Archive for May, 2022
  • Building a website is a lot like building a house

    Building a website is like building a house. Bricklayer holding construction tools

    This analogy is helpful if you aren’t familiar with the web development process. It can better help you understand the requirements before we can estimate or build your site.

    Custom vs. Manufactured

    Custom homes usually cost more than manufactured homes. It’s the same with websites. A custom-designed, custom-built website will cost more than a website built from an off-the-shelf design template.

    Why does custom cost more? Simply because it’s exactly what you want and/or need, not a pre-packaged product for the masses. It requires unique effort (such as creating custom plans or blueprints) that is not easily replicated for the next client. It requires more time and input from an actual human who has sufficient experience to design your unique solution. It also allows for your website to stand out and not be a cookie-cutter site.

    A Lot to Build On

    You’ll need to purchase a lot before you can build a custom home. Likewise, on the Web, you’ll need a domain name (the address of the website) and a hosting server (the physical location where your website files will reside) in order to make your website available to visit.

    Unlike real estate, there aren’t necessarily good or bad areas in which to purchase your “lot.” You do want a good, memorable domain name and it is certainly worthwhile to find a hosting provider that is reliable.

    Blueprints from the Architect

    To build a great house you need to have great blueprints. An architect’s job is to understand what it is you want in a house and to create plans for the builders to follow. This makes sure you get what you want and that you know how much it will cost when it’s done.

    An architect needs a lot of information from you before he or she can create accurate blueprints. It isn’t enough to say, “I want a house with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.”

    Likewise, getting an accurate assessment of the costs and timeline for building a website requires more than a brief description such as, “I want a website that will allow me to sell my products.”

    Many people undervalue the step of documenting a website’s requirements. Like a custom home, a website will be better constructed if set plans are followed.

    Quality Construction

    Because there are so many do-it-yourself websites, it can be confusing for customers as to why a custom website from a professional firm may cost thousands of dollars while there are so many instant website offerings at a fraction of the price.

    The difference in quality isn’t always immediately apparent on a website. Quality is usually reflected in items that are less visible. The longevity of the product, the customer service during the project, and the expertise in assembling/constructing are all reasons to choose quality over low price in both homes and websites.

    Changes to the Plans

    Once your home is built it gets quite expensive to change things. If you’ve built a 4-bedroom home, adding a 5th bedroom isn’t going to be cheap.

    Although websites are far more flexible than homes, the same principle applies. Once your website is built it is more expensive to make changes than it would have been had you asked for the feature at the beginning of the project.

  • Is your website helping your company grow?

    59091791_MDoes your business have a quality and mobile-friendly online presence with clear online branding? It all starts with a great website, and many companies still don’t have one. Often times the skeleton of a website — or a semi-functional site — is built and owners move on to more time-sensitive business issues. Here’s why you need a solid and mobile-friendly reputation online:

    1. You’re at a major disadvantage without it. A quality and compelling website can help increase confidence and interest in a company and its products/services. In one study, 57% of consumers said they would not recommend a business that has a poorly designed website.

    2. Nearly 60% of all website visits are made from mobile devices. Is your website mobile-friendly? That’s the way more customers and potential customers will be obtaining information about your business. In addition, nearly three-quarters of all retail e-commerce transactions are completed on mobile devices.

    3. It’s an effective way to keep customers educated and informed. Customers and potential customers have questions; you have answers. Provide that information in a way that’s easy to find and easy to digest. Set yourself apart from your competitors by being as transparent as possible. Your website is the easiest way to do this. This is one critical area of your business that needs your time, effort and investment.

    4. It allows you to be open for business 24/7. Don’t stress being connected to your email and phone 24 hours a day. Having an always-on website means your clients and leads can access your services, information, pricing and expertise 24/7.

    5. It simplifies customer service. Providing customers several options to provide you feedback and submit inquiries builds trust, not to mention, can cut down on your overhead costs. Effective websites can integrate feedback forms and customer service request fields all online, cutting down on your administrative needs and allowing you direct insight into what’s going on within your company. Today’s technology can help your website become a quality tool for connecting and engaging with your customers/clients.

    6. It establishes/reinforces online identity and branding. We’re in an age where most consumers will turn to the internet when looking for a product or service. Are you turning up in all the right places? Between the opportunity to put your company at the top of those search results, you also have an opportunity to establish your branding in a way that’s clear and relatable.