Website Design & Development

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So you’ve decided it’s time for a website and you’re ready to tackle your new web design & development project. We’re here to help and to make sure your website works hard for you 24/7/365.

Make sure the design of your website reflects who you are. Think about what makes you different. What are some things that make you stand out? Your website should be the “face” of your company. It should reflect who you are, what you offer and most importantly… it should express why people should buy from you instead of your competitors. Don’t worry if you don’t know exactly what those differences are. Figuring that out is part of the process.

💥 Your website is often the first thing (and sometimes the only thing) a potential customer sees when learning about your business. And you know what they say – You never get a second chance at a first impression.

Before writing any code or designing anything on paper, take some time to understand exactly why you’re building a website. What are your expectations? How did your business get started in the first place? Who have you served up until now and who will be using you down the road? These variables should play a huge part in shaping the DNA of your website.

Your website should be an extension of your business, reflecting your values and philosophy. It should be able to convey what you do, how you do it, why you do it and what makes you stand out from the crowd.

Tap into our years of experience and get a website that suits your business perfectly and makes you look amazing online. When you want proven website results, you want Team 218 Web Services. We are Website Problem Solvers! Let’s solve yours!

Take a look at our 8 keys to successful website creation.

8 Keys To Great Web Design 🔑

Our keys to building a website apply to any kind of web design project. It’s usually a confusing period when you decide it’s time to get a new website.

You have some important decisions to make. Don’t rush into this stage. We’re here to help you through the confusion and make it as easy as possible for you to get a website.

Web Design & Development - Responsive design screenshots

Web Design Tip #1 – Research

What are your expectations from a website?

Before you even think about the design of your website or any of the bells and whistles you want – STOP.

Back up a bit and put some serious thought into why you want a website. What do you expect from your website. Think about what your goals are for your site and how you will measure your success? How are you currently marketing your business? How successful is your current campaign? Who is your audience? Who will take care of the website once it’s up and running?

These are the kinds of questions we ask during our discovery phase of a website project. You need to know the answers to questions like these to know what the focus of your website will be.

Web Design Tip #2 – Domain (Get a Great One)

Once you have a game plan for your website it’s time to do some research. Let’s find a great domain name for your site.

We like Namecheck.com as a tool to search for domain names. Namecheck will also show you the status of social media names. Put some thought into choosing a domain name. Once you are online it’s difficult to change your domain name so choose wisely. Try to find a domain name that reflects your business name or industry. Shorter domain names are becoming harder to find, especially in the .com TLD arena. In certain situations it might be worthwhile to explore the expired domain market. It’s possible to acquire a domain that has expired and already has SEO ranking power. You might find your perfect domain name has already been taken. Time to get creative and try some new naming combinations.

Shorter is better but… there’s nothing wrong with longer domain names as long as they’re easy to remember. Remember;  at some point you will need to be able to tell someone the URL of your site. The longer it is, the more likely you’ll have to spell it out. Let’s face it – telling someone your website is www.mysite.com is a lot easier than www.myown-great-website.com.

Once you find the perfect domain name you’ll need to register (buy) it. We recommend initially registering your new domain for 5 years. The length will help a bit in your SEO efforts. Every little bit helps, especially with a brand new website.

Who we use: Namecheck.com, Porkbun.com

Web Design Tip #3 – Hosting (Don’t Skimp Here)

Website hosting plays an important role in the success of your website. This is not the place to skimp to save a few bucks. Regardless of how much optimizing you do on your website, being saddled with slow hosting will kill your page load speeds. TTFB (Time To First Byte) is a crucial measurement and you want it under 200 milliseconds. So how do you measure that? We rely on WebPageTest.org for detailed statistics and measurements.

Try to match your hosting to your anticipated needs. Don’t buy dedicated hosting for a small blog type website. Don’t go with the cheapest shared hosting for an e-commerce website.

Be realistic in evaluating your expected traffic when selecting hosting. You want your site to load fast. You want a reliable host with customer service you can count on. Trust me, you will need it.

All the major web hosting vendors have several hosting plans to choose from. They will help you choose and the good ones will set things up for you.

Who we use: NameHero.com

Web Design Tip #4 – Responsive Website Design Techniques

Responsive technology is a requirement for any website built these days. This approach ensures your website will display nicely regardless of what device its’ viewed with.

Approximately 56% of the traffic on our own website (team218.com) is from people on their phones. We expect this number to increase and your site needs to be ready to handle the traffic from mobile devices. Read more about Responsive Design.

There are utility programs available to simulate various devices on a desktop but there’s no substitute for viewing a site on actual devices. We test responsiveness on actual phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops.

Learn how we go about Testing Responsive Web Design during our web design & development process.

Who we use: Ami.Responsivedesign.is

Web Design Tip #5 – Search Engine Optimization

The Foundation of Any Great Website

Organic SEO is meta data, textual content, images, and semantic markup contained on your website pages. Remember when you did all that research and self-discovery? Now is the time to use that research to create some keyword-rich content for your web pages.

Write content that incorporates terms that tie into your business and industry. Use those terms in your titles and headings. Use relevant terms in your SEO meta data. Write content that weaves those terms and phrases into your text in a natural manner. Try to style your text to match your target audience.

Woman by PhotocopierDon’t copy someone else’s content.

 Review and edit your content with a fine tooth comb. You must make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors. Nothing will turn your website visitors off faster that misspellings or poor grammar.

You’ll want photos too. Whether you provide your own or use stock photography, the images need to be crisp and clear and have the proper resolution. The photos need to be sized for the intended space on the web page. Large images have a negative effect on the size of your page and increase load time. That’s bad for SEO as well as user experience. Nobody wants to wait for a slow loading page. Every image needs to have Alt text and Title text. The Alt text is an attribute that describes the content of the image and is a ranking factor for your SEO.

It takes time for Organic SEO to produce results. We’ve seen new sites that take up to 6 months to start showing results on Google. Patience and persistence are key for Organic SEO.

It’s not unusual for new website owners to use PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising to bolster their Organic SEO efforts in the early stages of a website.

For additional information on SEO, please visit our Search Engine Optimization page.

Web Design Tip #6 – Get Social

Don’t discount social media when it comes to driving traffic to your website.

If you’re not using some form of social media, you should be. You should be posting regularly and attracting & interacting with your followers.

Your social media accounts need to connect to your website. Try to create accounts on social media with names that match your domain name.

Once you have all the connections working, be careful what you post. Jokes or innocent comments can backfire and damage your reputation. Be professional. Remember, Good taste is never out of style. Stay classy!

Web Design Tip #7 – Management

Launching your website is a big deal!

All the research and hard work has paid off. Take time to celebrate, but not too long.

As exciting as the launch is, the work has only begun. Websites need some TLC to stay in peak condition. Backups, updates, monitoring and adjusting content for search results are all part of maintaining your site.

WordPress releases regular updates. Usually a WordPress update causes several plugin and theme updates. It’s important to keep your website up to date. It’s also important to apply the updates at the right time and in the correct order (Plugins, Themes, WordPress). We always perform updates on our own test site prior to rolling out any updates to production sites.

We monitor our sites on a daily basis and get alerts 24/7 should a problem arise. We want to be proactive when it comes to our maintenance services. 99% of the time we fix issues before you even know there was a problem.

For some tips on keeping your website safe from all the mischievous people out there, take a look at a blog post we wrote about Website Protection.

Who we use: InfiniteWP.com

Web Design Tip #8 – Website Team

Make sure the team you choose is a good fit for you. Take the time to do a little research, check references and look at their body of work.

Why Should You Choose Team 218 Web Services To Build Your Website?

Two words – customer service.

Remember when businesses used to actually provide service? They didn’t act like they were doing you a favor by having you shop with them. Nobody assumed you wanted to bag your own groceries or check yourself out.

Businesses provided Customer Service – remember?

It wasn’t only a courtesy to their customers. They knew their customers were essential to their survival. They also thought of customers as a part of their extended family. A trust and a bond developed between a business and its’ customers.

We still operate that way. That type of service is the cornerstone of our business.

Our goal is to never let a customer do something with their website that is not in their best interest.

Make sure your web developer is a good fit. We have many years of experience with websites. We are customer focused and driven to provide the kind of customer service that is unrivaled. We include everything you need to make sure you get the best results possible. We’re your single point of contact for all your website needs – whatever the issue, just call us and we’ll handle it. If you ever have a problem, let us know and we’ll take care of it. Problem solved! It’s that simple. People come to us because we solve website problems and we’re honest and ethical in everything we do.

We would love to talk to you about any website needs you may have. We love what we do and you will too!

If you have a problem with your website, we encourage you to use our Website Support page to get help right away!

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Questions? Want To Know More?

If you have questions on any of the topics we covered above, get in touch and we’ll do our best to answer them.

You can also find additional information in our Knowledge Base.

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