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Category Archives: Web Application Development

5 Steps to Building a Small Business Website

small business websiteWhatever business you run, today it is necessary to have a website. This is true for any service, product or manufacturing business because having a website is the cheapest and easiest way to reaching a customer. It not only brings you customers and thereby increases sales, it also builds your brand value and credibility. You have two options to create a website:

1. Hiring a Web Developer

2. Do It Yourself

You will know which one to choose only when you weigh in all the options based on your app functionality, platform of your choice, business objective, sales target, etc. Now, let’s take a look at the five phases of developing your business website.

Phase 1: Information Assembling

This is the first step towards the development of your website: Gathering information. This includes the several criteria that you need to take into account when you start to develop your website. This step is of particular importance since this is where concept building is accomplished, i.e. the purpose for which the website is going to be established takes final form here. The things you need to consider here are:

• Purpose

• Goals

• Target audience

• Content

Phase 2: Planning

Once you’ve finished gathering all the information, you need to put together a plan for the website. This will be your sitemap for the rest of the development process. Here is where you need to list all the headings and subheadings showing which content goes where. Customer friendliness and easy navigation must be your watchwords.

To this end, you must decide upon which Content management system to use such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla.

Phase 3: Design

This is the phase that decides the look and feel of the website. A website that serves a financial institution needs to have a different design from a website that sells books for children. You need to decide upon the colour, logo and the elements in order to establish a proper communication with the customer.

Phase 4: Development

This is the phase of the nitty-gritty. This is where technically speaking, the real work begins. Have a homepage followed by a ‘shell’ page (on the inner side). This would be your template for the main content on your site. This is also where your CMS elements or shopping carts (in case of an ecommerce website) become functional.

Phase 5: Testing and Delivery

The final stage of the web development process, this phase is crucial owing to its impact on UX. The testing has to be rigorous for if defects are detected post production, it will invariably result in negative review which cannot be rectified later.

 

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5 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Setting Up a New Website

New WebsiteA website is at the heart of your business irrespective of what you’re into. And it is incumbent upon you to ensure that it is professionally designed and well maintained. This is because the website is your gateway to the global customer, and therefore your primary brand value builder. So, how do you ensure that you succeed in your effort and do not fall for the common mistakes that occur when you set up a new website?

For that, you first need to know the mistakes. So, here are the 5 mistakes we think you should avoid when you look to build a website:

1. Lack of a Legitimate Business Plan

Do you have a legitimate business plan? And if so, do you follow it scrupulously before you begin to develop your website? A business plan is not confined to just describing how you’re going to develop the website but exactly what you expect to get out of it.

So, does your plan answer questions as to what products and services you would want your business to sell? Does it detail the role of third parties in it?

And what solutions do your customers require that you provide?

And, it must have the most important question of all? Identification of the target market.

2. Lack of a Proper Marketing Plan For Your Website

This deals with getting more visitors to your website and converting them into customers.

• Understanding the difference between SEO and PPC
• Integrating social media platforms
• Getting to know Google Goog and other such ecommerce analytics tracking systems
• Researching affiliate market and selling through 3rd party platforms

3. Undervaluing the Work Involved

You don’t set up a website to get quick and easy money. There are other professions for that. From taking an order to integrating the payment system to shipping the product, there’s a huge amt of work involved that needs coordinating many heads together.

Make sure you get your business structure right. Because success doesn’t depend on you alone.

4. Don’t Be Too Blog-Focussed

WordPress might be a hugely popular blogging platform. But to develop a full-fledged website requires more than just a blog. Yes, you need content that attracts visitors, but you also need a whole list of other functionalities and tools for your website to function.

5. Great Optics but Little Message

This is often the case with upstarts. They invest heavily in the design, but let the content and core functionality go horribly wrong. Remember the design, content and all the marketing is for the core functionality. You get that part wrong, and you go wrong completely.

 

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4 Ways to Create a Good Website on a Small Budget

WebsiteHaving a good website is necessary to generate leads and sales thereof, for your business. But how do you create a website that does not exceed the budget but still delivers on performance?  As a new entrepreneur on a shoestring budget, the thought of investing in a website can be quite scary, which is why we share with you 4 top notch tips for creating a website well within your budget:

1) You could simply develop a one-page landing page instead of a full-fledged website. Once you generate leads from that landing page, you can invest again into your business to create the website you want. You could use software like Optimize Press or Lead Pages to create a landing page, cutting costs as well as making it easy for you to edit and maintain the page by yourself.

2) Another option you could avail is purchasing a WordPress website template and then have your web developer simply install the theme on your site (and customize it to your brand). If you go via this route, you will find that a lot of developers would lower the cost of their total packages for you. (P.S.: Don’t get a free WordPress template. Not only is that going a bit overboard in the cheap stuff department, it is also settling for mediocrity as the template there are no good!)

3) If you’ve hired somebody to develop a custom website for you, get a designer to do mock up of the home and interior pages in the first place. This way, you let the developer know precisely what you want and also have a graphic design file (editable) to use, which enables faster coding by the developer. If you fail to do a mock up first, you either end up with a design you don’t like, or you end up wasting a lot of money on having the developer alter the code to fit your revisions.

4) Sometimes, what increases your website development costs are plugins that integrate with your marketing software (email). Therefore, if you intend to capture people’s talking points on your site (which is a necessity), using LeadPages’ “LeadBoxes” feature is an easy way to set up opt-in boxes without any special coding involved.

If you take these suggestions, you will have to invest some money into your website of course, but it will cut some of the costs for you to make the investment easier on your cashflow.

 

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PHP/MySQL Development Services – Why Business Love This Way

php_mysql_developmentThe websites has become an integral part for businesses and development of robust and dynamic websites or web applications using the most powerful tool PHP/MySQL is highly preferred. But, why? Simple! When combined PHP – the server side programming language and MYSQL – an open source relational database management system together, it delivers highly unique solutions.

More than that, here are some of the advantages of PHP/MySQL Web Development to give enough reasons for the selection.

1. Server Side Scripting Language: PHP helps you create dynamic pages with customized features meanwhile providing a user-friendly and interactive website or web application. This totally enhances a flexible user-engagement.

2. Ease of Use: Not only that its learning curve is easy as compared to the other programming languages but its syntax can easily be parsed. Its stability is sure to solve many problems with ease.

3. HTML Embedded Codes: PHP is a cross-platform compatible language and its ability to decode HTML is un-doubtfully a plus point and there is no need to have separate coding for PHP. A few more advantages that follow:

• Easily be incorporated into a code generated by WYSIWYG editors

• Cost effective while increasing the efficiency of the websites or web applications

• No need to rewrite every line of HTML in a programming language

4. Ideal for Ecommerce Development: Highly customisable because of which it is easily integrated for ecommerce development as per the business specific needs of the clients.

5. Cost Effective: Very cost-effective and never cost an extra dime after developing the website as it has got free license.  It is worth knowing that Apache/PHP/MySQL combo runs perfectly well on a low cost, low end hardware that you can ever imagine for IIS/ASP/SQL Server.

 

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9 FoolProof SEO Tips for Your WordPress Website

wp-seo-tipsWordPress is one of the oldest and most popular content management systems that are available for easy downloading and installation. But this isn’t enough to make the site successful for SEO, security and performance.

Here are some basic tips will improve your WordPress site for SEO and the user experience.

Optimize The Content: To bring up an effective optimization, it is needful to have high quality and unique content that contains keywords that highlights the overall theme of the post.

Use Search Engine Optimized Themes: Instead of using a lot of code to create the layout and design, fast performing themes are good for your Google ranking as this one criterion determines your ranking. More the code, less the content and keyword density!

Alt Text for Images: Make sure you have the alt text entered for all your images as this is the text that appears in case the image is not found.

Share Your Post On Social Networking: Don’t mistake. This isn’t about promoting yourself but other posts and websites you like. This shall encourage others link back to you.

Get Rid Of Black Hat Techniques: Don’t try to trick Google. Recently, some pretty high-profile portfolio sites were penalized which means they are watching you.

Avoid Flash: You might have heard this many saying and yes, flash is virtually invisible to search engines.

Use Google Analytics: Google Analytics is free and so easy to implement. This plug-in makes it easy for you to connect your profile to WordPress without having to worry about copy and paste.

Add Some Update Services: While creating new pages and posts, it might take some time for that new URL to be indexed by search engines. At that time, take chance to add update services within the General Settings page. Else you might miss some big organic search opportunities.

Name Your Image File: Google draws images in the calculation of the ranking so naming your image (e.g. john.jpg) provide better usability and optimization for your search ranking.

These are only a few samples to optimize your WordPress Website. If you are really serious about online visibility and beating the competitive edge, hiring a web development company along with Search Engine Optimization analyst would be the best thought ever.

 

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How Does a Website’s Page Load Speed Impacts SEO and User Experience?

Do you know that websites that has good loading speed score well on search engine page results? That’s one reason why web development companies take site speed into account in our search rankings.

Going forward, we shall discuss on how page load speed impact Google rankings and user experience. So, let’s see.

Should SEO Worry About Site Speed?

pagespeed-scoresGoogle representatives have stated on several occasions that the page speed algorithm impacts rankings for less than 1% of search queries.  A few reports significantly impacting rankings:

• A site with load time issues saw “quite the drop in organic referrals from Google” when the page speed algorithm was pushed live.

• A 40% growth in traffic after addressing to issues related to website performance.

• Rankings for 7 of its top 10 keywords improved after site speed was increased.

Summarizing, Page rankings are based on a combination of dozens of small algorithmic factors that can help boosting your site. It would be a good idea to dedicate a small amount of your SEO time and/or budget to speeding up your site so it’s prudent to optimize this ranking factor.

Page Load Speed Impact User Experience

page-load-timeGoogle implemented a few algorithms and the reports showed that “slowing down the search results page by 100 to 400 milliseconds has a measurable impact on the number of searches per user.”

• 25% increase in pageviews by speeding up its site.

• 75% of users would ignore the website that took longer than 4 seconds to load.

• Even 1 second delay can negatively impact the conversion rate by 7%

As a whole thing, Page load speed impacts website user experience, its usability and conversion rates. The good news is that at Openwave Computing Services, NYC we come up with a tailor-made package for all kinds of web design and development services that includes responsive web design, SEO, Inbound Marketing, and Website Maintenance.

 

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Dos and Don’ts in Mobile-Optimized Shopping Experience

Mobile-CommerceIf your ecommerce site isn’t optimized for mobile then putting yourself on an equal footing with competitors requires a lot of exercises. Wondering how? Well…

The rise of smartphones, tablets, laptops and televisions has influenced online shoppers globally. So it is important to think beyond Ecommerce Website Development when marketing to potential customers whilst offering a satisfied purchasing experience. With so many screens to purchase, below listed are a few dos and don’ts for ecommerce merchants.

Do’s

Responsive Website: Regardless to the device used, whether your visitors are from a tablet or a television, responsive device organizes page content so that it may be easily read, seen, and used.

Optimize Images and Content: Besides a responsive ecommerce web design, a good multi-screen optimized website should serve up right-sized images, media, and content to ensure fast load times.

Complementary Technology: Take advantage of complementary technology say text messages which are more likely to get a shopper’s attention. Consider mapping tools that first collect a user’s location so that offer deals and discounts accordingly.

Content: To make your products seem more exciting online win them with the question: How can i help you? In precise, your content should be aimed at helping them, be it product descriptions or blog images.

Don’ts

Hide Content: if your site has been optimized for touching and swiping on different devices but after hiding content- what is the use?
Unplayable Videos: One of the excellent ways to communicate a product’s value in Shopping Cart Ecommerce is video. But what if they don’t play on mobile phones? Don’t waste time.

Pop-ups: These do well for newsletter registrations or similar actions but not for mobile commerce. Instead use a responsive design that converts the pop-up to a banner or similar on devices like smartphones, tablets, and televisions.

Above all, if you don’t hire professional website developers/ web development company who are skilled enough to handle multi screens, providing a completely optimized mobile experience for your customers is like half river crossed.

 

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