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Web Design London

What’s wrong with Using Website Templates?

By The Web Surgery, Web Design, Web Design London, Website Design Business

Using Website Templates

Designing your website takes time and effort and many people try a few DIY methods before they realise a professional designer is the way to go. There are plenty of DIY websites out there that look as good as professional designs but most of them aren’t based on standard design templates. Using standard design templates rarely provides a result which is unique, stands out and best represents your brand.

There are many reasons you shouldn’t use a predesigned website template and below we’re looking and five key elements which show exactly with a design template is bad for your business.

1. Limits Branding

Your website plays a key role in promoting your business and having somewhere to display clearly and concisely exactly what you offer. Using a generic pre-designed template is not an effective way of ensuring that your business stands out. Using a template which can be seen on hundreds of other websites is not going to make you recognisable. Even if you add custom logos and content, you will still have a design which makes people click past rather than engage. Starting from scratch allows you to present the image you want for your business with no interference from the predesigns of others.

2. Still Requires Customisation

If you have no design experience then you won’t be able to just click a button and get what you want, even with a template. You will still need to make some edits and dependent on the CMS you use and the template you choose. Tweaks will be required and the frustration they bring if you’re not experienced in this area can slow progress and take much more time and energy than you had planned. Without any design experience this process is complex and will probably end up costing more in time and effort than hiring a designer.

3. Templates are restrictive

Although there are hundreds, if not thousands, of design templates out there, they are still restrictive in what they can offer. Many template designers have licensing agreements in place which restrict exactly how many changes you can make and limit the ways in which you can use the website. Some templates also include a link back to the original designer which may not be something you want displayed on your site.

4. They Look the Same

As mentioned, you will find lots of people trying to do things DIY and this means it won’t be long before you spot at least one other site which looks very similar to yours. The last thing you want is to get lost in a sea of websites that look the same and unfortunately, even with your tweaks and changes, each template is not exclusively yours and you will find others that look the same.

5. SEO is Forgotten

The designers behind many pre-made templates are getting a little savvier in this area but it hasn’t always been the case. Plenty of designers simply haven’t got SEO in mind when putting together a set of pre-made templates. A professional designer working on a bespoke basis implants elements which effect SEO positively within their coding but in most cases, this isn’t true of the designers behind pre-designed templates.

6. Problems under the Surface

Most of the self-build websites on the market look great on the surface but a little digging shows a different story. Many of the self-build templates on the market trick customers into paying for free features and customization which a web designer would carry out naturally as part of their package. You may find yourself paying extra for elements you shouldn’t including SEO marketing and analytics.

7. All Style, No Substance

Many of The Web Surgery clients arrive with self-build websites which simply don’t do the job they need. They may look great, although this isn’t always the case, but they don’t have the functionality the customer needs. They may get plenty of first-time visitors but customer retention is a problem and as soon as problems are found with the functionality of a site, many customers simply don’t come back. The appearance of your website is only one small factor, behind the scenes hundreds of different processes need to be tested and perfected to ensure you deliver a user experience that ticks all the boxes, rather than just looks good but is completely no use.

8. Not Responsive

Though this is changing a little, many of the self-build templates and themes out there are not responsive and this is a disaster in 2014. Mobile web use is growing faster than anybody could have imagined and by 2017, it’s predicted over 90% of internet users will be accessing the web via their smartphones.

A responsive website adapts and changes to fit the screen size in question as well as changing elements to ensure fast loading on mobile phones and tablets. It allows your website to deliver an effective mobile user experience as well as the one delivered to computer users. Without a responsive design your website will look distorted, the wrong size or may even be impossible to read or access at all. As we’ve said, most templates do adapt to different screen sizes but what if you don’t like the changes? You should be as invested in your mobile design as your computer-based one but with a self-build design it is tough luck, you just have to live with it.

This is the case against website templates and why you are always better off with your own professional designer, working to your brief and ensuring your exact branding needs are met. You will get what you pay for with a self-build template and the same can be said of a properly build website by a professional. Yes, the initial cost may be higher but in the long term you will benefit from an adaptable, quality user interface which not only satisfies your customers but more than achieves its ROI.

 

Contact The Web Surgery

If you would like to know more or find out how we can help you then please call us on 020 8144 6540 or contact us at www.thewebsurgery.com/contact

Tips for Better eCommerce Web Design

By The Web Surgery, Web Design, Web Design Hammersmith, Web Design London, Website Design Business

eCommerce Web Design

eCommerce web design is a very specific niche which requires specialist knowledge. The evolving state of the web means you need to shout to stand out and though there will always be stiff competition with an effective and well thought out design, backed up by a strong marketing strategy, should see you on your way to success.

Perhaps more so than any other business, an eCommerce website has to work. It has to be effective and offer a quality user experience that allows customers to browse and buy with ease. Many eCommerce websites tick all the boxes when it comes to their look and feel but the customer experience and engagement levels are through the floor, highlighting that web design is about more than graphics and templates. Below are some tips which are essential in delivering effective eCommerce websites.

Design that supports Engagement

Your eCommerce website doesn’t need to be a feat of graphic design, of course quality imagery helps, but more than anything else it needs to engage. Keep your target customer in your mind at all times when discussing your design plans and think about what they need and what will draw them in. Engagement is key in eCommerce design and the main purpose of your website is simply to turn prospective sales into actual transactions without any frustration or effort needed on the part of the customer. Customers need to be able to browse your products with ease, share them on social media and understand exactly how they work. Your product gallery needs to be as easy to navigate as possible and though colour and style matters, you need to look more in depth than that. Analytics are key to getting engagement right, looking closely at drop off rates and the pages that aren’t performing so your sites can be tuned even more closely.

Effective Mobile Strategy

It’s no longer news that the world is driven by mobile web access although to look at some of the big branded sites out there you’d be surprised. A study carried out by the Interactive Advertising Bureau in 2013 found that only 11% of the highest spending advertisers’ had responsive websites for use on tablets and mobiles and though we reckon this has probably changed now, it does highlight how important responsiveness is. In 2013 again Monetate found that more than 10% of all eCommerce traffic came from tablets and conversions were also higher from this type of device. Your eCommerce website simply has to be responsive to ensure your potential customer’s experience is of high quality across the board.

Guide your Customers to Buy

A good eCommerce website will drive your customers to purchase. The design of the site will lead them to add things to their basket, direct them towards offers and show them the most important features of your site. Every element of your website needs to be considered with your target customer in mind – keep it simple and you’ll soon see results. There’s nothing wrong with a strong visual brand but it needs to have a technically effective website behind it.

A professionally designed eCommerce website sets your business up for a good start and allows you to wow your customers and converting these good impressions into sales.

Looking For eCommerce Web Design

If you would like to find out more then please contact The Web Surgery.

What Your Website Needs To Contain

By The Web Surgery, Web Design, Web Design Hammersmith, Web Design London, Web Design Richmond, Web Design Solihull, Website Design Business

web design londonFive Elements every Business Website Needs

Your business website should provide you with a direct opportunity to sell yourself to potential clients. This means more than simply showing off your goods or service though, it means letting them know what you’re all about. Human beings are naturally inquisitive and therefore the chance to get a better feel for the people behind the brand often goes down well too. Anyway, first things first, here are five critical elements that are essential to an effective business website.

Attention Grabbing Headline

The first thing people should see when visiting your website its headline, a tagline perhaps which concisely and clearly tells them what you do or what you offer. It should show off the most important benefit of your product or service. You need to stand out from the crowd and offer something unique and you need to tell every visitor this as quickly as possible, piquing their interest and keeping them engaged.

Effective Copy

Though this many not be down to your designer it is something you can discuss with them, especially if they have a marketing team or contacts in the industry. Your copy needs to be promotional and sales-orientated without being over the top. Your users want to know what you’ve got to offer but they don’t want it rammed down their throat. Your copy should highlight exactly why you visitors need your product or service and also instil trust.

User-Friendly Navigation

A confusing or slow website never keeps customers coming back for more. If you want your customers to come back again and again then you need to put their first. User experience has to be your number one priority and this means simply and clear navigation, an accessible menu and regularly testing page load speeds to ensure they’re fast enough to keep customers coming. Super-sized images and cluttered pages can slow down speed along with a range of underlying issues which may become apparent if you opt for a predesigned template or DIY website.

The Right Images

Images are part and parcel of what sells your business, especially if it is product based. Product shots can really lift the effectiveness of your website but erring on the side of caution when it comes to size and resolution will help ensure your page loading time isn’t scuppered. Thumbnail images are the best way to go for websites with a large product range as they allow for speedy load time and the option of enlarging the image where necessary.

Call to Action

If you want your website to result in sales then it needs to do more than show off what you can do, you need to actively direct people to make that purchase. Your call to action needs to be clear, bold and easy to follow. Easy to understand directions on how to make a purchase will ensure customers have no confusion when it comes to clicking that link and buying the item in question.

With these key elements in place your website will have the basics it needs to attract the right kind of attention.

If you would like to know more or find out how we can help you then please call us on 020 8144 6540 or contact us at www.thewebsurgery.com/contact

What are responsive websites?

By The Web Surgery, Web Design, Web Design London, Web Design Solihull, Website Design Business

In 2014, a website that isn’t responsive is unlikely to be anywhere as near as effective as you’d hope. Responsive design has become essential as experts are suggesting that by 2017, 90% of internet users will be accessing the web via their phones. Your design needs to be responsive if you want to access these potential customers you need to ensure your website is responsive and here we’re looking at what this means and why you need it.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive design is simply a website which responds to the device in which it is loaded. This can mean that the design includes a wide range of different graphic sizes and styles so it can load effectively onto devices with different screen sizes including mobile phones and tablets. Responsive design allows your website to be easily accessible to almost anyone.

Here is a closer look at some of the key reasons your website needs to be responsively designed.

1. Mobile Use is everywhere

As mentioned above, mobile web access is increasing at a rate far faster than almost any other kind. Statistics from Smart Insights show that over 20% of Google searches are performed on mobile devices and 25% of users in the US only access the internet via their mobile phone and no other means. More and more people are exclusively using their mobile phones and tablets to do business, make purchases and even arrange business services, so you need your website to be accessible and user friendly through all methods.

2. Boost your User Experience

You need to make a good impression immediately. People aren’t going to stick around on your website if it doesn’t load quickly enough or doesn’t load properly. Google research has shown that users who are frustrated when trying to load a website have a high chance of simply clicking off. Up to 61% of all users will go immediately to another website, usually a competitor’s. Having a properly responsive website in place should ensure a positive experience all around, with Google’s statistics suggesting that a positive mobile experience can be the driving force behind them using a service or making a purchase.

3. SEO Friendly

Responsive design is Google’s best friend and this is true for many other search engines as well. When Google came out and announced that they preferred responsive websites and would rank them more positively in their search engine pages, other search engines followed suit. A single URL to provide both mobile and regular access to your site is easier for bots to crawl and therefore they tend to perform better in terms of SERPs.

4. Ready for the Future

The most beneficial thing about responsive design is that you’re primed for the future. Simply the word responsive tells you all you need to know and as new devices are launched, a responsive design should be ready to work effectively without the need for any chances. Responsive design templates are designed based on screen size, not model or device type, which means whatever device is being used, your website will resize itself effectively.

The advent of people using internet on their TVs and even Google Glass means that your website, if designed responsively, will be easily accessible and if not, will once again not be accessed by this new class of potential customer.

When choosing a professional web designer, opting for one who commits to offering you a responsive result is a must. In the current climate and with more and more people relying on their mobile devices for internet access, your website simply needs to be responsive.

Find Out More About Responsive Web Design and Responsive Websites

If you would like to know more or find out how we can help you then please call us on 020 8144 6540 or contact us at www.thewebsurgery.com/contact

wed design london

Why Do I Need a Web Designer?

By The Web Surgery, Web Design, Web Design Hammersmith, Web Design London

With the many costs you face when starting up a new business, you might think web design is one of the areas you can make a saving. This blog post looks at the many benefits of choosing to work with a professional web designer and how you and your business will be in a much better position if you hire one. First impressions really do count and your website is like the shop window for your business, it needs to draw people in.

Below is a closer look at some of the key reasons you really do need a web designer.

The Professional Touch

Hiring a professional web designer means you are committed to presenting a professional image. More than that, the right professional will not only have a talent for design, they’ll also have the expertise they need to create the right image for business and industry. With clear correspondence between you and your designer you will have a site which pleases your customers and works effectively.

Save Time

Employing a professional web designer leaves you with more time to dedicate to your core business interests. Trying to put the design together yourself may take a lot longer than you’ve planned and you may find yourself settling for things that aren’t exactly what you wanted. A professional web designer will know there way around a wide range of different technical skills and languages including HTML, CSS photo optimisation, SEO and JavaScript.

Stand Out

As a non-professional, how are you going to make your website stand out from the crowd? Yes, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of fantastic templates out there, many of the customisable, but the degree to which you can customise them is dependent on your skill. Having a website which looks the same as hundreds of others out there means you’re unlikely to be remembered. A professional web designer will help craft your brand identity and give you a web presence which is unique and represents your business perfectly, helping it stand out from your competition.

In-Built SEO

To be found by all those potential customers you’re dreaming about, you need to be found in search engines. To be found in search engines you need to rank highly for the keywords most relevant to your business and whilst a lot of this is dependent upon the content you provide, but design plays a part too. A professional web designer will build your site in a way that makes it easy to read and rank for search engines. It’s effective and it follows legal protocol and without a web designer it would probably go by the wayside.

Be Responsive

Browser incompatibility and websites simply not working on tablets and smart phones can be a serious issue for your business. You’re losing out on a huge chunk of the market. A professional web designer will test their design for your site and design it to be responsive, so it works with a wide range of different devices, including those with small screens, wide screens and any shape of screen you can imagine. You are ensuring your business is open to the widest number of people if you opt for a responsive design.

Above all else, you will soon realise the capital you invest in a good web designer is a positive move for your business. In the long run you will soon reap the benefits of your investment and it gives you the shop window your business deserves.

If you would like to find out more or have any questions then please contact us.

Audition Doctor - Acting Courses - Acting Coach

Web Design For Acting Classes & Coaching Company

By The Web Surgery, Web Design London

Audition Doctor – Acting Coach For TV, Film & Theatre

The actress Till Blackwood asked us to re-design and launch her new website called Audition Doctor that focuses on acting classes for TV, Film & Theatre.

Solution

We created a website that appealed to her existing client base but have built additional areas to appeal to new areas such as business coaching. We also continue to work with Audition Doctor on their marketing strategy and website development.

Website Address

www.auditiondoctor.co.uk

Services Provided

Website Design and Build
Scrolling Images
Gallery
Video
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Social Media
Blog

Testimonial

Thank you for creating the Audition Doctor online. The website is amazing and so easy to use. I would totally recommend The Web Surgery.
Tilly Blackwood – Actress

How can I get more traffic to my website?

By The Web Surgery, Web Design Hammersmith, Web Design London

Why isn’t anyone coming to my website?

A common misconception of many new business owners, complete with a newly built website, is that soon, the customers will be flying in. You believe the website looks great, you’ve populated it with content – what could go wrong? The truth is, lots of things. There are many reasons why people aren’t visiting your website and most of them can be solved by investing a little more time and money into your site.  Here are some things to consider when working out why your site just isn’t bringing in the numbers you hoped it would.

Out of (Keyword) Control

You’ve probably heard keywords are good for your search engine page results. This is true but it’s not unknown for new business websites to go a little bit too crazy with the keywords. Search engines will crawl your content for relevant keywords but the last thing you want is to stuff your content so full that it becomes an effort to read. Your customers aren’t interested in keywords so keep their experience at the heart of all you write – write for your customers first and search engines second.

No Social Presence

Building your website is one thing but what are you doing to promote it? If it’s just sitting there how do you expect people to find it? In 2014 it is imperative that you’re active on social media, a bare minimum should be posting updates to Facebook and Twitter but beyond this you should look into other social networks which may fit your businesses. On location businesses do well with Foursquare whilst visual heavy businesses like those selling products often see a good ROI from Pinterest.

Where’s your Blog?

Are you blogging? One of the main things which gets your site noticed by search engines and customers is regularly updated, fresh content. Fresh content which is relevant to your industry and informative for your customers will help improve your search engine rankings as well as boosting your reputation amongst potential customers and other influencers in your network. Companies which blog even once a month see a huge increase in their monthly views than those who don’t. If you can’t find the inspiration yourself, then consider hiring a professional.

DIY Design

A DIY web design can help you save money but what do you lose in return? It’s highly likely that customers are put off by your design and can tell it’s not professional. Yes, web design can be expensive but it’s a real investment in your business and you’ll soon reap the rewards. Investing extra capital in a web designer means you can explain exactly what you want for your design and have it delivered. You will also benefit from additional extras such as a responsive design which ensures your site can be viewed on all screen sizes and elements of SEO built into the design.

If your website is well designed and is being updated regularly then you should soon see the hits you want. It takes a little work and perhaps a little more capital than you initially hoped but it is worth it for the success of your business website in the long run.

Need Help To Increase Traffic To Your Website?

Contact The Web Surgery for a free analysis of your website and to see how we can help.

info@thewebsurgery.com

020 8144 6540

Atlantia UK

Atlantia UK – Aloe Vera Prodcucts

By The Web Surgery, Web Design, Web Design London

The Web Surgery looks after the management and development of the website and email hosting for Atlantia UK.

The Atlantia Aloe Vera product range started in 2002 and the company spent several years of research and development  creating the Aloe Vera product range.

Aloe Vera derives from the Asphodelaceae family and has been used for centuries because of its nutritional and healing properties.

To see the full range of products please go to www.atlantiauk.co.uk

Karma Dental Care - Dentist in Fulham

Web Design For Dentist

By The Web Surgery, Web Design, Web Design Hammersmith, Web Design London

Karma Dental Care – Dentist In London

Karma Dental Care wanted a new responsive website for their dentist practice in Fulham, SW London.  The site was to offer a selection of videos, booking system and be able to be viewed on desktops, mobiles and tablets.

Solution

The Web Surgery created a fully responsive website that allowed patients to view the website on desktops, mobiles and tablets.

Website Address

www.karmadentalcare.co.uk

Services Provided

  • Website Design and Build
  • Responsive to work on desktops, tablets and mobiles
  • Video gallery
  • Scrolling Images
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Blog
Maxine Evans Photography - Photographer for actors.jpg

Web Design For Maxine Evans Photography

By The Web Surgery, Web Design, Web Design Hammersmith, Web Design London

Responsive website for Maxine Evans Photography

Maxine Evans wanted to update her existing website with a new responsive site that could be viewed on mobiles and tablets.  The site was to be clean and simple to allow the photography to standout.  A booking online system was wanted for actors to be able to book appointments for their photo shoot.

Solution

The Web Surgery created a responsive website that allowed actors to view a gallery of images and then easily book a photography shoot.  The website can be viewed on their desktop, mobile or tablet.

Website Address

www.maxineevansphotography.co.uk

Services Provided

  • Web design and build
  • Responsive to work on desktops, tablets and mobiles
  • Online booking system
  • Branding
  • Graphic design
  • Scrolling Images
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Social media
  • Blog
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