Category

Wordpress Development

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Update Your Website?

By | Website Design and Development, Wordpress Development | No Comments

Almost every week we talk with business owners who express an interest in getting a new website but don’t know whether it’s the right time to make a change. We can understand because they have a point – your business website isn’t like a car or truck. You won’t see a blinking light that tells you when it needs to be replaced.

However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any obvious signs when it’s time to update or upgrade your web presence. Today, we want to point out a few of the most obvious signals that you need the help of a talented business web design team…

You Hate the Way Your Website Looks

The biggest reason to update your website is also the simplest. If you simply don’t like the way it looks, or think the web content you have isn’t doing a good job of promoting your unique advantages to customers, then you should make some changes ASAP.

There is more competition than ever on the internet, so don’t make things easier for the other businesses in your area by putting something online that doesn’t meet your own standards.

You Have Website Performance Issues

It can be easy to ignore small issues with your website, but they can often be hiding bigger problems. For instance, if you have plug-ins that don’t function correctly, it could be a sign that your pages are out of date. That might mean missing features or even data security problems.

Other symptoms of an underperforming website include pages that load slowly, a lack of mobile compatibility, or links that don’t move visitors correctly from one section to another. These are all signs you need immediate assistance from a professional creative team.

Your Business Has Changed

Sometimes, even a great website has to be replaced simply because the underlying business has changed. For example, if your pages sell products that no longer exist, reference employees that have left your company, or invite customers to check out retail locations that are long gone, it’s going to hold your company back.

As a general rule of thumb, you should look at making updates to your website any time your business changes in a substantial way.

Your Competitors Are Passing You By

There is something to be said for keeping up with the competition, particularly when your customers and prospects can visit them with a single click of a mouse. When one of your close competitors launches a new website, or enters the market with a sleek web presence that blows yours away, don’t sit back and watch.

While it’s never a good idea to copy other businesses in your market, you can be aware of what they’re doing and stay a step ahead.

Your Bottom Line is Suffering

If your business seems to be hurting, particularly when it comes to online leads or sales, that might be a very big hint that it’s time to make some improvements to your website. The same goes for big decreases in the number of search engine visits you receive or email subscribers you hold onto.

Ultimately, the point of having a website is to help your company make more money. If that isn’t happening that you should hire a team of designers to work on the problem before things get worse.

Need Help Improving or Renovating Your Business Website?

If it’s time to take your ordinary business website and turn it into something special, contact the experts at Black Door Creative to schedule a free consultation today. We will be happy to review your existing designs and marketing materials with you to show you exactly how we can help.

choosing the right web designer for your project

Choosing The Right Web Designer For Your Project

By | Client Services, Website Design and Development, Wordpress Development | No Comments

choosing the right web designer for your projectFinding a web designer to work with is easy. Choosing the perfect one for your business web design project can be a little bit tougher.

After all, there are literally dozens of web designers and developers in the Providence, Rhode Island area. Add in the fact that most business owners and marketing managers aren’t experts in coding, HTML, or search engine optimization (as examples) and it’s easy to see why it would be so tough to make a good decision.

However, you don’t have to be a web expert to hire the right web design partner. You only need to know how to start your search and narrow in on the perfect candidates.

We are going to show you how to do exactly that in this short post. Before we get into the three criteria that really matter, though, let’s begin with an important tip: it’s much easier to choose the right web designer when you know what you want and need from your new site. In other words, it helps if you have a vision for the kinds of business results (like walk-in customers, online sales, etc.) you are hoping to achieve. You might not know all the particulars, or what tools will be involved, but it helps to begin this process with a goal in mind.

With that being said, there are really three factors that can help you narrow your search to the very best web designer for your project. Let’s look at them in the order most business owners and executives would…

Business Web Design Costs

No matter how big or small your business might be, you’re probably working from a budget. This is an area where you don’t want to make the classic mistake of saving a few dollars if it might hurt your sales later, but you don’t want to overspend, either.

For most small and medium-sized companies, the “sweet spot” can be found with a small local creative team. They’ll bring the same talents of a large agency, but without the enormous overhead costs.

Design and Development Skills

The peculiar thing about business web design is that it is based on both art and technical ability. In other words, you want a web designer with great creative instincts, but also one who can handle HTML programming and other related tasks.

Most searches for a web designer are going to begin with a review of several portfolios. Make sure you choose a creative team that has an artistic eye that matches your own sense of style. Then, describe the sort of website you want to build and be sure they have the programming chops to give you what you need.

Reputation and Relationship

We have left this point for last, but that doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. In fact, this is the one part of the process business owners and managers tend to overlook most often. You only want to hire a web designer or creative team who is going to hit deadlines, communicate frequently, and be easy to work with.

You might not be able to see into the future, but you can tell a lot simply by listening to the way a web designer talks to you, and how they speak about their other clients. Additionally, you can look up reviews and testimonials online to see whether they have a reputation for being fair and responsive or not. That will tell you a great deal about how happy you will or won’t be with their work in the future.

Looking for Great Web Design and Five-Star Service?

If you want to work with a web design partner who can give you great creative work and the personal, dedicated service you deserve, contact us or give us a call (401) 339-4155 today!

finding the right value in web design

Finding the Value in Your Next Business Website

By | Client Services, Website Design and Development, Wordpress Development | No Comments

finding the right value in web design“Is it worth the money to have someone design a new business website for my company?”

We hear versions of this question all the time. It’s understandable that business owners want to know whether they’ll see a positive return on investment when they contact us for web design and online marketing work. However, we think this isn’t actually the best thing to ask. Instead, what new clients should want to know is how exactly they can find the value in a new website.

In other words, the focus should be on all the different ways you can improve your bottom line with the right creative team. With that in mind, today we want to look at a few of the ways you can profit directly and immediately from an improved web presence. Let’s start with the most obvious benefit…

Sales, Leads, and Walk-in Visits

When you have a great website, backed up with a targeted online marketing plan, you can generate new revenue almost immediately. That money could come from online sales, phone inquiries, or even walk-in visits.

That’s because it doesn’t necessarily matter how you close the deal with new customers. What’s important is that you can use your website to reach out to more of them using Google, social media, online ads, and email. Obviously, most of our clients consider this to be the biggest benefit of investing in web design, but it’s certainly not the only way to make your project profitable.

Better Credibility With New Customers

Almost anyone who considers doing business with you is going to visit your website. Most will do so even before they have ever spoken to you or stopped by an office or retail location. So, your website gives you a chance to make a good first impression.

That first impression is crucial because it can set the tone for so many interactions that are going to occur later. When people are impressed with what they see about you online, they are more likely to take the next step and less apt to question your pricing. Additionally, people feel more comfortable referring you to their friends and colleagues when they know your website makes you look credible and professional.

Less Time Spent on Customer Service

We often think of the customer service role of a business website as being a “hidden” feature that a lot of new clients tend to overlook. It isn’t the kind of thing that jumps immediately to mind when you’re considering a project, but the results can be enormous.

When you have items like user guides, instructional videos, frequently asked questions, and account update features on your business website, buyers don’t have to call you to find the answers they need. That makes doing business with you more convenient for them, while at the same time reducing the hours you and your team need to spend on the phone solving problems.

Better Recruiting

Customers aren’t the only ones checking out your website deciding whether to work with you. Potential employees do it, as well.

When you have a great website that makes your business look like a good place to work, it helps you to attract stronger job candidates. Over time, that can give you a big advantage over your competitors. And, you can even use your website to manage employees with schedules, guides, handbooks, and other interactive tools.

Your Web Design Partner in Rhode Island

If you need a great business website and a plan to use it in a way that puts more money in your pocket, then our team is here to help. Contact Black Door Creative today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our work.

Web Design for Mobile Phones

Does Your Business Need A Mobile-First Web Design?

By | Website Design and Development, Wordpress Development | No Comments

If you’re thinking about getting a new website for your business, or just check out the occasional article on internet marketing, then you have probably already heard about the trend towards “mobile-first” web design. And, you might be wondering whether it’s something you need.

To find the right answer to that question, you first have to understand what mobile-first web design is all about. Essentially, it’s just a recognition that in 2018 mobile phone and tablet users make up more than half of all internet traffic. Industry forecasters estimate that two-thirds or more of all web surfers will be using mobile devices by the end of 2020. Knowing that, it can make sense to simply design your business website with mobile users as your first priority instead of simply making your layout and content compatible smaller screens.

In other words, mobile-first web design is all about assuming your customers will be coming to your pages via phones and tablets. That doesn’t mean your site won’t work with traditional laptop and desktop computers, of course, just that your focus is on mobile functionality and conversions.

So, if mobile users are a majority now and will make up a bigger majority in the future, does it make sense to embrace the mobile-first trend? Here are a few questions you should ask yourself – or better yet, talk through with your web design team – before making a final decision…

Who Visits Your Website?

This is the most important question surrounding mobile-first web design and the one that should drive all of your biggest online marketing decisions. When you know what kinds of buyers are coming to your website, and what they want from your company, you can make good choices that will pay big dividends.

For instance, if you have a B2B services company and know that your customers are mainly engineers working from large desktop computers, mobile functionality might not be a huge priority for you. Alternatively, if you have a small retail shop that mostly caters to tourists or people on the go, then nearly all of your sales might come from mobile users.

Does a Mobile-First Web Design Make Sense?

This is really an extension of the first question, but it has to do with your sales and marketing funnel. In other words, beyond knowing who your customers are, ask yourself how they arrive at your website and what they expect to do when they get there.

For example, if your typical customer ends up calling your business or walking in through your front door, mobile conversions might be a big deal. Conversely, if they watch lots of videos or download intensive reports, then those features might not translate as well to a mobile-first platform.

In other words, everything is about your customer base and sales funnel. It’s about knowing what you’re trying to accomplish with your website and letting your business plans guide your choices rather than simply following the latest trends and buzzwords.

Making the Right Call on Mobile-First

It goes without saying that every business should have a mobile compatible website in 2018. However, when it comes to the question of whether mobile-first is a trend with lasting power, and whether or not it works for your business, it’s best to talk things through with a professional development team.

Why not contact us today to schedule a free consultation and put together an online strategy that works for your company?

Responsive Web Design

What is Responsive Web Design?

By | Client Services, Creative Services, Search Engine Optimization, Website Design and Development, Wordpress Development | One Comment

jbm_web_designResponsive web design means making a website look eye-popping on a desktop computer, and on a smartphone or tablet. For the most part this is easier said than done. A website looks different on a mobile device. That means that you, or your design firm, need to put a conscious effort into making a website responsive. It’s no longer enough to simply make a website look great on a computer.

For example, imagine that you have an article about the tourism industry in Rhode Island. Your website is probably going to include lots of pictures. These pictures may look excellent on a computer, and too small on a smartphone. To make a website responsive, a web design firm might take one large picture of Providence or Newport and replace it with two smaller ones. On a mobile screen these will stack on top of each other, creating a better user experience.

Why is it Important to Have a Responsive Website?

Having a responsive website is important because of how many people access the internet from a mobile device. In 2015, 1.9 billion people will use the internet on a smartphone or tablet. In fact, 25% of people worldwide will only access the internet from a mobile platform. That’s a huge share of internet users that you cannot afford to not cater to.

The problem with traditional web design is that 44% of people claim that navigating a site on a mobile device is difficult. If a smartphone user has a problem accessing a site they’re going to be less likely to return. This is especially true for potential customers who only use the internet from a smartphone or tablet.

Another reason it’s important to have a responsive website is that it will increase your search engine rating. Google and other search engines check websites to see if they are compatible with mobile platforms. If they are, they’re more likely to send traffic to your site. If you’re selling a product, mobile traffic can be lucrative, as 69% of tablet users report using their device to make a purchase in the last thirty days.

What Can You Do to Improve Your Website?

If you don’t have a website yet then you want to be sure to talk to your web designer about creating a responsive site. You should ask them about their experience with making responsive pages and about how they will make your site easy to use on a mobile platform. The firm you’re talking to should be able to confidently answer all your questions.

On the other hand, there are two easy ways you can improve your website if you already have one. The simplest way is to load your website on your phone and go through it page by page, creating a list of problems that you encounter. For example, some text may be too small to read, certain images might render poorly, or it may be difficult to click different links. Take that list of problems to your web designer and work through them.

Another way to improve your website is to analyze it using this tool from Google. It will assess your website and point out any potential problems that a mobile user may face. This tool is useful because you’ll know exactly what you need to fix in order to increase your Google search ranking.

Having a responsive website means that it will look as good on a smartphone as it does on a desktop computer. Google rankings aside, you should have the final say in how a page appears on a mobile platform. Owing to the huge number of mobile users today, it’s important that your brand makes a positive impression.

Sources

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/responsive-web-design

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/01/guidelines-for-responsive-web-design/

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/designing-for-mobile-devices/

 

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Recieve Weekly articles and news delivered to your email packed with value on Digital Marketing, Seach Engine Optimization, Lead Generation and more.

This information will never be shared for third part