Yes, We Design Killer Websites
Website design and development is about more than pretty pictures. Yes, your site should be attractive, and its design should be geared toward the tastes of your target audience. But it also needs to function at very high levels in terms of SEO and, in many cases, back-end development. We can help with all of this. US Logo offers HTML 5 websites, WordPress sites and other custom and template site options, including eCommerce and SSL certificates. Not sure what all of that means? Read on. Or contact us for help making a website that looks great, works smoothly and helps you attract more organic search traffic.
Think of a website as an automobile. When a car is designed, it needs to do two things: look good and work well. Website design is the artistic creation of a site that looks great, develops your brand and focuses visitors’ attention in all the right places to improve sales. Web development describes the more technical sides of a website and all the methods for making it do what you need it to do from a functional standpoint. This means fast loading and seamless integration with social networks and third-party apps that allow you to do things like edit your site content, operate an eCommerce store and centralize many operations for your business.
HTML 5 Website = Awesome
HTML stands for hyper-text markup language, which is the coding used to the web’s digital content into a user-friendly format. HTML 5 is the latest version of this language, and it rocks. Here are some of the advantages it brings to web design:
- Mobile Optimization. Mobile users surpassed desktop users in 2016, and 71 percent of web browsing is now done on mobile devices. HTML 5 functions on all types of devices, giving mobile users more efficient interfaces without the need for horizontal scrolling, etc.
- Built-In Media Playback. Adobe has discontinued support for its Flash Player, which had long been a workhorse of mobile media playback. Audio and video can also play with the use of other third-party programs like Quicktime and Silverlight, but anytime you add third-party software, you introduce more chances for errors and speed loss. HTML 5 fully supports reliable media playback inside the main software.
- More efficient code. HTML 5 uses fewer lines of code than previous versions, and it’s easier for search engines to read, which helps with your site’s SEO.
- Multiple browser compatibility. Different people use different browsers, so it’s important that your website functions in the same manner across all of them. HTML 5 sites display and function consistently on Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Opera.
- Offline caching. This is a great feature: if someone has visited your site, and they later try to load it without an Internet connection, offline caching allows them to see the main elements of the site.
WordPress is an extremely versatile website building platform that makes the simplest template websites easy but is also a very robust platform for sophisticated business sites. It allows US Logo to offer endless options for site design and functionality, whatever your budget or your needs. Like HTML 5, it also has excellent mobile functionality. WordPress development can be as simple as choosing a theme and a collection of pre-designed plugins, or it can be used for custom designs and functionality to work well for large businesses with complex back-end needs.
Custom WordPress Sites
We love WordPress for business because, unlike building a website from scratch, WordPress provides so much pre-existing design and structure that we can hit the ground running and do more with your website in less time. We start with a mainstay collection of plugins that need to be on every website, putting us even further ahead of the game. This equates to affordability, and more site functionality than you may have thought you could afford.
If you need a fast, snazzy, functional web presence on a budget, WordPress has a seemingly endless number templates available—so varied, in fact, that they don’t look “cookie-cutter.” WordPress’s huge menu of plugins can be quickly applied to your site to give a look and a level functionality that will make your brand shine on the web. Here are just a few examples of the plug-and-play features offered by WordPress templates:
- Online forms
- Google Analytics and other SEO tools
- Interactive image galleries
- Featured content display options
- Google Apps
- News and social network feeds
- Cloud based accounting
Winning the SEO Game with WordPress
WordPress has basic analytics tools built in, but that’s just beginning. It’s a great platform to build on because it works well with other software that can give you sophisticated search and traffic information, show where people are clicking on your site, and generally help you market your company. When we build your site, you’ll have access to a full stable of low-cost programs that can turn your website into a selling machine.
Web Design from US Logo
Your website is a cornerstone of your brand. No matter where your customers hear about you, they will probably visit your site to fill in their knowledge of your company, whether it’s to shop for products, compare you to your competitors, look at a menu, get a phone number or just see if you look like a respectable company. Great web design is much more than putting some words and pictures next to the logo; it should be the backbone of your public image. Here are the questions we ask when preparing to design a business website:
- What are your goals for the site? An eCommerce site requires a very different design than a site designed to generate new leads or one that presents itself as an industry news source.
- What’s the flavor of your brand? Is it playful, staunch and reliable, clean and high-tech, blue-collar friendly, opulent, etc.? This should influence the look and language of your site.
- What other branding are you doing, and how should the website mesh with it?
- Where is your brand going? A brand is an organic creation that changes with its customers and the times. Your website should be at the forefront of this evolution.
- Who is your target audience? Your site should fit into their culture. This affects layout, fonts, design style and color palette choices.
Custom Layouts that Don’t Break the Bank
Whatever you imagine for your site’s look and functionality, we can do it, and we can do it affordably. Many Wichita agencies charge a premium for custom site design, but our in-depth knowledge of HTML 5 and WordPress gives us a leg up in the design game that keeps your costs down. So imagine away, then give us a call; we’ll make you look great.
Strategic Planning and Workflow
Think of this part of web design as the SEO game plan. Before we can boost the organic search traffic to your site, we need to know what your competitors are doing on their sites, what’s working and not working for them, and how much traffic they’re getting. Combine this information with the current tastes of Google’s algorithms, and we gain a picture of where the SEO opportunities lie for your site. But it doesn’t end there. What works today probably won’t work as well in a couple of months because the dynamics of the web (and Google’s algorithms) are constantly changing. Strategic planning and workflow should continue to guide your website’s content, design and functionality as the digital world changes, so we can make adjustments to keep your traffic climbing.
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Design from Templates
Templates are plentiful, we’re good at using them, and they can save you money if you’re on a budget. There are, in fact, so many templates available that your site can start from a template and not look or act like it.
So, back up: you’re ready to take your business online, but you don’t have a logo yet—or you need a new logo that belongs in the digital age. This is the single most recognizable element in your branding, and it should be consistent across all your marketing media, including your website. Our art department offers plenty of pricing options—all of them competitive—for a logo design that will represent what you stand for in an instant and compelling way.
You can save money on your web design by opting for stock photography and images, which we have, in ample supply. But it’s not for everyone, so US Logo also offers graphic design and photography services that truly customize the look of your site.
Google algorithms are very good “readers,” in terms of website SEO, but they can’t make the slightest sense of pictures, so we have to tell them what’s in each picture on your site by adding meta tags. This allows them to catalog even more information about your site, improving its search engine ranking. When we load images onto your site, we’ll add descriptions that include your keywords, giving Google even more reason to perk up, take notice, and push you higher on the search engine results pages.
Optimizing Your Website for SEO
Keywords, visual media, user experience, and informational content are the linchpins of site SEO, and all bragging aside, we’re very good at site SEO. Check out our SEO page for details on the process, but the short version is this: we have a strong track record of getting our clients to the top of search results in record time. And if you’re not on page one, you’re not really on the web, yet.
eCommerce can be simple or grand in its design and functionality, and we have experience with both. Great design is half the battle for a strong online store, but here are a few of the other factors we consider when building eCommerce websites:
- Fast response (slow sites drive customers away)
- Search capability on the site
- Responsiveness on all browsers and devices
- Efficient, easy-to-use guest checkout
- Secure transactions (SSL encryption makes your site as secure as money in the bank)
We often use Magento for our clients’ eCommerce sites because it provides excellent functionality and keeps costs down. Here’s what we like about it (and we think you will, too):
- Magento is open-source software, which allows us to make deep level programming changes when necessary.
- An open-source app also benefit from programming improvements by other users around the world, allowing it to evolve with the real-world online buying environment.
Every online store has different needs. If you only sell three products, your site layout can be simple and to-the-point (buy now!), but more complex inventories require user-friendly navigational hierarchies for shoppers that make sense and encourage purchases. It’s also important that your online store looks like a natural part of your website, so we provide custom layouts that fit your brand, the look of your website, the nature of your inventory, and your customers’ online shopping habits.
Design from Templates
You may not need custom design to build an online store that makes the cash register ring. We’ll consult with you and find the most cost effective solution for your needs, which may include a site template that can save a lot of money, but still very much fit the look of your brand and main website. This can also speed up your store launch date.
What About Pay-as-You-Go eCommerce Site Platforms?
Pay-as-you-go platforms like Shopify and Square Space allow you to take a store online with no startup costs, but they limit your options and tend to look like every other store on the platform you choose. The biggest drawbacks of these platforms are that:
- You never own your online store presence, which means the platform can make changes that may or may not be in your best interests.
- You pay a commission to the store platform. They take their cut before you receive income.
- If you pay extra to truly customize your store and make it fit with your brand, the costs are higher than you would have paid US Logo to give you an eCommerce site you can fully control. And you’re still paying commissions with pay-as-you-go platforms.
Our Magento platform gives you a store that blends seamlessly with your main website, so visitors can find you on the web, gain a comfort level with your brand and then be converted to customers with a click of the mouse. And you own it; it’s your store, not the property of a hosting platform.
We offer Secure Socket Layer Protection because it provides a trustworthy encrypted connection between your eCommerce website and your customers, ensuring the security of every transaction and giving your customers confidence that their personal information is safe when they buy from you online. This is a no-brainer, but worth mentioning.
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