How to Reduce Size of your Website

In today’s day and age full of young, motivated people, they want their information to be presented to them in an instant. They despise the feeling of slowness, and will ultimately go to a lower tier website if their content isn’t loading quick enough. To keep your website afloat amidst all of this chaos, you must ensure your website loads quickly and the important information is no more than one or two clicks away.

To be perfectly clear, this will not teach you how to reduce the size of your font or how to fit more onto one page, rather, the goal of this post is to provide some tips and tricks on how to reduce file sizes on your website, ultimately decreasing page load times and increasing your user’s happiness and your website’s search engine rankings.

The most time-consumptive part of loading a website is loading the images. The internet browser has to make individual requests for each and every image on the website, thus increasing page loading times. There are two ways to reduce the amount of requests internet browsers have to send:

  1. Reduce Images: The most linear way to reduce the amount of requests is by explicitly reducing the amount of images present on your website.
  2. Use Image Sprites: Image sprites is a quick and easy way to reduce the amount of requests the internet browser will have to send, without removing any of your website’s content. To do this, you have to use CSS (cascading style sheets), which will pull the specific part of the image you need to be displayed in a specific location, while other areas can use other locations from the image.

The best way to conceptualize image sprites is by creating a mashup of your four favorite images in your head. Then, place a grid over the image, sectioning off each image into its own little quadrant. From this, you can pull a specific quadrant’s data (we’ll use quadrant 1) and place it anywhere on the website, while quadrants 2, 3, and 4 can all be placed anywhere else on the website. With this method, the internet browser is only requesting one image’s information, but you are getting 4 times that amount! This method’s efficiency increases exponentially as you add more images and more sprites to the website.

If you are having a difficult time developing a website or would like to completely redesign your site to keep up with the modern times, feel free to contact us at Windy City Web Designs to get the ball rolling.

Know How to Market your Brand

Most business owners, nowadays, are conscious of the importance of branding their services and products. In spite of this general awareness, very few businesses actually understand how and why to brand. Creating a brand for your business is more than just making a bold statement, rather, it’s all about making your customers feel wanted and respected, reducing redundancies, and being unique, among many others.

  1. By and large the most important step in branding your business is actually defining your company; What do you do? What services do you offer? What types of products are being sold? You must consider all of these and many more items to fully develop the idea of what your brand will be.
  2. Holding respect for all of your customers, no matter their role or services they are purchasing, creates a true sense of professionalism for your brand. Every adult and client wants to feel respected when they are interacting with other people. Therefore, it is imperative to your business that you treat everyone with respect.
  3. When developing a main message or saying, keep it short and simple. In addition to this, try to reduce how often it is used; when a saying is loosely thrown around, its meaning and message behind it are lost, an event no business wants to happen to them. To prevent this from transpiring, create one main message and then many sub-messages to create a cohesive brand.
  4. Finally, make your business unique. Everyone knows the big players in all the markets and what they stand for, so your business must be different. Whether it be the warm, at-home feeling your clients get when they walk into your lobby or the feeling of independence, leverage this to its full potential.

Branding is the most effective way of showing your customers and clients that you are different from your competitors. Make your business really stand out and display what it offers in an immersive and cohesive manner. In today’s market, consumers are looking to offer their business to small businesses rather large corporations. Leverage your status in the community to take full advantage of what your business stands for. If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with a professional, contact us at Windy City Web Designs to get your business going.

How to Create a Fluid Website

Ensuring your website is easy to use is very important when it comes to your customers’ and clients’ experiences using your business. If there are dead landing pages or crucial pages that don’t have anything linking to them, then odds are the customers will be very unhappy with your business and your management.

To avoid the possible issues of having a clunky website, it is important to follow these few steps and finally achieve the fluidity you have been yearning for for years.

  1. Reduce Clutter: In general, always try to keep your website as minimal as it can be. Reduce the unnecessary junk and instead make room for the important details and headings.
  2. Use a Navigation Bar: Nearly every website today has a navigation bar at the top of their webpage, which is great. However, many of these navigation bars are cluttered and have links to far too many web pages. Try to keep the links to about five or six.
  3. Use Links: Use shortened links with text over them (hyperlinks) to reduce the amount of needless clutter and random letters and words on your website.
  4. Contact Us: If your website is advertising products and goods, then it is important that you have a contact us page to let your user/customer know that you can be contacted.
  5. Have a Main Body for Writings: When you are typing articles to be posted, it is important that you have a main body paragraph or paragraphs. With this setup, the viewer can much more easily read and get the information they are looking for without reading unnecessary information.
  6. Utilize Sidebars Appropriately: Again, it is important that your website is clean and the links/categories clear. Using sidebars is another great way to display important information and pages without cluttering up the entire web page.

In many cases, your website is all your customer sees. It is always important you are showing yourself as a clean, mature, company that is easy to use and communicate with. If you ever need help with your website, be sure to contact us at Windy City Web Designs to begin improving your website.

Ways To Make Your WordPress Website More Search-Engine Friendly

Are you looking for additional ways to make your WordPress website more search-engine friendly? If you answered yes, then these helpful tips are just what you need:

Regularly post new blogs. Since Google has a bias towards fresh content, giving preference to more recent results, it is important that you are publishing new and meaningful content, regularly.

Review your blog titles. It is important that you take time to review your blog post tiles first before publishing them, especially since your blog post titles are vital to your SEO rankings. Be sure to compare the keywords you used in your keyword list, and make your blog title more keyword rich.

Create meaningful keywords. If SEO is of utmost importance to you, then developing a keywords list is a must. An effective list of keywords and phrases should describe your products and services, including words from search terms that are likely to be used to find your business online.

Use an SEO plugin. A plugin will allow you to set keyword-rich custom titles and Meta descriptions for your posts for the major search engines. Consider using the All in One SEO Pack to make this an easier task.

Avoid spam comments. Often times people will leave spam comments on your blog. And since it counts as content, according to Google, it is important to eliminate comments that do not pertain to your products or services, as this will ruin your keyword relevancy and hurts your rankings.

Utilize social media sharing buttons. With Google, if it recognizes that your blog article is getting a lot of posts and shares on social media, it will then boost your blog’s ranking, making it easier for readers to share your content.

If you need help with your website’s search engine optimization, contact Windy City Web Designs for more information today!

SEO: Successful Marketing Strategies

A successful Internet marketing strategy is just like building anything. It is critical that you start with a solid foundation and a good understanding of how an effective Internet marketing campaign works.

That foundation comes from understanding three basics of Internet marketing:

  1. Search Engine Optimization
  2. Content Marketing
  3. Social Media Marketing

However, simply because you know what each facet does for your website, this isn’t enough to ensure your marketing strategy is going to work. Applying even well-established marketing techniques incorrectly can hurt your rankings, which means in order to maximize the benefits, you also need to understand the shortcomings.

Search Engine Optimization

When people think of marketing and the search engines, SEO, or search engine optimization, is usually the first thing that comes to mind. SEO is used to create a site that the search engines will rank as one of the most relevant pages for a matter of time. Since 95 percent of people who use search engines click on a page that appears on the first page results for the major platforms, such Google, Yahoo, or Bing, you can see why search rank is a huge deal to your business.

Building a solid SEO strategy consists primarily of selecting relevant keywords, and providing valuable content that is related to those keywords. In the past, SEO was driven by factors like keyword placement, keywords density, and even how many times a keyword was used to link to that page, but the search engines quickly discovered that keywords could be easily manipulated.

A page that had nothing to do with a keyword could be ranked in top three, just by optimizing the page. Today, this means that sites who rely solely on keywords are often ignored by the search engines.

It is important that your SEO includes the following:

  1. Relevant keywords.
  2. Valuable and meaningful content that is shared.
  3. website that loads quickly and is user-friendly.
  4. Images and content.

An effective SEO campaign requires dedication and work. If you feel that you need help, be sure to contact a professional firm that specializes in SEO and web design, like Windy City Web Designs. Contact us for more information today!

Is Your Website Doing Its Job?

Designed to draw in visitors and provide them with the information they are looking for, quickly and easily, an effective website needs to be just that…effective. In order to ensure your website is doing its job, there are a few things you need to consider:

Make your logo meaningful and memorable. Your logo can say a lot about your company. It is sometime the first impression people have on your business. Make sure it is sleek and clean and if it has a tagline is easily read and is understandable as to what your business does or represents.

Make sure your navigation is user friendly. Create a navigation bar that is not cluttered and includes drop-down menus which include appropriate individual pages to help increase your SEO.

Make sure your website is clean and modern. Do not overcrowd your website and include too many options and items for people to choose from. Make sure pages do not have visual clutter that would draw the visitor’s eyes away from the most important part of the page. Also, it is critical that your website is modern and easy to use, otherwise, many visitors may find themselves leaving yours for another.

Look like a professional with your content and images. While adding your own content and pictures may seem like a good way to save money, it is important to consider using a professional to ensure your website looks professional, especially when it comes to its content and images. Professionally written content and high quality pictures can draw a user attention and increase there changes of purchasing or signing up.

Be responsive. Since most people access websites from their smartphone or other devices, such as tablets, it is important to ensure your website is responsive. If your website cannot be accessed by a visitors phone, laptop, or tablet, the likeliness of them leaving your website and not returning goes up.

If your website is no longer effective and doing its job, contact Windy City Web Designs for more information today.

Tips To Write Better Content On Your Website

While many people feel like they need to be a professional writer in order to write engaging and valuable content on your website, this cannot be further from the truth. Yes, your website’s content plays an intricate role in the success of your business, however, you do not have to be a literary scholar, you just need to connect with your audience and deliver the information they are looking for.

Here are some helpful tips to help you write better content on your website:

Ensure your content has purpose. Before writing your website’s content, whether it be for your web pages, blog, or social media page, be sure you know what you are trying to write and what you are trying to convey. This will help you from feeling like you are suffering from “writer’s block,” as well as allow the words to properly set the tone.

Avoid being lengthy. Too many words can deter your visitors. Try to keep to the point, as well as ensure it has a flow and purpose, which will help to keep your readers interested in what you have to say. Also, be sure that your spelling and grammar are correct, as this can turn people off.

Write better titles. While it may be tempting to come up with a clever title, it is best to stick with a tile that is clear and direct. Whether for your blog, or your website’s newsletter, by identifying what the article is about in the title will help your visitor decide if they want to read it or not.

Just write. It is difficult to avoid editing and going back to other parts of what you are writing during the writing process. However, it is always best to let the words flow and just write. By editing along the way and going back, you are disrupting the creative process, putting you at risk of losing your great ideas.

If you would like more information, or to see how our professionals can help with your website’s content, contact Windy City Web Designs today.