Cheap Website Design

Cheap Website Design

So the word of the day is cheap. What does this mean? As an adjective the Oxford dictionary says this “costing little money or less than is usual or expected”.

It doesn’t say anywhere that cheap means of less quality. This is important because the word cheap gets bandied around with the meaning of low quality, especially in the web design world, I think there are a lot of businesses out there offering poor or low quality website services and charging a fortune for it! There are also plenty of web design companies offering an impressive service and beautiful and well designed websites at a cheap price, I’d like to think we are amongst the businesses in this latter category.

Our  pricing structure certainly helps and because we offer a pay monthly web design service which we believe help new start-ups and smaller sme’s to manage their smaller budget size with bite sized payments. We believe this works especially well if combined with an advertising campaign like Google Adwords. I suppose because of this you could say we are a cheap web design company! Although we do fit neatly in with a lot of professional web design companies regarding the overall price. Its just that we make things a little easier.

You will always get the students who offer a cheaper service but these are few and far between and they tend to get their business from a friend of a friend and they don’t make much of an impact.

The larger businesses like the blue chip types will always use a larger type web design business where price isn’t an issue and where they believe paying more means a better all round service. I suppose to those sized businesses we are extremely cheap! But then their expectations are more and we wouldn’t have the staff or resources to cope with a multimillion pound company.

Mobile ecommerce websites overtaking desktop traffic

According to ecommerce week, mobile traffic has overtaken desktop traffic for the first time.

Smartphones and tablets are taking 36% of all UK e-retail traffic and 40% for clothing. This is unlikely to be a shock to most people.

The IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Report which examines about 40 retailers has stated that checkout abandonment has dropped to a record low of 27%. Ecommerce week says ‘sales completed on a mobile device, smartphones account for around 18%, while tablets account for 82%, based on the data sample from the IMRG Capgemini m-Retail Sales Index.’

The drop in checkout abandonment is good news for ecommerce website shop owners, this is a headache for all and keeping the customer right through to a sale is a complicated and a hit and miss process, things like keeping the customer on the website using a SSL certificate which keep the transaction safe instead of a re-direct to say Paypal has determinable advantages – we’ve noticed this with some of our customer ecommerce website shops; one very new customer had a dramatic fall of 50% at the checkout due to an out of date SSL certificate and a re-direct…needless to say we took over and reverted this.

We are changing the way we shop, maybe its the spirit of the times and its a natural progress, especially with the convenience factor. Here at LVMedia we are focusing our time on mobile responsive ecommerce websites to make sure we keep with the times, who knows where mobile shopping will take us!

Magento Go and Prostores

Magento Go MigrationNot exactly new news but hadn’t managed to find the ‘time’ to write a post last month. That might be a good post in its self…if I ever got round to writing it!

So it seems Magento Go has bitten the dust and retired to the home of old and unwanted applications. From February 2015 they will be transitioned off. Although its a wee while off its clear they need to be switched over much sooner for those who own such stores, although don’t dispair they will still offer support and customer service till February the first!

If you need it there is a checklist of things to do in their migration centre – Magento Go migration centre. There is also the Prostore Migration Centre.

Its well worth getting the transition in early and there are plenty of companies out there at hand – ourselves being one of them. If you are interested in our Magento package please click the following link Magento Website Package.

 

Web Design Manchester

Why First Impressions Count in Web Design

First impressions really count for a lot, and while there may be substance beneath the surface, when it comes to web design, online visitors form their opinions quickly.

According to the Manchester Evening News, more than 14,000 new businesses had launched in the area between January and July of 2015. That’s a lot of competition. These businesses need to have something that will differentiate them in their customers’ eyes and that will attract and keep customers.

A well-designed website is the perfect business tool, but like all tools, it needs to be fit for purpose.

The Evidence

According to researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, an online visitor can form a first opinion of your business’s brand in less than two-tenths of a second. After this, it only takes a further 2.6 seconds for the visitor’s vision to concentrate in a way that will then reinforce this first impression.

These results come from a detailed analysis of eye movements, using eye tracking software and an infrared camera.

The research was able to analyse how much time people focussed on specific area of a web page before looking at another part of it. These areas included the menu, logo, images and social media icons. The research also suggests that colour and images are important parts of a website design in attracting visitors to a page.

What is Your Website For?

A website should not be passive. It is not simply a location for visitors to drop in on, only to leave soon afterwards. Ideally, websites should be designed with specific aims in mind.

You should be able to identify what it is that you want visitors to do as a result of visiting your site. This might be about selling to them online, or getting them to leave contact details, or to contact you directly for more information.

Whatever your product or service, your website should be working to help promote your business and your brand by engaging with your intended audience.

To do this, the design and content have to be right for your business goals, and right for your audience, your customer base and your prospects.

Your online audience does not have the time to give you the benefit of the doubt: first impressions count. So ask yourself: is your website design doing you justice?

LV Media Ltd specialises in web design in Manchester and across the North West. We understand that first impressions are crucial and that how people view a website can be a make or break issue when it comes to attracting customers. Talk to us  about your website today.

Web Design in Stockport

Less Can Be More: Keeping Your Web Design Simple

Many websites suffer from an overload of information. There’s a temptation to leave no stone unturned, to want to include any and all information about your business on your site.

But if your online visitors are faced with too much information, they may simply decide to end their visit prematurely and move on to somewhere else; somewhere where they can more easily find the information they want.

Why Simplicity Works

You can find a lot of information about web design trends, from patterns and templates to menu designs, long scrolls and rich animations.

However, regardless of the elements that go into the design of your site, that affect its functionality, the one key thing should be that it’s easy for the reader to use.

A website should not be a challenge. True, it may, to some degree, contain challenging content; it may challenge its visitors’ assumptions as a way of urging them to take action; but how it works should not be challenging.

There is nothing wrong with having an easy-to-navigate site structure. It does not in any way detract from your brand; in fact, it is more likely to enhance it.

Things to Watch Out For

When it comes to your web design, there are certain key elements you need to get right. These are the fundamentals, and are what can make a website truly effective.

Navigation and Readability
Visitors need to be able to easily get around your site and find what they’re looking for. They also need to be able to easily digest the information you’re giving them.

Appealing Design

How your site looks is a huge part of its appeal. Your audience won’t waste a lot of time making up its mind. Your web design is your shop window, so it has to work to attract visitors.

Mobile Friendly
You really must make sure your website is optimised for mobile use, so that people with smartphones and tablets will have a good experience when accessing your site. Otherwise they won’t stay, or return.

Valuable Content
Search engines like valuable content, and they reward it with higher site rankings. More importantly, your site visitors will appreciate it. Give them something of value and they’re more likely to buy into what you’re offering them.

The good news is, you can address all these issues while still keeping things simple. Less is more, providing what you have really works in terms of attracting an audience and representing your brand values.

At LV Media Ltd we specialise in web design in the Stockport Area and throughout Greater Manchester. We believe in making web design work for your business. Contact us  today, and find out how we can enhance your online presence.

Basecamp Project Management App

basecampWe spent some time deciding where to go when it came to managing our projects. We’ve in the past used a few different apps but with little success; usually because they are so overloaded with that many bells and whistles we got a little overwhelmed and with us being a small team; we just don’t have the time to spend learning how to use the app. I’m not going to go into any details about the other apps out there, we found one that works for us so I’ll speak about that.

Basecamp, this for us was a perfect option. for these reasons;

  • Its online (cloud server) so we could access from anywhere.
  • iPhone/Android app.
  • Simple to use.
  • Easy to use navigation and intuitive layout.

You can upload all types of documents, images video files and PDF’s, if you need to label them there’s the option to. Whole conversations can revolve around one uploaded image/file.

To do lists are effective, we set them up from the set so we stay in control and know which stage we are at.

Some of our clients  love the iPhone/android app…it great for those that spend a lot of time on the road, they can keep on top of everything with ease. Its possible for the client to take a picture on their phone and directly upload to the project, in the Basecamp Tour you can see how useful this is.

We set up all our clients on Basecamp as soon as they sign up, we set a set of questions to get the project rolling and everything works seamlessly from there. No client has made a complaint or got irritable – we’ve only had a good feedback – this is impressive because a lot of our clients aren’t IT savvy.

Take a look for yourself at Basecamp Project Mangement

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pay Monthly Website

Ever think about costs etc for a website?….silly question…I think we all do!

We as a web design company deal mainly with small to medium sized companies and find that cost is inevitably king. Spending a fortune on setting up a site is quite consistent for most businesses. As the costs can run in to the thousands with hosting fees, maintenance contracts, site set-ups and adding extras to your site. The option of paying monthly for your website sounds like a good option – and it is! We pay for our mobile phone bill and in fact most of our bills monthly so why not your website.

Pay Monthly Website
Spread the payments over 12 months

Depending on your business needs and size the options will reflect this. For example and I might as well use our prices as a guide hey;) For a start up website without so much of the bells and whistles you are looking around the £45 per month mark, this is for a static site with on page SEO – with a set up fee of £75 and a contract for 12 months – only because there are 12 payments. This is perfect as far as I can see for a start up business, low cost with exactly what is needed. No need to worry about emails ,hosting and domain payments – its all in there. Once the business grows you can grow the site again by paying small amounts each month. Its very simple and extremely effective. For an e-commerce shop the prices are more naturally but again well priced so they don’t buckle your business and give you that flexibility to align some of your cash towards the marketing side of things – Google Adwords for example – this is a pay monthly service and if set-up correctly can deliver an impressive amount of traffic to your website. So you have two outgoings each month and as much traffic as your budget will allow.

For me that beats spending all your money on a website and then realising there’s little left in the pot to advertise and promote yourself online!

 

 

 

Search Engine Optimisation

Search engine optimisation, SEO, is the strategy by which web designers use keywords linked to your sites’ content to help people find your website through search engines such as Bing and Google. Millions of people that use the internet will use search engines to find what they want because they are simple. If someone is looking for “pay monthly websites” then they simply type this in to Google and Google will produce a list of websites that meet this criteria. There will be thousands or millions of results but lets face it people only look at the first couple of pages at most.google website guidelines

This is why it is vital that your website appears at the top of these rankings. The more quality content there is linked to your site the higher it will appear in the results. This may then ensure more traffic flow to your website.

Each page of your website will benefit having a few focus keywords, the title tag of each page should reflect this. Of course don’t start adding phrases in there that make the sentence read poorly, also if you are going to stuff a large amount of keywords in there then its just going to read ridiculously and look like you’re ‘keyword stuffing’ to Google, the real point is to write quality content that is relevant to your product or industry.

In fact a good starting point for any website owner is Google themselves, they offer excellent advice to making your site Google friendly; this link will certainly get you started on a strong foothold – Google Friendly Website Guideline.

Our advice is to either hire a SEO company (like ourselves!) or follow the guidelines Google have offered in the link above and just remember to write for the potential readers not the search engine itself.

Does your eCommerce site convert clicks in to sales?

As a business you have decided to expand in to the online market that is the internet by having a beautifully designed ecommerce website.  But does your site convert clicks in to sales?  It’s all well and good have an attractive website but you want visitors to end up as paying customers.  There are a number of things you need to consider when creating a conversion friendly website.

Firstly your site must be easy to navigate because shoppers will simply click off your website if they cannot find what they want.  Your navigation system needs to be simple and straight forward so that online users can view your products quickly and easily.

Be sure to use high end quality product images because shoppers will want to see your products clearly.  If appropriate take a few photos of the same product from different angles so the potential customer knows what they are getting.  Another useful tool is product videos which are short clips showing the product and how it is used in life.  The videos can have speech with someone explaining it.

Your content especially for product descriptions needs to be engaging and informative so that shoppers are kept interested and will hopefully buy your products.  Be mindful of the language you are using.  You need to bear in mind your target audience and a good way to know if your copy is engaging is to say to yourself, would you buy this product having looked at it and read about it?  If the answer is no then your target audience will also be thinking the same!

Where possible offer free postage and packaging as many people when they are shopping online are happy with your product prices but are then deterred by an extra sum for postage and packaging.  Build it in to your prices.

Ensure that contact information is on every page or easy to find so that if potential customers have a question and they want to speak to someone they can do so easily.

Here at LV Media we are experts at ecommerce web design and offer pay monthly ecommerce websites.  We are a web design Stockport based company but are happy to talk or meet no matter your postcode.

Geotagging and Instagram

It became apparent to me a wee while back that my daughter who’s 16 uses Instagram and has been geotagg’ing her whereabouts to her pictures. It was my partner that pointed out her images may provide a direct route for strangers to find out her ‘almost’ exact position. I checked and yes I can quite easily follow her movements and scarily I can work out where she lives.

On learning this I made sure she changed her settings. The reason behind the geotagging issue is down to the software upgrade and the settings changing to Public with the onus on the user to turn off geotagging. This now makes the child’s photographs public silently.

So for any pertinent parent I would check your child’s Ipad, Iphone etc. and make sure the settings are not set to public.