Custom Websites, Worth the Investment?

In a previous blog post I made the point that websites are today’s business cards. If that’s the case, do you want a business card for your business? Of course. Then you  should also want a website that reflects your business. Being infinitely malleable your website is a much more flexible tool for describing your business than a business card. What would you pay for that?

Custom websites come in all price ranges but the web designer you end up with should be someone you feel comfortable with and can contact easily for changes, troubleshooting and updates. I often run into people who hired someone to do their website and now that they need them they don’t know how to find them. Or their web designer won’t return calls. That’s pretty frustrating. Pat Creedon Design is very accessible. I also offer graphic design so I can do the promotional materials, ads and direct mail for your business as well. The consistency in having one graphic and web designer on it all, plus the reliability of one contact, makes for a pleasant and smooth process for getting your new custom website.

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Web Design Tweaks That Make a Huge Difference

As I surf around the web I find sites that are fine and informative and otherwise get the job done but there’s something that bothers me about them. It may be something small and hardly noticeable but it makes me wonder if it bothers others that they are trying to target. And do they drive away customers inadvertently? I know that when I encounter a site that takes to long to load I’m out of there. Or if music starts to play the moment I land on the site and I can’t find a mute button immediately I’m gone. Sites that have a Flash intro when I’m looking at them on my iPhone also bug me because a big gray box appears where there should be content. I was recently on a website that had the navigation in a different place on every page. That could definitely frustrate a would be client/customer. These are some of the examples that come to mind. Can you think of others?

A feature that may be off-putting to your audience is not worth keeping. Instead get a web designer to look over your site and make the tweaks needed to remove anything getting between you and your customers. But don’t delay, since it’s easy to fix and may be just the thing to get your business website helping instead of hurting you!

Learn to Update Your WordPress Site

Smart business owners have both a blog and a website. Often it’s combined in an easy to update WordPress website. I design these all the time for clients and they love them. They have built in SEO and can easily have a custom URL attached to them so it doesn’t have .wordpress in the address. The great thing about these sites is that it’s something the site owner themselves can update. If it’s a little opaque as to how to actually do that, I can help. I know there’s a learning curve to get used to the interface on the “dashboard” of WordPress. I work with my clients or even those that have not hired me to design their websites, showing them around the dashboard. It’s something that can be done over the phone or at a local Starbucks. I also make office calls and certainly can meet at my office too.

Hourly rates or monthly retainer rates are available depending on what works best for your business. The goal is to get you up and running with a confidence in your own ability to update your website. That will only help your business because search engines are always searching for new content to rank websites higher. In other words, if you have a WordPress website and blog, keep it updated with my help and you will have a definite edge for business growth!

Why I like WordPress

I got an email from a client today who had wanted a custom-designed website. Though I have yet to get started he decided he wants to change a lot about the site’s parameters. I saw that he mentioned that he would like to be able to update it himself. A custom site limits updates to the web designer for the most part unless it includes a customized CMS which can be costly. I know he’s on a budget so I suggested a WordPress site that I will customize for his needs. There are many different themes available and each can be customized to a certain extent. Once it’s ready I will teach him the basics of updating it. I wrote a blog post about it (Learn to Update Your WordPress Site) a while back, plus WP has lots of info on it as well. I like WordPress because it meets my clients’ needs, it has many great themes and some SEO is built-in. Blogger is also good and easy to update. That’s where my husband blogs at Drawn-to-Nature.blogspot.com but WordPress has the versatility to work for a wide variety of my clients.

Custom Websites, Worth the Investment?

In a previous blog post I made the point that websites are today’s business cards. If that’s the case then do you want a business card for your business? Of course. Then you also should want a website design that reflects your business as well. Being infinitely malleable your website is a much more flexible tool for describing your business than a business card. What would you pay for that? Why would you not want the most useful way to promote your business that today’s technology offers? A website, in other words, is well worth the investment and should be considered as one of your start-up costs. If you aren’t a start-up then to keep new clients coming it’s vitally important to have an effective web presence these days. But no one has to break their budget to get one up and running.

Custom websites visualCustom websites come in all price ranges, so shop around. The web designer you end up with should be someone you feel comfortable with and can contact easily for changes, troubleshooting and updates. I am always running into people who hired someone to do their website and now they need them but they won’t return calls or reply to emails! That’s pretty frustrating. My business plan at Pat Creedon Design is to be very accessible via email, phone, Skype, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and in person to all my clients. I work within budgets and have a reputation for fast turn-arounds when needed. Since I also offer graphic design I can do the promotional materials, ads and direct mail for your business as well. The consistency in having one graphic and web designer on it all plus the reliability of one contact makes for a pleasant and smooth process. For a quote, contact Pat Creedon at pmcreedon@mac.com.