Effective Website Design

Here is some general information on what makes a website effective. This may be especially helpful for those of you who are using our unique WEP-Com Content Management System, enabling you to create your own pages, galleries, links and more.

So we know that there are infinite options available in how to layout a website, but to have an effective website that users will actually want to spend time viewing, here are a few tips to keep in mind ;

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CLEAR NAVIGATION

Many studies have been conducted on how people use the internet, how they view website pages, and what they choose to click on. Consistent results show that clear navigation makes the difference between an average website and a really good website.

Although you could have a snazzy website that looks like a spinning planet spitting out rocket-shaped pages of information - it would not be effective in that yes, people want to see something new, but in a familiar environment. If it's too strange, if there's no clear navigation to see what page you're currently on, where the links to the other pages are, and indeed what website you're even at - people will click on your website and then 'bounce' right back out again. Your websites' 'bounce rate' then becomes very high, negatively impacting on your website ratings.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE TO GIVE PURPOSE TO YOUR WEBSITE

Keep in mind what you are offering so that amongst all the information you are providing about your business, your staff, images, products, services and contact details, ensure there is a very clear and simple path for your customers to take in as few a steps (or clicks) as possible. Understanding why your clients choose to visit your site will help you cater your website to their needs. If they get in touch, always ask for feedback on how your site worked (or did not work) for them.

USE VERY OBVIOUS PAGE NAMES

Some of us like to get a bit fancy, so instead of "home page" we have "home base", or possibly "home portal" or "starbase one" - cool, but in the fast-paced world of website-hopping, it should only take a fraction of a second to recognise a website's page name for what it is. Pausing on a webpage trying to work out what page "home base" is supposed to be, is simply frustrating, and if a whole website is like that then very few viewers would take the time to actually browse your website. Are you using standard terms for your navigation? Can you simplify your terms for easier recognition?

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KEEP NAVIGATION IN THE SAME PLACE

Clear navigation is one thing, but what happens when you navigate away from the main page? Do you get lost in the website pages, not knowing how many pages there are or where it ends - or do you have the reassurance of the same navigation bar, or simple listed text links of all the pages, located in the same place on every page - giving you the peace of mind of knowing where you are at all times. Having the page you're currently on highlighted in addition to fixed navigation on all pages will make navigating through your website much easier.

KEEP IT SIMPLE - THE LESS CLICKS THE BETTER

Websites must cater to the fact that most of us are 'skimmers' rather than 'readers' when it comes to browsing websites and we expect instantaneous results, whether that be clearly knowing what is where on a website, to being able to access pages in one-to-two clicks only. A site can be too clever, to it's detriment.

Example : I can across a site recently that was selling clothing, I was looking for a nice t-shirt for a friend but first I had to click on 'clothing' then choose 'mens' or 'womens', then click on 't-shirts', then select one of the many 'brand options' to get to view the range of t-shirts available in that brand only. When I did not find what I wanted I only had an option to go back to the home page and start again, or use my browsers 'back' button to choose another brand, view the t-shirts, go back, choose the next brand, etc.

 

Yes, it was clever, and it was organised, but it was too time consuming and I left feeling frustrated. What would have worked better would be to simplify the site into a two-click or three-click process, ie. clothing / t-shirts / and a gallery showing the full range, with some some sub-text under each product showing the brand, rather that clicking through to the brand first, thus reducing the number of clicks to access the product/information.

Is there a way you can simplify your current website? How many clicks does it take to get to the product/service you are offering? Can you navigate from anywhere in your site to exactly where you wish to go?

Contact us for any upgrades to your website design and layout, and View Our Portfolio for recent examples of the many successful websites our team has designed & created.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Multi-tasking when it comes to choosing a business, product or service.

In a recently released Google report it was found that 85 percent of New Zealanders regularly multi-task with their purchasing. This means that while we are watching advertising on television, reading a magazine article or talking to a friend about a wonderful product or service, we are also instantaneously looking up that business online via laptop, mobile phone or tablet!

We take from this that it is an excellent idea to expand your business marketing into more than one area while ensuring that your 'home base' is your website. Your website is the place where customers will always refer back to for contact information, prices, and for further information on any products or services that have caught their attention.

Is your website easy to view on a mobile phone? More and more Kiwis are going online via mobile so see us to create a mobile phone-friendly version of your website today.

Doing a quick online search is also the main way that New Zealander's check that your business is legitimate. For example, when looking for a window cleaning service, New Zealanders will most likely google “window cleaning” and their region, and look for a website that shows clear contact details and positive testimonials to assure themselves that your business is legitimate and experienced, rather than just someone’s hobby or quick-cash scheme.

These visits to your website are also judging the quality of your website, which in turn represents the quality of your business; much like the state of the car your drive is commonly viewed as representing your level of professionalism.

An article that comes to mind is one I read long ago, about a plumber who, as a part of maintaining a professional mind-set and appearance, washes his work van every morning before heading to a job, thus ensuring he is doing his best to show his pride in his work through the high maintenance of his vehicle. A simple but shining example of going the extra mile in self-promotion.

 

This attention to detail, and to the importance of creating and maintaining a clean, informative, easy to navigate website are the leading factors that we use to create a website which compliments and enhances your company identity, going that extra mile for you and ensuring your website is the go-to place for anyone who hears about you by word-of-mouth, sees an advert for you in a newspaper or magazine, or hears about you by radio or television advertising.

The recent Google report also mentioned that as we now have such a variety of internet-capable devices at our fingertips, we’re looking at other forms of advertising then going online to search for more information, almost instantaneously. We’re not waiting to look up something later, and we don’t take the time to look in a phone book or catalogue, we’re going online to find what we want, right then and there.

If you have a website that isn’t working for you, if people aren’t finding you online, contacting you through your site or purchasing your products/services online, talk to us about how we can help enhance your website and rankings and really make your online presence work for you. See our SEO Page for more information, or simply browse our website for the service that meets your needs. We are always creating new websites and have a great Portfolio of recent work.

Rather than use the variety of publicly available Content Management Systems (CMS), we use our own system that we have developed with the focused intention of creating a system that is client-friendly, as opposed to the hard to use, programmer-tailored systems that are available today. Contact us for a demo on just how easy it is to use our unique WEP Edit Pro Content Management System, so you can make your own updates and changes to your website at your own convenience.

We also offer additional services such as our ActiveMail Email Marketing System, also nice and easy to use. With your own Newsletter template design you can send out beautiful looking newsletters with confidence, and at your convenience.

As always, feel free to Contact Us for any further information and to discuss your needs.

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Posted in Website Design

Frustrated by Website Service Spam?!

Flooded by emails offering print and website services?

Yeah, us too.

Most of these emails say they have been to your website, analysed it, and can offer to re-design the website, provide an SEO Service and offer additional services.

However, if these emails were for real, if these companies had actually been onto our website in particular, and “analysed it”, they would know that we are a web design company, that we create websites and offer SEO ourselves along with a host of other professional services.

So I must conclude, and feel obliged to warn you, many of these companies are not going to your site first and though they may actually offer these services, they seem to be going about it the wrong way. I don’t know about you but these tactics of sending out bulk spam-like emails are not okay with me.

spamwiches Now I get about 10-12 of these messages every week, offers of SEO and website re-design, as well as ‘photo cutouts’ and print services, and I wanted to assure our blog surfers that we do participate in this type of bothersome marketing.

If you would like a Website created; take a look at our Portfolio Page to see the quality of websites that we produce, then give us a call on 0800 308 8996 or use our Contact Form to send us a message.

We would be happy to come to you to discuss your needs, or you are welcome to come to us for website re-design or a brand new online presence that we can design and build for you.

If you’re out of town be assured we have a lot of experience in designing for companies all around New Zealand and can meet with you via Skype, and alternative communication.

We are a Christchurch-based company, offering great service and transparent prices. If you are looking for quotes on Website Design, Development and Website Hosting, you will be pleased with our competitive pricing and the range of Services we offer, from our ActiveMail Newsletter System, to iPhone and iPad applications and a range of Printed Media.

Don't bother with spam marketing, contact us - the Creative Team at Activate Design.

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Posted in Graphic Design

Yahoo Mail plagued by hackers and compromised security

 ACTIVATE DESIGN'S SOLUTION TO YOUR YAHOO MAIL FRUSTRATION.

mailguy smltallYahoo Mail fixes another compromise in security this week, and publicly admits there is a problem in the on-going issue of insecure yahoo email accounts getting hacked, passwords stolen, and spam being sent from hacked email accounts to all contacts, spreading malware and causing great annoyance to the thousands who keep receiving these spam emails, not to mention the account holders who receive a stream of return emails querying the emails sent from their account.

This dates back to a serious hack into the yahoo email accounts that occurred in early January, when a hacker uploaded a video to YouTube to show just how easy it is to compromise a Yahoo email account. Yahoo was quick to respond, confirming the flaw had been investigated and fixed.

Later in January a company called ‘Offensive Security’ let Yahoo know that their email service was still vulnerable to attack with flawed security. Yahoo again confirmed that these flaws had been fixed.

It was then discovered that the spam in question, that has been sent from compromised yahoo email accounts, had been circulating for about a month, stealing login details and bypassing Yahoo mail security.

Yahoo has again confirmed that these security breaches have been fixed, but should they be trusted? Are you prepared to use an email service, any email service, that is plagued by attacks and flawed security?

Can I change to a more professional email account? Yes, absolutely. A good point to ponder when choosing to move to a new account provider is the professionalism of having a yahoo account for your business. For example, would a company called ‘City Solicitors’ use an email address that was citysolicitors@yahoo.com? No. Most definitely not. Without realising it, some of these email services are actually undermining your business image and professionalism. So why risk it when ideally you can have an email account that is linked to your domain name?

email carriers

What is an example of a more professional email account? As an example, if you own the domain name, “cityflowers.co.nz”, then your own email address could be something like; orders@cityflowers.co.nz. At Activate we create email accounts that are hosted on our secure New Zealand-based server, allowing you to choose from a variety of email software options to manage your emails. Amongst the most popular software for emails today are Microsoft Outlook, MacMail & Thunderbird.

How much does a domain-name email cost? At Activate Design if you already have a website hosted by us, then email accounts are complimentary, and we can setup up to 15 accounts under one domain name. If you do not yet have a website with us, we can host your email account from just $5.00 +gst per month. Contact us for more information or to get started with a new email account today.

Can I get technical support for my software and security? We provide an online troubleshooting guide for email setups, and beyond that we advise those that rely one technology for their business to have an IT Specialist for your company, or to utilise one of the many IT Specialist call-out technician services available today, to assist with any technical issues such as email setups and keeping software and security updated on your computers.

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Why shift to a new email provider? Another reason to shift to your own, more professional domain email account is that Yahoo mail is not good for business because the spam filters are set so high that legitimate business enquiries are often unable to reach you.

What do I do with my existing Yahoo mail account? With your Yahoo email, Hotmail, or other personal email accounts, you can setup forwarders to go to your new domain email account, until those older accounts are no longer needed and can be closed.

Where do I get a domain name? If you do not yet have a domain name, contact our friendly team at Activate Design where we can register domain names on your behalf, or you are welcome to visit our dedicated hosting website www.activehost.co.nz where you can search for the availability of domain names of your choice, with a variety of suffix available such as .com / .co.nz / .net.nz and more.

Simply follow the link above, enter the domain you would like and click "find" to check if it is available. You can purchase your domain right then and there if you wish, or contact us to purchase it for you.

How do I get a website? These days having an online presence is a must. The internet is now the first place most people will go to find a product or service, and increasingly this is being done on mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads. Take a look at our Portfolio Page for examples of websites we have done recently, and for ideas on what we could design and create for you.

The next step: is to contact us to arrange a meeting, where we can discuss the options available, introduce you to our own uniquely developed Content Management System (CMS); created so that you can manage your own content and add images etc, with our easy to use client-friendly system. We can then provide a quote and proceed at your convenience.

Our team at Activate Design can: launch a new or update your existing online presence with CMS websites, Ecommerce websites, and other professional services like email accounts and our easy-to-use ActiveMail newsletter system, as well as iPhone and iPad applications. Our team consists of experienced graphic designers, developers, copywriters, programmers, SEO specialists, and a great sales team to advise you on expanding your company logo and brand into an online presence you will be proud to stand behind.

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Posted in Uncategorized

How to transfer your Facebook Followers to a Subscriber List

Legally, there is no way to just take your whole follower list from Facebook and use if for your own marketing purposes. It simply can't be done.

So how do keep in touch with your 'followers' from Facebook, who obviously already like you and are interested in what you have to offer?

FBthumbSmlStep 1.

You need to have an alternate way of sending out information to your interested followers, and the best way to do this is by sending out a regular newsletter.   Due to the fact that Facebook have introduced fees you must pay to ensure your posts reach all your followers (otherwise they are only visiable to a small percentage of followers), and proven that sites such as this can be changable and unpredicable in the way you interact with them, many people are turning to other methods of having an online presence such as ;

Websites : a website is a must-have for business these days.

Contact us to have a custom-designed website created for your company, or to update your existing website to something stylish and modern.

Newsletters : what better way to regularly send out interesting and relevant information to your clients than an online newsletter?!

Some of the benefits of using our ActiveMail email marketing system;

  • This is a user-friendly newsletter system, so easy to use it will make newsletter creation a breeze!
  • We create a template / or templates for you, then you just choose the template you wish to use and easily upload your pictures, fill in the articles with your own words, send yourself a test newsletter if you wish, then send to your subscriber list. Easy.
  • Easily add links into your newsletters yourself.
  • Subscriber lists that are so easy to manage, you can even have multiple lists for ease-of-use. What could be simpler?

 

FBthumbSmlStep 2.

Pay for a post on Facebook so it's guaranteed to go to ALL followers. The sooner the better! With changes in progress all the time, who knows what future posting prices will be?! - get in quick while posting prices are relatively low.   Your post could be an interesting graphic to intice interest, with a link to the subscriber page on your newsletter where they are encouraged to fill in their name and email to enjoy your future newsletters.

I would advise to keep your Facebook page, it is free social media marketing unless you are paying for posts, then you can pay for a post every now and then to encourage subscribing to your newsletter.

Feel free to contact us to discuss your website or newsletter needs, we are happy to advise on the best solution for your business needs. Visit our ActiveMail Email Marketing System page for more information on this innovative newletter system.

Visit our Content Writing page, if you would like to utilise our creative writers for articles in your newsletter, or content for your website.

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Posted in Branding

The trouble with Facebook changability vs reliable Website stability

The advantages of having a website rather than relying on free social media sites such as Facebook, are becoming more and more clear with new information that has come to light this week.

Is the Facebook user audience is on the decline? A report released this week shows that some 61 percent of Facebook users had taken a break from using the site for at least two weeks for a variety of reasons; from taking a break from the screes of gossip, drama, and irrelevant information, to the fact that many people seem to have realised they have been spending too much time on the site, and need to re-think their time allocations. Privacy and security concerns on Social Media sites have also received plenty of media coverage of late.

This shift in user activity may be due to the new charges that were launched in late 2012, where you must pay for the priviledge of having your posts reach all of your followers, or otherwise be satisfied that only a percentage of your randomly chosen followers will be seeing any of your posts at all.

This introduction of charges also had another effect, causing users to realise that websites of this type can change without notice in the form of charges, display and formats, even how they operate. Facebook offers you no control over how you can utilise this marketing tool. It's a take-it or leave-it social media platform with little or no stability.

For those who have spent vast amounts of time setting up their business pages and marketing hot spots on Facebook, it has come as a huge disappointment that free social media sites cannot be relied upon to work as they previously have. We have people just like this come to us and we are able to create a client-friendly, editable website for them, as well as the ability to have a Blog streaming through their site, and a customised Email Marketing Newsletter to reach their target audience.

The time to have your own website is now. Facebook is a free media site that can still offer benefits, but not stability. I would encourage everyone currently advertising on Facebook to invest in their own website where your followers can find your permanent, reliable internet presence when they want it.

I say it is time to action your own website presence now because you want to encourage your Facebook audience to sign-up to your Newsletter, and you want to do this NOW before Facebook change their charges or conditions on the way you can advertise to your followers.

Contact us today to discuss your website needs and how we can conceptualise, design and build a stunning website that will best reflect your style, as well as offering easy-to-use editable features allowing you to control, change and add your own content at your own convenience.

See our Portfolio page for examples of our previous website design projects.

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Posted in Branding

I.T. Support

- When do you need it?

- Who provides it?

- What is the purpose of having it?

There have been a lot of companies pop up in recent years, specialising in I.T. Support. These companies provide excellent technological support for your home or business needs, and developing a good relationship with a local I.T. support company that are ready to assist you at a moments notice is a great way to start the new year with peace-of-mind in all things technical, especially ensuring that your business can run smoothly, and get any repairs, reconfigurations and support that you may need - fast, and whenever you may need it.

At Activate Design we can design, build and host your website and add and host any email accounts you require. We are not, however, equipped to offer full I.T. support for your company. So though we can ensure everything is running smoothly at our end, that your website and emails are securely hosted on our trusted New Zealand based server and backed up by the support and know-how of our team's ingenuity, we also encourage you to develop a good relationship with an I.T. Support company for the on-going needs of your business technology.

I.T. support companies are expert at offering prompt and focused call-out support people for all those home or business I.T. issues such as the setup and maintenance of email accounts on your personal computer/s, ensuring you are using the latest website browser and updating when necessary, offering support for wireless network setups, computer configuration and related I.T. infrastructure, and ensuring your computer and network/internet settings are secure and protected from outside influence.

At Activate Design we do all we can to ensure the services we provide are seamless and reliable, that we offer clear communication between you and our team of experts, and we encourage you to take those extra steps in ensuring the security and on-going support of your technology needs with an I.T. Support Company near you.

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Posted in Website Design

Best Blogs of 2012

Happy New Year everyone!

On thinking of a new blog topic to write about for 2013, I was scrolling through some of our older blogs and realised what a wealth of free website, design and hosting information we have available to you!

For your interest I have highlighted some of the best and most informative blog topics below. If any of them interest you simply click on the heading to go directly to that post or scroll down through all of our posts to locate them, and read on!

Posts listed in order of most recent to older entries.

  • How Much Should I Be Paying For Website Hosting? - an informative look at important aspects of website hosting and points to consider when looking for a reliable website hosting company.
  • Update Your Browser - offering some very encouraging information as to why keeping your browser updated is of benefit, and links for where to go to get updates.
  • Modern Marketing vs Traditional Marketing - offering both established and new ideas for marketing your business.
  • Is Your Website Climbing With Sales Or Sliding Downhill? - this post offers some great insights into looking at the purpose of having a website, and is a good checklist for you to see if your website is working for you.
  • Christchurch Website Design Process - excellent information detailing the process of website creation, letting you know exactly what to expect, and prompting ideas for focusing your website on your target market.
  • Activemail - Our Simple Email Marketing System - if you've ever wanted to send out regular emails to your clients, our ActiveMail system is one of the easiest to use. How do we know? Well, we use it ourselves of course. Read this post for more information on this excellent, online email marketing system.
  • Website Landing Pages - providing clear information on how 'landing pages' on your website can generate and encourage new traffic to your website. This is just one of the S.E.O. (Seasrch Engine Optimisation) services that we offer.
  • Website And Server Security - good information to know about the hosting of your website and the importance of ensuring your site is hosted on a secure New Zealand based server.
  • Graphic Design For Printing And Website Challenges - this post offers a variety of free design information, especially targeted at those who wish to create some of their own graphics to include on a website or for print, and details the requirements of both media.
  • Website Search Engine Optimisation - interesting introductory information on a variety of SEO services we have available.
  • Get Online: The Problem With Free Websites - this is as great post for anyone tempted by "free" offers, read on to know just what you could be getting yourself into.

We hope the information provided in our posts is both interesting and informative, and we encourage you to contact us if you would like any further information on any of the topics we write about, or for any other queries regarding website creation, graphic design, digital printing and offset printing, or any of our other services like iPhone or iPad apps and SEO services.

We wish you all the best for a successful and productive 2013 !!

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Posted in Branding

How Much Should I Be Paying For Website Hosting?

WHAT IS THE REASONABLE PRICING FOR WEBSITE HOSTING IN NEW ZEALAND?

WHAT IS WEBSITE HOSTING EXACTLY?

 

HOW MUCH SHOULD I BE PAYING FOR WEBSITE HOSTING?

Most people need managed hosting, and we provide it at very affordable rates for managed hosting, often more that 50% cheaper than some of our competitors.

Hosting prices are based on server space and bandwidth.. the smaller and simpler the site the cheaper the package is.

Important aspects of website hosting to consider ;

  • Will my site be hosted on a New Zealand server?
  • Will there be top notch security to prevent website hacking?
  • Will there secure, reliable back-ups in place?
  • Does the hosting company offer on-going website support or once my site is live is that it?
  • Will there be good access of communication between my hosting company and myself?
  • Will the server provide fast performance for a fast loading website?
  • Will the hosting company care about my needs or am I just another partition on a server?

If you’re looking to hosting with an overseas company, you may have to compromise on many of these points above. Overseas hosting may offer a cheaper alternative but you may find that you are just another number, a website space to be crammed onto a server amongst hundreds of other sites, much like chickens kept in battery cages, something we feel strongly against.

Hosting your site on an overseas server will also likely mean slower loading time and slower website speed overall. Something to be aware of is that there are New Zealand hosting companies who host their websites on overseas servers, so if you don’t know where your website will be hosted – ask!

At Activate Design we offer more "free range" hosting, as opposed to your "battery hen" type hosting. We host all of our websites right here in New Zealand with Servers based in Auckland and Christchurch from respected companies who assure ultra-modern facilities with full redundancy in connectivity, power and cooling, as well as a priority to maintaining the highest levels of server security.

We look after you. And that’s an important part of who we are, being accessible and knowledgable to offer website support for all your potential requirements.

We have automated systems that manage your hosting and domain names, allowing you to manage your invoices, domains, and to process payments conveniently, all in our online system. We’re also right here in Christchurch, and at the end of the phone if there’s anything you need assistance with, or send us a support ticket for faster action from out team.

WHAT IS WEBSITE HOSTING EXACTLY?

Here is a brief layout of just exactly what website hosting is, and the basic steps involved in having a website created for your company, before hosting becomes a factor.

A definition of Websites, Website Hosting and Domain names

A Website is your place on the internet. It needs to be run in a program and there are many to choose from. At Activate Design one of our most popular programs is our WEP system. This is a unique website system that we have designed and developed to be user-friendly, specifically so our clients can access and edit their own sites with ease and simplicity, and at their own convenience.

WEBSITE HOSTING is the physical place where you website is located. While your live website is available on the internet it needs be hosted somewhere, on a server. Servers cost money, so the hosting costs money, and that cost is dependent on the size of your website and the type of website you require whether it be a simple CMS website or an eCommerce site where you wish to sell your goods and services online.

A DOMAIN NAME is the address of your site. If you think of your website like a car, then the hosting is the carpark where it is located, and the domain name is the signpost directing people to your parking space. Website Hosting and a Domain name are both part of having a website.

The hosting of your website and the domain name may be more convenient if they are managed by the same company, as we do. We have our uniquely developed ActiveHost system which automatically notifies you when your domain name is coming up for renewal, and also sends out your hosting invoices automatically.

We offer the convenience of being able to log-in to our ActiveHost system so you can view your invoices and domains online, check the availability of new domains and purchase them if you wish, and pay at your convenience.

Next is a brief summary of the steps that are involved in having a website created, just to give you some idea of what need to be done in creating a website, and things to think about before undertaking the process.

Website Steps To Creation;

  1. WEBSITE QUOTE - we talk to you in brief about what kind of site you need, what you need it to do and the audience it will be aimed at. We then propose a site that would suit you. We have developed our own CMS (Content Management System) which is the background system that runs a website, and we have created this to meet the needs of clients who need a user-friendly website that will allow them to make changes to their website themselves with ease and efficiency.
  2. WEBSITE CONSULTATION- this may include time for the consultations on exactly what you need from a website and how it is to look and to function. This may include more than one meeting to discuss your ongoing requirements.
  3. DOMAIN NAME– if you do not already have a domain name that suits you company name and the business you offer, we can assist you to pick one, or two, or more! You need a main domain name to direct users to your site, but you can also have additional domain names that also point to your website as required. For example, you may wish to have; kiwiknifesharpeining.co.nz – as your main domain.But you also may wish to have additional domains, for example; kiwiknife.co.nz / kiwiknives.com / kiwisharpeningservices.net.nz – which can all be signposts to direct website surfers to your website.Additional domain names can be added at any time, but one domain must be registered to you to direct people to your webiste when it goes live.
  4. GRAPHIC DESIGN for your Website – once we have a target and know the style and look that would suit your business, our designers will attack a project with gusto, creating backgrounds and buttons, header bars and the overall style and imagery of your website.
  5. WEBSITE WRITTEN CONTENT– any content for your website can be written by our clever wordsmiths, who will usually meet with you in person and take notes on your business in a comfortable interview-like situation, finding out about you and what you do and writing it in a way that will appeal to your client base while targeting online search engines to ensure optimal web traffic will find you.Copywriting is usually an additional service on request, and not included in the overall cost of building a website unless discussed previously.
  6. PUTTING THE WEBSITE TOGETHER– programmers take all the design and content information and put them together adding functionality and consistency. Our programmers seamlessly make the buttons work, align the navigation, add any additional functionality as requested, and get the website to a finished stage.
  7. WEBSITE GOES LIVE - Once the website has been put together we ask you to review your new website and let us know of any changes you would like before the site goes live.

How much should I pay for website hosting?

We have heard stories of people being grossly overcharged for their website hosting, so we just wanted to ensure we are transparent on the subject of the hosting charges you would expect to pay for having a website online.

In all website hosting companies there will be a variety of hosting packages available, some may say free hosting – but that does not necessarily mean free!

Be wary of companies offering "free hosting" or "free domains", there is no such thing. It could be a matter of that cost being applied to you under a different guise or having a website that is undermined by annoying pop-up advertising that most web surfers will steer well clear of.

It could be that the cost of hosting has been built into the cost of the website build, but this gets a bit fuzzy when you realise that a website build will take a fixed amount of time to complete, but the hosting will continue indefinately... it seems strange to combine the two - and how do you know what you’re really paying for?

Website hosting fees should be separate. There should be a cost for building the site. Then there may be additional costs for content writing if requested, or any functionality above and beyond what was initially discussed and quoted for - which will be clearly laid out and agreed to by you before being undertaken. Then there will be the cost of a domain name which, with us, you are able to register it yourself through our easy to use ActiveHost system.

Registering a domain name means it then belongs to you, and if you wish to keep it you need to register it annually, or for multiple years as convenient. If a domain lapses there may be a small window with which you can re-register it, otherwise it will be available to be registered by anyone else and you will not be able to reclaim it unless by negotiation with the new owner.

If we manage your domain name this will not happen. We will not allow your domain it to expire without you being notified well in advance as we closely monitor all of the domain names in our care, and our automated system means you are notified well in advance of domain expiry. Lastly there is the hosting fees, dependent on your website size and type, and these fees will be ongoing for as long as you wish your website to be live on the internet.

Website hosting should be based on the type of website best suited for your needs.

Basic categories of website available

  • A simple view-only website This is a website for viewing, for providing information and can be edited by us as required.
  • A CMS Website A CMS or Content Management System website, is one that you can edit yourself when and how you see fit. We provide training on the use of our unique wep-site system so you can have control over your own website content.
  • An E-Commerce Website This is a website in which you can edit the site, and can sell your goods and services online. If your site gains more products and grows in size you can easily purchase more space on our server to allow for further website growth.

For a detailed list of our website and hosting packages visit our website hosting page or contact us to discuss your needs.

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Posted in Graphic Design

Update Your Browser!

- Well, Why Should I?

Your browser works fine, internet speed is okay, your emails are readily accessible, credit card transactions process fine and the sites you visit work as expected, so why would you need to update your browser?

Website design and functionality is great to work with, design and build … until we get to the stage of trying to make the website function consistently across a wide range of different browsers!

There are so many new features available to website designers and programmers and we like to utilise all the creative potential for website design that we can, to ensure we are creating modern websites, stylish websites, fast loading websites, creatively unique, appealing and cleverly designed websites.

If you are using an older browser you simply may not be seeing the new effects and features that are available on modern websites. If your old, outdated browser does not understand the code it should be displaying, it will just ignore it and show you what it does understand, it may display as broken pages or links that won't work.

The simple truth is that different browsers work differently. They perform differently in searches, speed and performance and you can choose whichever browser you like best... just keep it updated would you please?

Advantages of updating your website browser regularly;

  • More Security
  • Better Privacy Settings
  • Faster Browsing Speeds
  • Continuous Updates Made Available
  • Browser Extension and Application Add-ons
  • Cross Platform Browsers – to adapt to Mobile and Android devices

What you will miss out on by not updating your browser;

  • Features, Enhancements and Nuances of new website design
  • You are accepting potential security risks and bugs
  • Older browsers become unsupported

We create fantasitic websites, brilliant websites, stylish websites and modern websites all for the enjoyment of you, the web surfer. But we can’t be sure you are getting the whole experience if you are using an out dated web browser version!

So don’t miss out on enhanced website surfing pleasure – updated your browser today, right now! And look to update your browser every six months to a year.

How do I update my website browser version?

WINDOWS USERS:

If you use Window, to update your website browser visit; windows.microsoft.com

If you use Firefox it will normally auto-update, but to ensure you’re using the latest version visit; www.mozilla.org//firefox

If Chrome is your style, this normally auto-updates as well, but to check visit; www.google.com/chrome

MAC USERS:

If you use Safari, visit this link to download the latest website browser version; www.apple.com

Firefox usually auto-updates unless you’ve told it not to. To check if you’re running the latest visit; www.mozilla.org/firefox

Chrome also auto-updates but to check for the latest version visit; www.google.com/chrome

If you’re browser is not listed, visit www.google.com and type in “update my browser” – then enter the name of the browser you use.

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Posted in Graphic Design