What is a “sticky website”?

Posted by on Mar 13, 2012 in Website Design |

A “sticky website” refers to a website that keeps visitors engaged for longer periods of time and interests them enough to return to the website often. Good web design should serve this purpose.  The aim of a sticky website is to get visitors to become customers by including relevant features on your site and creating an interesting navigation path that will keep them intrigued. Five tips to design a sticky website Intelligent copy and news: Your web design can be terrific – but if the content is poor, people won’t hang around. If you want to keep website visitors engaged, you should have news articles, blogs and press releases. The website’s copy should also be informal and fun to read. Interactivity: Make sure your website visitors have stuff to do on your site. If visitors can comment, compete, get quotes or take part in polls, they will feel like their opinion matters to you. Establish a more personal relationship between the visitor and your website by showing them that other people are also engaging with you on the site. Keeping it current: Visitors will be drawn to your website if you keep it current. Be involved in your website and update the information as often as possible. When setting up the initial web design, make sure that new content can be added regularly. Also remember to respond to comments and posts that are left on your website – if you get a conversation going, people will come back to see what’s going on. Subscribing options: If you have communication that the visitor can subscribe to – such as newsletters or RSS Feeds, put the relevant icons in an obvious place on the home page. This is a great way of staying connected with website visitors and it offers a number of communication opportunities. Social media: Your web design can include links to your Facebook page, Twitter feed, LinkedIn network and other social media sites. Many of your website visitors will already have profiles on these networks, which will give you another opportunity to keep them updated with relevant information. Please follow and like...

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Web design mistakes to avoid at all costs

Posted by on Mar 6, 2012 in Website Design |

As a website designer, there are certain mistakes you simply can’t afford to make. While there are many common design mistakes to avoid, it is necessary to take note of the most frequent mistakes and avoid them in order to pull off a successful and user friendly website. Poorly designed websites won’t be able to attract and maintain new traffic to the site. This is ultimately the purpose of any website and if it is unable to keep new traffic visiting the site, it is not fulfilling its purpose. Here are a few of the top web design mistakes to avoid at all costs: PDF files for online reading: Visitors to websites despise coming across PDF files while browsing, simply because it breaks their speed and interrupts their flow. Simple tasks like printing or saving documents are made more difficult because standard web commands don’t work with PDF files. While PDFs are fantastic for distributing large documents, only use it for info that doesn’t need to be displayed directly on the web page. Boring, un-scannable text: While the content may be well written and relevant, if you paste it into the site as a wall of text you will be set for a poor user experience. Studies have shown that users rarely read all content on a page while browsing, but instead only scan the content for its meaning. This is made difficult when web designers create an uninterrupted wall of text. Avoid this by using sub headings, short paragraphs, bullet point lists, a simple writing style and easy to understand language and words. Avoiding these and other common web design mistakes is important in pulling off successful sites. Keep this in mind while designing future websites and you’ll always create well-designed sites. Need help with your web design? Contact WSI South Africa Please follow and like...

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How to make your website more popular

Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in Website Design |

The web has grown into a real jungle and finding cool new website ideas isn’t that easy anymore. Many web designers fail to come up with new and exciting ways to set their websites apart from the mass and this leads to a lot of generic clutter muddling the World Wide Web. There are billions of websites all across the web vying for attention and good ranking. I always tell designers that they need to decide early on what their sites will have to offer that is fresh, unique and unlike other sites available on the internet. Besides mulling over the above, there are other ways you can increase the popularity of your website and increase the site’s online visibility. These elements aren’t complicated and aren’t expensive but will really help you to bring your website to your target audience. Here are a few of the elements to work on and keep in mind: Fast loading web pages: I have yet to meet a patient web user. Internet users have become spoiled with fast internet speeds and demand that sites load quickly. If your site is able to load quickly, even faster than some other sites, this will instantly work towards making your site more favourable among users. This might not be the single element to increase your site’s popularity immediately, but it will certainly contribute to it. Optimizing the site: SEO is important for the future popularity of the site. As a web designer, you are accountable for implementing best practices and writing clear, clean code. This will not only work towards a better SEO ranking but will keep your site manageable and well structured. User interaction: User interaction is crucial. One of the most effective ways web designers can increase the traffic to their sites is by getting users involved with the site. Do so by making the site interactive, giving users the opportunity to comment on your posts and ensuring the content is written in a personal and relatable style, among other tactics. Need help with your web design? Contact WSIOMS. Please follow and like...

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CMS as a starting point for new web designers

Posted by on Feb 3, 2012 in Website Design |

Most experienced web designers don’t solely use a CMS to create websites, but many use it as a starting point. Once basic design has been created using a CMS, the details can be finalised with more advanced software or with HTML coding. Whether you use a CMS to create your entire website or just as a place to start, these nifty programmes have brought the art of web design to the masses. What is a content management system? For those people not familiar with the world of web design, a content management system (CMS) is a programme that allows a person to create a website without having to worry about all the bits of programming that go into the background. These programmes take all the complicated aspects of web design out of the equation and make it easier for just about anyone to get a website up and running. There are numerous free ones available for download that can help you make straightforward websites in a couple of minutes without all the hassle of having to code in HTML or worry about whether or not your links are working. But is a CMS the answer to every web designer’s dream? The pros and cons The first and obvious advantage would be simplicity. A CMS makes the whole process of web design a thousand times easier and allows you to focus on the design and look of the website rather than on all the details. This means you can spend more time making sure that your website attracts and holds website visitors’ attention rather than worrying about whether it works correctly. This does come at a price, however. Most CMS allow you almost total freedom of design – but there are almost always elements that you won’t be able to customise. Some CMS’ offer you the chance to edit the code manually to get around this, but not all do. If you are not too fussed on having control over every little element of the web design, then a CMS is the answer for you. But if you want a truly customised website for your business, get a professional web designer. Contact WSI for web design in South Africa. Please follow and like...

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The web design trap

Posted by on Feb 1, 2012 in Website Design |

When most people new to web design set out to create their first website, they inevitably fall into the same trap that many web designers have fallen into. They put a lot of effort into designing a beautiful website complete with Flash animations, JavaScript effects, elaborate menus and more. Then, a few months after being launched, they realise that no one is visiting and that their website is barely ranking in any directory or search engine. So they try to boost their image by implementing one of many search engine optimisation tactics offered by less than reputable ‘website marketing’ companies. They spend hundreds, if not thousands, on adding tags, links and other bits and pieces to their web design in the hope that it will rise in the ranks on Google or the other search engines. While some of these tactics may make a difference, you will still barking up the wrong tree if you’re only concentrating on one specific internet marketing tactic on your website. The key to successful web design Professional web designers and website marketers have learned that the key to a successful website often has little to do with how pretty a website is or how many gimmicks the designer can fit onto the page. All these extras play a role in keeping people on the site once they reach it, but people have to get to the site in the first place. The most important aspect for a successful website is that it is designed for the target audience. What does this mean in practice? Essentially you want to design a website where a visitor can find the information they want quickly and effectively. The internet has shortened the attention span and if a person does not find what they are looking for on the first page they land on then, chances are, they are going to go elsewhere – without looking at any of the pretty web design. Not only does a website need to appeal to its target audience, it also needs to be search engine friendly. This means you need to make sure there are meat titles on every page, H1 and H1 tags, text links, a sitemap and proper navigation. Design for the audience from the start The key to successful web design lies in creating a website for the target audience. Remember that you are creating a website that is going to be used by people at the end of the day and the success or failure of the website is determined by your visitors. Need help with your website? Contact WSI for web design solutions in South Africa. Please follow and like...

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