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Web design: Keep it clean

less is moreLess is MoreWhen designing your website, remember one thing: Less is more. Some people make the mistake of filling up every pixel on their web page with a different image or graphic or piece of text. Not only does this usually look bad, but it greatly diminishes the chance that the visitor will be able to find a focal point. People don’t like being confused when they visit a web site. They like simple.

column structureColumn Structure

Information overload

Try to not use more than three columns in your layout. Some websites can get away with one column, others need two or three. A good web designer will be able to develop a strategy for successfully laying out their website content in only a few columns.

Colors that complement

Try to avoid using more than 5 colors on your website. Develop a color scheme and stick to it. A great site that has heaps of working color schemes is at http://www.colorschemer.com. They also have a program called ColorSchemer that makes choosing colors a cinch. No, we don’t work for these guys - we just love their website and software! One of their recent blog posts was about our company’s obvious favorite color - blue!

Content is king

Make sure that the content on your pages is informative and to the point. Many web surfers have short attention spans and will lose interest if your web page content isn’t concise and clear. On the other hand, if you have a lot of informative, valuable information, post as much of it as you can. The web needs a lot of good content to make up for all of the bad website content out there.

too many imagesToo Many ImagesUse images wisely

The same can be said for website images - don’t abuse them. Not only do too many images look tacky and unprofessional, but they can significantly slow down the loading of your website. As mentioned a moment ago, web surfers have short attention spans. If your website takes longer than 5-10 seconds to load, you risk losing visitors. Make sure that your images have been optimized in Adobe Photoshop or other image editing software. Optimized images will load much more quickly than images that are saved without any optimization.

Web pages that suck

Web design talent is not something everyone has been gifted with. Someone went so far as to prove this fact by creating a website called Web Pages That Suck.com. On this site you will find many examples of, forgive us for saying, terrible websites. Those who created these sites obviously did not read their Web Design 101 book. We actually found this site helpful, when many of us first began our website design careers. You can learn a lot from other people’s mistakes. Try your best not to end up on that website.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free quotation, or more information.

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How Do I Choose a Web Designer for My Business?

web designHow Do I Choose a Web Designer for My Business?With the proliferation of the world wide web and independent businesses, it is literally a 'jungle' out there when it comes to locating affordable website design services. If you don't know the difference between a web host and a website, how are you supposed to figure out which web design company will be capable and worth the outlay from your fixed budget. Let's face it, start-ups, independent entrepreneurs and small businesses do not have the large budgets of corporations and every rand counts. Making informed decisions when it comes to your business' marketing expenditures can be the difference between business success and failure.

Having an online component for your company is an established low cost tool to build your company brand, keep in touch with your customers and reach out to new ones. Nielsen/Net Ratings found that the overall at-home global active Internet universe for 12 selected countries swelled by more than 2.8 million users from June 2004 to July 2004 bringing the total to 291,986,237 users. Having a website is necessary to reach these users.

Since I self-designed my first company website, my time was spent trying to figure out who should host my site, but the method of search is comparable with looking for a website designer: asking around, looking in search engines, poring through over 30 sites comparing services, prices and added value (if there was any). I didn't really know what I was looking for, even though I had some technical background, but in general I knew I wanted a host who was affordable and had good customer service. So, considering those of you who are starting from the beginning and need someone to help you Plan your site, Design it and Put it up for the world to see, there are specific concerns that you will need to address.

Website hostingWebsite HostingHere are seven real-world questions any new business owner should ask a prospective web designer. Based on their answers you can compare each company on a more equal basis, decreasing your search time and increasing the time you need to spend building your business.Do they offer domain name registration & web hosting with their packages?

  1. Do they promote your website once it's built?
  2. Do their package prices include maintenance fees?
  3. Can you make alterations/updates to the website on your own?
  4. Do they handle product sales transactions? (E commerce sites)
  5. How long is your contract?
  6. Can you see previous work that has been done?

Getting the answers to these questions will get you on the way to choosing a web designer who can handle your website and total business needs.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free quotation, or to discuss your website needs.

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Happy New Year 2020

happy new year 2020

We would like to wish our clients, friends and family a Happy New Year. We hope the New Year brings you all you wish for yourselves and more.

The New Year arrives with new ideas and hope for us to make our business and personal lives better and better.

New Year’s Day we will open the new book.   All the pages are blank, so we have to fill them day by day with our own words and actions.

Make the decision to improve your business in the New Year. If you do not have a good website. Get One!!!  It will greatly benefit your business.

If you lack good marketing which results in few if any clients, contact us for your professional marketing while you concentrate on your business.

Contact us today to discuss your requirements, or for a free quotation.

It will be the best decision you ever make.

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Web Site Turn-Offs

loading please waitLoading Please Wait

There are a number of ways guaranteed to turn-off visitors to your website. These are worth consideringas you either design a site, or revise a site. Turn-offs generally can be defined as anything that impedes the user from quick and easy (intuitive) use of your site. Turn-offs also are often the result of gratuitous use of technical 'bells and whistles'.

One of the major turn-offs is a sloooow loading site. There can be a number of contributing factors to this:

* Large graphics files (meaning the file size in bytes). Graphics files need to be optimised to reduce the file size to a minimum to enable them to travel through the Internet in minimum time.

* Splash Screens. These are often Flash graphics and can take a long time to 'load', especially where there is limited bandwidth. Bandwidth is the carry capacity of the Internet, the bigger the faster - a bit like comparing a fire hose and a garden hose. Unfortunately in Australia bandwidth tends to be at the smaller end of the scale. Splash screens also annoy repeat visitors, as they revisit the site and have to wait for the screen to load (not everyone knows how to properly Bookmark).

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Why Choosing Form Over Function Kills Your Site

user friendlyUser FriendlyNever put form over function. Why? Because it's crucial that visitors actually are able to USE your site. Everything you do must be designed to be as easy for the visitor to understand as possible. Everything should be functional first.

If you put form before function, you sacrifice your visitor's best interest for your own preferences. By definition, putting form over function means you sacrifice function and you make it harder to perform whatever task is supposed to be performed. You give up ease of use or simplicity in order to make it look nicer. Basically, you wind up with a lot of icing and no cake.

Don't get me wrong. Form often accentuates function, just like icing accentuates a cake. Something that is visually pleasing, and often increases the usability by making it more attractive, or by using visual elements to increase understanding. Creative design can often be used to make a task easier to perform. It can entice the visitor to take whatever action you want them to take.

However, on the web, there are frequently contests between form and function. Designers make choices between whether to make something look nicer or make it simpler and easier to use. For example, these are common ways of sacrificing function:

  • Using an uncommon style of links that makes it hard to recognize the links.
  • Putting a textured background behind the copy, even though it will make the text harder to read.
  • Choosing a font color that doesn't have enough contrast with the background color.
  • Using a font face that is difficult to read.
  • Using an uncommon name for a common link. For example, "Talk" instead of "Contact us".
  • Placing elements in unexpected places. Like putting the logo on the right side of the page or placing the main navigation along the bottom of the design.
  • Using a splash page on the site because it looks neat, even though it keeps visitors from getting to the real information in the site.
  • Using a lot of fancy images that make the page load more slowly.
  • Opting for a totally graphical design with no copy on the main page, regardless of the fact that visitors won't have a clue what the business is all about until they get further into the site.

upset manUpset ManThese are all examples of choosing form over function. Unfortunately, if your design looks great but is hard to figure out, your visitors will be gone. They don't come to your site to admire the looks; they come to use the site--to find information or to accomplish a task. Anything you do to stand in their way is a no-no.

Most of the time, a visitor's attention span is about as long as snake fur. They have no patience. If you complicate their lives, they're outta here. Other sites are ready and waiting to meet their needs, so there is no reason they should struggle through your site. If you opt for form over function, you're likely to opt yourself right out of sales. Not good.

When you're designing your website, don't think about looks first. Always make function a priority. Think about what's going to be easiest for your visitors to use and understand. Then create an attractive presentation to accentuate it.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free quotation, or more information.

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