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Things To Consider Before Electing A Web Design Company For Your Website

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Choosing the perfect web design company to represent your business is one of the most difficult decisions, as the success of your company depends on it. You want to hire someone who respects your vision and can turn your dream into a reality.

However, you need to finalise a clear set of objectives for your website before sitting down with an agency to discuss the details. List down your site’s goal, the type of audience it is meant for and the general idea of the site. Then, it is time to start looking for an agency. Ask colleagues or business associates for a referral, look at advertisements and search online to find potential candidates. Your initial list may seem a bit too long but don’t panic. Trim down the list by determining what qualities are essential to you. The guideline explains the process step-by-step so that you can find a suitable firm your site.

Startup Investment:

First and foremost, you need to decide on the amount that you are willing to spend. The aim is to find a suitable firm, with a significant amount of experience and a capable staff that can make things work within your budget. There are numerous fantastic web design companies with incredible customer feedback and immaculate portfolios out there. You just have to filter that list to find one that also fits your budget. That is why you need to settle on an amount first but remain open to being flexible with it. You don’t want to miss a fantastic offer just because it is a little over your initial investment plans.

You will come across many companies offering to complete your task at cheap rates. As tempting as this offer might seem don’t settle for it just yet, remember that cheap rates often mean standard work quality. They might use a cookie-cutter template or outsource your project to a third party.

Another thing that you need to watch out for is whether you get what you pay for. Is the company offering web development and design or is it just offering to design your website? Make sure you understand the terms of the agreement.

Portfolio

If a web design company does not have a portfolio, avoid it. It means that they lack in experience and have not had much of clientele. While accessing a portfolio of a potential firm, keep the following points in mind:

  • Do all the designs in the portfolio look similar or are they different. You don’t want to end up with a monotonous design that lacks creativity.
  • Individually evaluate the showcased sites. How long does it take for the website to load? Are there interactive components present in the design?
  • How well do the sites rank on search engines?
  • What is the site’s view across pcs, androids and iOS based devices?Are the designs user-friendly? How well will they enhance the UX?
  • Do the designs appear professional?
  • Does the company have experience with your niche?
  • Will they be capable of developing the design that’s in your mind?

Feedback And Reviews

To narrow down your list of candidates, do a bit of research on the company. Read online reviews, testimonials and client feedbacks. Reach out to the previous clients of the company. Their experience with the agency can help shape your opinion. Ask:

  • Whether they would recommend working with this agency?
  • Was the agency’s work up to the mark?
  • Was the company interactive and pleasing to work with?
  • Were there any complaints either with the company’s behaviour or work?
  • Were they professional?
  • This input is worthwhile. It will help you evaluate the web design company in a different light.

Competence

By now, your list must have narrowed down to a few potential candidates. Arrange a meeting with the remaining companies on your list to get to know them better. Find out whether they understand your industry. You don’t want to hire someone who does not have any insight about your niche. Will they be outsourcing your project or do they have competent in-house staff? Meet with the person who will be designing your website; direct contact with them is imperative. Test their knowledge by asking them questions related to HTML code, interactive designs, SEO optimisation, design interface across different devices, etc. to be sure that they possess the required expertise to handle the task at hand.

Make sure that you will be given access to the content management system so that you can alter or modify the content according to your will. You will also need access to install plugins for getting certain functionalities for your website such as Image Slider, Block Extension, Product Questions, Magento Review Reminder, etc. for a premium user experience for your visitors.

Communication

Communication is essential! Avoid any company that shows a lack of interest in you, since you don’t want to be stuck working with a firm that doesn’t give you the importance that you deserve. Choose a company that is always at your disposal. A company that is always there for its clients is a company that you can trust. It is important to be in direct contact with the people designing your website. Being face to face with them provides for better communication and less chance for a mistake. Be clear about your goals and ideas so they can do their job well.

Conclusion

It is important that a website is created that represents your brand image, so take your time accessing the agency. Weigh out the pro and cons before coming to any final decisions. Selecting the right fit for you is not an easy task and requires time and patience, but if done right, it can save you a lot of time, money and headaches.


Paul Simmons

Paul Simmons is an adept web developer with exposure in the eCommerce industry. With a successful completion of hundreds of projects in WordPress, WooCommerce, Magento and Joomla, he possesses years of experience and expertise. Among the valuable themes and plugins, the Custom Field WooCommerce is worthy to be mentioned here. Presently, he is powering up the FMEAddons’ web development team.


10 Website Navigation Techniques That Are Leading 2017

website-navigation-2017

The web designing and developing is engulfed with the latest techniques that are crafted to the challenging scenarios. In 2017, the previously discovered techniques are moulded according to the recent challenges, whereas the creative designers keep on producing innovative features. In this post, I have discussed some of the good techniques that may help you improve your website navigation.

  1. Add a fixed scrolling nav-bars
    The core purpose of adding navigation is to create ease for the end users to commute from one point to a web page to another. Add the navigation menu and keep it fixed for scrolling down the page. It will allow the users to keep an eye on the products and categories, regardless of the web page, they are browsing. It is quite challenging for the mobile users to scroll down, read through the text of a landing page, and keep in mind the category they are in. They are unable to view the nav bar on the product pages on the small screens of their mobile devices.
  2. Mega menus
    Selecting a style of menu for your website depends on the products and services you offer. The mega menu style is quite famous and recommended the most of a news-sharing blog, online magazine, or multi-niche educational hub. Incorporate mega menus on your website if you need to replace the regular menus that expand vertically and distort the view. This technique is quite useful for websites that readily shares informative articles and want the readers to take notice of it.
  3. Universal navigation
    Universal navigation is a form of fixed nav bar that exhibits other products or services the products has to offer. For example, a company that deals with multiple brands and has to promote them equally. With celestial navigation, they can put forth all the brands that belong to their company so that it appears on every page a user visits. The addition of celestial navigation proves fruitful for the eCommerce websites that are dealing with a mega network, and want to attract users to every portion of its website. They need to place such navigation, on every page so that users get to know about all the brands, and consider visiting them too.
  4. Vertical sliding navigation
    The vertical sliding navigation technique is a bit similar to the current vertical tabs, but this works well when perfectly applied. It is suggested to try it only if you decide to go with a full-screen design solution. Coding for a vertical navigation from zero is difficult. And, it is quite challenging for developers to incorporate it into a mobile responsive design. Most of the merchants are not interested in trying things that are complex as it takes more developer’s time and expense. But, being a demanding trend, you can try it for an extended charm and beauty of your website that looks different and attractive than others.icons
  5. Globally hidden menus
    The globally hidden menus are significant in managing the page space productively, whereas most of the users are not entirely aware of this feature. Though the designers must know the hamburger icons that signifies menu with subcategories, due to limited user awareness, they are unlikely to add this type of menu in web design. With the increased number of mobile users and their inclination towards web surfing and online shopping, they are soon to know about the hamburger menu that’s why it is considered to be an innovative trend this year. This technique clarifies the screen by summing up the entire web pages in a single menu, and only appears when the users click or tap it.
  6. Responsive sub-nav menus
    Mobile responsive designing is a need of today. Apart from improving the user experience, it is a ranking signal that tells the search engines, how the design can entertain the users coming through different devices. The responsive sub nav menu technique allows the users to navigate through different products, categories, and CMS pages through an easy to click the drop-down menu.
  7. Appealing Carousels
    The addition of carousels to the home or category page is a useful technique to let the visitors know the latest products, posts, and promotional offers. The appealing carousels offer a bird’s eye view to the users so that they can quickly go through the latest addition to the websites. This feature is becoming mandatory for blogs or websites that are frequently updated with discount offers, new arrivals, and recent news.
  8. Create a table of content
    Most of the educational websites and blogs tend to showcase maximum information on a page. The user may find it hard to know different sections or chapters on a single page. They may not be interested in the starting chapters and would like to just to a topic they need the most. With the help of a table of contents, they can easily navigate through the variety of topics with a single click. Web designs need to consider applying this technique in long articles to facilitate the users in understanding the structure and depth of the content on that particular page.
  9. All-caps Calls to Action
    The goal of every website it to navigate the users to the calls to action, it could be a sign-up, register, subscribe or any text. Keeping the text all-caps is an innovative technique for such buttons correctly if they are placed in either corner of the web page. The users focus the centre or left side of a web page, so if you need to highlight a call to action button on the right corner, it is to capitalise all the text. It is adequate for navigation.
  10. Single-page navigation dots
    Gone are the days when businesses used to create multiple pages and required the users to visit each of them separate to know about the entire website. The small businesses and web applications are turning towards a single page layout, where information is provided at the user scrolls down. To further ignite the navigation, designers can inculcate infuse dots for each page view so that users can easily navigate through the content. It allows the users to find any of the page sections with clicking a dot.

Conclusion

The trends and techniques in the field of web designing tend to change rapidly. The primary cause of subtle change is the result of the increase mobile usage, internet of things, and the awareness among users. These factors are compelling the designers to come up with innovative and result-oriented techniques to create ease and comfort for the end users in navigating a website. The above techniques seem to be quite impressive and may prove helpful for your business website too.



simon-walker
Simon Walker is a professional eCommerce Consultant with over 7 years of experience. He is currently working for FME Extension & FME Addons, premium Web Development Companies. He is also consulting businesses to help increase their online exposure and conversions.


Elements of Good Web Design for Marketing Purposes

web-design-marketing

If you own a small business or offer services of a commercial nature, chances are you have considered taking your business online. Perhaps you have already done this and set up your website in the hopes that clients will notice it and contact you with orders. In today’s scenario, more and more marketplaces are moving online. Brick and mortar outlets and offices just cannot hope to compete with e-commerce. The reach, flexibility, and opportunities that the digital medium offers are unbeatable. Are you satisfied that your website will be able to cut through the competition and grab the attention of your customers? Does your website have those magical ingredients that can turn it into your most efficient marketing tool?

Industry observers note that e-commerce is helping smaller businesses narrow the gap between themselves and the bigger established players. Why miss out on this golden opportunity? This guide is here to tell you why your website should be the focus of your marketing campaign and what the right mix of web design elements can do to completely turn around your game.

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  1. Faster Is Always Better: Who doesn’t love websites that load at lightning speed? Clients have little patience and time to wait for content to load. Optimize graphics for speed and streamline your design by cutting out unnecessary clutter. Resist the temptation to indulge in fancy gimmicks; keep it clean, simple and fuss-free. A speedy site is guaranteed to translate into bigger business for you.
  2. Create A Credible And Professional Look: A purposefully goofy look works in some cases, but unintentional tackiness makes everyone cringe. It can reflect very poorly on your reliability as a service provider. One way to rectify this and create a relaxed, confident look is to add plenty of visual breathing space and make the text easy to read. Also, ensure that you banish click bait and targeted advertising altogether.
  3. Constant Updates: A well-maintained and up-to-date website bespeaks commitment and reliability. Need we say more?
    Security: Assure customers that their information will be kept confidential. If your website is going to incorporate a payment portal, then make sure that it is mediated by a trusted and internationally recognized third-party like PayPal.
  4. Analytics And Search Engine Optimization: Any website should be backed by solid analytics. This is the tool that lets you measure performance based on quantitative indices. What pages draw the most traffic and what sorts of visitors are viewing your site? What are their interests? Having this information at your fingertips helps you tailor your website to target your coveted customer base directly rather than throwing things into the void and hoping that they stick. It is worth investing in a dedicated team to care for your SEO needs.
  5. Compelling Content: Create content that should be able to draw viewers on its merit. If you run a cosmetics business, it could be a very good idea to set up a blog section on your website and invite guest bloggers and industry experts to do informative pieces on a regular basis. Invite clients to review products they love. Introduce videos, vlogs or even contests for readers to participate in.
  6. Leverage Social Media: Following on from the previous point, your website should be closely tied with social media because this is the primary portal through which you can access clients and be seen by them. Video content and customer images can be shared through platforms like YouTube and Instagram to boost visibility, get everyone talking and your website trending.
  7. Create A Mobile Version: Nowadays, most customers are looking to access websites on their mobile phones. Websites not optimized for mobile usage appear shoddy and glitchy on smartphones. This can put off potential clients. Better yet, if you feel the investment is justified, create a dedicated app.
  8. Solid Customer Support: Nothing beats immediate and sensitive customer support. Set up a clear channel through which clients can get in touch to discuss their concerns. Offer consultations through chats. Happy customers will leave you glowing recommendations that are sure to go a long way towards building trust and helping you carve a foothold in the industry. Customer satisfaction converts one-time orders into lifelong relationships.

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We understand that owners of businesses often have a variety of pressing concerns. They may be understaffed and struggling to break even or garner a regular clientele. They may be facing stiff competition in their industry. Amidst these everyday struggles, shelling out real money for stellar web design isn’t on the top of everyone’s priority list. Unless they are backed by a savvy marketing team, they tend to grudgingly fork out the smallest possible portions of their budget for barely-adequate websites.

We are not here to convince you to drop a fortune on getting yourself a great website. A hefty price tag doesn’t equal quality. What you must do, though, is ensure that the task is handed over to a trusted professional with plenty of experience. Smaller web design companies like Hashtag17 are more focussed on individual projects and offer the same quality at more competitive price points. A rule of thumb is to take a look at the company’s portfolio and peruse customer testimonials to satisfy yourself that this is the right choice for you.

The next and most important step in this process is to formulate a plan as to what you want your website to do and communicate. How will it embody your company’s philosophy? If you don’t have a clear sense of how to achieve this, try looking for what you would consider as excellent examples of web design for marketing. Share these with your designer and let them bring your vision to life.


meenakshiMeenakshi is the cofounder of Hashtag17 and coordinates with customers on their projects. She is very passionate about web designing and user experience. She also loves to micro monitor each project the technology team works on and ensures that the company’s clients are ecstatic with the output.