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.

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.

The Importance Of A Website For Your Business

Having a website is an important part of your business, especially when it comes to marketing. Not only can this help you increase the number of customers you have, but this in turn will increase your business’s profitability.

Why Your Business Needs A Website

With today’s technology, more and more people are using their mobile devices and tablets to do their online searches, than on their computer. By not having a website, you will often find potential customers choosing to go to your competitors that have a website, using their products or services, instead of yours.

Here are a few other reasons your business needs a website:

A website allows you to be a professional in your industry. An attractive and credible website will provide your business with a professional image for your business, making you more of an expert in your industry, which is also a very successful marketing tool.

A website allows you to be more accessible. A website is always accessible and can keep your customers informed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A website it is an effective way to inform your customers about upcoming sales, promotions, or services you may offer, as well as provide your customers with the opportunity to buy your products and services online. This will give your business the opportunity to increase the number of sales, especially since customers are able to buy your goods or services at their convenience.

A website allows you to market your business. Marketing your business can be challenging without a website. Whether you are using newspaper ads or any other form of print marketing, it is unlikely you are not reaching your target audience. However, with Internet marketing techniques, such as pay per click advertising, search engine optimization, content marketing, and blogging, which are very effective ways to market your business online and increase your rankings amongst the search engines.

Work With A Professional

Windy City Web Designs is a team of professional website designers and developers that are experienced in helping your company gain credibility. Contact us for more information and to get started on your ideal website or Internet marketing solution.

What Is SEO And Why Does My Website Need It?

You’ve heard all about it and that many businesses use it for their websites, but what is SEO and why is everyone telling me that my website needs it? SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a marketing strategy used by Internet marketing companies including Windy City Strategies, to help market the websites of companies who would like to broaden their target audience.

There may be reasons why one may not want to get it because they think they can easily do it themselves or because it will cost too much money. But in all reality, SEO is an investment that will end up helping the success of your business. By tracking the data of your web analytics, you are able to see which keywords are improving and what phrases the search engines are picking up on. Through this technique, you are able to use this data to make changes to improve your website. Without SEO, your website is missing out on opportunities for the search engines to find you.

Different SEO techniques can transform an unknown website to a popularly searched website with the help of blogs, internal and external link building, onsite keyword analysis, and integrating contact forms onto your website. Although you may think the content that you have on your website will be enough, knowing the keywords that people are searching for can put you ahead of your competitors by including them into your content.

Creating a blog for your website will not only help increase the traffic to your website but it is a form of introducing yourself informally and telling your customers about the different services you provide. It gives you a chance to appear less corporate and allows your customers to see the friendly side of your company.

Contact forms are important for every website to have. Installing a Google conversion tracking code will allow you to see the number of viewers who have converted while visiting your website. There is a high chance that a majority of these people could be potential regular customers.

Windy City Web Designs provides a variety of services for companies looking for either a website redesign or Internet marketing. We encourage our web design clients to look into our SEO packages and try it to see the successful results their website will produce.

Best Practices For Your Responsive Web Design

When it comes to keeping up with today’s trends, mobile and responsive design is becoming a must. While mobile design may be the first choice for some businesses, responsive design is hitting an all time high with its popularity and implementation. If you are one of those many businesses that have made the decision to go with the times and trends, then here are some helpful hints on how you can keep your responsive design as functional as possible.

Be user-friendly. Responsive sites must flow and allow for fluid user experience across the board, with any device they may be using, without losing the content and function they experience when using desktops. Since most users rely on their smartphone or tablet to browse or shop on the Internet, it is imperative to ensure that all images, content, and grids are reconfiguring accordingly, or you risk losing your customers.

Be flexible. With responsive design, images need to be flexible. One of the best ways to achieve this is to use adaptive images. This will allow for you to customize the size that works best for mobile users, without subjecting your load speeds.

Think responsive. When creating a layout that is ideal for responsive design, it is important to know what works and doesn’t. By using code such as HTML5, you can ensure you are using a simple layout that will provide the essential elements like fluid grids and flexible images.

Hire a professional. In order to ensure you are getting a responsive design that not only works to your users’ satisfaction, but also gives you the edge on your competitors, it is essential to seek help from a professional web designer.

Windy City Web Designs has been Chicagoland’s leader in designing custom websites that are easy to navigate and attractive, as well as search engine friendly. Contact us to see how we can help you and your business’ website today.

By Bjorn Torling

Do You Need A Website Redesign?

Since it’s a new year, it’s time to think about a fresh start. I’m not talking about dieting or exercise, but getting a jump start on your business and becoming the best of the best in this technological based world. Now is as good a time as any to consider a website redesign, especially since your website is your greatest marketing tool. The following are the top reasons why you may need to consider a website makeover in order to keep up with your competition and stay on top.

Are you mobile friendly? In order to meet user’s demands, it is becoming more apparent that website need to be mobile friendly. Since the majority of your website’s visitors will do so from a smartphone or tablet, it is becoming more imperative to incorporate responsive or mobile web design on your website, all the while, still allowing other users the ability to visit from desktops and laptops.

Are you social media ready? Since word of mouth can sometimes be the best marketing for a business, it is imperative to be using a social media marketing strategy. This can easily be accomplished by including things like links to your social media pages, adding social sharing tools that enable your visitors to “like”, “share”, or “pin” your pages and products, and socially connect with others.

Are you user friendly? If your visitors can’t find what they are looking for, they will leave, and worse, wore than likely won’t come back. By having the information they are looking for like your product information, your contact information, and calls-to-action, will allow for maximized user experience and keep your customers satisfied and coming back.

Are you up-to-date? Not only is it important to keep your website fresh and modern, but it is also important to add new features to increase user experience. Things like blogs, e-commerce, and other features can cause an old website to not function properly. If you are looking to add any of these tools, it is essential to look at your website and consider redesign to create a more fluid website.

Are you wanting a new look? If you say yes to this, then a redesign is a must. Whether you are creating a new logo or rebranding your business, a redesign can help to boost your business and give you a second chance.

Redesigning your website can be a difficult task. By working with a professional web design team like Windy City Web Designs, we can ensure that we will create the website of your dreams. Not only will we work with you to create a website that is easy to navigate and attracts your visitors, but is search engine friendly and provides you with higher rankings and conversions as well.

By Bjorn Torling

Understanding The Difference Between Mobile and Responsive Design

When it comes to deciding how to improve your mobile user’s experience, it is essential to consider updating your website in order to make it more mobile-friendly. Not only is this important due to the increase in number of smartphone and tablet usage, but having a mobile-friendly website is a key component in your SEO and digital marketing strategy. Once you have made the ultra-important decision to go mobile-friendly, which type of design do you go with: mobile or responsive?

Mobile Design

Mobile websites, which are typically designed in addition to your desktop website, are an adapted version of your website in order to fit the device the user is using. Some advantages to using a mobile site include things like the easiness for users to navigate, clean visual design, operates at a faster navigation speed, and instant mobile marketability by attracting both new and repeat customers.

Responsive Design

Unlike sites that are produced using mobile design, responsive sites are developed by using a single website that will automatically adjust itself to fit any device that the user is using all based on the screen size and platform. Since responsive web design uses code like HTML5, these sites benefit from more fluid grids, flexible images, and better screen resolution.

When going mobile-friendly with your website, it is important to take into consideration your business’ needs. Things like your budget, timeline, and target audience can all play a factor in which type of design you may require. By consulting with our experienced team of professional designers and Internet marketers at Windy City Web Designs, we can help you decide which solution is right for you and your website.

By Bjorn Torling

 

Creative Loading Effects

People hate waiting.  I do; don’t you?  If you do happen to absolutely,positively despise waiting, don’t tell a web designer.  They know we hate to wait, and they hate hearing this because, let’s be honest, not many websites have entertaining loading effects.  Luckily, it’s easy to ask your web designer to add a little something special to that boring old loading bar!  This may sound silly at first, adding pizazz to something as useless as a loading screen.  However, for the little amount of time it takes to add a fun waiting feature, your guests quite will be pleased!

Besides, you wouldn’t want your potential customers to get bored while waiting and move to a faster site.  That is a major no-no!

Without further ado, below are our most entertaining (and still somewhat professional) loading effects!

Spinning Loading

With bold red words written ‘Loading’ in it, this snippet is a creative way of letting your viewers wait.  It is clean-looking and relatively easy to use.

Planets

It’s both peculiar and cool to see these planets dancing.  This effect could be very good for websites which adapts a cutey-patootsy layout.

Sinister Loadscreen

Yes, this loading effect seems sinister and dark.  But it’s a good effect to intrigue your readers by shrouding your website with some sort of cryptic and evil, right?

Yet Another Loading Animation

This loading animation is simple and yet full of movement.  You’ll love the rhythm of its motion.  Perfect for music-oriented websites!

Spin.js

Spin.js will make your world and imagination spin! Using sliders, you can easily customize how you want your loadscreen to be. Perfect for Mac and Windows 8 lovers.

Facebook-ish Loading Animation

If you want your website to look like Facebook, this loading effect will be a great help.  It adapts the Facebook load effect that shows up when you load photos.

Flickr Style

Here’s one for the Flickr lovers!  You’ll love to put this in your website because the effect looking simple and edgy.  Change up the colors to match your websites vibe!

Visit Windy City Web Designs for more

With the effects you just saw, waiting could never be as bad as web designers think it to be.  In fact, your viewers will find it otherwise.  They will love your website because even at the moments where they have to wait, they could readily feel the creative juice you just gave in for your beloved website.

5 Things You Should Include On Your Homepage

Your website’s homepage in by far the most important page on your site. It is not only essential in grabbing your audience’s attention, but creates a connection with them…all in a matter of seconds. In order to ensure that your website is doing it’s job correctly, here are 5 things you must include on your homepage.

1. Logo- There is nothing more powerful than a logo. This is not only a visual representation of your brand, but it captures the eye and attracts your audience. Logos are key in ensuring the audience has reached the correct webpage.

2. Contact Information- First and foremost, your homepage, and all other web pages, need to have your phone number listed in order to make it as easy as possible for all clients to find your information. Your contact information should be posted on the top right hand corner of the homepage. It is as equally important to include a contact us page or an email link directly on your homepage.

3. Simple Navigation- In order to allow for the user to have easier and faster access to your other pages, a simple navigation tool bar, located on either the top of the page or down the side of the page, should be displayed on your homepage. If you have several pages, then drop down menus are a must in order to prevent crowding.

4. About Us- By providing an at a glance overview of what your company is about and what they have to offer, you increase your chances of capturing your visitor’s attention and create an interest on their part to see what else you are about. It is also beneficial to include a read more link to enable them to learn more about your business.

5. Social Media Icons- In today’s world of Internet marketing, your social media presence is imperative in order to connect with your audience. By displaying your social media icons, like Twitter, Facebook, and Pintrest, you are providing a direct link to your social media pages, which allows for additional ways for your audience to connect with you.

In order to make sure your first impression is the best impression, contact Windy City Web Designs. By working with our team of professional designers, you can ensure that your website will be built with all the necessities in order to achieve the best results online, allow for you to stand out from your competitors, and increase your profitability.