Professional Web Design Gives an Advertising Advantage

At the close of last year, there were over 230 million websites in existence with 47 million being added in 2009 alone.  The Internet is a global phenomenon that dominates life in almost every part of the globe.  How can you make your website stand out in a crowd of millions?  The key is professional web design.

Your website is the virtual face of your business.  It provides information about your services, captures potential clients and keeps your existing client base informed and engaged.  It is the superlative form of interactive advertising.  Producing a web site goes far beyond simply being creative.  It involves reaching a target market, having a good hosting site, being accessible, and having minimal (if any) downtime when changes are made to the site.   Professional web design companies consider all these factors in order to give you not only a sharp looking website, but one that will also increase your business.

If you are in the market for professional web design, it is a good idea to check out the websites of the designers you are interested in.  Ask yourself if you are pleased with the look of their website.  Most designers have an online portfolio that you can browse to see the variety of styles they are capable of.  This portfolio also allows you to see what type of clientele your prospective designer works with.  While many professional web design companies create for an extremely varied client base, you may find some that specialize in niche industries such as entertainment or finance.

It is a good idea to select two or three professional web design companies to interview.  As good as things look on paper (or in this case, on the screen) you must make sure you can work comfortably with the designer.  Creating a web site is a significant investment for your company and one that requires both your input and the knowledge of the professional designer.  You must feel comfortable and confident expressing your ideas. He or she must be able to clearly communicate your options (flash, forms, video, etc).  Consider the creation of your site a joint venture – one that can only take place if both parties envision the same end result.

While there are many web creation resources available for the do-it-yourself personality, it is clearly worth the time and money to invest in professional web design.  With your input and their expertise, your website will literally be one in a million.

Things to Remember When Making Websites for Artists

Creating a website is always a work of art. Even the most understated, professional-looking site is the result of careful planning, thoughtful design and hours of hard work. Websites are the architecture of the internet, serving as stores, gathering places, offices, meeting rooms, and for some people, well-loved websites can feel just like home. This is especially true for people whose artistic talent and creative ability makes up a large part of their identity. Websites for artists can be stand-ins for studios, art galleries, listening booths, sound stages, writing desks… anything they need to practice, perfect and share their art with all comers.

Websites for artists can be extremely challenging to build. With many projects, the web designer is in full control of the visual elements of the website, but when the website is built to showcase art, a designer can find themselves with many diverse elements to include—and they all have to look good! There’s also the added puzzle of how to create a site that embodies the artist’s style, is eye-catching and attractive, and doesn’t overshadow the art that it’s meant to put in center stage! In the art world, finding the right frame can make a picture perfect, and playing in a perfect concert hall can turn a night at the symphony into an unforgettable musical experience. The same idea is true in websites for artists. The website must show off the work in a way that will make it unforgettable.

Another challenge web designers face when building websites for artists is the deeply personal nature of art. Artists don’t create art just for the purpose of selling it. Even when they are promoting their work to the public, it remains something that they created with their hearts, hands, minds and souls. They’re not going to be happy with a cookie-cutter website that looks like it could belong to anyone. Artists will want a website that is uniquely “their own” so that viewers will not only buy what they’re selling, but be interested enough to come back for more. The relationship between artist and customer can be a complex one, and a website has to be ready to handle any and all aspects of that relationship.

Anyone who makes websites for artists knows that artists love to be in control of the images, words and ideas associated with them. This is true of actors, painters, writers, and anyone else who shares their creative vision with the public. Artists have many good reasons for this, so it is important when designing their sites that you not only include them in the creative process, but give them the power to update and manage their site and its contents. On-site blogs are an excellent addition, letting artists captivate their audiences with a sparkling dose of personality and creative process. As with any collaborative art, communication is the key to making a truly great art-based website.

It can be easy to get swept up in the (admittedly fun) artistic aspect of web design, especially when making websites for artists. Few online projects allow so much opportunity to let your own creative side out to play, and the temptation to pull out all the stops to make a visually stunning website can be strong. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone designs websites, nor even understands very well how they work. Like all sites, websites for artists need to be practical, functional and intuitive. Audiences want to be wowed by what they see, but when it comes time to put down money, they want that to be an easy and secure process. So by all means, do your best to wow everyone with a dazzling website design, but don’t forget to make the site accessible and user-friendly! Artists and customers will both be grateful.

Making websites for artists can be one of the most rewarding pursuits in the world of online business. Making shops, galleries and even homes for all the bright minds of the internet world is a chance for artists and web designers alike to shine. Somewhere in the middle of the connection between designer, artist and consumer, you will find the true magic of sharing, creating and enjoying the art world online.

What to Look for In a Web Development Company

Why you cannot overlook your web development strategy

Web development is a core business strategy today. Regardless of the industry that you operate in or the type of products and services you offer, having a website and web presence is a must. You simply cannot afford not to have a website. Your competitors do and if you do not compete online, you could be missing out on a big chunk of your market.

One of the main reasons why web development is so important today is because people use the internet to assess their options first before making a purchase or choosing a company to do business with. Whether you are buying a pizza, looking for a store in your area, or what to have your home renovated, most people will first go online to see what information they can find. The internet is the new yellow pages. Just like a company would think it unfathomable to not be listed in the yellow pages in the past, the same holds true for not having a website and online presence today.

What to look for in a web development company

Realizing that you need to be active online and have a website, your first step as a business owner is to go online and look at a number of web development companies. Just like any other product or service, you need to assess your fit with a web development company to ensure they can create a website and online presence that your business needs.

Here are a number of important factors that you need to consider when choosing a web development company to design and host your website:

WebDevelopment1.    Customer service and first impression: Your first interaction with a web development company should give you a good idea if they are a company that you want to work with. Customer service is very important when it comes to web development. Web design companies need to be able to take your ideas and make them come to life in the form of a website.

2.    Portfolio and previous work: Keep in mind that there is no shortage of web development companies online and there are many that over promise and under delivery. Make sure you take a look at the web development company’s portfolio and ask to see their previous work. This will give you a good indication of what you can expect from them.

3.    Web development services: There is no one size fits all web development package. Every website is different. The look and functionality of your website will be unique based on your business needs and on the features that you want to include in the design of your site. Therefore, it’s important that a web development company offers all of the services that you need in order to create the website you envision in your mind.

4.    Internet marketing services: Once your website is built you need to market it online. This is why choosing a web development company that also offers internet marketing services is a wise decision. Since they will already understand your business and some of the strategies that you want to launch online, it makes for a good fit and a seamless transition onto the next phases in the evolution of your website.

5.    Do they practice what they preach: Taking one look at a web development company’s website should tell you if they practice what they preach. It is important that you choose a company that will back up their claims and provide you with the services and a website that you expect.

6.    Do they guarantee their work? There is a reason why some web development companies guarantee their work and stand behind their services – because they can deliver. See if the companies you are considering offer a guarantee. What types of guarantees do they offer?

Hiring the right web development company is essential in your business reaching your internet marketing goals and objectives. You need to choose a company that you can trust will provide you with the results that you demand. If you are looking to build a new website or re design an existing one, do not overlook the importance of your web development strategy and the process of choose a web design company. It can be the difference between getting the site you envision and a site that is not aligned with your vision.