Web design and development is a crucial aspect of creating a successful website. A well-designed website not only improves user experience but also drives more traffic and increases conversion rates. Here are some of the best website design practices to consider:
With the rise of mobile device usage, it's essential to make sure your website is optimized for mobile users. A mobile-first design approach ensures that your website is easily accessible and user-friendly on all devices.
Simple and Clean Layout:
A straightforward and clean layout helps users navigate your website and find the information they need. A clear structure and logical hierarchy of information is important for a user-friendly website.
Designing with the user in mind is crucial for creating a successful website. Consider the user's needs, goals, and behaviors when designing the website.
High-quality content is key to engaging and retaining visitors on your website. Ensure the content on your website is well-written, relevant, and up-to-date.
Fast Loading Speed:
A fast-loading website is crucial for a good user experience. A slow website can result in high bounce rates and lower conversion rates, so it's important to optimize your website design for fast loading speeds.
A clear and noticeable call-to-action (CTA) is an essential part of any website. It should encourage visitors to take action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
By following these best website design practices in 2023, you can create a website that is both visually appealing and user-friendly, leading to a better user experience and increased conversion rates.
Stephen Wicks Internet Development Company is an Atlanta Georgia based web design and digital marketing firm with clients across the entire United States. Please feel free to reach out to us if you are in need of a modern website designed to grow your business.
Blog Post: Stephen Wicks
Have you ever heard of someone who lost control of their website? Maybe you have or maybe it was even you who had this happen. It is a very common phenomenon that happens to business owners every day. Even though it happens a lot, this tragedy can actually be avoided if you know a few things upfront before getting your website designed. In this blog post, we will give you 3 tips to prevent this from happening to you.
How it usually happens
Usually, a person who decides to get a website designed does one of two things. 1. Try to design it themselves or 2. Hire someone else to design it for them.
There is nothing wrong with either option however; many people don't know the difference between having a "domain name" and a "website." You can have a website and not have a domain name and you can have a domain name and not have a website. It sounds confusing but let me break down the differences.
What Is A Domain?
A domain name is the set of letters or numbers that come after http://www in your browser... such as www.StephenWicks.com . It is the address that directs people to where your website is being hosted.
In actuality, the website StephenWicks.com is located on the internet at an address that consists of a set of numbers that's recognized by your computer.
Most people will not be able to remember all of those numbers that represent our website's address.
So instead of having to remember and type in many numbers, you can simply type StephenWicks.com and you'll find my website. That's why domain names are so important.
What Is A Website?
A website is everything that you see when you go to a domain name. This can be pictures, text, video, audio, documents, or whatever digital files the site's owner wants you to see.
The "website" is what people will "see" when they go to the "domain name address."
Do You See The Difference?
A domain name is seperate from the website. I could own StephenWicks.com and NOT have a website. StephenWicks.com is only the address of the website.
You Need Both A Domain Name AND A Website
So I hope you now understand that you need both a domain name AND a website in order to have a website that can hold the information that you may want clients or customers to see.
Most people don't understand the difference and when they let someone develop a website for them, they don't make sure that they "own" or have control of the domain or the hosted website files.
This means that the designer can theoretically register the domain in their own name and leave you out of the registration process. You will not actually have control of the domain address at all. This means that you can not truly make any changes with your website without your designer's permission.
Tip 1: Make Sure Your Domain Name Is Registered In YOUR Name
Tip 2: Make Sure You Get It In Writing That The Domain Name Will Be Registered To You
Tip 3: Make Sure That You Fully Understand Your Monthly Hosting Plan And Fees
The bottom line is that it's a common problem that people fall out of love with their designers and often lose control of their domain names and their websites. This is terrible because if you lose control, many times you will have to start all over with a different domain name and / or website. This may confuse your customers and be costly for you.
If you have any questions about this process you can contact us at Stephen Wicks Internet Development Company and we can give you a free initial consultation.
Building a website is a great experience when you know what common pitfalls to avoid. So don't fret, get busy building your dream project!
Phone: (678) 999-7945
There's No Reason For Most Of You To Ever Create A Native Android or IOS App... Really
Blog Post - Stephen Wicks
Okay. So I know that many of you believe that having an android or ios app available for download is "cool." Many of you think that it would raise the profile of your business if you had a way to communicate with your customers via their cell phones. It would be nice if they could just click on the icon located on their phone's screen and get directly to your app.
If you're one of those people, I have some shocking news for you. There is practically no reason for any of you to ever have to create a native app for your business. It's the end of 2018 and as you know things change rapidly in the tech world. There used to be just two options: build a mobile website, or build an app. Both of those had it's pros and cons. It really depended on the needs of your business.
Native apps offered the best experience and offline interactivity, but due to development costs and terrible engagement rates (especially for small business apps), they weren’t always worth the investment. Apps were also subjected to the rules, regulations, and whims of fickle, temperamental app stores.
The mobile internet needed a breakthrough, and in 2015, it arrived with the birth of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). Progressive Web Apps are already making their mark as the fastest, easiest, and best way to have a winning mobile experience. And they’re on track to become not just an option, but the top option for mobile internet engagement.
PWAs can best be described as websites that behave like apps. If you imagine that an app and a website had a lovechild that inherited its parents’ best characteristics (and none of the worst), that would be exactly what a PWA is. From one parent (the website), the PWA inherits its easy discoverability (without having to be downloaded) and low maintenance upkeep; and from the other parent (the app), the PWA inherits its rich functionality, offline user interactivity, and engaging experience.
Like a website, a PWA is accessed directly from your web browser; and like an app, it can be installed on your mobile device’s home screen and send you notifications. Though PWAs have been around for a few years, they’re really starting to hit their stride now, so there’s no better time than now to take advantage of this new technology.
Our company has already used this technology to develop PWAs and they work very well. They're fast. Icons can be downloaded to the cell phone home screen just like a native app, they can be created in less time and for less money. It's a win/win for businesses and the development team.
Have you ever heard of PWAs? Leave a comment and let me know.
Lead Designer / CEO
Stephen Wicks Internet Development Company
Blog Post - Stephen Wicks
According to the company's Wikipedia entry, at the height of it's popularity in 2004, Blockbuster Video employed 84,300 people worldwide, including about 58,500 in the United States and about 25,800 in other countries, and had 9,094 stores in total, with more than 4,500 of these in the US. They were a giant in the home video rental industry.
Fast forward to today in 2018, they now only have one retail store in the United States. That's right... only one.
How could BlockBuster Video's huge fall from grace have happened in only 14 short years? How can a company this large, with this many resources have fallen in such a huge and epic way?
Well, I think I know the basic answer. The one that should be painfully obvious to most true entrepreneurs. Yes, I'm sure there are complexities to the answer that we won't get into here, but it really boils down to one major issue. The company was made obsolete by a few new players in the home video market.
The two most notable thorns in BlockBuster Video's side were 1.) Netflix and 2.) Redbox. These two companies had business models where their customers did not have to go into a physical retail store in order to watch and consume home videos.
Netflix gave the consumer the opportunity to easily go online and order videos to be delivered to their home by US mail on DVD or they could stream the rented movies through the internet. In the case of Redbox, the company employed a fleet of rental kiosks at local grocery stores, pharmacies, and other convenient retail locations. These two companies totally got rid of the need to physically go into a retail store and browse the selection of movies. The consumers loved these new business models. The consumers clearly wanted more convenience and more options when renting movies.
The tragic flaw of the leaders in BlockBuster Video was that they did not constantly keep their eyes open for what would come in the future. They did not adequately analyze the competition from the two new players in their industry. They also didn't keep up with the wants, needs and desires of their customers.
As business owners, you MUST and I repeat... MUST stay on the lookout for changes in your industry. You MUST know what your customers want and expect. No matter how large you are as a company, you CAN fail. You cannot afford to get "caught slippin" when it comes to satisfying the needs of your customers and staying on top of industry trends. If you don't ,you just may find yourself in the same shoes as BlockBuster Video... a Wikipedia entry of what used to be.
Lead Designer / CEO
Stephen Wicks Internet Development Company
Blog Post - Stephen Wicks
So, I was perusing the internet this morning and saw a news story about how a Waffle House restaurant in Travelers Rest, SC. closed down due to snowy conditions. Some of you may not know why that's significant while others may know exactly why that's important. It turns out that there is such a thing called the "Waffle House Index." The federal emergency management authorities determine how bad a storm is based on if a Waffle House location will be opened or closed.
Waffle House, which has over 1500 locations across the Southeastern United States, is so consistent with being opened 24 hours a day / 365 days per year that the feds actually use their closings in their assessments. Wow! How incredible is that!???
Waffle House has built such a reputation as being "always open" that people have come to think of them when you ask "Where's a place open that we can go to?" It doesn't matter what time of day it is or if it's a holiday or not... they will be open.
That level of consistency should be a business goal that we all share as entrepreneurs. Waffle House has a loyal customer base because they have a non written contract with their customers. Not only are they a restaurant, but they have become a consistent and steadfast institution in the communities that they serve.
It's my goal to develop that level of trust with my customers here at Stephen Wicks Internet Development Company. We have not always been that or even had that aspiration as a focus, but we do now. Our company wants to have a similar "unwritten contract" with our customers. We want them to know that we will always be committed to being consistent with a high level of customer service, professionalism, and skill.
I've learned a lot from the "Waffle House Index." Do you also think that what Waffle House has accompished is a great example for us all? Let me know in the comments.
As the great John Noird, would say.. "Go be great!"
Lead Designer / CEO
Stephen Wicks Internet Development Company
Online advertising can help grow your business at a much more cost effective rate than print, tv, or radio. It is also very easy to track the effectiveness of advertising by connecting special code or landing pages to your links. You can determine exactly how well a particular advertisement is working. This is very important when trying to determine your ROI (Return on Investment.)
Stephen Wicks Internet Development company can create special picture or video advertisements that you can use on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, BlackBusinessList.Com or any other popular website. These days, it is very easy to target your market and reach them online.
Long gone are the days where small businesses can't compete with larger ones. You simply have to be smart about how you use the tools available. If you want to learn more about how online ads can help your small business, please feel free to contact us for a free initial consultation.
Cheers and here's to a prosperous 2017,
Blog Post - Many business owners have websites that were designed more than a few years ago and have essentially become outdated. Unfortunately, even though they may have paid a small fortune a few years ago, they find that their websites are not up to date with the latest mobile technology.
StarTribune.com has published an article that deals with this phenomenon. I've included it in this post.
If you're not sure about YOUR website. Contact us for a FREE initial consultation. We'll get you on the right track. Don't lose sales! Success in business is hard enough without your website working against you!
Many business people start out accepting credit cards online and offline by using services like PayPal or Square. These services are very convenient and fairly easy to set up but should you continue to only use those services? There are many factors to consider. We will attempt to help you make that determination.
Whether you should get your own merchant account is really a question that should be answered on a case by case basis. If you have a relatively small business and don't do a lot in sales, you may want to keep PayPal or Square. If you don't do a lot of transactions but you do high ticket item sales then you may want to see how much you can save by having your own merchant account. Basically, the more sales volume you have the more you may want to process your own payments via a merchant account. There is also that fact that many consumers somehow get confused when using PayPal or Square and this may frustrate your potential customers. On more than a few occasions we have had to walk a client through a transaction over the phone. Yikes.
With all that being said, merchant accounts are not all equal. The rates that companies charge vary and you should get a few quotes before you sign on any dotted line. Yes. A merchant account comes with a contract so be prepared to make an informed decision before taking the leap.
Of course, we help businesses navigate these waters and we will help analyze your needs and give you a quote.
Learn more here: Credit Card Processing
Is Your Website Optimized For Mobile? If Not, You'll Miss Out On Search Engine Traffic
Businesses that don't have websites optimized for mobile will pay dearly. Search engine giant, Google, has changed it's algorithms to prefer websites that are optimized for being viewed on cell phones. Cell phone use for internet browsing has grown tremendously within the last few years.
At Stephen Wicks Internet Development Company, all of our designs are optimized for mobile. We want are clients to have the best chance of succeeding and having a mobile website is a huge component of a winning strategy.
If you're not sure if your website is optimized, contact us and we'll help you access your website and we'll also check for SEO optimization.
Have a great week entrepreneurs!
Learn How To Sell Yourself
Most start-up companies don't have money to hire someone to sell for them. Yes. In the early days of your business, it's up to you!
No one is responsible for selling your vision, products and or services but you. In fact, it may be your ability to communicate your vision to others that allows you the opportunity to get valuable resources in the beginning stages of your business. You may have to convince investors or potential partners on your ideas in order to get initial funding. Or, you may have to be your company's very first salesman, obtaining new clients or customers.
Many people feel that they "don't like sales." Well, that's just not going to cut it for entrepreneurs. Selling your ideas and vision is absolutely necessary in order for you to succeed.
After you're well established, or when you obtain suitable funding, you may be able to attract talented individuals to represent your brand. But, until that time, it's up to you to make it happen. So if you want to succeed, you'll get your sales and presentation game in order. Your business survival will depend on it.
Sales and Marketing Help - If you want access to business consultants that can assist you in developing your sales and marketing plan, CLICK HERE to learn more about GoSmallBiz. We recommend their services.