Tag Archives: Miami Web Design

With Google’s Matt Cutts admitting that Google is using website speed as a minor ranking factor, there had been quite some noise about page speed among the web design community. Now with the latest stats positively showing the page speed as not so significant as many believed it to be, can it actually affect a website negatively?

Not considering any SEO implications, page speed is an extremely important web usability element. Consider the following example originally published on Master New Media .

Gaze plots from two different users: The blue dots indicate where users looked (one fixation per dot).
  • Screen 1 – The first test participant in the top gaze plot fixated a few times within the big empty color block before the content downloaded, then spent the remaining time looking at the rest of the page. This user never looked at the big promotional space after it had rendered.
  • Screen 2- The second user (bottom gaze plot) happened to be looking away from the screen during the eight seconds when the promotional content downloaded. Thus, the first time he looked at the page he saw it as intended, complete with the entire promo.

The slideshow occupies 23% of the page and the user who had to endure the download delay spent only 1% of her total viewing time within this space.

In contrast, the user who in effect received instantaneous page rendering (because he didn’t look until it was done), spent 20% of his viewing time within the slideshow area.

So in essence if the page speed has been optimized, the marketing team would have seen some more traction with their well planned advertisement. But in this case, all that effort was spent in vain.

The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to website speed is “let the audience be in control”. Remember, it’s the audience who interact with the website and it’s them that matters to you or your client. Every second of delay in website speed is a negative impact on the audience and lead them to realize that they are no longer in control. In such case, you or your clients are going to lose credibility which is not helpful at all.

So it might be a good idea to start looking at page speed. There are many free tools to check speed. We use a Firefox plugin called ‘Yslow’. Google is going one step ahead and offering a Page Speed tool for free http://code.google.com/speed/page-speed/

Check out this video from the Google dev team.

 

The internet has certainly made the world a smaller place but that does not mean that the world is becoming more homogenous. Quite the opposite is happening in fact, as the more people that go online the more the web becomes culturally mixed.

SEO for businesses today must consist of much more than using the latest design trends. Designers should also be designing sites that take the full range of people viewing the site into consideration. The largest and most successful companies know that they have to offer different versions of their web content so as to appeal to everyone who accesses their websites. Continue reading

Web Design: Go Local

If you are considering hiring a web design company to assist you in setting up your space on the internet, you should consider hiring a local web designer. There are so many design companies today to choose from and they are located all over the world. While it is fine to use a design company located far from you, it could become a problem if a face-to-face meeting is necessary in order to go over some fine details concerning your website design. Continue reading

If you are planning on having a website, it is important that you understand that there are two distinct types of websites: static and dynamic.  We will take a few minutes here to explain to you the differences between the two, and once you are finished reading, you should have a very good understanding of both so that you can decide clearly which type of website is best for you.

Difference Between a Static Website and a Dynamic Website

Millions of us rely on a printed newspaper as a way to read the happenings in the world. A newspaper is in fact, a very good example of a static media. Once a story has been printed on a newspaper, it cannot be changed as its type has been set. You will simply have to wait until the next edition is printed in order to receive the latest news. Much in the same way, a static website cannot be changed until the webmaster or someone familiar with HTML or flash edits and/or updates the content. Continue reading

In today’s online world, it is not enough just to have a website – marketing experts agree that your website should be worked on and improved on a regular basis in order to attract visitors seeking relevant and useful information, services and/or products.

10 Tips to website redesign

Below are ten tips that can guide you in undertaking a successful redesign of your site:

1. Set Strategic Goals.

Instead of blindly jumping in to make changes your site, it is important that you think things through clearly by defining the purpose of the redesign. Jot down what your aim is. Is it to make the site more user-friendly, to better showcase your products and services, or do you want to offer visitors more informational text and/or photos?

2. Do Some Research.

You would not change the look of your home’s interior without first consulting family members or looking through design magazines for ideas. The same should hold true when you set out to change your website. Do some research to find out how your site is doing traffic-wise and how it is perceived by visitors. Consider putting up some online surveys or usability tests  before making any changes. Once you get a good picture of how your site is currently being used, you can then formulate a plan to make the proper changes to improve the user experience.

3. Take Control of the Redesign Project.

Redesigning your website may require some outside help. Therefore you will need to set a budget and see to it that it is adhered to. You should also set up a time line which clearly outlines when certain aspects of your site should be modified. You need to be on top of the entire project, so be prepared to organize people, the details and the work flow.

4. Take a Good Hard Look at Your Content.

Now that you are undertaking a website redesign, it is time to look at your content. After getting some feedback from your site visitors, you know what it is that your users expect out of your site. Write some fresh content so that your visitors are given up-to-date and useful information. New, unique content also acts as ‘link bait’ which helps build external links to your pages. Optimized content is what the search engines thrive on, so weed out any weak content and replace it with something fresh and interesting.

5. Consider Your Site’s Usability

Site usability is a buzzword that is used a lot, but do you know what it means? In short, usability refers to how easily a visitor can get around your website, in other words – how usable it is. If someone has to hunt around for information such as your contact details and your ‘home’ link, then your site has a usability issue in its design which must be addressed.

6. Check Your Site’s Speed

When it comes to web design, one of the most important aspects is the speed of your site. Your visitors will leave very quickly if they have to wait over 10 seconds for a page to load. There are various free online tools that check the speed of your site. Google recently announced something that many in the SEO community already suspected: that the search engine will now consider site speed when ranking results. If your website takes too long to load, you may find yourself slipping in the search engine result pages (SERPS). Increasing the speed of your site may involve changing hosts or it could mean that you should look at a new publishing platform. It could even mean that you have to undertake a complete overhaul of the type and format of your site’s content.

7. Check your Site’s Meaning/Message

One of the most aggravating things when surfing the web is to land on a page and not being able to figure out what the website is about. Usually, these sites are rather ‘artsy’ in nature meaning that the design may look very appealing but you have to dig in order to find out the point of the website. Be sure that your visitors know immediately what your site is about when they arrive because if you don’t, they will leave in a flash.

8. Have A Back-up of Your Old Site

Before making any drastic changes to your website, be sure that you keep a backup file of the present site. In case your new website design fails to draw more traffic, then the old site can be reloaded.

9. Create Clear Contact Us and Informational Pages

To assist with local search results, be sure that you provide detailed address and contact information. If your products can be found in local stores, be sure that you convey this on your site. This will make it easy for your targeted audience and customers to interact and do business with you.

10. Test your Redesign.

In order to be certain that the new design works, have a few people test your layout. You can post a ‘sneak preview’ on your home page a few weeks before launching the new design so that you can received feedback in order to ‘tweak’ your site so that it is designed as best as it can be.

These tips should give you a bit of guidance when you are considering a website redesign. If you think your users are used to your website content and layout, but it could do with some improvements to the overall usability, then introduce small changes gradually.