A website design should be fit for it’s purpose, no more, no less.
Not every site has to be a ground-breaking design master piece – in fact most don’t. The promise of ‘stunning’ and ‘creative’ designs using the very latest in web technology is tempting, but if your site doesn’t need it then don’t use it.
Your website should speak the language of your target audience, it’s structure and navigation should be designed with your users in mind to ensure that key elements are laid out in areas your users will expect to find them and they should react in a way that users expect them to react.
With this in mind I approach each new design from a marketing perspective conducting research, profiling and analysis to gain an insight into your competitive environment and develop an understanding of your business needs.
From there I can make considered decisions about the design and development of your website that are based on sound theory and not just conjured up because they look good, or because it’s what everyone else is doing.
The finished product is a combination of ‘marketing savvy’ and ‘web design tekky’ to give your business an online presence that will reflect your core values, maximise your return on investment (ROI) and ultimately serve it’s purpose.
Whether you’re looking for all the bells and whistles or just a few pages you can rest assured that the design will be optimised, fast loading and standards compliant.
Web development covers a spectrum of services that add functionality to a website beyond the basic design. An example could be a bespoke booking system, an automated newsletter application or a site search function.
Much like good design, good development is something that shouldn’t even cross the mind of the user – it should ‘just work’. Accordingly the design and functionality of a website should be so closely intertwined it is impossible to tell where the design ends and the development begins.
Take Google for example, did they become so popular because they served better results, or was it because they designed a clean user interface that reduced distractions from what the user was searching for? The answer: both working together.
I work hard to integrate functionality seamlessly into the design of a website to maximise usability and enable visitors to go about their business without a second thought as to what may be going on behind the scenes to make it all happen.
I also use open source code and applications to ensure robust, efficient performance and rapid development that is backed by communities of thousands to save you time and money.
The internet continues to develop into an ever increasingly active and dynamic forum of information which changes by the hour, by the minute and by the second. Accordingly it has never been more important to ensure your website is kept fresh and up-to-date to reflect the latest developments within your business.
Content management systems provide website owners with a cost effective, convenient and accessible way of interacting with their stakeholders that can help to open new channels of communication and keep visitors returning to their websites. In addition to the obvious benefits of this interaction an actively updated website with new and unique content uploaded on a regular basis is likely to perform far better in search engine results.
However a content management system is of no use unless it is effective enough to meet your needs and yet straightforward enough to be managed by non-technical users.
I use powerful open source content management systems that give the administrator complete control over every aspect of their site content whilst still retaining intuitive user friendly interfaces to make the process of maintaining your website as quick and pain-free as possible.
Online marketing is a broad term that can cover a multitude of services including Search engine optimisation, local search, pay per click campaigns, social and viral marketing plus any other traditional marketing functions that are conducted online.
Marketing your business online can be a hugely cost effective means of promoting your products and services and unlike some more traditional methods is also extremely accountable.
Having worked for and with small businesses for most of my professional career I’ve become adept at fashioning campaigns to serve even the meekest of budgets and structuring them in such a way that they can be analysed and evaluated to maximise ROI.
Indeed in many cases targeted and intelligent online campaigns can actually pay for themselves.
The internet has become the logical new channel to market for many organisations to sell their products and services. However commercial success online goes far beyond the remit of uploading your product catalogue alongside ‘buy now’ buttons.
A successful ecommerce solution needs to be tailored to fit the specifications of the products or services you intend to sell, it needs to be intuitive for both users and administrators and above all it needs to be secure.
I use a variety of open source and commercial solutions to ensure the best results for my clients and always recommend that any ecommerce development is supplemented with other relevant services including online marketing and search engine optimisation.
search engine optimisation
If you build it they will come . . . well not exactly.
Even if you type a relatively obscure reference into any of the major search engines you are likely to be greeted with tens if not hundreds of thousands of results – this spills over into millions and millions of results for popular or competitive phrases, so why should your website rank above anybody else’s and how will visitors find your site?
The simple answer is a complicated and often contentious service: search engine optimisation.
My philosophy for small and medium sized businesses is to use tried and tested techniques that build a tangible online presence for your business which can often see excellent short-term results, but more importantly builds a solid foundation for the future and consistently high performance over the long term.