BUILDING YOUR WEB SITE WITH MINIMUM FUSS AND THE USE OF VALUABLE TOOLS
There are lots of tools out on the market that claim they can be resourceful in building your website. Truth be told, you really only need a few of the tools to get your site up and running in a functional way.
GET YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE: BROUGHT TO YOU BY GOOGLE
Google is everywhere nowadays. Did you know that Google is one of the better tools for getting your business off the ground? There is something called GYBO.com. It’s essentially the same thing, the first letters are the only things being used. This site is the place to go to.
It has tips and shortcuts to help get your business off and running. On this site you can select a brand name template. You can choose your own domain name. Everything is let up to your own customization. All you have to do is add content and you are good to go.
This is perfect for business owners who don’t want to hire a personal web developer. It doesn’t require any codes or anything. The cost is next to nothing. You get everything free for one year. After that it’s less than $10 per month.
This is another useful tool to use. Lots of web designers use this one. You get everything you need all under one umbrella. Once your domain is published, you will get your own name and business address. The rest is up to you.
This one is perfect for those who are only looking to use their website for a short period of time. If your main goal is to draw attention to your physical store location, this one is the best one. Think of it as a good place to start for novices. It’s free for the first 30 days. After that it’s like $5.99 a month.
This tool is much different, but it still has the same value. It’s not one of these one-stop shopping place. You get your page, but it’s up to you to launch everything. Do you remember those advertised sites that say “Site will be launching soon?” Well this is that sort of building tool. It starts you off, then expects you to finish the rest.
You get your site name in the beginning. After that it’s up to you to continue the process. It has a tool which you can use to let others know of your progress. You can do this through email or any kind of social media platform. This is perfect for those who are just beginning. It can be used by those who already have a website, but who are looking to create new buzz about another new product. Think of it as like one of the “works in progress.” types of domain tools. It still holds lots of value though.
Out of all the other website builder tools out there, these are the best to use. Just look at each one closely and determine which one is the right fit. Each of these tools will get you one the right track for building and creating your best website online. If you need any extra help with this, there are quite a few sources you find on Google. Good luck to you all.
5 Ways to Thin the Herd When Hiring a Web Development Professional
When you decide to undertake a web development project and you send out a request for proposals (RFP) to potential candidates, chances are that you will be inundated with a sea of professionals vying to be hired to work on your project. How do you know which developer is the best choice for the job? When hiring a web developer, there are certain things you need to look for in order to ensure that you select the professional who will best serve your needs. Here are 5 qualities you should always seek in any development professional you may be considering for your website project.
1. Is He or She Service Oriented?
Oftentimes technology professionals, including web developers, aren’t known for their charisma or their ability to relate to or play well with others. The personality types that you find in this profession are often very introverted and they have a desire to get to the point quickly and address the job at hand rather than focus on customer service. This can cause a severe lack in what many would constitute an acceptable level of customer service.
If you are okay with working with someone who is not exactly friendly and outgoing, but is great at what they do in regards to web development, then you can overlook their personality quirks and the perceived lack of service. If, however, your desire is to work with someone who you can communicate easily with, relate to, and someone who is on the ball in terms of customer satisfaction, then you need to make sure the developer that you hire has as much of a dedication to customer service as they do a passion for developing websites.
2. Ensure They Put Function First
Function before form… It is a mantra you must adopt when you are having a website developed. Yes, your website needs to look amazing. However, no matter how good your site looks, it also needs to function seamlessly if you want to convert visitors into sales and you want your website to thrive. A site that looks great but doesn’t work properly only frustrates visitors and won’t drive the results you need to meet your business’s goals and objectives. Some developers focus too much on the design of a site, not paying close attention to how well the site loads or how the pages function. This will eventually cause countless future headaches when messy code results in nightmares as errors need to be fixed down the road. Be sure the developer that you hire understands that function is just as important, if not more so, than form.
3. Ask If They Know Nielson’s Principles of Usability
A great way to thin the herd of potential developers is to ask each developer you are considering if he or she is familiar with Jakob Nielson’s principles of usability. If they do not know what you are talking about, look elsewhere for your development needs. When it comes to your website’s success, usability is key. If the developer you hire is not familiar with the usability standards of Jakob Nielson, which have very solid research to back them up, then they are not going to be able to provide you with the level of usability that your site needs in order to succeed. Getting visitors to your site is one thing. Keeping them there and getting them to come back is something else entirely and usability plays a key role in this.
4. Will You Be Included in the Web Development Process?
When interviewing potential candidates, ask them how they will keep you involved and included in the development process. Of course your participation will vary depending on your level of development knowledge, but you should always be kept appraised of the project’s progress and be involved enough to ensure that you get everything you want from the project. Some developers exclude clients from the process altogether. When this happens you don’t know what you’re getting until the work has been completed. This is not a good way to manage and effective marketing project. Choose developers that are willing to include you in the process, making sure your ideas are implemented and that you are kept appraised as to the progress of the project.
5. Look for a Developer Who Knows Your Industry
When it comes to a good advertising agency or marketing company, you may think that it isn’t important for the developer to know your industry as long as he or she knows his job and how to do it. That is not necessarily the case. When launching a web development project, it is best to work with a developer who is familiar, at least somewhat, with your specific industry. Since many industries have special requirements that must be included in the design of a site, working with a developer who understands these requirements can prevent headaches down the road. In addition, someone who is familiar with your industry may be able to use his or her experience to give you fresh concepts and ideas for your site that you may have overlooked or had not thought of.
Picking the Best of the Best
Hiring a professional for a web development project is never a walk in the park. There are many candidates to choose from and deciding which one is right for your job will take a lot of time and a lot of research. There are many questions that must be asked and quite a few things to look into before a decision can be made, and some of these questions have nothing to do with the technology the developer knows or the skill set that he or she possesses. Always keep the above five factors in mind when hiring a developer for your web development project in order to ensure that you hire a professional who won’t just get the job done right, but who will ensure that the project runs smoothly from start to finish. Doing so will ensure that you feel secure throughout the web development process and that your thoughts and ideas are heard, considered, and implemented in the development of your site.
Responsive Web Development: Do Not Begin Your Project Until You Read This
Over the past few years mobile devices have become an increasingly popular way to access the World Wide Web. According to Business News Daily, in 2013 approximately 40 percent of all time spent online was spent using mobile devices. Online browsing rose from 451 billion minutes in 2010 to 890 billion minutes in 2013, with the numbers going up steadily every year since. When launching a web development project, this is important information to keep in mind. Especially when you consider that not all web design methods are what one could call “mobile-friendly.” Responsive website development is one such example. While responsive websites are very popular, you must question how well mobile devices are able to handle such sites. Furthermore, what can you do to ensure that your responsive web design remains mobile friendly if that is the route you decide to take?
The Issue with Responsive Web Development
As more companies are investing significant amounts of money into responsive web development, they are soon finding out that the sites they are launching do not perform up to par in terms of mobile performance. What is the reason for this poor mobile performance? It would appear that the culprits are the images and graphics that are utilized by the sites.
When a study of 155 responsive websites was conducted by Trilibis Mobile, image size seemed to affect approximately 70 percent of websites when those sites were being viewed on a mobile device. In fact, about four out of every five responsive websites experienced inferior page load times when those sites were being viewed on mobile devices. Furthermore, less than one-quarter of the sites loaded in less than four seconds on a mobile device. In fact, approximately one-third of said sites took between 8 to 48 seconds to load. Considering the fact that a consumer is likely to leave a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load, it becomes apparent that this issue is one that cannot be taken lightly during the development of a responsive website.
How to Ensure Your Web Development Remains Mobile Friendly
Considering all of the above-mentioned facts and statistics, it is readily apparent that you need your site to be mobile friendly if you hope to compete in today’s mobile environment. Fortunately that does not mean you have to avoid responsive web development altogether. What you must do is make sure that your developers focus on optimizing your site’s images, keeping mobile devices in mind when developing your site’s pages. By using proper image optimization tools and techniques a site’s page weight can be cut in half, drastically reducing site load times. This can turn a site that performs poorly on mobile devices into a site that loads effortlessly.
When hiring a web development professional to create your website, make sure the developer is experienced in creating sites that are suitable for both traditional computers and mobile devices. When you ask to see examples of past work, make sure that mobile sites are included in the examples you receive so you can check how long it takes for the pages of the sites to load on your phone or tablet. You want to be sure the developer you choose can make your site attractive to mobile users and desktop users alike. Then your site will be able to effectively compete in the ever-growing mobile Web.
Understanding How Responsive Images Play Into Your Web Development Project
Responsive images have become an integral part of modern web development. The goal of such technology is to deliver quality graphics that are optimized for an end-user’s viewing experience rather than merely delivering graphics that are as large as possible to every viewer regardless of how they are viewing the image. While the idea of responsive images is great in theory, putting that theory into practice has proven to be quite difficult over the years and getting a web developer who can properly implement these graphics means working with the best of the best.
Why Understanding Responsive Images Is Important
If you are going to hire a professional developer or a development team to complete a web development project, you need to understand exactly what skill sets you need this team to possess. Since responsive images are becoming an increasingly important part of today’s web development world, you must have at least a little bit of knowledge in this area so you can determine whether or not the developer that you hire is able to meet the needs of your project.
Responsive Images – From Past to Present
The concept of of adjusting images relative to screen size came about when the concept of responsive web design began to emerge. Such graphics started out as full-bleed graphics that were “placed” into in a flexible container. This approach required the image to be both large enough to cover the widest display size possible, yet small enough to fit properly on even the smallest of screens as the container adjusted according to how the graphic was being viewed. This was also crucial with the recent Google Search Engine update in order to provide an more SEO friendly experience.
While this may seem like a simple concept in theory, when the graphics are not implemented properly they can quickly suck up the resources of the server that they are hosted on, causing significant problems for webmasters. If these graphics are not implemented properly, webmasters can face unexpected charges for significant bandwidth overages and, in some cases, may even face dreaded website downtime due to an overload of the server’s resources.
Since these graphics can actually do damage to your website’s performance and result in downtime when they are not implemented properly, it is crucial that you hire developers who understand how to implement these elements properly. That means asking candidates what type of experience they have had with this type of development and what technologies and techniques they plan on using to put responsive images to work for your site.
Hiring a Developer Who Understands Responsive Images
If you are hiring professionals for a web development project and your site is going to be rich with graphics, it is crucial that you hire a developer who is qualified in developing sites with responsive images. Such a developer understands that the markup pattern that is selected for your site’s responsive images will have a significant impact on how your website needs to be built. It is important to note that this goes for all websites that incorporate graphics – not just responsive or adaptive websites. Since graphics play a role in the performance of your site and don’t simply affect your website’s aesthetic appeal, ensuring that they are integrated into your site properly is crucial to the stability and success of your site.
4 Web Development Mistakes You Need to Avoid
Today’s web development projects are a very different animal than the projects of yesteryear. Technologies and techniques become obsolete every two years. A site that is built for today’s Internet user will look very different from a site that was built five years ago. Savvy developers know that they need to stay on top of the latest trends in order to better serve their clients. The best developers also know what mistakes to avoid when developing a website. While some of the most common development mistakes have changed over the years, some remain the same. If you don’t want to face the most common mistakes made during the development of a website, there are four pitfalls you need to avoid at all costs.
1. Failing to Develop with Accessibility in Mind
Competent web development professionals understand that people will be accessing your site from a variety of web browsers and different screen sizes. As such, they will develop your site accordingly. Not only should your site be developed for both desktop and mobile devices, but the pages should also look good whether they are being accessed from the most recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer or an older version of Firefox. If your site is not developed for a wide range of screen sizes and web browsers, you are going to alienate potential customers before they even have a chance to see what your business has to offer.
2. Ignoring SEO Techniques
While a site that is developed with SEO in mind won’t guarantee that your site gets a top spot in the search engines, it does increase your site’s chances of being found through organic searches. Since the vast majority of sales begin with an Internet search, SEO should be one of your developer’s priorities. There is no excuse for not including basic SEO elements in your site’s development including things such as a site map, relevant content, and the use of mark-up tags, meta tags, and keywords.
3. Integrating Pop-Up Windows
If you poll 100 website visitors and ask them how they feel about pop-ups on a website, chances are that most if not all of those visitors will tell you that pop-ups are distracting and annoying. While pop-ups may have had their time and place in the history of websites, that time is long gone. When your site is in the web development process, make sure there are no pop-ups being integrated into your site’s pages.
4. Failing to Pay Attention to Page Load Times
As your site goes through the web development process, it is crucial that your developer keep an eye on how long it is taking for your site’s pages to load. Internet users are becoming more impatient each and every day. If a page fails to load within three seconds, most visitors will leave the site for good. Qualified developers know this and will avoid slow page load times by eliminating pointless graphics, refusing to utilize inferior graphic formats, and avoiding other factors that can lead to slow page load times.
The Sum of Its Parts
Remember, a great website is only as good as the sum of its parts. A number of factors go into quality web development and making common mistakes can cost you quite a bit in the long run. Be sure you avoid these four common mistakes if you want your site to thrive once it is online, ensuring you get the most ROI for your development dollars.
3 Tips for Hiring for a Web Development Professional
In a day and age where websites are becoming more dynamic and increasingly complex, hiring the right people for your web development project is becoming increasingly important. Gone are the days when you could get by with hiring a moonlighter who dabbled in HTML. Nowadays you need to work with proven professionals who can get the job done and get it done right. The differences between professional developers and those who are not up-to-date with today’s current technologies and trends is the difference between night and day, and it will show up in the end result of your website. Before hiring someone to build and develop your site, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
1. Identify Your Needs
Each and every company has its own unique culture and needs, from small start-ups to large Fortune 500 companies. Before you can make a hiring decision, you need to determine what type of developer you need. Do you need a developer who is more reserved and cautious in their approach, or do you need a flexible, risk-taking developer who isn’t afraid to push the envelope? While skills and experience are definitely important in your hiring decision, you also need to ensure you hire an individual or a team whose personality and approach matches that of your company’s.
2. Create a Test Project
Before you hire someone to dive into a large web development project, start small with a “test” project. Even if you think you have found the perfect candidate for your needs, you must make sure that they can prove their capabilities on a smaller, non-essential project before you have them working on a critical one. This will allow you test the waters, seeing how well you work together and how their results coincide with your expectations.
3. Realize Aptitude Trumps Skill Sets
When it comes to today’s technologies, skill sets become obsolete in a matter of months. Every two years a web development professional will need an entirely new set of skills to keep up with the needs of his or her clients. Because of this, the aptitude to learn new skills is more important than the skills the developer already knows. Someone who can adapt to new technologies easily will be much more beneficial to you now and in the future than an individual who sticks to antiquated methods of web development.
So how do you know if someone has the tendency to adapt to new technologies? Ask all candidates which programming languages they have learned recently and what go-to places they utilize for learning new tips and technologies. If they are ready with a laundry list of recent achievements and resources for learning, you know they are serious about evolving with development trends.
Always Go Beyond the Standard
When it comes to hiring a professional for your web development needs, always go beyond the standard interview questions and requests for past work examples. You don’t want to know what the candidates have been able to do in the past. You want to know what they can do for you now and in the future. Keeping the above tips in mind, you will be able to find the professional or team of professionals that will be the best fit for your web development project.