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How Do Designers Make Unique Looking Websites?

Unless you have gone ahead and used one of those ready-made templates where you simply add in your own information, then you may be wondering how designers make unique looking websites. Well, aside from the knowledge and experience side of things, there are several other ways in which a good designer can take your brief and turn it into something that is indeed absolutely unique.

First, a designer should be able to look at your website, or ideas, and view it as a unique problem that needs to be solved. In all honesty, this has to be one of the most important points to be made because if a designer starts to view two websites in the same way, then it can lead to an amount of crossover in the design that may not be best for either website.

It can become all too easy for the web designer to fall into the trap of feeling very comfortable in what they are creating because it is the fourth construction company website that they have made in the last 12 months. Ultimately, ideas can be regurgitated, which is also not good, and there can be less of a creative flow that can ultimately hamper the final design of the website.

The best way to get around this is indeed to view each website as being a one-off problem that has to be resolved. If this is the approach that is taken, then solutions will also flow more easily, which is not exactly a bad thing.

Starting from Nothing.

A good designer will listen to your brief and then start from absolutely nothing with the design. That means it is built from the ground up because taking an existing website and then personalizing it is going to lead to that crossover issue that we mentioned earlier.

If a website is constructed from point zero, then the chances of it being unique in every way is only going to be increased. It creates a certain freshness about it all and that can only be a good thing for the client.

Research is Everything.

To get a unique looking website, there has to be an amount of research undertaken to ultimately get the rough outline of the website which can then be added to as the project progresses. A designer going into a project blindly is increasing the chances of making mistakes, and that should clearly be avoided.

The designer should carry out research into the company they are working for, the market they are in, the competition, the color schemes that work well for the branding, and the key mistakes that need to be avoided. Failure to do any of this is only going to result in a relatively botched attempt to produce something that is satisfactory to the client. If you do not prepare, then you will more than likely fall back to previous designs and use them as your inspiration which can, as a result, lead to a number of parts effectively being copied.

But then, there is a point that should also be made in that you are going to find it very difficult to have something that is indeed completely unique. There will always be minor aspects that are effectively borrowed from elsewhere, but it is the overall scheme of things and the way in which they are all put together that is the key.

A designer is going to be aware of this, but they will not allow it to cloud their thinking. Instead, they will accept those aspects and continue working towards the brief in order to ultimately produce something that is unique for that client.

Even though having a template where you just add your own text is tempting, it can affect the way in which people view you as a company. Having something that is functional and delivers on what you need is the most important thing of all. So what if something is not 100% unique. If it provides to you what you need in your website, then that is key and if the designer has been able to achieve your brief and produce something that works and represents your brand, then the overall project should then be viewed as being a success.

New Year. New Look

Webfoot is proud to announce that it has launched its newly redesigned website. 

How long has it been since you last made changes to your website or even added new content? The ever changing search algorithms know. Do you know if you do not change content, design, or the structure of your website on a continual schedule you become less relevant to the search engines and in turn you are found less often when paying customers are looking for your particular services or products. Our website at Webfoot is no different so we have just completed our new website redesign with all the current and latest enhancements.

Is It Time For You To Redesign?

To stay current and keep a fresh look your site should be changed or redesigned every 12 to 24 months. This may sound rather often but to keep pace with the ever changing web it is important to stay relevant and noticed by the search engines. Is your site mobile friendly? Do you know that the SEO algorithms used by Google and others change a few times a year? Are the latest security updates applied to your site? To keep up with the always changing requirements for a successful website is a full time job. Are you working full time on your site? Today’s business world is online and your website is impacting your business. It is up to you whether that impact is helping or hurting. If it has been some time since you last updated or redesigned your site call now and trust the proven experts at Webfoot Designs to get your website back in business.

Why a Cheap Logo is Not Always the Best

brand-logoDuring the creation of your website, it is important that you also spend some time thinking about your logo. This is vital as your logo does form an integral part of your entire branding and indeed you only have to think about several of the big name companies to understand how their logo comes to represent not only the company name but also what people then associate with it.

If you just think of the Apple logo. It is distinctive and people see it and immediately start to think of certain things such as inventions, technology and so on. The same can be said with the Nike swoosh logo as you also then start to think about different terms that are related to how you perceive the Nike brand in general.

However, perhaps the key thing is that people see their logos and instantly know the name of the brand in question. The difficulty here is that we are not really saying that the same thing will happen to your logo, but we can certainly take aspects of this and apply it to your very own situation.

So, that being said, why exactly is a cheap logo not always the best solution?

The Reasons Against a Cheap Logo.

If you search online, you will come across numerous individuals or companies that claim they can design your logo for as little as $5 and, at first, this sounds like a bit of a bargain, but is it really?

The problem with the individuals that are offering a logo at that price is that you are going to end up with something that is not really unique. You see, they use programs and templates so they can just churn out logos without too much thought being put into it and that is not the way that you want to go about this.

It is essential that your logo really is unique to you and your company. Also, the individuals that create these logos do so in such a way that you are largely unable to alter the size as you see fit. It is important to remember that logos are going to be used not only on your website but also in different forms of marketing. Failing to have a logo designed that is capable of having its size adjusted without it then looking jagged or poorly designed just cannot be allowed to happen.

In addition, there is also the very important point that you do get less of a say in your logo when you pay so little for it and this does fall into the bracket of ‘you get what you pay for’ so do keep that in mind. Ideally, you should be able to sit down with the designer, think about the colors that are in your website and all of your marketing material. Think about the image that you wish to perceive when it comes to your business and then start to put the logo together.

When you are looking at paying so little, you are pretty much just going to be giving somebody your name and they will add it to a template and then give you the apparently finished article. Now, to be honest, the only thing we can say about this approach is that it sucks. No other term can actually do it as much justice but then when you are paying $5 or $10 then do you actually have any grounds for complaint?

The Correct Approach.

Granted we have just really painted a rather dull and negative picture of these cheap logos so it is only fair to now look at what is going to be the correct approach for you to take.

First, your logo should not be the first thing that you get designed as it should really be one of the final parts of the process due to the way in which it needs to fit in with the other designs and colors that have been used elsewhere. It is a lot easier to tie in the logo with the website design rather than the other way around as the website has to be the dominant factor.

Next, you need to sit down with the designer and work through what your aims and intentions are connected to not just your logo but your branding in general. This is something that you will not have the opportunity to do with the cheaper option and yet it can be so vital to your overall success.

The only problem here is that this is going to cost you money in order to get everything right from the outset. However, its value to your business and the way in which it makes you appear more professional does mean that this will be money well spent. Just remember to design everything else first and then look at the logo just to make sure that it all fits in together perfectly.

The Impact of Social Media and SEO in Light of Google

socialiconsIt was believed for some considerable period of time that social signals played a major role in the algorithm that Google uses in order to determine how different websites rank. Well, it turns out that Google do not use these social signals in their calculations, but that is not to say that you should completely ignore social media when it comes to your SEO.

Instead, there are several ways in which it can still boost things in your favor and you should ignore social media at your peril. To stress how important this can be, we will look at just two ways in which it is going to make a difference.

1. It is easier to build your brand.

Now, building your brand is not going to have a direct impact on your SEO, but at the same time it is hardly going to be a negative thing, is it? However, building your brand does end up having its own indirect impact on your SEO and how effective it is going to be and the reasons behind that are easy to understand.

For example, we know that links are important with SEO, but people are going to be more likely to link to someone that has a strong and powerful brand. Furthermore, if you are more active on social media and build a presence, then people are going to be more likely to share your tweets and links boosting your SEO in the process.

There are of course various facets to building a brand online via social media but it always comes back to that same old thing time and time again, the bigger and more trustworthy the brand then the more likely people are to then go ahead and share things connected to you which, to a certain extent, helps you to go viral and this is always going to be useful for your SEO purposes.

Remember, your brand can include your logo, tagline, marketing materials, advertising, anything that is tied in with your business. Building the power that your brand then has, which means getting to grips with how people perceive you, is of course more important than the way in which it has an impact on your SEO. However, if you thought that there was no real link between the two then think again as your brand builds your SEO but SEO increases awareness of your brand.

2. Working on relationships via content.

The second point that we need to focus on is the need for you to look at the way in which you work those relationships and there is one thing in particular that is important, the use of quality content. It is accepted that content that offers value and important information is something that Google loves when it comes to SEO as their main thing is about quality over quantity.

The beauty about social media is that it is just primed for you to share content and to also get links and feedback on it. This is going to open you up to a huge market and that is never going to be a bad thing in any situation. However, this is only going to really help you when you have taken other steps to make sure that you can benefit from all of this SEO juice that you should be getting from it.

You see, the game has changed when it comes to SEO and indeed some would argue that it is constantly on the move due to the likes of Google deciding to alter the rules at various times. When it comes to social media, then you have to always make sure that there are links to your website, your contact details, information about you, and anything else that is directly related to whatever it is that you are doing. In other words, you must have a full profile and then you need to make sure that it is always active although we do admit that this is more for marketing purposes.

There is undoubtedly a link between SEO and social media even if the latest news from Google does change things ever so slightly. But, what do you do?

Well, to be honest this should only ever form a small part of your entire approach to SEO as the only way in which you will rank highly is to take a multi-faceted approach and to employ various methods and techniques to your advantage. However, this is not as easy as it seems and even though you can perhaps handle the social media aspect of your SEO campaign all on your own, there is no doubt that you should actually use the services of experts that will then be able to take things to an entirely new level for you.

So, social signals are not as important as we thought. However, SEO in general remains a force to be reckoned with so ignore it all and you will certainly suffer the consequences.

Can Your Design Actually Prevent You Making Sales?

webdesignWe are all used to hearing that the correct web design is going to really make or break your website and that is something that cannot be disputed. However, right now we are going to look at another point that should be taken into consideration, can your design actually prevent you from making sales?

This in itself is an interesting question as it is a point that is often overlooked and that in itself is wrong. To be fair, we are talking more about modern designs rather than things that were the norm a number of years ago and it is all linked to the ever increasing number of tools that are available to the average designer.

Perhaps the main issue is that design can, at times, get in the way of functionality and that is where the problem can develop. It is all fair and well having a nice looking website, but if people are unable to get to where they want to go, or do what they want to do, then is there any point to it in all honesty?

There is also this constant belief that you must have a website that is ‘cool’ and this is one thing that can often get in the way of producing a website that is actually capable of converting and leading to sales. Now, is that not a bit crazy for the focus to be on having something that looks nice rather than having something that actually makes you money?

So the question now is, what designs actually cause an issue?

Too Much Animation.

Using animation on a website is something that has become more popular, but our advice is certainly that less is more. The problem with animation is that it can slow down a page and also act as a distraction. You want people to be able to browse without having them sitting there wondering what is going to happen next and that is a major issue with using animation. We are not saying to avoid it completely, but just think carefully about what it actually does add to your website.

 

Trying To Be Too Clean.

Another issue is when the designer is trying to be too clean with the website. Now, the last thing that we want is to have a website that is all over the place and messy, but the problem with trying to be too clean is that it can often lead to things being hidden such as the navigation. People really do not mind seeing a menu bar on a website. In actual fact, it is expected to be there so hiding it away just to make something look more minimalist should not be high on your list of priorities.

 

Having No Actual Call To Action.

One part of the design that can often be missing, and this is the crazy part, is that there is no actual call to action on the website. This really is just madness because you want to have something up there that will tell people that they need to take some kind of action whether it be to contact you, make an appointment online, or to complete that sale. If this is missing, then your website becomes just an information portal and that is one major reason why it will not then convert.

 

Having A Website That Loads Too Slowly.

The final point we are going to make is that if your website loads too slowly, then you have a major problem. It has been shown that a one second delay in your website loading can result in a drop in conversions of 7%. The difficulty here is that you never know which browser or device the person is going to be using and you also have no idea how powerful their computer is. What this means is that you could be making life so much harder for yourself by trying to be too clever with your site making it very heavy and slow to load. Just look at it this way, if it is slow to load, then people will simply click off and go elsewhere and you then have absolutely no chance of converting them.

Basically, what we are saying is that there are several important factors that must be taken into account when you are designing a website and do not allow yourself to be drawn into some kind of competition where your visitors are always going to be the losers. Do yourself a favor and spend some time studying what others are doing and model yourself on their website as there is a fine line between being too boring and too over the top.

Finally, do not be afraid to voice your disapproval of something that your web designer has come up with as it is better doing that than being left with a website that you hate. Remember, if you hate it, then there is a good chance that your visitors will as well and that alone will have a major impact on your conversion rates.

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