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Your Company's Website – Design, Development & Marketing Aspects

planning a websitePlanning a Website This is the last part of a three part series dealing with guidelines on how to plan, present and develop your company’s website. In part one we explored the importance of having a professional website to represent your company online. In part two, we identified the quality approach of planning your company’s website.

Now in our last part of this series, we will take a quick look into the website design, development/and marketing aspects and your Company’s image.

Company Brand

First step when looking into website design, development and marketing, is concentrating on your company's logo. Your company logo should be the focus point of your website – remember: it is all about your company. Your marketing material should all look similar – business cards, printing materials, online PDF’s – all should deliver the same message and have the same connection.

The main objective of your website design, development and marketing, is to connect prospective clients with your company. They are all alone there, without any sales person to guide them, and explain how the company works, so make sure it can stands on its own merit. Your website must present your company well, as there will be no human factor once a visitor comes around.

build search engine friendly websiteBuild Search Engine Friendly WebsiteEngine and User Friendly

A website is not a brochure! When concentrating on your company's website design, development and marketing, all materials should be created according to using online marketing. The copyright for a website is not the same as used on your printing materials, images have a special format and size, colours should be wisely used, and navigation should be easy, with absolutely no dead ends.

Building a search engine friendly website is not a task that every website design and development company can manage, so make sure you do your homework before hiring a web site design, development and marketing expert. To create a website that is search engine friendly, the team of professionals working on your website, need to have the knowledge and expertise on search engines; how they work and index websites. If a website is not built taking into consideration how search engines work, and the criteria used to index sites in their database, it will probably be invisible to search engine robots. They will not be able to index your site properly, or maybe not to index it at all.

Another common mistake is to hire a website design and development company without enough knowledge on search engine algorithms and might put your website at a great risk using spamming techniques. With the incredible growth of websites being indexed -- about 11.5 billion websites indexed with search engines -- you want to make sure the company working on your website has the expertise to build it to be seen.

crawling and indexingCrawling and IndexingSearch Engine Optimization [SEO] & Search Engine Marketing [SEM]

If you offer products or services that Internet users are searching for, you certainly should look into having your web site indexed with search engines. Building a search engine friendly website is just the beginning; you need to make sure the website will be found by potential users searching for the products and services you offer.

Potential customers are more and more using the Internet and search engines to look for products and services they need and want, and having a website that no potential customer can find, is a waste of time and money. Use your website as a marketing and online sales tool.

Over the past few years of the web’s evolution as a key business tool, shows that an effective website mines prospects that other vehicles do not reach, shortens the sales cycle – in many cases dramatically so – and delivers early and consistent ROI.

seo analysisS.E.O. AnalysisMonitoring and Measurement of the Product

The capability of being able to evaluate, validate and verify if the effectiveness of your SEO campaign is critical. Reputable Search Engine Optimization [SEO] & Search Engine Marketing [SEM] companies will provide you monthly reports showing your current status and suggestions for areas that need improvement (number of visitors per page, time spent, referrals, exit pages, high traffic pages, keywords being used, etc).

Happy manHappy ManUse the information above as guide lines and always use common sense. Your website should be an extension of your company’s image online, and present the same standards of quality and customer appreciation.

Now that you are ready to start, don’t forget that creating a website has lots of work involved, but also lots of excitement. In the process of building your website, you are also expanding your company, and giving it new form and shape.

You must be full of enthusiasm to start, or redesign your website now.

Give Stanley a call today on 081-525-1727 to discuss your requirements or send him an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ' to request a free quotation.

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Do's and Dont's Guide to Great Web Design

Web Design ProcessWeb Design ProcessWhen followed, this guide will prove to be quite a valuable web design resource. From the inexperienced to the experienced, this guide has something for everyone.

The Process of Great Web Design
Just to make sure we are all on the same page, lets begin with the basic definition for “web design”. According to Wikipedia, web design is:

“a process of conceptualization, planning, modeling, and execution of electronic media delivery via Internet in the form of Markup language suitable for interpretation by Web browser and display as Graphical user interface”.

The process of web design can be compared to the process of writing a research paper. In the conceptualization/planning stage, flowcharts (the outline) are created which illustrate the navigational structure of your website. In the modeling stage, static wireframes are created (the rough draft) which illustrate the skeletal layout for each section of your website. After the wire frames are created, graphics, colors and text are used to create the design of your web pages based on the layout of the wire frames. In the execution stage, your design is converted into a format supported by web browsers, text and content are added, and finally, your website is published live to the Internet for the world to see (final draft).

All three stages of the design process are equally important. Many web designers skip a stage in order to save time or because they don’t think that is is necessary. However, all three stages are necessary if your goal is to create a successful design and respectable website. Even if the three stages are used, there are many mistakes that web designers can make that will lead to poor-quality, non user-friendly websites. It’s time to clean out the cabinet of bad web design practices and restock it with the good ones.

web designingWeb DesigningStage 1: Conceptualization and planning

This stage is skipped more often than the other two stages. Most writers don’t enjoy creating outlines for research papers, and most web designers don’t like creating flowcharts either. Don’t be lazy. If you put forth the effort and plan out your website, then you will find the web design process to go smoothly with fewer mistakes made along the way.

There are a few things that you will need in order to effectively conceptualize and plan your website:

  • a brain
  • a pen and paper
  • (optional) flowchart software
  • a general idea of the different sections of your website

To begin, grab your pen and paper or launch your favorite flowchart software. I use OmniGraffle Professional for Mac OS X which costs $150 per license but is well worth it if you create websites on a regular basis. If you’re on a PC, then SmartDraw is a great FREE piece of flowchart software that you can use. A pen and paper work just fine, though.

There are many methods to creating flowcharts. We are going to show you the most basic way to do it for the sake of time and the length of this article. If you want to learn more about flowcharts visit flowcharts on Wikipedia.

Directly below is a sample flowchart that we created when conceptualizing Chromatic Sites. (1) At the top of the flowchart we list the name of our website. (2) Next, we include each primary section of our website: Home, About, and Services. These sections are the main navigation for your website. What the names of each section will be is entirely dependent on the content of your website. Try to use as few sections as possible so that your visitors are not overwhelmed when navigating through your website.

(3) Next, add all of the secondary pages (subsections) that will be listed on each of the primary pages. For Home, we have included Professional Web Design, Web Development, and Search Engine Optimization. The secondary navigation needs to be more descriptive than the primary navigation. The deeper your websites’ navigational hierarchy goes, the more descriptive each label should be.

The Do's

  • Less is more; keep the number of primary sections to a minimum. We use 6 sections on our website which is more than enough
  • Whether you use a pen and paper or flowchart software, keep things as clean and organized as possible. Although you (and anyone working with you) are the only ones that will be using the flowchart, it still needs to make sense
  • Your primary sections should use broader terms, while secondary and tertiary terms should be more descriptive

The Don'ts

Creating a flowchart is pretty straight forward; however, there are a few mistakes that can easily be made:

  • Don’t use very descriptive terms in your primary navigation unless your entire website focuses on one narrow topic
  • Don’t try and lump multiple topics on the same page. Create a general section for these topics and from that section create subsections. This will make the subsection (descriptive) web pages more likely to have better rankings in the search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask)

Once you have created a concise and descriptive flowchart, you’re ready to move on to the second stage of the web design process: modeling.

difference between wireframe and mockupWireframe and MockupStage 2: Modeling

In the modeling stage, static “wireframe” mockups are created. Each mockup illustrates a bare-bones skeleton of the layout for each of the web pages that will be included in your website. This stage is important because it gives us an idea of where different elements will be placed in our design. Some of these elements are:

  • logo
  • navigational menu
  • content
  • images, videos

To create these mockups, you can use a pen and paper or your preferred mockup software. In the past we have used Photoshop, but lately we have been using OmniGraffle Professional. OmniGraffle is not as resource intensive as Photoshop is and it allows us to assemble our wireframe mockups much quicker.

In addition, make sure that you have the flowchart(s) that you created nearby as you will need to reference these from time to time to make sure that you are mocking up all of the pages that will appear on your website.

To the right is an example of how a wireframe mockup should look. As you can see, there are no colors or graphics included. This is exactly how a wireframe mockup should be - a skeletal layout of your design. The purpose is to be able to have a general idea of where each of the web page’s elements will be placed.

We usually begin from the top left and work our way down to the bottom. There is no specific way that a wireframe should look. Use your imagination. However, make sure that when creating your wireframes you don’t forget to include the most important elements of a website (logo, navigational menu, content placement, images/video placement).

If some of your pages will be using the same layout, then it is not necessary to mock all of those pages up (although you certainly can). Just be sure to mockup any unique layout that your website will have. You’ll thank yourself later.

website mock upWebsite MockupThe Do's

  • mockup all unique pages
  • include important elements (logo, navigation, content placement, images/video placement)
  • start from the top and work your way down
  • reference your flowchart created in stage 1 to make you don’t forget to mockup any pages
  • save, save, save - like with anything on the computer, save your mockup(s) every 10 minutes or so
  • focus on clean, user friendly layouts
  • label your elements so you don’t forget what they are when you reference them in stage 3, execution
  • use other web sites as inspiration; there is nothing wrong with taking elements from other sites and making them your own (see “donts”)

The Dont's

  • don’t include graphics or colors (that’s for the next stage)
  • don’t make your mockups too “busy”; focus on clean, well organized, user friendly layouts
  • don’t skip this stage; it is just as important as the first and the last
  • if you take elements from other websites, make sure you don’t plagiarize; there is a difference between being inspired by another website to create certain elements of your design and blatantly ripping off their layout and colors

Stage 3: Execution

In the third and final stage, execution, the planning from stages 1 and 2 are combined to assist in creating a live, interactive website. The third stage is by far the most time intensive since you will be 1) creating the graphics 2) creating the content, and finally, 3) converting the web designs from images into code that web browsers use to present your website to the world.

By the time you reach the third stage, you should have a clear idea of:

  • how your visitors will get from one place to another (stage 1, flowchart)
  • how your web pages will be laid out (stage 2, wireframe mockups)

If you don’t have a clear idea of these two things, go back to the first and second stages and continue to develop them. You will find that the third stage is easiest when you have constructed a clear, concise battle plan for designing your website.

ditch pen and paperDitch Pen and PaperDitch the pen and paper

In stage 3, you need to be using Photoshop or another image editing program since you will be using colors and graphics to create the layout for your website.

We usually begin creating the “home” page (index) first. Use your wireframes that you created in stage 2 as a template for each of the pages you create. However, instead of using solid boxes, use graphics, colors and text instead. Each page must look exactly how you want them to look on the Internet since this is the final stage of the design process.

Be sure to include the background for your navigation (but don’t actually add the text to your image). When converted using CSS (cascading style sheets), your navigation should be in the form of text and not images. Images are not crawl-able by the search engines (the keywords used in your navigation won’t be indexed in the search engine results pages, meaning fewer people will be able to find your website). For additional information about things that you should not do involving Search Engine Optimization visit Mr. SEO’s blog.

When you’re happy with your designs and feel that they are ready to be put on the Internet, it’s time to break apart the designs so that you can create a CSS based layout. For more information on converting your layouts to CSS or marking up your website in CSS, visit W3Schools.com or The Blog Herald. After looking around the Internet, we couldn’t find a decent image-to-CSS tutorial - so expect one from us in the coming weeks. Converting your designs into CSS is extremely important since table layouts are a thing of the past.

Above and to the right is a screen shot of a nearly-completed example of the layout we mocked up in stage 2. This was taken directly from our web browser and as you can see, there is now a logo, colors, a pretty navigation system, a footer, and a most importantly, a clean, organized layout. Thanks to the planning in stages 1 and 2, our layout is well-organized and easy to use.

The Do's

  • reference your templates that were created in stage 2; though it is fine to deviate from your original layout, you shouldn’t need to
  • do some research before creating your actual design; get ideas from other sites and make them your own (without plagiarizing)
  • include color and graphics to create the final look for your web pages
  • use CSS (cascading style sheets) to convert your designs from images into markup understandable by web browsers
  • reference your flowchart from stage 1 when coding your pages with hyperlinks; it is better to use a drop down menu that includes all (or the majority) of the links in your website on every page; this will allow for easier navigation and also make your pages easier to crawl when the search engine spiders stop by; a great place to get CSS drop down menus is at Dynamic Drive
  • finalize your design while working in Photoshop or whatever image editing software you use; it can be a pain to make changes to your design once it is converted into markup (code)

Search Engine SpiderSearch Engine SpiderThe Dont's

  • don’t include the text in your navigation menus when converting to CSS; instead of using image text, use regular text that is readable by search engine spiders
  • don’t use tables when converting; even if you need to buy a book on CSS, it will be worth it; tables are dead
  • don’t skip the first two stages just to save time; your website WILL be better if you start from the beginning of the web design process (instead of at the end)
  • don’t forget to compress your images when they are cut apart for CSS; there is nothing worse than a slow loading website because of large image files; Photoshop has a “Save Optimized For Web” option (CS3 - “Save for Web and Devices”)

Process Makes Perfect

By following a web design process such as the one illustrated in this article, you increase the chances of creating a website that is well-organized, easily navigable, and very user-friendly. Lets face it - if visitors get lost or become confused while attempting to surf your website, they might hit the back button and look for a more user friendly website. People do not like to think when it comes to finding their way around websites. Don’t make them think. You do the thinking by planning out your website from stage 1 to stage 3 and you will find that more people will enjoy visiting your website.

Don’t delay, give Stanley a call today on 081-525-1727 to discuss your requirements or send him an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.' to request a free quotation

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The Truth about Search Engine Optimization

basic search engine optimizationBasic S.E.OWhile the basics of Search Engine Optimization or SEO are pretty much textbook, it isn't the textbooks that you're competing with, it's the competition ... who within the most competitive markets make it almost impossible to get to that search engine position of being number one. Discovering the Truth about Search Engine Optimization will require an analysis of every factor of optimization.

Professional SEO

Professional Search Engine OptimizationProfessional Search Engine OptimizationProfessional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is more than simply u
nderstanding the goal of a website. The real SEO Professional, or real 'Search Engine Optimizer', will do extensive query-based keyword research because they know professional optimization needs a strong keyword foundation.

SEO professionals ask the all important question ... Who is the "target audience" or the "target market" ... and then, they work to create a website that brings their content to that audience through the search engines.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves:

  • -Optimizing every page's page titles, meta tags, attributes, anchor text and more.
  • - Theming of the primary domain, sub-domains and supporting web properties (such as blogs, forums and companion websites).
  • - Content is king ... and paramount to good optimization.
  • - Search engine friendly GUI navigation (internal linking strategy).
  • - A must have 'inbound link' building strategy (external links coming in).

The professional SEO (search engine optimization) knows that if you want to be found in the top of the search results for a competitive keyword term, you have to cover all your search engine optimization basics and more. That means both, exceptional website on-page and external off-page SEO, as well as a fully comprehensive link strategy.

google algorithm1Google AlgorithmProfessional SEO Company


Any Professional SEO worth hiring understands that effective SEO (search engine optimization) constant continuing education because the search engine algorithms and the rules search engines use to position a web page within the search engine results page (serp) are always changing. The search engine most challenging to the SEO professional is Google. Here's Google's tips on things to look for in an SEO company:

  • Be wary of SEO firms that send you email out of the blue.
  • No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
  • Be careful if a company is secretive or won't clearly explain what they intend to do.
  • You should never have to link to an SEO.
  • Some SEOs may try to sell you the ability to type keywords directly into the browser address bar.
  • Choose wisely.
  • Be sure to understand where the money goes.
  • Talk to many SEOs, and ask other SEOs if they would recommend the firm you're considering.
  • Make sure you're protected legally.
  • Professional SEO Strategy and Conversion
SEO and WebdesignS.E.O and Web DesignThe truly Professional SEO and Search Engine Optimization Company understands that there are other considerations to be kept in mind.

For example, a website must not only be optimized for search engine spider algorithms, but it also has to remain optimized for the visitor as well. Ranking number one in all the major search engines is what gets the visitors to your website, but then the website must convert those visitors into actual sales.

Professional SEO is like Royalty


If content is king, then website design is queen. The combination of the two, if done correctly, will produce results for both your search engine rankings and your revenue. While keyword location, weight (absolute and relative), density, proximity, frequency, keyword targeting ... is a important part of the puzzle, how the code for the website is created and the linking strategies are equally considered royalty in the world of the professional optimizer. The knowledge of how best to accomplish that is always changing and that's why a real SEO professional who is on top of the trends, can be worth gold to the success of your business.

For a free quotation, or more information, please contact us today
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What is Search Engine Optimization and Why Do I Need It?

web designWeb Design ServicePurchasing web design service is confusing with all of the different buzz words floating around. A service being pushed by many web developers is search engine optimization (SEO). It has become a huge field in the last few years despite the fact that many purchasers of web development services are not clear on what it is or why they need to consider it in the making of their site.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Nearly every internet user finds new web sites using a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or MSN. You go to their site, type in what you are looking for and usually find it in the top two or three results. What goes on behind the scenes of every internet search involves complex software intelligent enough to figure out which pages are the most relevant to your search. If you are looking to buy a product online, you will search for the product name and typically buy it from a company who comes up near the top of the result list. Search Engine Optimization is the process of figuring out which search phrases, or “key words”, potential customers might use to find what you are offering, and then doing whatever is necessary to move to the top of the search results so that these searchers visit your site.

Figuring out what key words to target is a tricky process. If you run a company that sells candy, your first thought might be to target the key word “candy”. There are a number of problems with targeting such a general word or phrase. If somebody is logging on to the internet to buy candy, they are just as likely to use a search phrase like “chocolate”. The other problem is that if someone searches for “candy”, they might simply be looking for recipes or information. Spending money on search engine optimization which results in visits from recipe seekers will not be beneficial to your company or to the searcher. Luckily, there are many tools available, such as WordTracker, to do proper key word research and determine exactly which phrases are the best to target.

The second part of the search engine optimization process is crafting your site to be near the top of the search results for the phrases you chose. This can be very difficult, as the World Wide Web is full of competing web sites that would like to be higher on the list. There is a wealth of information describing exactly what you can do to have a good shot at being in the top results. I will discuss some of these methods more in depth in future articles. In the meantime, I recommend reading the information at Bruce Clay’s web site. It is the best resource on the internet for good, free information on SEO.

you need S.E.OYou Need Good S.E.OWhy do I need Search Engine Optimization?

If you are going to promote your website through standard advertising (i.e. print, TV, or radio), you might not need to invest very heavily in SEO. Most startup companies do not have the budget to promote their site through those mediums. If that is your situation, doing some careful research about SEO can help you access a form of advertising that is nearly free and reaches millions of people interested in exactly what you have to offer. If you have the budget to pay a professional for this service, make sure to investigate very carefully and get examples of their work. If a company offers you a guaranteed top spot on Google, be weary. True SEO professionals will tell you the truth: that getting a high search ranking for a competitive key word phrase will take months of diligent work and planning, and involves many factors that you cannot control due to competition for the elusive top spot.

When you write the copy for your web site, use language that contains your key words. Try to provide information that your visitors will find useful. People are much more likely to buy a product or service from a company that gives some of its expertise for free. It is also important to continually update the information on your site to keep visitors returning to see what new information is available. Hopefully they will make a purchase along the way. 
 
For more information, or a free quotation, please do not hesitate to contact us today
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Why Not Have A One Web Page Design Until You Are Ready For A Full Web Site?

Website BuildWebsite Plan and BuildA number of web design customers coming to us have only recently set up a business. In fact, some have not even set up their business, and are exploring ideas with regards to a web design. Designing a fully fledged website can be costly, depending on what type of web design you are looking for. If you are not sure about your business, your products and services, let alone your corporate identity, you might not be ready to invest in a web design project. If you have just started your business, a one page website, or web page design might be the answer for you. The one web page design has several advantages.

Nowadays, whether you like it or not, every business has its web site. More than likely you need a web page design as well. But you do not require a full several pages web design from the outset. You can still have a web page with your logo, a nice web design, your contact details, some texts about your business, products or services and be part of the online business community.

Indeed, there are a number of web page design companies that are offering affordable web design solutions for small businesses which are not ready to invest in a large web design project. One of the most popular web page design web sites are those that allow you to have your web page design, a domain name, hosting and your web site online in a few simple steps. How does it work?

Discount Web Design offers such a web page a design product which is popular with business starters. Just visit the site, select Business Starter Web Page Design and follow the simple 5 step web page design process. First, check if your domain name is available. Then choose your web design from a number of templates. Just click on the web design that best suits your needs and proceed to step 2. Here you can easily upload your logo if you have one or order a logo online. Step 3, type in your company contact details and some text in the boxes provided. Preview your web page design, if you like what you see, click on the order button to securely pay online. Once your payment is cleared, allow 48 hours for your web page design to be published online under your own domain name.

Once your web page design is published you will also receive five email addresses with your domain name. The web pageemail addressemail Addresses design will look professional and you can have your own web site on the internet within 48 hours at a very affordable price. Discount Web Design will also place a link to your web page design from our web site which is already indexed by the major search engines. This means that your web page design will also get picked up by search engines in time. Having a web page design online will help your domain name and web site with Search Engine Optimisation. The longer your domain name is online, the better it is. Obviously, in time you can use the same domain name and hosting account to publish a full web design with several pages. Until then, your web page design will be accumulating Search Engine Optimization by just being online. Search Engines like established sites, even if it is a one web page design.

There are some definite advantages to getting your one page web design online as soon as you can. It’s easy and affordable. Your customers can see your web presence through your web page design and it is working in your favour with the search engines.

For a free quotation or more information, please contact us today.

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