H E L L O!
"Every aspect of building website can be compared with building shop or office. Possibly You do it only once in a life and then just maintaince it, so like house - All websites should be personal and made as good as possible with available resources."
Name: Artis Uljanovs
Address: Noordwijk, Netherlands
I am offering a variety of services - from simple website maintenance and consultation - to complex and large websites. Hover each image to see more services.
Strategy & UX Design
User research & market analysis
Persona development & customer journey
User expierences & interface design
Wireframes & Prototyping
Online marketing and planning
Web & Mobile
Responsive websites and platforms
Content Managment Systems (CMS)
E-Commerce and business tools
Maintaince & hosting
Database design & architecture
Brand Identity & Style Guides
Creative content & Copywriting
Large data organization
Branding & Campaigns
Digital brand strategy
Media planning & Execution
Social Media advertising
Monitoring & Analysis
SEO & SEM
Social Content strategy
In 6+ years of education, I have gained a variety of skills represented in this graph.
Technology world is constantly changing. If you want to be part of it, learning is a key to success.
Every website development is a new challenge and journey. I appreciate that I had possibility to share these journeys with great people.
If you are willing to learn little bit about main aspects of website development. I suggest to read some of my blog posts.
In this technology era it’s possible to access internet from a variety of different devices..
What is responsive web design and why you need it?
In this technology era it’s possible to access internet from a variety of different devices, starting from phone’s, laptop’s, desktop computers and continuing this list with smart watches, tv’s, cars and even a fridge.
Almost every day companies offer us better devices and new technologies that we would not even think about. This world is changing really fast and programmers need to adapt.
All these devices have different manufacturers, models, platforms, screen resolution(width/height), and a lot more different parameters. It’s impossible to follow up everything and too expensive to make unique website for every existing device.
Responsive Web Design (RWD) is the combination of flexible grids, flexible images, and media queries. Or simplier a front-end development process intended for molding website design and user experience to the user's device, whether desktop, tablet, or mobile. In responsive, a cascading style sheet (CSS)-essentially what defines the format and layout of a web page, is leveraged to permit a website to scale to the width of a browser, independent of device type.
Why you need it?
You may think, that your users will use only desktop or laptop computer, or just smartphones. But in reality you can’t predict what system, size or browser they will use. And now that Google is prioritizing mobile-friendly sites in its search results algorithm, it’s essential to make sure your site is optimized for mobile by using responsive design.
Link to statistics Link to statistics Link to statistics
For people, who do it for living, it’s well-known thing. But do You know what is a good website?
What is a good website?
If you ever have tried to search for website developers, freelancers or agencies. In their description or offer it’s common to see “We will make you a good website”. For people, who do it for living, it’s well-known thing. But do You know what is a good website?
My goal is to make it simple, understandable and short. I will split this blog post in 8 short chapters:
1.1.Accessible - So people with disabilities can easy use it.
1.2.Effective navigation - Good navigation is one of the most important aspects of website usability.
1.3.Proper layout - A good layout keeps users on the site because it makes important information easily accessible and intuitive to find.
1.4.Well-formed text - The average internet user flips across the content on a web page instead of reading each and every word from top to down. Users tend to scan through key parts of the page quickly to determine if it is relevant to their needs.
1.5.Contrast colors - The right contrast between the background of the website and content is one of the most basic yet most important web design principles that should never be overlooked.
1.6.Clear call to action - A call to action makes it clear which action to take next and helps remove friction in moving the user down the sales funnel.
2.1.Quality Images - All images needs to be good quality, format and right size.
2.2.Quality text - Content is most important component of website.
3.1.Design - Your site has to appear legitimate and professional. Quality organization is required for the landing page, and the color scheme and imagery should be clear.
3.2.Domain and Hosting - It’s simple thing, but it makes you appear more professional, for example, it allows you to make custom email addresses. Which email looks more professional firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com?
3.3.Security - Your customers need to be sure, that they private information will be secured.
Shortest possible description - “Performance is website loading speed”. 4 facts, why it’s important:
- 1-second delaying page load time equals 11% fewer pageviews, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions (Aberdeen Group).
- Almost 40% of online shoppers abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load (Gomez).
- 79% of online shoppers will not return to a website after a disappointing experience due to poor performance (KissMetrics).
- Amazon calculated that a page load slowdown of just one second could cost them $1.6 billion in sales each year. (Of course we are not Amazon or any other big worldwide brand, but it’s excellent example how important is performance)
SEO Increases Traffic. If you provide valuable information and make it easy for search engines to find and organize it, they will reward you with higher rankings. This increased exposure means more visitors to your pages. Especially when your audience wants what you have, and SEO is a great tool for targeting.
You may think, that your users will use only desktop or laptop computer, or maybe just smartphones. But in reality you can’t predict what system, size or browser they will use. And now that Google is prioritizing mobile-friendly sites in its search results algorithm, it’s essential to make sure your site is optimized for mobile by using responsive design.
More in this blog post: Responsive Design
Same as every worlds language, programming languages have Web standards that are rules and guidelines established by the World Wide Web Consortium ( W3C ). So it’s easier to communicate and understand other developers and their code.
I believe that everyone wants best quality and performance for their website, but how can non-developer people understand quality? Luckily there is a lot of different online tests, that can show websites quality.
For simple example, here is 6 different tests for wadmd.com (actual website).
Mobile Loading Speed Test
Desktop Loading Speed Test
Different Mobile Loading Speed Test
Mobile-Friendly(Responsive Design) Test
I like to compare building website with building physical shop or office. It’s quite similar and easier to understand for non-IT people...
Website Development Process and Marketing
I like to compare building website with building physical shop or office. It’s quite similar and easier to understand for non-IT people. So in this blog post, I will reference to building a shop.
First of all, before thinking about how your shop will look, you need a place to build it. You need to buy or rent a land, it’s called Hosting( Your website physical location in internet, accessed by internet browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari or some else)). For small business usually best choice is to rent a hosting, because:
1. Most of hosting providers have different options to suit all your needs.
2. Running your own hosting server is quite expensive.
3. You will need a server technician, who can set it up and maintain it.
Hosting provides your website with unique internet address(coordinates), but unfortunately it looks something like this “220.127.116.11” in real life it would be like this “My shop is located ”52*12’59.7”N 4*26’48.1”E”. It’s almost impossible to understand it and not even remember. Crazy right?
Here in help comes domain register, just like every building have his own unique address (Voorstraat 54, Noordwijk, Netherlands, 2201HW), Domain allows you to register your digital address for example (mybusiness.com, mybusiness.nl, and a lot more). I think that you will agree that remembering and understanding mybusiness.com is a lot easier than “”18.104.22.168”.
Your digital land and address is ready, so now You can start to think about your shop. There’s a lot of questions to answer, I will not count them here, because it will take a lot of pages to write them. At this point Project Management part will just start.
Project manager like in every business, first will get all information about clients needs. At this moment starts researching process, including SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Both sides now have idea, how shop will be built, how it will look and functionate.
Designer is responsible for digital architecture and interior/exterior design blueprints. He’s work splits in 3 stages.
1.Wireframing stage : Drawing simple website layout without any colors, content and functionality - I would like to compare it with making walls, different rooms and thinking about where furniture will be located in your shop.
2.Mockup stage : Drawing advanced website look with all colors and content, but without functionality - When layout is ready, it’s time to add furniture, products and everything else needed in shop.
3.Prototyping stage : Website look is ready, so now functionality needs to be added. This stage includes all client interactivity and experience. For example what will happen, when button is pressed, or data have been inputted, it’s impossible to count them all here. In physical shop this would include all customer experience, from entering shop till leaving it.
When blueprints are finished and accepted, it’s time to really start building your shop. Now in task comes Front-End developer (Website visible side), he’s your shop constructor. He is building your shop from basics and frame, till putting furniture and products. In physical shop building these jobs does a lot of different people, in digital world, it’s one person, but in different programming languages. In digital world there is a lot of different programming languages that can achieve it, but I will show you only 3 most popular and know languages.
1.HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) - responsible for everything that will be inside shop.
2.CSS (Cascade Style Sheets) - responsible for how everything will look and where it will be located.
In your shop, you have water, electricity, warehouse, office and more. It’s Back-End developers (Website invisible side) time to start, he’s your digital plumber, electrician and technician in one person. You don’t see and don’t need to know how you get internet to your shop or from where water comes, but You need it to work. Same as clients don’t see your office or warehouse and how it works, but it keeps everything organized. It’s Back-End developers task to make Front-End work as it should be.
Basicly back-end programming contains server-side language and database engine.
1.PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) - one of most popular languages. For creating dynamic content, communicating between Front-End languages and databases, and a lot of different purposes.
2.MySQL (One of most used database worldwide) - Responsible for automatic storing, editing and organizating large data.
Your shop is almost finished, but we still need to think about criminals, thief’s and unwanted people. Your shop needs to be safe for You and your clients. You don’t want to lose money, documents or clients, so it’s time to think about security. It could be video cameras, security guard, locks, safes and more. In physical shop it’s easier to catch these people, but unfortunately in digital world it’s not so easy, because everyone who have internet access, can try to break into your website and you will not even know about it. In worse scenario they can steal important information or even destroy all your shop.
So in digital world it’s a need to think and expect all possible ways, how a bad person would try to get past all your security and block it before it happens. For security responsible is Front-End and Back-End developers, same as website owner - Never give your websites accounts and password for people, who you don’t trust.
It looks like everything is finished and shop is ready to open, but don’t rush yourself before time. One more important process before opening your shop - Performance and Debugging.
I know, we all don’t want to wait, and start as soon as possible. But now it’s time for inspections and testing. Before opening doors to your first client it is important, to check it one more time, if everything is working as good as possible, is in right place and looking exactly as needed.
Congratulations your shop is finished and ready to be opened for first customer. It’s last step - Deployment. Deployment - is setting up your website on previusly talked hosting and domain. So everyone who have internet access, can reach your digital house.
Every business person knows that building and opening a shop, does not not simply bring in customers. People don’t know about You, so You have to let them know that you exist. In real world people can find out your shop by simply walking past it. In digital world it dosn’t work like that. There is millions of websites and it’s almost impossible that right customers will find you, if they don’t know you.
Digital Marketing contains different online marketing possibilities, that we see in our daily lives. For example, a couple of them:
-SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Marketing - I think everyone of us uses some search engine like google.com or yahoo.com to find information. SEO Marketing means that search engines will show your website (under paid adverts), when people will search for business like yours. It’s a whole topic to cover SEO Marketing, so I will do it in different time. Best part of SEO Marketing? - It’s free.
-SEM (Search Engine Marketing) - Almost same, as SEO Marketing, but SEM Marketing are paid, and will show on top of search results.
-Social Media Marketing - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn - almost everyone uses at least on of these or different social networking sites. And all of them offer social media marketing. They allow to display your adverts by different criteria, like geographical location, languages spoken, age, gender and different criteria.
-Email Marketing - It’s free, but now days, when our emails are full of unwanted spam and adverts, it’s hard to get customer to even open your email.
-Affiliate Marketing - It’s a common thing that business who are somehow related to each other, does affiliate marketing. It means that someone else advertise your website in exchange of money or advertising them.
-Online Advertising - A lot of websites allow to advertise on their websites, so it’s easier to show your advert for perfect client.
And last, but not least important step. Everything in this world changes really fast, so don’t forget, that website needs maintenance and regular data update.
If you're a business owner on the fence about creating a website, I'll save you some time—you need one. A good one. A professionally designed, lead-catching, sales-increasing, brand-differentiating website.
If you're a business owner on the fence about creating a website, I'll save you some time—you need one. A good one. A professionally designed, lead-catching, sales-increasing, brand-differentiating website.
Consumer behavior changes over time to adapt to modern technology, and consumer behavior has changed to adapt to the digital age. I'll give you an example—the Yellow Pages. The telephone was a disruptive new technology in the late 1800s and changed the way consumers did business. As more and more households began to use the telephone directory to find local products and services, business owners realized advertising in it was a smart bet. By the 1930s, advertising in the Yellow Pages was standard operating procedure for most businesses. It made perfect sense—the majority of U.S. households used the directory on a daily basis.
Then came the world wide web and a new disruption to the commercial status quo: the digital transformation. As more and more consumers realized they could find what they needed online faster and more effectively than a phone book, behavior shifted away from using the printed directory. By 2011, 70 percent of all Americans rarely or never used printed phone directories. Also in 2011, more than 59 percent of consumers were already going online to find local businesses.
Fast-forward to 2019, and the number of consumers that go online to find a local business has jumped to 97 percent. If you want them to choose your company, you need to be found online—meaning you need a website.
Why You Need a Website in 2019—No Matter What Industry You're In
Look, in 2019, you need a website. You needed one the day you started your business, but better late than never.
At Blue Corona, small business success is our middle name. We WANT you to succeed. So, in this article, I'll cover:
- Eight non-negotiable reasons why you need a website
- Common objections debunked
- How much a website costs
If you're ready to unlock your company's success and get started with a lead-driving website, you can contact us here.
Why You Need a Website No Matter Your Industry—8 Non-Negotiable Reasons
Deloitte’s analysis in Connected Small Businesses in the United States found that digitally advanced small businesses:
- Earned two times as much revenue per employee
- Experienced revenue growth over the previous year that was nearly four times as high
- Were almost three times as likely to be creating jobs over the previous year
- Had an average employment growth rate that was more than six times as high
This applies to all industries, even industrial and manufacturing. Digital advancement starts with a website. If that's not enough to convince you, here are eight non-negotiable reasons you need not just a website, but an optimized, accessible one.
Reason #1: 30 Percent of consumers won't consider a business without a website
Your website is your number one marketing asset because we live in a digital age. Americans spend on average 23.6 hours online per week and are on their mobile devices for up to five hours per day. By now, consumers expect companies to have an online presence (including a website) and will consider a company that DOESN'T have one as less professional.
Reason #2: People are searching for you online
One of the benefits of having a website for small businesses is to be where your consumers are. There's a reason so many companies invest in a website with search engine optimization (SEO): 97 percent of people go online to find a local business, and 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine. Believe it or not, there are 3.5 billion searches on Google per day, and at this very moment, there is someone in your area online and searching for your exact service. Guess who's getting their business? Not you.
Reason #3: The Majority Of of consumers use websites to find and engage with businesses
Yup. According to LSA’s (Local Search Association) April 2017 report, “The Digital Consumer Study,” 63 percent of consumers primarily use a company's website to find and engage with businesses. That's a pretty big chunk of consumers. Combine that with the fact that 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine—you do the math. Another compelling reason your business needs a website? Research by YellowPages and LSA found that, on average, consumers use approximately three sources before making an individual purchase decision, and 30 percent automatically strike a business from consideration if they don’t have a website.
Reason #4: Commercial Transactions in Every Industry—Including B2B, Industrial, and Manufacturing—Are Influenced By Digital Website Content
The majority of companies that don't have a website say it's because their industry isn't online. I hear this mostly from business owners in the B2B, industrial, and manufacturing industries.
If that's you, I'm gonna have to call you out on that.
A full 75 percent of B2B buyers say digital website content significantly impacts their buying decision, and 62 percent say they can finalize their purchase selection criteria based on a website's digital content alone.
The average B2B buyer now makes an average of 12 online searches before interacting with a vendor’s website, and they are already 57 percent of the way through the buying process before they want to speak with a sales representative. Even for industrial and manufacturing companies— 67 percent of purchases are influenced by digital. Not only that, but half of all B2B customers today also expect a supplier’s website to be a helpful channel and more than a third expect the site to be their most helpful channel.
Reason #5: 75 Percent of consumers admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design
Not having a website makes consumers trust you less. In fact, in 2018, 75 percent of people admit to making judgments on a company's credibility based on website design. People are more likely to do business with a company they trust, and a website is the first place they go to check for credentials, reviews, and awards.
Beware, though—if you have a bad website design, it won't help you at all. You have 10 seconds to leave an impression on website visitors and tell them what they’ll get out of your website and company. After this time (and oftentimes before), they’ll leave.
Reason #6: you need to Answer basic questions quickly
This is especially true for B2B companies. People visit your website when they want to know something or do something. They also expect immediate gratification, which means visitors should be able to answer three questions within three seconds of landing on your website:
- Who are you?
- What do you do/offer?
- How do I contact you?
We live in an age of NOW, where consumers want the information they seek immediately—meaning your company’s website should answer each of the questions above without the user needing to scroll down the page at all.
Reason #7: It will help you beat the Goliaths in your industry
Did you know that having a website can help you beat the Goliaths in your industry? It can if it's optimized for search. Take Villa Lagoon Tile. They compete heavily with big-box tile stores but have no trouble holding their own thanks to their website and their prominent position in the search results page.
Reason #8: social media reach is diminishing
So, you think you don't need a website because you're on Facebook.
Great, so is every other business in America. You need a website even if you have a Facebook page.
And guess what? It's getting harder for businesses to connect with users on the platform. Within a week of the last Facebook algorithm update, organic reach plummeted lower than it was already. Another bummer? In 2018, people spent 50 million fewer hours on the platform than they did in 2017.
While social media can help your business grow, don't bank on using it as your sole marketing channel, especially in the future.
Common Objections Business Owners Make Against Having a Website
We work with small businesses every day, and when it comes to not having a website, we've heard just about every excuse on the planet—and they're all incredibly misguided. I've listed the most common objections below, and our typical responses.
Objection #1: "My business is too small, and I don't have the budget for a website."
This is the most common objection we hear from small business owners.
Look—your website is your number one marketing asset. Saying you don't have the budget for it is like saying you don't have the budget for an LLC license—you're going to get in big trouble later if you don't fork over that initial investment.
Get a website—it doesn't have to be fancy and expensive, but it needs to exist, and it needs to be able to be found by search engines.
Objection #2: "I already have enough business. I don't need a website."
Even if you have more business than you can handle, you need a website, no ifs ands or buts. I recently read an article on website ownership that argued against this. Here's an excerpt:
"Recently I went to a popular restaurant in a tiny Virginia town to try and sell the owners a website. The restaurant was located right on the waterfront overlooking Chincoteague Bay. I went just before lunchtime in the dead of winter on a weekday. I figured business would be slow and I could chat briefly with the owner.
The owner was gracious and allowed me to run through the basic benefits giving me her full attention — even taking a few notes. I figured I had a good chance of closing this deal. I finally said, 'Do you think a website is something you'd be interested in hearing more about?'
This was her reply: 'We opened this place as a bait and tackle shop. Then people wanted coffee so we provided that. Then some asked for sandwiches, so we provided that. Later they wanted a few tables where they could sit and chat while they ate their sandwiches, so we got tables and chairs and began doing lunches. That led to dinners. Then we didn't have enough room so we added the screened in porch for the summer. People loved the porch so much that we winterized for the colder months. Now that it's January, we thought we might be able to close one day a week and get some time off. But we can't. We're too busy. We've never advertised and we're tired. If a website is going to bring more people in here — no thanks!'"
Oh, how wrong that business owner is. If that were my client, here's what I would have said:
"A website doesn't need to be built for the purpose of adding new customers. According to the National Restaurant Association, 83 percent of Americans look up dining locations, directions and hours of operation on their smartphones or tablets. Did you ever think that your customers—now and future—may like to see specials and menu items while they're on the go? What if they're in a hurry and want to order quickly and leave? What if they want to know your hours and can't make a phone call? A good website will answer basic questions right away—which could free up time if you're spending a lot of it answering questions on the phone.
You can add a reservation widget, which again can save your hosts time and make operations more efficient. You can build an online community with recipes, blogs, and places to get local produce. You can become not only a local favorite, you can gain popularity nationwide and turn your brand into a product all its own. There is SO MUCH a website can do to boost your bottom line without adding more customers, and while you may have enough customers now, you never know what the next decade will bring. It's best to get your foot in the door with digital now in the event that it's necessary in the future."
Objection #3: "I have a guy that said he could make me a website for free."
This is a bad idea unless that guy's career is in web design for your industry. Having a friend or family member make your website is like trusting a handyman to lay the foundation of a skyscraper. A LOT goes into having an optimized website—SEO optimization, file compression, responsive design, schema markup, etc.—and if it isn't built on the right foundation, it will likely topple over.
Even if you DO have a professional web designer as a friend, be careful—different industries have different website design standards. For example, a website for health services will have completely different components and markup than a website for the HVAC industry.
Objection #4: "Our customers aren't big computer users."
Your customers aren't "computer users"? That's baloney. What this business owner is forgetting is that "computer users" aren't just people using desktop computers. It also includes people browsing websites, social media, and apps on mobile devices.
Not only do 89 percent of US adults use the internet, but 77 percent of them own a smartphone, and in 2016, mobile web traffic outpaced desktop web traffic for the first time.
Smartphone = computer user.
Objection #5: I don't need a website because my industry doesn't need one/I'm not An ecommerce or an online business.
This is a HUGE misconception a lot of people have. Just because you're not ecommerce does not mean you don't need a website. Consumers—even B2B buyers—still need to find you, learn about you, and trust you because they buy from you. The large majority of our clients aren't ecommerce, and each one of them has seen considerable revenue growth from having a website.
How Much Does a Website Cost?
A website can cost anywhere from free to upwards of 100 grand.
For example, if you choose to DIY with a platform like SquareSpace, you'll pay a low monthly fee to lease a spot on their platform. On the other end of the spectrum is a completely custom website from a professional website design company tailored for your business needs. With these, you're looking at an investment of a few thousand dollars.
Final Takeaway: The Price of Having a Website Is Much Lower than the Price of Getting Left Behind
A recent Capital One study found that only 56 percent of small businesses say they have a company website.
That should tell you two things:
- 56 percent of businesses are doing better than yours
- You still have a chance to beat 44 percent of them if you get a website now
Look, anyone who tells you your business doesn't need a website is just plain wrong. Those experts who say you don't need a website unless you're an online business or an ecommerce business (like this lady)?
Yea, they're also wrong.
Tell you what—if you've recently read an article saying you don't need a website, send it to me, and I'll tell you why THAT'S wrong. It costs just pennies to get started with a web presence, and quite frankly, you'd have to be insane not to get one. If you need help, give us a shout —we have a wide range of website design packages for every budget, and we'd be happy to walk you through your needs.
About The Author:
Betsy is Blue Corona's in-house Digital Marketing Specialist. When she’s not directing Blue Corona's corporate digital content campaigns she’s urban exploring with her wife, diving into the latest marketing trends, or teaching horseback riding lessons. Twitter: @educatedbets
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Have a question? Need consultation? Or want to hire me? Feel free to contact me.