Find the Best Web Design Company for your Next Project

Browse hundreds of Agency Portfolios to find the perfect Web Design Agency for your specific needs

Recent Trends in Web Design

Recent Trends in Web Design

Comments Off on Recent Trends in Web Design
By: Ron

Web design has undergone tremendous changes over the last few years. In order for your website to be relevant in terms of functionality and appearance, it is imperative that you stay up-to-date with these trends.

Web design is all about user experience. If visitors enjoy using your website and find it easy to navigate, they are more likely to follow and complete your calls-to-action, which naturally translates to an increased bottom line

In this article, we will investigate how web design has changed over the last five years, how to identify different styles of web design and we’ll talk a bit about the most common web design platforms in use today.

Changes in Web Design

Over the last decade, web design has undergone changes that are so dramatic, that many of the websites that were relevant and popular back then are now viewed as being completely archaic and obsolete.

Web page interfaces changed from mostly text-based, busy and box-like to todays mostly visual, sleek and easily navigable pages. Large visuals are used to underpin each pages brand identity, helping prospective customers make informed decisions when purchasing your products or interacting with your content.

A few years ago, most users interacted with web pages using a desktop computer or, in some cases, a laptop. Mobile devices were hardly ever used and it was not uncommon for web pages to hang or completely malfunction when accessed on a mobile device. With the advent of smartphones, this has changed dramatically. Currently, if your website does not load smoothly and efficiently on a mobile device, Google will penalize you, and you will lose visitors which, obviously, will have a negative effect on your bottom line.

This inspired developers to implement a “mobile-first” approach which led to the development of the hamburger menu, the now-common three-striped icon that hides the traditional file menu on a website. This made for cleaner, less-cluttered web design that is generally friendlier than the older, traditional menu-row we’ve all become accustomed to.

With the rise of minimalism, we were introduced to flat design, which is the effective use of a single-color palate in flat colors. Minimal stylistic effects are employed, rendering the website “artsy,”less busy and easier to follow. This is in sharp contrast to the websites of yesteryear, where drop-shadows, gradients and textures were used to create a 3D effects on visually busy pages, causing users to become overwhelmed, miss critical information or even leave your website entirely!

Modern web pages now include multiple CTA (call to action) buttons or graphic elements, which were hardly ever placed on early web pages. Effective calls-to-action successfully compel users to complete some type of “action” such as making a purchase, asking for additional information or, in the case of social media, “liking” or “sharing” an article or product. These actions are considered to be “conversions,” and every website has its own objective and definition of what constitutes a successful conversion.

Choosing fonts for your web page used to be a nightmare, since there was no online tool to guarantee proper rendering once the page was loaded. Today, you dont have to worry if fonts will render incorrectly on your web page since Google Fonts (as well as other packages), simplifies that process for you.

The use of creative typography has always been recognized as a powerful tool, though under-utilized in the past. Today, more than ever, the selection of fonts has become an art in itself, and experienced designers have learned to employ wildly different mixed and matched fonts in order to boost brand recognition and the overall mood of a website.

Back at the turn of the century, websites were typically designed using static html with lots of Flash for effect, but this required users to be capable coders. At present, a plethora of web design platforms are available to anyone who wants to design a website on their own. Some platforms are open-source, while others are paid-for service packages. For some of these, a high level of coding skills is needed, while others are packaged in such a way that a user needs no coding ability at all.

Then, grid format was introduced to the web design arena, eliminating the busy, clustered and content-heavy designs that were so prevalent earlier. Over the years, trends shifted back and forth between various layouts, and the use of colors and fonts to create designs. One trend that continues to evolve is that websites are becoming sleeker and easier to navigate.

Looking back at how web design has changed over the years offers an insight into the way user interaction shapes the way we think about web design. A positive user experience generally translates into increased sales, which means that it’s imperative to design your website’s user interface (UI) to suit your target demographic.

Web Design Styles

In web design, there are two key parameters to take into account: aesthetics and technology. The latest trends allow these two aspects to meet in order to offer the optimal user experience. In this section, we will unpack three of these design tools as an illustration.

Serifs on Screen

Serifs refer to the little decorative strokes at the ends of letters. Think Times New Roman in an old newspaper. These used to be relegated to traditional print media, but abandoned in web design since its just too visually busy, and can be tiring to follow. The newest trends make innovative use of serifs, though, by enhancing brand identity as well as the overall tone of their website.

Black and White Palettes

In web design, color is used to set the mood of a website and allow important information and calls-to-action to stand out. Utilizing a black-and-white approach may seem counterintuitive, but it often allows for striking imagery that is both impactful and tasteful. Combined with a minimal amount of color, this can create a dynamic and stunning visual experience that causes your website to be even more exciting and memorable.

When people remember your website, they are more likely to return, and even more inclined to share your content with others.

Glitch Art

This refers to a style that looks retro, but has somehow gone wrong. Strikingly visual, it brings you back to the late 1990s when a slow dial-up connection caused struggling images to appear distorted on your screen while they completed, as though you were looking through crinkled cellophane.

To identify this style, look for areas in an image or video that are slightly warped, double-exposed or “glitchy.” When used effectively in small doses, this method will focus a visitors eye on a specific area or concept, suggesting greater interaction.

Common Web Building Platforms

The web building platform you use depends on your objectives and capabilities. Do you want a simple blogging or vlogging site that is easy to navigate — or do you require a more sophisticated retail site? Do you have coding experience — or do you require a platform that has built-in functionalities that eliminate the need to code? These are just some of the parameters that would influence the web building platform you choose.

WordPress

One of the very first Content Management Systems (CMS), this user-friendly platform has been popular with bloggers since its inception in 2003. You dont need to know how to code in order to use WordPress, since it has tools especially designed to let users easily install and manage their websites by themselves, without any knowledge of code.

WordPress also enjoys the support of a large community of developers who offer, among other things, a vast selection of helpful SEO plugins and tools designed to help increase your sites ranking in search engines.

PHP

This open-source development platform and language allows you to design secure, robust websites that are able to handle high volumes of traffic. It is both server friendly and database friendly, making this platform ideal for developers at start-ups. You must have a solid knowledge of coding in order to work with PHP.

Joomla

Joomla is another Content Management System that allows developers to create websites with many functionalities and powerful web applications. This open-source platform was created using PHP and MYSQL. It allows for great scalability, which is ideal if your website will be expanding in the future.

Magneto

This free and scalable platform is ideal for talented developers. Magneto is best suited to developing state-of-the-art e-commerce websites that are secure and feature-rich. Extensions offered by Magneto allow users to customize their websites effectively, maximizing service capabilities while optimizing user experience.

ASP.NET

Developed by Microsoft, ASP (or Active Server Packages) are paid-for platforms that enable developers to design dynamic, robust, sophisticated web pages. ASP is a server-side web application framework with an enormous library of basic functions and database interactions to draw upon. ASP.NET is extremely popular with developers, giving it the added bonus of a large online support community.

JSP

Java Service Packages (JSP) is similar to ASP and PHP, but it uses the Java programming language. With this platform, developers are able to create dynamic web pages in both XML and HTML format. These are able to combine static templates and dynamic content to create an optimal user experience.

Open Cart

This user-friendly, high-speed platform is specifically designed for e-commerce. It uses shared hosting and is easy to install, making it ideal for people who are new to software development. Open Cart offers many templates and themes along with an administrative panel to aid ease-of-use.

In Closing

As you can see, web design concepts and tools are constantly changing — and change is good! New and creative web design techniques are now enabling exciting websites that are beautiful, fun to open, and easy to navigate. The Internet has enabled a new way of doing business, and modern websites now allow us to shop, buy and sell, and interact with friends and family on a global scale, all from the comfort of our own kitchens. The building process is no longer made entirely of secret sauce, and with so many building platforms available today, nearly anyone is able to design a basic website for personal or business use.

 

02/21/2019 |

Understanding Web Metrics – Improve Your Bottom Line

Comments Off on Understanding Web Metrics – Improve Your Bottom Line
by: Ron

Many website owners are convinced that web metrics or “analytics” are super complicated. Yet understanding what all these numbers really mean, and implementing changes based on the valuable information they reveal, can lead to significant improvements in your bottom line.

Let’s face it: if you (or your company) are putting time and effort into managing a website, you surely want it to generate revenue. Once you understand how to utilize metrics correctly, you’ll be able to find your website’s strengths and weaknesses, leverage those strengths and improve any weaknesses. All of this helps to increase traffic and conversions, generally upping the income from your website. Google Analytics is the best-known of all the web metrics software. It’s free, enormously useful, and requires installation onto all pages of your site. You can either install it yourself, or you can contact most any web design agency to help you out.

In this article, we will explain the most common terms and explore which web metric parameters to pay most attention to.

Website Traffic

Who visits your website? How did they find your website? How many repeat visitors do you have? Generally, there are four ways in which a person navigates to your website:

  • Organic search These visitors found your website through a basic search on a search engine such as Google.
  • Referral This traffic comes from a link on a different website, such as from an advertisement, guest blog, or any reference made to your site from another.
  • Direct Theseare usually repeat visitors who type your domain directly into a browser, navigating directly to your website. Or, it could also be a visit from someone who simply saw your ad in traditional media, remembered your brand, wanted to find out more about your products or services, and typed your URL straight into their browser.
  • Social Here, traffic gets directed from social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter or LinkedIn.

Knowing where your website traffic is coming from can help you optimize your marketing strategy. Let’s take a hypothetical case: Let’s say that 10% of your traffic comes from organic searches, 20% from referrals, 40% is direct and 30% comes from social media. Since only 10% of your traffic is coming from search engines (organic), your SEO strategy needs improvement. Your offline or traditional media marketing seems to be working wonders, since most of your traffic is direct. Simple, yes?

Next, you should know how many “new” and “repeat” visitors you have. Repeat visitors are generally loyal customers / subscribers / readers (depending on the nature of your website). Ideally, you want to build a loyal client base that grows alongside new visitors, since this usually results in steadier traffic with increased sales revenue. In the case of a retail site, repeat visitors probably purchase more goods, while a blog or informational site generally relies on traffic and subscribers in order to generate advertising revenue.

“New” visitors is the most obvious metric, indicating the number of people finding your website for the first time. Paying attention to this metric helps you track the success of a specific marketing strategy – if there’s a spike in new visitors after a particular campaign effort, you know it was successful in getting traffic to your site. Now, that traffic must translate to conversions.

Conversions

Ideally, you want each visit to your site to translate into an action. This action would again depend on the type of site you have: purchases, subscriptions, downloads, sharing on social media … you get the idea. A conversion is whatever you want it to be. It’s the fundamental objective of your hard work.

Conversion rates might differ between first time and repeat visitors. How do first-time visitors interact with your website? What do they experience? Reliable Web metrics enable you to see conversion rates for each group of visitors – if it’s low for first-timers, you’ll know to change your approach to new visitors.

Here, you can dig deeper into conversion rates on a page-by-page basis. Which pages (or topics) have the highest conversion rates? Which have the lowest? To optimize the usefulness of this metric, a professional Web design agency can create multiple navigation paths to help determine exactly at which stage your visitors leave your website or act to complete a desired conversion. This will enable you to perform important A-B testing, to help improve results even further.

Website metrics also allow you to analyze conversion rate by traffic source (already discussed in the “website traffic” section). This would indicate the efficacy of your marketing strategy on other websites, social media and in traditional media. Updating your digital marketing approach based on this information will give you a competitive edge if leveraged correctly.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who leave your website as soon as they land on it. Obviously, a high bounce rate isn’t good for business. If you discover that people get to your site after searching unrelated keywords, you should review your content, and work on your “keywords” to ensure that the traffic you receive is “relevant traffic,” the only kind of traffic you want.

Another factor to consider is how user-friendly your website is. If a new visitor has a hard time navigating your site or if the aesthetics aren’t pleasing, they will probably leave in a hurry. Unfortunately, the bounce rate on its own won’t tell you why people are leaving your site. Here, again, an experienced Web Design agency can point you in the right direction. Once changes are implemented that result in a decreasing bounce rate, both search results and sales will improve.

Interactions per Visit

What do people do on your website? How much time do they spend on your site, which pages do they visit and what do they do on those pages? When you know what each visitor is doing on your site and which pages are viewed most, you can find a way to increase their interactions on your site and lead these to conversions. This is more than just getting someone to spend more time on your site – conversions are the ticket.

Experimenting with different content and layout should quickly show you which approach works in attracting more interactions and conversions.

Keep an eye on entrance and exit pages – where do visitors land on your website (not always the home page!) and what inspires them to leave? Again, this will vary depending on the type of site. On retail sites, visitors usually exit when a purchasing transaction is complete, which is logical. Blog sites are different and don’t always have a logical exit page.

Is it easy to navigate your website to get back to the home page from whatever page a visitor landed on? Visitors will generally leave if they find a website confusing or difficult to navigate.

Once you understand what keeps visitors on your site and what keeps them interested – or makes them leave — you can test various approaches to see what works best to increase interactions and conversions.

Top Keywords

How do your visitors find you? Which keywords (or “search terms”) do people use to bring them to your site? Are you getting traffic from the “key” words you feel are most related to your site? If not, your SEO strategy may need a thorough review — or even a complete overhaul. A professional SEO agency can determine where your preferred search terms are appearing in Google’s search results pages, and can help build a strategy to make your website more visible. The higher up your site appears in searches for important keywords, the more visitors you will receive at your site.

Top Internal Search Keywords

Unlike SEO, this one refers to the keywords that people enter to search something within your site. From these keywords, you can determine what people expect to find on your website. If the search terms entered are relevant to the content you currently have, things are working well. If not, your marketing or SEO strategy might be misleading or confusing. Alternatively, this might even present an opportunity. By revealing that visitors are seeking certain products or services you don’t currently offer, you might want to consider offering those very services!

Value per Visit

Defined as the total value generated on a site divided by the total number of visitors, this one is sometimes difficult to measure. On a retail site, value is easier to measure, since a customer will purchase something for a finite amount. Blog sites don’t necessarily have a specific value per interaction but, in the end, the website owner does have a measurable income from the site, so the value per visit can be calculated with this information.

Understanding the value of each visit enables you to compare these numbers to marketing costs. But, you’ll first have to spend time with your analytics program to let it know how to determine any value, since only you know your actual financials. Logically, if your marketing campaign costs more than the value brought in by the resulting traffic, something’s not quite right. This tool would help you fine tune costs and conversions in order to make a profit from your website.

Final Word

Web metrics provide powerful information that, when applied intelligently, can help bring your site to a higher place. As with any form of data science, the more you understand, the more proactively you stay on course, the more successful your results. You can learn more by searching and exploring many resources on the web, or you can get help from the professionals featured here on WebBuilderZone.com.

 

 

02/13/2019 |

PRESS RELEASE February 4, 2019

Comments Off on PRESS RELEASE February 4, 2019

WebBuilderZone Announces Unique Illustrated Guide to Web Design Agencies

Unique new Web Agency directory from WebBuilderZone connects business owners and hiring managers with top Web Design agencies by showcasing hundreds of images from creative Web Design portfolios.

NEW YORK, February 4, 2019 — WebBuilderZone (https://webbuilderzone.com) has announced the official launch of its portfolio-driven Web Agency Directory. Unique among Web Design directories, WebBuilderZone has created a simple-to-use platform specifically designed to provide a transparent and level playing-field for business owners and managers looking to purchase Web Design, Mobile Application, SEO & Web Development Services. Now, buyers can browse and compare hundreds of images from competing Web agency portfolios to find the perfect Digital Agency for their next project.

“Experience clearly shows that prospective buyers of Web Agency services form lasting opinions and make final decisions based on their initial impression of a digital agency’s previous body of work,” said Jeff Singer, WebBuilderZone Founder and National Director.

“Buyers no longer have to struggle with anonymous testimonials, so-called “proprietary” algorithms, inexplicable rankings or complicated metrics. Instead, we completely demystify the process by showcasing actual Web Design portfolios, and encourage prospective clients to review each Agency’s best work to decide for themselves. It just makes sense.”

Digital Agencies can easily manage their own listing profiles to upload and display their best portfolio images through the use of a simple but robust CMS developed specifically to accelerate agency marketing efforts. Web Design agencies can promote even greater client involvement by linking their portfolio images back to their own websites or to extensive multi-page case studies for even greater impact, if desired.

About WebBuilderZone:

Introduced back in 2001 as part of the “Reallybig.com Web Builder Network,” WebBuilderZone quickly became an industry staple, showcasing more than 5000 free web-building resources to an exciting new army of web builders.

WebBuilderZone is currently accepting and evaluating portfolio submissions from Web Design & Development Agencies, Mobile App Developers, eCommerce Website Developers, WordPress Developers, SEO specialists and related agencies for inclusion in its comprehensive illustrated directory. For more information about WebBuilderZone, please visit https://webbuilderzone.com.

Contact:

Jeff Singer

01/31/2019 |

Writers, Bloggers: Contribute to WebBuilderZone

Comments Off on Writers, Bloggers: Contribute to WebBuilderZone

Our Audience

WebBuilderZone reaches an influential, affluent readership. Your stories will inspire thoughtful conversation across the web, and will become a valuable resource for many users, for years to come.

Expand Your Voice

Blogs that appear on WebBuilderZone are read by huge audiences across the web and are promoted in our press releases and social media outreach. Our extensive reach brings your voice to a large population of viewers seeking intelligent advice and insight relating to web design, SEO and associated topics. 

Build Your Brand

Contributing to WebBuilderZone will help you build an impressive record of personal ideas and perspectives. Become a regular contributor, and you’ll establish yourself as an expert in your field, creating a strong personal brand that will help bring you more clients and greater business opportunities.

Get Noticed

Contributing to WebBuilderZone is an opportunity to get your name noticed. WebBuilderZone is an elite member of the Web Design community, and an affiliation with our site will immediately give you a presence and put your name on the map in the High-tech/Web/Internet arena.

Join a Community of Influencers

WebBuilderZone’s contributors include world-class Web design professionals, agency owners, freelancers, bloggers and influential C-level executives. Your writing for WebBuilderZone will appear alongside some of the most exciting high-tech commentary on the web.

Enjoy a Human, Interactive Process

WebBuilderZone’s editorial team is always available to communicate with contributors regarding an article or an idea. We’re always happy to interact with contributors, because we think that’s exactly how it should be. If you’re not sure your idea will be accepted, all you have to do is ask!  After all, your contributions ultimately benefit the WebBuilderZone audience, and that’s our primary goal.

Contributors

Read our Guidelines for Contributors to learn more. If you would like to contribute to WebBuilderZone, or if you have any questions at all, feel free to contact us at contributors@webbuilderzone.com.

01/24/2019 |

Test 5 Copy

Comments Off on Test 5 Copy
fatguy-mobile-app-Lindys

Social media is central to people’s everyday modern lives, and more so for businesses with a digital marketing strategy. However, as trends are apt to be, consumer behavior on social media constantly shift. As the year 2018 draws to a close, a new set of challenges and ways of engaging on social media await marketers.

Here are the top 5 social media marketing trends that will matter in 2019:

1. Generation Z

For years, Millennials (or those born between 1981 and 1996) have been the target of marketers. However, as the new generation of consumers, Generation Z, start entering the workforce in 2019, marketers should also begin targeting the younger consumers.

Generation Z, or those born from 1997 onwards, are surrounded by technology growing up, which makes them and social media (as well as digital marketing as a whole) a natural fit. To tailor a social media marketing strategy for Generation Z, it’s important to note that these consumers spend much more time exclusively on mobile compared to other generations. They are also more tech savvy and less cynical about digital marketing, which gives marketers more opportunities to effectively market to them.

2. Ephemeral content

Ephemeral and short-lived content in the form of live videos, Instagram Stories, and Facebook My Day continue to be relevant in 2019, and the trend is not likely to slow down soon.

Accessible only for a brief period of time, temporary content is an effective marketing strategy that appeals to consumers’ fear of missing out (FOMO) and aids in prompting immediate engagement from users. To put an edge in your social media marketing strategy, get creative with varied ephemeral content formats and see which ones work best for your target audience—still photos, 30-second video previews, Boomerang, or whatever works. What’s important is that you infuse brand storytelling techniques to add personality to your content.

3. User-generated content

In recent years, users have taken a more active role on social media from being previously passive audiences, and this has resulted in an increased interest in user-generated content (UGC).

At a time where social media algorithms have made it difficult for business accounts to gain organic reach, sharing content created by audiences themselves can not only boost your engagement, this also helps you connect with your followers and build a stronger relationship with them. In 2019, it’s predicted that algorithms will continue to focus on displaying more relevant posts with authentic and meaningful interactions; thus, marketers should bank well  on including UGC in your social media content strategy.

4. Customer service and chatbots

Social media has now become more than just a platform to connect with friends and family; it has also become a place to directly reach out and start a conversation with businesses, including raising concerns and seeking resolutions to issues.
This trend continues to be relevant in the coming years, and more so with the rise of chatbots. Chatbots make it easier for businesses to offer quick customer service without having to hire additional people to work round-the-clock, and in a way that feels personal. The key is to customize your chatbot responses and ensure that your brand voice resonates with each interaction.

5. Privacy and dark social

Privacy has been a great concern for most Internet users today, and more so after the infamous Facebook-Cambridge privacy scandal in 2018. This has led social media users to turn to more private means of sharing content, such as through messaging apps (e.g., Facebook Messenger, Instagram and Twitter Direct Message, WhatsApp, and emails) or by setting their sharing settings to private—a trend called “dark social.”

With the rise of dark social, it has become increasingly difficult for marketers to accurately measure digital marketing metrics, more particularly in tracking traffic source.  To make dark social work in your favor in 2019, center your efforts instead in creating highly shareable and relevant content for your audiences. Attracting dark social and focusing on reaping positive results (i.e., click-throughs, conversions, etc.) can definitely boost your social media marketing efforts in spite of the challenge.

In Conclusion
  • Adapting to trends is key to every social media marketing strategy. A crucial point, however, is for marketers to determine what strategies work best for your target audience in order for your business to succeed in your marketing goals.
  • If you want to know to know more about social media marketing, or if you need help with any of your digital marketing efforts, Ilfusion has the experience and expertise to aid your business in realizing your goals. Just give us a call at 888-420-5115, or send us an email to creative@ilfusion.com.
01/10/2019 |