Monthly Archives: July 2017

Things to Do Before Hiring a Web Developer

Before approaching web developers for estimates on building your new business’s site, there are a few things you should think through first so you are fully prepared for the questions you will be asked. Here’s a list of ten things to be clear on before making that important next step:

  1. Be clear on your business plan. This may sound obvious, but it has happened where I’ve been asked to build a website when the potential client only had an idea of what they wanted and no business foundation planned out at all. Are you sure you have a viable business idea that will provide you with a reasonable ROI or is this more of a hobby that you just want to dabble in? It is important to be clear on your intensions of what you want to accomplish first.
  2. Be clear on your business name.  Make sure you have a registered business name before creating any of your marketing materials. It could be a costly mistake to have to go back and change everything if you find out your business name has been rejected.
  3. Be clear on the product you sell or service you provide. Ensure you are clear on the product or service you offer so your developer knows what site features and design will work best to enhance them. Ask yourself if they are digital products or systems or a service for hire? How many products and how are they sold?
  4. Be clear on your brand. This does not mean you have to have your logo already designed (some web development companies can also design your logo and other stationery/marketing materials for you as well), but it does mean you need to be clear on the message you want to give others about you and your business. This is actually not an easy or quick process but makes a significant difference if you are clear on this before moving on to anything else. Often the designer/marketer that you hire to create the visual brand for you can help with this process or I recommend checking out BrandU where they help you through your brand definition process step-by-step. Once done, you will be very clear on not only the essence of our brand, but also the “look” of your brand so you can simply hand over your results to your designer to create it for you.
  5. Be clear on what you want your website to accomplish.  A site that does not have a clear call to action is not going to be effective in fulfilling its purpose. When visitors come to your site, what do you want them to do once there? What is your primary call to action?
  6. Be clear on how you are going to get site visitors into your database. The odds are slim that someone is going to purchase from you on their first visit to your site, so you need to plan out a way to capture their name and email address so you can keep in touch with them on a regular basis and develop a relationship with them.
  7. Be clear on what features you want on your site. Will it be a static “brochureware” site with standard 4-5 pages or do you want something more dynamic with features such as a blog, calendar, search function, photo gallery, shopping cart system, newsletter system, membership signup etc.?
  8. Be clear on your budget. Your developer needs to know a price range that you’re looking at so they can recommend a site build that will fit within your means. Keep in mind that your website is your primary marketing piece due to it being accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You don’t want to skimp with such an important and prominent showcase of your business! Don’t be fooled by the cheaper template options or “do it yourself” applications out there where, unless you have studied the intricate nuances of how the Internet works, search engine optimization and effective layout design, you run the  risk of scaring off your perfect customers instead of attracting them!
  9. Be clear on website maintenance.  Once your site is built, who is going to maintain it? The reason why this is important to determine before your site is built is due to the different ways it can be built. If you want to be able to update the site yourself, then you need your site built in a CMS (Content Management System) platform. This will put your site design into a template where you log in to make updates. Now before you get excited about the thought of saving all that money on doing this yourself, consider these points:
    1. Do you know enough about content layout and copywriting to make an effective marketing piece that looks professional to your perfect client?
    2. Do you know how to optimize images so they don’t slow down your site’s performance?
    3. Do you have enough time to do updates to your site?
    4. Are you aware you can’t write off your time that you spend on doing things yourself where you can if you have a professional take care of the updates for you? As you can tell, I am biased on this point… the reason is from working with over a  hundred clients over the years, these points always come up and they soon find out that even though it seemed they could “easily” update their site themselves, it rarely turned out that way. I heard from many that were extremely frustrated because they were working in an environment and medium totally foreign to them. Meanwhile they were wasting valuable time trying to learn to be a web developer instead of spending it on getting clients! Mind you, some people are more computer literate and can pick up on the more technical aspects required and they manage fine; however, it is still important to learn good copywriting skills and understand what makes an effective website before going the DIY route.
  10. Be sure you do your research on who to approach. You want to find someone with experience and skill who will partner with you to help you build your business. You want to avoid programmers who only do exactly what you tell them as opposed to others who can offer ideas, suggestions and be a part of your  team to be there as a valuable resource when needed. Always ask to talk to their clients to see what their experience was working with the developer. Be aware of those that claim to be developers when in reality, all they learned was how to use a “do it yourself” software like Microsoft Front Page. The quality of your site – both in design and in how it is coded – is very important on many levels so ensure the person you hire understands how to design and build a quality product for you.

How to Choose a Web Developer

Unless you know what to look for, choosing a web developer can be a very difficult task. Because there are no licensing requirements for web developers, and the barriers to entry are almost nonexistent, the web development market has become flooded with individuals and companies of all skill levels and capabilities. This whitepaper provides tips for what to consider when choosing a web developer.

Tip #1: Look for Specialization

Many web developers claim that they can do it all. The truth is that most web developers are primarily either graphic designers or programmers. The fields of graphic design and programming are fairly specialized and it is uncommon to find people who are able to do both well. When looking for a web developer, we suggest asking the professionals to designate who will be designing your web site and who will be doing any custom programming. If it is the same person doing both pieces, we advise paying even closer attention to their portfolio.

Tip #2: Look for a Strong Portfolio

The sites that a web developer has worked on are typically strong indications of the type of work that you can expect from them for your own web site. When reviewing a developer’s portfolio, keep an eye out for aspects that you want incorporated into your own site. If you are looking for a bleeding edge design, then look for those types of designs in their portfolio. If on the other hand you are looking for complex programming, make sure you tell the developer that you would like examples of those types of sites.

Tip #3: Expect a Focus on Marketing

In the early days of the Internet, simply having a web site was enough because not every company had one. Today however, a web site is an important aspect of marketing for small businesses. Make sure that your web developer will perform search engine optimization on your web site and that they will help you increase your rankings in search engines.

Tip #4: Understand Who Will Host Your Web Site

How a web development company hosts the web sites that they create is an important but often overlooked aspect of choosing a web developer. Many web development firms simply act as a reseller for a company that performs the hosting. The danger with this is that if you experience problems with your web site or email it sometimes isn’t clear who is responsible for fixing the issue. This can result in finger pointing between the web developer and the company involved in hosting the site when a problem occurs. This can be especially problematic with complex web sites that perform e-commerce or other custom functionality. Make sure that you understand who is responsible for assisting you with any hosting or email issues that you have before signing on with a web developer.

Tip #5: Think Long Term

There are several long term considerations that should be considered in your decision of which web developer to use. Make sure that you understand how ongoing maintenance will be charged and at what point your initial project ends and the maintenance phase of your relationship begins. It is also important to make sure that if your web developer will register a domain on your behalf that they put it in your name or the name of your business. This ensures that you can gain complete control over your domain in the event that you need to make a change to your hosting without the assistance of your web developer. Additionally, make sure that you have a copy of your web site. We’re always surprised at the number of people who spend many thousands of dollars on a web site but don’t have a copy of it in their own hands.

Tip #6: Request References and Actually Call Them

Once you reach the point where you have a web developer that you want to use, we recommend that you request references and actually call them. This will be one of your best indications of how the developer maintains and manages client relationships and it provides one last measure of safety before you begin your project.

Web Developer, Believe it Or Not

When people talk about IT work or computers, you would think they are talking about the geeks of Internet technology, who spend all their time on the computer. Lets look at this a moment, a web developer is a person who creates web sites for other businesses to maximise there selling potential. A computer gaming freak is someone who plays these games around the clock on the Internet game waves. This particular person could probably crack your banking account if he wanted to. This is how far the human race has come with the introduction of computers and the Internet. I mean come on who today does not have an email address or two. This technology is the way of the future and will get more and more advanced, but we will adapt like we normally do.

What is a Web Developer?

I have asked myself this question a few times and have come up with this; a Web Developer gives you a Desirable Experience of Truth. What does this mean? Well it means you will get no short cuts or copycat scenarios, it means you have an expert giving you the correct information required to get the truth with a desirable experience. I assumed that to be a web developer you needed to have done a degree in computer science or something to that affect. What I have learnt in a short space of time is that a web developer is not found they are made.

Lets take a look at a Sales Representative?

You have a budget to achieve, you have a client base to service and you need to cold call to make new business where necessary. You must not over promise or under deliver to your customers and probably the most important asset you need, as a Sales Representative is to be a great listener. Most people do not listen to what they actually hear from their customers and this can cause a drop in the potential sales that may be available from these clients.

As a Sales Representative working in my favoured industry for over 20 years, the experiences and training I obtained some how helped me link to this new career path. However, I was not always a Sales Representative and had to work from the ground up to coin a phrase. I moved up the positions in our business that was available as you climb that ladder from the bottom to the top and grew to be successful.

I had accumulated over this 20-years plus period the truths and the desirable experiences of an industry I had a passion to work in and learnt the importance of knowing your job. All I had to do know was to find the key to unlock this hidden potential that had been just sitting inside me dormant. With the guidance of a friend, who happened to be an expert in the web development field. We delved into my subconscious and between the both of us we were able to unlock this incredible new journey I was about to start. After a period of one on one sessions I realised that what I had been doing as a Sales Representative was pretty much what I needed to do as a web developer. Who would of thought that these two different forms of work in some way had a connection.

How is this similar to a web developer?

Well you work to a budget, you have clients you need to service and follow up on. You do need to find new business and you must be a great listener. So as you can see the main difference really between a Sales Representative and a web developer is just the title of the position. So just remember that you have this potential stored inside you waiting to be unleashed on the world and you have the key to unlock this experience that the planet should be gifted with. But only if you choose to go this way, then and only then will we ever have the privilege of a Desirable Experience of Truth from YOU!

Boost Your Internet Business

Internet business is a domain that relies on website creation and management, in which web development is indispensable. Specialized companies offer their web solutions consisting of web design and SEO services. Web development is a very broad term used to describe all the work involved in transforming a simple, static page into a complex one filled with applications, social networking features and so on. Client liaison is one important aspect, too. Web-based businesses are the ones to benefit the most. While small companies may work with a single webmaster to control these aspects, larger ones are usually in need of an extensive team of experts.

The Internet is the place which joins together customers and professionals or providers. These become inter-dependent in the online environment. Any kind of professionals should be interested to become visible online, to gain better exposure, since more and more people have been resorting to the internet whenever in need of information. Therefore, no matter the area in which you profess or how you provide your services, it is of great importance to create an effective online presence for yourself/ your brand/ your company. We say effective because the competition has reached sky-high levels, and for this you need to learn the strategies and use the tools that push you up the ladder.

Web development refers to logo and banner creation and web design – elements of visual appeal and branding – but also to PHP development and content management. To inform your readers in a professional manner and boost the attractiveness, one has to learn how to use popular platforms for content management like Joomla, WordPress, Zencart, Drupal, Magento and many more of the kind.

Another basic way to achieve success in Internet marketing is to apply the strategies of search engine optimization or SEO. These represent a set of rules that can change with any modification within search engine algorithms. SEO professionals know how to identify and place keywords, how to edit the meta data of your website and make search engines place you high in their results sheets. This means better visibility and reaching for exactly those clients that you need. Users give little time to searches. They insert keywords for what they are looking for and only pay attention to the first results on page. Thus, you have to rank high to reach your prospects. Also, there has to be a perfect match between your content and the search query, to not cause disappointment on either side. This is where SEO professionals will help you. A higher amount of traffic to your pages means more profit.

Ecommerce Web Development

The world as we know it is has been changed forever by means of the spread of the internet. The spread of the click economy has made inroads everywhere, such that people are able to sit in the cozy comforts of their own homes and complete transactions online. The whole world has got shrunk into a global village and by the spread of the internet as well as telecommunications which have made people come closer like never before. One of the important aspects that has made businesses come together and talk to each other is ecommerce web development which has started occupying pride of place in the contemporary world.

When it comes to ecommerce web development, there are many applications that have been made possible by using the power of the internet. When it comes to business in the current times, business to business and business to customer applications have become so very prevalent. Companies have to deal with each other as vendors / suppliers or clients as these are part of the supply chain. Every company depends on some other company for materials as we do not like in an island and there is a great deal of interdependency among businesses. This is where ecommerce web development comes into the fore as the linkages between the companies has now become online and is often completed through network means. When you have a company that deals in textiles, it may have to procure materials from other companies located at the same place or elsewhere too. In the good old days, people used to depend on physical exchange of documents, snail mail and checks to deal with other companies. Now, with ecommerce, they can easily place orders, track couriers as well as make payments in an online mode. This is the world of convenience that ecommerce enables so easily.

Ecommerce web development is also greatly used by retailers who now have migrated online and are known as e-tailers. As per the e-tailing model, consumers no longer need to go to brick and mortar stores to make purchases. Rather, they can now go online and look at the various options in terms of products that are displayed in the virtual store where they cam go and click at the products they want to buy, the quantity they need and then make the payment by using the online payment modes. All this is made possible by the many advances in ecommerce web development.

One of the most common applications in ecommerce is that of online stock trading. Gone are the days when people had to go to stock exchanges or through a broker operating by means of physical documents. ecommerce has made it possible for people now to go online and buy as well as sell shares and bonds like you would buy a book online. Ecommerce web development has thus revolutionized lives around the world.