Category Archives: Web Design

7 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Web Design

With the increasing inclination of customers towards online purchasing, it has become a primary need of every business to have a well-fashioned website. This is the major reason why the demand of web design companies has risen over the last few decades.

The best web design companies offer you unlimited options to make your website visually appealing, captivating, and eye-catchy.In order to communicate to the customers in an effective manner, you must ensure a good website design that outperforms all your competitors.

Given that your competitors would be trying to create a website better than you too, you can learn a lot about web design from them. In fact, your competitors are the ones that make you strive for excellence. As life is way too short make learn from your own mistakes, try to learn from your competitors’ mistakes.

1.  Home Page – It’s all in the first impression

The home page should have exceptional design and functionality in order to create an impression that lasts long. An in-depth analysis of your competitors’ website by listing out all the differences and similarities could help you fully comprehend where your website lacks and what additions could benefit you.

2. Navigation – The Easier, The Better

Being one of the main elements of your websites, a good layout can help your website’s visitors to easily navigate through it increasing the chances of him/her staying on the website. Taking into account your competitors’ website’s navigation and doing a thorough study of it can let you build a website of your customers’ interest.

3. Graphics – Keep them Interactive

Your website is all about the products or services you serve. If you are not able to market them with high quality graphics and images, you could end up losing your customer base. Keep a check on your competitors’ websites and take note of how they choose to market their products and services.

4. Color Scheme – Keep Them Balanced

Your website should neither be too bright nor too dull. An overly vibrant color scheme could drive your customers away. That doesn’t mean that you keep the website’s color scheme really dull. That is not going to benefit you either. Instead, find all the websites that you like looking at and make a choice of colors that could make your website look balanced.

5. Social Media Usage and Blogging – Keep Everyone Updated

In order to keep your customers updated about your products and services, your events, and your campaigns, you must maintain your social media page, manage a blog, and include social media buttons in your website for effective sharing.

6. Content – Keep it Interesting

The content of your website should be engaging and should be informative enough for your visitors so that they can have proper understanding of your products and services. Always keep an eye on the quality of content on your competitors’ website for constant development.

7. Mobile Adaptability – Anytime, Anywhere

With the extensive use of mobile devices, you must ensure that your website is mobile friendly. A website that is not adaptable on a mobile device can make you lose a large section of your customers and could also decrease your website’s search engine ranking.

Real Deals for the Web Deisgns

These are our tips for quality web design at a glance. Make sure everyone can visit your page regardless of the browser or device. Especially B2B customers often surf the Internet on older browser versions.

Web Graphics Use to Resolve

Not only can a color distinction have a positive effect on the reader. An appealing visual language leads the user to a repeated visit to your website. Therefore, adjust the size of your images for HTML and WordPress so that they also correspond qualitatively to the content of your website. For example, captions can be color-matched to their corporate design to create a recognizable continuity of content on your site. If you look for the web design services with perfection then the solutions would be there.

Flash animations can generate attention. Likewise, they can hunt site visitors from your website. Keep in mind that mobile devices do not show Flash animations, and many people feel disturbed by unexpected sounds and animations. Only use animations if they are really necessary and useful.

  • Add the most important pages in a simple navigation in the footer of the page
  • Use breadcrumb navigation so that users always know where they are
  • Do not torture the users with too many navigation options on one page
  • Keep the navigation flat, mostly three levels are enough
  • Link your pages with text links in the flow text
  • Avoid complicated JavaScript and especially flash animations, especially for users who visit your site via smartphone.
  • The overall rule is simple: do not ask the user to think about how to find his information – Do not make me think!

Reduction

A high quality product speaks for itself. It’s best to leave everything that you think could be left out. In particular, prices or information on special offers do not belong on the start page.

Clear Typo

Quite often, a font family with a light and bold cut in three to five sizes is enough. Make sure that the font corresponds to the respective product and the brand.

Subtle colors

Use neutral, more muted colors and a further highlighting color for the so-called call-to-action buttons. These may visually settle quietly from the rest.

Vivid icons and buttons

Icons shine more with restraint, are concrete and explain themselves. Even call-to-action buttons must not scream!Use animations deliberately Use animations only as subtle highlights and digital added value. Self-running pictures or animated GIFs are very cheap and inferior.

Perfect craftsmanship

The technical implementation should be very good craftsmanship. Errors such as jerky carousels or pixelated full-screen videos put a negative stamp on the product.

Consistency

The design must present the spirit and story behind the brand as authentically as possible.

Originality

Do not swim the mainstream. A special product or service also needs a matching design that harmonizes with the brand.

WordPress Page Loading Speeds and Google Search

Building a blog site recently gave me this opportunity. After constructing a draft blog site using WordPress, I took the time to add it to my Google “Webmaster Toolbox” portfolio to see how Google perceived these pages from a loading speed perspective as opposed to my previously built custom websites and I was startled to see the results. First off, the Google search engine likes to see pages load in around 250 milliseconds or better. These custom sites built previously had no issues with this speed requirement. My primary one loaded on average at 175 milliseconds per page and the second at 186 milliseconds per page respectively.

Then I looked at the recently created WordPress blog site and it came in at a whopping 1,950 millisecond average load speed per page. This would be a totally unacceptable page load speed in Google’s eyes and this site would obviously be penalized in their search engine rankings as a result. Not to mention, people would often just give up waiting for the page to render and would go elsewhere instead, costing the site owner a potential sale. A real shame after doing the marketing work to bring them to your site in the first place.

This got me thinking about why this problem was occurring as I definitely want to improve on these averages with the WordPress site recently constructed so I went to an online tool that one can use to test your webpage load speeds and get some detailed analysis as to what is causing the slowness on the site’s pages. This tool by the way is provided by a company called Pingdom Tools who can be found on the Internet.

After researching my page load issues using the tool, I realized that my approximate 8-10 second load speeds were being caused by excessive imbedded JavaScript callouts to 3rd party plugins while my page was trying to load and thus, the loading of this external code into my page while the page itself was trying to load; was bringing my page load performance to its knees.

This led me to the Google Developers site to look for solutions to these problems and it actually did not surprise me to learn that the primary culprit causing the slowness of my page loading was that my pages were using a lot of “WordPress” plugins. In fact, just having fun with WordPress plugins, I had used them for everything and had as a result, activated about 26 of them on my site to provide all the features I wanted to have on my blog site pages – and several of these were activated to work with a WordPress “Theme” that I had purchased from a 3rd party vendor. The Google Developer site went on to say and I will directly quote a couple excerpts from their site here:

“Avoid Plugins: Plugins help the browser process special types of web content, such as Flash, Silverlight, and Java. Most mobile devices do not support plugins, and plugins are a leading cause of hangs, crashes, and security incidents in browsers that provide support. Due to these concerns, many desktop browsers restrict plugins.” They go on to say that “Most content that once required plugins can now be created using native web technologies, including content requiring first-class support for audio and video, advanced graphics, and presentation effects, network connections, local storage and file access.” Using these web platform features will help ensure that your rich content can be accessed on all devices.”

WordPress Page Loading Speeds Where Plugins

This strategy sound in business concept as it allows WordPress users to easily and quickly create some very nice looking websites where they can add website functionality and features even if they do not have very good coding skills, is still however, flawed architecturally as these plugins are enabled through the use of JavaScript callouts which need to pull in the full plug-in code for each 3rd party widget being used on a particular web-page each time that web page is loaded. This causes two things to occur on each page load that significantly reduces the speed of page loading:

First, you are not just loading the native programming logic to the web page that you built and that resides on your server only. You are forced to callout out to potentially dozens of external locations both on your server and on 3rd party servers in order to fully render your web-page which causes lag-time issues and time delays in loading the page.

Second, when you load the plugin, you have to load it as written by the 3rd party which often means that you are loading code that has a number of configurable options that you are note even using for the method in which you are using the plugin. This is a lot of extra programming code being loaded with each page rendering that you don’t need and it tends to make your web-page very “fat”, often putting the page into the 2-4 megabytes of code loading ranges whereas most custom coded pages are loading at under one megabyte of code. The fatness of these pages also impacts negatively on the speed of the web page rendering.
Google and browser manufacturers have already begun to penalize website owners for the use of JavaScript callouts on websites through certain strategies of their own. Browser manufacturers such as Chrome and Firefox for example, are limiting the enabling of some plugins on their platforms, mobile devices in most cases simply won’t run them, and Google penalizes you by not letting your site be found easily through their search engine. I tested the mobile device rejection of plugins with the draft WordPress site I had created by trying to load the page on my cellphone. After waiting over 40 seconds for the page to load, the device just rejected the load entirely, leaving me in limbo looking at a blank screen. This is why it is recommended to limit your use of plugins and eliminate them from your site over time if you can. Move to native coding strategies on you website wherever possible.

Creating Responsive Web Designs

When designing websites, we keep in mind the specifications required for mobile phones, tablets, laptops but we totally forget about the giant-sized desktop screens. Even though we like to think these giant-sized desktops have become obsolete, such is not the case.

There still exists many such people who rely on the bigger screens for website viewing but face problems for the not-so-developed responsive web design versions for desktops. Some of the issues are highlighted below:

Background images designed for smaller screens tend to leave extra space
Font size becomes tiny and can’t be read easily.
The body text columns are too wide making it tough to read.
Full-screen background problem
These and many other problems arise because developers and designers overlook the need for bigger resolution responsive web designing or perhaps concentrate more on designing websites to fit the smaller screens.

Background-image problem

The only solution for background-image problems to use a big full-screen image preferably pixelate or having no focal point along with a stylish font overlay and large sized radio buttons. But the problem is image distortion. Desktop screens come in varying resolutions ranging from 800*600 to 2560*1440 and even bigger. So while one keeps increasing image size, it may look appealing up to a specific resolution, but when it starts becoming pixelate and loses focal points, it’s advisable to adopt a better solution. So instead of increasing image size, why not utilize the extra space in some innovative way and enhance user experience on desktops?

Optimal readability experience

For optimum reading, the usual number of characters added per line can be from 65 to 75. Anything wider than that becomes difficult to read. One idea is to use centrally divided responsive web design layouts and column layouts. With the help of this, developers succeed in creating designs that keep the users glued to the site hungry to read more.

Centrally divided responsive web design layouts

A responsive web design layout having web pages vertically divided into two halves can solve the problem of extra space. Both the halves have different content in different color making the page interesting and intriguing. The design also helps users to identify their area of interest and sometimes the two halves can be scrolled independently or one maybe fixed and the other scrollable. It successfully utilizes the extra space in best way possible, adding more information and enhancing user experience on large desktops.

Conclusion

Developers must pay equal attention in creating responsive web designs for both mobile phones and larger desktops because even if it might seem that the whole world is using mobiles, it isn’t true.The role of designers and developers is to create unique responsive web design layouts that can give users impressive experiences irrespective of their choice of screen resolution.