Consider These Aspects Of A Website Before Designing Yours

Looking to start 2017 with a new website design? If so, there are several important aspects of your website that you need to consider, especially before meeting with your web designer.

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 is 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 choose a formal tone, and as for retailers, a more informal design may be necessary.

How People Will 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, in turn, increase your traffic. If you do not have traffic coming to your website, something is going wrong, and you don’t want to risk 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 is the appearance of the website, and how the customers are interacting 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 it’s easy.

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 website, which is 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 programs like HTML, CSS, PHP, and CGI. 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 is attractive, both the design and development must be sound. Colors, graphics, and content need to reflect the product, brand, or service that you are offering.

The jobs of designers and developers are starting to become more blurred, especially since more designers are starting to learn how to hand code, and more developers are paying close attention to design theories.

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.

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.

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:

They are experienced. 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 ideas on what skill level your designer is at, and what you should expect from them.

They have published work. Be sure to ask and see if your designer has any previous work that has been printed or published, checking them out 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.

They are professional. 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 them to respond, with customer service skills being an important factor in a designer’s professionalism.

They take an interest in your needs. 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 your wants and needs for your design, and ultimately for your business.

They are affordable. 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.

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.

 

Helpful Tips When Creating Your Website

Creating the ideal website can be an intimidating process. From your logo design, to colors, to your content, your website must have all the right pieces in place in order to be effective. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when designing your perfect website:

Tip #1: Hire a professional web designer. Not only are web designers familiar with the right and wrong way to create a website, they are also experts in helping you to come up with the things your website will need in order to help your stand out for all the rest. Be sure to communicate regularly with your designer, as they will customize your site with your vision.

Tip #2: Know your audience. One of the most important things you will need to consider is who your targeted audience is going to be. A lot of the essential pieces in your website, like your content, design, and interior pages, are going to be dependant on who your audience is. For example, if your business is working with professionals, you may wish to have a more formal tone in their design, while certain retailers will require more of an informal design.

Tip #3: Get ideas from other websites. It is a good idea to search other websites that catch your eye, noting the things that you like or don’t like. For example, things like responsive websites, with clean and simple design, are easy for your visitors to use and follow. Simply by giving your designer a few different sites that you like, as well as sites that you don’t like, they can better determine what kind of website may be right for you.

Tip #4: Design the right logo. Something as simple as a logo can help to allow your website’s design to fall into place. With a logo, you will better be able to figure out the colors of your website, which can be a trying task in itself.

For more information and to see how Windy City Web Designs can create the ideal website for you and your business, contact us today!

9 Tips For Designing Your Website

When it comes to designing and creating an effective website, Windy City Web Designs has 9 important tips for you to consider:

  1. Make sure your website looks professional and is visually pleasing to your visitors. This means that it is essential that you use neat layouts, uniformed navigation, keeping your text in colors and sizes that are easy to read and are web friendly.

  2. Make sure the website displays and behaves properly on all major web browsers in various versions: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome and Safari.

  3. Be sure to optimize each page with include page titles and headings, using bullet points and shorter sentences, including relevant keywords on all pages.

  4. Do not auto-play music or videos.  Users overwhelmingly prefer to start these actions on their own.  If they are forced on them, more often than not, they will leave your site.

  5. Be sure that the contact phone number is in the header of all pages on the website. If you have multiple locations, each with a different phone number, have a clear ‘Contact Us’ section that is accessible from any page.

  6. Don’t overload the pages with heavy graphics and videos. These can cause some user’s browsers to operate slowly, or potentially crash.

  7. Be sure that all hyperlinks (both internal and external) are clearly visible and that they function correctly.

  8. Since 1/3 of internet traffic is now done on a mobile device, it is critical that your website is mobile-friendly. It is important to offer those visitors a version of your site that works within the phone, fits the phone screen and allows for easy tapping of phone numbers and maps. Also be sure you use code that detects when a visitor is coming to your site from a phone and automatically directs them to that version.

  9. Contact Windy City Web Designs today to get started on building or improving your website.

How Web Designers Drive Your Business

Small businesses often find themselves as the owners of under performing and unattractive websites. This is likely due to their small budgets, or hiring a web designer that lacks the expertise and knowledge to create an effective website.

It is a web designer’s job to drive the direction of your website, so while it is important to leave it to the professionals, it is critical that you find a web designer that can drive your website and business.

Find A Professional Web Designer

One thing to consider when looking to hire a web designer is their experience and education in web design. Ensure they have had plenty of time to learning the craft that you could not have, as well as a designer who has patience and communicates well.

Power Of Design & Your Business Strategy 

Once you’ve become comfortable with your web designer and have developed an understanding of your goals, then it is time to start implementing your business strategy in your design. Designers have much more creativity than your average business professional, which allows them to create something new and revolutionary, helping your website stand out from the rest.

Make Sure Your Website Makes A Good First Impression 

Everyone knows that a first impression is everything. You want to ensure your website users have an overall positive experience, which will make them want to purchase your goods or services, as well as come back time and time again. If they feel it is a bad design, you are going to lose potential customers.

Leave It To The Professional

Since web designers know what works and doesn’t work, be sure to trust them. However, if you are not happy or experiencing issues, be sure to communicate with them. It is also important to know that an effective and well designed website cannot be created in a half hour. Be sure to always keep your designer involved and have them do your web design work.

For more information about how our web designers can drive your business, visit Windy City Web Designs.