Website Building Process for Business

website building

Building a website is a vital part of any business in today’s world. The internet is an everyday tool almost everyone in the world uses, and having a website enables you to engage with an ever-growing customer base. There are a lot of options out there to build a website, and whether you go to a code your own, go to website building service, or hire a professional developer/designer, the choice isn’t an easy one.

Website Building Sites

If you’ve watched many videos on YouTube or listened to any Podcasts in the last few years, then you’ve probably seen ads for services like Squarespace or Wix. These sites offer the ability to create your own professional looking websites through their company. These are website building sites. They are straightforward, easy to use, and give people the ability to create websites without years of education in coding. You pay these services, and they give you some templates for websites and online stores. Like anything though, there are pros and cons to everything. So let’s look at some of the most popular website builders out there:

 

Wix

Wix is one of the most popular and highly rated website building sites out there. It comes in a multitude of different price packages for whatever your needs might be ranging from free to $500/month. Some of the features that Wix offers are mobile optimization, an online store option, domain name, and social media integration. Wix has an easy to use and intuitive editor with over 300 different templates, giving you a wide array of personalization capabilities. One of its best points is the drag-and-drop editor that allows you to essentially point and click your way to a beautiful website.

One of the biggest downsides of Wix, however, is that it’s not the most SEO friendly platform out there. Poor SEO can really slow down the organic growth of your platform. The ease of its user interface is also something that can eventually hamper Wix since it can make large changes difficult to do. It also makes customizing your site in your own unique way difficult, do to the cookie-cutter nature of these services. Wix also makes it difficult to export your website data if you ever want to change services, and for any decent-sized company, the more expensive premium packages are the only ones worth considering.

Pricing for Wix :

Free: Free

Combo: $14.50/month

Unlimited: $17.50/month

Business Basic: $25/month

 

Squarespace

Squarespace is a big competitor of Wix. While both offer very similar services, they each have their own fans. Squarespace really excels at making visually aesthetic and beautiful websites. With gorgeous templates, you can really make a memorable impression on anyone who visits. Squarespace also has the drag-and-drop feature that makes website building simple and intuitive. The backend design, or the user interface for its customers, is also beautiful, which gives off a polished and measured feel to it. Squarespace offers 24/7 customer support that is helpful and always there should any problem arise.

The biggest slight against Squarespace is that it is not very customizable. Beyond the templates offered by the service, there is very few, if any customizable options to really give your website a personal touch. Like any template service, Squarespace suffers from the fact that everyone uses the same set of designs. While the websites themselves can really look beautiful, they also look just like any other Squarespace website, so making a website that really sticks out can be a challenge. One of Squarespace’s biggest selling points is its eCommerce options, and while they’re solid, there are a lot of better options out there can be used. If you want a website to sell your merchandise, Squarespace probably shouldn’t be your first stop.

Pricing for Squarespace:

Personal: $12/month

Business: $18/month

Online Store (Basic):$26

Online Store (Advanced): $40

 

WordPress

WordPress is probably the oldest website building sites on the market, and arguably the most popular. A primarily free blogging website, WordPress offers people the opportunity to post their own thoughts giving them a platform. Since 2003, they have expanded, like its competitors, into a website builder that thrives on template designs and user-friendly interfaces. With a simple design which allows its users to easily and freely edit their websites, WordPress has made a name this market. There are also a wide variety of 3rd party plugins that allow going beyond WordPress’s offering.

Although the service has been around for over a decade and a half, its offerings are somewhat limited, and the user interface, while intuitive, can be frustrating at times. The templates are also limited and offer minimal customization for personal branding.

Pricing for WordPress:

Free: Free

Blogger: $3/month

Personal: $5/month

Premium: $8/month

Business: $25/month

eCommerce: $45/month

 

Professional Design

The last option you have is to go to a professional designer or firm. This can be expensive, probably much more expensive than using one of the previously mentioned services. Though it is more expensive, there are some definite upsides to it as well. Firstly, you get the ability to personalize your website to a greater degree than any of the template-driven services. This allows you to have a more unique website, a more unique user experience for your visitors. A professional developer can create a user experience tailored to your target clientele. That alone can help drive sales or other business-related conversions.

While many of these website builder services have some SEO, going through a firm or a professional will open up a wider array of options to optimize your traffic. It’s a design firm’s job to understand these processes and how to apply them. A professional will tailor a website perfectly to what your business needs.

While cost is always going to be a major downside of hiring professionals, another downside is the time to launch. With any of the aforementioned services all you need to do is point and you have yourself a website. Hiring a professional is going to take time to prepare everything. Your time from hire to launch might be a couple weeks in this situation. The tradeoff for this, though, is that your website is entirely unique to your business and a lot more complete than using a builder yourself.

Conclusion

Ultimately, every website is a commercial decision. Whether you’re a hobbyist trying to display what you’ve made, or a Fortune 500 trying to expand their brand, having a website is important. So is how you make it. This should be a business decision. You’re the only one who knows what your business needs and what it can afford to do. Make sure you consider all the facts and do your own research to find what option fits you best.

Have any questions about the website building process? Contact us today!

The Basics of Color Theory in Design

color theory

The Basics of Color Theory in Design

Color is the first thing we perceive. If something moves past you in a blur, it’s not the shape that leaves an impact, it’s the color of the object. As such, color is a cornerstone from which you should build any logo, branding, or design. Colors can leave lasting impacts and memories for consumers, and can even be associated with products or companies on color alone. When you think of McDonald’s, you think of the golden arches. When you see a red can of soda, you think Coke, just as you think Pepsi when you see blue. Color is an important part of perception and making sure the colors you choose are aesthetically pleasing to the eye is just as important. This post will show you some of the fundamentals of color theory, how to use these theories, and practical applications.

The Color Wheel

Like any concept, the best place to start is at the very beginning. For the color theory that would be the color wheel.

The color wheel is an illustrative guide of color hues around a circle. There are twelve hues, or pure colors, that make up this wheel, separated into three different categories: Primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors. The primary colors are Red, Yellow and Blue. These three colors form the basis of all other colors. Secondary colors are green, orange, and purple, and are made when you add one primary color to another primary color, creating a new color. For example, red + yellow is orange, Red + Blue is purple, and blue + yellow is green. Tertiary colors are the six colors you get when a secondary color is added to a primary color. There are six of these colors, creatively named red-orange, red-purple, etc.

The color wheel can be broken down further into two different categories, warm colors and cool colors. Warm colors are your reds, yellows, and oranges. These colors evoke feelings of happiness, comfort, and energy. Cool colors are your greens, blues, and purples. These colors promote such feelings of calm and tranquility, harmony and nature. They can also invoke feelings of sadness and depression, so a balance between cool and warm colors should be carefully considered when making any design.

Color Theory Schemes

Since we’ve mastered the color wheel, it’s time to look at the basics of color theory and design; color schemes. An important item to consider when designing should be that it is aesthetically pleasing. This can be done by using color schemes. Color schemes are choices in a color that create a uniform style and appeal.

Here is a rundown on a few of the most prevalent schemes you’ll see:

Complimentary Colors:

Here the colors are sitting directly across from each other on the color wheel: such as Red-green, Blue-orange, yellow-purple.

This scheme really makes images pop because of the contrast between the colors emphasizing each other. Be wary of overuse, though, as this scheme can be harsh and exhausting after extended use. Think of all the red and green you’re sick of by the end of the Christmas season.

Split-Complimentary Colors:

color theory

This is similar to complementary colors, this takes colors directly opposite of each other on the color wheel. This is different, however since they use the two colors directly adjacent to the complimentary color. Think yellow with red-purple and blue-purple. Since the colors are not directly complimentary the contrast is not as harsh, meaning it is softer on the eye, but still does a good job of accenting the colors.

Analogous and Accented Analogous Colors:

color theory

Analogous colors are three colors that are all directly next to each other on the color wheel. This scheme is best used with one color being the primary focus with a second that supports it and the third to accent the other two. This scheme gives a pleasing aesthetic that is uniform and can be used to direct attention and action on a website for example.

color theory

Accented is the same as analogous colors, using three directly next to each other, but here you add the complementary color of the primary hue of the three to accent and add contrast to the theme.

Triadic and Tetradic Colors:

Triadic are three colors that are evenly spread around the color wheel from each other. These colors do a good job of creating contrast and tend to be very dynamic and bright. But these three colors also do a good job generating harmony together.

color theory

Tetradic is four colors, two sets of complementary colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel forming a rectangle. Here you want to be careful of the balance between warm and cool colors to avoid clashing.

Emotion

Color theory can also be used to evoke certain emotions. Much like how cool and warm colors have certain feelings associated with them. Check out this handy guide on what emotions certain colors can evoke.

Application

After designing your logo, you now have to get that logo out there and make sure that the colors you painstakingly picked are replicated on all the platforms you use. This is important since printing on the surface, producing on TV or the internet and mixing paint on a canvas can all change the perception of the colors of your logos.

So far, we have talked about the RYB color wheel, which is how we perceive color in the world. But how does a computer replicate that color through ones and zeroes, or a printer match that color without having 600 cartages of ink on hand? They do this through two different color models, the RGB (Red Green Blue) and the CYMK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key [black]) models respectively.

RBG Model

The RGB model is an additive color mixing model. It uses three colors to create more colors by mixing light waves together, these lights being red, green and blue. If you have ever seen a pixel of a TV or a computer monitor then you’ve seen the three lights. Computers can make new colors by changing the intensity of the different colored lights, mixing them together and making new colors. This works on the that the way we perceive color in nature is the reflection of light waves off of objects. This model instead projects those light waves onto our eyes, making similar colors.

CMYK Model

color theory

The CMYK model is essentially the opposite of the RGB model and is the most widely used model in color printing. Instead of projecting the light onto our eyes, this model relies on the reflection off of the paint or ink. This model is a subtractive one, instead of an additive one, much like the RYB model. The colors absorb certain wavelengths of light, meaning the color reflected from the surface is without that wavelength and thus without that color. Cyan, for example, does a good job of subtracting red light, so thus the reflected color is blue and green mixed together. CMYK is a similar model to RYB, but the cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black) of this model offers a wider array of printing color.

These models do a good job of replicating colors, but they are both different, so alterations are possible. Colors will not appear exactly the same even within the same model. Sometimes changing based on the manufacturer or even the age of some screens or ink. To have a consistent design across all platforms, you must be cognizant of all of these differences and prepare accordingly.

Conclusion on Color Theory

Understanding the basics of color theory can go a long way when designing anything. Knowing how colors work, how they interact with each other, and how to apply those designs can leave an impact on all who see it. Color theory is a fundamental part of life and thus should be a fundamental part of any design, logo or brand.

Have any questions about color theory or design? Contact us here. 

SEO Optimization Tips for Spring

seo optimization

SEO Optimization for Spring

Since website performance and SEO optimization is affected by things such as bad links, sloppy code, and poor content, it is a great time to do a semi-annual tidying to eliminate any problems. What does something like this do for search engine optimization efforts? Here are a few ways to be sure any essential SEO areas that tend to collect internet ‘dirt’ is cleaned.

Analyze with Analytics

Using analytic software such as Google Analytics and run a full array of reports normally monitored, especially important ones like site and page errors. Error reports are the most significant and probably the lengthiest. As much it may seem like doing such work could be put off – don’t do it! Every error detected by analytics tools is one more that is affecting website efficiency.

Inspect your site.

Start the process with a crawl of your site to collect the data you’ll need. Use a crawler such as Deep Crawler (which is especially helpful for sites on Angular, the front-end platform) or Screaming Frog. Crawlers help you identify all manner of metadata and site errors, as well as the server header status for each page. Each of these data points will identify an area that needs attention.

Review Your SEO Optimization

Since it can be somewhat difficult to systematically review websites for SEO, content, and other aspects, adding this job to the twice-yearly cleaning can help make sure it actually happens. Be sure content is correct and complete; review upcoming content ideas to be sure of current relevancy. Discover the latest trends in SEO and coding; update any techniques or HTML to benefit the overall website.

Site Errors

The annoying truth of the matter is that site errors need to be fixed. Many will be simple such as dead links or URLs with typos; others may be quite important. SEO reports can point out errors such as pages missing header tags, nonworking links, and other such information. Troubleshooting site speed may show other types of problems that unknowingly exist. It may be tedious; however, it is necessary to fix page issues regularly. This will improve site speed and result in fewer problem pages on the website.

Social Profiles

Check those important social media pages to be sure that they work, especially for any unknown issues. Be sure links from main websites to different social pages are not broken, out of place, or have been forgotten. Such problems should be corrected quickly, as this can potentially affect website traffic both to social sites and back to the corresponding website.

Claim Your Local Listings

Just like with social media, the more local listing sites you’re on, the better. Find out where your company should be online and start claiming your businesses profiles. Most, if not all of these sites are free and require very little effort to claim. Once you’ve done so, start filling out the profiles with relevant and useful information including products/services, location(s) and contact information. Be sure to save all the credentials for these listings as you may need to update them over time as new products/services come out, you change locations or need to change contact information.

It probably seems like a lot to go through twice a year; however, doing so can keep any website and its search engine optimization efforts functioning smoothly and reaching planned goals with very few concerns.

Have any question about SEO Optimization? Contact us here! 

4 Facebook Marketing Tips for Your Small Business

facebook marketing

Facebook Marketing

Facebook marketing has become essential for any business to have a strong social media presence in the digital world. With over 2 billion monthly active users, there’s no reason to leave this section of your audience potential untapped.

To get started, here are 4 of our favorite tips for your small business to succeed on Facebook.

Post to Facebook at non-peak times

Every time someone visits Facebook, they could have on average 1,500 potential stories to see from friends, people they follow, and Pages. A majority of these posts published during the day with peak times between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. ET.

Engage your fans by asking questions

One of the most popular post types on Facebook? Questions.

It’s one of the recommended strategies by Post Planner, and anecdotally it makes a lot of sense for getting more comments, likes, and interactions from the community. The thinking goes that as Facebook notices people engaging with your content, future content stands a better chance of reaching more people.

Facebook Advertising

Social networks aren’t always the first thing companies think while building local marketing strategies, but Facebook advertising is an exception.

It’s an inexpensive way to advertise your business to the target audience. Like Google, Facebook also knows to buy and click patterns of all their one billion-plus users. They are experts in putting the ads in front of a relevant local audience.

Visual Content is King

Facebook marketing has turned into a very visual realm. Pictures and especially video are gaining more reach on average than text-based posts.

As humans, we are much better at remembering pictures than words. When you post a text-heavy post, your customers will only remember 10% after a couple days. But if you add in a picture, they’ll remember 65%. Your posts will have much more impact if you included a relevant image or graphic with it.

Have any questions about Facebook marketing or your strategies on other social platforms? Contact us here!