Beginners Guide to Web Design Northampton
If you’re here you’ve probably searched for ‘Web Design Northampton’ or similar.
We’ll assume you’re on the market for a new website, a big leap hey?
We’re not your traditional Northampton web designers, we’re SEO ‘bods’ who have added web design to their skill-set because in most cases your ‘normal’ web agency in the region isn’t focused on you getting customers, just good coding.
Normally we get involved once you’ve got your shiny new website live, when you’ll now be needing some customers, that’s where we come in.
But because we’re now able to help you with your websites, you can get all those perks in one place.
We’re an honest bunch though, we work with a group of partners who help us with more complex and e-commerce websites. Allowing us to focus on what we’re good at (sensing a theme here?).
If you’re not 100% sure how Northampton website design works, we’ve created this little guide.
So, below is everything you need to know about creating the perfect website.
How to choose a web designer
Though it seems only yesterday that people used floppy discs, technology and especially web design has moved on leaps and bounds.
Gone are the days that websites are built in flat HTML, looking like funky MySpace pages and having the formatting one could only assume was the result of a 5-year old child finding a crayon.
It’s actually not too difficult and you do not need to be technically minded to sort this for yourself for a few pounds a year.
Here’s a cracking video on how to create your first WordPress website:
Choosing a Northampton web designer is probably the most important business decision you will make this year.
There are so many agencies out there offering different services, opinions and ‘must have’s’ – it’s difficult to find a way through the fog, especially if website design is unfamiliar to you.
Rest assured though, we have your back.
Don’t rush in with the cheapest price
You’ll find web designers in Northampton who’ll charge you everything from $49 to £49k within a mile of each-other.
Depending on what you’re looking will result in where you sit on that scale.
For example, a very basic one page design could be at the bottom of that.
A full scale e-commerce platform with all the trimmings, near the top.
The majority of you B2B website-hunters out there will be looking in the £4-12k range based on our experience.
Don’t choose an agency who do everything
A common mis-conception amongst people looking for Northampton web design is that all digital agencies are the same.
Let’s take us for example, we’re an SEO firm, that’s our passion because we’re great at it. Only focusing on SEO means we can be incredible and deliver our clients a dedicated service.
The same cannot be said for most web designers.
The majority offer a plethora of services to supplement. The most common are:
- App Development
But, you may find dozens more. Typically this is a sign of a non-specialist.
It doesn’t mean they aren’t good at what they do, just that it isn’t something they give their all.
Don’t go with a web development agency
Web design and web development are completely different things.
Design is all about making your site look good, coming up with the visuals and in most cases building the website for you on an off-the-shelf CMS.
Often these agencies are very visually minded, great at coming up with concepts but lack the technical nouse. Often they will be outsourcing that element of the development.
Whereas, web development is technically much more difficult and complex, it usually involves systems, bespoke forms and applications.
Typically agencies that get involved in this area are far more technically minded and great for those difficult developments but lack on ‘design’ front.
Don’t assume that your graphic designer, SEO team or host can create a good website
As we mentioned above, website design is a specialist subject and you should structure it as such. Find an agency in Northampton who only build websites.
They’ll be passionate, on the ball and usually the best priced (as they don’t have to cover the overheads of all those ‘fluffy’ services).
Watch out for ‘our own custom CMS’
A big bug bear of many disgruntled Northampton web design clients is when they become stuck because of a custom CMS that’s tied them down.
Many digital agencies in Northampton will have their own content management systems, bespoke to them, which they’ll want you to be hosted on.
If ever you get in a situation where you want to leave their services. They won’t provide you with the CMS, meaning your website will not work.
This is a common tactic to keep you in their clutches for as long as possible.
Try not to get stuck on a custom CMS. Find an agency that will build your website in WordPress or Magento for an e-commerce solution.
This will mean you can leave without any issues.
We’ve dragged on now for a while about what you should avoid, now it’s time to go through the steps you’ll be required to hurdle when it comes to getting your Northampton web design sorted.
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Website Design Step 1: Idea Generation
The look and feel of your website is a very opinion-based ideal.
Something you love might be unsuitable or indeed disliked by your peers.
For us, we always advise those looking for Northampton web design to look around their competitors, directly and indirectly.
Take screenshots and save links of websites they like, features on sites they would like to see on theirs, colours, imagery etc are all great helps too.
Start to put together a brain-dump of the things you love on other websites.
Get as many as you can, then start to wean out those that are perhaps not as good as others, then you’ll be left with the basics of a website.
The most important part of this stage is to understand the technical elements of what you need. It’s things like custom forms, logins and applications that make the biggest difference to the costs so it’s important to describe as many of these elements as you believe are needed/wanted in your website design.
Website Design Step 2: If it isn’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
This may seem like a back-handed way to some but for us it’s a key element for the learning process.
Many of your competitors will have been through these processes before, they’ll have invested thousands of pounds in to their web design and improved it over many years.
Use their learnings as the starting point for yourself.
Search on Google for your competitors and take all of the best bits of their websites and start there.
Website Design Step 3: Mood Boards
Once you have created the above, effectively you’ve got what Northamptonshire web designers call a ‘mood board’.
For layman’s like you and I, that’s basically a scrap book of ideas.
Usually a website designer in Northampton would come back to you with this mood board but we certainly suggest going to them with one first.
After all, you’re the customer and you’re always right.
Use your mood board to inspire theirs, it eliminates lots of risk of getting the initial design wrong.
Website Design Step 4: Wireframes
Once you’ve all agreed a direction to head towards with your look and feel it’s time to get some wireframes sorted.
Some agencies will be creating proper wireframes (below) – while others will mock up a semi-working demo for you.
Whichever it is, the aim is to get used to the proposed structure.
Don’t worry about specifics too much. Colours, words and positions are very easy to change at this stage so don’t be afraid to request it.
The wireframe stage is a hugely important part of Northampton website designs.
It’s the first time you’ll get a glimpse of where it’s headed.
It’s important to spend as much time as needed to get this right.
Website Design Step 5: Demo
Once you are passed your wireframe stage it’s time for a proper working demo.
Usually these are a good 80% of what your website will be like once complete.
All the pages, buttons, links and imagery should work and the look and feel should pretty much be there.
The best thing to do here, once you are happy of course, is to get several of your friends and colleagues to have a good look too.
Usually those fresh pairs of eyes will find several small issues and come up with some good ideas.
During this stage it’s massively important to test.
Test your website on all browsers and devices, even the obscure ones.
Make sure your website works on IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari as well as across all major smart phones. It would seem like an obvious thing, but you’d be shocked how many websites come our way with issues.
We had a major fashion retailer recently who had lost hundreds of thousands of pounds in sales. Their agency couldn’t put their finger on what had happened. The site simply did not work in internet explorer, alienating 30% of their users instantly.
Check and check again after any small tweaks that the website works on all browsers and devices. Even if your chosen agency says it’s done, check.
Website Design Step 6: SEO
There is no point in having a website without SEO.
It’s like having the best shop in the world but building it up a lane somewhere where no-one goes in Scarborough – no idea where Scarborough came from, seems the sort of place no-one goes.
We won’t bore you will all the details, after all there are over 200 different things that effect how your website ranks, we’ll just focus on the most important part of where you are now.
Imagine your website is a book.
Changing the cover is your aim here, changing the look and feel of it is your aim, replacing the content within it isn’t.
Many people, when they build a new website will completely scrap all the old content, pages and blog posts – swapping them out with new stuff, redirecting the old pages or just leaving it to do whatever it does.
The most important thing about any new Northampton website design is to ensure all of the old pages and url’s are either moved to the new website or are redirected to new pages, talking about similar things.
A client of ours paid an astronomical amount for a website designer in Northampton to rebuild their website. They removed thousands of pages of content that were ranking on Google and getting traffic and customers. So the customer lost over 90% of their traffic and leads overnight.
Website Design Step 7: Live
Your website is now live.
This is where the fun begins and your hard work starts to pay off, hopefully anyway.
Once again though, check everything, especially all the forms and checkouts.
In times where most people do almost every task online, ranging from finding a restaurant in their locality to getting information about how to groom their dogs, having a web presence has become essential for businesses.
The Internet has opened a new world of opportunities for businesses and to make the most out of it, your business requires a website with a design that is attractive and appealing to the visitors.
Websites represent companies and have the ability to determine whether or not users will be receptive to them.
But, is just having an appealing Northampton web design for your website enough for your business?
The answer is a certain- No!
You may have an attractive web design, but how in the “world wide web” are you supposed to get any traffic and generate conversions if people are not reaching to it?
With more than 60 trillion pages online, showing up for a new business website anywhere on the first result page of search engines (such as Google and Yahoo) is no small task.
People will only see the design of your website when they will reach to your website; assume your website with a good Northampton web design to be like a museum with attractive artefacts, but tourists can only have a look at its collection when they arrive there.
The job of getting the tourists to the website is done by the “guide” and the guide here that brings the visitors is “SEO”.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a prime aspect of internet marketing – in a nutshell it “is the act of optimising a website through various strategies to boost natural search engine listings.”
It might sound simple enough, but SEO incorporates several factors, and it’s evolving as times passes by.
Web sites that do not appear on the first page of search engine results when people carry out searches can be regarded as non-existent among internet users.
This is why you need to ensure that your site ranks highly with the help of SEO so that search engines place your site higher than your competitors. SEO includes a variety of factors and plays a critical role in web design.
At the same time, the value of a well-designed website is often underestimated by many when thinking about the success of their website.
This is because when considering SEO, most people think of their rankings and how to get more traffic.
Clients often get surprised after discovering that incorporating SEO into the web designing process is often vital to the success of their online business.
A professional Northampton web design company can optimise your website design by implementing SEO techniques in the process, so that your website provides the optimum result.
If you are a business that wishes to excel, then you should consider seeking help from a professional website company that specialise in SEO compatible web-design.
Introducing dapa Marketing
Along with specialising in the usual SEO techniques (which is our forte) the professionals at dapa marketing are also are on their “A-game” when it comes to web designing.
As a marketing agency, our team at dapa consist of SEO specialists, project managers, a content team, and of course the best website designers in the area.
Our team will ensure that your website not only has a brilliant design for conversion purposes but is also optimised for great SEO.
This means that your website will be more than just a pretty face; it will also include all the right techniques for high rankings, just like a “beauty with brains”.
How SEO and Web Design Work Together?
Web design and SEO both work best together just like “Batman and Robin” to rescue business from the problems they face in terms of sustaining on the internet “Gotham”.
This is why almost every Northampton web designer is choosing to integrate SEO when designing websites.
It is important for business owners to be aware of how important SEO is in web design and the value it adds to the design process.
A Northampton web design that is SEO friendly is likely to draw more traffic. “Everything that glitters in not gold” and it is true for websites as well.
If a website is attractive and dazzling but is not search-engine friendly, it won’t get the top rankings in the result pages of search engines and eventually would fail to be profitable.
This is where our team of web designers and SEO experts come into play by providing web design that is SEO compatible.
We incorporate state of the art SEO techniques in Northampton web design process, ensuring that you have the best possible Internet presence and top rankings on search engines.
What Is Web Design
Everything about your website – including the content, the way it looks, and the way it works – is determined by the web design.
Web designing is a process of conceptualising, planning, and building a collection of electronic files that determine the layout, colours, text styles, structure, images, graphics and use of interactive features that deliver pages to your site visitors.
You may well be thinking to have a website with a decent design, and that’s the end of it.
The team at dapa Marketing are here to tell you that only the best will suffice when it comes to the design of your website.
In order to gain top rankings and use search engines to provide you with maximum opportunities, you will need to ensure that your website has a custom top notch design, and there are many factors which you may not have yet attended to.
There is no doubt that of course, the look of a website is of course a high priority.
In order to ensure that potential clients are interested in a company, their first impression of the website is of prime importance.
In fact, it only takes visitors 0.05 seconds to form an opinion on your website and they are as good as “Sherlock Holmes” when it comes to their observation skills.
Whether users stay on the page is usually dependent on several factors, such as:-
- The relevance of the website to the user’s search
- The perceived reliability of the website
- The professionalism of the website
- The user’s preference to design
The website will need to use modern trends, have an appealing design, be relevant to the targeted search terms, be clear for users, and you will need to ensure that your conversion optimisation is also good.
For a novice on websites that is already a long list of must-haves for the design and it can be confusing.
We at dapa tend to assist such business owners with our experience and expertise in providing complete web solutions which include web design, web development, internet marketing, SEO, search engine marketing, and internet marketing services.
We believe in quality and commitment.
Hence, we assure you that we shall continuously strive to deliver a world-class web design and the best possible SEO service experience.
We understand that Northamptonshire web designing also consists of other aspects which also add to the end result of a good or bad ranking.
This includes ensuring that the conversion rate is optimised, making sure that the website design is at maximum usability for the users and of course constantly keeping an eye on the entire workings of the website.
If a website looks good but performs badly, this can be a major setback for a company’s online resources.
The workings of a website involve anything from the speed to the links, and a large number of other different variables.
If a website doesn’t work as efficiently as a client wants, this can be due to the high bounce rate and annoyed visitors. If your own website is not at maximum usability, odds are that your will lose out on potential clients.
Therefore, we at dapa not only provide bespoke website design solutions but also offer redesigning services.
We will always give you help with your website and will be happy to offer any advice regarding the optimisation of your onsite materials.
We specialised in providing such exclusive web design services through conceptualisations, planning, modelling and executing your ideas in a better way strategically.
Our web design ranges on the vast spectrum of web design services such as:-
- Business Web Design
- Static Web Design
- Dynamic Web Design
- SEO compatible web design
- Website Redesign
- Website maintenance
Do’s and Don’ts of Northampton web Design
When you are hiring a web designer to create a website for you, there are specific items you need to be aware of.
These are things that normally wouldn’t cross your mind. For the average person who wants a website or blog for their Northamptonshire business, they are after only one thing-sale.
Now, they may tell your web design agency that you want the big flashy logos, or the overdone textures/gradients, but it is the job of a well-skilled web designer to steer their clients in the right direction and provide the best solutions.
DO: Keep your page structured
In recent times, we’ve seen an explosion of great grid layouts and CSS files.
Following after the structure and balance of a great magazine/newspaper, these grid systems help lay out information in a structured and easy to follow format which is easier to understand for visitors.
DONT: Just place boxes everywhere
We’ve all seen these types of websites before where they have 10+ boxes, all different sizes, nothing lining up properly and not one piece that actually grabs your attention because you’ve just ran into a whirlwind of craziness.
And this doesn’t feel like the craziness the kids experience upon opening the cupboard in the movie “Narnia”, but rather a boring one.
DO: Focus on what’s important
If you want a website for your business that sells one specific product, ensure that’s the focus is on the home page.
Allow yourself space on the inner pages to place calls to action for that specific item.
If you’re building a blog that gives out freebies or writes tutorials, make sure they’re getting the proper amount of focus and attention.
For example Websites like WOO Themes do a great job in putting forward what their main focus is – Wordpress themes.
DONT: Place irrelevant ads across your page
If you’re going to try and make money from your website, do yourself a favour and lay off the excessive advertisements that make your website look like a billboard.
If your page loads and has 80% ads and only 20% content, it is more likely that people will leave and never come back.
Making your ads the #1 priority is a bad idea.
Try blending them in and making sure they don’t take away the attention from the content of your website.
DO: Choose the right colour scheme
Knowing what your readers or visitors emotions are will enable you in choosing the proper colour scheme.
You won’t want a bright and ‘loud’ colour scheme if your website design is in the meditation niche.
You’ll notice that most punk rock bands have vibrant colour schemes including pink, yellow, black and blue, while a medical website will generally stick with a lighter, more ‘open’ colour scheme.
Find the right colour scheme (maximum 5 colours) and see how much better your designs turn out.
DO: Keep it simple stupid
It’s a proven fact that sign up forms with more than 3 items (usually – name, email & one other item) will have a significantly lower sign up rate than the easier forms.
People hate doing things for too long, while some of us are just too lazy and therefore are probably looking for easy solutions online, so don’t over complicate things.
Make things as easy as possible for your readers by assuming that a 5-year-old will be viewing it.
It definitely helps get things out in the open where they need to be.
DONT: Make your readers search to find something
Your readers shouldn’t spend 40-50 seconds trying to figure out where the contact or about page is.
They also shouldn’t have to click through three pages just to get to a sign-up form.
Get the important things out in the open.
For the items that aren’t required to have a strong focus on your website, you might want to invest in a search box.
DO: Make your page visually appealing
The world may tell you that people don’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s not true for websites.
The first thing people see is the web design you’re branded with. That first impression better be a good one.
Utilise textures/gradients that give your website depth and draws attention to the beauty of your design.
DO: Optimise your load times
If there’s one point we wish to reiterate then that is the fact that visitors are impatient.
You need to build your website with optimal speeds and allow your page to load in around 1-2 seconds.
What Can dapa Do For You?
If you’ve reached this section of the text, we’ll assume that you’re pretty much interested in our web designing services.
Unlike other SEO and web designing companies, we do not show our clients dreams that are too good to be true.
Neither do we pretend that we know more about your company than you do. If anyone offers you such services, they are likely to be boasting without any credibility.
For us, honesty and client satisfaction is everything.
Every client is being handled by our respective project coordinators who are well experienced and command good communication skills to understand your requirements.
At dapa, we also keep our clients in the loop throughout the progression of their Northampton website design process.
If any issues occur, we will always be on hand to answer any questions regarding your website and provide suitable solutions.
It also means that our aims are realistic and you know where you stand at all times.
dapa has a fantastic reputation for providing top notch web designing services to clients ranging from one man brands, to fully fledged nation-wide companies. No job is too small or big for our experts.
Regardless of the scale of the project, we can get your website ranking, looking and working brilliantly to ensure that your business reaches new heights of success and keeps on growing.
If you need any help with website designing, it is best to leave it to the professionals.
Contact dapa on 0800 634 3007 for more information now to find out more about our services.
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