Web Design- which features will our business need?

Introduction

Whether you are launching a brand-new business idea here in Wales, or you’re looking at getting your current company website redesigned, there’s most certainly a lot to think about when hiring a web design agency.

For example, one of the first questions that your web design company may ask is which features do you require?

They may offer you a list of optional extras, such as AMP and also a range of different CMS options, as well as talking about how they will build the website using JavaScript and HTML.

This might be overwhelming to some business owners, who may just want a simple website built.

Therefore, our design agency has written this guide to help you understand what some of the terms mean, that’s when a business needs to obtain a new website.

We will now talk you through some of the more popular web design options, that a lot of businesses opt for when they are having a new website designed.

Which Content Management System (CMS) do you require?

It’s really important to think about which content management system (CMS) your business wishes to opt for- for example there are so many different options ranging from WordPress and also another popular option would be to opt for a Joomla website.

We would highly recommend that your business thinks for a quite a while about which content management system (CMS) your business wishes to opt for.

The reason for this is different content management systems, CMS, may well be more suited to different businesses.

For example, many businesses opt for WordPress websites, simply because they come with a Dashboard which is very easy to use. For example, if you do not have any coding knowledge, such as HTML or CSS knowledge, well often a lot of businesses opt for WordPress simply because the Dashboard allows them to add blog posts very easily. Also, WordPress is really easy to use, that’s when adding plugins, or changing the wording of a page.

However, after discussing all the various options with your web designers, you may prefer to go for a different CMS.

We would highly recommend opting for a web design agency, that offers you many different options.

If the design agency has built their own CMS, you should make sure that it is easy to use, and that you can use the Dashboard easily.

For example, your business here in Cardiff may wish to ask the following questions:

·        Is it easy to add blog posts to this type of CMS?

·        How will my business receive updates?

·        Do many other businesses use this CMS?

Hosting?

Another important consideration is which company will host your company’s website?

You will want a reliable hosting company, one which will host your company’s website so that your website loads quickly. Slow hosting could mean that your business incurs a high bounce rate.

“If you opt for a hosting company which is slow, then your company website may load slowly, which could mean that your business incurs a high bounce rate.”

If your business incurs a high bounce rate, then this could negatively impact the businesses search engine optimisation.  

You should therefore ask your web designers which hosting company that they recommend, and you should make sure that the hosting is reliable, and also that it will allow your company website to be fast?

Sitemap

Before you meet your web design agency, it might be worth quickly jotting down a site map- that’s to say, you may write how you want the main menu to work, and also how many pages will your business require?

For example, you may require a homepage, and about us page and 3 different service pages, then you may require a “meet the team” and also a blog.

Some clients will jot down on a piece of paper how they want the main menu to work, in terms of which pages that they want added to the menu, and how the drop-down box should work. This is often needed when the business wishes to add quite a few pages to their website.

This is really helpful for our web developers, as they can start work on building the “wireframes”, and also start work on building the business’s website, and designing the main menu.

Mobile responsive

You should make sure that your website also has a mobile version of the website- it is widely thought by many digital marketing agencies that over 50% of visitors that land on your website will come through a smartphone or a tablet.

For different businesses this percentage will vary.

However, with that said, it is crucial that you have a mobile version of your website built, and that you work with your web developers so that they can improve your website on ongoing basis as well, using A/ B testing, which is sometimes called split testing.

Some web design businesses will offer split testing, it’s a way of improving the website on an ongoing basis often the business will pay a monthly retainer to the web designers in order for them to work on improving the website on a monthly basis.

Content marketing

Will your business be writing the content marketing or do you wish to hire a web design business that can do this as well?

Some businesses will have a copywriter or team of copywriters in house, so they can write the copy for your website.

Often this speeds-up the entire web design process, quite often the web design process is slowed down by the designers waiting for the client to write the text for the website.

Some businesses will prefer to write the text; however, a lot of businesses will also ask us the web design business to write the text. This can make the process quicker, and also simpler for the company.

We say simpler because the web designers can write the text so that it fits the website perfectly.

Sometimes a business will write the text themselves, but the text is in large blocks which sometimes will not be suitable for the website, that’s because often the shopper does not want to read large blocks of written text.

Local designer?

When looking for a web design agency, there will be a lot businesses within UK.

You should think about whether you wish to use a local design agency or you may be swayed by prices that a company may be offering in another city.

However, we would think carefully about which web design company that you choose simply because sometimes some businesses find it easier to have face-to-face meetings with their designers, this is so that they can go through ideas, and this often this helps the design process.

This can also be achieved through a web design business which is not based in your city, however sometimes this will be done via Skype, and some businesses may prefer to actually have a face-to-face meeting.

For this reason, when choosing a design agency, you may wish to pick a business that is based locally to you, for example a design company that is based here in Cardiff.

CF24 is based here in the city of Cardiff.

Main menu

You should work with your web developers to ensure that main menu on your website is built so that it is easy to use.

A website can incur a very high bounce rate, that’s if the main menu has not been designed correctly.

You may therefore wish to work closely with your web developers, that’ to make sure that the main menu design is easy to use.

Then if you are selling products, you should make it easier for the shopper to sort through all the different items.

For example, if you are selling men’s clothing then you may wish to add an option to sort clothing by “formal” or “casual” clothing for example.

If you are also selling shoes, then you may wish to add an option where somebody can sort by size of shoe, and also whether they are running shoe or a formal shoe.

It’s often not sufficient for a web designer to design a main menu, and then to have customers search then through hundreds of different products.

You should make sure that in your web design quote it includes the option for you to add different ways where the customer can sort all the products that you sell.

A business will often incur a very high bounce rate if a customer cannot find the product they want quickly.

For example let’s say you are selling bathroom items, such as shower trays, somebody may wish to sort through shower trays by size, if they cannot do this and they are forced to search through hundreds of different shower trays, than they are likely to leave your business and to go to a competitor’s website.

This is why a web developer is often needed, to allow the shopper to sort the items.

You then may wish to partner with a digital marketing agency, so that you can work to reduce the businesses bounce rate.

AMP

AMP simply stands for accelerated mobile pages; your business may wish to opt for AMP so that your company’s website can load faster on smartphones.

You should talk to your design agency to see if they can offer an AMP version of your website, you may wish to also include this in your web design quote.

How many pages does your business require?

Often some designers will offer a very low-price to design a website, but this is because the website has very few pages, or sometimes just one page.

However, you might find it better to have a separate page for each main service that you offer, you should therefore tell your web designers, how many pages your business requires, to make sure that you quote includes a design for that many pages for your business.

For example, let’s say that you run a construction business, you may want a separate page for attic conversions, newbuild properties, and also one for property extensions.

This allows you to add content marketing to each page, and for your website to offer more details to the customer.  

If you’re web designers insist on building a one-page website, then this may not offer enough information to your customers, so your business may lose customers.

We also think that cheap web design prices are often a false economy, often the business will find that they wish they had gone for a more detailed company website, so often a lot of businesses will need their website redesigned.

Domain name?

It’s also worth thinking for a long time about which domain name your business will want.

Often a business will have a domain name that they wish to use, but it might already be taken by another business.

Then some businesses opt for a domain name that might be deemed as too long.

For example, if the business was to write the domain name on the company’s van for example, if it’s too long then it might not be memorable.

Therefore, your business should think for a long time about which domain name that you wish to go for, and also to try and make it memorable, so when somebody sees your business, for example through a company van, they can remember your website’s address.

We would highly recommend that you pick a domain name which is short, this will make the domain name more memorable.

Your web designers here in Cardiff will be able to tell you if that domain name is available, or if it has been taken by another business.

E-commerce store?

If you require an e-commerce website then often the website will need a lot more work as there will be a lot more pages.

There is also a lot more for your business to consider, for example, will the web designers be adding meta titles, meta descriptions, alt text, product descriptions, internal links and anchor text?

This should be considered, as sometimes some businesses presume that this will be included in the quote, but sometimes it is not, this is why it’s so important that you get a detailed breakdown of the quote.

Product descriptions

Sometimes when a web design business is building a website, they sometimes copy the product descriptions directly from the manufacturer’s website.

However, this can cause duplication problems.

For example, if you were to talk to a digital marketing agency, they would say that it is far better to have high quality content marketing which you have written to then be added to your company website.

This means that if you were to copy product descriptions directly from the manufacturer’s website, then this could cause duplication problems, which may adversely affect businesses search engine optimisation.

Therefore you may wish to partner with a design agency that also has copywriters in-house who can write the text you website?

Often if you are launching a new business, which is selling many hundreds or even thousands of different products, there will be a lot of product descriptions to write all at once, so it is important to partner with an agency that has a sufficient number of staff in order to write the product descriptions needed for your new website.

Meta titles and meta descriptions?

Sometimes some web designers will build a new website, and not add any of the elements which can help you to improve your businesses search engine optimisation.

Therefore, you should ask your web developer when you ask your web design quote, whether the quote includes writing all of the meta titles, and all the meta descriptions for your new website.

If this is not included, then it can be sometimes be a lot of work to add meta titles and meta descriptions for every single page on your website.

For example, if you were to sell many thousands of products, let’s say for example electrical items, then you should add a meta title and the meta description for your product description.

As when somebody is searching for that specific product, it’s important that the meta title and meta description mentions that specific product, as it will allow your company to standout and clearly say that your business stocks that product.

Sometimes some businesses allow the search engine to use a section of the page as the meta title and meta description, however sometimes this will not include the product name, or what the actual product is.

This could negatively impact your businesses click through rate, which some web designers refer to as the CTR.

Therefore, the web design agency should include within their quote writing meta titles and meta descriptions for every single page that they design on your website.

Sometimes the web designers will spend so much time writing the HTML, and the CSS and designing each page, that the other elements such as the meta titles, and descriptions will be ignored.

However, we would strongly recommend that your Cardiff web designer adds meta titles and meta descriptions to each page on your website.

Analytics

Often a business when they launch a new website, for example a new WordPress or Joomla website, they will be eager to see where the business ranks in the search engine result pages.

The reason you may want to include this in your quote is to add a tracking code so that you can track how your website is ranking.

We would recommend that your design agency adds a Google analytics tracking code, as this can allow you to see how many visitors are visiting your company’s website. It’s a relatively easy task for your web developer to integrate a Google analytics tracking code to your website.

If your web developer does not integrate Google analytics at the start of the web design process, you may miss data that will tell how many visitors your website is getting.

For example, in the first month when your website goes live, you may miss the data which tells you how many visitors your website has had, and you may want this data to compare month on month to see how your website is obtaining more organic visitors.

Freelance web designer or a web design agency?

It’s really important to assess whether you want a freelance web developer or a web design agency that employs many staff.

Often the cost of designing a WordPress website through a web design agency will cost a lot more money, because the overheads are simply higher.

However, with that said, if you were to pick a freelance designer, and they were tasked with building a large e-commerce store then it may take a considerable length of time for them to complete the website if they work on their own.

You therefore need to weigh up the pros and cons picking an agency or a freelance designer here in the city of Cardiff, South Wales.

There are many designers who can design a website for you, you should therefore ask within your quote how long it will take them to build the site?

And you should also ask if it’s a large e-commerce website that is being built, ask them whether they can set milestones for when the mobile version of the website will be built, when the main e-commerce store will be built, and also when the site goes live.

It’s also really important to think about if you are about to rent offices or a commercial building, that you have your website built well in advance of your company starting.

We say this because sometimes it can take many months to build a new website, and you would obviously want your website to go live as soon as your business is set up.

Some businesses believe that the website will be set up in a matter of days, however often if the website is intricate it may take many months to build a new website, and this is worth keeping in mind when setting up a business, as you would obviously want people to use your website as soon as your business starts.

Therefore it is crucial that you ask your web developers how long it will take to build the website and to get timescales so that you know when you will be handed over a finished website, and when you are ready to start your business here in Cardiff, South Wales.

Split testing

Your web design company may offer what is called split testing, which is sometimes referred to as A/B testing as well.

For example, when you launch a new website, you may find that the business has a very high bounce rate.

Then the web developers may make incremental improvements, using A/B testing, that’s to see if the changes have improved the website, in terms of lowering the businesses bounce rate for example or helping to increase sales?

Split testing is sometimes used to see if a change, such as changing the design of the main menu improves the businesses bounce rate or not.

For example, a large e-commerce business, that sells many thousands of different products, may change the design of the main menu, that’s to see if it’s easier to use by its customers, this may result in an uplift in sales, and a reduction in the businesses bounce rate.

 

Updates

It’s really important that some CMS, such as WordPress receive regular updates. Also, the for example, often the plugins will also need updating on a regular basis.

This is why it’s worth asking the web designers whether the quote includes regular updates of the company’s website or not?

You may also want to know if the design company will update the businesses plugins or if this is done automatically?

For example, if your business opts for a WordPress website, often the plugins and the WordPress itself will need updates.

Backups

Often the business will want to have its website backed up on a regular basis, therefore you should ask whether the web designers have included in their quote to back your website up on a regular basis?

JavaScript, HTML, CSS

You may hear that your web designers mention JavaScript and HTML, this is the language that is used to build a website.

Homepage

You should think carefully how you want your homepage to be designed, for example, if the homepage is poorly designed, in terms that a customer cannot find the product that they want, then this can contribute to the website having a high bounce rate.

Therefore, often the business will not just have a new website built, but they will also hire a web developer that offers split testing, so they can make improvements to the website as well.

For example, HTML and CSS will be used to build the website, and to improve the website for example, changing how the main menu works.

Header and footer

Your website will often need a header and footer, often the designers will need information from the client as to what they wish to add to the header and the footer.

For example, some businesses here in Cardiff will add their business address and also the businesses terms and conditions.

These will need to be forwarded to your web designers, so that they can add a link in the footer of the website.

NAP information

Most businesses will add “NAP information” to the website, which is the name of the business, its address and also phone number.

Then you should ask your web designers to add this to the contact us page on your website, plus also add this to the footer of the website as well.

You should make sure that this information can be indexed.

 

Internal back links

You should also ask your web designers whether they are going to add internal backlinks to your website, for example, sometimes many products will be purchased together.

For example, you may notice when somebody purchases a new pair of shoes from your website,   they also purchase a few pairs of socks at the same time.

Therefore, you should ask your web designers whether they can add internal links onto the shoes page, so that when somebody makes a purchase of a pair of shoes, they can then also be taken to page that also sells socks as well?

General style

Sometimes some businesses will have a really good idea of how they would like their new company website to be designed.

Therefore, it’s often a good idea to write down these ideas and to ask your web developer if they think that say adding AMP would improve your company’s website?

For example, your business may wish to opt for an AMP website, which stands for accelerated mobile pages.

Your web developer will then be able to explain the advantages of opting for AMP.

Also, you may wish to add a lot of text to the homepage of your website, but your web developer may inform you that if there’s too much text is on the home page then this may be off-putting. And could increase the businesses bounce rate?

Therefore, instead you may opt for a company website which has less text on the website homepage?

Web design ideas from your competitors

A good idea when brainstorming how you would like your new company website to look, is to use your competitors as inspiration.

For example, you may like a main menu on one competitor’s website , also how the homepage has been designed on another.

Therefore, it’s worth weighing up the positive elements that your competitors have, and to use all those design ideas to see if they can be used to better design your own website?

We do not mean copying the competition, but you may spot that you would like the homepage to have a slider and also want some of the pages laid out the same?

For example, a rival plumbing business may have a separate page for “boiler repair”, “boiler replacement” and “24-hour callout”.

You may then notice that you do not want just a page mentioning “boiler repair” and to have “boiler replacement” together, instead you also want to have separate pages on your website to state the different services.

Also, on another competitor’s websites, you may notice that they have a contact form where the customer can leave their name, and mobile number, so that you can give them a ring back regarding getting a boiler replaced.

You may want this feature added to your own website, sometimes evaluating the competition in terms of what they are doing well, can sometimes contribute to your own website being enhanced.

Also, when working with your web designers, and evaluating your competition, they will be able to also tell you what they are doing well, to improve their search engine optimisation.

For example, the digital marketing agency may say that your competitors are improving their on-site SEO, therefore you may wish to also enhance your businesses on-site SEO?

Bounce rate

It’s important that when you hire a web developer, that they add Google Analytics to your website.

This is so that you can monitor the website’s bounce rate. It doesn’t matter if you run a local business, such as a plumbing business or a multinational company employing thousands of people, all businesses will want to lower the company’s bounce rate.

For those that do not know, bounce rate is simply the percentage of people that land on a website, then leave without visiting another page on your company’s website.

For example, let’s say somebody is searching for a new fridge freezer, they may land on your website and visit one model of fridge freezer then leave the website.

Obviously if you are an electrical retailer of fridge freezers, you will want the shopper to look at many different models of fridge freezers and purchase from your business.

Therefore, it is often the digital marketing agency’s job to figure out how they can reduce the company’s bounce rate.

Therefore, if you are launching a new website, your web developers should be trying to reduce your businesses bounce rate.

Social Media Integration

Often many businesses will have social media accounts, such as Facebook and also Twitter. You should ask your web developers to integrate your social media accounts with your website.

This is so that when a shopper lands on your website, they can also check customer reviews that have been left on Facebook for example.

Local web designers

Another really important point is to consider whether you need a local web designer, or to choose a design company that is further away?

Often when a business is looking for a local web designer, for example one that is based in the city of Cardiff, you will sometimes be shown ads of web designers that are based in another part of the country.

Sometimes the cost to get website designed may well be substantially cheaper, however you need to weigh up whether you need a local design agency, as many business owners prefer to have a face-to-face meeting when they are having a new company website built.

Branding

Often a company does not just want a new website built, often the business will want branding and for a company logo to be designed for example.

Therefore, it really important to find a digital marketing agency that also offers branding for your business.

Logo design

Often many business owners when they are setting up a new company, just obtain a quote for web design, but then often exclude the cost to get a logo designed.

Therefore, when you’re looking for web design quotes, its really important to ask how much it will cost to design a logo so that this can be added to your website straightaway.

Mobile version of the website

Also, another presumption that some business owners make is that when they obtain a quote to have new website built, that a mobile version will be included. However, some web designers will charge extra for designing a mobile website.

This is why it’s important to make sure that the quote includes obtaining a mobile version of the website, whether that be accelerated mobile pages (AMP) or a normal mobile version of the website, or if the quote includes this?

Have your web designers worked for similar businesses?

Another question that you may want to ask your web designers, is if they have worked with another similar business?

Often if they have, they will have a good idea of how to write the content marketing and also some of the features that your business may need.

For example, if your business is a law practice, and the web designer has built quite a few websites for solicitors, then this can be beneficial.

Often, they can recommend features that your business may need, for example they may recommend a content management system, such as WordPress, which is easy-to-use because they know that you will need to add blog posts, on a regular basis in order to improve your businesses search engine optimisation.

 

Can provide your business with many different design ideas

Often for a lot of businesses here in Cardiff South Wales will use a website as the main way to promote their business.

This is why absolutely crucial for the you to partner with the right digital marketing agency.

But not only that, you will also need a website that will promote your business in the best way possible, this is why the design agency should offer you many different design options.

Therefore, you do not want to opt for a website that looks rather generic, and somewhat “run-of-the-mill”, instead what you instead need is a CMS website, which stands for content management system, which will impress your customers and help you to gain new business.

This is why many businesses here within the city of Cardiff, choose us to be there web designers because we can build impressive high-quality websites for businesses of all sizes throughout Wales.

Local web designers

There are now so many web designers and web developers throughout Wales, it is important that you find a business that is located locally to you, as often a website doesn’t just need to be built and then left without making any further improvements.

Instead what is often the case is that the website needs to be built and it needs regular improvements through split testing and A/B testing.

Also, the business often needs to invest in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), often the digital marketing agency is needed that understands the very latest white hat search engine optimisation methods and is able to implement these onto your website on a monthly basis.

Slider

Does your business need a slider?

Often a slider that’s embedded on the homepage, by the web developer will use HTML and CSS, this is used to build a slider on your website, this can often be a good way to promote your business.

Often it will instantly convey the products or services that your business offers.

For example, if you run a construction business, and you specialise in building high-value properties, a slider showing a few of the building contracts that you have completed throughout Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan would be a good way of instantly communicating to a potential customer the type of work that you do, and the type of work that you want to carry out throughout Cardiff.

Therefore, the web designer should design a website that incorporates a slider, and often a web developer will then be needed to build the slider into the content management system using HTML and CSS.

Introduction video

Sometimes a business will opt for an introduction video, that’s added to the company’s homepage, this is another really good way of communicating what your business can offer.

For example, if you run say an architects practice and you want to attract commercial customers, you can show through an introduction video that you run a large architects practice, so potential customers who are looking for a large business are then more likely to contact you.

Our web design business has noticed that less and less customers want to read through masses of text, instead what’s needed is to reduce the businesses bounce rate, and what is often needed is an impressive homepage for your company.

That’s the say a homepage that instantly communicates what your business can offer, and also the type of customers that your business wants to attract.

Often when a business opts for a really cheap website, it can look generic, so that customers do not know is whether you are a large or small business.

Large amounts of text can increase a business’s bounce rate on a homepage

Large amounts of text that added to a homepage can sometimes increase of businesses bounce rate this is worth keeping in mind when designing a homepage for a website.

 

It’s important to think how you want your header and your footer designed on your website.

For example, do you want your web developer to use HTML and CSS, to make sure that the important information such as your businesses phone number and your businesses address stands out the very top of the website?

Mobile menu

it’s crucial that the menu on your main website works well, but it’s equally important that the menu works well on your mobile version of your website as well.

If the mobile version does not work correctly, for example somebody cannot get to a product that they want to purchase quickly, then this can increase your businesses bounce rate, it could possibly mean that your business is losing out on sales?

This is why you need to work with web developer, that’s to make sure that the main menu on both versions of your company website work correctly.

Often businesses here in Cardiff will offer split testing to improve the design of their main menu.

Indexed

You have to make sure that your website can be indexed, this means that your website can be crawled and indexed.

Sometimes some web designers will leave no index tab left on by mistake, it’s worth making sure that the no index tab is switched off, when you want your website to be indexed.

Colour schemes

It’s important to think about colour schemes, especially if you are just setting up your business, as you may want the colour schemes that you use on your website to match with your business premises and your company vehicles for example.

Your web designer should be able to offer you a range of different hex codes, you can then pick an exact colour scheme that you want to use on your website.  

Font

Another really important thing to think about, is the font that you wish to use on your website, sometimes a business will want to use a font type on their website, and then to use the same font across all company literature, for example on leaflets, or on the business cards for example.  

 

Easy-to-use menu

 

It’s absolutely crucial that the main menu is easy to use, your web developers should design a main menu using HTML, and also CSS so that the main menu is easy to use, and also your customers are able to sort your products as well.

Able to sort products

If your business sells many thousands of different products, it’s really important to work your web developer so that they can help your business to sort products.

For example, if you sell many hundreds types of different pairs of shoes, your customer should be able to sort the shoes by type, for example “casual shoes”, “running shoes” or “formal shoes”.

If a customer cannot sort items or narrow down the selection of products, this is another common reason why a business will incur a very high bounce rate.

Your web designers here in Cardiff, should therefore be able to build a website were your able to sort products.