Find Web Developers
Find Web Developers

Reasons Why Web Designers Should Use Facebook Applications

September 13th, 2018

Small businesses everywhere are hooked on the benefits of Facebook. Facebook is a platform where you can network, promote and market your products or services. It is also a great place to connect with potential customers, new customers and existing customers.

All these features on Facebook are available when you register for an account. However, Facebook also offers many different applications that can be very beneficial. Learn Web Development offers a course on how to implement social media in your web design or web development company and how to make a strategy for prosperity with them.

Here are seven reasons why you should be on Facebook and what applications can do for your web design company:

1. Traffic Controller: Facebook is a great place for people to visit your website, blog or portfolio. You can share messages, updates and all the links in your profile.

2. Brand Identity: When using Facebook and keep it current, it is a great way to gain visibility. With this comes a greater likelihood of exposure, potential customers and a beneficial way to network with the masses.

3. Commitment: All social media platforms are used for some type of communication. Facebook in particular is ideal to engage new customers, old and future. You can have conversations with them, know them, and find ways that their services will benefit.

4. Reputation: Facebook allows you to not only keep up with his reputation, but also to refute the negative comments and keep a positive focus for your business. Also, the more he liked on Facebook, the more likely to be seen and appear in the higher ranks of search engines.

5. Relations: Similar to working with all types of clients, Facebook will give you the opportunity to build connections and develop sincere relationships with past clients, present and future. Build a relationship with these people may end up more shows in the future, either with them or recommendation.

6. Applications votes: Facebook offers several applications that create a feedback channel for your business. They even go a step further by allowing you to see trends and consumer behavior so you can find a way to adapt your business to those needs.

7. Social Media is expected: the number one reason you should have a Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn account, it is because customers, clients and what they expect you to be there. Especially being a web designer or web developer, it’s your job to keep up with all the innovations in the world of the web, so not having an account of social media can do harm.

As you can see, it is very important for all web designers and web developers to have a presence in social media for your business and your reputation as a designer or programmer. If you need help in developing a strategy, learning Web Development offers a course in media for web designers that would be perfect for you.

Why Web Designers Don’t Build SEO Friendly Sites

September 12th, 2018

After spending tens of thousands of dollars building my third website with a ‘top’ web designer and being unhappy with the results, I finally took the time to study SEO and website optimization. I read several books on search engine optimization, including The Art of SEO (by Stephen Spencer and team) to understand the basics, then I took advanced SEO training courses and spent several months learning what really makes a website rank- and what you can do to design (or should I say ‘re-design’) your website so it does what you intended it to do in the first place; attract visitors who want what you have to offer- organically- without paying for every click.

Beware: Expensive web designers don’t use best practices

Just because you overpaid for your website doesn’t guarantee you will have your search engine optimization needs met. I was horrified to learn in hindsight that our expensive web development team didn’t even know what ‘SEO best practices’ meant, although they said the site would be built with best practices in their quote. There are certain key things you should beware of when hiring a web developer, and let me save you some money right upfront- if your web developer says he/she doesn’t write content, this person has no clue about SEO. Many web designers ask YOU to provide the content, and feel their job is to post it for you and make it ‘look pretty.’ If that’s the case, your site will not rank for the keywords you’re hoping to rank for.

It’s not their fault- it’s yours

It’s their job to get your site posted and done quickly and cost effectively; this is how web developers earn money; the more sites that get finished and posted each month, the more money they earn. They are essentially ‘coding people’ who understand how to post web pages and would prefer not to spend all the hours it would take to do all the keyword research, page mapping and internal link designing you need to do in advance of building your site in order to rank for the keywords and phrases you want to rank for. And honestly, it might not be all their fault. You were probably looking to save money when building your site and if the developer quoted you for the SEO work you needed in addition to the work he had to do to build your site, you’d probably reject his estimate and find someone else to do it cheaper. (Not all web designers fit this description, so don’t get offended if you’re a web developer who builds search-friendly websites).

Decide on your keywords in advance

If you want qualified traffic for your site, do your research in advance and understand which terms you are trying to rank for. Pick no more than 2-3 per page and write your content around those keywords. Be sure to check your competitors before jumping in and make sure the words you want to rank for don’t have so much competition that you don’t really have a chance; find keywords and phrases that are realistic and go for those. Evaluate the number of links your competitors have as well. Although there is no such thing as the perfect web page or web site, that doesn’t matter. You just have to be better than your competitor.

It’s like the story of the two guys in the woods who hear a bear coming- one guy starts putting on his sneakers and his friend says, “You’ll never out run the bear!” The guy putting on his sneakers says calmly, “I don’t have to… I just have to outrun you.”

Outrank your competitors

Remember, you don’t need to be perfect; you just need to outrank your competitor.

What You Should Be Looking For When Hiring A Web Designer

September 10th, 2018

Has this happened to you?

A business friend or colleague refers you to someone who has just designed their new or revised web site. You’re told what a wonderful job the designer did and how pleased everyone is with how the site looks. Knowing what you do about the referring party, you call the design studio and shortly thereafter award your project.

Way too often this is a big mistake. Only last week did I hear again how the decision to go with a referral was going to result in terrible consequences. The site, which is to sell specialty dog products would be months late and may not be ready for the prime selling season of the Holidays. Inventory had already been purchased causing the delayed launched to burn a whole in the site owner’s pocket.

ALL WEB Sites ARE NOT THE SAME!!

If there is a truism about web design and production, it is that, like all businesses, all web sites are not the same. Web development, design and production is multidisciplinary. Some agencies are great at marketing but fall short on creating usable interfaces. Some designer studios render wonderful interfaces but lack the expertise in developing server-side programming requirements. Be careful when you hear the words “Web Designer” as that means different things to different people.

Many web sites require extensive back end integration with back office operations compared with others which are simple brochureware web sites. All designers and developers do not have the same skills and experiences and you may unwittingly choose one who is not capable of delivering your site on time and on budget.

Web sites that will miss their launch dates, like the one i referred to above, means lost economic opportunities for the site owner.

FIVE THINGS TO CHECK OUT WHEN HIRING A DESIGN STUDIO

1. Note that design studios have core competencies and outsource the skills needed beyond their knowledge base. That can have a down side as free lancers may not be available to the studio and their commitment to the project may not be as keen as the studio itself.

2. You can not tell what a studio did for a web project just by looking at that web site.

Most studios showcase their work but frequently do not make it clear as to exactly what they did. When reviewing portfolios make sure you know exactly what the studio itself did and what work was subbed out or done by others.

3. Ask what Content Management System (CMS) will be used for your site. Will it be an open source solution (like WordPress or Drupal, for example) or something that will be customized or made proprietary for your use. What kind of CMS training will be provided so you will know how to manage and develop the site after it is launched?

4. Ask about the design optimization testing that will be used for your project. What browsers, screen resolutions and viewport size testing will be done to ensure design integrity? What legacy browsers will be tested? What about handheld devices and the possible need for a mobile site?

Find out if your designer follows the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards which has become the main stream approach to web design and helps bullet proof your site against future technologies.

5. Definitely take references and check them out in your vetting process. Ideally, speak with a business owner who’s project is similar to yours. That’s an ideal way to find out how the studio did the work and what bottlenecks occurred so you can be prepared if you choose that studio.

DO THE RIGHT THING BEFORE YOU HIRE A DESIGN STUDIO

Before you ever approach anyone to work on your project develop the requirements for your site on paper much as you would a business plan. Organize all the requirements of your site into a Request For Proposal (RFP) document. The better you can articulate what the deliverables are the more likely it is you’ll be successful in finding the right studio,

Use your RFP to set up a competitive bidding process between a small number of studios you have pre-selected. Yes, you can use the referral your friend gave you but have them submit their bid, along with others, so you can have proposals to compare. The RFP carries all the advantages for you including getting studios that may otherwise pass on quoting your project interested in what you are doing.

Conduct your search just like you would a design contest. Make sure no one has an unfair advantage over another studio. And NEVER disclose what your budget is or what you are willing to pay. That puts the single biggest hurt into a process which should end up with a lot of satisfied people if conducted fairly.