StormBiz Blog

Everything you need to know about website design, website hosting, graphic design, our website design courses and more...

Guide to choosing the right web design company

judge the book by its coverThis Time DO Judge The Book By It's CoverChoosing a web design company can be a little tricky, and many times it's a gamble, but if you know what to look for, you can save yourself a lot of stress and frustration. If you don't, however, you could be stuck with poor service and empty promises, as well as being faced with ridiculous bills. Take time to empower yourself with the following knowledge, and learn to spot a bad choice in web design companies from a mile...

LOOKS

This is one of those times, that judging a book by it's cover is in your best interests. A web design company's website is it's book cover, so naturally, if their website is not stimulating...chances are that they will create an unstimulating design for your website...which in turn, is YOUR book cover. If your book cover is amateurish, your potential client may very well pass you by, imagining that your service, or product, would be as exciting as the site they've just seen...

LOOKS vs PRICE

If the client liaison of the web design company drives a Ferrari, there's a very good chance that they are overcharging their customers. Web design prices vary greatly. There are no set guidelines for quality ,nor are there any recommended pricing structures, so one must use one's own discretion here. I can't tell you that R 4000 is a good price for a small website, because it depends on the web design itself. If I may use a fine art analogy here. R 1 million is a ridiculous price to pay for a Trechikoff, but an incredible bargain for a Van Gogh.

EXAMPLES

If the web design company does not supply examples of their work or some form of portfolio, it can mean one of two things. Either the company is just starting out and has no work to showcase yet, or they are not confident enough to display their work because it is not very good. The other problem I've come across here is when a web design agency has a long list of clients that they have allegedly done work for, but no links to the work itself. In cases like these, you can rest assured that at least half of their clientele are made up and the other half of their clientele are upset by their shoddy workmanship. Bottom line is: If the company is any good, they will proudly display examples of their work. If the company just doesn't have any work to display, you're taking a gamble. It's your call.

lazy and unreliable manLazy and Unreliable ManSERVICE

There are three kinds of service you will come across in the web design industry. The first kind are lazy and unreliable, the second kind are very enthusiastic and will promise you the world, but won't deliver, and the last kind (which is the kind you are looking for) will get back to you promptly, and meet, or even exceed your expectations. The latter is very difficult to come by. Here's how you can spot the different kinds...Should you ask for a quote from a web design company or get in touch with them via email and they do not get back to you within twelve hours, then you can expect this kind of service for the entirety of the job. They are lazy and do not feel that you are important enough for them to reply promptly. The second kind is more difficult to spot. This kind are skilled in promotional talking but lack the technical skill/knowledge to deliver, so asking a few technical questions should do the trick. Instead of listening to the words they use to reply, watch their body language to see if they look uncomfortable with the question.

LOCATION

A good internet connection for both parties, in most cases, rules out the significance of where the designers offices are located. In fact, if you have a tight deadline, it is probably better to have an online relationship because when you send an email with instructions, the web designer is already at his/her computer to make the changes, as opposed to having to drive back to their premises and prepare themselves for work mode again. Even material for the job can be emailed because unlike their graphic designer counterparts, the files are low resolution, therefore small in size. One thing to keep in mind though, is that if their offices are in a very exclusive area/office park, you can probably expect to pay "exclusive" prices.

SEO

A good web design company will design your website with search engine optimization in mind. It is no good to have a beautiful website that no one is ever going to see because search engines can't read the format in which it was designed. Ask your designer about their website marketing options. A lot of companies say they offer this but really don't know much about it. If a designer can't tell you exactly how they have optimized your site for search engines, then they probably have not.

meeting a deadlineMeeting a DeadlineDEADLINES

The last factor to take into consideration is the web designers ability to work within given deadlines. In a deadline situation it is almost always better to deal directly with the person/s who are going to be doing the work. In many large corporations, they will send a client liaison to receive instruction from the client, but in many cases the client liaison is only trained to appease the client, by saying "yes we can do that", "sure, you will have it tomorrow", but does not have an inkling of what the work entails, and then will go back to the designer only to be told that there are problems with what was promised. This back-and-forth liaising lends itself to miscommunication and is ultimately a waste of valuable time. The best way to see if a web design company can meet your deadline is to give them a smaller job first, with its own deadline. The Bible says "Those who can be trusted with little, can also be trusted with much".

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

Continue reading
0
  1847 Hits
1847 Hits

Designing your own website vs. Storm Biz designing your site for you?

what you need to knowWhat You Need to KnowYou may ask yourself, "why should I pay for designing my website, when there are so many different free website designing programs?"

Before I explain what we do for your website, let me ask you 10 important questions you need to know before designing a Search Engine Friendly, and User Friendly website? If you can answer all these questions below, then by all means you are qualified to design your site. If there is even 1 question you are unable to answer, then your site will fail, and it will be better to get a professional designer to develop your website.

  1. What is html, and how do I manipulate it for my web design?
  2. What is Photoshop / Corel?
  3. What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
  4. What is Search Engine Submission (SES)?
  5. Why should I not use microsoft word to design my site?
  6. Why should I not use frontpage to design my site?
  7. What is google analytics, how will it help me?
  8. What is the difference between php, and asp?
  9. What is Meta Tags and Meta Keywords, how will my site do without it?
  10. What is a sitemap, what will it do for my site?

Google Ranking FactorHigh Google RankingsWe consider all of the above when designing a website, we use our experience in high google rankings, and implement this in every site we design... So, considering all of this, we recommend / do the following:

  • All our websites will be designed using php, and css, this will help with speed, and with search engines.
  • All websites are customized to the clients requirements.
  • All our web design packages come with the small SEO Package, ensuring all links are search engine friendly
  • Search Engine Submission is offered at a low monthly rate, which means we submit your website, meta tags and meta keywords to 150+ websites every month, getting the best possible rank for your keywords, resulting in possible clients finding your site..
  • We include a sitemap in every website we design, this helps search engines navigate, and index all your site pages.

Before considering designing your site we advise you to consult a professional, as this is what we do, and we are good at it.

You know your business, we know our business... and we would never try to run your business for you!

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

Continue reading
0
  1670 Hits
1670 Hits

Keywords are the key to good website design

SEO Keyword researchS.E.O Keyword ResearchWe all know potential clients won't come just because you built the site - the site has to place well in the search engines to pull the traffic. Of course, placement can be bought through Pay Per Click advertising, but there is nothing as satisfying to a web designer as a top position in the free results.

How do you get there? In a word: keywords. Design your web site for search engines from the very get go, and that means, start with your keyword research. Once you have those terms in hand, use them to plan your site and content.

domain name registrationDomain Name RegistrationWhat's in a Name?

If you haven't purchased a domain name yet, then think about ways to incorporate at least one of your keywords. Hyphens are fine, but if you can get bluewidgets.com, go for it. Or www.companynamewidgets.com ... you can rank well without it, but every little bit helps.

website widgetWebsite WidgetsSite Content - Give Them What They Want

If you plan your content based on your keyword research, you give searchers what they are looking for. Sometimes you have to get creative, of course. For example, if you sell red widgets, but your research tells you people search far more often for blue widgets, then you might want to create and optimize a page "red Widgets Vs. Blue Widgets." Sounds silly, but you get the idea. And it not only brings the searcher for red widgets to your page, it converts them to a blue widget buyer.

Create at least one page for each keyword variation, and on that page use your phrase:

  • In an h1 tag once
  • In an h2 or h3 tag once
  • In the first paragraph
  • In bold somewhere in the content
  • In the anchor text of a link to an authority site.
  • In the anchor text of a link to another page on the site

keywordsKeywordsSite Design Architecture and SEO

Your keywords will also figure heavily in the website's structure - especially if it's a large site. Where there are natural divisions, create sub-directories with keyword rich names: www.yourdomain/blue-widgets/ for example.

It can also be a powerful move to use your keywords in file names - your HTML and graphic file names. Assume for a moment you sell widgets of all different colours, and they are search terms ... you would have pages named:

- www.yourdomain/blue-widgets.html,

- www.yourdomain/black-widgets.html,

- www.yourdomain/white-widgets.html and so on.

Use those keywords in the graphic files names as well. Take your home page, for example. Your logo should be called widgets-logo.gif.

alternative textAlternative Text for ImagesOther On Site SEO Design Elements

Be sure to use Alt Tags for images, and title attributes for links. Don't stuff the alt tags with keywords, but describe the images accurately, and do it with the visitor in mind too. Here's why: we know the search engines do use the text from alt tags to help index a site, but did you know that Google sometimes uses the alt tag text as the description in the SERPs! It's rare, but it happens. I've seen it on my own site.

The jury's out on whether this last technique is really effective, but many SEO Web Designers now use the title attribute on links. If you look at the code for the link to my site – or put your mouse over the link, you will see what I mean.

Off Site SEO – Link Building

Wait a minute, link building isn't part of design is it? Yes, it is! You used to be able to build link popularity through reciprocal link programs, but that is no longer an effective gambit. To get links, you need to create the sort of content that makes other webmasters link to your site. It might be a forum, a blog with constantly updated information, or a tool that people need. Build your content to attract links, as well as visitors.

Incorporate these suggestions into your web site, and you will begin to see how SEO and Web Design can be synonymous!

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

Continue reading
0
  1741 Hits
1741 Hits

Search Engine Optimization - A MUST

Web Site TrafficWeb Site TrafficAs you surf the web take a look around at many of the sites you see. Do you notice anything that seems strange? Well, let me point it out to you. There are hundreds of thousands of web sites that just don’t get much traffic. Some of these sites house hundreds of articles, reviews, tutorials, tools, products, forums to mention a few things, yet still they do not receive large amounts of traffic. What is their problem? They have the content. What is left?

The problem is these sites aren't optimized for the search engines. SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SE Friendliness, however you refer to it doesn't matter, the fact is it works and I'm going to tell you what's involved.

Before we continue let me familiarize you with some relevant terminology in my own words.

**Search Engine Optimization**

Search engine optimization can be referred to as the addition and modification of all variables and extended variables of a web site in hopes of achieving a better position in the search engines. By variables I mean components of a website such as META tags and content. By extended variable I mean things such as links from other sites.

Different SEOs, search engine optimizers, may have different opinions on this but alas this is only my own.

**What is a Search Engine Optimization Company? **

A search engine optimization company is a company that offers the service of creating and adjusting all the variables involved in search engine optimization in order to get your web site the best ranking they can achieve, during the designated project period, for all the major search engines.

hurdles seoSearch Engine Optimization Hurdles**Search Engine Optimization Hurdles**

Back to the question of why these sites rich with content aren't bringing in the numbers. There are several reasons why sites small and large aren't optimized for the search engines, fortunately these can be remedied.

1. Many webmasters/site owners believe in "If You Build It They Will Come". This attitude will get your web site no where fast. Sure if you build it you will get users maybe even a decent amount of users but you will not be unleashing the real potential of your web site.

2. Not feeling that your site can do better than it is. Websites can always be further optimized. Search engines change their algorithms all the time so what worked 2 months ago may not work as well or at all in present times. For any of you that fee you can get your site optimized better, think of the story of the Little Engine and don’t think you can, KNOW YOU CAN.

3. Laziness is also a major contributing factor. Many webmasters feel it is just too hard or too time consuming to do search engine optimization.

This is partially true. Search engine optimization is not easy but then again, anyone can do it. It does take time though and time is a precious commodity. In situations where you just can't devote the time to search engine optimize your site I would recommend seeking the services of a professional search engine optimization company. Storm Biz Offers this Service, Check out our Marketing Section For details

4. Time + cost = a deterrent. For a situation like this I would recommend optimizing little by little on your own. Eventually you will become better and better at it and be able to accomplish more in less time.

5. Another problem is many people think "Well my site is only a small site, there is no way I will be able to compete with the larger sites that have top spots in the search engines". If you think like this I’d like to say this to you. It is possible that that if you optimize your web site you may not be able to compete with the larger sites and may not be able to get a page 1 or 2 ranking in any of the search engines, BUT, what if you did. Always shoot for the stars so if you fall short you will at least hit the sky.

Now for those of you who plan to better your websites via Search Engine Optimization here are the stages you need to follow in order to have an efficient and effective SEO campaign.

SEO CampaignsPlanning Your SEO Campaigns**Planning Your Search Engine Optimization Campaign**

Planning is an essential factor in your SEO campaign. Knowing exactly what steps you are going to make and in what order and how you are going to go about achieving each of those steps will save you not only time but it will save you frustration as well. Planning is essential.

**Researching the Most Effective SEO Strategies**

What works and what does not. You will need to learn as many optimization strategies as you can that are currently effective with the search engines. This will be one of the most time consuming steps in your SEO campaign as you will have to sift through information as well as participate in SEO related forums to get additional information from professional. You can take this process in stages and apply your newly gained knowledge as you get it. There is also some useful software available both free and paid that will greatly help with this effort. WebPosition Gold is one of the more popular ones.

**Search Engine Optimize Your Site**

SEO Optimization ProcessSEO Optimization ProcessThis should be done in stages so you can see the effectiveness of the applied strategies you are using. Don’t change your entire site all at once, instead, change a few areas at a time and see what results they produce. If you are satisfied with this then move on and optimize another section.

Search engine optimization does not only deal with your site it also deals with the relationship other sites have with yours and yours with theirs. Keep this in mind when utilizing your link building strategies.

**Monitor Your SEO Progress**

There are many ways to do this you will have to find the best method for you. You will need to monitor your search engine ranking for the keywords you are targeting after each update. Changes should be recorded and used as references to monitor progress and for strategy adjustments. There are many tools for this process as well. I recommend SEOCount.com for monitoring your progress on the Google search engine as it is very easy to use and you can monitor several domains and keywords all from within the same account. It also gives you the option of viewing the number of backlinks.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information, or a free quotation
Continue reading
0
  1346 Hits
1346 Hits

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
Continue reading
0
  1458 Hits
1458 Hits

Calendar

Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar

Latest Blogs

Reward Credit

Login/Register for credits