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.

Responsive Web Design vs Adaptive Web Design

When it comes to the ideal website, it can be difficult determining which type of design is best for your business’s needs, especially when it comes to responsive or adaptive design. In order to help you better understand, we are breaking down the differences between responsive web design and adaptive web design.

Responsive Design 

With a responsive web design, you can rest assured that your website is fully functional at any display size, no matter the device being used. This means that your website will be very user-friendly and will automatically adjust to the screen on the user’s device.

A responsive design is the most popular type of design that web designers use and is preferred by the majority of businesses. Responsive design requires less technical work than having an adaptive layout, while still allowing the website to be fully compatible with any resolution. This responsive design hot-switch is imperative now that a large portion of web-users are on their phones or tablets which are constantly being updated with larger screens and higher resolutions.

Adaptive Design

Simply put, adaptive design layouts are designed for specific resolutions. Every browsing window size is different and is dependent upon the size of the device being used. Despite the seemingly large issues presented with this, an adaptive design layout will check the resolution of your browsing screen and load the webpage the necessary way in order to be properly displayed for that specific resolution.

While a responsive layout generally performs better than adaptive, designers admit that in specific cases where there is some complex web applications and fields that need to be fine-tuned, adaptive design is better than responsive for that particular website. Whether you are using a mobile device or a desktop, with the ability to fine-tune and customize your site layout at any resolution, you can be sure that things like your embedded app or order form are displayed correctly.

Mobile-friendly websites are imperative in today’s world, so regardless of which design you choose, as long as you are allowing for a more positive user-friendly experience every time someone visits your website. For more information on which type of design is best for you and your specific needs, contact Windy City Web Designs.

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.

Web Design Tips for Your Small Business

In order for small businesses to stay ahead of the competition, it is best to be on top of how you are marketing your business. This is especially true when it comes to running your website.

If you do not have a website that will attract and hold your customers’ attention, you are in jeopardy of falling behind your competitors and without a website, you are missing an incredible opportunity to engage and connect with your customers.

These web design tips will help your small business be as successful as possible:

Tip#1: Reflect your brand. What are you trying to sell? What do you want your customer’s first impression to be? Be sure to keep your design fresh, simple, and unique. If your site looks similar to others, especially your competition’s, then you risk the chance of being forgotten, instead of making that all-important lasting impression. Your homepage should do all of these things, while appropriately representing your brand and your message you wish to communicate to your customers and visitors.

Tip #2: Include high-quality content. Content rules when it comes to finding your website amongst all the others in the search engines. Quality content and links on your website are key to helping your chances of being found in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Since content does need to be fresh in order to be effective, it is important to keep all your information up-to-date and incorporate content rich items such as blogs on your site.

Tip #3: Use responsive design. In a world where smartphones and tablets rule, it is critical to ensure your website can be easily accessed by these types of devices. It is best to consult with a professional web design firm if you are interested in incorporating responsive design into your website.

Here at Windy City Web Designs, we do everything in our power to create custom, responsive websites for all our clients. Not only do we enoucrage your input for design and layout, but we also explain all of what we are doing, meaning being a computer-wiz is no longer a requirement to become a successful business owner.If you have any questions or would just like to get in touch, contact us today to see how you can get started on a unique solution to fit your business’s needs.

Look to Windy City Law Designs for your Law Firm

With the expansion of Windy City Strategies comes companies aimed toward niches with the intent to provide the best possible clientele experience through employees who know and understand how the inner workings of your business runs. This mission has given birth to a new website aimed toward lawyers and law firms: Windy City Law Designs.

The new services offered are geared towards law firms looking for a full service website design and internet marketing company that specializes in affordable and effective law firm website design and online marketing solutions. Similar to what we do at Windy City Web Designs, but you are guaranteed to be working with a representative with extensive law knowledge and will know exactly what you are talking about and how to implement your ideas in a fast and effective manner.

With the huge advantage of working with someone experienced in the field of law, Windy City Law Designs will help your business expand beyond what you previously believed was possible.

In addition to website development, Windy City Law Designs also offers branding and marketing resources for clients. With this, you can begin a pay per click campaign, improve your website’s search engine optimization, and even learn how to properly brand your company in ways that will attract the clients you desire.

The pay per click campaigns Windy City Law Designs will assist you with prove time and time again to be influential upon future clients by rapidly increasing your firm’s online presence, therefore growing your clientele base. With the proper keyword management system and analysis, your law firm will become well-known and market itself without the need for extensive advertising campaigns.

With the backing from Windy City Strategies and assistance provided from Windy City Web Designs, Windy City Law Designs is the best resource for your law firm and business to get up and going or redesign your website. Their effective SEO management and pay per click campaigns combined with efficient branding and marketing will be the catalyst for your firm’s rapid growth. If you would like to get in touch with a representative, feel free to contact them at any time to learn even more about their amazing services.

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.

Is Your Website Keeping Its Visitors?

The goal of any website, of course, is to inform the visitors and ensure they are staying on your website, allowing you to push your services or products much easier, ultimately boosting your business.

Despite this rather simplistic and general goal, there are thousands of websites that still utilize an old, outdated design that makes it too confusing for its visitors, failing at the goal of maintaining long visit sessions. To clearly avoid making this all too common mistake, there are a couple steps every website developer and owner should take.

  1. Most importantly, your website’s purpose and type should be clearly advertised, allowing the visitor to easily understand where they are and what they can do on your website, reducing their search time on the expansive internet.
  2. Nearly just as important as ensuring your website’s goal is clear is developing a clean and easy to use navigation system. Most modern websites utilize a bar at the top of their website with several broad categories and their respective pages linked to them. Then, within those pages are even more subpages, making for an easy-to-use linear search function. If there are too many categories, it is recommended to place smaller links at the very bottom of the website to the less frequently visited pages, ensuring they are still easily accessible but not in any way cluttering up the web page.
  3. The last key point to hit when developing a website is its ability to adjust to variable changes. With the advent of smartphones, it is becoming even more important that your website is able to adjust to a wide variety of screen sizes and shapes. If your website is beautifully designed to be used on a computer but not properly ported over to a smartphone’s internet browser’s formatting, you will potentially be losing hundreds or thousands of clients that prefer to use their phones over the computer.

For obvious reasons, you must ensure that your website is very user-friendly and focused on the visitor’s experience. If you properly utilize these key points, your website will likely see successes never seen before.

If you ever need help creating, improving, or redesigning your website to further boost your business, be sure to contact us at Windy City Web Designs to fulfill all your needs.

Be Found Online: Is Your Business On The Most Popular Search Engines?

The Internet has become the most powerful tool in helping people find specific information, right when they need it, making it imperative that your business can be easily found online.

From your business information, to your hours, to what your business can offer, users want to quickly find everything they need about your business simply by using their mobile device, their tablet, or their computer.

The following search engines are most popular directories for businesses. Is your business on all of them?

  1. Google my business-Receives about 6 million searches a day and it is not only easy, but free to register your business.
  2. Yahoo-With the third most popular search engine, you can list your business on here for free as well.
  3. Bing-Much like the above two, this is the second most search engine used, and it too is free and easy to use. Additionally, you can add more than one business location at the same time, as well as add other relevant content to your listings, including pictures and videos.
  4. Angie’s List-This well-respected online directory is known to provide accurate and reliable reviews for users, making it a trustworthy resource for people.
  5. Manta- Receives 30 million visitors a month and is able to increase website traffic with paid business packages, highlighting your product or brandon your profile.
  6. Yelp- This is one of the best resources available on the Internet for users to find reviews about businesses, as well as provide the ability to communicate with your customers.
  7. Foursquare- With this site, you get benefits of a being on a popular directory as well as have the ability to socially network. You are also able to add a map so that people can check-in when they visit your business.

It is important to ensure that your listings are up-to-date and contain the essentials to your business, including the name, address, phone number, as well as any other information that you feel is important to your users.

Need help increasing your business’s online presence through an effective Internet marketing strategy or website design? Contact Windy City Web Designs for more information today!