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Posts Tagged ‘Development’

Invest In a Great Website

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

 Invest In a Great Website - Contact

Stop Being Such a Tight Wad. Invest In a Great Website.

You just worked your ass off for the last 12 months.

Creating your product. Having samples made. Ordering 1 million of them because that’s the factory’s minimum.

You had someone in Indonesia create a slick logo for you. You set up your UPS account. You’ve rolled up your sleeves and you’re ready to get started on your ecommerce website.

Maybe you know a guy who’s nephew builds websites from his dorm. Or you read some article on how to build your own website in three easy steps. So now all you have to do is get the website built and you’re good to go, right?

Wrong.

Over the years, I have met too many entrepreneurs trying to build their own websites and too many entrepreneurs whining about the price to build a great website. And it bugs me.

Building a beautifully designed, fully capable website is no longer a luxury if you’re looking to launch or grow any ecommerce business in 2015. It’s a necessity.

Look, I get it. You’re a startup. You have a limited budget. You’re an entrepreneur willing to do things yourself. And that’s all very admirable. But if you’re launching an ecommerce business and you’re unwilling to invest in your website, then you’re better off having never launched your business.

Here’s why. 

You have a single presence. Make it count.

Instead of a website, let’s assume instead you’re opening a new brick-and-mortar clothing store. Since you’re a startup, your shop would likely be small. Your budget for build-out wouldn’t be much. But at a minimum, you still have to pay for paint, flooring, lights, shelves, displays, mannequins, a POS system, an inventory system and quite a few fixtures. Even with just a short one-year lease for retail space, no matter where you open it, you’d still be looking at $100,000 to cover just your physical presence. Probably more.

And even after dropping $100,000, you’d still pale in comparison to the Macy’s down the road from you. Or the Ann Taylor. Or the Men’s Wearhouse. They’d kill you in presentation, assortment and skilled labor. You’d never survive.

But…if you’re building an ecommerce website, customers view you differently. They view you only in the narrow world of online space. They won’t be thinking about what the Macy’s store in their neighborhood looks like. They’ll compare macys.com with your website.

And guess what? Now you have a much better chance in this competition.

While the cost of a good web developer varies, a beautifully designed, fully capable website should cost between $7,000 and $20,000 at most. Now compare that with the $100,000 you’d spend for your brick-and-mortar store — and you’d still lose that battle in every way. So why wouldn’t you spend a few bucks and build a kick-ass website? A website, by the way, that would last far more than a year. 

So what does it mean to have a beautifully designed, fully capable website?

The best place to start when designing your website (both aesthetically and as a utility) is to roam the web seeking out your competitors. What do their sites look like? What do you like most about their design? What do you like least about their design?

Now start looking at sites outside of your competition. Look for anything from a design perspective that appears fresh or unique. I’m building a website now to sell my own line of men’s bedding. Our gallery of thumbnails and product pages were inspired by a website I found dedicated to real estate crowdfunding. A totally different industry, and yet, the design scheme fit perfectly for what I wanted to do.

So after you have the design figured out, then make sure your product photos are professionally taken. Every piece of research I’ve ever read confirms that the nicer your product photography, the higher the conversion rate. And of course, the lower the return rate of your products. Poor photography also intangibly affects your brand. Do yourself a favor and hire a professional photographer.

Now it is time to revisit your competitors and test their navigability. Pretend you’re the consumer. Do the categories make sense? Are there any special features that you love? Is there something you hate? Do you wish it had a certain feature to bridge the gap between shopping in-person vs. shopping online?

A great example is something I had built on The Tie Bar when we launched back in 2004. I always had the hardest time shopping for ties in person without seeing how those ties would look with a particular shirt or suit. And no website out there addressed the problem.

So at The Tie Bar, we built a feature on the site that allowed customers to place our ties against the backgrounds of the most common colored (and patterned) shirts and suits. Back in 2004, it was a novel concept and it got us many compliments and mentions in the press. And all I did was discover a pain point in shopping online for ties and attempted to fix it.

So when building your website, make sure to include the features you love and exclude the features you don’t. And if you can come up with a creative add-on to your site, all the better. 

Mobile

The last point I’ll make is one covered in a million other places, so I will not belabor the point. Just make sure your site is mobile-friendly.

I will not bore you with the stats (which are everywhere) but suffice it to say that if your website does not translate well into an easy and appealing mobile experience, you’re wasting your time investing in your new beautifully-designed, fully capable website I just talked you into.

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss developing your logo, web site, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

Article Provided By Entrepreneur

HTML5 and CSS3 Class

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

I recently taught a class for www.cctbusiness.com on HTML5 and CSS3 level 1 the class was exceptional. I discussed the basics and foundation of building your site with the correct markup and structure. I also covered basic foundation of CSS3. The students where great.  I could not have been more impressed with how quickly they picked up the foundation of the web development.

I have included a list of the resources that I provided during the class below. Also if anyone has any questions in regards to the class or information discussed please do not hesitate to email me at dwerne@mojoe.net.

Also if you would like to continue reading additional information about web development. Here are some suggested blog post: Step by Step Checklist you should be using when developing a web site. and The 10 Best Web Site Background Pattern Sites

Links to HTML5 and CSS3 Resources:

HTML 5 Resources
Here are some links to HTML5 Tags
http://www.w3schools.com/html5/html5_reference.asp
http://dev.w3.org/html5/markup/elements.html
http://html5doctor.com
http://html5rocks.com
http://html5weekly.com/
http://www.remysharp.com
http://www.script-tutorials.com

Source Code Editor Resource
Here are some source code editors that you can use when developing a website. Some are free and some cost to purchase

http://notepad-plus-plus.org/ (Free)
http://www.sublimetext.com/2 (Free)
http://panic.com/coda/ (Cost, for Mac)
http://macromates.com/ (Cost for Mac)
http://www.adobe.com/products/dreamweaver.html (Cost both Mac and PC)

Font Resources
Here are some resources where you can look at different type fonts and include @fontface in your site.
www.dafont.com (Free)
http://www.google.com/webfonts/ (Free and easy to include in your site)
https://typekit.com/ (Subscription but very affordable)

Browser Support
HTML5 and CSS3 Supported Browsers Charts
http://html5test.com/ – This site will rate each browser
http://www.findmebyip.com/litmus/ – Nice comparison Chart

Site Using HTML5
Here are some sites that are using the new attributes for HTML5 and CSS3
http://www.lastchart.com/
http://smalltalkapp.com/#all
http://hakim.se/experiments – Great Collection of Experiments

Resources for @Font-Face
Here are some sites that you can vist that can convert your font to an @font-face
http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fontface/generator/
http://css-tricks.com/snippets/css/using-font-face/ – How to use

Background Pattern Resources
When creating a background it is best to use a pattern that is seemless. Here are some links to some great resources for seemless backgrounds.
http://www.colourlovers.com/patterns – Background Pattern Maker
http://subtlepatterns.com
http://bgpatterns.com/ – Background Pattern Maker

Tables to DIVs
Tables are not being used as much any more. Most developers are using divs instead of tables. Here are some resources for using div instead of tables.
http://www.vanseodesign.com/css/fluid-layout-code/
http://www.csstablegenerator.com/
http://compareninja.com/

Color Charts
Here is a list of sites that can assist you with picking out your color charts.
http://www.colorpicker.com/
http://colorschemedesigner.com/
http://kuler.adobe.com/

HTML5 Test Sites
These are sites that will show you the Markup as well as how it works
http://www.w3schools.com/html5/html5_form_input_types.asp
http://html5demo.momac.net/
http://www.html5rocks.com/en/

Whats your Function Junction | Web Design Greenville, SC

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

So is it okay to have a web site that may look great but does not work?

Well, my answer as a designer and developer would actually surprise most people. YES, it is okay to have a great design with no function, but for your client it is probably a big fat NO. Your web site should not only look amazing and be original; it should also function correctly and perform call to action to get your clients their desired results. There are great deal of developers out in the web community that are not designers and vice-a-versa.

We recently, had a client decide to use another web development company and the design of the site is nice. Unfortunately for our client the web development company was not experienced with shopping carts, so even though they have a nice looking site. The clients customers can no longer order online and the site basically no longer works. So what should you do if you experience this issue.

Ask questions, Ask questions, Ask questions, and educate yourself for the benefit of your company and its web site. Now, I am sure you are wondering what questions to ask? Well, here is a small list of questions that should help inform you if the company that you are about to work with is capable of performing not only the design but also the functions to your web site.

Questions to Ask:

Question: How long have you been developing web site?
Answer: If the answer with 1 year or we are just starting out, this can be a potential red flag if you are looking for a web site to do specific actions that may be complicated.

Question: Who is your developer/programmer?
Answer: We outsource our development to India, or  we know a guy. RUN, the reason is very simple. The person you are talking to most likely has no knowledge of the programming for a website and if this person is your point of contact then transferring your idea to them and then to someone else and so on. Well, you get the idea, your function will get lost in translation both literally and figuratively.

Question: What programming language do you use?
Answer: The answer should be immediate and they should be able to show you examples. If not then this is another red flag.

Question: Do you comment all of your code?
Answer: If they say no, or unfamiliar with what comment your code means then you need to find the nearest exit and leave the building. Commenting code is a practice that all developers should do when coding a web site. It is basically cliff notes to each section of code on the web site. The reason this is important is because the comments will assist another web developer if the site has to be moved or another web developer has to take over the project.

Question: We would like a self contained web site that we manage ourselves (CMS), can you develop something like that?
Answer: Once again the answer should be yes. But they should start out by evaluating your project and seeing if you would be better served with having an out of the box solution; such as, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or DNN. The reason being that if they develop something that only they understand then you are stuck with them and can never move your site. Having a foundation in one of frameworks mentioned before will make your site easier to move and most of these frameworks have a large selection of plugins to quickly add function to your web site. Now, there are some cases where custom programming is warranted and is very necessary, but remember if the programmer comments there code and also the web company agrees the coding belongs to you then there is no problem. Custom programming can be very beneficial in the development of your web site. This answer actually leads us into our next question

Question: Do you write code from scratch?
Answer: The answer should be yes. If it is no or they are unsure then you have an issue. Having a web company that can actually write code from scratch especially for a complicated and very involved web site is extremely important and can be critical to the operation of your web site. Your site need to have the ability to grow and expand over time…as I have said before, ” A web site is a ever evolving and growing means of communication.”

Remember, interview your potential web development company, spend time with them, ask questions, make a plan, and be sure to ask for examples.

I will be writing some more in-depth blog post that will deal with Planning, Development, Design and Maintenance so please be sure to check back often and feel free to contact me at 864-859-9848 or you can email me at dwerne@mojoe.net

Thank you,

Deveren Werne  – Developer, Designer – Lover of the Web.

Web Design Greenville

 

Designing and Developing a web site | Web Design Greenville, SC

Friday, June 17th, 2011

So what happens when you design and develop a web site?

Well, there are quite a few steps that happen when developing and designing a web site. So, we are going to take you through the process step by step with a real live client. (Yes, the client is actually real.

First, we begin by having a two hour discovery meeting with the client to listen to what the client needs, wants, and would like to have happen with their web site. During this meeting we ask incisive questions and develop a list of services that will need to be performed in order for client to receive the web site that he/she would like. In the midst of this process we educate our clients about web design, programming, search engine optimization, and all aspects of web development.

So enough about the process lets actually start off with our client which is www.mysolor.com and our contact is Alex Swire-Clark. Alex has come to us to re-design and develop their web site. So we have already meet with Alex Swire-Clark and discussed their site. During that meeting we spoke about what he would like the site to do. What goals they would like to eventually achieve with their site as well as what functions they would like the site to perform. (You can break a web site down into 4 parts; one is the design of the site, two is the structure of the site, three is the behavior of the site, and four is the SEO and Social integration of the web site.) We also discussed content management system and educated him on the difference between two platforms Dot Net Nuke and WordPress. (During this meeting we filled out our Creative Strategy with Alex so we could get a clear understanding of his wants and needs.) While we filled out the Creative Strategy we also educated Alex on each step of the process everything from colors, pictures, text to responsive design .

Once our meeting was finished we sent Alex an email letting him know what we heard during the meeting, after receiving his reply we filled out our estimate proposal and sent that over to Alex. We then concluded our contract with Alex and have begun the development of his web site.
So what’s next?…………………..to be continued.

Here is the initial design of the web site for www.mysolor.com

 

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