Creating something that is accessible globally via the Internet is essential for almost every business in operation today. The type of project you need depends on the industry you are in and what your ideal target audience needs from your web application. Picking the right partner is something you have to consider very closely.
Recently, businesses and organizations in the Phoenix area were subjected to a series of frivolous lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These were frivolous in the sense that it someone simply drove around measuring signs or browsed the Internet looking for any minor item they could. No formal complaints were ever filed and no one was given the opportunity to remedy the situation, they were just given a dollar figure to settle with and they'd be left alone. Unfortunately, many businesses paid up. Thankfully, the Arizona Legislature stepped in and put a stop to this.
Everyone wants their Web site to reach their audience and provide a great experience for their customers and potential customers. Most people believe that the colors matching perfectly or the placement of your best-selling service front-and-center is most important. It is ... visually. What about people that are color blind? Visually-impaired people use the Internet with special software and browser plugins to consume content. Has your ideal design considered them as well?
When it comes to any kind of app or Web site, it just needs to work. I was recently approached by someone in my network checking to make sure a connection would be a good referral. The organization has a sizeable Web site which includes event calendars and ecommerce (primarily in the form of registration payments for events), but for a recently designed site I'm left feeling like I time warped back to the 90s.
When it comes to a Web site, there are many avenues to choosing the right design. We specialize in custom designs unique to each client. In some cases, either due to budgetary constraints or simply because custom design doesn't make sense, we get involved in a project where a pre-made template is purchased and used for the Web site. Each project is handled differently and there is often some confusion on what it means when purchasing a template versus a custom design.
We've all seen it: sites that offer a complete Web site, ecommerce store with zero coding! Sounds pretty great, right? Cut out the middle man, build and maintain your own site - who wouldn't want to do just that. Ignoring the technical facts that there is still quite a bit of coding happening behind the scenes and ultimately the same kind of code is generated, you often give away your intellectual property rights and waste your valuable time maintaining the site instead of doing things that will help your business grow.
Every business owner knows a Web presence is a necessity and getting it done right is paramount (though what "right" is will vary depending on who you talk to, but that's another article). Just as important as getting it done, however, is long-term maintenance. Just like a new house built from the ground up, Web projects require maintenance to keep them running smoothly.
I was in a meeting regarding a possible and the inevitable question came up regarding how estimates work. As I've mentioned in the past, we are a custom development firm and don't perform project work on a fixed bid because application development, especially redesigning existing applications, always comes with a surprise or two - usually small, but sometimes not so small. The response I received was eye-opening: "I don't like surprises."
Many small businesses look at a Web site as little more than a necessary cost of doing business. We've heard, more than once, "nobody comes to us because of our Web site" from business owners. The truth is that customers may not come to you because of your Web site, but they will use it to gauge whether they can trust you and to find out more about the products or services you can provide.
You're elated. You've just launched your company's new Web site. Then the euphoria wears off. What happens if someone breaks through the security? What if your data is stolen? What if your customers' data is stolen? How much will it cost to fix? Don't panic. Life happens and there are ways to protect yourself, your business, and your customers.
When I'm talking with other business owners that are just getting started, I frequently hear how they built their site in WordPress themselves because it's so easy. Every time I hear "WordPress", I cringe a little (usually on the inside, but occasionally it creeps into my outward expressions). We manage WordPress sites for a few of our clients, but we advocate for Joomla. Here are a few reasons why.
If the 2014 holiday shopping season showed us anything, it's that people are shopping online more and standing in long lines at stores for mediocre sales less. Though the actual numbers have yet to be released, it's tough to ignore the predictions and the trends of the past few years. If your company has been considering launching an ecommerce initiative, there is planning that must be to considered.
When it comes to your site, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Many clients want to use imagery on the site to emphasize their point, but aren't sure what resources are available or how to pick the right photo, illustration, or artwork. Here are a few questions to keep in mind when choosing photos.
While discussing Web projects with other business owners, I frequently discuss the merits of Joomla versus WordPress. Many are surprised to learn about previously unknown options. Each platform has it's own merits and drawbacks, but this article will focus some lesser known options.
When it comes to technology, many clients ask me about the advantages of one platform over another. Often, they're focused on one platform or they read somewhere that one platform is better than the other. I'm here to dispel some of the myths and offer some advice on how to pick the best technologies to launch your next idea.
When we're working with clients on their Web site, they often have an idea of their message but may not know the best way to present that content in a way that engages their customers. Sometimes its the content itself that isn't compelling, other times its simply how that content is presented.
I recently came across an interesting article about the seven deadly sins of Web design. One element in particular got me thinking (not just because we were using it on our own site): the slider. Most sites you see on the Web have rotating panels on the landing page. It's a popular way to present a variety of information, right? According the article yes, but also ineffective. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of alternative examples out there. Well, look no further because we've got a few options for you.
There are plenty of options out there and most business owners rely on their technology team to make that decision. While it's certainly a good idea to take their advice into account, the decision about where to host the site should really be in your hands. If you don't have an in-house Web team, your resources may change, but you need consistency when it comes to your site. Make sure you have some control over the hosting and make sure you know the requirements of your Web site.