Web Designers and Developers

Websites have gained great importance in promoting a business or marketing a product. A good website helps your business to connect with prospective customers that leads to generating more sales revenues. Web designers and developers help to maximize your digital marketing strategy for your business. The visuals and the colors that are adopted in a website design helps to determine and influence the purchase decisions of consumers. The importance of visual dimension as offered by a website can’t be ignored as it is the most important factor for a web development process.
Different options are available for developing a user friendly and engaging website. Depending upon the security issues that are required to safeguard a website from unwanted emails and unwarranted access, CMS come handy in providing solutions to such problems. WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are some of the CMS that we frequently use in our development projects.

Rapid technological innovations with increase in internet and smart phones users have lead to demolition of geographical barriers to business. Now businesses including small ones that were previously concentrated to a small physical geographical area are spreading their marketing efforts on a much larger area. They are now able to target and make customers and consumers who live in far off cities or in other countries.

Basic layout and design of a website helps in providing a nice feel when viewed in different devices like mobile phones, I-pads or tablets. Responsive websites provide the audience an ease of reading and navigation. The audience is no longer required to re-size or scroll horizontally through the website. Internet traffic using mobile phones is rising exponentially each day. More and more people Google on their mobile phones to find the products and services.

Websites have gained priority for all scales of business. Ensuring the ranking of the websites on the first page of Google search or in other search engines like Bing or yahoo has come up as a great prospecting sales tool for businesses and services. Writing appealing content to help the website rank higher than other websites is one factor that all major search engines have acknowledged. Quick and fast load time, plagiarism free original content, nice designs and effects are some of the factors that all search engines account in order to display their search results related to a specific phrase of keywords.

Hiring a professional web design and development company is the first step that helps the organizations to start developing a website. One should look to have web development companies that have a team of dedicated and creative professionals who can provide best solutions to your business needs. Looking and evaluating support packages including web design, website development, dynamic design, website hosting, graphics design, logo design, corporate identity and brand management, E-Commerce solutions, PHP Shopping Cart Design and SEO is very crucial.

Having a website has its own advantages. A quality website helps in creating a brand identity, allows for sales prospecting, getting a wider reach of potential customers and many more. PHP is widely used for web development and web applications as it is the most significant open source platform for the design and development of interactive websites.

Web Masters

Who are these so-called webmasters? What exactly do they do? How do they contribute to the overall effectiveness and performance of a company website?

Who are they?

Generally speaking, Web Masters is a term devoted to a person or persons responsible for development and optimum maintenance of a website/s. The word itself usually gives a false impression of the mastery of only one skill [web maintenance]; but it’s actually a collaboration of several skills rolled into one. One can say that in the strictest sense of the word, a Web Master handles all technical aspects of a Web site.

In view of this, he or she must have several skills and important abilities to properly develop and manage corporate or e-commerce websites.

What exactly do they do?

Since Web Masters deal with technicalities of Web Sites, it is but natural that a person who considers himself a Web Master must have certain qualities in order to effectively and efficiently perform his duties in delivering high-quality/high performing sites.

Just like any profession, there are specializations and areas of expertise in this job. Even among their own circle, Web Masters generally have different job definition and job description for their own work. Functions also differ when it comes to scale of work done for the business:

A. Large scale website operation

Usually done by a ” Web Team” – tasked to provide overall site policies and implement:

o Organization of essential technical resources

o Running new Programs and Web content

o Brainstorm on Web design improvements

B. Small/ Medium scale website operation

Done by one or two Webmaster/s -tasked to:

o Create the Website

o Upload and run it

o Regularly update it according to needs, preferences or applicability in situation for whatever product/service the business is offering.

Any of the following jobs may also be considered performing the functions of a Web Master: Technical Communicator, Systems Administrator, Graphic & Media Design Specialist or an Application Programmer. All of which handles a variety of details pertaining to the development and maintenance of company Sites including: security, database integration and programming, design modifications, network and systems administration, maintenance of site maps, site promotion assistance, monitor error logs, report potential problems, check presentation and readability in various browsers on various platforms, verification of live links, provide first-level user support and even a certain degree of business management and customer feedback/assistance.

How to Spot a Good Web Master?

Certain qualities need to stand out if you want to find the right Web Master. Competent ones must have: [1] skills in HTML, CGI, JavaScript, Perl, and UNIX [2] savvy understanding of web technology [3] keen eye for detail [4] at least a year of full-time web development experience [5] impeccable communications skills [6] thoroughness [7] acquainted with W3C guidelines [8] exceptional intelligence and professionalism

Where to Find Professional Web Masters?

It is essential for you to have the right person/people for the most important website in the NET – your corporate website. Don’t settle for someone who has doubtful credentials. Web Masters need to be reliable, smart, and easily able to trouble shoot any problems encountered by your site.

Screening is an essential process when entertaining thoughts of hiring a Web Master or a Web Team. That is why majority of the currently progressive enterprise in diverse industries rely heavily in outsourcing firms Offshore consulting firms will readily and easily screen and provide you with a short list of highly qualified professionals able to meet the usual rigors of maintaining, developing and even outperforming other competitors in internet presence. Not to mention obtaining such quality service within your company budget.

In this information age, Web Masters are principal factors in the success of your corporate site. So take note of what’s above and hire only the best and the brightest in this business.

When Do I Start Making Money From My Web Site?

The million dollar question! Of course, the dream is that I put up a web site and within 6 months I’m living in a condo in Southern Spain, rolling high on the profits. I’ve been in web development since 1997, and I haven’t even had a two week vacation in Southern Spain. Either I’ve been cheated or there is something wrong with that model!

The problem with the dream perception is a lack of understanding of web models in 1) how long it takes to build a web site, 2) how long it takes to make a profit from a web site, and 3) how much work it takes to keep both the web site and the profits rolling. I worked for one non-profit with a very viable web site model, but totally unrealistic expectations. One particular board member started asking me, “How are sales?” from the first few weeks after the site “went live.” I always wanted to tell him, “You are asking the wrong question.” One of the questions he should have been asking is, “Now that the web site is up and running, what do we need to do to make a profit?”

One of the results of not understanding the web model timeline was that there were not enough resources allocated to make the site profitable. And, the lack of a plan with specific steps to get there made it very frustrating. The only goal was to make a profit; there were no acknowledged intermediate goals to show steps toward success.

7 Basic Web Models

  1. Very small, static, informational site to market a brick and mortar business.
  2. Very small, static, informational site with some programming (feedback form, newsletter signup, calendar, etc) to market a brick and mortar business.
  3. Small site to market a business without a brick and mortar business.
  4. Website with shopping functions to expand a brick and mortar business.
  5. Website with shopping functions without a brick and mortar business.
  6. Website to generate advertising revenue.
  7. Web services web site (online stock broker, online conference registration, online sales management, …)

An Example: a small, static, informational site to market a brick and mortar business
The benefit for this site is that your business is already known. People have walked into your facility and made purchases. Your website is another way for them to interact with you. You can start web traffic as soon as your site is up, just by making sure your existing customers know about your web site. This is a case where the timeline from beginning to profitability can be relatively short (months).

For many businesses, this is a great place to start. A small site allows you to gather your ideas and try them out without the time and expense of a large site. A larger site can be part of your long term planning.

Planning Steps

  • look at your competitors sites to see what they are doing
  • ask your staff and customers what would be helpful for them on your web site
  • decide what pages you want and what photos and content they should have
  • gather photos and write text
  • learn about the technologies available for you to use for development
  • learn about how the technologies you choose will affect your search engine optimization
  • decide what you would like your web site to look like, a rough sketch on paper will do (notice this is last!)
  • Don’t be surprised if this takes several months!!!

Building

  • find out what human web resources you have available (the people who can build your site or classes for you to do the development)
  • learn the up and down sides to your possibilities and make a choice – remember, you will have to live with this one for a while!
  • start the development process
  • TEST EVERYTHING
  • This could take from an afternoon (if all your photos and text are ready) to several months, depending on schedules and how many changes you want.

Marketing

  • while your web site is in development, write your title and alt tags
  • make a schedule for weekly (preferable) or monthly updates to your web site – forever
  • get at least one new link back to your site from another site each week – forever
  • get good feedback on what your viewers think about your web site – forever
  • People have to find your site before it becomes an asset to your business. Even if you do Planning and Building perfectly, if no one finds your web site, there are no profits from it. This one is a forever process.

Success Points! (have a little toast at the end of each one of these)

  • Plan with list of pages and rough draft of “look and feel” is finished.
  • All materials are gathered
  • First iteration of the site is up and running online
  • Staff and selected user tests have resulted in good feedback (is. changes that need to be done)
  • Feedback changes are finished.
  • 1000 visits in a month
  • 5000 visits in a month
  • 1st sale that can be directly attributed to the web site.
  • etc!

If you don’t recognize the small successes, both you and your staff will become very discouraged, waiting to make it big. Each success point represents a successful outcome.