Designing a website can seem like a massive undertaking- let us help break it down for you.
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Atomic Design and Consulting has worked with amazing companies in the Dallas area, and around the country. We have a passion to help companies create websites that fully encompass who they are as a business. At Atomic, we know firsthand that your website is an extension of your brand. We’re a Dallas web agency committed to creating the perfect websites that attract the right customers and present your products or services to the public in the perfect way.
Every business is different just like websites. When we first meet a business that is considering a new website (or needs a nudge to get one), we always evaluate these top things first to help us diagnose what’s working and what’s not working when it comes to your current web design. Take advantage of our complimentary digital marketing audit to find out if your website is performing the way it should be.
How to evaluate your current website
First things first, your website needs will depend on what you already have working. It’s best to understand the amount of time and effort that goes into revamping an existing website. The amount of work needed will be dependent on what you already have.
When evaluating your website you will need to determine its current functionality. If you have functionality and content and only need an updated design, the cost is going to be significantly less than a site with broken functionality and skeleton content.
It is a best practice to place yourself in your customer’s shoes during this process. Your website should act as an extension of your brand look and feel. Take the time to assess and consider what aspects of your current website resonate best with your customer base. This is crucial because a poor redesign could potentially lose positive identifiers in your website and what your customers currently resonate with.
Here are a few Atomic tips we recommend asking yourself before starting a website project:
- Install a screen recording software
- Review Google Analytics
- Check your business’ top 10 most visited pages
- Are these pages your mom important pages?
- Check your bounce rate
- Check your business’ top 10 most visited pages
- Compare your website’s design to your competitors
- See what their strengths and weaknesses are compared to yours.
- Ask yourself, “Is my website bringing in the right audience for my business?”
- If you’re a B2B company – make sure you’re not attracting a B2C audience.
Different Types of Websites
Building the right type of website is critical in getting the best results. The top 10 types of websites include:
- Personal Websites
- Photo Sharing Websites
- Writers / Authors Websites
- Community Building Websites
- Mobile Device Websites
- Blog Websites
- Informational Websites
- Online Business Brochure/Catalog Websites
- Directory Websites
- E-commerce Websites
With Atomic Design and Consulting, you can expect a high-quality website design with attention to detail that is second to none.
Website Categories: Brochure vs. Performance
Website Features To Consider
A website update will open opportunities for your business. It will give you the opportunity to rebrand, expand, build awareness, improve SEO, and drive leads for your company. Ask yourself, “What are my business goals and objectives?”; Your website design can help assist you in accomplishing them.
Must Have Web Components
- CTAs: Also known as call to action, are the perfect tool for letting someone know exactly what you want them to do.
- Link Building: This is a simple tactic used to improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and increase the chances of users finding your website. It’s a good rule of thumb to list your website in as many online directories as possible to help gain guest blog posts on popular or informative blogs.
- Strong Headlines: When it comes to headlines, it is important to take your time in creating one. A headline must be compelling, jammed with information, and makes the pages purpose highly obvious. It’s likely that a user may only read the heading of a page before moving on to something new.
- Great Content: Content is not only important for attracting users and customer conversions but is a MUST in the process of trying to improve your SEO results. We will dive deeper into content creation in the next section.
- User Experience: It is important to keep in mind that you are building a website for your users and to make their interactions enjoyable on your site. UI (User Interface Design) and UX (User Experience Design) are two main tools in creating a positive user experience.
Nice to Have Web Components
- Custom Calculators: This website attribute is great when dealing with pricing calculations and material estimations. While a calculator isn’t necessary for your website functionality, it can be a helpful tool for your customers and alleviate extra work for you.
- HubSpot Integration: It is possible to have all of your marketing tools all in one place? YES! With HubSpot, you have the ability to consolidate your marketing efforts by integrating your sales and marketing software into your existing CMS (Content Management System). You can also use HubSpot’s hosted CMS for free. With a HubSpot integration, you will have access to analytics, lead intelligence, and sources that will help you track your website’s traffic and data.
Good content needs to be at the top of your website priority list. Good quality content (and a lot of it) gives users a reason to stay on your website. While a sleek design, attractive graphics, and original images are important; these elements won’t keep your users engaged on your site for very long.
Not investing in good content that is relevant to your industry, product or service is a quick way to make your SEO suffer. A good rule of thumb to follow is to create content that will be:
- Useful to your target market: website visitors go your site to gain more information about your company.
- Refreshed often: content can become stale or obsolete over time. Keep your content fresh by creating pillar pages or quality blogs to expand your content further.
Content and SEO go hand in hand
The more content you have, the better off you will be in SEO rankings. To improve your website’s odds of being found through a search engine, add pages to your website. Each additional page acts as a potential landing page for a visitor. Check out our Dallas SEO checklist to see if you are fully optimizing your website rankings.
How Can My Website Drive Leads
It is likely that the first impression of your website will be on the homepage. Many user experiences end after landing on the homepage because a business didn’t capture the visitor’s interest and provide the right kind of content they wanted. There are several proven tools and features that can help build your website to drive leads and grow your business. Here are a few tips Atomic recommends:
- Use videos on your landing page.
- Add forms to your most popular pages.
- During the Atomic Design and Consulting complimentary website audit, we will identify the best pages on your website to generate leads.
- Thank you pages keep the conversation going.
- You generated a lead that became a conversion (awesome!), but don’t stop communication there. Make the most of this opportunity to reach out for social shares, reviews, subscriptions, or even a discount offer for a future purchase.
These are only a few out of the many tips we recommend. To see more on tips to generate leads through your website here.
Website Design and User Experience
UX and UI design work cohesively in creating great stylish websites. These elements generate customer loyalty, brand awareness, and lead generation for your website.
User Experience Design (UX)
UX is crucial to creating positive interactions between your website and its users. The focus of UX design is in the logic and structure of elements a user will interact with. UX can be broken down into two phases:
- In this phase, UX designers use a wide range of tools and methods to understand the intended users of the website. These tools could involve things such as user interviews, persona creations journey flows and more. This process helps categorize user information to help optimize their experience on the site.
- This phase occurs after the site has been launched. It is in the validation phase where UX designers run tests to ensure if the product is producing the intended result. If so, that’s great! If not, revisions will be made based on the data to create the desired end result.
User Interface Design (UI)
Simply put, UI is the likeability aspect of your website. Your website should be both attractive and responsive to a user. UI relates to the design of interactive elements such as drop-down menus, animations, button design, form fields and so much more. One of the best rules of UI design to remember is that white space matters. It can be so easy to clutter up a website, but clutter will cause the user to be frustrated and leave your site.
Think of it like this, content is the bait to lead users to your site and design is the hook to keep them there.
Does your website hold up to these standards?
At this point, we have learned that design and content are crucial when it comes to your website performance. Now let’s deep dive into other factors that can influence your website’s success.
Website Performance and SEO
Website hosting isn’t just a place to park your website and handle your visitors’ activity. Hosting can affect the speed of your site and needs to be reliable. If you hosts server goes down, so does your site. Your hosting needs will depend on
- Your expectations for business growth
- The complexity of the website
- Teams knowledge of sever technology
Whether you’re a Dallas based company or a company in New York, every website needs a hosting platform to live. Depending on your needs, a hosting deal could include support, backups, or server management. Not sure what hosting plans will fit your needs best? We’ll tell you.
Cloud hosting is a type of hosting that stores your data virtually in the cloud, making it possible to have access anywhere. This allows a network of computers to have easily accessible recourses. Cloud hosting also:
- Offers the most opportunities for expansion
- Has a fixed cost and conditional costs that change depending on resources used
- A managed infrastructure that could cost $50/ month at the start and vary depending on traffic or services used
Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated server hosting is a type of hosting that comes with risk. This hosting server only allows your website to be in one singular location, this means that if anything were to happen to the hardware, your site will be down until it can be recovered. Dedicated server hosting also:
- Houses only your website
- Provides flexibility in hardware elements and costs anywhere from $60-$350/month
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
A virtual private server is a less expensive option than dedicated server hosting but offers a bit more space and function than a shared hosting plan. VPS hosting:
- Shared environment hosted on one physical machine that is linked to other virtual machines
- Offers room for expansion for growing websites typically houses 10-20 websites
- Costs around $29-$60/month depending on standardized or enhanced options
Website Tips: Images!
- Images have a huge impact on the speed of your website. Uncompressed images can delay loading speed and you may see user drop off. If you don’t have a professional image editor, follow this link for free tools to optimize your images.
- Leaning too heavily on stock photos will hinder your websites performance and SEO ranking.
- Use original photos as much as possible to help with SEO. If that doesn’t work for you, try making your photos “new” again with cropping or adding color adjustments.
Website Design: The Atomic Creation Process
Atomic Design and Consulting will thoroughly evaluate your current Dallas or out of state business website. As a Dallas web design agency, we have built over 500 websites in 15 years. We have perfected our web design process and implemented it through dozens of our clients from small business owner’s to large business executives. During this process we look for:
- Identifying keywords
- Conduct a competitor analysis
- Assess business goals
- Plan SEO focused strategies
From there, our digital marketing experts will compile the data found into a proposal along with a recommended timeline for web development. Our time is broken up into phases:
After a project agreement is underway, we will set time aside for a project meeting. In this meeting, you will meet one of our account managers and any team members that will be a part of the web design process.
This meeting will help everyone be on the same page for the project, gather needed assets, set project responsibilities and to better understand the methodology of why we’re doing what we’re doing.
Creating the website design is critical in executing a successful website project. In the initial project meeting, we will ask for a few website design inspirations. This helps our design team learn what you like/ don’t like and create a website that you’ll absolutely love. We create 3 design iterations of the homepage and you get to choose your favorite. From there, we kick start the designing the rest of your site.
After design approval, we send the project over to our web developers. They make the design and functionality come to life with their expert website coding skills. This process is pretty quick! From there, we develop a hosting environment that you can track and preview changes before launch.
An Atomic rule of thumb is to launch new websites on Mondays. This helps ensure that the transitional process from your old website to your new website is as smooth as butter! Here, we will best various aspects of your website before launching such as
- Mobile responsiveness
- Browser compatibility
- And many other technical components
The Atomic Design and Consulting team will be here every step of the way to coordinate and supervise your websites launch process. We continue testing the functionality of your site to confirm all parts are operating as they should.
We give you access to a recorded training session. This is extremely helpful to our clients to use as a refresher at any time or as a training tool to give your co-workers the opportunity to learn the basics of the new site.
Atomic will show you how to properly navigate the WordPress dashboard and visual builder. This will include learning how to update images, text, add new pages, and much more!
To be clear, launching a website is not a “one and done” kind of thing. Nurturing your website is extremely important to keep your website in its best possible shape.
At Atomic, we offer ongoing support for your website. Like any other technology, your website needs to be maintained and the software will need to be upgraded as things change. Examples of this can be WordPress itself or a simple plugin update.
Don’t have the time to dedicate to website maintenance? That’s okay! We’re here to help. Learn about our support retainer pricing and process.
There is no doubt that we have a strong passion to help companies create websites that fully encompass who they are as a business. We’re a Dallas web design agency committed to creating the perfect website that attracts the right customers and presents your products or services in the perfect way.
Let us help kick start your website design journey!