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Designing a Website That Produces Results

Designing a Website That Produces Results

Designing a Website That Produces Results
06
OCTOBER, 2018
Web Development
WordPress
In a technology driven age, it has become essential for local businesses to create a presence online. A website allows you to bolster your current advertising campaigns, take control of your brand image online and build long term relationships with your clients.
Wordpress is a universal website platform that provides the scalability required when growing your business.

This post will take you through the website design process and explain the benefits of using WordPress as a website platform.

USER BEHAVIOUR
For example, there one task that requires her to do up a simple landing page with a simple email sign up form. I told her to follow exactly the same as the mockup that I have prepared for her. All she needs to do is to strictly follow the mockup and refer to the UI Style guide (given to her prior to the project). But she didn’t!

QUALITY & CREDIBILITY

Website users appreciate quality and credibility in a website. You can have the most beautifully designed website in the world, but if your content is lacking in quality and credibility, your design means nothing.

ANALYSING A WEBPAGE

Users scan web-pages. They don’t read every single bit of content and search for anchors to guide them through the content of your website page.

INSTANT GRATIFICATION

Your website needs to grab your user’s attention in the first few seconds or risk an exit.

INTUITION

Users tend to follow their intuition which makes it very important that your website structure follows an intuitive flow.

PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE WEB DESIGN

Applying these principles during your web design process will put you in good stead with your users.

GOAL

Each page on your website needs to cater to a specific goal of your user. Whether your user is looking for your contact details or more information on a product or service, your website needs to cater to that in the most effective way.

COMMUNICATION

Users tend to consume information very quickly on the internet. It’s therefore important that you communicate information very clearly on your website. It needs to be easy to read and digest. You can accomplish this by formatting your text with headers, bullet points etc.

MEDIA

Text isn’t the only form of communicating with your users. Adding rich media to your website like images, videos and infographics can communicate a point across more effectively than any piece of text. It can also be very effective in positioning your brand to your target audience.

user journey

This refers to the actions the user takes when moving around in your website. There is a general “3 click rule” which states that a user shouldn’t take more than 3 clicks to get to their goal/destination. Make sure that the website has a logical page structure which has intuitive user flow.

USER ATTENTION TRACKING

Studies have shown that users scan computers in a “F” pattern which places their attention in the top left hand side of the screen. Good designers will build a website using this flow instead of forcing a different type of flow and prioritize the most important information left to right and top to bottom.

LOAD TIME

Websites that take a long time to load are universally hated by most users. Ensuring that website images are optimized to load faster and making sure the code is optimised will ensure that your website loads quicker.

MOBILE FRIENDLY

Make sure that your website is optimized to be viewed across all devices. You will be missing out on a big chunk of traffic if your website is only optimized for desktop usage.

WORDPRESS FEATURES

With WordPress, you can create powerful, polished sites. It’s the most popular website publishing platform and currently powers more than 30% of the web.

WordPress is constantly improving with updates rolling out regularly to enhance the user experience. With their user-friendly content management system, you don’t need to be a programmer, or know anything about html to update your website.

50, 000 new WordPress websites get published every day, from small business websites, to big media organizations like CNN. The scalability ensures that your website can grow with your business.

Here’s a list of reasons we would recommend using WordPress.

100% CUSTOMIZABLE

Your website is totally customizable in WordPress; from the color to the layout.

USER-FRIENDLY

An intuitive user interface is the result of WordPress’ simple, uncomplicated technology. Adding new pages, blog posts and media can be done without coding and html knowledge.

SEO FRIENDLY

One of Google’s considerations when indexing your website, is your HTML code. Google does not like excessive code. WordPress is already streamlined which creates a good basis for your future SEO efforts.

FULL W3C COMPLIANCE

W3C sets standards for html code to ensure that websites will comply with the latest browsers. WordPress is W3C compliant.

DATA SAFETY

When you build a website on a hosted service, you risk your website data disappearing if the hosted service fails. With WordPress, no one, besides your developers, has access to your content. Your content is also automatically saved, which protects against data loss.

SCALABILITY

You can add hundreds or thousands of pages to your WordPress website without compromising the performance in the least. Your website can grow alongside your business.

WEBSITE SECURITY

If you have the right partner setting up your WordPress installation, they will “harden” the installation which actually provides more security against hackers that your average website.

MULTI-USER FUNCTIONALITY

Within WordPress, administrators can create user accounts and specify the level of access these accounts hold.

UNIVERSAL PLATFORM

Finding a designer to work on your website will never be a problem as most designers know how to work with WordPress. Instead of starting from scratch when you want to do a re-design, a designer can edit the existing website.

MOBILE FRIENDLY

With responsive themes, your website will identify the device your site visitors are using, and automatically adjust the view appropriately.
l

BLOG READY

Wordpress has a built in blog functionality, ready for you to design and activate.

DESIGN PROCESS

1

Planning

Website Goals – During the beginning phase of the process, it’s important to determine the goals of the website; for example, lead capturing, sales or to provide information. These goals will dictate the design of the website as it strives to meet this goal.

Content Structure – Mapping out the content structure and getting approval on that during the planning phase is crucial. This will save enormous amounts of time later on.

Example:

2

Design

Quality Branding Materials – Your website needs to have consistent branding in order for the user journey off-line to compliment the user journey online. An example would be the logos on your letterhead which should match the logos on your website.

Mockups – The mockups are created, keeping the website goals in mind. It’s important to have enough variety in the mockups to view how different styles could possibly impact the website look and feel.

Review & Approve – The website look and feel needs to be considered and approved by all stakeholders before the development can start.

3

Development

Website Template Framework – The main template framework for the website is developed before the individual page templates are developed. It’s the foundation for the various page templates.

Page Templates – The mockups are created, keeping the website goals in mind. It’s important to have enough variety in the mockups to view how different styles could possibly impact the website look and feel.

Add Special Features – Special features are developed when the need arises for a specific function; for example adding social network buttons where users can “like” your blog posts.

Upload Content – After the content has been written and approved, it needs to be uploaded along with any other media to the specific pages of the website. Other media include videos, images, pdf documents or slides.

Quality Assurance – Once the website has been fully developed, it needs to go through Quality Assurance by testing all links, functionality etc. This process can be time consuming, but is necessary in order to avoid any errors when pushing live.

4

Launch

Transfer to Live – The main template framework for the website is developed before the individual page templates are developed. It’s the foundation for the various page templates.

Test – The mockups are created, keeping the website goals in mind. It’s important to have enough variety in the mockups to view how different styles could possibly impact the website look and feel.

 

5

Site Maintenance

Security Updates – In order to ensure that your website is safe and secure, a monthly update of WordPress and plugins is recommended.

Website Backup – It’s devastating when you lose your website data. Making a backup at least once a month will ensure that you never lose website data ever again.

Content Updates – Keep your content fresh by updating it at least once a month with new blog posts. When products or services get added to your business, it’s important to transfer that information to your website, where your users have easy access.

 

CONCLUSION

Whether you are building your first website, or re-designing your website, this quote applies to you:


”If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over?” – John Wooden

Make sure that you apply best practices and always keep your users top of mind. What will they like? What is their journey?


Your website is an extension of your business and needs to receive the same attention as your physical premises does. Do a good job with your website the first time around.


Feel free to talk to us, on your desired needs to create your company website. Have a great day!

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Why Use WordPress?

Why Use WordPress?

Why Use WordPress?
04
JANUARY, 2018
WordPress
Web Development was once considered a gigantic task involving hardcore programming skills. Websites were developed using text editors as simple as note pads. However, with advancements in web development technologies, people with little or absolutely no programming experience also began to find their feet in this arena.
This happened owing to the development of content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and similar web development platforms. These content management systems allow layman users to develop professional looking websites. Now, with the emerging of Weebly, Wix and Squarespace, it adds further headache to which platform should we use for our website. Choosing a CMS depends on various factors. However, we will focus on why WordPress CMS is our preferred choice for developing websites.

Open-Sourced Technologies

WordPress is an open-source CMS. You do not need to spend a dime to start using WordPress. It is easily available at WordPress.org. WordPress is based on PHP which is an open sourced server-side programming language. WordPress uses MySQL database for data persistence and storing content such as posts, comments and images etc. MySQL is also open source and freely available.

“We don’t just sell websites, we create websites that SELL.”

Easy to Install and Manage

Installing WordPress is an extremely simple task and requires few clicks of the mouse. Most of the domain hosting companies such as SiteGround, provide one-click installation services for WordPress. Usability of WordPress is not limited to installation; once installed, it is also very easy to manage via WordPress dashboard. For instance, creating menus, pages, posts, adding images and setting titles is a matter of few clicks and entails no coding skills.

Styling Using Themes

There are literally thousands of WordPress themes freely available. These themes can be used to define an overall style for your website. Themes can be tweaked to achieve desired styling functionalities. There are premium themes out there for a small cost, so no two websites will ever look the same. Themes are a great way for early developers to learn how websites are built and it takes out the technical challenge, so you can work on the content and look of the website, without have to worry. For the advanced designer, you are able to use the editor to tweak the styling via CSS, or even create your own.

Enhanced Functionality via Plugins

WordPress websites can be enhanced easily via several “plugins”. WordPress themes, by default, come with basic functionalities. However, additional functionalities can be added via plugins. For instance, if you want to add a login widget to your website, you can use the login plugins. Similarly, in order to add a contact form on your website, a contact form plugin can be used, not just to add the form to your page, but also to store and send on any queries that come through your website. There are many freely available plugins that you can use to enhance the functionality of your WordPress website.

“WordPress has one of the largest software developer commnuties.”

Great Community Support

The immense developer support allows users to solve their WordPress issues immediately. Also, owing to the large developer community, rapid updates and patches are developed which solve issues that arise in any theme or plugin etc. Additionally, if you ever come across any problems, then you can always post in the support forum and be sure to get a quick response to your problem:

 

http://WordPress.org/support/

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Friendly

WordPress websites are extremely SEO friendly. Companies spend thousands of dollars to rank their websites high on Google page ranks. The good thing about WordPress is that Google, for some reason rates WordPress websites higher owing to its built in SEO features. That is a total advantage! Alternatively you can also try out cool SEO plugins out there to help guide you through the process of SEO and help your website rank better with the search engines.

Conclusion

Though there are many CMSs currently available in the market, WordPress is the best place to start (in my opinion), it is extremely easy to learn, flexible to twak, open-sourced and SEO friendly. Also, with a large developer community, you are likely to get instant help and support for any issue that arises during your website development endeavours.

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The Truth About WordPress

The Truth About WordPress

The Truth About WordPress

03

JANUARY, 2018

WordPress

There are quite a lot of people out there who think WordPress is just a blogging platform. This is far from the truth! WordPress can build the simplest blog all the way up to a professional website – there really are no limits! WordPress is a powerful tool, which now accounts for 28.9% of the entire internet (as of date). That is a more than a quarter! Lets breakdown all the truth about WordPress.

WordPress is becoming a great starter point for new web designers and developers, since it’s a good starter point to get your website online, and it’s fairly simple to pick up. The first time I started with WordPress was back in 2009. As technology extends its growth, we learn new skills and always aspire to advance our expertise.

Many professional developers, like us, are turning to WordPress to build sites for our clients as it’s a powerful tool – it cuts development time, and it provides a great content management system (CMS) so that our clients can easily add content themselves.

“There are about 19,500,000 websites on the entire web uses WordPress.”

A Good Platform for Bloggers

Bloggers are finding it a great platform to work with, as they can add content quickly and easily without having to have a lot of technical knowledge.

In the series of Roquepress’ blog post, we will provide you with all the basic fundamentals needed to help you on the road to building your website or blog with WordPress. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the whole concept of web development or blogging, we will guide you through each step with screenshots and detailed text to help you progress through. If you are a professional developer, there might be things that will be new to you, or things that can help boost your knowledge of WordPress and how it works. You can then bring this knowledge gem to your own projects.

What will I need?

You are going to need two things:

  •  A domain name: (For example: www.helloworld.com).
  • Web Hosting: This is space online that you use to host your website. You pay a monthly or annual fee to rent space online. For us, we highly recommend SiteGround. We will go more in depth to understand more about web hosting and its packages.
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Develop your WordPress website/blog in these simple steps

Develop your WordPress website/blog in these simple steps

Develop your WordPress website/blog in these simple steps

02

JANUARY, 2018

WordPress

Learn the skills

The first step is to learn how WordPress works. I will try my best to provide you with all the fundamentals needed to help you on the road to building your website or blog with WordPress.

Plan your website/blog

This is probably the most crucial step in any website project. You will need to set yourself deadlines, brainstorm ideas, set up a page structure, and work out what domain name and web hosting you are going to use.
“Let us take you into a deeper experience, make a moment a lasting conveyable memory. Let us help build your tribe.”

Design your website/blog

Get a pen and paper, use a notepad or a graphic design package like Photoshop to sketch out the design of each of your website pages. In web development term, we call this – sketching your site wireframe. Ultimately you need to get the visuals out before implementing the content of the site.

Implement your website using WordPress

Take your design and start developing your pages in WordPress. Make sure you start with the website appearance and functionality before adding content or working on SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Maintain your website/blog

It’s important to maintain your website by adding new content, making sure your content is posted on social media, and updating WordPress plugins. These is always going to be ways to improve your website functionality and exploring new ways for your readers to engage in your content.
Why I Chose SkillShare

Why I Chose SkillShare

  Why I Chose SkillShare 14   OCTOBER, 2018 Web Development WordPress Skillshare offers more than 18,000 video courses covering pretty much any skill. It isn’t important if you work a 9 to 5 job and simply need to learn some new skills that your boss recommended...

Designing a Website That Produces Results

Designing a Website That Produces Results

  Designing a Website That Produces Results 06   OCTOBER, 2018 Web Development WordPress In a technology driven age, it has become essential for local businesses to create a presence online. A website allows you to bolster your current advertising campaigns, take...

How Much Does an eCommerce Website Cost in 2018?

How Much Does an eCommerce Website Cost in 2018?

  How Much Does an eCommerce Website Cost in 2018? 04   JUNE, 2018 Web Development Today, anyone can create a website, but how much does it cost to design an active website that will grow your business and make your customers happy? This guide lists the different...

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  Establishing Your Online Presence 08   APRIL, 2018 Web Development At this day and age, many small businesses are not aware of the potential of having a website. It's not because I own a web design business. Its the fact of the matter that website is just on the...

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