Alaska is a unique business landscape and hiring a local designer that understands that landscape can put you ahead of your local competition. You will have some things to consider when finding Web Design in Anchorage for Your Business. Whether you’re the DIY kind of business person that wants to tackle things yourself or you are hiring a professional here are 3 top things to consider.
Small Business Owners Will You Let a Professional Design Your Website?
Money can be tight when you own your own business, which is why many small business owners end up creating their own business websites. Though this decision may seem like a good way to save money, it could actually cost you more in the long run – something no small business owner can afford.
For starters, professionally built websites are often more visually appealing. Websites built by amateurs may not appear correctly in all browsers and they are likely to be created with poorly written code, both of which can be detrimental to your business. Poorly written code can lead to slower loading web pages, or worse, pages that don’t function properly in all browsers.
In the same way that a poorly-created site can drive traffic away from your business, a better-looking and properly functioning website will instill trust in your potential customers. This can lead to more sales, which in turn, can put more money into your bank account.
Hiring a professional can also get your business online faster. This is because a professional web designer already knows how to design and code websites. It’s what they do on a daily basis, so they can do it much more quickly than someone with no prior knowledge of coding or design. A professionally designed website will be accessible to the public earlier, giving your company that extra boost in exposure sooner than would have otherwise been possible.
Just be sure to shop around and request a few quotes before deciding on which company to work with. If you already know of someone who has a professional looking website, ask them who designed it, what their opinion of the company is, and whether or not they would recommend that company to you. Consider this information carefully when making your decision
Creating User Friendly Website Navigation
An often overlooked part of website design involves the creation and placement of a website’s navigational links. If your links are badly placed, your visitors may become frustrated and leave your website before ever finding your navigation. If your links are badly labeled, your visitors may become hesitant to click leaving portions of your website unread. Luckily, there are many ways to make your website’s navigation more user friendly to your visitors. Below are four suggestions to get you started.
1. Choose the best location for your navigation.
As they say, location is everything. Be sure that your navigational links can be easily found by those who visit your website. Most visitors won’t search for hard to find navigation, so it is always best to display your links in an obvious location. This will help your visitors to better explore your website.
Common ways to display a website’s navigational links include horizontally across the top of the page or in a vertical column near the top right or top left. For websites with large scrollable web pages, a second set of links near the bottom of the page can also be helpful.
2. Use the same navigation location throughout your website.
Once you have chosen the best place to display your navigational links, it is important to maintain this position throughout the rest of your website. Frustration is a common response when visitors must seek out the changed location of a website’s navigation with each newly loaded page. Having a standard navigation location on each of your web pages will make browsing through your website much easier for both your new and returning visitors.
3. Label your navigation in an easily understood manner.
Whether you choose to use images, text, or a combination of the two within your website’s navigation, it is important to use graphics or labels that can be easily understood by your website’s visitors. There should be no confusion as to where any of the links in your navigation will lead.
Displaying poorly labeled links can be confusing for your visitors, which can ultimately lead to your visitors prematurely leaving your website. This can produce less page views per visit and even the loss of potential sales. For these reasons, webmasters should be extra cautious to avoid confusing labels when creating their website’s navigation.
4. Ensure that each link used in your navigation is working properly.
The final stage in the creation of a website’s navigation should always be testing that each link functions correctly. When clicked, do each of the links redirect to the proper page? Do the links appear correctly during each of the four link states – unvisited, hover, active, and visited? Testing that each individual link is working correctly can be a very time consuming task, but it is still an essential part of your website’s navigation creation.
Your website might contain some of the most useful and unique content on the Internet, but without properly created navigational links, your visitors may never find it. By taking the extra time to create more intuitive navigation, your visitors will enjoy a more user friendly experience while surfing through the pages of your website.
Save Money By Making Your Own Website
Hiring a professional web developer to create your website can be very expensive. With the economy in its current state, professional web design isn’t something that every small business owner can easily afford. If your business can’t put together enough money to hire a professional web developer, not all is lost. You can still enjoy the perks of a business website if you take the time to create one yourself.
Sure, designing and coding a unique website isn’t quick or easy, but if you are willing to learn some of the basics, you can still create a decent looking website at a fairly cheap cost. The trick is to use a content management system and install a professionally designed template. Both of these suggestions will save you a lot of time and frustration.
Content management systems are great because they don’t require you to be overly familiar with coding languages like HTML or PHP. A basic knowledge of the two can help you to tweak your CMS to better meet your business’ needs, but is in no means required. Popular content management systems that can be downloaded and installed free of charge include Joomla, PostNuke, Drupal, and Mambo.
To make your website more unique and give it that little bit of extra flare, the easiest option is to install a premade template over your current content management system. Many free templates are available online, but even the paid templates are available at reasonably low prices. Spending $50 to $100 on a template is much cheaper than the costs of hiring a professional web developer. Just be sure that the template you choose is compatible with your CMS, because certain templates will only work with certain content management systems.
Bianca Frank Design provides Web Design in Anchorage Alaska, Logo Design, Brand Strategy and Content. We are a brand design agency providing holistic brand, marketing and design for small to medium sized businesses. We love what we do. Give us an opportunity to show you what we can do for your business!