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5 Must Have Features of a Startup Website

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responsive-design

In today’s digital age, having an online presence is essential for any business, especially a startup. Your website is where consumers will go to research your products/services, learn more about your company, and, most importantly, make a purchase. In order to convert visitors to your site into leads, there are certain essential things to include on your website. Ensure your site has these five must-have features, and you are sure to see conversions skyrocket.

Easily Accessible Contact Information

An easy route for customers to contact your business is key. If applicable, include your business phone number/email in the header, showcase detailed contact information in the footer, and have a contact page for visitors. Link to your social profiles aside the contact information.

It should be explicitly clear to all visitors how they should contact you. If a visitor has a question, you don’t want them to be searching around trying to find your phone number or email. Additionally, if you give users the option of contacting you through a form, make sure that you only require that they fill out the minimum number of necessary fields. If a user needs to fill out ten fields in order to contact you, they may be less inclined to do so, at which point you’ve lost a potential lead.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of startups and young businesses that have structured their sites the right way. Community Tax, an accounting startup in Chicago, makes sure to provide multiple ways of contacting the company throughout the site. Let’s look specifically at the homepage. The phone number is in the top nav along with a CTA that takes the user to the Contact page. There are also multiple contact forms throughout the homepage, so the user is never left wondering where or how they contact the company.

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Blog

Maintaining a blog is essential for any startup business to stay relevant in its respective industry. Creating blog posts is beneficial for your customers and your site’s search engine optimization. Companies that published 16 or more blog posts a month received approximately 4.5 times more leads than companies that published 0-4 blog posts a month, according to a Hubspot study. Thus, it is essential to publish fresh content frequently.

Cater your startup’s business blog for your brand, company goals, and your target audience. The company blog is an opportunity to educate and develop lasting relationships with customers. A blog adds value to your audience and gives your startup business a voice. Leverage high-quality original videos and photos about your business within your posts. Research, plan, and create content for your blog often; it could prove to be your top performing marketing channel.

Our next example comes from BioClarity, a startup skincare company. BioClarity focuses their blog posts on the topics that their target market is most interested in – anything related to acne and acne treatment. By posting regularly and writing on topics that their audience cares about, they are building a connection with potential customers and most likely converting more visitors through their blog.

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Clear Call-to-Action

A visitor has landed on the page, now keep them on your site. Use a call-to-action to direct customers down the conversion path. The call-to-action should be clearly identified and should be in multiple areas throughout the website. Ensure your website visitors understand what your startup has to offer and how to obtain it as soon as possible.

Entice customers with variations of your call-to-action with different colors and fonts that stand out from the rest of the homepage. Always be testing call-to-action buttons to see what works best for driving conversions.

Optimize your call-to-action buttons for mobile visitors. Create a large contrasting button that is easy to tap and click. Online e-commerce and subscription-based sites like BarkBox often do a great job of having concise call-to-action buttons included their respective homepages.

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User-Friendly and Mobile-Friendly

A clean website design and functionality are important for a startup website. Develop a succinct path to the different pages of your site. Site architecture and structure maintains the integrity of your site. Utilize a hamburger menu for responsive design; this will help mobile users (who will most likely make up the majority of your website visitors) locate website sections.

In addition to your site navigation, including a search box feature so customers can quickly locate the information they may need. Use visitor search box queries to improve site navigation, inspire blog post ideas, and create necessary pages on your site.

Your website must load quickly. For a speedy load time, enable compression to reduce the size of your CSS, HTML, optimize images, leverage browser caching, and reduce redirects. Page speed affects your search engine optimization and conversions on site.

Your website might look great, but does it guide visitors and help them fully understand the value of your startup business? In addition to a stellar layout and design, be sure to include the imperative “so what” information about your business. Show the value of your startup product or service and lure your audience into conversions.

Social Proof & Testimonials

Include this on your homepage to establish validity and credibility with visitors. Reviews and partnerships are trust signals for visitors. ChowNow has a dedicated section for testimonials and reviews about their product and services. Small local businesses can also benefit from showcasing client reviews. Although it might not always make sense to have a whole page dedicate to testimonials like ChowNow, many companies like Source Capital, display their reviews in sliders.

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Does your company have any awards or certifications in your industry? Add the recognition to the homepage; it supports the quality of your startup’s work and the image as an expert. Include the reviewer’s name, title, location, and from where the review came if applicable.

Conclusion

These five must-haves will set up your startup for success. Use your site as a 24/7 marketer. A site that stands out in your industry will ease customers into conversions. A well-written and clever copy will keep visitors converting.

Web Design Vancouver

Hurricane Web Design Vancouver
#1002 – 1831 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1E4
(604) 256-7081


brandon-mBrandon is an SEO Specialist born and raised in Southern California that enjoys developing compelling online user experiences and marketing campaigns that search engines love.

unique-designs

Unique Designs For A Website To Be Visually Appealing

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Web designers use different designs to appeal to the audience, and this is the reason why they ensure that they keep specific factors in mind when they are creating designs for a website. These designs need to appeal to the targeted audience so that they stay on the website and fulfill the call to action.

Meeting the needs of the targeted audience

Every website has unique features, and it needs to meet and match the needs of the client. When it comes to designs, websites can deploy character design, animation, integrated location maps, photo and text placements in the layout of the website. For example, take animation for instance. Experienced web designers state that the use of animation is not fancy. However, it can make the website unique. The layout allows you to scroll down the page and have the background animate gradually. Animation can improve the user experience as the transition is noticed as you go from one section to another.

How is the website design determined?

The following are some of the factors that determine the design of the website:

  1. The designer must decide where the specific design elements should appear. This will determine the focal point where the design might not be very intricate and detailed. This is precisely true for designers that are using character design for their websites.
  2. Experts companies like Las Vegas Web Design Co in the USA say that when it comes to parallax scrolling, where the background moves at a slower pace compared to the foreground, there is a 3D effect when visitors scroll down the page. However, it should be done by a skilled web designer or else the effect will get overwhelming.
  3. Displaying multiple sides of a product in one glance is perfect for product pages. Visitors can understand products better when this design is used. It is ideal for e-commerce websites that sell products online. The images have the same background, and this makes for a smooth and seamless core.
  4. When it comes to some websites, designers use real human beings that are behind the apps, products, and companies of the website. They place photos of these people in their descriptions and role in the website design.
  5. Black and white color schemes are at times resorted to by some web designers. This is a reverse color scheme and is often used by web designers. Some designers often couple these black and white designs with grids to create the desired effects.

Therefore, web designers across the world use the above design ideas when it comes to the creation of their websites. The site should be interactive and communicate to the visitor when it comes to selling products or services. The design of the website will also help visitors to navigate without difficulties. Every website must be unique so that they appeal to the targeted audience and create a positive impression to keep them coming back to the site again and again!

Web Designer Vancouver

Hurricane Web Design Vancouver
#1002 – 1831 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1E4
(604) 256-7081
http://www.hurricaneweb.net


sujainSujain Thomas is a freelancer, blogger, and most importantly SEO specialist attached to a private SEO company of repute in Boston. She is an avid blogger and a source of inspiration and authority for budding SEO experts.

WordPress 3.9: What’s New for Web Designers

wordpress 3.9 upgrade

WordPress is a content management system that can be used by anyone to build, design and maintain a blog or website. It’s an open source CMS, which means it’s free for everyone to use. Initially, WordPress was intended to be just an easy way for internet users to set up blogs. However, due to the efforts of a huge open source community of WordPress programmers, there have been various improvements and extensions made to WordPress. It has now become much more than just an ordinary tool for potential bloggers and web designers and powers close to 20% of all websites on the Internet.

What’s New in WordPress 3.9

WordPress recently made the WordPress 3.9 upgrade available on the market. The upgrade comes with some additional refinements that are geared towards better website management. It was dubbed the name “Smith” in honor of Jimmy Smith, who was an African-American Jazz Musician.

In addition, the WordPress 3.9 was also designed to provide users with a better understanding of how their content would look like once it was published. This has been fantastic for web designers like us.

New features in WordPress 3.9:

Improved Visual Editing

WordPress 3.9 has been equipped with a new visual editor for high-speed functions, better accessibility, and mobile support. Users can now paste directly into the WordPress dashboard from their word processor. This helps to save from wasting time that usually occurs when cleaning up messy styling.

Easy Image Editing

It now offers quick access to crop and rotation tools. Users will now find it much easier to edit their images. In addition, editing posts and scaling images can be done directly in the editor.

Dragging and Dropping Images

With the WordPress 3.9 upgrade, uploading images have become quite simple. The process now involves taking your images from your desktop and then dropping them into the editor. Most users have found this particular feature to be quite efficient, practical and easy.

More Options for Audio and Video

Media options have been updated for better image galleries and it media clips (audio and video) now have playlists.

Live Widget and Header Previews

Users can now add, edit and reorganize their site’s widgets much easier. There is also an option that allows live previews of your changes and you only save them when you see that everything is to your satisfaction. This enables you to avoid small errors and mistakes with your widgets in WordPress.

The enhanced header image tool also allows users to upload, crop and manage their headers as they customize their theme.

New Theme Browser

In WordPress 3.9, users can now immerse themselves even more in the boundless supply of free WordPress themes. You can choose more themes depending on your personal tastes and preferences.

Even though the previous version of WordPress 3.8 offered users a variety of features, it was still not up to date with the current needs of the market. WordPress.org decided to launch the 3.9 to provide users with more unique features that are practical and easy to implement. It has received great reviews from users and it is steadily growing in popularity.

Hurricane Web Design Vancouver
#1002 – 1831 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1E4
(604) 256-7081
www.hurricaneweb.net/

Vancouver Website Designer

Finding one web design application for markup, CSS and FTP

I’ve spent the last 11 years trying to find the perfect web design software that will do (X)HTML/PHP coding, CSS, and FTP all in one. Like a lot of web designers, I started Hurricane Web Design using Dreamweaver but found it had features I would never use (bloat), the FTP was inadequate and the live preview didn’t give a good representation of what the design would look like in standards compliant browsers.

After getting fed up of Dreamweaver, I switched to TextMate for coding and CSS and Transmit for FTP. I liked how TextMate was clean and would get out of my way to just let me code my web design. It would integrate with Transmit for FTP somewhat, but not nearly enough. Working with CSS was adequate at best. You would add or change CSS, then refresh in a standards compliant browser like Firefox or Safari (this was before Chrome) to see if what you did looked good or even worked.

CSSEdit makes the CSS portion of web design easier

Then roughly three years ago I discovered CSSEdit by MacRabbit. CSSEdit allows you to edit the CSS for a web design and give you a live preview of the changes you had just made within the application in a built-in standards compliant browser without ever having to save and refresh. You could view a website – any website, even one you didn’t own – in the browser, extract the style sheet and make changes or additions without affecting the version everyone else would see. Once you got it looking the way you wanted, you’d upload the CSS to the website. This saved me countless hours designing and editing the CSS for websites. But, this still was not the complete package as I needed an application to markup the HTML or PHP and another for FTP to upload. Three applications to accomplish what I needed for web design.

Coda plus CSSEdit almost perfect for web design

Within the last year, I switched to Coda for the markup and FTP portion of my web design and development projects. Coda is a nice piece of software and was the best application I had used for markup. The interface is clean, includes code snippets, allows you to manage multiple files at once and organizing all of your web projects so you can access them in one window. The FTP portion of the application works great and makes uploading, downloading and syncing between the server and your computer easy. It is almost perfect. Almost. Editing CSS was still much better in CSSEdit compared to Coda. Now I was down to two applications.

CSSEdit goes Kaboom

Vancouver web design with Espresso KaboomI was briefly horrified to hear that MacRabbit was discontinuing CSSEdit until I heard they were integrating with version 2 of their markup and FTP application Espresso Kaboom. Could I finally have one application to do everything I want? Find out my review of Espresso 2 Kaboom beta for web design and development in my next post.

Vancouver Web Design Company

Hurricane Web Design Vancouver
#1002 – 1831 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1E4
(604) 256-7081