Why do I need a website ?

  1. First and foremost, a website makes it easy for potential customers, investors, existing customers etc. to know and understand  more about your products/services.
  2. There is always a possibility of selling your products/services online. It is available 24×7 and it is accessible even to people who cannot possibly visit your offline establishment.
  3. Even if you do not wish to sell your products/services online, your website could be an excellent medium to reach out to prospective customers. It could be your salesman who never sleeps !
  4. A website is like an extended, interactive business card which wont get lost in your client’s drawer or closet. You can showcase your products or services or even your previous work. You can have your client testimonials. Best of all, you can update information and the whole world can access it, instantly !
  5. A professionally designed website with properly planned out content can create a very solid first impression.
  6. Chances are that your competitors already have a website and web presence. You might be losing a sizable business to them just because your prospective customers searching online don’t even know you exist !

It makes perfect sense to have a website in today’s internet centric world. People like to search for information on a product/service before they decide to purchase it. If planned and marketed properly, your website can increase your leads and eventually sales.

I would love to read your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment below.

Biggest Web Design Mistakes

Your website may be causing some serious loss in your business, without you even knowing it ! Bad web design is known to put off potential customers away. It is very easy to navigate to some other website if your website does not seem to solve your customer’s problems.

Allow me to give you a simple analogy. Let us assume there is a new super-market in your neighborhood.

The super-market

  • is difficult to reach
  • is unorganized (nothing is in the place where you expect it to be)
  • is not clean
  • has unfriendly and annoying staff
  • looks unsafe and untrustworthy
  • plays really loud and annoying music

Would you like to shop at such a place ? I doubt you will. Even if you enter once, you will make sure you don’t return. And you will ensure that all your friends , colleagues and family members stay away from this super-market, won’t you ?  Effectively, the super-market has lost a lot of potential customers.

And the super-market owner probably wonders why his business is failing. Why the number of visitors is low and why visitors are not returning ?

If you have read our previous post on Important characteristics of effective websites you will know what exactly an effective website should have. In this post, we explore the opposite side of the same coin.

Web Design has been around for a while now. But, many web designers continue to use outdated methods and many repeat the same mistakes over and over.

What are the most commonly repeated mistakes ?

  • Forgetting that people don’t care for your business or website :
    If your website does not talk about your customer’s problems, you are doing something wrong. Please remember people do not care for your business or website, they are on your website to solve some specific problem of theirs. Do you go to the super-market because you need to buy something or do you go there because you care for the business or the store ?
  • Not making it clear what your website is all about :
    Your website should clearly and obviously make clear what it is about. If you do not make this clear, your customer can easily navigate away to some other website that is easy and clear to follow.
  • Using bad design elements :
    Without any doubt, a website has  to look appealing. The layout has to be simple and neat. The text and background colors have to be properly contrasted. The images should not appear too stretched or too compressed.  People hate to see badly rendered images. Overall, the website has to look professional.
  • Using a flash intro unnecessarily :
    Trust me, this is a very big put off. Flash intro used to be very cool. But, it ended up being used so badly and in places where it was clearly not needed that it lost its sheen. Would you like to see a cool presentation about the super-market every time you enter it ? Won’t it be annoying and a waste of time ? Avoid this.
  • Bad Navigation/Organization and not searchable:
    It is very important to make sure that your website is easily navigable. Imagine how difficult it would be to shop for a particular item if the super-market has no proper organization ? Navigation or Organization is really important.  Also make sure you have a search mechanism on your websites that help users find exactly what they are looking for. This is a very ignored facet of web designing.
  • Not reachable easily:
    Unless you are a business like Microsoft or Apple, it is very unlikely that your customers will remember your web address. This means that your website has to be easily searchable through major search engines. Your website should be ranked top for search keywords relevant to your business. This is easier said than done, but it pays if you plan for this from the day you start designing your website.

It will certainly help your business if you keep these points in mind when you get a website designed for your business.

Do a favor to your business and customers and get your website designed by professionals who understand your needs and who help you to improve your business by improving your web presence.

Benefits of getting your website designed professionally

There are close to 200 million websites online today and this number is growing faster than you can imagine. Everyday hundreds of new websites are springing up. More and more companies are getting an online presence. Where does your website stand among this clutter ?

It has to stand out
Today, it is more of a requirement than a luxury to have a website that is crafted carefully to make it stand out. Your website has to reflect the kind of products/services you deal with.

It has to capture attention
People in todays information abundant age, do not spend much time on a website if it is not immediately appealing or solving their problems.

It has to look and be credible
There are many websites which promise and then under-deliver. There is no point in having a website that looks like a rock-star and delivers like a wannabe. This is a big put-off.

It has to be easy to manage
You should be able to manage your website with ease. You should be able to make minor changes without having to call your designer every time.

It has to be easily searchable
One of the largest sources of traffic are search engines. If your website is not search engine friendly, then you are losing a huge opportunity. Many web designers overlook this aspect of your website.

A professional web designing company makes sure that your website is designed to stand out, looks credible and is communicating your message clearly and effectively.

How can we help you improve your business ?

We have worked with many small businesses and helped them develop websites that have helped them reach more clients. We design websites that are not only search engine friendly, but also user friendly.

How free and open source is changing the world

How do you make coffee ? There are many ways. Most of them are known and free for anyone who cares to make a coffee. Basically, the recipe or procedure of coffee making is free and open sourced. Luckily, you don’t have to get special license to make and drink your own coffee !

Now imagine that coffee making was close sourced, that is the original creator chose to keep it a secret. In this case, it might not have become such an insanely popular drink. Even if it had become popular it would be very limited and not very accessible to millions as it is today.

When something is free and open source, people have the access to the recipe or source and are able to add improvisations or sometimes modify the recipe/procedure completely. This might result in some really cool and awesome stuff that the original creator might not have imagined.

Let me share another analogy to drive the point home. Imagine if the cave person who accidentally discovered fire had chosen to keep the process to himself/herself. We would probably still be in jungles. We would be hanging from trees, hunting,  and worse twitter would have been non existent. *shudder* . Lucky for us fire making is open source and today fire is being used in ways that obviously our original cave dwelling ancestor might not have even imagined. It has literally changed the world.

Open Source is clearly not a new thing. It has been with us, without a name, for thousands of years. If used properly and in the right places (open sourcing nuclear weapons is clearly a bad idea), it can create more impact and reach more people.

Is open source changing the world ? Yes it is. Is it an answer to all problems, maybe not. But it does solve a lot of problems and in a very interesting way.

In the coming weeks we will explore some popular open source software and how companies (small or big) can benefit from them.

Important characteristics of effective websites

A website is effective if it provides the right information to the right audience. User interface is definitely important, but should not be too flashy.  People do not visit websites to enjoy user interfaces. They look for information or solutions to their problems.

1) Effective Message (Content) : An effective website is the one which has solid, useful and note-worthy content. People come to your website to solve their own problems. Your website needs to have the content that at least helps them a bit. Say you are searching for information on “D.I.Y. plumbing”. Would you like to visit a site which claims to solve your plumbing problems, but actually provides nothing useful or insightful ? I would not.

2) Effective Design : A good design is one that pleases the eye and creates good first impression. And Effective design is one that helps in carrying the message across and is not obtrusive. In other words, it does not distract rather it engages. It offers them easy ways to navigate or find the content they are looking for.

3) Availability : A website is no good if it is not available at all times. Make sure you invest in a good web-host. You never know when potential clients will visit your website.

4) Searchability : Make sure your website is easily findable. Though there are lot of factors that make your website searchable, good content is one of the most important factors. If your content is good, your readers themselves will spread the word, share links etc and bring in more traffic.