5 best ways to begin working with your Design Agency

Your website is a valuable investment in your business.

Have a website created is a commitment in time and money, and it can be hard to keep up the enthusiasm and momentum required to see a project through to completion in a timely manner.

Project Steps for Website Development

What can I do to speed up a website project?

Website design and development can be a relatively quick process, sometimes happening in a matter of weeks, depending on the complexity of the project. But for this to happen your design agency will need good communication with you to keep the project moving.

Here are 5 tips to get you started and keep you moving forward in your website project, as well as how to get a head start so that you keep momentum going. Keep in mind it is much easier to jump into it and keep working on it regularly, than it is to stop and try to get back to it later.


Best Tips on Getting Your Website Project Started Efficiently

1.    Look at other websites in your Industry Your design agency have a lot of experience in knowing what design and functionality will suit your particular type of business. What will help you to have more input into your particular website project is to look at similar industry websites and see what else is out there. A little time spent researching what is already online in your industry and locality will empower you to have more input into the planning and development of your project.

2.    Take note of what it is about your favourite websites that you like We all have websites that we visit regularly, it may be of benefit for you to note down what you like about your favourite websites. It may be the way it's written, it may be the page names or the images on display, or even the colour scheme used. Knowing what you like will help you better communicate with your agency what you want for your own website.

3.    Start your content writing early You have decided to proceed with your site after talking with an agency, so you should now know what pages are initially being created for your website.

Keep in mind that with good CMS websites you should be able to easily and independently add or remove pages later, so for now you can concentrate on gathering content for the pages you know you have to start with.

Some of your initial website pages may be ; ◦    Home page - requiring an introduction ◦    About us page - with a bit more indepth info about you or the business ◦    History page - information on how your business got to where it is today ◦    How-to page - information on how your products / services work ◦    Team page - information on your team and their specialist skills ◦    Products / Services page - information specific to your products and services ◦    Gallery page - images of your products or services in action ◦    Contact page - contact information and a map to your premises

4.    Utilise the Agencys' Content Writing Services If your design agency has a content writing service, use their expertise to get your content written in a way that is targeted to the web.

Keep in mind that you can start on your own content, and then take what you have written to an experienced content writer, and get them to look it over and provide any advice or further content.

See our Content Writing Page for more information on creating effective website content.

5.    Make a firm decision on each stage of your website that requires your approval. Once you have decided to go ahead with a website, there are several times when your Design Agency will be waiting on your go-ahead.

You would be well advised not to put off deciding whether you are ready to proceed to the next step, as a delay will result in a distancing from the project for both parties. A design agency waiting to hear from you for over a week may have no choice but to give other projects your slot for the next phase of development, ultimately extending the completion date of your own website project. I would encourage you to get in touch with your design agency if at any stage you are unsure of where your project is at, or how long things should optimally take. Good communication will make the difference between your website project taking weeks or months.

A good experience working with your chosen agency will build trust and peace of mind for dealing them in future if you choose to have them host your website and manage your domains as well as make any changes to your website that you may want to have done in future.

Visit this link for more information on our website process, and you're welcome to take a look at our website portfolio for recent examples of our clients' completed website projects.

Contact us to discuss undertaking a website project for your company, and for a free quote on a site that is right for you.

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Posted in Graphic Design

Guidelines for a new website project

Help with planning a new website project - where to start.

When undertaking a new website project there are some questions you can ask yourself to make your path to success clearer, and to ensure you know the steps that need to be taken. 

We will work with you to create a website that answers all of your clients' questions before they even have to ask. Every company deserves a website that represents them, their team, and their products and services in the best possible light. Make it simple for your clients to find you, and to find exactly what they want.

Website development meeting website project meeting

Questions to ask about your website project.

  1. What is the advantage of my products / services over my competitors? You may offer better quality products, faster service, or a more diverse team to provide a wider range of solutions.
  2. How will my target audience be searching for me? Is your customer base likely to be looking for your from a home or business computer, or could they be travelling and using a mobile device, or both? You may need a 'responsive' website to work on all devices, or a more dedicated Mobile Website to cater specifically to your Mobile-savvy audience in addition to, or instead of, a standard CMS website.
  3. Do I want to sell online? You may need to look at having an eCommerce website for online sales, and one that you can easily use. Too many eCommerce systems have been developed for Programmer use and are not client-friendly. We have our own WEP system we have developed specifically to make it easier for clients to manage their own website content.
  4. Or do I want an online portfolio? Your website can become a place that provides further information about your products and services, and gives your business a contact point while showcasing your company as a well established and legitimate place of business. Either way there is still some planning to do how to best promote your online presence...
  5. What specific benefits do our customers receive? You can include information on how you best meet the needs of your customers, or perhaps, why your loyal customers keep returning to you.
  6. What examples of previous successful projects can we offer? Do you have photos of previous jobs you have done, products you have developed, or in-store displays that best showcase your work? Do you have customer testimonials of how your work has satisfied your clients? People love to be assured that what they are getting has exceeded the expectations of your previous customers.
  7. What can we offer online? What you can offer online through images and testimonials is legitimacy that you know your industry and can offer top quality products and excellent service, but there is so much more you could offer ;
    • Free downloads for more information or software.
    • Online booking for tours, rentals or accommodation.
    • Special deals or vouchers just for visiting your website.
    • Online support with instant messaging, or a contact form for more convenience in getting in touch with you.
    • A map and clear instructions/images to help people locate you.
    • Images of your premises, so when they arrive the surrounding are familiar and make your customers feel more comfortable.
    • Staff Profiles, so your customers can feel like they know you.

Taking the first steps towards a website project.

It's those first steps that will be most important in your website project, and they are knowing what you want and how you want to be represented. My advice to you would be to look around. Find our more information on Website Design. Take a look at what others in your industry are doing. Take a look at design for specific industries, for example; Graphic Design for the Hospitality Industry, and Graphic Design for the Construction Industry. Look at a whole bunch of websites to see what you like in the way of design and layout, and in the pages that they have listed.

A good website will usually have these standard pages;

  • Home page
  • About us page
  • Gallery page
  • Contact page

Dependent on your business, you could look at having dedicated website pages for;

  • Products page
  • Equipment page
  • Services page
  • Team page
  • History page

If you are a restaurant you may want to look at having a full menu page, and a downloadable version of your menu. If you're in the industrial sector you may want a page on new equipment for sale, and a separate page for used equipment. We can help advise you on the best way to display and promote yourself, making navigating your website an easy and enjoyable experience.

For easy viewing items can be separated into categories. For example, a costume hire shop may wish to showcase their items under 'masquerade', 'country' and 'gothic'. Separating items into categories can make it much easier for your customers to find what they want, and an easy site to view is going to keep people coming back.

There are standard features of websites that make it easier for people to navigate through your website, and these are things we can discuss with you in more details in a website planning meeting.

Some of these features may include;

  • A Search Bar - to enable quicker results for specific requirements
  • Navigation Footer Links - so people can have a better overview of what's on your site, and to avoid a 'lost in space' feeling.
  • Legal Information - including t&c's or guarantees associated with your products and services.
  • Instructions - on how to use an item, how to order an item, or information on special features.
  • Instructional Videos - links to instructional videos on your website are a great reference point for your customers, and will keep them coming back, as well as referring friends to your site to view your clips.

Take the time to browse the internet and note down things that catch your eye, or sites that were simple and enjoyable to view. View our Activate Portfolio for the most recent website design and development projects we have undertaken, and CONTACT US to discuss how we can create a website that will be like an online branch of your business, working 24 hours to ensure your customers can find you, and see exactly how you can meet and exceed their expectations.

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Gain The Advantage With A Mobile Website

There are plenty of businesses in specific industries that would greatly benefit from having a mobile version of their website. It may be that these businesses have not yet realised just what a great benefit having a mobile website is to the growing number of people who are browsing the internet on their mobile devices.Housemart mobile website nz shred mobile website aviva mobile website

As Shown Above: Responsive Websites

Housemart.co.nz - this property management company choose to have a responsive website for the ease of their customers, some of whom will be using their mobile device to browse their website while physically visiting properties.

NZShred.co.nz - this skate, surf and street clothing store found that a responsive site best suits their customers who may local and shopping around, or among the bulk of season tourists who can view their range and location via their website on a mobile device.

avivafamilies.org.nz - instead of limiting the support that Aviva Families offer, to those browsing their site on their home computer, this company choose a responsive website so they can offer their expert family support to anyone, anywhere, with a site that is simple to view and navigate at home or on a mobile device.




I have chosen the following industries that would greatly benefit from having a mobile version of their website, based on the fact that a high percentage of people looking for these particular businesses are likely to be looking for them while browsing on a mobile device - be it a phone, tablet or iPad. People looking for these businesses are likely to be on the move rather than be sitting at a home computer.

  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Restaurants
  • Schools
  • Takeaway businesses, ie. fish & chips / pizzerias / bakeries
  • Sports facilities – fitness centres / swimming pools
  • Dentists
  • Beauty Salons / Day Spas
  • Hair dressers
  • Auto services


Local people who are out and about may decide on the spur of the moment to visit a hairdresser, beauty salon or even a gym or swimming pool, and rather than go home to look on a computer they may want to book an appointment, get in contact, or simply find the opening hours or contact details of a business while out and about and browsing on their mobile device.

After all, deciding in the moment to get your hair done, or visit a gym, is the freedom that we enjoy from not having to always plan ahead, and the internet is the key to finding our location of choice through the flexibility of viewing a mobile website. And then there’s those unexpected times when you’re on the move and a friend urgently calls and says “can you pickup my son/daughter from school?” You want to look for their schools' website on your phone and quickly find the schools location and contact details. Are you making it easy for people to find you?



As a tourist in a new town, you may want to find a café or restaurant that serves a particular dish, so you will be browsing on your mobile device for a local takeaway such as fish n’ chips, indian, chinese or even pizza while you explore the town. Alternatively you may be looking for a local bar or restaurant to dine in, and want to find out their opening hours and the meals they have available.

As a traveller you may have a call from a friend; "plane's been delayed, we have a free day! Where can we go snowboarding, hire gear and find transport, and what hours are they available? Can we book online right now?" People want the ability to find this information quickly and efficiently.

Your car breaks down and you're on the road. Is there a mechanic with a mobile website where I can find their information and get help? Is there a motel nearby?

Does your website provide this information to a mobile device in a format specific to this kind of browsing? Trying to browse a normal website on a mobile device is frustrating and time-consuming and requires a lot of scrolling around the page.

Housemart Mobile Websites


Shown Above: Responsive site vs Regular website on a Mobile

ABOVE LEFT: The image above shows what the whole Housemart website would view like on a mobile device. It clearly does not fit the format and will require a lot of zooming in and scrolling around the page to find what the information you need.

ABOVE RIGHT: This image show the responsive housemart.co.nz website as it would auto-resize to fit the mobile phone format. This information is much easier to view, and navigating the site to find select information is simple.



A Mobile Website is a version of your website specifically created to make it easier to find the most important information quickly and clearly. If your competition has a mobile site and you don't, you're at a disadvantage because mobile browsing is becoming the norm, and people are looking for sites on their mobiles that are simple and straightforward.

For more information on mobile websites, see our Mobile Website page. Browsing the internet is about speed and efficiency, and if a site looks too complex then people will exit right out again to find a site that more clearly offers what they are looking for.

In the competitive world of online marketing, we need to anticipate what our target market are looking for, and ensure we are providing that information in the easiert format possible.

Contact us to discuss having a Mobile Website created for your business, today.

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Christchurch Website Design

Welcome to Activate Design

Activate Design is your local website and graphic design company, producing top quality websites, as well as graphic design, logos and branding, smartphone applications and mobile websites.

king tiger logo design logo development

Example of logo design for King Tiger. For more logo examples visit our Portfolio Page.

What your local Website Design company can offer

We have a great team of specialists at our Christchurch office on Durham Street. Our team is comprised of programmer and server specialists, graphic designers, website designers, development experts, friendly office staff, and everything in between.

We have an excellent automated host-management system called ActiveHost, which regularly manages our clients' website hosting at a very, very competitive rate. With our ActiveHost system our clients can log-in to view their hosting invoices, manage their domain or search for new domains, and more.


An example of recent Christchurch website design for local accounting company

This website was recently created for Clarity Accounting in Christchurch, who provide personal financial organisation and business planning. Clarity needed a site that could present large amounts of information in a way that was simple enough to view, in a website that was thorough, yet easy to navigate. The design was created to compliment the Clarity Accounting logo and incorporate the brand that we had previously created for them.

clarity accountants website design

For more examples of our recent website design, see our Website Portfolio.

The results of a new or refreshed brand

Many of our customers have found that with a newly designed brand or logo, or even refreshing their old logo and launching it into the Christchurch marketplace, this gives them a stronger and more recognisable presence in Christchurch. For more information visit this page for Logo Design Packages.

A logo refresh could mean that you wish to keep an aspect of your existing logo, so there is a part of it that can connect to a new, more recognisable logo. For our designers, this sometimes means using an existing colour scheme or perhaps a font structure that transfers into a fresh new design.


The results of having an easy to use website

The results of having a website that is clean and clear and simple to navigate are that you don't have to worry about it. You can relax knowing their is a home base for your company that is offering your products, services, address and contact details, and information about your company 24-7. Like having a secretary that never sleeps, your website showcases your company and experience, and allows enquiries to reach you through your website contact form at any time.

In a world that is becoming busier by the second, a lot of us don't have time to shop around for what we want by visiting stores, we simply look online for what's available. We find what we want, then the hours that store is open, and much like a typical Kiwi bloke in a mall we go straight in for what we're after and straight back out again.


Gaining brand loyalty through good website design

The trick of it is that once a web surfer has found your site, as a result of something specific that they are looking for, then you have their attention and the opportunity to offer your wider selection of products and services. To hold their attention on your website, your site needs to be very clean, clear, well designed, easy to navigate and informative.

To be found online you need a website that is a good introduction and representation of your business. Content must be presented in a way that will appeal to both viewer and search engines, and the site needs to be simple and uncluttered, while also being inviting and specific to what you do. This can be achieved by our experienced Christchurch website team, using relevant imagery, concise content writing and more.

Contact Us to discuss having a new website designed and developed, a new logo designed or an existing logo refreshed. If you're in the Christchurch area we can visit you at your premises or you are welcome to make an appointment to visit us at our Christchurch Activate Design office at 336 Durham Street.

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Epic Entertainment

Take a look at this newly launched website for Epic Entertainment - showcasing the promotional talent, themed events, dancers and fashion of this dynamic company.

For more examples of website design and graphic design by our local Christchurch based design company, check out our Porfolio!

epic entertainment website design





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Posted in Graphic Design

Helix Industries

Another example of website design in Christchurch by Activate Design, with this newly launched website for Helix Industries.

An enjoyable project for us as it was a bit of an eye-opener to see the diverse range of tools, engine parts, components, moulds and more, that this company can produce. This website is also a good example of how we can assist with our Content Writing Services, if you're not sure how to best market your businesses unique abilities in a concise and effective way, for the web.

Helix is a Christchurch-based specialist in advanced engineering, who can cater to a wide range of requirements as well as being able to freight Internationally.

Helix Industries Website Design


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Noble Wilde

New website design for www.noblewilde.co.nz

The Noble Wilde website showcases their fabulous collection of mens and womens clothing and accessories, and their unique wool blends.

A great example of professional images really adding that x-factor to a website. Catalogue images are shown in a unique feature gallery.

Noble Wilde Website Design

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The constant growth of online technology, systems and education.

The future of business is growing on the internet.

The key to this future is websites.

Website growth website project startBecause of this focus on internet systems for business, to be competitive you need an online presence. Where we once looked to printed directories for business information, we now turn to our cellphones for mobile websites, or access the internet via our iPads and Laptop computers while on the go.

But not only has the way we view information changed, so has our attitude towards it. A website with animated introduction, sound effects and buttons that move and become visual features actually works to your disadvantage.

We can access the information quickly, thus we want to view the information quickly and simply. We want no-frills information without flashy effects and neon sign in-your-face advertising. Internet users want standard button navigation and pages. Home page should be home page and contact page where your contact information is found. There's no need to get too clever - accessing a website for information should be an act that requires an absolute minimum of thought - everything should be quick, and plainly obvious, and that is what your audience will appreciate.

website development project growth

  • Home Page - loaded and ready with a concise explanation of what you offer. Clear, large headings and clean navigation should be offered. This is your chance to get people to stay on your site, which they won't do if it's complicated, animated, or too clever.
  • Contact Page - clearly list all of your contact information. Open hours are always helpful for your customers, as is a map to your premises.
  • About Us - if viewers are not in a hurry they will take the time to learn more about you here, on additional pages that go more in depth into your business.
  • Image Gallery - the quickest way to see what you offer is to look at the pictures. Ensure you show only good quality images, and a brief description under each image is a bonus.

Click here for a recent blog on Almost Perfect Websites, and the small things that are missing or overdone. Great tips to turn a good website into a great one!

Click here for some excellent pointers on Effective Web Design. Great for when you're thinking about launching an online presence or improving on an existing one, this page also offers some clear information about Activate Design's unique Web Design Process.

More recently there has been growth in students training to be “white-hat” hackers. These skilled people are in great demand by Government Agencies, private Cyber Security Firms, and many major software and internet-based companies. Students are trained to hack systems, then report any flaws in security so they can be fixed to prevent future hacking. The way internet technology is advancing, companies will need more and more people trained to test their online systems, websites, payment areas and more, to prevent security lapses and constantly improve methods of maintaining online security.

Website growth website developmentNowadays students are learning to identify and solve issues in internet systems, ultimately to prevent hackers from gaining access and causing havok. An increasing number of companies with internet based systems have come to realise the importance of employing such people.

What can you do to ensure you have the best website security? Ensure that your website is being hosted on a local New Zealand based server.  You can get cheap website hosting in India or various countries around the world, but what you are risking is the security of your website. Good server security prevents hackers from accessing your website and online systems. Local servers mean a better chance of contacting your host provider should you need too.

It is also important to note that the server your website is hosted on can effect your websites performance and speed in a negative way. It can also effect your site if the server is too full, crammed with other websites and thus becoming comparatively slow, or by not being maintained to highest standards.

Click the link for more information on our Secure Website Hosting in Christchurch.

Once your know your website hosting will be secure, ensure your online presence is a complimentary reflection of your business.

See our Online Portfolio for recent examples of our work, and contact us to see how we can raise the bar on your website so you are competitive within your industry. Ensure that your website is attracting new and repeat customers with the right amount of information, professionalism, clarity and functionality that your website presence should project as a front for your business.

CONTACT US to make it happen.

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Could we survive without internet?

We have embraced the Internet through business websites, Blogs, Mobile Phone Apps, Online Booking systems, Facebook, Linked In and Twitter, as well as many other modes of social media, Internet banking, online business software, internet based communications software, and more.

It’s all a bit overwhelming to realise just how dependent we are on the internet. To realise how many services would be lost if the internet went down for an extended period of time, not to mention jobs and business, as more information is being stored and accessed online as a part of our everyday lives.

Internet technology website projectMost businesses these days rely on their internet services in one or more ways, with a website being a first point of call for most clients, as well as a reliable method of contacting a business through an email form, an online quote request or by simply providing all necessary contact information in one accessible location.

Online purchasing through E-commerce sites  is a constantly growing trend, making the purchase of goods online a much easier process than negotiating busy streets.

In a recent isolated incidence of internet being lost, in a small town in the Australian state of Victoria, a fire damaging the Telstra exchange resulted in no internet or phone for the unlucky residents. Local service stations and stores would take cash-only, bank machines were out of order, and cash withdrawals had to be limited to $100 with “IOU’s” being hand-written by bank staff. Work nearly ground to a halt as communication became limited to radio, and thousands of dollars were lost due to businesses being cut off from their systems and customers.

Internet technology website developmentThis is an eye opening account of what could happen and how entwined we are in all that the internet can provide. So what can we do but embrace these new technologies? Moving forward into a world that is more connected and fast-paced than ever before, and ensure we make the most of these opportunities and the new level of 'connectedness' that we now enjoy.

As for the risks, simply ensure you have a copy of your images and written content, logo and brand elements saved in a safe place, and trust that the systems that we have all come to accept as the norm will be carefully monitored, maintained and updated as the integral part of modern society that they have become.

So to grasp how fully emersed we are in all this relatively new technology, we must also realise the huge growth we have experienced as a direct result ; products and services are more easily acquired, businesses are far more easy to locate – and you can view a business location on a map, right to the door, using directions on a website, or from mobile applications that will give verbal directions as you drive.

Do you have a website presence? Are you a part of this growing technology? To embrace these modern technologies – from Social Media to Websites, Mobile Websites, Content Management Websites and E-Commerce Websites, Smartphone Apps and SEO - CONTACT US to discuss how we can use our decade of experience as Activate Design to brand, market, produce printed materials, and create and enhance your online presence, today.

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New Logo Design : Bentim Global

Recent logo design for a dynamic company: BENTIM GLOBAL.

bentim global clever logo design

For more information on renewing or refreshing your logo and brand our visit our Logo & Branding page.

We recently celebrated our 10 Year Anniversary as Activate Design, so let us share our decade of experience in graphic design and marketing to create a fresh look for your existing logo, or to launch a brand new company identity you'll be proud to stand behind.

Contact us for an appointment today!

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