In many cases the web designs of yesterday are now thought to be inefficient because they clutter up the website and give visitors so many options that they see leaving the website as an easier option. In 2016, the emphasis is on de-cluttering the look and feel of the website and only offering one or two options.
At the same time, websites must be responsive so that users of touch-screen iPhones and tablets can still access them and do all they want to on the website with their device. To achieve this some of the features we have become used to in web design are gradually disappearing or changing to improve the user experience. Here are some tips to help your business succeed with a modern, responsive web design.
Many businesses both large and small are making use of the Internet to enlarge their business and increase their bottom line. Even sole traders can start up an ecommerce store from which to sell their product or advertise their services. In fact, a great many people have found success in doing this. If you are thinking about starting up such a project, here are some tips on what you need to do.
- Create a plan. This will include several components such as deciding what to sell, finding out where to access it, working out how you will differ from the competition, locating your target market and getting the legalities and store policies into place.
SEO practices can really help you to success in your website business, whether you want traffic that converts to customers or who will sign up for something you offer for free. As with most things, some people try and trick the search engines into giving them a high ranking, but increasingly these practices not only show them up in a bad light, but may completely ruin what could have been a bonefide, successful business.
Here are 6 SEO practices to avoid if you want the search engine gods to smile on your website.
- Keyword stuffing. This is using keywords much more than is necessary for good grammar and relevant information. Some people even put in keywords to the extent that the sentence simply does not make any sense. Search engines are increasingly aware of this and will certainly not rank your website high if you do it.
Once you start looking into ways and means to advertise your small business, you will soon come across the option of Adwords marketing. This usually refers to Google Adwords. Google makes it really easy for almost anyone to set up an Adwords, or pay per click campaign, with options for much of the work to be automated, but that is not to say it is the best way to create such ads. It can be an option for those who find the process difficult and tedious.
Part of the automation process is that the ads are placed onto websites without any input from you. The keywords you use are what determines where the ads are placed. It is important then to use the right keywords. Some words sound the same but have different meanings so you need to use the negative keywords function to weed these out. Otherwise you will be paying for clicks from people who are not in the least interested in your product.
Twitter is a social media marketing platform that is sometimes overlooked by people with an online store because it is only text based – or was. That has changed now with one image allowed per post. Still, when you have a lot of products it is difficult to know what image to use. And since the text is not very long, you don’t get much chance to describe the product. So how can you use Twitter as a social media marketing platform? Here are a few tips to help you.
- In actual fact, Twitter is stripped to the bare bones of marketing which makes it very easy and quick to use. Once you get used to ‘twittering’ in short, succinct phrases you will find that your marketing efforts don’t take much time and can reward you much more than you would expect. You don’t have to set up a page, or worry about creating an interesting post that gives all the details. A few words and a URL and you’re done.
Many people dream of of setting up their own business without really looking into it. While you may have special skills that would make a great business, you also need to know a lot about setting up and running it. In fact, you really need an experienced corporate lawyer to help you set the company up in the first place. Why?
For a start, there are four different business models, so which one is best for your business? What you choose can have a big impact on things like insurance, tax, asset protection and even legal costs. Rather than choose a model that suits you at the moment, you have to include your future vision for the business and ensure the model you choose will still be right for it when you expand.
These days every business should have an online presence. Doing business in the present day is not like it was a decade or more ago. With laptops, tablets and iPhones, your customers or clients spend a lot of their time online so this is where you must be, otherwise your business will not be as successful as it should be.
But getting online is not as simple as throwing up any kind of website and hoping you will be found. Consulting a professional digital marketing agency before you start will enable you to get up and running without making many of the mistakes that can hinder your business and make it look amateurish, not to mention bury it many pages below the top search engine results.
Once you have made a decision to start up an eCommerce store, there are several components that you will find essential. In fact, it is wise to find out all about what you need even before the final decision is made.
For a start, some things – e.g. the shopping cart – will cost you, so you need to know whether or not you can afford them. That said, there are many ways of reducing costs; one of them is to use free services or a free trial period for when you first start up. That will allow you to have extra to spend on advertising.
So here are 7 necessary elements that your eCommerce store will need to get started: –
- Since so many shoppers these days use their iPhones to shop, your website needs a responsive interface. This means that button and other icons that they need to click on must have lots of space around them – enough for their finger to do the clicking rather than a tiny arrow from the cursor. You also need to choose the shopping cart with mobile functionality in mind.
If your company needs a logo it is a sure bet that you want it to be unique, distinct, easily recognisable, practical, appropriate – and to have that wow factor that is difficult to explain, but you know when you see it. This is not so easy to do as it may sound, even for a logo designer with a great deal of experience. It takes discussion with the client and research of the company and of the general history of the business it represents, not to mention finding out what ideas, if any, have already been thought of.
However, there are certain basic principles of logo design that must not be forgotten in the general scramble to offer something that is different, but effective.
If you have a desire to sell goods online then you’ve most likely considered how you will build your e-commerce website. There is no doubt that shopping cart websites are complex. They require not only a high quality, functional and usable layout and design, but also a secure and well thought out back end as well, in order to facilitate the financial transactions that will take place on the site.
An e-commerce website should be well planned, with every aspect of the site having a purpose and contribution to the overall goal of converting your website visitors into buyers of your products. There are now many options when it comes to building a shopping website. You can use an open source piece of software, you can pay a web developer to build your entire site from scratch, or, in the case of very small e-commerce sites, you can even simply use Paypal to build a simple shopping cart. The size of your website and your budget will determine which path you take.
For those of you who have never had the occasion to learn how all this “font” or web typography stuff got started in the first place, 37Signals has a great post up about The Art of Computer Typography. It’s a great little history lesson on how hacker guru Donald Knuth basically brought typography to the computer age the way Moses brought the commandments down from the mountain.
It’s good to appreciate how you website’s font setup can make the difference between visitors staying and leaving. There is something wonderful in the way a page full of well-laid-out, well-kerned type makes the reading experience easier for everyone. And of course, it wards you away from those dreadful yellow-on-red pages with Comic Sans text.
Las Vegas! Hot as blazes (by American standards), seedy and cheesy, and crazy hyped all the time, but when the consumer electronics show convention season starts up it’s like they’re the top spot. Might as well browse the list of things to look forward to at this year’s CES and get a lead on the next buzz early, because you’ll be hearing about at least some of it soon enough.
Our bets on what will pan out:
- Ultrabooks – Hot! They’re just the next generation of laptops, after all.
- Windows 8 – Let’s see, is Windows still relevant? Yeah, for a while. Hot!
- 4K TV – Snoo-o-o-ore! Look, bigger, bustier TVs are just for rich wanks to show off. Nobody else really cares. We still like our black-and-white model with the knobs and rabbit-ears we got in 1955. Buying a $4000 unit doesn’t make the shows any better.
- 3D – Snore. 3D just isn’t here yet. It’s like the flying car from Blade Runner.
- Ice Cream Sandwich – Hot! Brilliant name, that.
- Digital cameras – Ah, yeah, they’re very nice. Sorta hot, but where else can it go now?
- Video content – Hot, but we agree that industry needs to get off the fence and make it more available. Naive international content barriers don’t help.
Dark Reading has a thought-provoking post up about the popular buzzphrase “insider threat”, and, to the point, how it really doesn’t make sense as a term. The post advocates for a more fine-grained approach:
- rogue employees – This is actually the darkest prospect, and yet entrepreneurs fear it the most while it actually happens the least.
- security loss through incompetence – now we’re talking!
- just plain leaks – through, for instance, trusting a third party and then their incompetence exposed you to risk.
- outside attacker penetrating inside – really, every outside threat aims to become an inside threat.
Experience has proved out time and again, that under-trained or careless employees are the greatest threat vector. For every “Hollywood hacker” trying to get into your site, there’s a hundred receptionists setting their password to “1234”, a hundred associates using a malware-infected Windows PC to send mail, a hundred security guards who aren’t watching what they should, and a hundred coders who left a gaping exposure to XSS in your web page. It’s ridiculous to treat malicious attackers and mistakes all the same way.
Did you ever think you’d live to see the day when you’d read this headline? Here, wait, let’s hear it in OSNews’ own words first:
“The world’s most popular operating system will not be receptive to Flash, and Microsoft openly stating Flash is history pretty much means that as a platform for the web, it’s done. Flash may still serve a purpose in other ways, but the Flash most of us know and hate – that’s gone.”
Wha… ? Done? Gone? Flash? DOA? Belly-up? Bereft of life, resting in peace?
Yes, the MSDN developer website seems pretty sure about this. HTML5 is where it’s at now. Throw away those O’Reilly Actionscript manuals and beef up on your HTML5. Meanwhile, Apple Insider can barely keep the gloating out of its coverage of the story.
The hilarious irony in all of this? Linux, the platform the Adobe despised the most, is now the only platform that will give the time of day to Adobe. So, ah, Adobe, do you suppose Firefox Ubuntu users can expect their Flash plugin update on time for a change?
An interesting pocket of web design is found on Naldz Graphics, with a gallery of 40 websites of rock bands. Now, the point of this post is “look at designs, be inspired in your own designs” and in fact some of these might work better for businesses other than a band.
We asked our own resident rock ‘n’ roll expert (he has a Frank Zappa poster in his cubicle) to rate how these designs work for a band as a business case.
Here’s some of the verdicts:
A stunning new report from Fast Company asks Why Are the Rich So Good at the Internet? It kind of seems obvious at first, but even within the tiers of people well-able to afford technology, there’s a difference in how much you use the Internet depending on your income.
The report is fascinating, and puzzling. But we think we can make some guesses as to what’s going on (take these with a grain of salt; they’re just theories):
- The rich have more leisure time, so more time to play online.
- The rich got that way through being thrifty, so they’re keener to use online shopping to find a bargain.
- The rich have higher-tech jobs, so they’re naturally more Internet-savvy.
- The rich are better educated, so they know more about what computers can do.
- The rich have been able to afford computers for a longer time and so are more experienced. This is a little Easter egg – a $40,000/year and $80,000/year salary can afford the same computer – in 2010. In 1990, computers were much more expensive compared to the cost-of-living then, so only the richer household could have afforded them then. The poorer users have to catch up in learning.
We jumped when we saw the title of the post: How to be a good client, but then when we read the content, it wasn’t what we had in mind. Don’t get us wrong, it’s all good advice, but we’d really like to take this time to advise readers on how to get the most out of hiring an online freelance web designer:
1. Link to an example of what you want. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. You can talk to a designer all day, “I want an arty header and a side link bank, but it should move with the scrollwheel and have green and blue colors…” That can still be interpreted 100 different ways. Find a picture to start with, then detail how you want it different.
It’s worth checking in over at Programmable Web once in awhile just to see what they’re up to, with their API discoveries. Google, Twitter, Flickr, and all, the defining mark of a popular Web 2.0 service is whether people do things with your API.
Notable developments from just one recent week:
This may come as an astonishing shock to some people, but Adobe Photoshop is not the only application in the world!
Perhaps we could bring some fresh viewpoints to our design process, if we tried another tool just once…
Of course, the fact that these graphics makes your website pleasing to view is also extra helpful. Graphics in your website can also make your website easy to view and also easy to understand. Many people will have trouble reading long texts and deriving information from them.
By embedding all relevant information in your graphics, you are guaranteed to convey the needed information to your visitors.