+1 877 893 5257

Archive for the ‘Mobile Web Design’ Category

How to Choose a Web Designer

When choosing a web designer in Sacramento you should consider more than just previous designs. A style you like on someone else’s site may not be what’s best for your site. And it ain’t just about looks. (yes, I used the word “ain’t”)

Before you go live with a new site it is important to consider what your current site is good at. There are three things that are often overlooked.

  1. Conversion: A firm that proclaims that there are User Experience (UX) or User Interface (UI) experts will want to perform some heat mapping studies on your current site and compare them to your new site.
  2. Visibility: What keywords does your current site show up well for and which ones give you the best click through rate? Before you go live with your new website design it is important to study your analytics to see where you have SEO currency and where you do not.
  3. Platform: What platform are you on, what Platform will your new site be built on. If your current site was custom built, and your new site ends up on a WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or other open source CMS, you may find your ongoing support and maintenance costs go up. Learn about the ups and downs of open CMS.

Most of the web design Sacramento has available are shops that have a good design base or a good development base. A lot have both. But few have a real understanding of the UI/UX and SEO elements and these are the ones that will affect you the most.

The beauty of the Internet and web design is that you don’t have to choose a local company. The best web development firm is in Chico, CA (yes, a very slanted opinion but that is how I feel) With the use of technology we can do everything over the web. It’s a beautiful business.

The Best Website Designers in California

web designers in ca

What determines the best web designer in CA

California is home to a lot of great tech companies that demand a great web design. This has led to a lot of great web design companies. So who is the best web designer in CA?

Determining who develops the best web sites is like deciding what the best type of food is. I like Mexican but I very much enjoyed Chinese today. Every business has a different need from there site and thus we should be asking a more specific question, “Who make the best web site for converting clicks into customers?”

Most “Top 10 Web Design Companies” sites judge by the creativity of the site alone. What does it look like? There is no consideration to what the customer experience it or the ability for the site to persuade a visitor to take an action. Shouldn’t that be more important?

Design is important. California is home to Apple where design is everything. But Apple did not succeed because they had beautiful looking products, they had beautifully functional products. Hand any 6 year old an iPad and they will be playing a game in seconds. No instruction manual needed.

Maybe the question should change. “Who is the best web development firm in California?” or “Which California Web firm builds the most persuasive web sites?” I’ll bet my money that not one of the top 50 would be shared among the other lists. And ask who provided the best service, or fastest turn around and you will have yet another completely unique list.

Here are the factors you should consider when determining who the best company to design and build your website should be:

How long has the business been around? Web designers and developers don’t always make the best business people.

Do you guarantee a delivery date? If you ask around I’ll bet that 9 out of 10 businesses did not get their site when it was promised. In many cases it might be as much as a year or more late.

Do you have proof of your customer conversion? If they have case studies showing results believe them, if not, they are likely stating what they think. We have found that what we think is rarely what is true.

Do you have proof of your SEO abilities? Every web business claims they know SEO, but few actually do. Ask for proof. If they are truly good at SEO, they will have proof.

How secure is your platform? Are they using an open source content management system or is the site on a customer CMS?

Best Web Design? That is very relative not only to your personal tastes, but to the objective of your site. The sites that convert the most visitors to customers are rarely the most beautiful. Beautiful design does not usually have obnoxious orange “Order Now” buttons but high converting sites do.

The approach we take is, wire frame a persuasive intuitive site before you hand it over to a designer.

So, who is the best web designer in California? It’s probably the company that doesn’t get much notice. Or it could be the company that posted this blog.

The next big trend in web design- Parallax

In the late 1990’s web design came alive with animation and interactivity when Macromedia (Since acquired by Adobe) introduced Flash. Flash websites were a hot item and the early Flash design and development firms were in high demand and getting as much as $60,000 for 40 hours’ worth of work. The sites were beautiful and fun.

The demise of Flash was 3 fold. The first was security. Hackers found holes that allowed them to gain control of your computer. The second was that Google was gaining importance and Flash sites were not index able by search engines. But it was Apple that delivered the knockout punch when they chose not to support flash on the iPhone.

As web designers stepped away from Flash, website design reverted back to the basics. To add dynamics, scrolling pictures became the norm. In fact, at this writing that is still the most popular type of website.

We are at the dawn of a new age.

Parallax web design is the future of web design. Parallax, is the word used to describe the effect of the appearance of objects moving at different speeds. When driving, the trees near the road side appear to pass faster than the trees farther away and the distant mountains move even slower.

Why is this design the future? Because a designer can do everything we used to do in Flash without the drawbacks. The sites remain as secure as any custom site and they are fully search engine friendly, sort of.

Some pros of a Parallax site:

  • They are interesting to the visitor which entices them to stay on the site longer.
  • As a marketer animation gives you power to direct the visitors attention to where you want them to go.
  • It is more likely that a web visitor will scroll to the bottom of a site then click another page.
  • When a visitor spends more time on your site, it enhances your Google page rank.

Some cons of a Parallax site:

  • Visitors view fewer pages which is a negative in the eyes of Google.
  • Can be confusing to a visitor.
  • They can be slower loading
  • More costly to develop.

The good news is that a Parallax site does not need to be confusing to the viewer and there are ways to use it its power to get visitors to click on more pages that a standard site which will enhance your page rank with Google. And you don’t have to have a slow loading site.

Designers can get carried away with Parallax design. Here is an example of an amazing Parallax site that great to look at and navigate but slow load. Also, this site was not designed to be easily searched against competitors. http://journey.lifeofpimovie.com/#!/

There are ways to use this new technology to your advantage. We happen to be developing 4 such sites right now. I look forward to sharing them with you.

Will a Non-Mobile Responsive Site Hurt Your SEO Rankings?

Having many SEO clients, I have to adapt quickly to changes in the Google algorithm. I was hustling to do what a rumor had led many of us to believe. The rumor was that you must have one site, which was of a responsive design (meaning it would adapt to different screen sizes) or Google would penalize you. Since that rumor started, Google announced the launch date of the new algorithm, April 21st, 2015. Rumor truths are that you must have a mobile friendly website. Rumor falsies are that you must have one site that is mobile responsive. If you have a separate “moble.YourWebsite.com” site, you are in great shape. The purpose of the new algorithm is to only show mobile friendly website in searches from mobile devices. If you are thinking that all of your visitors are going to your site via a large screen, you are likely wrong. At a minimum 1 in 5 of your clicks comes from a mobile device. Most businesses are getting 2 of 5 clicks from searches from a mobile device. If your site is not mobile friendly, you will no longer be getting these clicks because your site will no longer be showing in mobile searches. If you want to know if your site is mobile friendly you can find out now, before the April 21st roll out. Just find your site in a Google search result and look for the grey text.

mobile search

Can you be found in Chico by mobile searchers

 

What to Know Before You Choose a Web Developer.

Planning a website redesign is something most small businesses think about every 3 years or so. And this is primarily because they were never really happy with their current site or it’s because the business has evolved and now wants more from their website. With a little foresight and participation from a point person in your organization the right web design built on the right platform will make future changes simpler and the need for a redesign un necessary.

Introducing new technologies to an established business can be painful. Business owners usually end up trusting the one person in their company that knows the most about the internet. What we find is that most self-proclaimed “experts” don’t know what they don’t know. So while trying to save their bosses some money, they inadvertently end up costing their employer more than needed.

Before you chose the company that you want to work with. You should consider these few issues.

  1. What is the goal of your site? Is it to capture leads or to set as a brochure? Do you want to create transparency or would you like to have an interactive form that educates while collecting data to help you close deals? Will this site be your storefront and main source of income?
  2. How will you be pushing traffic to your site? Are you going to market to potential customers via mass media or are you going to send existing customers to your site.  Do you want people to find you with search engines?
  3. Will your potential website visitor be able to easily fide what they are looking for? Navigation can be fun and highly technical but the simpler route is usually the best.
  4. How much of the site will change frequently? Do you need to be able to change things on your site at a moment’s notice, or will most of what you say on your site be static for a long period of time?

There is a lot more to consider but time spent on these 4 points before you reach out to a web developer will help you determine what kind of platform your site should be built on. Different technologies hide behind your sites design and navigation and have a significant up front cost.

Building your site on an open source CMS platform like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal will cost less up front. These are easy to develop. However, changes in the future can cost more. Please don’t confuse site changes with simple copy or image changes. These CMS’s do that very well. It’s adding a section on a page or a new functionality that create issue.

The most important thing to remember is that the cheapest solution is not always the cheapest in the long run.

What You Need to Know About Mobile Traffic

I am young enough to be considered tech savvy and old enough to remember the pre-internet Bulletin Board Services or BBS. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s not important. What is important is the change in technology and the human interaction I have been witness to.
The grandest change since the beginning 2012 is the growth of the smart phone and tablet devices. As of November 2013 mobile devices consisted of 28% of ALL web traffic. Up 67% in just 1 year. The trend line estimates that as of March 2014 mobile devices are already over 35% of ALL web traffic.

What’s this mean to you? If your website is not mobile compatible, more than 1/3 of your potential customers are NOT buying from you.

The amount of time and money people are spending on mobile devices is growing rapidly and yet most businesses are not serving these people — at what cost?

By the numbers, mobile traffic makes up 10% of global internet traffic and next year more people will use mobile phones than PCs to get online. Purchases made on mobile devices exceeded $6.7 billion in the U.S. last year, or about 8% of total online sales. This is expected to nearly double to $11.6 billion this year. By 2015, U.S. mobile sales are forecast to reach $31 billion.

How much of that could be yours?

If you haven’t optimized your website for mobile, you are frustrating visitors with tricky navigation and slow loading times. If you have an ecommerce site, those figures should help you benchmark what you’re already losing in dollars, but a recent survey from Google underlines the damage you might also be doing to your brand by not having your site optimized for mobile.

The survey, which tallied responses from 1,088 U.S. adult smartphone owners, found that:

• Mobile sites lead to mobile purchases. Well duh! Shoppers are more likely to buy a product or service if your site is optimized for mobile. Three-fourths said they are more likely to return to a site in the future if the experience on mobile is good.

• If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, shoppers will go elsewhere. The majority of participants in the survey said that if they can’t find what they’re looking for on your site, they’ll sooner seek out a competitor’s mobile-friendly site instead of switching to a PC to revisit yours.

• A bad mobile experience can damage a company’s brand. A bad mobile experience can create bad feelings about your company. Yes, a bad feeling about your company! Nearly half of participants in the survey said they feel frustrated and annoyed when they visit a site that’s not mobile-ready. It makes them feel like a you don’t care about your business.

If you need help getting your site mobile ready, we have been doing just that for companies in Sacramento, Chico, Redding and the San Francisco Bay area, plus some recent revisions for Ag websites in Texas.

Angry Birds Tees Mobile Website Launch

April 6

Angry Birds Tees
Mobile web development is here in 2011, and is the hottest topic in our industry right now. Millions of users are going online with their smart phones so it is crucial to offer a mobile optimized experience to them so they can easily find information or purchase your products.

Angry Birds Tees mobile optimized website allows users to access angrybirdstees.com from your iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or Palm device, with an easy to follow user experience. Allowing the customer to easily shop and find the product that they are looking for, and then easily purchase it, was our goal from the onset.

Why make an Angry Birds T-shirts mobile website?

If you were to visit the website before it was optimized for mobile, the website would show up in it’s traditional state, in need of zooming, to experience and view the content.

To make it easier on the mobile users, we optimized the Angry Birds T-shirt website for mobile phones. What this means is that when you view their website on your mobile phone it will fit the screen so there is no need to zoom in or out or scroll side to side. The easier it is for users, the more time they want spend on your website which can increase re-visitation. AngryBirdsTees.com is fully optimized for your mobile phones making it effortless to shop for your favorite Angry Birds T-shirts.

The Mobile Website

We took some screen shots of the new mobile website to show you just how good it looks, check them out below.

  • Angry Birds T-Shirts Mobile - Home Page
  • Angry Birds T-Shirts Mobile - Browse Products Page
  • Angry Birds T-Shirts Mobile - Checkout Page
  • Angry Birds T-Shirts Mobile - Product Description
  • Angry Birds T-Shirts Mobile - Product Details Page

Mobile Website Design

December 22

As technology progresses and smart phones become the norm, having a web presence that is optimized for Android, iPhone, or Blackberry is becoming more important. The word is still out on how much commerce will be done via smart phones, but at the very least, making sure your website works with the most common mobile devices is crucial.

Most smart phones, by default, will display your website in a fairly usable and understandable manner. However, having the information optimized, precise, and easier to find, may help a potential client or customer find your phone number or address more easily while in the car, or walking around.  Keep in mind that with an optimized mobile website for iPhone or Android, you get the flexibility of quicker load times which works well over a standard 3G network.

Chico Web Design’s Mobile Website

We recently launched our optimized iPhone, Android, and Blackberry mobile website.  We kept the design and functionality to a minimum because we feel that most people visiting our website on their phones, will be looking for basic information like phone number, and address.  If they want a full experience, and are looking to hire our firm to create a web presence, I would only presume that they would be using a desktop or laptop computer to do so.  Therefore, we took the most relevant content, created a few new design templates, and created a mobile website.

Why a Mobile Website and not a APP?

This is a relevant question that I, as a business owner, debated before going down the mobile website path and here is why.

  1. Cost
  2. Multiple device compliant
  3. No eCommerce
  4. Content value

Cost
The cost to develop a mobile website is far cheaper then developing an application for a specific device. Our mobile.chicowebdesign.com took about 15 hours total.

Multiple device compliant
This was probably one of largest factors in my decision to go the mobile website route.  Do you make an app for iPhone, Android, or Blackberry?  Or do you make one for all? Since we opted to not create a specific application for each operating system, we are essentially providing the same value no matter what phone or device that you are on.  Therefore, like your Mac or PC, we are suited to handle any request by any device.  Not to mention, if someone wants to visit your site, they do not have to download, enter passwords or go to any app stores to get it. Therefore, our exposure is higher.

No eCommerce
Since there is no shopping done on our website, we decided again, to not go the app route.  If there were transactions taking place, I.E. bill payment, or product purchasing, we may have considered it.

Content Value
Since our mobile website is purely informational and content driven, this lead to the fourth and final check mark as to what to design.  We aren’t releasing a game, and we’re not providing any entertainment value other then information, phone numbers, and addresses.

If you or your company is interested in optimizing your website for mobile browsing on an iPhone, Android, or Blackberry, contact us today for a quote.