Website design

With an eye on good usabilty, effective search engine optimisation (SEO) and the value of good design, I develop websites for a wide range of clients – from small online brochures, through full content management systems (CMS) and eCommerce delivery.

I’ll help turn visitors into customers through a combination of good design, layout, usability, function and effective SEO, ensuring your site gets seen in all the right places.

When deciding on a website, you’ll probably have a few questions. Will it be search engine friendly? Will people find it easy to use? Will it look good at different screen sizes? Will it work across different browsers? I’ll answer a few questions here…

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

SEO is the process of improving visibility of a website or page in (natural) search results. You may have a great looking website out there but it’s not much use if no-one can find it.

All of my websites adhere to a set of search engine friendly principles from the outset and are coded to maximise relevance to specific keywords. I can’t guarantee to get you to number one on Google but I will give your site all the help it needs to be as visible as possible.

SEO is best viewed as an ongoing project rather than a one-off set up. Google likes new content and site updates – it shows you’re website is current and up-to-date and hasn’t been gathering dust for the past 5 years. How much you put into it depends on your online competition and your location. I can put together a package to suit your circumstance and your budget.

User centered web design

Web design isn’t all about visual style. I design websites very much with the end user in mind and aim to deliver site content that’s clear, simple and easy to use.

Usability should be a fundamental part of web design. So you might find I’ll try and disuade you from the “all singing all dancing” approach if I don’t think it’s appropriate for the site or may have a negative impact on the browsing experience of your visitors.

Responsive web design

From destops, laptops, tablets and phones, users are visiting your site from an increasing array of devices and browsers. Responsive web design (also called mobile-friendly web design) involves the design and build of a single site that reacts to the size of screen on which it’s being viewed and adjusts it’s size and layout accordingly. Of course, this is a responsive website too. Try it yourself by making your browser window narrower.

Here’s a very brief overview of the key elements of responsive web design…

  • The website detects the device screen size and adapts the website to match (in both portrait or landscape mode)
  • Website elements (text, photos etc) stack vertically on smaller screens
  • No more pinching & scrolling sideways in order to view content
  • The site creates a new ‘dropdown’ touchscreen navigation system
  • Photos, text blocks and forms resize / scale down automatically
  • Telephone numbers become tappable, buttons and text are larger and easier to read

Google loves responsive web design

As of April 2015, Google’s ranking algorithm officially includes mobile usability factors so having a responsive website is good for SEO.

Google favours responsive design because it makes their life easier. Prior to mobile-friendly web design, maintaining a consistent user experience meant additional website versions were necessary for the content to translate well on mobile devices and tablets. Now, no matter what device a website is displayed on, responsive design automatically adjusts a page in a user-friendly format all within the same website address (URL).

For more about how Google values responsive web design, read this article on mobile-friendly websites and SEO.

Web design & browser compatibilty

I may use a prefered browser when I’m building a new website but cross-browser testing is a must to ensure visitors using different browsers get the same experience. So whether they’re on a PC or a MAC and using IE, Firefox, Chrome or Safari, your website will remain consistent.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

Content Management System (CMS) websites, where you have the option to edit, update and amend your own site, are a very popular choice when considering a new website.

If you’re planning a site that simply promotes your business, acting as an online ‘brochure’, then a CMS site may not be the best option. If, on the other hand, you would like to run regular promotions or the services you offer require regular updates, then a CMS will more likely be worth the extra investment. The addition of new content to a website is also good for Google. Some of the options available via a CMS website include…

  • Uploading photos and images
  • Adding new products and services
  • Publishing new events or special offers
  • Add News stories and updates about your business
  • Share information across social media
  • No previous technical knowledge is required

My CMS systems are well organised and very easy to use. You don’t require any technical knowledge to manage your new website – if you can handle Microsoft Word, running the CMS will be a doddle.

E-commerce websites

I deliver professional, affordable e-commerce sites combining great design with effective SEO. The clear and simple client area allows you to manage and monitor your products, prices, customers and stock with the minimum of hassle.

Take a look at some of my web design work.

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