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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.

 

What is web design?

Web design is a general term which describes the tasks involved in creating a web page. From the smallest personal blog to a complex company website, it is important to have a well-designed website that is easy to navigate. More specifically, web design refers to building a website’s “front-end”, or the parts of a web page which customers and browsers interact with.

Your website is the portal to your company success

The sheer volume of web pages show information using many different technologies linked together with hyperlinks. Web pages have two basic aspects to them. The first is a user interface, usually visual, whilst the second aspect is the “back-end” that includes the technical information. A good web design company understands both these elements and can design a website which will drive traffic to a company or individual.

Real Internet – Your one-stop shop for web design

When choosing a web design company, it is important to hire one that has relevant experience and expertise. Real Internet, based in Gloucestershire, is a web design company with a client base that covers Bristol and the South West. We offer affordable services to a diverse range of customers with a variety of needs.

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.

website-report

Monthly Website Reports

Today, we are talking about the Monthly Website Reports we issue to all our clients. We send these out at the beginning of the month for the previous month. So, at the beginning of November, we sent out October’s Report. 

We will go through the Report page by page.

Overview

The Overview page shows a breakdown of everything that’s in the Report. Thus, the number of updates completed, the uptime of the website, the analytics, the security issues, the performance, and any keywords we are tracking for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Updates

The next page is a summary of the updates that we have completed over the previous month. It will show the plugins that have been updated, the theme updates etc.

For example, on the Real Internet Website Report for last month, the updraft plugin was updated, and the theme we use was updated. What is updated will vary on how many plugins are on your website, and the theme used to create it. There can be several updates each month, it just depends on what the developers send out to us.

The purpose of the updates is to make sure that our sites are running on the most secure versions, which protects our servers and customers’ websites/details from hacking attempts and to make sure that the sites are running smoothly and responsively.

As the sites are hosted on shared servers, a hacking attempt on a site that hasn’t been updated can put the other sites at risk. 

Optimization

The Optimization page shows what has been cleaned from the database. For example, spam comments, revisions, etc. The database is where all the information about your website is stored. It needs to be kept as optimized as possible to ensure that your website is looking good and performing well at all times.

Uptime

After that comes the Uptime statistics. As stated, this shows how long your website has been up on the internet live and functioning. Sometimes there can be a few glitches where it could go off for a couple of seconds and then come straight back up. These are just one of those things that happen in the wonderful world of technology. If we notice that a site has been down for more than five minutes, then we will investigate and sort it out.

One of the things that can cause a website to be down is if the security certificate is not up to date. These must be attached to your website, Google likes them and they show your site is secure to visitors. Therefore, we make sure they are up to date and active. All our websites should have a security certificate attached but, if you don’t have one, please let us know and we will install one.

Analytics

The next page is the Analytics page. It starts with an overview of the amount of traffic to your website broken down into sessions, pageviews and session duration. Analytics are measured using IP addresses, which is the unique address attached to a particular computer. When somebody, attached to an IP address, goes onto your website and how long they stay is a session.

You can see how many pages per session a visitor has looked at, and you can see how quickly they might leave your website if they don’t like it, for whatever reason. It also shows where the visitor has come from. For example, organic searches are when somebody has gone on to Google and put it in a specific search term. In our case, it would be website designers in Gloucestershire.

Following that is a breakdown of the figures where visitors came from, how long they stayed on each page, what they searched for to find your website and the countries they are based in. You will be surprised at the amount of traffic that comes from overseas! 

Security

Next, we come on to the Security page. For the Real Internet Website Report last month, we completed a total of six security checks. This shows any malware or any vulnerabilities that could be on the site, anything that would cause us concern e.g. whether hackers are trying to access the site.

Performance

The Performance page shows the number of performance checks we have completed on the website. We measure the PageSpeed and the YSlow grade that, together, indicate how well a website is performing.

The PageSpeed grade is the overall analysis of the performance of a page on both mobile and desktop devices. Several factors can affect the page speed, one of these is the number of images you have on your website. An image-heavy website will be slower to load than one that doesn’t have many images. But we can optimise the images to make sure that they load as quickly as possible.

As you can imagine, the better the score, the more you can assume your site is in good shape, and a good score is a fair in indicator of the wellbeing of your site in the eyes of Google.

The YSlow grade is defined by crawling your website and comparing it against a preset list of rules. A website is then scored against these rules and given an overall score based on the average. Each of the rules has a different weighting. Some rules have a bigger influence on your overall score than others.

Just like most scores, a higher score is better. But you don’t need to stress too much about having a perfect YSlow score. However, you do still want to improve your score as much as possible within reason, as improving your score would generally mean an increase in performance. If you would like to talk through your scores with us, then please do give us a ring we’re more than happy to help and make some suggestions on how we can improve the speed of your site and the overall important performance. 

SEO

The next page we come to is the SEO keywords we track. Now, you may not have as many keywords on your website, in which case, I suggest you have to think about this and what people may be searching for when they’re looking for whatever it is that you sell. We can then update your website to include those keywords. And again, this will improve your visibility on Google.

As well as monitoring keywords, we can also show the top four competitors you have for the same keywords. This is useful to help you keep track of your competition, and again, help you become more visible on Google. Which is what we all want after all!

So, that’s a very quick run-through of our Monthly Website Reports. We hope you find the information useful. By comparing your Reports month by month, you will see where things are going up or going down. You can have a think about what did I do this month that made my website go up or equally, what did I do that made my website go down? If you need help with any of this or you just have some questions, please give us a call or email us at support@realinternet.co.uk. We are more than happy to talk to you about this, the Reports or your website in general. We are here to help.

WordPress 5.5 “Eckstine” Development Update

WordPress 5.5 “Eckstine” upgrade was released on 11th August. The upgrade improves three main areas of WordPress websites: speed, security, and search.

Speed

Posts and images will load faster, thanks to lazy-loaded images. This means that images wait to load until they scroll into view – lazy loading.

On mobile devices, lazy loading stops browsers from loading files meant for other devices, resulting in reduced data consumption and battery life is not used up so quickly.

Search

WordPress sites already work well with search engines, now WordPress 5.5 includes an XML sitemap that helps search engines find your important pages much faster.

This means more people finding your site more quickly, giving you more time to engage and convert to paying customers.

Security

It is now possible to choose to update all plugins and themes automatically or just pick a few. This means you always know your site is running the latest versions.

Auto-updates can be turned on or off for each installed plugin or theme. Manually updating is now easier too by uploading a ZIP file.

What do you have to do?

Nothing! If your website is hosted and maintained by us, we will install WordPress 5.5 and fix any compatibility issues that may come up.

Investing in quality web hosting

Installing upgrades is one of the best reasons to invest in our hosting and maintenance packages, we do all the work so you don’t need to think about it.

A great website is worthless if it’s insecure and unresponsive to browse. Web hosting is the backbone of your business’ online presence and the very thing that ensures your website can be seen by the world.

Learn more about how affordable quality web hosting can be by contacting Real Internet for a quote today.

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.