Posts

How to Design a Company Website

With the increased use of the internet, it is no longer feasible to run a business without some sort of online presence. Besides social media, a well-designed website can help open up your small business to new markets and give you an edge in your field. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create a website for your business.

Pick a domain name

Your domain name is one of the most important features of your website. It should be descriptive, memorable, and easy to type in. Keep it as short as possible, and avoid using acronyms, numbers, and hyphens where possible. Using the right domain extension is also critical, so always aim for the .com extension. Once you settle on a name, confirm its availability and check copyrights to ensure that it does not contain any registered trademarks.

Purchase website hosting

When selecting a website hosting provider, you can choose a shared server or a dedicated server. The former is much more affordable, but performance can be slow, and security is easily compromised. The latter can be very expensive, but it would allow your website to perform optimally. Other than cost, some of the other things to look out for when selecting a host include security, scalability, intuitive interface, and technical support.

Build your pages

A good website should have several pages dedicated to different aspects of your business. You will need a home page, an about page, a blog page, a products/services page, a contacts page, an FAQ page, and a reviews page. Your homepage should help visitors understand what your company is all about, so create a clear and concise statement. Also, remember to place strategic calls to action where necessary and ensure that they match the information on the page.

Optimise your website for SEO

SEO ensures that search engines such as Google index and rank your website appropriately. A good website design, together with other SEO practices such as fast loading speed, keyword implementation, and quality backlinks, helps your website rank higher on search engine result pages, which helps increase your website traffic.

At Real Internet, we offer website design services as well as website hosting and management. Contact us today and let us help you create an attractive, responsive, and practical website for your company.

How can digital marketing help me grow my business?

In the current business climate, digital marketing is essential. Digital marketing refers to the type of marketing that takes place using the internet. It can include anything from website marketing to social media.

Here are some reasons why digital marketing can help you to grow your business.

Many more people are online

Nowadays, much of our day is spent online. Whether you’re scrolling through social media over a coffee in the morning, checking out the latest news on your way to work, or replying to emails in the office – chances are, you’ll use the internet a lot.

Your target audience will too. Therefore, advertising your business in the places where they are most likely to see it (via Instagram, Facebook, or Google) is essential.

You can target your area via digital marketing

“What’s the point of marketing my local business for customers hundreds of miles away?”, you may be wondering. This is a very valid concern, however, there are plenty of tools that help you market your services to your area alone.

For example, if you advertise on Facebook, you can target the advert so it only shows up to people in a specific area. We are based in Gloucestershire so we would target our ads to that area plus the surrounding areas. The same goes for Instagram advertising.

If you are using SEO to get more visitors to your website, you just need to include your city name in your keywords. This will ensure that more people in your local area see your business.

Businesses are moving online

The coronavirus pandemic has caused many physical businesses to close their premises and move online. This may be the future for many businesses, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about this now and move your marketing online. As fewer people are out and about, they are less likely to stumble across your business or see non-digital marketing, which means that they need to learn about your business from the internet.

In this modern world, digital marketing is essential. Even if you have a small local business, you will notice the benefits of moving your marketing efforts online, and you should see a big return on investment!

If you’re looking for an affordable web design service, get in touch with Real Internet today.

How to map out a website design

The process of designing a website is one that should be detailed and not done in haste. Like an architect drawing drafts of a house build, a well-worked website design map ensures that everyone is aware of the project’s goals and removes any potential design snags. Whether you are already a business owner or preparing to launch a new website, it is important to think about why you need a website, how you expect it to work, and what you expect to gain from it.

How to map out a website design

So, what does a website design map include? It is, more often than not, a visual (digital) representation of a user’s journey through your website. A visual representation usually starts with the homepage and displays how your other pages link to it. The most common pages are: home page, about page, service(s) page, contact page. If you have an e-commerce site, you are likely to need more pages; the same goes if you are adding landing pages as part of a digital marketing strategy.

The map of your website can also show user movement – through navigation bars and other links. This means that your designers can see at a glance the audience’s usability. For example, a visual sitemap will diagram how the ‘about page’ links to the ‘services page’. It may also show that the ‘services page’ has three child pages detailing those services.

There are several online platforms that can be used to create a digital design map; however, in the preliminary stages, a more traditional option may be to use several Post-It notes so that both you and our team of designers can see easily how you expect your website’s pages to link together.

Remember the aim of your website when mapping it out. Is it to lead to a sale? Is it to prompt an enquiry? Or perhaps to provide an answer to a query to develop your authority? In all instances, you will still want to take users to the information they need quickly and seamlessly. Therefore, try to design an intuitive map with as few obstacles as possible to direct users to their destination, depending on where they arrive at your site.

Getting started with mapping your website

A well-organised sitemap means that your website designers will have a blueprint to produce a successful website. At Real Internet, we cover the whole design process; from initial design to the build and monthly maintenance, we have a team of engineers on hand to support your request. If you would like to find out more about the website design services that Real Internet can provide, please get in touch on 01454 806 570 or contact us here.

 

How to choose a website design company

With the world increasingly running in the online sphere – particularly considering the COVID-19 pandemic – now is the perfect time to update your website with a fresh new design or create one if you’ve yet to dip your toes into the digital world. But how do you choose a great website design company?

Start with some basic research

Before you do anything else, run an online search for local web design companies near you. Working with someone local has a lot of advantages, the biggest one being accessibility. Ask your professional peers for recommendations and the names of companies they have used and were happy with. Snoop at your favourite websites and see who built them (there’s usually a link in the footer).

Check out their own websites

Once you’ve made a list of possibilities, start looking at them all a little more closely. Look at each company’s own website. What a web design agency creates for their own company is a good indication of their capabilities, style, and technical expertise. How do you like the look and feel of their site? How responsive is it? Does it have a modern, up-to-date design? Does it employ all the latest technologies?

Try not to get bogged down in looking at whether you like the specific design. After all, you have your own brand and style. What you’re looking for is whether the website presents the design agency well and reflects their brand and style (whether you like it or not).

A good web design agency will effectively take your vision and branding and create something perfectly in keeping with it. The most important elements for you to consider are whether their own site is up-to-date, highly functional, with a great user experience.

Read their blog

Content creation frequently goes together with web design. If you’re expecting the web design company you choose to create content as part of your new website, looking at their blog is a great way to gauge what to expect. Even if you already have all your own content, the blog will tell you two crucial things about the company: how good they are at keeping their website updated (absolutely vital), and how much they know about web design.

Their blog should highlight their expertise and demonstrate how much knowledge they have about their trade.

Look at their portfolio

Another great way to see exactly what you can expect from a company is to look at their design portfolio. Most web design agencies will feature at least some of their clients on their websites. They should detail the type of project it was, what skills were employed in its development, as well as some great visuals so you can see the result.

Other things to consider are whether they have examples of websites that are like the one you want to be created. Have they worked in your industry? Have they created the type of functionality you’re looking for? Are they used to building big sites with heavy traffic and still ensuring perfect functionality? Do they create bespoke designs that match individual brands or are they all quite ‘samey’?

Give them a call

Use the above to rule out any companies you don’t think will be a good fit and, once you have narrowed it down to one or two possibilities, give them a call. You will usually know quite quickly from speaking to them directly the kind of rapport and service you can expect.

Here, at Real Internet, we are passionate about designing websites that work for customers and are practical, responsive, and attractive. With our vast WordPress experience, Real Internet can build websites and incorporate plugins to give you all the options you need. We can also import your WordPress website directly into our own hosting. We use high-speed, dedicated, and secure servers. Our clients are fully protected from hacking attempts and data loss.

We offer the full web design process, from initial design to the build and publishing online. We also provide monthly maintenance packages, giving you and your business a complete end-to-end website service. Trust Real Internet for all your web design needs.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you to create an effective web presence for your business.

 

How to Design a Website

The thought of designing your own website may seem daunting. You may wonder where to start and how to get to the end result but don’t worry, we have put together a guide to help make your website a success!

First things first…

Before designing a website, you need to define what the purpose for it will be. For example, will it be an e-commerce site, a blog, a portfolio…? This is very important as it is the first step to creating your perfect site. You will also need to decide on your company branding, what colours you will use to represent the website, what layout you have in mind, and whether content will be text-heavy or more on the visual side.

It is also important to come up with a domain name; this must be unique to your website and represent what it is you are wanting to promote. Make it simple and easy to remember, to allow more driven traffic.

Different ways of designing and building your website

There are various ways to create a website that meets your desires. You can make it yourself from scratch – this is the most difficult way to build a website as it involves a lot of work and is time-consuming. However, it is very rewarding when you see the finished results!

Or, you could use a website design and developer company/agency. It doesn’t matter if you are building a brand new website or looking at updating one that already exists, they will help with your decision. You can usually find a variety of different packages on the websites catered to various levels of requirement, from standard brochure-style, service-based websites to more in-depth e-commerce sites. You get professional help and advice when choosing to design your website with an agency and the process is a lot more straight forward than designing a website yourself as you make all the decisions with none of the work. This saves you time which will be beneficial in the long run.

Other helpful tips

Some other things will need to be done to ensure your website runs smoothly and gets the recognition it deserves. Make sure the website is mobile-friendly is a must. 52% of website traffic is generated from mobile phones, so it is vital that your audience can access your website from their mobile devices.

Also, once it’s up and running, don’t forget to promote your website. This can be via social media, word of mouth or business cards etc. Make sure people know about your website and services and, last but not least, ensure you are using the correct tags and keywords in all the right places to drive traffic to your site.

Want to find out more about designing a website? We are an expert web design agency based in Gloucestershire. Get in touch today to talk through your ideas.

Latest News

Keeping IT Real

M6 GrM6-Group-Logooup of Companies

Back in August, we were approached by our client, M6 Group, to bring their websites up to date. We started working on a major revamp and upgrade a couple of weeks ago.

M6 Group is a commercial vehicle hire and servicing company and they have two websites, their main M6 Group website and Birmingham Test Centre website. Both websites were looking outdated with old images and out of date text. We are working through the websites to give them a new look and new feel, and lots of new content that talks about what they do, and how they add value to the service they provide for their customers.

So far, we have written the new content for the M6 website, and the build is coming along really well, it’s looking smart and modern, which is what they needed. Unfortunately, the person that we’ve been working closely with, Jules, who is their vehicle hire manager, fell out of a lorry the week before last and broke her arm! So, now she’s sending us stuff whilst typing very, very slowly, one finger at a time. We send her our best wishes and a speedy recovery.

We will keep you posted on how the new build goes, and once everything is up and running,  we will let everybody know so you can have a look at their smart new website.

Raysfield Pre-School Cartoon-lion-preschool-logo

A few weeks ago, Raysfield Pre-School approached us with problems they were having adding content on to their website. One of the benefits of having a WordPress website is that it’s a content management system, which means you have access to it, and you can make changes yourself if you need to.

Unfortunately, Raysfield’s website theme had been updated a few years ago by somebody else, not us, to a theme that is no longer supported and the person who did it is no longer available. This put the Pre-School in a situation whereby it was becoming increasingly difficult for them to update the website.

So, they asked us if we would have a look at it and fix the problems for them. We agreed that we could fix it, but the main issue was that the theme was no longer being updated, which meant that as time went on, they would encounter more and more problems. As they are a charity, we offered to update the website theme and move everything over so that the situation wouldn’t happen again, free of charge. The website is now up and running, take a look here.

Monthly Website Reports 

We have been issuing the Monthly Website Reports for a while now, and, although we did write a blog about them back in July 2019, we thought it was about time we talked through the reports with you to explain in more detail what it all means.

This is a very brief summary of what your Report includes.

  • It contains data about updates, analytics and security.
  • It can help you track website traffic, and you can use it to identify areas for improvement, for example, how to convert more website visitors to sales leads.
  • It tells you how fast your website loads as well as the number of pages a visitor views.

Starting from the end of this month when we send out October’s reports, we will be ringing around everybody to talk through them with you, what it all means and how we can help you move forward in your businesses.

We hope the Monthly Website Report is clear and easy to understand, but contact us if you would like more information or to discuss how we can support you over the next few months.

Wordpress Updates

WordPress Updates and Maintenance – Behind the Scenes

If you are one of our many WordPress customers, you should receive a fortnightly report about your website.

Real Internet GDPR privacy

G . . . D . . . P . . . RRRGGGHHH!!!

Do you remember, prior to May last year, when all those websites you subscribed to and then forgot about started hassling you with their new privacy policies?