Affordable Websites

Affordable Websites

Small Businesses Need Affordable Websites

Too many small businesses got burned on their websites years ago. They were led to believe that a simple site would require a costly investment, an investment so high that many decided to go without. Those that took the risk got burned. Over time the costs of sites have gone down. Part of that is due to more competition, part is due to improved technology and a lot is due to the improved awareness of business management.

These photos are of businesses that use websites.

Different businesses have different website needs.

What Does A Website Cost?

This is the primary question we are asked when potential clients contact us. But before we can give them a number, we need some details. A website that has a single page with a few images and several paragraphs of text can run as little as $300. A site that sells 100,000 products online, posts regular blogs and manages social media can cost millions to build and requires the hiring of several employees to maintain it. Give us details and we can give you an estimate on the cost of a website.

What Do You Need?

The first thing you need to do is determine what kind of website best meets your needs. To do this you need to answer some basic questions. And the primary one is “What is the purpose of the website?”

Determining the Purpose of Your Website

The possible functions of websites for small businesses are great.  Different businesses have different motives for creating a website. Some use it as a tool to communicate with clients and/or employees. Others use it to promote their business. And some creates sites to do both. The sites required by most small business fall in three primary categories. Those categories are information, marketing and ecommerce.

Different websites have different functions.

Business website categories include information, marketing and ecommerce.

An Information Website

Some businesses simply want to use a website to get information to their clients. For example, a window treatment business may want to post PDF files that give the customers instruction on installing products. Creating such a site requires some effort on the way the website works and the process for posting content. Something like this could be done at low cost in a blog format.

A Marketing Website

If you are promoting goods and services on your site then one of the best places to start in determining what you need is other websites in your market. It is ideal to have the best site in your market. But, some businesses cannot afford to make that investment. Even so, it is a good idea for a business to create a site that is compatible with others in its market.

An Ecommerce Website

Selling products online normally requires the most significant investment. If it is managed properly in the right market, then it can also provide the greatest rewards. Creating such a site requires the design of a marketing website, the installation of a shopping cart and the process of posting products on the site. Deciding to create an ecommerce site should be reviewed carefully before putting significant resources at risk.

Starting Small Can Be a Good Option

For a business that has no history with a website, a relatively safe possibility is to start with a small website. From a single page site to one with several pages, a custom website can be created without putting too many resources at risk. And as you see the need you can always grow the site over time.

Websites Viewed on Mobile Devices

Websites Viewed on Mobile Devices

The Web Viewing Shift to Mobile First

It was not long ago that most Americans felt they needed a personal computer in order to stay in touch with the world via the web. Today, most of them are able to do everything they want on a tablet or a smart phone. So why should they spend their money on a desktop computer? Website designers are creating sites with this in mind. They know that over time more and more sites will be viewed on smart devices while fewer will be viewed on desktops. So the place they need to invest their time is in the mobile design. Today this is done in the “mobile first website design” format.

What is Mobile First Website Design?

For years all of the sites we have designed have been mobile friendly. That means they have pages that will operate on mobile devices. As the share of website views has shifted from desktop to mobile, the primary method of website design have shifted to mobile first. A mobile first website design begins with the layout of the website in a mobile device. After the mobile design is completed, the site is modified to accommodate the desktop screen.

Mobile First Website Example

We recently finished a mobile first business website for a new client. J & J Marine asked for a new website. They knew that most of their visitors would use mobile devices. So we approached their site with mobile first website design.
We designed the J & J Marine site in the mobile first format. When a website is designed in mobile first format the designers focus on the layout and look of the site on mobile devices. Then they modify the design to accommodate desktop screens. This is a good way for businesses to create their websites today. The reason is that most site visits today are made on mobile devices.  

Mobile Focus Will Increase

In the near future the share of devices sold is expected to increase for mobile devices and decrease for desktops. Take a look at the predictions made by statista:

Old Sites Need a Mobile First Website Redesign

There are still many small businesses that have websites that are not mobile friendly. In order for their websites to live up to their full potential, they need to be redesigned in the mobile first format. We offer mobile first website redesign services. If you have a website that needs to be redesigned, then give us a call. We will review what we can do that will make it mobile friendly.
Redesign Outdated Websites

Redesign Outdated Websites

Many Small Businesses Have Outdated Websites

Over ten years ago many small businesses were creating their websites with a lot of excitement. They were excited about getting on the web and gaining new business from those sites.  Today, too many of those businesses have lost that enthusiasm and have done very little to keep their sites up-to-date.

The Old Desktop Design

A decade ago the premium website was designed for desktop devices. But in January of 2007 Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. And we all know what happened after that.

Mobile phone visitors were able to view websites on the small screens of their phones. In the early years those websites were hard to work with on a smart phone. This created a problem for some small businesses and an opportunity for others. Those that didn’t redesign their websites lost mobile visitors. Businesses that invested in site redesigns picked up those visitors.

Website redesign in the early years was expensive. It required web designers with special skills. In effect, two websites had to be created. One for desktop devices, one for mobile devices.  As a result, many businesses did not update their sites.

Small print on mobile devices is hard to read and must me manipulated.

Redesign is Cost Effective

Today website redesign is not nearly as expensive as it was years ago. Software and code improvements have been created to make website pages automatically adjust to the viewers device. Businesses that have outdated websites need to consider redesigning those sites. This will improve their search engine positions and will help them acquire new visitors. And it won’t cost as much as it did several years ago. Improvements in technology have caused the cost of website design to go down.

Mobile friendly sites are easy to read on various screens.

Learn more about website redesign.

Changing times

Changing times

” The Times They Are A-Changin’ “

– Bob Dylan, 1963

World Population

In 1963, the year Dylan wrote “The Times They Are A-Changin’ ” the world population was at 3,194,075,347 according to populationpyramid.net. As the years past predictions were regularly made as to what the world could support. The predictions were bumped regularly as the population grew. Today Population Pyramid says we are at 7,597,175,534.

Computers

“The first integrated circuit was produced in September 1958, but computers using them did not begin to appear until 1963.” – Wikipedia. It wasn’t until 1966 that Hewlett-Packard used them in commercial computers. For years after that these huge machines required air conditioning to keep them cool. Today, we carry many times that power in our pockets. No AC required.

Marketing

“Starting in the 1960s the markets in many industries became saturated with competition” (historycooperative.org). Direct marketing was introduced. Companies dedicated entire departments of their businesses to marketing. Today, they dedicate entire departments to the web and web marketing.

The Future

Who knows? It’s up to all of us. Keep your eyes on Microsoft, Apple, Google and the other web giants. Try something that you haven’t tried before. Create a video and post it on YouTube. It won’t cost you anything. Start a blog. You can set up a free blog at WordPress.com. The point is: Keep Learning! There is a ton out there that won’t cost you a dime.

Did Dylan have any clue how his words would hold for 55 years?

Can you even imagine what will happen in just the next ten?

“The Only Thing Constant Is Change”

– Heraclitus, Greek Philosopher

SSD – Fast Hosting and SEO

SSD – Fast Hosting and SEO

SSD – Your SEO Is Impacted By Your Website’s Server Speed

The rank of your website is impacted by many things. One thing often not considered is the speed of the server. Small business SEO can be significantly impacted by the speed of a server.

We offer our clients some of the fastest server speeds available. We employ an SSD dedicated server that we use for our clients’ websites. We also offer dedicated servers to each client that wants their own.

Shared Hosting vs. Dedicated Hosting

Most sites are hosted on servers that share space with other websites. This causes a range of problems, such as too much traffic or bad search engine practices. When businesses use these services there is no way to know who they are sharing their space with. Their sites performance is impacted by the actions of shared sites, therefore it takes control away from the business of the website.

Many web designers use a portion of the space on a shared server to host their clients’ websites. We offer space on our dedicated solid state server because we want our clients to have high performing websites. And we reserve the space to be used by our clients only. We monitor their content and do not allow black hat practices. The insures our clients get quality hosting.

More Traffic Means Slower Speed

A server can only move a certain amount of data at a time. With many websites on a server and many people trying to view those sites, it will almost certainly require more time to access those sites as the number of websites increases. This slower access hurts ranks because search engine algorithms penalize slow sites.

Dedicated Hosting Options

There are many options to choose from when deciding what type of server to use. One of the primary differences is the type of drive that it uses. Servers are designed as hard disk drives (HDDs) or solid state drives (SSDs). Hard disk drives consist of spinning disks and reading heads. These moving parts are more prone to have mechanical problems. These solid state drives store information on interconnected flash-memory chips. These have no moving parts.

SSD Is Faster and More Reliable

Solid state drives are the most updated hardware. With no moving parts they are less likely to develop problems. They are also much faster.

Contact us today and we will discuss what an SSD server can do for your website.