Best Website Design Companies – Web Developer Exposes the Myths About Website Design Companies

It’s All Lies

How can you find the best website design companies? It’s not easy. Every client that has put out an RFP for a website can relate to the feeling that they are being lied to, perhaps deliberately mislead, or just that internet experts are one step removed from cure-all charlatans.

After countless hours reading or hearing website design companies talk about their “proven solutions,” “one-stop shop” capabilities, and case studies, you’ll often be more confused about the right direction than when you started.

Can’t they just talk to you in plain English?

Giants of Chaos

Clearly the best website design companies are online, right? Yet often researching it online doesn’t seem to help much. The Internet is a strange conglomeration of every form of organization known to man seeking to define the way information is exchanged for their benefit. From media mega-conglomerates, to Google, Apple and Microsoft, the giants of industry have a lot at stake in what appear to be inconsequential and arcane issues.

Anyone hanging out on Google News saw Apple’s spat with Adobe over Flash, and Facebook’s fight with the government over privacy.

Down in the trenches of the digital universe is the intrepid web developer – seeking to make the world a better place by shepherding you, Indiana Jones style, through the chaos to your own personal treasure trove of more sales and happier customers online.

Only this one is completely self-taught, and his biggest problem is that whatever he did yesterday needs a little update today, because the entire Internet got one little tweak that changed everything… again.

Websites aren’t Products

I love hearing businesses talk about how they need to “Get a new website.” It’s almost like listening to my sisters talk about shoes, or my brothers about video games.

We’ve come to see our websites as consumer products, needing a fashion update ever couple years.

Sadly the reality is much worse. The web is a living breathing entity that changes every day.

Most business websites, developed by your friendly neighborhood web provider, look nice on your computer when you signed the check, but are broken for 30% or more of your viewers who don’t happen to use Internet Explorer on Windows Vista. By the way, that percentage grows every month.

And while you’re at it, factor in that in about two short years, more people will be surfing the web on a phone then on a computer, and all the cool colorful whizbang you have on your site (or your entire site if it’s in flash) can’t even be seen.

Then go one step further. Google used to be about searching information that was posted on the web, you know, back when people posted articles on a topic and four years later you could still find them. Now, Google has updated their search system with Caffeine (yes, it’s literally called that), and now whatever is being tweeted about and shared on Facebook shows up. Whatever isn’t shared, doesn’t register.

Top that all off with the fact that every year having an up-to-date website that meets customers expectations grows in importance for a business’s survival, and it’s no wonder that even little non-profits are flocking to seminars trying to understand what Twitter can do to save puppies.

Power to the People I’ve worked as a web developer for over a decade, working as everything from a Senior Technology Consultant to the Fortune 500 to freelance digital wingman for the local general contractor. I have an obsession with business growth through technology.

Everyone in this business likes to say they have the edge, obviously, but often they only have one piece of the puzzle. Once you understand the puzzle that is the web, you’ll know the dirty little secret of our industry and more importantly, how to make sure it doesn’t bite your business you know where. Knowing these secrets will help you find the absolute best website design companies.

Design, Development, Communication

There are three types of creatures needed to create a website:

1. Designer: someone who knows how to make things look pretty, or at least how to prevent it from looking like a used-car lot.

2. Development: research has shown that if someone comes to your site and it doesn’t work, they will never return. Hopefully, this guy isn’t just making your site do something cool, but also making sure it actually keeps on doing.

3. Communication: PR and Marketing are still battling it out to determine who should decide what is communicated on the web, but suffice it to say, they both probably have more people skills than your designer and developer combined.

Without a clear, simple idea, translated into a visual image, with some buttons for your customers to push, you don’t have a website that can do its job. None of the above three creatures, by the way, understand each other.

Then add the rowdy cowboys to this triumvirate:

– Internet Marketing consultants: people who can either show they’ve increased someone’s sales online by at least 20% or they are just quoting Wikipedia to you and have no idea what they are talking about.

– Social Media consultants: see above.

These two represent the two things that give a website any reason to exist: search engines, and search through word of mouth – also known as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Now ask yourself, have you ever met a company that can show they are good at all the above?

No, You Can’t

That’s because making really good websites doesn’t make money for web design companies. Making what people ask for online is what makes web designers and developers money. PR and Marketing companies both know that as long as their customers aren’t losing money, and their competitors don’t offer lower prices, they’ll probably keep their jobs. The Internet Marketers and Social Media experts have to prove themselves every day, but what they do can be learned, taught to an intern, and then… “goodbye consultant.”

How to Find Customers For Your Web Development Company

There are a lot of companies around the world who have the expertise to create very impressive pieces of online software. Whether you write your code in ASP, PHP, Perl or some other language then you will have something that website owners will value. The challenge is how to find customers when your average site owner doesn’t know PHP from a BLT.

In 1999 I set up a web development firm and it has gone from strength to strength. In this article I will share the most valuable piece of advice that I can offer and explain how we attract customers and have continued to grow over the past 8 years.
A premise of my advice is that advertising to get customers is expensive and time consuming and often dealing with those looking to create their first website is time consuming and frustrating if their ideas are wildly different from what you know will be successful. The story below avoids any of these problems.

I started off by writing a small series of PHP scripts and advertised these within the ‘geek’ community. These included a relatively simple whois script that allows users to type in a Domain Name and check its availability. This shortly expanded to include a shopping cart and ordering system. I advertised this on Hot Scripts, the PHP Resource Index and a few other basic websites where technical people and design firms look.

Over the first year I offered this whois script for free. Several hundred companies downloaded the program and I made sure I responded to any support enquiries very quickly and politely. As the program improved I started charging around £50 ($100) per download and the script went from strength to strength. To date I have sold several thousand copies – a good return from an initial investment of perhaps a weeks work and free listings on Hot Scripts and a few other sites.

What this model achieves is that companies who are looking for a whois script but don’t have the technical skill to write one themselves find your offering, they then contact you with support requests and are impressed with your level of support. A large proportion of the companies that contacted me were design firms. In the future if this design company received an enquiry from a potential customer who required something that needed bespoke programming then they immediately thought of my company. They then sent the customer’s brief to me for a quotation, I replied with a friendly email and a reasonable price and the job was secured and quickly delivered.

Every day I sold a copy of the who is script and every week I was creating new relationships with design firms around the world. These design companies spend their time dealing with customers, advertising for new work and dealing with the stress of finding new leads and I sat back and replied to emails with quotations and did programming work.

This business model may not work for everybody but I would certainly recommend giving it a try – develop something that design firms may download and then provide them with a good service, the better you can do this the more chance they have of remembering you and rewarding you with more profitable work in the future.

Better Ecommerce Web Development For Better Online Business

The latest survey that has been conducted shows that most of business happening in these recession riddled times is most of the times happening online. What it means is that people are not completely engrossed in the idea of starting and running an online business, which is basically because of insufficient funds. As people don’t have enough money to start a brick and motor store, they go for online stores where they don’t have to spend a lot of money.

You too want that share of the pie and wonder what you could do to help customers generate more sales for you. You don’t want your customers to change their mind when they have laden their shopping carts but it’s time for them to reach out for the finalization of the deal. You will always be able to get the best if your website is designed in the right way.

Beneath are the ecommerce web development tips and tricks that can turn a potential customer into a loyal customer for your ecommerce website.

* We all love paths that are organized and sequential and so do our customers. A seasoned ecommerce web designer will help you define the path that the customer needs to take to get to the check out. If we were to draw an analogy then it will be like a story board.

* Ensure that all the prominent buttons need not be searched for but are right out there sticking their necks out. The easier and delightful the process more is the customer going to be in a mind frame to buy it.

* Simplify the entire process. The less cumbersome it is and the sooner your customer gets to the right product the better it will be for your bank balance

* The more number of windows and clicks the customer encounters more are the chances of them losing interest. Remember that a customer can be quite fickle minded due to the huge amount of information and a surfeit of products out there.

* Provide your customers with little indicators that guide them towards the culmination of the deal. All of the things such as the web design, the logo, the products and the words must work in sync to finally leave your customer at the checkout gateway. Place the buy now button at the right hand corner, right size, color and contrast with the background of the website.

* Show your customer the price right away. This ensures that they are assured of transparency and they don’t click to find that out somewhere else. Psychologically that is the very first thing that the customer looks for.

Make sure your website has all these features and you will be amazed to see an increase in the total sales. So, pay attention to these points and run your business in the best way possible.