Find Web Developers
Find Web Developers

New Website Development: DIY Publishing Platform Versus Agency

September 3rd, 2018

If you’ve been watching TV, reading online articles or listening to buzz around the web design world, you’ve probably heard of a new company called SquareSpace. A web publishing platform, SquareSpace touts ease of usability, fresh templates and domain hosting all within an affordable package. The concept isn’t new – there are older DIY platforms that offer similar services such as Wix, Weebly, Google Sites, and (our favorite) WordPress. While budget conscious businesses may find these options appealing over investing in an agency, these platforms aren’t a one-size-fits-all strategy. Here are some key success factors that B2B businesses are missing out on:

Brand Appropriate Website

Many modern-day web publishers have a portfolio full of image rich, contemporary templates. While these templates work for photographers, restaurants, boutique shops and more, it’s not always appropriate for a B2B business. Website design that does not appropriately reflect your company branding sends a disjointed message to your target audience. DIY websites ultimately fail its core function: to educate and attract customers to your products and services.

SEO

Fast forward to the launch day… the platform publishes your website, but no one is able to find it. Site builders come with zero instruction on web appropriate marketing. Working with an agency provides a holistic look at your business’ web rankings, analytics, and overall performance verses your competitors. With this data, an agency can make changes based on knowledge of your industry and inbound marketing best practices.

Content Strategy

A website publisher may provide an option to add blogging or email marketing capabilities, but insights on what to write and how frequently is nonexistent. By employing a full-service agency, you receive a tailored website with an integrated content marketing strategy to keep your website current.

Dynamic Plugins

Some publishers include e-commerce, blogs, web analytics and social media plugins at additional cost for the user. While these plugins may seem helpful at first, many feature limited usability, resulting in you having to re-create your online sales process as a work around. Agencies are able to take your B2B business’ current practices and find the best digital solution.

Technical Support

Although site publishers advertise friendly 24/7-customer service by phone or email, remember the responsibility to repair programming errors falls on you. We understand most B2B businesses don’t have robust IT and web developers on staff, so fixing a website falls on the busy schedules of in-house marketing, sales, HR, even CEOs. Hiring a full-service agency ensures you have a direct line to “website 9-1-1” with someone who is personally invested in your site’s performance.

While these site generating packages are appealing, remember that creating an effective website can work for all budget levels. For a B2B business, investing in a firm with comprehensive capabilities in web development and marketing provides greater long-term returns.

Boosting Your Business With Top-Notch WordPress Developers

September 1st, 2018

With over 60 million websites powered worldwide, WordPress has become today’s most popular tool for bloggers. Although it is easy to implement and use, professional support is still needed if you want to create sites that can catch the attention of web browsers to boost your business. Here’s how you can look for the best WordPress developers:

Ask for referrals.

Ask your friends, family, colleagues, and employees if they have WordPress-efficient web designers to recommend. In case you know someone with a WordPress-built blog, you can also ask him or her personally about what company helped them build their blogging systems.

Look for top-rated web designers.

Read tech blogs and features about online marketing in order to get a list of top-rated and WordPress-efficient web designers. Read about client reviews, ratings, and testimonials about them.

Check their mastery of PHP and MySQL.

WordPress is a zero-cost and open source tool for blogs and a content management system that is based on PHP and MySQL. These are general-purpose programming languages that are used for web development. PHP and MySQL should go hand in hand in order to create dynamic webpages and database systems. It takes a lot of reading and practicing to master these two. See to it that you look for developers who are well versed in these languages and techniques so that they can easily tweak your business webpages later on.

Browse their portfolio.

Professional teams often have online portfolios that feature their previous projects. Assess examples of their previous works and check the quality of the website. It should be professional looking, attractive, substantial, reader friendly, and easy to navigate. Companies that have more sample works in their portfolio have more experience, practice, and training.

Book an appointment.

Book an appointment with their representatives in order to ask about their service rates and packages. You may also ask them to present you with plan proposals and price quotes depending on your business needs.

Assess their level of professionalism.

During initial meetings where you share your expectations and ask for project proposals, see to it that you assess their level of professionalism while doing so. They should be transparent when it comes to their rates and services. They should also be respectful of your business goals and expectations. If they insist on following their own plans instead of prioritizing what you want for your enterprise, you can always cancel your deal.

Find out whether or not you feel comfortable in working with them.

A good working relationship is essential since these experts shall be dealing with our business campaigns online. If you feel uncomfortable around them, it might be difficult to work together later on in the future. This can hinder goal-achievement and compromise your objectives.

How Marketing Consultants Can Make the Difference In Your Web Design Project

August 31st, 2018

Web design is an integral part of a modern marketing campaign. The quality of the design and coding work done on your website is incredibly important, as a DIY website simply cannot compete with a professionally created online presence. Even if the aesthetics were equal, which is unlikely, a professionally designed and well built website will always outperform a homegrown page because of the tremendous amount of coding and back-end work that goes into doing it right.

Often, small business owners turn to web designers for help getting started, only to find that they don’t “speak the language” of web design, and this leaves them unsure of what to ask for, how to answer the web designer’s questions, and whether they’re truly getting a good deal. This is where a reliable marketing consultant comes in. By hiring a marketing consultant, business owners benefit from having an advisor and liaison who can translate the web design lingo, leverage their standing professional relationships for better pricing, and handle the day-to-day issues that arise during web development work so that you as the business owner can focus on your business, not your website.

Marketing consultants are sometimes freelancers, but they are just as often team members working for advertising agencies. If you’re working with an independent web designer and have hired an advertising agency, they will fill this role for you and handle the minutiae, bringing you in periodically for the bigger decisions. Even then, a knowledgeable marketing consultant will narrow down two or four dozen options to an easily navigable top five, for example, explain the choices at hand, and make recommendations as to a path forward.

Alternatively, small business owners sometimes hire advertising agencies or marketing consultants first, letting these companies bring in their own team members or freelancers for web design. Regardless of how the situation comes about, in addition to helping you navigate the waters of a web design project, an advertising agency and/or web consultant will bring one other major component to the table: cohesiveness.

When building a website, it’s important to understand that while web development often seems to occur in a vacuum, it truly should not. Websites are key parts in a comprehensive marketing campaign that should typically integrate Internet and traditional marketing elements. Therefore, a great website is of even more value when it is the main piece in a large puzzle rather than a separate entity that does not align with the remaining pieces. That is, if a customer has been to your brick-and-mortar shop or has seen your TV, print, Internet, or direct mail advertisements and then visits your website, the branding should be consistent across all of those platforms. The site should immediately be identifiable as part of the whole, and that only happens when your web consultant and/or your advertising agency is intimately involved in your entire website design project.

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that web design projects are often bid without regard to content, which you’ll be expected to provide as the business owner. The right advertising agency or marketing consultant will have staff or freelancers who can provide solid, clean, engaging content that also addresses your needs for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) while ensuring that your branding and messaging remains cohesive across all platforms.