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.

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.

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 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.

Get Your Business Noticed With These Web Design Tips

Not only is it important in today’s competitive business world that you have an up-to-date and modern website, it is as equally important to ensure that your website can easily be converted and is optimized for the search engines.

With some simple web design changes, you can rest assured you are getting your business noticed, keeping you ahead of the competition.

  1. Draw out your plan. In order to give you a better idea of what you want your website to look like, it is always a good idea to draw out your overall site layout offscreen first. This will help you get an idea of where you want specific elements of your website to go, helping you to better understand what may r may not look good or work.
  2. Go responsive. Websites that aren’t responsive aren’t an option anymore. With the use of mobile devices and tablets being at an all time high, it is critical that your website will be easily accessible to your visitors.
  3. Think big when it comes to your fonts. While you don’t want your font to take up the entire screen, it is important to use a larger font size, especially since this will help to grab your visitors’ attention. By ensuring your font size is at a minimum of 18 points, you not only increase the readability of your text, especially on mobile devices, but you can also place focus where it is needed on your website’s content.
  4. Avoid too much clutter. Simply by minimizing the amount of clutter on your website, instead including more space around and between your website’s elements will better help your visitors to be able to navigate your site, providing more of a focus on what your visitors may be looking for.
  5. Create a much simpler navigation. Complicated navigation systems create way too many options, often turning your visitors away. By eliminating sidebars, placing fewer items in your navigation menu, and avoiding the use of too many links, you can draw more attention to your site, as well as ensure you are reducing clutter.

Windy City Web Designs specializes in building search engine friendly websites. For more information or to get started on a customized website design for you business, contact us today.

The Different Types Of Designs You Should Consider For Your Business

 

Design plays an intricate role in today’s success of websites and businesses. From web design, to brand design, there are a variety of designs that you should consider using for your business.

Website Design- An effective website design is critical to the success of any business that wishes to have an online presence. And since your Internet presence will empower your business it is important to ensure you are not only easy to find, but attractive to your visitors, and offer a user-friendly navigation and meaningful content throughout your entire website.

Print Design- Print design offers a variety of printed materials that businesses use to market their business. From business cards, to stationaries and letterheads, to note cards and envelopes, your business’s image is conveyed with each use. Some other must haves for many businesses are additional print items, such as brochures, catalogs, newsletters, packaging or other printing materials.

Logo Design- Strong part to a design is the logo design. Your logo represents your company or organization, symbolizing your unique value in the marketplace. Be sure to focus on the creation of a perfectly simple image that can help your clients identify your business, simply by looking at your logo.

Brand Design- Brand design sums up how and what you want to convey to your audience. The more you communicate who you are, and what you do, the stronger your brand will be.

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

Tips To Create An Effective Homepage

Your homepage is the most important part of your website. This is the place where every one of your users or customers will visit, allowing you to capture their attention in under 10 seconds. With the following tips, you can ensure that your website’s homepage is effective, functional, and informational.

Tip #1- Choose a layout that is clutter-free and easy to navigate, avoiding using too many images and icons, long texts and banners.

Tip #2- Use high quality photos on your landing page, avoiding using too many, or low quality photos, which will give your website an unprofessional appearance.

Tip #3- Implement call to action buttons. Make these buttons tempting to click by ensuring these buttons do not contain more than four words and avoid improper placement of your call to action button, which can cause it be unseen.

Tip #4- Ensure your text is simple and up-to-date and avoid too much text, which will turn off and tune out your users.

Tip #5- Be sure to include your contact information, allowing you to be easily found. Also, avoid making this necessary information hard to find, ensuring your business information is located in the same place on all of your pages.

Tip #6- Consult with a professional to ensure your homepage is not only effective, but easy to navigate. A professional designer can help you to ensure you are attracting your users, as well as creating a customized homepage for your business.

Windy City Web Designs specializes in modern and custom websites, as well as Internet marketing strategies for businesses in the Chicagoland area. Contact us for more information today.