your Business Website

You have been planning forever to get a website designer to work on your site. Your plans are clear and you have prepared your content. What next? How do you go about choosing the best web designer or web design company?

Step 1. Ask around. Ask friends, or similar companies who have hired a web designer in the past. Besides getting the contact numbers of the web designers, ask how it is to work with that person. Find out what happened during the design process and what they think of the designs submitted.

Step 2. Do your research for contact information. Use the internet or your phonebook to get the names and contact information of web design companies in your area. If you use the internet, have a peek of their past work. Then contact each and ask for a quotation.

Step 3. Look through the portfolio of the web design company you are choosing from. See if the designs are professional-looking, clean and easy to use.

Step 4. Look at the experience of the web designer or Web Design Company. How long has the person or company been in business? How many companies have they designed for?

Step 5. See if the designer or web design company is up to date with the newest trends in web marketing. Useful, profitable websites attract the correct traffic with search engine optimization and usability and by employing web 2.0 strategies such as social media marketing. Effective web sites take SEO and usability into serious consideration. See if your web designer has at least a basic knowledge of both. In order for your website to be successful you need to be able to implement a successful internet marketing campaign.

Step 6. Look at the web designer or web design company proposed turnaround time. Does it match the schedule of your company’s plans?

Step 7. Examine the web designer or web design company terms of service and website files ownership. See if you agree with the conditions set by the designer to work with you. See also the rights as to who owns the final output and what sizes. If this is not clear from the start, you just may be surprised to find that the work you commissioned is not yours and you may have to pay extra to get it.

Step 8. See what the web designer offers for after-design services. Will the designer help maintain your site or is the designer only expected to do the initial design?

Step 9. Talk to the designer. Is s/he easy to communicate with? You should be able to communicate with your web designer easily. You should be comfortable presenting problems that you want solved. Your web designer should be respectful and prompt. You should both be able to compromise on what will work best for the viewers, not necessarily your personal taste.

Step 10. Look for previous, happy clients. You may look through the designer’s website or blog and see if there are client testimonials. Note what they have to say about the designer. You may also try to call them (you may ask the contact number from the web designer) and ask for comments regarding the design process and final output.