MJM Design’s web design blog. Featuring articles and information about web design and web development.

Web Design Practices to Maintain in 2019

Web design best practices continue to develop gradually and so, those that worked last year may no longer be relevant today. Companies that consider their website as their digital real estate cannot just ignore this.

In the past, it was enough for businesses to have an online presence in order to survive. However, the trend in consumer behavior changes from time to time, therefore businesses have to get ahead of the competition. This way, they will not miss the chance to engage with their target customers online. A well-designed website is among the most important tools to interact with customers.

Purposeful Landing Page

No one should take landing pages for granted. According to the best web design practices, landing pages should be designed for the purpose of letting visitors engage in the manner desired.

There are different types of landing pages, and each type depends on the nature of business and industry. Some can persuade visitors to purchase products/services. Others encourage them to provide their contact details in exchange of a blog, newsletter or eBook, and these practices are effective since these are what visitors expect.

As a tip, it is best to create a simple landing page by making it clean, focused and without anything overwhelming that could distract visitors.

Optimised CTA Buttons

Websites should be easy to navigate and read. Making visitors scroll or search for information is not at all a good practice. Visitors should have a great user experience. If a visitor does not feel comfortable going across a website, then a prospective lead may have been lost.

There is tough competition online, and the Internet is full of websites, content and businesses. Competitors are only a click away. Therefore, it is critical to let the users be engaged and interested in the business. In this regard, the website design process should have actionable buttons known as Call-to-Action (or CTAs) on top of the fold.

Responsive Web Design

Online best practices around the world say that it is a must to have responsive web design. Businesses should never assume the kind of device being used by customers in accessing their website. This can be a smartphone, tablet or desktop. The way a visitor

experiences a website depends a lot on the type of device, and its screen size. This makes responsive web design a very important aspect.

Social Media

Best web design practices stress the importance of a business’s presence on social media. The website is not the only digital marketing tool, but rather the epicenter in which other tools need to be built. Statistics reveal the millions of active users on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, so it is important for a business to have a presence on the mentioned social platforms to make sure of the brand’s visibility, as well as create easy touch points for customers to ultimately boost affinity.

Social media is one such element and in the digital era of today, the audience expects fast, easy seamless interconnection between a website and social media platforms. Adding social media links on a site can help viewers navigate fast on social media profiles so they can learn more about a business and brand.

Looking to hire a reliable web design company? You can’t just place your online image in the hands of any website designers – you have to hire a professional and experienced service. Contact us today!

Reason to Hire a Las Vegas Web Design Expert

Creativity and dedication

Every Las Vegas web design team should be skilled in web design, with a very creative ideas, and should get to know the target audience very well before creating any website. Whenever the team  is around, nothing will be missed, from all angles. A perfect example is the know-how on different fields – like color psychology. Without a doubt, colors influence human behavior. For instance, red is attractive, captures the interest and encourages consumers to take action. Most web platforms choose colors based on the positive impact they give.

Maintenance is the Way to Succeed

Those who create a website do not intend to just leave it to run by itself. When a website is built by someone who is not a professional, it is likely to have bugs that may pose some possible threat to the business enterprise in its entirety. Hackers can easily detect software vulnerabilities, as well as access control loopholes on sites – so they can steal data – committing what they call “cyber attacks”. Small businesses may think that they are safe from hackers, but they are mistaken. Businesses that have below 100 employees are often targeted by cyber-criminals. So, whatever industry or size of operations a business may have, it is very important to invest with reputable Las Vegas web designers on a regular basis, even if the website is running well, as this is the right thing to do.

Shift from Traditional to Digital Marketing

According to studies, there is a fast reduction in the use of television and print media. This is actually caused by the continuous rise in the use of social media. In addition, because of the technologically advanced devices – such as cell phones, tables and laptops, among others – people seldom watch television, listen to the radio or read newspapers unlike before. In the past, companies used to promote their products and/or services on traditional media, which has declined and is nearly being substituted by digital media.

Speed is Vital

There are times when board exams, universities or colleges publish their results, then suddenly traffic shoots up, leading to a rare occurrence called traffic spike. This is brought about by limited server capacity, which causes the website to breakdown or crash – since it is not prepared for traffic spikes. This can be addressed by investing in tools that can enhance security, and boosting the speed, as well as the user experience score of the website.

When a website performs at its best, it boosts the morale of users, increases the probability of converting into consumers and enhances the website’s SEO quality, increasing its visibility as well. According to a recent study, websites that load fast (within 10 seconds) have greater chances of showing up in the SERPs than those that take more time. Si, it is very critical for businesses to aim on optimizing their website in a way that it runs smoothly and fast. In short, a professionally designed website is always efficient in whatever device it is viewed on. So don’t waste precious time and choose a reliable Las Vegas graphic designers team.

What are the common steps when you create a new website?

Coding

To start with, open up your text editor and main browser then start typing. Keep on typing code till a page appears in the browser, which combines the planned structure in your wireframes and planned style in your style tiles. Continue until you are satisfied. Everything has got to do with iteration.

Throughout this process, you will keep on resizing the browser to view how the website appears on a variety of screen sizes. You will commit some typos, but later on, figure out things by means of trial and error as well as spend time returning to search for those typos.

Testing

The moment all the basic code is set, it is about time to test your site on different kinds of browsers earlier mentioned. This may result to more bug fixes.

To begin with, do not worry about the small inconsistencies among browsers. (When testing in Internet Explorer 8 or lower, do not worry about the big inconsistencies.) See to it that people can access all the information found on your website. Aim to ensure that people will see the products/services you are selling and take some kind of action in connection with what they see and read.

It is okay if other browsers display a number of pixel-for pixel differences. Such is life. What is most critical is making it work.

Launch

Are you prepared to display your website online? Choose a domain name (like mydomain.com) and web host (computer space that has continuous Internet connection). Upload your files, sit back and relax.

What to do After Launching your Site

Fix everything you disregarded.  Yes, these are the things you planned to fix before the launch. How could you forget that? This can happen to anyone. Post-launch bugs cannot be avoided. When you have a big site, there is a tendency to miss or forget something.

Ask Whenever You Need To

There are things that you still do not know about. You will keep on facing new challenges, issues, strategies and browser bugs. Spend some time asking the help of professionals when it comes to accomplishing things and research about them.

As mentioned over and over again, consider Google as your friend. Whenever you need answers, you need to search for specific words and phrases in relation to the technologies you want to know more about. Read a lot to get used to the lingo. This way, you can easily get help.

Get Feedback

To improve your site, know where you made a mistake. Though you can learn from time and experience, you can learn more from others. If you are just a newbie, my suggestion is for you to be a member of a community of web designers so you can get help in terms of feedback.

Redesign your Website

If your site looks outdated, maybe it is time to redesign it. Or else, you can opt to build a new one. No matter what the reason, use all your skills, knowledge and experience to redesign your website.

You should always invest money in your business image – including having a professional website. That’s why it’s advised to hire a Las Vegas website design company with experience in creating sites for your industry. If they also have a Las Vegas SEO department to prepare your On-Page SEO, that’s awesome.

Qualities you should look for in a web developer

Unlike in the past, we can easily and freely get our ideas across by means of the Internet and a Smartphone. However, before you can communicate your great ideas to the masses, you need to transform it from a written draft to a functioning website or mobile app.

Most of the time, this means you need the help of a great web/mobile developer. However, this can feel like a very daunting task if ever you have never searched for a good web/mobile developer in the past. A lot of people waste time and cash going through numerous developers to look for the one that suits them best. This is since, you and the developer do not agree on the kind of website you need, the total cost and the time it would take to finish.

Do not bother about the technical skills (which are a lot easy to validate). If the project you are working on is technologically advanced, interpersonal skills are equally important. The following qualities will let you make sure to find the partner you are searching, the web host that can give life to your idea with no time or money wasted.

Trustworthiness

Finding a great web/mobile developer is not like hiring some contractor to do the work you require. They end up being your partner. They use both their skills and tools to bring life to your idea and transform your great vision into reality. If you feel you cannot trust them, you will not feel at ease to work with them.

When there is no trust, it is most likely that you and the developer will not come in agreement with anything. You will probably keep on guessing the decisions or motivations of your developer. Going on further will be more difficult since the process becomes delayed due to lack of trust in your partner.

Passion for Work

People who are very passionate about their work are obviously excited and optimistic with it. Their enthusiasm is carried over into the way they interact with you. When your developer is not too eager to work with you, this attitude will show in their behavior and communication. If that is the case, it is better to find someone else.

Prior Experience(positive) Working with Customers

Even if some developers are good at creating remarkable, high-quality work, they are not as good at working with customers. They are not “for the people”. If your developer does not have any experience working with clients, that will be a problem. When your developer has worked previously with clients, he has a process and workflow on hand, which will makes you have a smoother experience. This could avoid possible problems that may take place during your project, letting you save time and cash. Ask for references when you are unsure about your developer’s ability to deliver your project.

We are a team of experienced web developers Vegas . We help small and medium businesses to build a solid online presence through our website design Vegas services.

What are the Different Types of Web Designers?

Choosing a website designer is crucial, especially since a great website can draw more potential customers, while a poor site can drive them away. Below you will find some essential things to keep in mind when deciding on a website designer for your project.

What are the Different Types of Web Designers?

Website Designer

He helps you in determining the colors, graphics, navigation, text location and page layout of your site, as well as how pages will cross-link. He may do the graphic art work and computer programming for the site. If he could not do the latter, he could outsource the work to a programmer. A website designer is also called the project manager for your website design.

Website Programmer

He gets the design from the designer, then makes the code to let the site run. He is in charge of all the technical work that takes place behind the scenes to ensure that the website works as it should for the visitors.

Graphic Designer/Artist

He is responsible for choosing the site’s colors, graphics, illustrations, page layout and logo, among others. He is a “visual artist” who creates your site’s brand image.

Internet Marketing Consultant

He helps you determine the role of your website in your overall marketing strategy, and how it lets you draw more sales and traffic.

Here are some questions you can ask your prospects:

  • If you plan to maintain your site, ask them if they can design your site in such a way that a business owner like you can easily maintain it. Your site can be designed on a blog/CMS platform such as WordPress, which lets you edit the text and some graphics.
  • Your contract should include the fact that you are the owner of the copyright to the whole website (excluding stock photos, as well as graphics since the copyright to stock images is owned by the original artist/photographer). You should own all content, the graphics custom created for you as well as the coding work.
  • Make sure you are the owner of your domain name, even though it was registered for you by the website designer.
  • Request your designer to give the original source files you can edit. You need to make sure that you can edit your website (or ask another designer to edit your site) without difficulty.
  • It is important to have a good working relationship with them. Do they have a good disposition? Do you enjoy talking to them? Do they remain focused on their tasks or do they roam around and waste time? Do you get along well in terms of personality and values? Do they provide you with valuable insights and advice on your website design?

Your website can make or break your business. Interviewing potential website designers extensively will give you a better chance of choosing the best one to do the work you need, who will listen to you and create the website that represents you and your brand, as well as follow your budget and time frame.

As you can see, choosing a team of web designers and graphic designers Vegas is an important process that needs to be done with care. Please get in touch with our graphic design Vegas team and let us know more about your project and expectations!

Efficient tips for better eCommerce sites

Mega-menus

Mega menus, the next trend in web design, are huge menus consisting of a list of categories and subcategories that covers most of the page. These are usually seen on large sites, like eBay – which is known to sell almost anything. This kind of solution makes navigation simple, though the catalog structure is complex. Mega-menus do not occupy too much space, so it is an important consideration for a site with several categories.

Final cost

Another important tip is to display the final cost on the shopping cart page or product page. For a customer, nothing can be more outrageous than to find out about the extra delivery charges only on the last phase. This will instantly put him/her off. It may be best to set a single delivery rate for a particular area or offer free delivery. Just make sure to do the necessary computations to set up the right format. If this is not feasible, add the delivery cost computation on the product page to automatically calculate the price based on customer location.

SEO

In a particular situation where the eCommerce market – which becomes more competitive each day – grows steadily, SEO is a major key to success. Design may also have something to do with SEO. For instance, search engines prefer correct HTML coding that makes good use of heading tags H (in position where they have to be used).

Stand Apart from your Competition

The design of your eCommerce site should at least be original and unique in a number of elements. It is difficult to come up with something entirely different. However, if your site does not look distinct in any of its features, it will easily get lost among the competition. The unique aspect of your online store is the first thing that a customer recalls.

Social media

Certainly, an online garden tool store will not likely draw a multitude of fans in social media. Nonetheless, you should not ignore this option – at least for SEO purposes. It is not easy to place social media icons on the site. This would not get too much attention (as sliding buttons would do on several blogs). However, they should be visible to customers. When a user just grabs a creative description or nice picture to his news feed, even if he has not liked your site, you will benefit from it by letting more people discover about your store.

Quick Product Overview

This convenient feature gives the customer a chance to quickly go over the catalog and focus on the products he likes. With a quick overview, customers can look at the product while staying on the category page. It is also considered as quick overview when the user sees the same product page, yet in a light box and darker background, but not in the other tab. However, it is best to complete the box with something between the product card and the site’s full product page.

Let us listen to your requirements and give you custom eCommerce websites that suit your needs. We can also help you develop custom WordPress plugins.

Reasons Why WooCoomerce Suits Ecommerce Startups Best

Lots of Flexibility

One of the best advantages for ecommerce beginners to use WooCommerce is the fact that this platform allows them to be more flexible when it comes to their products – even if they are not technical people.

It can classify products, give them sale prices and own features, among others. In addition, WooCommerce stores are able to sell physical, allow downloads, as well as affiliate or external products.

Beyond Ecommerce

When users build their own online store, WooCommerce does not force them to go outside their comfort zone, yet it simultaneously opens more doors beyond ecommerce.

For instance, those who use WooCommerce can build a store that is fully functioning together with an incorporated blog within a professional website. The scope of a business’ online presence is managed in one place, and its dimensions seamlessly come together, which can be attributed to the WordPress based WooCommerce platform.

Familiar User Friendliness

Talking about WordPress, this extremely popular CMS supports more than 51% of the million leading websites that presently exist, and so we can say that a lot of ecommerce startups have been fortunate to use WordPress for similar or different online projects.

Since WooCoomerce is a WordPress plugin, those who have used the platform will have an advantage of using the user-friendly WordPress interface. In building an online store, being familiar with the interface could avoid confusion, and therefore save time while boosting creativity.

Professional but Simple

While WooCoomer is an ecommerce platform that is free and user-friendly, this does not mean that it is not a professional online store solution. In fact, it is just that.

The platform is incorporated with tools for detailed order tracking, as well as customer engagement. These tools let the merchants see past and open orders, apply discounts and update delivery statuses, to name a few. As a matter of fact, as part of WooCommerce website design, you get everything that a professional ecommerce setup needs right out of the box –  such as inventory management, tax settings, shipping options and coupon codes.

Analytics without the Complications

Their Analytics tool is the core tool that website owners use. Majority of ecommerce startups do not know how an analytics system is applied to a website, and that statistics require focused analysis. Luckily, WooCommerce has got these merchants covered.

The integrated analytics system enables a vast range of statistics to be very clear. Individual customer statistics, average order totals, total sales and sales by date and other figures are neatly presented by means of graphs without the need for users to leave their admin panel. It is that simple.

Room to Grow

WooCommerce is simply an ecommerce platform, which also lets you grow and expand when it comes to managing your store, customers and products. As an example, it is easy to modify templates whether users want to directly do so by means of the theme files or use several hooks and filters. Additionally, WooCommerse has a variety of APIs that can immediately be used to build extensions, alongside a comprehensive documention library to familiarize users on how WooCommerce thoroughly works.

Why Social Media Marketing Should Be First on Your To-Do List

Nowadays, businesses should not merely rely on their website. Their online presence should extend to Facebook and Twitter. It is about time to take advantage of these social media marketing sites. If your business does not have an account on any of these sites, it is time to join them and boost your sales. Otherwise, you face the risk of falling behind competition.

If you are not yet convinced, take a look at the reasons why social media marketing should be on top of your to-do list:

You are able to closely view your target market

One of the reasons why marketing with Facebook and Twitter are so cool is the interaction with your customers. You get to read their tweets as well as their status updates. This way, you get to know more about their everyday lives and as a result, tailor your marketing strategy to fit their needs.

It’s easier to respond to problems

You would certainly want to know if there are any problems with your products/services. The feedback you receive via social media marketing will let you know if there are any issues. Thereafter, you can solve them immediately. Studies reveal that customers appreciate companies that immediately respond to their complaints. Also, they rant when companies do not take the time to solve the issues.

You are aware that your competitors are active on Facebook and Twitter

Being an early bird always has its advantages and so, the sooner you sign up with Facebook and Twitter, the faster to get numerous followers and fans. You wouldn’t want competition to overtake you since it is not only harder, but costlier to catch up with them than to get into the game early. The truth is, your competition may already have started to market their products/services on Facebook, Twiter and LinkedIn.

This will allow you to boost your sells. If you stay close to your customer base, it is more likely for them to buy from you when the products you sell meet their needs. Aside from keeping the name of your company in front of prospective buyers, social media marketing also gives you an opportunity to offer incentives to purchase from you.  When you try to tweet or post coupon codes to your Facebook and Twitter followers, which are referred to as “Tweeps”, you will be surprised to know the number of people that purchase using the code.

You will discover customers that you did not know existed

When you follow certain keywords in Twitter, you will bump into people who are searching for the products you are selling then lead them to your website. It is great to use Twitter for marketing and let people who are looking for your products know how to buy them from your site.

Customers you probably did not know existed will purchase from your online store

When marketing with Facebook, it would help to join multiple groups that are associated with your industry, products and customer base. If you post links in these groups, customers will be encouraged to visit your site. So, it is best to post a link immediately. After two weeks, this may turn into a sale.

How to Use Social Media Creatively for Your Small Business

When you consider that there is about 1.3 million small and medium sized businesses located in North America alone and they generate an astounding $5.5 trillion each year, it is no wonder that a large number of them use social media as part of their overall marketing campaign.

It’s safe to say that the internet has revolutionized the way many businesses are formed and how marketing has changed. What was once the domain of newspapers, radio and television has now grown to the superhighway of information that the internet provides. Within that scope, social media has taken on a powerful new way to help businesses and entrepreneurs reach new customers and keep ties with those who have purchased before. In fact, over 80% of businesses today use social media in some form while most of the rest plan to do so in the near future.

The Changes to Social Media

Unlike traditional means of advertising, the internet and social media in particular are subject to changes on a rapid basis. Techniques that once worked like gangbusters before fade quickly and are replaced by other means. As part of your marketing budget and resources, you need to keep track of upcoming trends and incorporate those that are beneficial to your efforts.

For example, the largest social media outlet, Facebook, has put in place changes to their algorithm which has reduced the amount of followers that may see your posts. That trend is expected to continue which means that business which rely solely on Facebook will be facing diminishing returns.

You need to be more creative, open and flexible with your social media marketing strategy. This means opening up your marketing efforts and applying resources that can better take advantage of new trends as they happen.

How to Creatively use Social Media

There are a number of ways that you can creatively use your resources when marketing on social media pages. The trick is to be open to new ideas and understand how to correctly evaluate their promise.

Diversify your Social Media Investment: It’s easy to understand why so many businesses rely on one or two social media outlets to get out their message. Even the best in advertisers are creatures of habit and relying on the “tried and true” simply takes less work and imagination than exploring new options.

However, the recent changes to Facebook and rising prominence of new social media sites is prompting a change for many businesses. You need to select several social media outlets to market your business effectively. Fortunately, there are software programs that allow you to post the same messages on different outlets at the same time, but you will also need to take advantage of what each has to offer.

So think about the new social media sites that are rising up and the different group of customers that they can bring to your business.

Google+ is Here to Stay: After a lukewarm opening, Google+ has become one of the biggest players in the social media scene. There is a very important reason for that as Google has incorporated many of their other services into their social media business.

However, the most important reason is that the Google search engine which dominates the internet takes into account Google+ into its organic ratings. This means that you can get more from posting on your Google+ account which should automatically be one of the social media networks you use regularly.

In addition, Google+ allows access into Google Authorship which is playing a stronger role in search engine optimization. This is because it allows the search engine to identify the content and give it the proper attribution based on the author. The more you publish, the higher your author rank will be which in turn helps your SEO efforts.

Think Visual: You have probably read about how video and images are playing a much larger role in social media, especially in terms of advancing the ability of companies to reach new customers. However, the true potential of video has simply not been fully reached as of yet.

Incorporating more video content to your social media marketing, even in more subtle ways may greatly expand your base of followers especially if the use of the video is clever, funny and to the point. Instagram and Vine have greatly expanded the potential use of video and every day businesses are using it more as well.

When planning out your posts, think about how video can enhance the message that you are trying to deliver. The more you can effectively incorporate video, the better the chance that your followers will pass it on to their friends.

Build up your Brand: One of the most overlooked aspects of social media is how it can effectively build up your business brand. Your brand helps sell your products or services just as much, if not more than your other marketing efforts. This is because the public sees internet businesses as a “dime a dozen” or in other words, they have no reason to buy from you over your hundreds of competitors unless you provide one.

Building up your brand means enhancing what you do so that people feel more respect and are comfortable in purchasing from your business. So use your social media outlets to build up your brand and reputation so that it can best serve your needs as well as your customers.

Diversifying your approach and being more creative with how you employ social media is not easy and the fear of making mistakes is ever-present. However, the things we find difficult are often the best means in which to raise our talents and create new opportunities for success. In expanding your view of social media, you also open up your business to creating more profit potential.

Overall, social media is an ever-changing, ever-growing part of your marketing efforts. To understand its full potential means expanding your approach and incorporating different elements so that you can maximize the potential of your business efforts.

Website Development: Going From Designer to Manager

It’s a catch-22 for creative people in all areas of marketing communications. The better a creative productive you produce, the sooner you’ll be asked to stop creating and start managing; something your probably not in the slightest bit trained for. Managing the transition from creative person–be it designer, programmer or writer–can be a sticky and difficult situation. One day you’re one of the team and the next day you’re the boss. There are ways to bridge the gap and the trust of your co-workers.

Website Development: Going From Designer to Manager

There’s a natural progression that occurs in the career of almost every talented Web designer. It’s when your competency with coding and your creative flair coupled with your problem-solving abilities lands you in the position of manager. Sure you’ve trained in HTML and CSS. You may even have a graphics design background. And, of course, you’ve developed many excellent solutions for difficult online problems. But does any of that qualify you to lead others? Many otherwise extremely gifted and skilled Web designers wrestle with this conundrum. So how exactly does someone who’s used to “doing the work” become someone who “manages” the work?

Let Go and Lead

Let’s face it: It’s just plain instinct for creative people such as Web designers to dig in and solve the problem themselves but that’s exactly the opposite of what’s needed in your new role. You need to learn to step back and help guide others down the path so that they can come up with the right solution themselves. This is easier said than done. After all, you’ve been rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty for years. So how do you go from being a “doer” to being a guide? Put plainly, you stop doing. Instead, focus on providing the people you supervise with the information and the tools they need to solve it themselves. They may fail at first. And the solution they create may not be the one you would have come up with. But that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. You need to learn to open your mind to ways of thinking other than your own.

Get Your People Involved

I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who bounds out of bed excited by the prospect of the weekly staff meeting. However, as much as you and others may dislike meetings, they are a necessary evil in running a business. One hand needs to know what the other is doing. Without that knowledge, chaos ensues along with a lot of wasted hours. As a new manager, you can make meetings work harder for you by getting your team more involved. Resist the urge to dominate the conversation; this makes what should be a weekly or bi-weekly update on various projects a lecture series. Consider having your teams present their progress on a given project. Encourage comments and suggestions from everyone. Other ways to involve and engage people is to ask team members to present a site they were impressed by or summarize an article they recently read, perhaps even share the processes of other companies they’ve worked at. Getting everyone involved not only stimulates new and better ideas, but also fosters a sense of teamwork.

Improve Your Listening Skills

When you’re the one doing the work you listen to input and almost instantly begin formulating ways to execute that input. As a manager, you need more information than that to make the best decisions for the client, the project and the company. Be prepared to hear points of view that vary wildly with your instincts. Don’t feel pressured to make instantaneous rulings; that will come with time as you become more comfortable in your new role. And remember the words of Abraham Lincoln: “…you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” Making business decisions that may not be popular is part of being a manager and something else you will get used to as time goes on.