pro•fes•sion•al - web•site [pruh-fesh-uh-nl web-sahyt]
adjective • noun
- one that's easy to navigate
- contains unique, relevant information
- converts visitors into clients
- portrays the company in a quality light and radiates credibility
- content is updated on a regular basis
- beautiful custom design (one-of-a-kind creation-not originating from a template)
- designed with the end user in mind
- functions correctly on all devices and screens
- is the center of your company's marketing world
Professional web designby Sleepy Dog Media Group
Anyone can put a bit of text and a photo up on the web. Only a true web professional can create a website that generates business for you.
If you currently or in the past have ever fallen victim to BWS (Bad Website Syndrome), you don’t need us to tell you WHY web design should be left to the professionals. BUT, if you’re in the category of business owners who have an undiagnosed case of BWS, you should keep reading.
All web designers are not equal
It’s funny how people think all websites are created equal and as long as you have one, you’re fine. It’s not until your website doesn’t come up in searches or no one ever calls that you start thinking “something’s wrong.” Well, websites are NOT created equal and while anyone can build a website, only a professional can build a website that gets results.
What kind of results are we talking about?
- Increased web traffic
- Attracting qualified buyers
- Higher conversion rates
- Increased sales
Your friend can't... seriously... they can't.
There’s much more to building a website than positioning a few paragraphs and couple of photos on a page. A little computer knowledge won't cut it.
Your family friend or relative that knows a little bit about computers may be able to download a template and upload your logo, but that is NOT a professional website.
Your company's website is the center of your marketing world. Are you going to risk that on amateurs?
We'll help you do battle with your competition
As you search for a web design/development company, see if they offer everything Sleepy Dog can offer your business. We are a Seattle web design company, but we have cllients across the entire country. Contact Sleepy Dog Media Group for all the answers.
Sleepy Dog Media Group offers:
- Responsive Design
- Major browser tests
- mobile device tests
- Beautiful portfolio
- keyword research
- Custom design
- Web design specialists
- Competition Monitoring
- Online design meetings
- Online Strategy Sessions
- Educational webinars
- Website maintenance
- Toll free Support
- and more...
You may not have heard of responsive design as it’s a fairly new concept but have you ever had issues with websites that didn’t work on your phone or tablet and wondered why?
This is where responsive design comes into play as it ensures the best user experience on all types of devices. How? A responsive design website changes depending on the size of the screen upon which it is displayed but it doesn’t stop there.
A bit more reading about responsive design ...
It’s comprised of more than just visual elements as it functions differently too. The smaller the screen, the bigger the text so there’s no need to enlarge it in order to read the content. The menu changes so navigation is no problem as buttons become larger and easier to click.
All the content is still there- just arranged in a slightly altered form to better fit the screen. On smartphones, the phone number becomes ‘clickable’ so calling the business is truly only a click away.
Many people think this only refers to mobile phones but it’s much more than that as it includes all devices, from phones to tablets to wide-screen monitors. We're already seeing people access the web on their HD televisions. How will your website look up on the big screen?
The point is this-your website will function correctly on ANY device or screen so all users will have the best possible experience. Imagine no more lost sales when a potential customer leaves your site in frustration when it doesn’t work on their phone or tablet!
Here are your 6 stepsto a successful website launch
The Sleepy Dog Media Group design process:
Step 1: Define your goal
Every business is unique and therefore, websites have different goals. So, what does your website need to do? Does it need to generate calls and bring in business or are you in a niche market so your website needs to act primarily as a brochure while building credibility with potential clients.
This is the most important part of the process as if the goal is not clearly defined, then everything that follows will be wrong as all future decisions (about the website) are made with this goal in mind.
Step 2: Determine user needs
Now that we know the goal of the website, we have to figure out how the website will accomplish that goal. In order to do this, it helps to step into the shoes of your customers and look at things from their point of view. Upon arriving at your website, what will they want to see and what questions will they have that need to be answered.
This leads us to discuss how the website will work, i.e. how the user will move through the website (and through the buying funnel) with the end goal of making contact with your company. We can then use this information for making a flowchart to show how elements (of the website) will lead the user where we want them to go.
Step 3: Content
Once we know who the user is and how the website will work, we can establish what content is needed. The content is the most important element of a website and yet, it’s also the most overlooked.
This is the time to make a list of all the content needed and determine if you already have the content or need to create new content. Chances are, it’s some of both though the content will be needed before we go onto the next step.
Step 4: Organization and navigation
The user experience is extremely important and good navigation can make or break a site. The content needs to be organized so the user can easily find what they’re looking for while (at the same time) keeping them moving through the buying funnel.
We can use a flowchart to help with the layout of the content and to determine the path of simplest navigation. We want people to move about the site fast and with the least amount of clicks possible.
Step 5: Design the look
While many people think the look of the website would be the first step, it’s not. The design is influenced by many things so until we know how it (the website) needs to work and the content, it’s impossible to come up with a design to support those things.
We look to our clients for input on the design though we design for the user first so their needs take priority over everything else. The home page is designed first so the client can review the colors and look before we move onto the rest of the site.
Step 6: Launch and Maintenance
Site launch is just the beginning...
It's a best practice to consistently update and expand your new website. With that in mind, many of our clients choose a monthly website maintenance package as soon as their site launches. This keeps your content fresh, which benefits your rankings and your customers.
“I thought I would let you know that we are very pleased with our website and your service.
We have received many compliments on the site. In fact, we have been told by clients that after looking at our site and our competitors, they selected us because they thought we were more professional and would provide a better quality product.
So thank you once again and we look forward to a continued relationship into the future!”
- David Kramer, Pugerudes
Sleepy Dog Media Groupwebsite design services glossary
Uggg... there's too much reading on this website.
Web design items
You have only a few seconds to make a great first impression or you’ll lose that customer forever. You need a website that’s visually appealing, professional and radiates credibility so people landing on your website will say, “Wow! They really know what they’re doing.”
Our custom designed websites are one-of-a-kind creations developed to reflect the unique image of your company so your business will stand out in the crowd. The best SEO in the world means nothing if your website looks terrible and people leave immediately upon landing on it. Don’t throw away your opportunity for gaining new customers; build a website that showcases your trust and expertise.
With responsive design, your website flexes and changes to fit within the width of the screen so no matter what size screen you have on your desktop, tablet or mobile device, there’s no side to side scrolling.
You will still have to scroll down to see everything on the page though responsive design definitely improves the usability of your site and gives the user the best experience possible. The Sleepy Dog website is responsive. To see it in action, simply resize your browser window and the information will resize and rearrange.
The content of your website is crucial for great SEO, which is why our web design includes complete copy writing service. We know business owners have too much on their plate already so we have taken the burden of content writing off your plate and put it on ours.
Our writers have years of experience in organizing content and reformatting it for the web.
Once people land on your website, they need to find things fast and easy. If they get frustrated, they’ll leave and most likely, never come back.
Our goal is for the user to find information in the least number of clicks possible while making it easy to move from page to page. Functionality and good navigation go hand in hand with professional web design.
Deciding to sell online involves more than setting a price and uploading photos so our professionals will guide you through the process-asking all the right questions to get your online store up and running.
Our user-friendly control panel will make managing your virtual store easier and with a custom design, your store will stand out from the competition.
CMS (Content Management System)
If you want to update the content on your website yourself, a CMS is the website for you. This format allows you to add and change content on your site without knowing much about website design or coding.
Many business owners are either too busy running their companies or have absolutely no interest in doing so, but if you are not one of them, this is your best option.
Blogs are a wonderful way to add new and original content to your website, which is why we also call them SEO’s best friend. They can be used for many things, such as answering frequently asked questions, reviewing products or services, educating your customers or showcasing recent projects.
How you use your blog is up to you though its primary purpose should be providing helpful information to current and potential customers. Blogs are terrific inbound marketing magnets as posts can target specific problems which people are searching to find a solution for or answer questions they may have.
Once your initial design is uploaded for the world to see, you have to keep the content fresh. This not only helps your search engine rankings, but keeps visitors coming back for the latest information.
Sleepy Dog recommends one of our monthly website maintenance packages for ongoing growth and upkeep of your website. With the right plan, your website can become a powerhouse of information and the envy of your competitors.
We're a Seattle web design company, but we have clients in several industries across the country. Let's have an online meeting so we can learn a bit more about your needs or you could attend one of our webinars.
Our web development team keeps up-to-date on all the latest standards in the web design industry. Using outdated practices and methods can have a negative effect on the performance of your website and that is not acceptable to us.
For example, browsers update frequently and will stop supporting older methods and if these are still being used on a website, it probably will not work properly.
Designed for your customers
Although, this isn't really a 'tech" item, it is part of the technical web design process. It's important to remember that a company's website should certainly reflect the branding and feel of the business, but it's primary user is the customer.
Both current and potential customers need to be considered during the design process. What do they expect to find or learn by visiting your website?
Are you looking for local customers or nationwide clients? For example, Sleepy Dog is a Seattle web design company, but we have clients nationwide.
Part of the 'behind the scenes' technical part of your web design is related to SEO or Search Engine Optimization. This includes having a clear message or piece of information on each page of your website.
We're also going to make sure your pages load as quickly as possible and are crawled (indexed) by the search bots as often as possible.
Except in rare cases, Sleepy Dog Media Group is recommending the removal of Flash elements from most websites. There are many reasons for this including limited/no support on iPads/iPhones, lack of readability by search crawlers as well as adding to a page's download time.
There are many other methods we can use to achieve nearly the same results - such as CSS3 and HTML5 transitions and animations.
To ensure all users have a great experience, we test all websites to make sure they work and display correctly in the latest versions of all the major browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Chrome).
Not only do we make sure all elements and links are functioning, we also check that graphics and content is displaying properly.
HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language, which means nothing to most people though it’s the building block of a website. It’s the language or code used to describe the structure of your website’s content, including the text, images and video.
You may not know what CSS (cascading style sheets) is though all you need to know is that it tells the browser you are using how content should be display.
We are using the latest version (CSS3) so your website will function properly and look great.
PHP and jQuery
Our web developers are well versed in using these tools in combination with HTML5 and CSS3 to build you a more powerful and dynamic website.
Being efficient in the most robust languages is beneficial as it makes our websites perform better for the user as well as the search engines (which is good for your SEO).
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