Web Design Company Essex

Choosing a good website designer is one of the most important business marketing decisions that you can make in these tech savvy days. Choose a bad one and you could be left out of pocket with a poor business image to promote, but choose a good one and your business will have an excellent grounding. To find nearby web design companies, check the local listings and info below.

Graphic Design On-Line
01702 615444
Sumpters Way
Southend-On-Sea
 
Colne Digital
07738 073043
43 BrooklandTiptree
Colchester
 
Lucas Lynch Ltd
01708 330140
Church Rd, Harold Wood
Havering
 
Tag Design
01708 784732
52, Albert Rd
Havering
 
Kitsonik Design
01206 523633
20 Berechurch Rd
Colchester
 
Activ Web Design
0845 224 5095
10, Copperfields Way,
Havering
 
Redtabcreations
07758 246641
82, Eastern Rd,
Havering
 
Technology Zoo
01708 507 716
31 Kenway,
Havering
 
Atlantis Designing
01702 344970
63 Alexandra Rd
Southend on Sea
 
Smarter Media
01702 616800
558 Sutton Road
Southend-On-Sea
 

Choosing a Website Designer - 18 Questions to Ask

Choosing a good website designer is one of the most important decisions that you’ll make. Choose a bad one and you could be left out of pocket with a poor business image to promote, but choose a good one and your business will have an excellent grounding.
 
When choosing which website designer to go with there are certain aspects that require checking and questions to be asked: 
Does the website come with a content management system?
If it doesn’t think strongly about whether you require one. Being unable to make text changes without sending over the changes to a web designer is time consuming and costly.
 
Check their portfolio
Look at the design of their websites, how fast they load, how they look in different browsers, and whether the sites have been a success. Don’t be afraid to ask to able to speak to previous customers – excellent web designers should be more than happy to provide you with references.
 
Agree on a fixed price for the project, not an hourly rate
Agreeing a fixed price is the industry standard but there are still some website designers out there that claim that they have to work at an hourly rate. Never agree to this. Paying hourly rewards inefficiency and you’ll almost always end up paying more than you should.
 
What happens if changes are required to the initial design?
Misunderstanding and bad feeling is sometimes created through customers asking web designers to make too many changes to the overall design. Clarify this process before going ahead – you should be able to request as many changes (within reason) that are required.
 
Never pay for everything up-front
If you’re paying builders to build a house you wouldn’t pay them all the money up-front. It’s the same with web design – the final installment should be due once the website is complete.
 
If they mention SEO see if you can find their other websites for particular keywords
Many web designers are mentioning that they can provide search engine optimisation (SEO) support as well as web design. In truth, few web designers fully understand search engine optimisation, and even fewer would be willing to dedicate the time to optimise your new site through researching appropriate keywords and working on link building. In short, if they mention SEO take a look in the search engines for yourself.
 
What kind of after-development support is provided?
It’s all very well having a website designed at a great price but if the after-sales support is priced extortionately then you haven’t got a good deal. Find out how much changes will cost, and if possible try to negotiate one month free support after your website has been completed – there are always unexpected changes that are required.
 
Ignore the size of the company
The web design industry is not about developing...

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Key Aspects of Good Web Design

Despite the fact that the internet has been around for over a decade there are still far too many poorly designed websites still in existence. And not just DIY web sites – some big brands make fundamental usability errors. There are some ground rules that all web businesses should follow:
 
Where Users Click:
 
  • To fully understand how to create a website that works you need to know where people are clicking. Look at the heat map for web pages in your analytics package to see what links users are clicking the most.
     
    Your website content should then be adjusted to reflect the results – place the most important content and links where people are most likely to see them and similarly expand and improve the content which people are viewing the most.
     
General Website Tips:
 
  • Get the colours right, both for branding and readability. If you’re producing a web site based around providing valuable content stick to black text on a white background.
     
    For branding choose colours that reflect the image and feel that you want your web site to portray. In general, blue is seen as authoritative, yellow as innovative, with red a tricky colour often best avoided as the primary colour of your site.
     
    To choose colours that blend in well with each other the colour wheel is a helpful tool. Colours opposite each other work well together.
     
  • Avoid 100% flash web sites. Flash may look nice but it looks nice for developers rather than users. People are interested in being able to read what they want instantly, rather than having to wait for a clever flash-animated graphic to load.
     
    It’s also important to note that search engines find it difficult read flash, so if search engine optimisation is a marketing channel that you’re planning to use steer clear of flash-only web sites.
     
  • Avoid flash introductions. Waiting for them to load is irritating for visitors, especially for those people who have visited the site before. Often a ‘skip now’ button is available to click on – this simply tells your visitors that the introduction is of no value to them. So why include something of no value in the first place?
     
  • Don’t have sound playing in the background. When people are surfing the internet they are either at work where any sound is disruptive (or the speakers are automatically turned off), or they are at home in which the TV, radio or music is playing in the background. Having sound suddenly appear on a web site that’s been loaded is just plain annoying.
     
    One exception is music sites but as a golden rule – if you aren’t in the music industry don’t include music on your website.
     
  • Have a content management system. This doesn’t affect users directly but it will indirectly through being able to quickly and easily edit and add new content to your web site. It’ll also ...

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The Process of Optimising a Website

Different search engines determine rankings in different ways, so it’s worth bearing these in mind when optimising your website.

Google is the undisputed leader in search. Therefore, perhaps not surprisingly, it’s also the hardest to gain high rankings in. Google looks for natural link growth over time, tends to be biased towards informational resources, trusts old websites, and link quality is far more important than quantity.

Yahoo! is slightly different in that off-topic reciprocal linking still works, and it has a paid inclusion programme which results in an incentive to bias search results towards commercial results.

MSN is similar to Yahoo! in that its search algorithm is nowhere near as sophisticated as Google’s. As a result off-topic reciprocal linking still works, and it places a disproportionately high emphasis on page content, meaning that new sites can rank quickly in MSN.

There are 4 main steps when optimising a website, with the focus being on obtaining high rankings in Google:

  1. Keyword Analysis
  2. Identify what potential customers are likely to enter into search engines when searching for your product or service. These keywords will form the basis of the whole optimisation process. Popular generic words or phrases should be avoided initially, such as ‘advertising’. Instead, identify less popular keyword phrases such as ‘small business advertising’.

  3. However, it’s no use identify long targeted keyword phrases if no one is searching for them as high rankings will still result in no website traffic. There’s currently no 100% reliable tool when it comes to assessing search volumes for particular keywords, but one of the best free tools is the SEO Book Keyword Tool - not only does it give estimated search volumes but it also provides you with a huge number of related keywords.
    1. Technical Optimisation
    2. Title Tag - this is the title of your site - as seen at the top of the browser window. All important keywords should be included here, in a format that users can understand and are encouraged to click-through. The ideal title tag is 60-80 characters in length.

    3. Meta Tags - abuse of Meta tags has resulted in search engines paying significantly less attention to them compared to in the early days of the internet. However, they should not be neglected, as indicated by the fact that Google actually recommends writing different meta tags for each individual web page. Length-wise, keep meta tags to within 200 characters.

    4. Site Map - always include a site map as it helps search engines to navigate and index each page in your site.

    5. Internal Linking - link to each page in your site as you would if it was an external link. In other words, use keyword-rich links instead of ‘click here’ text.

    6. Mirror Sites - avoid creating a website that is identical across two domain names, such as the .co.uk and .com versions. In...

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