What Makes A Great Logo

In today’s world, computers do all the design work, and anyone can design a logo. The real question is, how many know what makes a great logo? There is a couple of fundamental design principles that can point you in the correct direction on creating a great logo design.

Simplicity Is Key: This is the number one important aspect of creating a logo design, this is also a key factor that is more forgotten. When you create a logo design, you need to see how it will look in different colors. Keep in mind, some places won’t have the correct colors you have, when printing it out, so it’s best to keep it black and white when submitting it to certain places. Other places will enjoy seeing that creativity you’ve added to your logo.

Having Flexibility: When creating a logo, you need to think about how it can work vertically, horizontally or a standalone icon. Before logos were only used for letterheads, and that was it. Now, you can use it for the web, print, social media accounts, icons and etc.

Being Unique: A logo must be creative and stand out from your competitors. The goal is to make your company known, make sure your logo represents your company so people remember it! If your logo is lacking some design, add a new twist to it.

For more information about your logo design, or if you need any website updates, contact us at Windy City Web Designs Today!

Consider These Aspects of A Website Before Designing Yours

If you have chosen to design and develop your own website without outside assistance, there are several keys you should take into account prior to jumping right in. The worst thing you could do, when it comes to building a website, is to realize you don’t enjoy the design and feel of the website and then be forced to rebuild from square one. To avoid the heavy complications when the website is rushed, here are a few tips to help you throughout the process.

What Is Your Color Palette?

Many people tend to go with basic colors, sticking to blue, white, or green, especially when designing their website themselves. However, when working with an experienced web designer, you may find yourself speaking with a branding specialist who better understands the importance of certain colors, especially as it pertains to your business.

Did You Get Ideas From Your Competitors?

Looking at different websites can be beneficial in deciding what you do and don’t like in a website’s design. You should consider things like images, color palettes, responsiveness, clean design, and how easy the website is to use and follow. Give your designer a few different sites that you like, and sites that you don’t like, so they can help to determine what kind of website you are looking for.

What’s Your Marketing Goal? 

There is nothing more important than knowing who your targeted audience is going to be. From your content to your web design, all aspects of your website are designed around who your audience is going to be and what their needs are. Once you figure out who your target audience is, you can start to find out what you are wanting in a website. If your business is working with professionals, you can opt for a formal tone; if retailers are your main clientele, a more informal design may be necessary.

How Will People Find Your Site?

Once your perfect website has been completed, your next big goal is to direct traffic to your website. With social media integration, you can easily gain more of exposure, and in turn, increase your website’s traffic. If you notice your website is not garnering much traffic, there is likely an issue in your SEO or social media integration that should be fixed immediately to avoid losing potential customers.

Contact Windy City Web Designs for more information on how we can help drive your business with a new user-friendly website.

Web Design vs. Web Development

Many people often confuse the terms web design and web development, using them interchangeably. While they sound alike, and sound like they mean the same thing, their meanings are actually very different from each other.

When making the decision to build or design your website, it is important to know the difference between the two.

What Is Web Design? 

Web design is the part of the website referred to as the “front end”, or the customer-facing part. This part of the website includes the appearance of the website and how the customers interact with it.

A good web designer will know how to put together all the principles of design in order to create a site that is not only appealing, but modern as well. Designers also understand the importance of usability and how to create a site that customers want to navigate through because of the site’s ease of use.

It is important to know the importance of keeping your customers interested in your product or services that you have to offer. If your site is boring, your customers will likely think so too. Be sure to keep your website updated and fresh.

What Is Web Development?

Web development is the part of the website that refers to the back-end of the site, or the programming and interactions side. A web developer focuses more on how a site works and how the customers get things done on the site.

A good web developer knows how to program and code with ubiquitous languages such as HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), PHP (recursively known as PHP Hypertext Preprocessor), and CGI (Common Gateway Interface). Web developers also understand how the web forms work, ensuring they are able to keep your site running smoothly and effectively.

Web Design vs. Web Development

Both Web Designers and Web Developers need to work together to achieve one goal, creating an effective and modern website or app that attracts potential customers to your business.

In order for a website to function properly and be attractive at the same time, both the design and development must be sound. Colors, graphics, and content need to reflect the product, brand, or service that you are offering.

If you have any questions, or need help with your web design or web development needs, contact the professional designers and developers at Windy City Web Designs.

What To Look For In Your Designer

It can be hard to find the right designer for your web design and logo design needs, especially with all the people out there that claim to be the right designer for you and your needs. In order to help you choose the right designer, here are some things to look for:

Experience: When choosing your ideal design, it is important to hire someone who understands your needs, creating a design that is effective and attractive for your business. When an experienced designer has previous projects, you can get an idea of what skill level your designer is at and what you should expect from them.

Published Work: Be sure to ask and see if your designer has any previous work that has been printed or published, looking at their works so you can better understand their design style and level of experience. Ask for their portfolio, as well as any testimonials or recommendations they may have.

Professionalism: Time management, attention to detail, strong communication skills, and trustworthiness are all vital in a designer’s level of professionalism. Another thing to look for is the way they handle your questions and how long it takes for them to respond. Customer service skills are an important factor in a designer’s professionalism.

Interest: It is important to look for someone who is curious and wants to learn more about your business and what your brand represents, asking a variety of questions in order to find out what your wants and needs are for your design, and ultimately for your business.

Affordability: Since every business has different design needs, the best way to determine what the cost for your specific design will be is to get a customized quote. The service is usually quite evident on what you are going to get.

Windy City Web Designs is a full-service web design, branding, and Internet marketing company. For more information and to get started on a customized website design, contact us today.

How Your Website can Create Efficiencies in Your Business

It’s no secret that every business intends to please their customers all the while keeping costs down and efficiency high. For decades, companies have run into issues achieving this goal, however, with the lucrativity of the internet, it is becoming easier and easier to pinpoint issues with your business and make the proper adjustments.

Not only can businesses address internal points of contention causing issues, but they can also address external areas as well. Prior to the internet, you would have to look up the name of the business you’re trying to contact in Yellow Pages, call them, and then be put on hold until a representative can speak to you, however, now there are much easier ways to communicate with businesses.

Listen to Customer Reviews: With Windy City Web Designs’ new Reputation Management Program, you will easily be able to take in their thoughts, complaints, compliments, etc. and use those insights to properly adjust your business model and website. Online consumers base their decision of whether your business is reputable or not within the first three reviews of your business they see.

Some business owners will think to themselves, “Well, why should I risk having reviews posted without my knowledge to gain a few more customers when those reviews very well could be destroying my reputation?”

Despite what appears to be a great deal of awareness in posing this question, it is important to remember that having no reviews is just as bad as having tons of one-star reviews. Our Reputation Management Program will increase the reviews you get overall as well customer visits to your website. In addition to this, our Reputation Management Program will automatically filter out the negative reviews and prevent those from being posted to websites and review centers. Not only will this service boost your reputation, but so will your ability to quickly respond to any and all reviews posted about your business.

Availability of Information: Now that websites can be accessed at any time of the day by anyone in the world, information that your business needs to be visible can be seen hundreds, or even thousands of times by unique visitors, all the while keeping the information shared with each customer consistent with the last. Similar to communication, the efficiency offered through setting up a website to display information is absurd compared to how it used to be made available.

Adjust to Customer Wants and Needs Quickly: In order to survive in the world of business, you must be able to quickly adapt to what your customers want and need. With a custom website, you can quickly completely adjust your business model to a more efficient and better-working one to support your client base. If you would like, some websites can also be designed with the capacity to keep your entire system (client information, products, prices, etc.) available to your employees. By making one change to this, you can completely alter the way your business runs and will easily adjust to satisfy your customers.

The best way to ensure your business is running at its most efficient rate is through the use of a website. Having a resource available for all clients and future customers plays a crucial role in developing your business into a well-respected company. If you are looking for more information regarding Windy City Web Designs’ Reputation Management Program or would like to get started setting up your website, contact us at Windy City Web Designs today!

Why Your Website Needs Local Landing Pages

Local landing pages have become an important role in search engine optimization (SEO) for websites today. Simply by developing city specific landing pages on your website, you can increase your visibility, as well as your organic rankings. This is especially beneficial to businesses who are a single-location service area business (SAB).

For example, say you are a landscaper who travels to their clients in a 30-mile radius, in the event that you travel from your home or office in order to serve your customers, your business is considered a single-location service area business (SAB).

Here are some things you should consider when creating your local landing pages:

  1. Identify the cities in which you serve.
  2. Create a unique page of content on your website for each of these cities.
  3. Link to these pages from a top level menu.

It is important that when you create these local landing pages that you are including relevant and helpful content, specific to each location. Here are some ideas to help you develop unique local landing pages:

  1. How long has your business been providing services?
  2. How long have your customers been with your business?
  3. How are your products or services used within the community?
  4. Is your business involved in the community?
  5. Is your product or service in high demand?
  6. How did your business get it’s start? Talk about the people on your team.

If you are interested in adding local landing pages to your website or to see how we can help better your SEO, contact Windy City Web Designs for more information today.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Add Life To Your Website With These Tips

Websites play an intricate role in your business, making it critical that you are ensuring it is doing it’s job. In order for your website to fulfill it’s job properly, you must not only stand out from the competition, but it must offer your visitors with a modern and user-friendly experience.

Whether or not your website is in need of a complete redesign, or just needs to be revitalized a little, there are several things that you can do to your website to add life to it, including the following:

Ensure your website is responsive. More people are viewing the web and looking for your businesses through mobile devices and tablets than they do through computers. When your website isn’t responsive, the likeliness your website will be visited decreases. With a responsive design, your website will detect the phone or tablet, automatically adjusting the screen to fit their specific device, which makes this a more pleasurable experience.

Add valuable content. By adding things such as blogs and forums, the chances you will attract visitors will increase, especially when it is informational and beneficial to your visitors.

Update your images. From outdated images, to larger files that are slowing down your loading speeds, to images that aren’t truly representing your brand, simply by replacing images on your website, you can make your pages more visually appealing, attracting more visitors.

Add Calls To Action. Do you have any calls to action buttons currently on your website? If you said no, then you should seriously consider adding one. These are not only effective in drawing attention to what you are selling, but they an easy way to attract visitors by offering promotions, discounts, or more information about your products or services.

Ensure it is modern. With dated websites being clearly evident today, your visitors may choose modern over outdated, leaving your website for your competition.

Get connected. If your website is not utilizing social media, you are likely missing out on potential visitors, which can mean business. Social media is an effective way to keep in contact with your potential businesses, as well as keep them coming back for more.

If you are interested in learning more about how we can help add life to your website, contact Windy City Web Designs today.

Let Our Award Winning Web Design Company Design Your Website

When it comes to hiring the right web design company to design your ideal website, it can be a hard decision to make. In order to make this task a much easier decision for you, look no further than the award-winning web design and Internet marketing services of Windy City Web Designs.

Recipient of the GDUSA American Web Design Award and the Davey Award, Windy City Web Designs has helped hundreds of clients achieve the website necessary to grow their business, increasing their online presence through website design, branding, and marketing solutions, designed specifically around their needs.

Windy City Web Designs won several GDUSA American Web Design Award recognizing them for their work in web design. A few of those award-winning websites include the following:

   www.stmaryservices.com

   www.windycitywebdesigns.com

  www.rpsproducts.com

Windy City Web Designs has also won several Davey Awards, recognizing them for their work in web design. Some examples of these award-winning websites are the following:

   www.arlingtonnaples.org

   www.madufflaw.com

   www.5elementsmassagetherapy.com

By choosing an award-winning web design company, you can rest assured that your website will be professionally done, with your satisfaction of utmost importance, striving to make your website design an award-winning design.

Ensure that you are hiring a web design company that is not only experienced, but has a well rounded portfolio with client testimonials for you to review. Visit Windy City Web Designs for more information about our award-winning services today and to see our portfolio of our professional website designs.

Is Your Homepage Doing It’s Job?

Did you know that you have 8 seconds to capture your visitors’ attention? Since these seconds are so very important to drawing attention to what your business has to offer, how do you know your website’s homepage is truly doing it’s job?

If you are in doubt, or finding your conversion rates are not ideal, then you may want to look into ways you can give your homepage the update it needs. Windy City Web Designs suggests the following helpful tips to capture your visitors’ attention:

Ensure your navigation is easy to use. Choose a layout that is clutter-free and easy to navigate. Avoid too many images and icons, as well as long texts or banners.

Use images. Use high-quality and informational photos on your landing page. Avoid using too many photos since they can overwhelm the eye and low quality photos in order to maintain a professional appearance.

Include a call to action. Be sure to use “call to action” buttons. Keep in mind, however, that these buttons should not contain more than four words, as should be placed where it can be seen.

Keep content relative and simple. Keep your text simple and up-to-date. Be sure that your content is always current and resourceful to your users. Avoid using too much text as well, which can turn off and tune out users.

Include your contact information. Include your contact information, including your address. This will help your users when looking to contact you or looking for your location. Avoid making this pertinent information hard to find on your homepage.

Whether your homepage needs a little help, or your website needs a major update, contact Windy City Web Designs for help with any of your business’s website design and Internet marketing needs.