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.

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.

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.

Need Leads? Using Your Website To Drive Your Business

Your website is perhaps one of the most powerful business tools you will have. But are you utilizing it to your advantage?

While every business has varying needs, and will use their website differently, every business wants to utilize it to their advantage, having the leverage to create more growth, which, in turn, will drive their business.

If you feel that you are need of help and do not know how to generate leads, using your website to drive your business, there are a variety of things you can do to help grow your business significantly:

Start tracking your success. First and foremost, it is critical to ensure you are benchmarking your current state of lead generation, before you begin any performance conversion tracking for your website. Tracking your conversion rates are an essential part of determining what is or isn’t working for your website, better understanding which landing pages are converting, and which ones that may require optimization.

Perform a conversion. Do you know for sure your website has been designed to convert traffic? Many web design companies know how to create modern and appealing websites, but do not excel at ensuring your website converts. It is important to determine if your website converts, seeking the help of an experienced web designer that specializes in websites that convert.

Make your website more personable. Unique content allows you to make visiting your website a memorable and more meaningful experience. Simply by ensuring you are using images, buttons, and product options that are specifically tailored to their interests, you are more likely to convert. Better yet, personalized calls-to-action convert almost 50% more than basic calls-to-action, making personalization a great tool in generating more leads.

Utilize live chats. Live chats are a good practice for websites that are generating commerce sales. Simply by answering pre-purchase questions, your chat operators may better be able to push the consumer towards the sale, making this tool beneficial for every website.

Use pop ups. Driving traffic to your website is not cheap, even if you aren’t utilizing a pay-per-click campaign. Most people are using not only time and effort, but other forms of marketing, such as SEO, social media, and content marketing, which all create a monetary value for you. This is why you want as many leads as possible to make the money you have put into your website worth it. One good tool to do so is by utilizing a pop up with an exit offer. These are helpful in increasing those conversion rates you need, improving your overall return on investments.

Windy City Web Designs wants to help ensure you are generating leads with your website. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.

Building Your Own Website Vs. Hiring A Web Design Company

A well laid out website can be helpful to potential clients and customers, building your business and taking it to another level, helping them pick your company over all the competition.

When it comes to making the decision to either build the website yourself, or contact a web design company to do so, it can be a difficult choice. However, once you review the pros and cons, you may find that hiring a professional may be the better choice.

Design

While there are many desktop and online applications that enable you to create websites quickly, some of these programs can be difficult to use or for use on a specific type of website, making them not ideal for your use. And since you are going to be producing a website with consumer-oriented tools, you must possess at least some type of experience in coding and programming.  If you need specific types of features, such as customer management solutions, shopping cart applications, or login abilities, then you might want to hire a professional web developer to do these things for you.

Shopping Carts

If you are planning to sell products online, or need a customer management system, implementing your website can be very time consuming, especially when you will want to ensure that every product has a description. This means that you have to design a new page or database entry for every product you are selling on your website.

Content

Meaningful content on your website not only attracts more visitors, but helps to make your website be found amongst the search engines. This means that writing articles or blogs for your site can require a substantial amount of time out of your daily schedule, which can take away the time necessary to running and growing your business.

Repairs And Maintenance 

A successful website requires more than just a name and great design. Once your website goes live, you will be required to make continuous maintenance checks, as well as updates in order to ensure your website is functioning properly and effectively. While it may be easy to create a website with today’s modern development software tools, these applications are not very useful if your site starts to have many problems.

Cost

The cost of creating a website on your own, compared to hiring a professional may be the major consideration in your decision. And while an experienced and professional website developers and designer may not be the cheapest option, it is a good idea to consider all of the time and effort creating a website requires, especially when an effective website may play an essential role in your business’s success.

For more information and to see how our professional designers at Windy City Web Designs can help create a customized website for your business, contact us today.

Mistakes You May Be Making With Your Website Design

Creating a website is essential to your business. However, many people do not realize how certain mistakes you may be making with your website design can actually hurt your business.

Whether you are designing your own website, or have hired a professional web design company, here are some mistakes you should avoid or look for in your website design:

Graphic Overload- While graphics are important in an attractive web design, having way too many can be overwhelming, detracting from what your business has to offer, and ultimately losing your potential customer. Since the only role of images is to illustrate your products and services, it is important to only use a sufficient amount of images and ones that pertain to your business.

Font Failures- The use of unconventional, and hard to read, font styles is perhaps one of the most critical errors that designers tend to make, often overlooking this while in the process of creating a good interface design. Be sure to use the proper font size, as well as the correct format when creating your website.

Inconsistency- Consistency with your website’s interface design is what makes a website successful. When there is a different design for each of your web pages, many visitors will find this to look unprofessional, which will likely keep them from visiting your website in the future. Simply by ensuring there is consistency in the overall look and feel of your website, you are not only more appealing, but appear more professional as well.

Loss of Contact- There is nothing more frustrating to your customers than the inability to contact you easily. It is critical that every website have their contact information properly placed, ensuring it be found on the header or footer of every web page. With a loss of contact information, you lose your credibility and customers, so ensure you embed your contact information on the home page in order to help you build trust and credibility.

For more information and to see how our professional web designers can help ensure your business’s website is effective and successful, contact Windy City Web Designs 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.

 

Hiring A Professional Web Design Firm Is The Answer You Are Looking For

Coming up with the right website design and an effective Internet marketing plan may seem like an easy process, but most business owners find themselves not having the amount of time necessary to create a website on their own, asking themselves how can they do this on their own. This is why hiring a professional web design and Internet marketing firm may be the answer they are looking for.

Windy City Web Designs specializes in working with business owners, creating a customized website that fits their specific and business’s needs. All these entrepreneurs have to do is help with the following, and we will do the rest:

Ensure you own your site.  When starting a website, it is essential that you ensure you hold the rights to it. When using a company with proprietary software, or easy to use on-line website editors, they often will hold your website hostage, forcing you to pay a financial settlement. Be sure the company provides you FTP information or your WordPress login and password that is under your name, or your company’s, which will allow you to have access to your website.

Use meaningful content. Whether you choose to provide your own content, or utilize our content writing services, be sure to avoid using duplicate, or cookie cutter, content. Some companies will use this method to keep costs down, recycling content, typically only changing the city and company name. Meaningful content will not only help your website be found by the search engines easier, but by your visitors as well.

Provide your own images. Many businesses nowadays are getting dinged big time for using images that they find on-line, often finding themselves having to pay a hefty fine. This is why you should always check with your web design company company in order to ensure they do not use copyrighted images. When designing your website, you are better off either providing your own images, or purchasing the rights to the ones you want.

Your website is a big investment. That is why you should leave it to a professional full-service web design and Internet marketing firm like Windy City Web Designs to ensure your website is not only done properly, but it effective as well. Contact us for more information or for help with your web design and Internet marketing needs today.

Helpful Hints For Creating An Effective Homepage

The average website visitor will make a decision about your website in 6-8 seconds, leaving you not much time to impress and capture their attention. This is why it is critical to ensure that you are optimizing your webpage, turning those visitors into leads, who can potentially help your business in the long run.

Here are some helpful tips for creating an effective homepage:

  1. Choose a layout that is not only clutter-free, but easy to navigate as well. Be sure to avoid too many images and icons, as well as super long texts or banners as these can be overwhelming, turning your visitors away.
  2. Since a picture says a thousand words, you should always use high quality and informational photos on your landing page. However, take caution in using too many photos on your homepage, since this can overwhelm the eye. Also, remember to maintain a professional appearance by avoiding the use of low quality photos.
  3. Use a “call to action button”, but keep in mind, that these buttons should not contain more than four words, which makes that button even more tempting to click. Also remember that the improper placement of your call to action button can create a potential problem, making it often going unseen.
  4. Keep your content simple and current. Be sure that your information is always current and resourceful to your users, as well as avoid too much text on your website. When there is too much text, users will often be turned off and tune out.
  5. Be sure to include your contact information and address. This will come in handy when users would like to contact you or are looking for your location. Avoid making this necessary information hard to find.

Windy City Web Designs is a full service web design and marketing firm, that specializes in custom websites and Internet marketing solutions for all types of business. Contact us for help with any and all of your business’s needs today.