Web Design Blog Posts

With the ever changing landscape of the internet, a good business website needs to be easily flexible and customizable for the long term. For businesses with long term strategies, a responsive design website is crucial to build and maintain. WordPress is a great platform to do just that.

More than ever, how friendly your website is for mobile devices affects your site’s ranking in search. But more importantly, visitors don’t want to come to a site that’s difficult to navigate from their phones. Mobile users are much less forgiving when it comes to load times and sites that are not able to be navigated quickly. This is why search engines, especially Google, use mobile friendliness as a major factor in ranking search results.

By choosing a responsive design theme on WordPress, you can update the look and feel of the site easily. Meanwhile, your content remains intact. If your business decides to make changes to its offerings, minor or major, it’s easy to add pages and move things around without having to invest in a complete redesign. Best of all, it will adjust to appear correctly on just about any device.

Many content management platforms can undergo major changes. These can cause serious issues with your website’s function and performance. However, if you choose a solid WordPress hosting platform, such as WP Engine, your host will keep on top of updates for you. If there will be any compatibility issues with a new version of WordPress, you can switch to a newer similar theme without causing major interruptions in your site’s usability.

As one of the most supported hosting platforms around, WordPress isn’t going anywhere. It’s easy to back them up and transfer them from host to host if necessary. There are also a wide array of plugins that can help you do pretty much anything you could ever want to do with your site.

For the long term, businesses are wise to invest in a responsive WordPress website. With the ability to easily create a full featured website that grows with your business, the WordPress platform might just be the right one for your business website.

What should online merchants do when they suspect someone is using a stolen credit card? If you have an online store, you may have gotten an order that looks suspicious. Maybe it’s an order for five of the same item that typically people don’t buy that many of, or some other massive order that isn’t normal.

Other signs of suspicious online shoppers include:

  • Multiple payment cards have been used by the same IP address within a few days
  • The shopper’s billing address is more than a certain number of miles from the shipping address.
  • The shopper’s email address has been flagged in a database of known fraud activity
  • The bank identification number (BIN) of the card shows that the transaction comes from a country with a high-risk of fraud.

So what do you do if you think a transaction was suspicious? Where do you turn?

Read more

When designing a mobile-friendly, responsive website, many web designers are curious as to what dimensions they should build their website within. There are several guidelines to follow when designing your site, especially when it comes to the width of your pages and how well they adjust to various screen sizes.


One way to keep your site mobile-friendly is to set what are called “breakpoints” in your website’s CSS file. This helps give your site the ability to adjust to different screen resolutions, especially when it comes to width. The last thing you want your website visitors to see, especially on mobile, is horizontal scroll bars! As a typical rule of thumb, if the user’s screen is small than 480 pixels, this is when the site should display a smartphone layout. If the screen size is between 480 and 1024, you’ll want your site to display the tablet layout. Any resolution higher than that should automatically display the “regular” desktop layout.


There are many responsive website templates out there that adjust to various mobile screen sizes. But what if the script to detect the screen resolution doesn’t properly recognize it? This can lead to your site being hard to use or even unusable for some mobile users. This is something that you definitely don’t want to happen. But following these width guidelines should eliminate most major issues.


Of course, this means that you’ll be creating CSS rules for every one of those three (or more) layouts. However, this can be a good thing, as you can eliminate higher-resolution photos and JavaScript code using these scripts that won’t serve a purpose on mobile devices. Really, the best design template to use for a mobile friendly website is one that is built on columns and rows that adjust automatically based on how they are being viewed. This is done by using what are called fluid containers, some of which are defined using set widths, and others that automatically adjust to resolution. This way, when new devices are released, you don’t have to create a new script for it.
In the long run, you just want to be sure that your website is adaptable to as many screens as it possibly can be. Testing your website on a wide array of devices is crucial.  But trying to have the same website display on all devices without lots of extra fancy CSS scripts is really the best way to go. The less your website has to work to display correctly, the faster it will load, and therefore, the better it will perform.

Mobile Web design is one of the hottest topics for a good reason. Since more than half of all Internet users access it from their phone, you have to be 100 percent sure that your website is functional on phone screens. Not only that, you have to make sure that your site looks good, as well. It should also be streamlined for easy navigation. But perhaps the most important element of mobile Web design you need to focus on is how fast (or slow) your website pages load.


The first thing you want to check is to see just how mobile-friendly your existing website already is. Google has a tool for checking your website’s mobile friendliness. Also, Google has found that visitors are 5 times more likely to “bounce” off of your website if it’s not mobile-friendly. That’s a staggering number. But it’s not surprising considering that more searches than ever start on mobile than on desktop.


So what is the first major thing to consider when optimizing for mobile-friendly design? It’s page load time. One of the major elements of mobile Web design that you need to succeed in today’s internet is how instantly something loads. Google says that “nearly half of all visitors will leave a mobile site if the pages don’t load within 3 seconds.” It’s not quite that quickly for desktop users. But when when people are checking things on their phones, it’s understandable that they want a nearly instant response from a website that they’re trying to visit.


So what causes slow page load time? Sometimes, the trouble lies in code that may make the site look good on desktops. But on the phone, this presentation isn’t going to be as fantastic. All this extra code does is slow the page load time on a mobile phone. You may also have high-resolution images that look gorgeous on a desktop screen. But on a mobile device? They take too much data to actually load properly within a reasonable amount of time. You’re also sucking up valuable data usage for your users. No one wants to deal with a website that uses up a lot of their monthly high-speed data usage.


So now you know the major culprits of slow page load time. How do you fix these issues? One of the best ways to overcome mobile page load issues is to employ a responsive website design that is generally the same on both desktops & laptops and mobile devices. Some website owners employ a different version of their website for mobile and desktop users. This creates a different user experience and perhaps in some niche cases it’s okay to have two separate sites. However, for most people and businesses, a simple responsive website that adjusts from a mobile phone screen to the largest desktop monitor is best.


With a simple, streamlined responsive website, you’re only keeping track of a single website. Whether you choose WordPress or a similar Content Management System (CMS) make sure you have a theme that’s both eye-catching and easy on load time. The more scripts and fancy widgets you have on your site will simply hamper people from even finding your site in search! It’s best to have a simpler website that anyone can find on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or whatever their favorite search engine. Otherwise, you might have a website that people only find by typing in the address on a business card.


With Google and other search engines making mobile-friendliness a priority, it’s time for you to make sure you have a responsive, quickly loading mobile-friendly website today.

Search Engine Optimization


Have you been looking over your website stats and noticing a “high bounce rate”? Simply put bounce rate is when someone comes to a page on your site and that’s all they look at. What is considered a “good bounce rate”? Usually, a rate this high is considered bad. What causes it? There are a variety of reasons that your website is experiencing a high bounce rate.


Page Load Time

The first thing to watch when you have a bounce rate north of 70 percent is page load time. Many people won’t stay on the page if it doesn’t load quickly. Make sure that your site loads as quickly as possible. The worst thing is a website nobody waits around to see. It could also be that perhaps your page isn’t loading correctly, especially on mobile. You’ll want to address any mobile loading issues, as well.


Time on Page

If you’re a service-based business, it’s possible that visitors could just be grabbing a phone number or email address from your home page and leaving. This could artificially boost your bounce rate and it’s something to watch. You could have good design, but sometimes all people need is the contact info right at the top of the page.

This is when you need to watch your average visitor’s time on page. If it’s a few seconds that’s not good. It means your visitors often aren’t getting what they are looking for with your site at all. If it’s more like 15 to 30 seconds, then it’s likely they’re at least scanning the page. But you still want better than that on average.

If your average visitor time is closer to a minute, however, it means people are actually showing interest. That means you’re doing something right. So how do you capture their attentions even more?


Calls to Action and Interactivity

Perhaps, your home page doesn’t have enough calls to action. The best way to keep people on your site is to make it interactive and fun. You want your site to have colorful buttons and good,  relevant images that capture attention. Some sites even gamify their content to entice people to interact.

While gamification of a website isn’t for everyone, think of new and innovative ways to get your target audience to explore more of your site. Of course, the longer you keep visitors interested, the higher chance that you’ll be kept in mind or even contacted right away for your products or services.

Videos are another way to keep people on your site. Many site visitors aren’t fond of autoplay videos, but just having one gives visitors another reason to interact with your site. It needs to be short and sweet and be directed at what problems you’re trying to solve for your visitors.


Compelling Website Copy and Design


Your website copy and design should flow directly towards converting visitors. The easier you make it for people to know exactly what you do and contact you, the lower your bounce rate will be. Really, as long as your website is effective, your bounce rate will lower accordingly.

If your bounce rate is extremely high, you definitely want to pay attention to what they are missing. Some basic streamlining and better attention grabbing copy, images or features could be all you need to steal the spotlight from your competition.

With the remodeling business growing all the time, it’s becoming harder for home improvement companies to stand out among increasing competition.The number one marketing weapon you can have with any business is a custom website, and it’s especially true for home improvement companies. From roofing contractors to full-service design-build construction companies, custom websites are a necessity in today’s highly competitive home improvement market.


Homeowners often get at least three bids from different home improvement companies before starting a remodeling project. So, you want to ensure that you have a custom website that potential customers not only can easily find online, but that will stand out in visitors’ minds when they are making a buying decision.


A Custom Website Helps Harness the Power of Local SEO


Search engines are your friend, especially when it comes to local search. For years, many contractors have relied on directory listings for leads. Some still do. But in today’s online world, search engine users are looking for a solid website. Home improvement companies without a website, with an outdated website, or with a website that is clunky or difficult to use on mobile devices simply will not capture leads effectively.


A custom website should be built with responsive design, earning that it will display well and function properly on virtually any device. Many potential customers use their smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices to do their searches now. You want to have your local listing linking to an effective website that is easy to navigate, easy to find information, and with effective call-to-actions that make it easy to contact you.


If you aren’t ranking qwell on local searches, a custom website with the proper SEO (search engine optimization) work done and responsive design will dramatically improve your search rankings. It’s simply a must-have lead generation machine. Companies without websites or ineffective websites simply can’t compete with companies that have well-executed custom websites.


Custom Websites Can Show Off Your Projects, Products and Services


Having an up-to-date, state-of-the-art website can also be a source of pride for your business. You’ve long been able to have a portfolio of work on a website, but nowadays, you need a custom website that displays your work effectively on every device. Having a custom responsive design website ensures that you show off your past projects as best as you can no matter what device the website visitor chooses to use.


Also, custom websites allow you to showcase your services and favorite products with style. Your website is a great way to highlight value-added services, too.  You may even have a blog that talks about recent projects and exciting news about new products or services that you’re offering. Just try not to over-sell.


A Custom Website Builds Your Company’s Credibility


Businesses that invest a lot of time and energy into their websites show potential customers that they really care about their business. So it’s really no surprise that a new custom website, when properly executed, can lead to a lot of new business out of the gate.


The real advantage with building a custom responsive design website is that the back-end is just as flexible as the front-end. What this means is that your website can be always evolving. Every time you want to change something, it doesn’t require your entire website to be rebuilt. You want to have a website that can evolve and grow with your business, not a website that is stuck in the past and that your business outgrows.


If you have a website that grows and adapts to the current state of your market and remains effective and relevant, this builds your company’s credibility in a way that no other marketing tool can.


Whether you’re a small one-man operation out of a truck to a large full-service construction company, a custom website can work wonders for your business. It will give you a step-up on a great deal of your competition and put you head-to-head with the best in the business. A custom website that is built with responsive design and adapts to your needs is the greatest investment your business can ever make.

Choosing the best web marketing strategy from the many methods and locations that business owners can now advertise their products or services online is important for your success. It’s even more pertinent to plan your strategy when your small business is operating on a shoestring budget with limited resources. Thankfully though, some of today’s best marketing strategies offer free and low cost opportunities to promote your business.

Best Web Marketing Tips for SMBs

You can expect to invest a significant amount of time when focusing on the Internet marketing strategy of your small business. To get the most of this investment, you’ll need to focus on these six tips, below.

1. Clear Call to Action

Including a clear call to action on website pages, blog posts and social media content is a highly effective way of directing customers to the next step. Numerous studies have shown that including a call to action in your content is an effective way to gather leads and convert consumers.

2. Mobile Responsive Design

In the age of digital technology, more people than ever before are using smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, laptops and more to access the internet. In fact, out of all global traffic,15% is from these mobile devices. In addition, Google’s new search algorithm updates are now giving mobile responsive sites a big boost.

3. Capture your Audiences’ Attention Quickly (Stop Annoying your Customer)

Customers in the new age of technology are advertised-to-death. They can smell cheap promotional content from a mile away…and they don’t like it. Capture your audiences’ attention quickly with a great headline and offer valuable content that is simple.

4. Add a Blog

Having a blog is one of the number one ways to draw new customers to your website and rank higher in search engines. Providing a consistent flow of fresh and valuable content offers continuous ways for new readers to find and engage with your site. In addition, Google loves eating fresh valuable content.

5. Have at Least 1 Engaging Social Platform

While this may seem obvious, it is important that you have at least one social media profile that you keep updated and engaging. However, you should not overload yourself by trying to be on every single social media platform. Choosing somewhere between 1 and 3 social media platforms keep updated is a good place to start.
The top 3 platforms are:
Google+ (This is one super important for Google search engine rankings!)

6. Build an Email List & Use It

This is probably one of the most skipped areas, as well as the one for the most potential. There are numerous ways that you can grow your email database for free, and use it to consistently engage with your customers.

What is image optimization?

Adding pictures to your WordPress website is something you absolutely need to do. Without pictures you may get people to your website, but they’re definitely going to be put off by the long articles without breaks. But there are several factors still to consider when you decide to put pictures in, including the sizes, types of pictures and the amount too. Read more

When it comes to your company’s online presence, it’s not enough to simply create a website and stand back. In fact, the organization of your website and the ways in which it operates can be the factors that make or break your business’s ability to succeed. Read more

A variety of factors affect your website conversion goals. One factor that is often overlooked is website loading times. You will need to understand the role load times play and take measures to reduce them. Read more