Website Design Services

If you have ever had an involvement with a website design company, you may well have experienced a great deal of mis-communication, mis-interpretation and missed deadlines.

What seems like the simplest of notions, turns into a 6 month headache.

As an integral part of a web design agency, i would like to offer up some suggestions as to why this can happen.

Let me firstly give you the web agencies argument, then i will reveal how this whole sorry process can be avoided and save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds at the same time.

An agency works to a spec document, usually prepared by the client or as a joint effort. A paper sitemap is created so we can see the site hierarchy and what links to where.

When this phase is complete, our web designers will begin to create a graphical interface to display your content in the best possible way.

This is where the first MAJOR problem occurs.

As professional web designers, we will proceed to create a website that delivers your business or personal goals, this has a direct impact on site design and layout.

Let me give you an example:

If we are tasked with creating an ecommerce site for selling a product, we will create a homepage where the visitor is guided into the sales process, every click they make takes them further down the path to the sale, after all, an ecommerce website should sell right?

Not according to some clients no, far better in their eyes, to have a beautifully sculpted landing page showcasing the latest and greatest web 2.0 or flash movie intro, culminating in the inevitable ‘click here to enter’ button, centred on the page.

To hell with search engine optimisation, they want their site to look the best!

This is always a bad start to a client / designer relationship and sets alarm bells ringing at web design hq with distant cries of ‘Oh no. we’ve got another one..’ emanating from the design office.

Sure, if you’re a big brand looking to release and market a new product then knock yourself out, but for Joe Bloggs paperclip sales? I think not.

This brings me to my second point – logo’s.

Do you really think that your company is SO important to the end user that they MUST be subjected to the monstrously oversized logo you are forcing the design team to integrate. What’s more, after we submit the site to you for initial sign off – 99% percent of the time we are sat waiting for the ‘can you just make the logo a bit bigger’ phone call.

Your site should be about the product or service, it’s not about your logo, keep this in mind next time you think half a page is ‘reasonable’ logo space.

It’s amazing how many clients play at ‘designer’ once the ball starts rolling.

So after wasting days or weeks on design tweaks that detract from your business goals, we finally submit and give you what you want, a site based on ‘this great site i saw on xyz.com’, a site i should mention that is already old fashioned and already out of date. We work for the future, not the past.

Just to point out that i’m not ranting here, this is cold hard fact, drawn from actual daily experiences.

The next stage can be even more disastrous, the integrating of content.

Now we are getting to the nuts and bolts of the project, the promise of content and imagery suddenly seems like a distant dream. We hear week upon week that the content is nearly finished, but it isn’t, it isn’t even started.

Many clients are under the illusion that writing content is easy, until they begin the task. Nobody likes writing content. Every word or paragraph is important and can be the difference between delivering the right or wrong message to your audience.

It’s not unusual for a web design agency to wait 6 months for content to materialise, it’s even less unusual for us to be asked to write the content. Why not just ask us to do this in the first place?

All the procrastrination is costing money.

For those that do bite the bullet and write the content themselves, they become lost in the Sitemap, many convince themselves that the sitemap is actually incorrect and that a new one should be generated?

This has massive implications, the web site design could well have to be broken down and re-started in order to accommodate the ‘small changes’ to the structure.

It’s not unusual to re-start a project several times, as the real aims of a website finally dawn on the client. By this time, the ever humble web agency is so brow beaten, that they simply agree, in the hope that the project will at some stage be put to bed.

I can fully empathise with the client, i realise that intervention isn’t intentionally done to upset the applecart, it’s just a lack if education and i don’t mean that in an offensive way.

To really drive this point home, imagine that you are a roofing contractor, highly specialised and having gone through years of professional training. You are half way through fitting my new fandangled roof when i casually pop outside and tell you that i think it will look better if you put it on upside down.

Now here’s the good part.

There is a new breed of web design agency surfacing. One where the client is rewarded for allowing the agency to perform their task without interruptions.
The client is asked to create a list of page titles and create content for those pages in advance. The also collect and imagery they wish to use. Design wise they provide a suggested colour scheme and a list of website they find inspiring (for design cues). Lastly they provide a list of keywords that will shape the tone of the site i.e fun, modern, contemporary, corporate.

All this material is submitted to the agency and that is the last input the client has.
The agency can then use the submitted material to create a fully functional website within a very short timeframe.

The client has to trust that both his submitted information is correct and that the agency will do a professional job.
The clients reward for this is a huge cost saving, sometimes thousands of pounds on a single project.

The agency is allowed to provide a professional service with a lightning fast turnaround time.
Now in the real world, there will always be clients out there who want to control the web design process, but for those who recognise that the job should be left to the experts, the rewards are multiple.
It certainly pays to be prepared doesn’t it?

10 Things You Should Check While Selecting a Web Hosting Company

One of the most important factors for the success of a website or blog is to select the right web hosting company. It is essential to choose the right host or all your hard work might go in vain and even worse, lost! There are thousands of hosting service providers and one of the most crucial questions for any webmaster is to select the right host. Below are 10 points to guide you on selecting the right hosting company:

1. Reliability: The first and foremost criteria in selecting a host is the reliability of the company. The worst scenario for a webmaster is that the host suddenly shuts down one night and all your data and hard work is lost in vain. To avoid such situations, it is important to always opt for reputed and reliable hosting service providers.

2. Price: The second most important factor is the price as it needs to suit your planned budget. The price differs as per the contract length and the hosting resources in most hosts. So, the right ploy is to plan both of them accordingly. For a new webmaster, I would advise you to go for 12 month contract and to start with a basic plan for the web host. As your website grows, you can upgrade your plan and opt for longer contract terms.

3. Uptime: Uptime of a web host is one of the most important that should be taken into consideration while selecting a web hosting company. If your website is down most of the time, then it will never be able to get established properly. So, opt for a hosting which has an uptime of 99.8% at the minimum.

4. Bandwidth: Bandwidth is a deciding factor if your website eats up a lot of bandwidth. Bandwidth is calculated monthly and it is the total amount of data transfer that takes places from your website. Many reputed web hosts provide unlimited bandwidth nowadays and it is advisable to opt for them.

5. Space: Does the hosting provider have enough space for your needs? If you use a lot of static objects such as images and files in your website then it is advisable to go for web hosts with high disk space if not unlimited.

6. Speed: Speed is mostly ignored while choosing a web hosting company but very few realize that it is one of the most important factors in the growth of a website. Website visitors leave a slow loading site a lot faster compared to a fast loading website. Even Google and other search engines take website speed into consideration. So, you should always select a fast web host instead of a low loading one.

7. Control Panel: Control Panel is important for administering the hosting account and maintaining it. cPanel is the hosting panel that we recommend due to its ease of use and features.

8. Installed Packages: If you are planning to use a definite script for your website, then it is important to check the requirements of the script. PHP5, MySQL, GD Library, CGI support etc. are some of the basic requirements for most scripts. Many have their custom requirements too and so make sure that the host supports all the requirements of your script.

9. Features: It is always better to opt for hosts which provides additional features. So, read about all the features and benefits of the web host before signing up with them.

10. Email: If you need email for the domain then it is advisable to make sure that the web hosting company supports email accounts and enabled access to POP and IMAP Email. A nice webmail client like RoundCube or Horde helps in reading the emails from inside your hosting panel.

Hope that the above points would help you in selecting the right hosting company.

Cheap Car Auctions – Discover the Best Places to Buy Your Favorite Luxury Cars at Dirt Cheap Prices

If you are looking to buy luxury cars at cheap prices then online cheap car auctions can help you to get your dream car at your home quickly and safely. Have you ever wondered how your next door neighbor is able to afford new shiny Lamborghini with all the latest accessories? Do you really dream of driving such luxury cars everyday? Read further to discover the truth of how your neighbor or any other common man can afford to buy such costly cars at dirt cheap prices.

The answer to your question is the government vehicle auctions. These auctions are held by government all across the country everyday. This is the place where you can buy variety of luxury cars from BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes, Honda, Cadillac, Acura to Lexus, Nissan, Ferrari and many more at almost fraction of their original prices.

How government is selling these luxury cars at such low prices?

The cars which government is selling through auctions often comes from various criminals. Government usually seize these types of illegal luxury high end cars and other vehicles as a result of criminal investigations.

The government needs to spend a lot of money for maintenance of these high end cars. Plus these cars occupy lot of government properties which can be used for other development purpose. This is the reason government authorities usually sell these cars through auctions at such low prices.

Why should you buy the cars at these cheap car auctions?

1) You get the opportunity to buy variety of luxury high end cars at dirt cheap prices

2) Any person with a valid license can take part in these auctions

3) Very few people know about these types of government auctions. This is why you stand a good chance to win the auction and get your dream car quickly at your home.

4) There are few government car auction websites available online which provides you the opportunity to find all the ongoing auctions all across the country and to place the bid on any type of car you want from the comfort of your home.

Top Tips to Choose the Best SEO Agency

After you have put in assiduous efforts and time in doing SEO on your own, you might have discovered that no matter how much you try, your website will not rank well in the search engines. Even if it manages to get a higher page ranking, all your effort and time goes in optimizing the website and much of your tasks lag behind. In such a scenario, think intelligent and hire a good SEO agency for your website. With so many SEO agencies in the market today, it is indeed difficult to choose the most reliable among these, especially when the industry is filled with scams. Hence, there are certain tips that help in choosing the best and most reliable SEO agency for your website. Read on to learn more.

Check the company website – The best way to learn about a SEO company is via its own website. Not only it can help in getting to know what all services they offer, working procedures, web standards followed, whether accredited by some authorized agency or not, but also helps in knowing how much they are expert in website optimizing. If they cannot optimize their own website to a higher page rank, they are not worth hiring

Beware of a company that promises top ranking in search engines – If the company really does promise you 1st page ranking in search engine, there must be some discrepancies in their competency. No one can guarantee you a top ranking in search engines, not even more less competitive keywords

Services and experience – Before hiring a SEO company, make sure that they offer a wide range of services that are essential for effective search engine optimization. If a company offers keyword research, link building, content development, web designing, web development, and other important SEO services all under one package, with years of professional experience, it will be the best choice.

Seek work examples and references – Satisfied customers are the best person to know about the expertise and success ratio of the company. Ask the company for examples of different websites that they have optimized with references from clients

Work procedures – It is important to know what work procedures tactics the company follow. Do they adopt any black hat SEO trick for getting a higher page rank? Do they choose automated submissions? If they do, stay away from them, or else you can get banned from the search engines. Finally, do not get lured by false promises. Make an intelligent decision in choosing the best Company for your website.

Choosing the Best Brand Agency Can Spare You From Negative Consequences

Finding the most dependable brand agency is no longer that difficult today. It is because the internet is so rich with information on how to get to one of those agencies. Guidelines on how to choose one are widespread and you can always find them on the web. Qualifications of those potential firms can also be read on their websites. Plus, you can always connect to other companies who already have employed several agencies in the past and get their feedbacks concerning a particular agency or agencies so you can weigh the options and narrow down your choices.

As business entrepreneurs it has always been our desire to see our brand, product , or services become closer to the hearts of our clients and target audience. So as much as possible we try to apply every marketing principle and every tool that our hands can find so that what we offer to people can go straight to their hearts and settle there. There are so many tools that are available today and a reputable brand agency is an institution that is well equipped to help you utilize those tools and put them to work for your best interest. They can provide timely solutions to your branding needs.

When looking for the best branding firm to work with you on your branding tasks, it is good to have in mind the list of things that you are expecting from them. It is a must that you have this list because this will serve as your guide during your inquiries with different agencies. This will also help you evaluate a particular agency and see whether or not it has the qualifications that you are looking for. You will also have a guide in formulating your questions and save time from asking questions that can be irrelevant. When you do this you will appear so much prepared to discuss some important business matters with them. And the agency you go to will realize that you are into serious business and so respond to you in an appropriate manner.

As you go to a brand agency and inquire about their services, it is also a brilliant idea to bring with you a previously gathered information and feedbacks of those companies that have availed the services of your potential branding partner. This will help you in situations like when you need to refer to them for verification of the agency’s claims and assurances. Having this tool with you will help you trace the agency’s performance background and aid you in either choosing or turning down a certain agency. So your decision can be so reasonable because it is based on facts, actual evidences, and testimonials of reliable source.

Getting into business is a serious matter. You always have to operate according to some established principles that have been tested and proven beneficial not just for you, but for your clients, and for those who are working with you. So, choosing the best brand agency to work with you should never be rushed or haphazard for it will always bear some consequences.