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Posts tagged as “web design”

5 Questions Before Hiring Your Web Designer

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When you're deciding who you're going to use to get your website built it can be a challenging choice. How do you know your web designer is going to provide you what you want? How much will the website be? Can you rely on them after you've paid? What happens if the worst takes place? There are lots of possible threats we can help you to avoid.

To help you in your decision making process we've developed the five key things you need to watch out for prior to hiring your web developer. After all it's better to do research in the first instance, instead of invest a lot of wasted money. This succinct overview will help you to understand a few of the areas you must talk through with potential web designers.

1 - Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Essentially, this suggests asking if your web developer offers you Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as part of their services. It's essential to be clear on what they do provide and what they don't use. Lots of web designers might be very reliable at web design however SEO is a specialism in it's own right. If they do provide SEO learn what the this really suggests in reality. Your web designer might well utilize a lot of terms you may not recognize with, such as 'on page optimisation', 'off page optimisation', 'page rank', 'link juice', 'link structure', 'white hat' and other strategies and so on. It's worth you putting in the time to research these terms and comprehend what's essential to you and your website. I would advise preventing anyone who tells you they can get you to the top of Google in a week/ 24 hours or some other miracle time period. For example, it can use up to 6 months depending upon what search terms you want to stand for in Google, depending on how competitive your search terms are. Prevent short-term gain strategies, these will only sabotage your website down the line for short term gain. Another option to think about is that you may select to have your custom website design built by a professional web designer. Then have the SEO done by a dedicated Search Engine Optimisation professional individually. If you decide to opt for this choice, it's worth thinking about a web developer who uses SEO friendly software application in the first circumstances. Ask your web designer if their software application is Search Engine Friendly. If yes, ask them specifically how is the software application they utilize SEO friendly?

2 - Communication.

Communication is crucial to the success of your task. All of us understand this doesn't just indicate understanding you've spoken as soon as and they were really eager to understand you and get you on board. You should look to do your due diligence. This should offer you a mutual understanding of how well the web developer communicates with their customers. Discover their opening hours. What occurs if there's an issue? Clarify the methods which you can interact with your web developer? Such as telephone, e-mail, instantaneous message, mobile, text message, face to face, online forums? If you have a continuous contract how will interaction be handled every day?

3 - CMS versus Brochures.

When the web started, numerous websites looked like pamphlets. You visited a website with lots of static, non dynamic pages. Today, with the significantly sophisticated web innovations that exist, websites such as Facebook and Twitter update dynamically, in real time.

If you know that you wish to update your website yourself you need to seriously consider selecting a Content Management System (CMS). The fantastic advantage is that you can run the website yourself. For pamphlet design website you might have pay for updates as the web developer needs to hang out upgrading the website in your place. If you do go for a sales brochure design website, find out the continuous management fees. If they do use a CMS system, ask what training you'll have to get up to speed on using and administering the system.

4 - Speed kills.

Speed does undoubtedly kill. But in this case it's slow speed that eliminates. Any website that loads over 6-8 seconds will rapidly switch off visitors. The number of times have you clicked a website and when it slowly packed you 'd had enough? You then moved on or gone back to Google. Ask your web designer what hosting plans they use? Is it joint hosting system or on it's own dedicated server? You must be provided a menu of options for hosting based upon your needs. Beware if not. Follow up with your web developer on how the hosting works? Speak with your web designer about the alternatives for accelerating your website. This can consist of a Content Delivery Network (CDN), caching programs and minify. Does your web developer offer these kind of services? Keep in mind, slow speed eliminates, a quick packing website has earned the right to be seen and heard.

5 - To be open or closed?

It's sensible to ask what would take place in the worst case situation? If your web designer's company went bust, would your website still work? For those web developers who use their own in home technology, learn what occurs if they did fail? Would your website still function? For web designers who utilize open source innovations such as Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, etc these are open source so the innovation at least must be safe. Ask about your hosting also. Is the hosting tied to their own company? Typically companies will use third party hosting outside their own business.

Summary.

Remember, above all, due diligence on your web designer prior to employing them. What do independent evaluations from previous customers state? How can you interact with them? Do they use Search Engine Optimsation (SEO)? What technology do they use? Follow these 5 ideas above to get yourself a web developer worthy of your task!

For more information, please see Web design Johannesburg.

Myths About Search Engine Optimization

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Why are there so many Web Design and Search Engine Optimization myths on the internet? The following article exposes some of the most common SEO myths affecting web design and looks at the reasons why they have become widely accepted as the truth by many web designers and Webmasters.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a complex and diverse topic that’s both never constant and constantly changing. There are hundreds of myths about SEO, some were once true but no longer apply (outdated information), while others were simply never true, to begin with (disinformation).

A large number of different opinions and tactics used by both Web Designers and SEO Consultants (which can be completely contrasting) has also helped to create myths. Combine this with a large number of web forums and blogs that allow people to share their views, and you have the perfect environment for not only creating myths but for them to spread like a viral epidemic. Here are some of the most common myths explained.

Myth Name: Build it and they will come
Myth Description: The belief that a website will receive large quantities of targeted traffic as soon as it goes online.

Truth: The biggest myth I still come across most days is the aptly named “build it and they will come myth”. The cause of the myth is a combination of outdated information, a non-realistic, over-optimistic site owner or a lack of understanding of the web. Back in the old days of the internet, you could “build a site and they would come”, just by submitting to the main search engines of the day (to a degree). This was largely due to the lack of websites around at the time, meaning top positions were that much easier to secure.

Nowadays a site must be advertised just like any business. A good analogy is your site is a shop and a search engine is a high-street. The only problem is your shop is not on the high-street, so some kind of sign is required to inform passers-by where you are and what you do.

Myth Name: Search Engine Submission Myths
Myth Description: The belief that a website needs to submit every page to the search engines. The belief that regular or monthly submissions will result in better search engine rankings. The belief that a website needs to keep on submitting to search engines or they will forget about the site. The belief that if a website submits to thousands of search engines its traffic levels will go through the roof.

Truth: While some of these myths used to have a bit of truth to them, nowadays search engine submission is not required at all. The myths have been caused mainly by companies who provide submission services. This is because it’s financially in their interest for people to believe the myths are true.

It doesn’t hurt to submit to the major search engines but indexing can be achieved simply by getting links to a site (as long as the page where the link is on is known to the search engines).

There is also no point at all submitting to thousands of search engines. There are only a handful of search engines that people actually use. Many of the other search engines have been created to obtain the submitter's email address which is then added to email lists (which spammers will pay money for).

Myth Name: Meta Tag Optimisation
Myth Description: The belief that search engine optimisation is just about Meta tags.

Truth: Meta tags used to be very important to rankings until search engines became more complex. While some Meta tags are still important to the description and title tags which most search engines will display on their results (so they can influence click-through rates drastically). Most tags like the keyword tag are obsolete.

I believe the cause of this myth is twofold. One, because it’s outdated information (to a degree) and two, because people want to believe there’s a secret magic formula that only SEO’s know about. That way a lack of rankings is not their fault, plus it keeps the conspiracy theorists happy.

Myth Name: Ethical Search Engine Optimisation
Myth Description: The belief that there are two types of SEO, black hat and white hat (the old good versus evil).

Truth: Quite simple this one but nearly always overlooked. Any attempt to alter the search engines results and obtain more traffic is against most search engines guidelines. While there are tactics that may get you banned and others that may not or are not widely known about (yet), all of them are trying to influence the results and therefore are against the guidelines. SEO is neither black nor white, but many shades of grey. Just try to know what you’re doing and more importantly the associated risks.

Myth Name: Google’s PageRank (PR) is the most important aspect of a sites ability to rank
Myth Description: Self-explanatory this one, the belief that PR is a god-like entity we must all worship in order to obtain rankings.

Truth: It is widely believed by expert SEO’s and even been stated by Google Guy (a Google employee) that the PR we see on the toolbar is out of date as soon as we get to see it. Google update PR constantly but only update the toolbar PR now and then. PR is also only one part of a complex ranking system. How big a percentage it plays in rankings, only Google knows.

One thing for sure, it doesn’t matter how good your PR is on the toolbar, it’s not going to get you any more traffic from Yahoo or MSN (you heard it here first).

There are many more web design myths about SEO, most of which can be spotted if you read between the lines and think about whether it would make sense for a search engine. One of the most important parts of SEO is finding a reliable source of information. If you want to learn more, a good place to start is one of the numerous SEO Forums on the web.

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