06
Feb
2017

6 Undeniable Reasons Why Your Website Should Be Responsive

It’s probably no surprise by now that mobile internet usage has been skyrocketing over the last few years. According to a Morgan Stanley report, mobile internet usage is expected to match desktop usage by 2014. Even with this compelling evidence, the vast majority of business websites are still not mobile-friendly. This is not only causing a headache for users, but also a loss in business opportunity.

In this post, we explain why having a responsive website is so critical to your marketing as well as some key considerations to keep in mind when designing a responsive website.

What’s the difference between mobile and responsive design?

There are two major methods for creating mobile websites: responsive design and mobile templates.

Responsive design requires you only have one website that is coded to adapt to all screen sizes, no matter what the device the website’s being displayed on.

In contrast, a mobile template is a completely separate entity requiring you to have a second, mobile-only website or subdomain. Mobile templates are also built for each specific site, not per screen size. This can cause some issues, as we will discuss below.

Responsive design, a term originally coined in a 2010 A List Apart article by Ethan Marcotte, has been by far the most popular and widely used method for designing a mobile website.

Here are some of the undeniable reasons your website needs to be responsive.

1) Mobile usage is exploding.

This might not be a surprise for most of you, yet despite the impressive statistics below, many businesses do not yet have a mobile website. Hopefully, reading through these stats from Smart Insights will light a fire to stop ignoring the need for a mobile website.

  • Over 20% of Google searches are performed on a mobile device.
  • In 2012, more than half of local searches were performed on a mobile device.
  • In the United States, 25% of internet users only access the internet on a mobile device.
  • 61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience.
  • 25.85% of all emails are opened on mobile phones, and 10.16% are opened on tablets.

2) Positive user experience is a must.

According to Google’s Think Insights on mobile, if a user lands on your mobile website and is frustrated or doesn’t see what they are looking for, there’s a 61% chance they will leave immediately and go to another website (most likely a competitor). It’s also said that if they have a positive experience with your mobile website, a user is 67% more likely to buy a product or use a service.

3) Blogging and social activities bring mobile visitors.

If you’re like most inbound marketers and have elements of blogging and social media incorporated in your strategy, you probably have been seeing increased mobile traffic. A recent study by ComScore cites that 55% of social media consumption happens on a mobile device.

With that being said, if you’re sharing out content links or links to your website and don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you’re not only going to experience high bounce rates and low conversion rates, but also a frustrated audience.

4) Responsive design is preferred for SEO.

In June 2012, at SMX Advanced, Google’s Pierre Farr went on the record to declare that Google prefers responsive web design over mobile templates. Having one single URL makes it easier for Google bot to crawl your site as well as reduces the chance of on-page SEO errors. For these reasons, responsive sites typically perform better and are easier to maintain than a separate, mobile-template site.

5) A speedy responsive website is key.

According to the Google PageSpeed Developers, standards recommends that the content above the fold on a mobile device loads in under 1 second and the entire page loads in under 2 seconds. This is typically not possible when loading a desktop website on a mobile device. When a user has to wait too long for a page to load, there’s an extremely high chance they will leave your site.

Curious about how well your current website is performing on a mobile device? Google Developers has this nifty little tool to check your mobile site’s speed.

6) Responsive adapts to future devices.

One of the big benefits of responsive design is that the size of the template is designed based on screen size, not device. This means that no matter what size screen someone is viewing your website, it will display properly for that screen size.

So, in the future, as new devices (TVs, watches, glasses, etc.) are being used for web browsing, your responsive site will still look beautiful.

Moving forward, it will be extremely critical that your website provides mobile users an easy-to-use experience. Having a mobile website is no longer simply a nice feature — rather, it is now a necessity and literally impacts the growth of your business.

Are you curious the possible return having a mobile website might have? I’d suggest checking out is this “Full Value of Mobile” calculator by Google. Here, you can input different variables about your business and marketing, and it will give you a full rundown of how your metrics can be increased with proper mobile design.

This article first appeared on Hubspot Inbound Insiders – https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/responsive-design-list#sm.00ib0hr813o6f8v111f2fvr02s175

04
Jan
2017

Want to know more about SEO? – Onsite SEO

Introduction:

SEO. How many times have you visited a website and only to close it after a while as it proves of no relevance to you? Having an attractive and interactive website means alot in today’s world. According to Google, when it comes to retail, one in three shoppers use their smartphones to find info instead of asking store employees. Your web presence is important and it gives off the first impression to your potential customers. However, how do I increase the number of potential leads coming to my website in the first place? This is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in. It is good to keep in mind that an overwhelming majority of 91.5% of traffic comes from the 1st page results. Thus, it is super important to be on the 1st page. try Googling “Ecommerce Website Development” and you should be able to find Akimi Technologies on the first page.

In general, SEO can be divided into 2 sections:

  • On Site SEO
  • Off Site SEO

In today’s article, we will cover some of the aspects of On Site SEO.

The first place to start with SEO is on your ecommerce website itself. Search engine algorithms look for several factors when they crawl through each page of your site. The most important ones are:

The more attractive to search engine algorithms your page is, the higher it will rank in SERPs and the more visible it will be to people.

  • site structure
  • keywords
  • page URL
  • alt-text of images
  • title tag
  • meta-descriptions
  • content
  • internal links

The content that you publish on your store’s website tells the algorithm how relevant a page is to a user who is searching for a particular term. Search engines scrutinize your site for signs of quality or attempts to manipulate the search algorithm.

 

Site Structure

Structural elements of your site and the way pages link to each other also affect SEO. Search engines go through a link structure to find and index pages. If your site is structured well, all pages and subpages will be easily found by search engine crawlers.

A clear website structure is important not only in terms of SEO, but most of all in terms of good user experience. The aim is to build an online store where clients can easily find products and information they came for.

 

Keywords

There are different types of keywords, as well as different types of search queries that people use to find products they are looking for. SEO is pretty much based on keywords. Finding out what words searchers use to find online stores similar to yours is the key to success.

After doing a profound research you’ll have a list of relevant keywords in your hand. You can then start the optimization process which basically means placing keywords throughout the whole website. The main keywords should be used in titles and repeated naturally in the content, others should be placed in image tags and meta descriptions.

 

Page URL

One easy way to improve SEO on your ecommerce site is to ensure that each URL is SEO-friendly, which means that it should include the main keyword that the page is targeting.

URL stands for uniform resource locator, it is a web address of a single web page. URLs are displayed in a web browser and on SERPs. There are two types of web addresses: static and dynamic.

A static URL looks like that:

beardshop.eu/category/take-care-of-yourself

A dynamic one can look like this:

beardshop.eu/category/?p=0254007

While search engines can easily understand both of the URLs, for human beings dynamic URLs are completely illegible. A searcher can’t define what can be found on a particular website. Not to mention that you miss the chance to put one of your relevant keywords on URL, if you choose a dynamic web address.

Alt-text of Images

Search engines don’t read images, they read alt-text instead. You should use alt-text to help engines better understand the meaning of an image and what it represents. While describing an image, don’t forget to use some of your focus keywords.

 

Title-tag and Meta-description

Title-tag should define a site’s content in a concise and clear way. You should keep it short, max 50-60 characters. Be sure to include at least two of your most important keywords along with your brand’s name.

A title tag plays a significant part in SEO as it appears in the search engine result pages (SERPs), on external websites and directly in browsers.

Links

Internal links – links that point to other pages of your site – are an important part of on-page SEO. They help search engine algorithms to crawl through your site, indexing each page as they go. We will be talking a lot more about internal linking while discussing information architecture in chapter four.

Content

Content on your store website if optimized well can make a huge difference when it comes to making your business more visible in search engines. The keywords are one of the most important factors when it comes to your content optimization. You should pick only the most relevant ones and use them throughout the whole website.

In the next article, we will talk abit more about Off Site SEO.

Looking to revamp your website? Drop us a message to discuss further!

03
Jan
2017

Top SEO Tips Every WordPress Website Should Embrace

What’s the essence of having a beautiful and enhanced website with no traffic? The joy of every website owner sees the tremendous growth of traffic; a feat that is perfectly achievable through SEO. A website, however, glamorous it is, is not worth it if it is not to search engine optimised.

Knowing that search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing care less about web design and embedded photos is a critical step towards ensuring a perfect search engine optimized website.

It narrows your scope to what you should focus on; keywords, alt tags, file name, links, and content. So how do you use this knowledge to ensure notable search engines notice your WordPress website?

1.Reset Permalinks

The default permalink setting in WordPress doesn’t have an efficient structure for SEO. To reap the most out of it, you need to adjust the URL to post name manually.

Although (/%postname%/) is an ideal option, some prefer using /%category%/%postname%/. The latter can, however, result in various issues when there’s no optimization of contents of categories.

In the default settings for WordPress, all pages are designed to run via URL parameters. This is against Google’s recommendations. Changing the default settings maximizes the potential of your website for SEO.

2.Capitalize on Update Services

It takes time for URLs of newly added posts and pages to be indexed by search engines. To enhance the speed of this process, WordPress offers the opportunity of adding an update to the service, a feature that is visible in the general settings.

wordpress-updates

It is not worth adding content periodically if the search engines cannot update it as soon as possible. Having your pages indexed is the most important thing for any website owner.

Without URL indexing, it will never be possible for it to be shown in any SERP. It becomes even worse when your site relies on recent or breaking news, and the indexing takes time before being reflected. You might end up missing on great organic search opportunities that would have changed the destiny of your business.

3.Customize Media Settings

Another critical WordPress SEO tip is capitalizing on the media settings. To make the most out of media settings, it is advisable to customize all the available image options including thumbnails, medium and large. Using the default settings denies you the opportunity of reaping some hidden SEO benefits.

image-sizes

Thumbnails enhance the appearance of images smaller than their full sizes. Thumbnails increase bandwidth performance and ensure that the uploaded photos on your site fit on most screens. The result is different from uploading a bigger image then resizing it after the upload in the image settings.

4.Embrace Google Analytics

The worst thing you can do is to try managing a site without tracking. You might never have any idea of whether you are making progress or not if you do not have critical records using suitable software. Google Analytics eases the whole process by supplying you with relevant and necessary data regarding your performance.

All you need to do is create a simple analytics profile and then follow the directions by installing the Google Analytics version for WordPress. With this, you wouldn’t have to struggle with copying and pasting when connecting your profile to WordPress. To get the most out of Google Analytics, it is advisable to activate site search in your analytics profile.

google-analytics

Using Google Analytics can help you with critical data such as the average time a user spends on your site. Also, you can also learn the amount of traffic gained from search engines, making it possible to enhance your SEO campaigns based on the results.

Even better, Google Analytics allows 404-page errors to be identified quickly. The WordPress version of Google Analytics makes it possible to track users by their usernames. Top SEO companies particularly recommend this for e-commerce sites where extremely high page views count.

google-analytics-wordpress-1

5.Install .xml Sitemap Plugin

It is important to install .xml sitemap plugin for WordPress sites. This enhances the provision of links to various pages on your site, which improves the indexing of various pages on your site. One such plugin that enables easy creation and update of sitemaps is Google XML sitemaps.

6.Go Beyond the Norm

Most people don’t reap the most out of search engines because they are too conservative. It comes to a point where your traffic can never increase if you stick to your way of information dissemination. Going beyond the norm and embracing trending topics in your niche puts you in a better position of getting the most out of SEO. It becomes particularly important for WordPress bloggers who can escalate traffic on their sites by simply blogging about the recent updates in their niche. Once in a while, you need to change something in your style of writing, or it’s structure and observe the possible results. Remember always to make one significant change to measure because implementing many of them will make it impossible to identify the impact of single optimization.

If there is the significant increase in traffic because of certainly added content, more energy should be focused on producing that extra content.

7.Focus More on Content Quality

To be able to rank high on the search engine pages, you need to ensure your content is perfect. Websites with long and highly optimized pages tend to rank higher in search engine pages. Many search engines prefer lengthy and detailed posts, and the reason is simple; users love it that way. As such, your top articles should be detailed and contain the right keywords. However, that should not make you lengthen even the non-extendable posts like reviews and other brief articles.

It is not just about the length; your content should be well researched and appealing in nature. You ought to put finer details into your article. Carry out some research and link your site to related sources of information. This will not only enhance the credibility of information held therein but also steers up your search engine rankings because link building is one of the fundamental ranking factors.

Having your WordPress site rank highly in important search engines does not have to be as hectic as many people perceive it. All you need are simple idealistic steps like embracing Google Analytics, changing the default media settings, focusing on the updating services and enhancing the quality of your content!

This article first appeared on http://positionly.com/blog/wordpress-seo-tips

18
Dec
2016

Create your PayPal Business Account in 6 Simple Steps:

Three user interfaces (UIs) go to a pub. The first one orders a drink, then several more. A couple of hours later, it asks for the bill and leaves the pub drunk. The second UI orders a drink, pays for it up front, orders another drink, pays for it and so on, and in a couple of hours leaves the pub drunk. The third UI exits the pub already drunk immediately after going in — it knows how the pubs work and is efficient enough not to lose time. Have you heard of this third one? It is called an “optimistic UI.”

Optimistic UI design is not about looking at the web through rose-colored glasses — at least not only about it. 

Recently, having discussed psychological performance optimization at a number of conferences dedicated to both front-end development and UX, I was surprised to see how little the topic of optimistic UI design is addressed in the community. Frankly, the term itself is not even well defined. In this article, we will find out what concepts it is based on, and we will look at some examples as well as review its psychological background. After that, we will review the concerns and main points regarding how to maintain control over this UX technique.

But before we begin, truth be told, no single thing could be called an “optimistic UI.” Rather, it is the mental model behind the implementation of an interface. Optimistic UI design has its own history and rationale.

Once Upon A Time

A long while ago — when the word “tweet” applied mostly to birds, Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy and people still put fax numbers on their business cards — web interfaces were quite ascetic. And the vast majority of them had not even a hint of optimism. An interaction with a button, for example, could follow a scenario similar to the following:

  1. The user clicks a button.
  2. The button is triggered into a disabled state.
  3. A call is sent to a server.
  4. A response from the server is sent back to the page.
  5. The page is reloaded to reflect the status of the response.
In the old days, interfaces were nowhere nearly as optimistic. 

This might look quite inefficient in 2016; however, surprisingly enough, the same scenario is still used in a lot of web pages and applications and is still a part of the interaction process for many products. The reason is that it is predictable and more or less error-proof: The user knows that the action has been requested from the server (the disabled state of the button hints at this), and once the server responds, the updated page clearly indicates the end of this client-server-client interaction. The problems with this kind of interaction are quite obvious:

  • The user has to wait. By now, we know that even the shortest delay in the server’s response time has a negative effect on the user’s perception of the entire brand, not only on this particular page.
  • Every time the user gets a response to their action, it is presented in quite a destructive way (a new page loads, instead of the existing one being updated), which breaks the context of the user’s task and might affect their train of thought. Even though we are not necessarily talking about multitasking in this case, any switch of mental context is unpleasant. So, if an action is not inherently meant to switch contexts (online payment is a good example of when a switch is natural), switching would set up an unfriendly tone of dialogue between user and system.

Good Not-So-Old Days

Then, the so-called Web 2.0 arrived and provided new modes of interaction with web pages. The core of these were XMLHttpRequest and AJAX. These new modes of interaction were complemented by “spinners”: the simplest form of progress indicator, the sole purpose of which was to communicate to the user that the system is busy performing some operation. Now, we did not need to reload the page after getting a response from the server; we could just update a part of the already-rendered page instead. This made the web much more dynamic, while allowing for smoother and more engaging experiences for users. The typical interaction with a button could now look like this:

  1. The user clicks a button.
  2. The button is triggered into a disabled state, and a spinner of some kind is shown on the button to indicate the system is working.
  3. A call is sent to the server.
  4. A response from the server is sent back to the page.
  5. The visual state of the button and the page are updated according to the response status.

This new interaction model addressed one of the aforementioned problems of the old method of interaction: The update of the page happens without a destructive action, keeping the context for the user and engaging them in the interaction much better than before.

XMLHttpRequest and spinners solved one of the issues of the old methods of interaction: a destructive switch of context after the server’s response. (View large version)

This kind of interaction pattern has been widely used everywhere in digital media. But one issue remains: Users still have to wait for a response from the server. Yes, we can make our servers respond faster, but no matter how hard we try to speed up the infrastructure, users still have to wait. Again, users do not like to wait, to put it mildly. For example, research shows that 78% of consumers feel negative emotions as a result of slow or unreliable websites. Moreover, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for Tealeaf, 23% of users confess to cursing at their phones, 11% have screamed at them, and a whole 4% have actually thrown their phone when experiencing a problem with an online transaction. Delays are among those problems.

About 78% of consumers feel negative emotions as a result of slow or unreliable websites. 

Even if you show some kind of progress indicator while the user waits, unless you are very creative with the indicator, nowadays that is simply not enough. For the most part, people have gotten accustomed to spinners indicating a system’s slowness. Spinners are now more associated with purely passive waiting, when the user has no option other than either to wait for the server’s response or to close the tab or application altogether. So, let’s come up with a step to improve this kind of interaction; let’s look at this concept of an optimistic UI.Optimistic UI.

 

As mentioned, an optimistic UI is nothing more than a way of handling human-computer interaction. To understand the main ideas behind it, we will stick with our “user clicks a button” scenario. But the principle will be the same for pretty much any kind of interaction that you might want to make optimistic. According to the Oxford English Dictionary:

op-ti-mis-tic, adj. hopeful and confident about the future.

Let’s begin with the “confident about the future” part.

What do you think: How often does your server return an error on some user action? For example, does your API fail often when users click a button? Or maybe it fails a lot when users click a link? Frankly, I don’t think so. Of course, this might vary based on the API, server load, level of error-handling and other factors that you, as the front-end developer or UX specialist, might not be willing to get involved in. But as long as the API is stable and predictable and the front end properly communicates legitimate actions in the UI, then the number of errors in response to actions initiated by the user will be quite low. I would go so far as to state that they should never go above 1 to 3%. This means that in 97 to 99% of cases when the user clicks a button on a website, the server’s response should be success, with no error. This deserves to be put in a better perspective:

Optimistic UIs are based on the assumption that when the user clicks a button, the server should return a success response in 97 to 99% of cases.

Think about it for a moment: If we were 97 to 99% certain about a success response, we could be confident about the future of those responses — well, at least much more confident about the future than Schrödinger’s cat was. We could write a whole new story about button interaction:

  1. The user clicks a button.
  2. The visual state of the button is triggered into success mode instantly.

That’s it! At least from the user’s point of view, there is nothing more to it — no waiting, no staring at a disabled button, and not yet another annoying spinner. The interaction is seamless, without the system crudely stepping in to remind the user about itself.

An optimistic UI interaction has no place for either a disabled button or a spinner. 

From the developer’s point of view, the complete cycle looks like this:

  1. The user clicks a button.
  2. The visual state of the button is triggered into success mode instantly.
  3. The call is sent to the server.
  4. The response from the server is sent back to the page.
  5. In 97 to 99% of cases, we know that the response will be success, and so we don’t need to bother the user.
  6. Only in the case of a failed request will the system speak up. Don’t worry about this for now — we will get to this point later in the article.

Let’s look at some examples of optimistic interactions. You are probably familiar with “like” buttons, as found on Facebook and Twitter. Let’s take a look at the latter.

It starts, obviously enough, with the click of the button. But note the visual state of the button when the user is no longer pressing or hovering over the button. It switches to the success state instantly!

After the like button is clicked, Twitter instantly updates it to the success state visually.

Let’s see what’s happening in the “Network” tab of our browser’s developer tools at this very moment.

The visual state of the button is updated independent of the server request, which is still in progress. 

The “Network” tab shows that the server request has been sent but is still in progress. The “likes” counter number has not been incremented yet, but with the change in color, the interface is clearly communicating success to the user, even before having gotten a response from the server.

After a successful response is received from the server, the counter is updated, but the transition is much subtler than the instant color change. This provides the user with a smooth, uninterrupted experience, without any perceived waiting.

While the like button is visually in success mode, the counter is updated only after the server response confirms success. 

Another example of optimistic interaction is seen on Facebook, with its own like button. The scenario is quite similar, except that Facebook updates the counter instantly, together with success color of the button, without waiting for the server’s response.

Facebook employs the same optimistic interaction as Twitter, except that it updates the counter instantly along with the button’s visual state.

One thing to note here, though. If we look at the server’s response time, we’ll see that it is a little over 1 second. Considering that the RAIL model recommends 100 milliseconds as the optimal response time for a simple interaction, this would normally be way too long. However, the user does not perceive any wait time in this case because of the optimistic nature of this interaction. Nice! This is another instance of psychological performance optimization.

But let’s face it: There is still that 1 to 3% chance that the server will return an error. Or perhaps the user is simply offline. Or, more likely, perhaps the server returns what is technically a success response but the response contains information that has to be further processed by the client. As a result, the user will not get a failure indicator, but we cannot consider the response a success either. To understand how to deal with such cases, we should understand why and how optimistic UIs work psychologically in the first place.

The Psychology Behind Optimistic UIs

So far, I have not heard anyone complain about the aforementioned optimistic interactions on the major social networks. So, let’s say that these examples have convinced us that optimistic UIs work. But why do they work for users? They work simply because people hate waiting. That’s it, folks! You can skip to the next part of the article.

But if you’re still reading, then you are probably interested in knowing why it is so. So, let’s dig a bit deeper into the psychological ground of this approach.

Brain studies help us to understand the psychology behind why optimistic UIs work.
An optimistic UI has two basic ingredients that are worth psychological analysis:
  • the fast response to the user’s action;
  • the handling of potential failures on the server, on the network and elsewhere.

FAST RESPONSE TO USER ACTION

When we talk about optimistic UI design, we’re talking about an optimal response time in human-computer interaction. And recommendations for this type of communication have been around since as far back as 1968. Back then, Robert B. Miller published his seminal piece “Response Time in Man-Computer Conversational Transactions” (PDF), in which he defines as many as 17 different types of responses a user can get from a computer. One of those types Miller calls a “response to control activation” — the delay between the depressing of a key and the visual feedback. Even back in 1968, it should have not exceeded 0.1 to 0.2 seconds. Yes, the RAIL model is not the first to recommend this — the advice has been around for about 50 years. Miller notes, though, that even this short delay in feedback might be far too slow for skilled users. This means that, ideally, the user should get acknowledgement of their action within 100 milliseconds. This is getting into the range of one of the fastest unconscious actions the human body can perform — an eye blink. For this reason, the 100-millisecond interval is usually perceived to be instant. “Most people blink around 15 times a minute and a blink lasts on average 100 to 150 milliseconds,” says Davina Bristow, of University College London’s Institute of Neurology, adding that this “means that overall we spend at least 9 days per year blinking.”

Because of its instant visual response (even before the actual request has finished), an optimistic UI is one of the examples of the early-completion techniques used in psychological performance optimization. But the fact that people like interfaces that respond in the blink of an eye should not come as a surprise to most of us, really. And it’s not hard to achieve either. Even in the old days, we disabled buttons instantly after they were clicked, and this was usually enough to acknowledge the user’s input. But a disabled state in an interface element means passive waiting: The user cannot do anything about it and has no control over the process. And this is very frustrating for the user. That’s why we skip the disabled state altogether in an optimistic UI — we communicate a positive outcome instead of making the user wait.

HANDLING POTENTIAL FAILURE

Let’s get to the second interesting psychological aspect of optimistic UI design — the handling of potential failure. In general, plenty of information and articles are available on how to handle UI errors in the best possible way. However, while we will see how to handle failure later in this article, what matters most in an optimistic UI is not how we handle errors, but when we do it.

Humans naturally organize their activity into clumps, terminated by the completion of a subjectively defined purpose or sub-purpose. Sometimes we refer to these clumps as a “train of thought,” a “flow of thought” (PDF) or simply a “flow.” The flow state is characterized by peak enjoyment, energetic focus and creative concentration. During a flow, the user is completely absorbed in the activity. A tweet by Tammy Everts nicely illustrates this:

Sometimes, spotting a person in a flow state is pretty easy.

On the web, the durations of such clumps of activity are much shorter. Let’s revisit Robert B. Miller’s work for a moment. The response types he cites include:

  • a response to a simple inquiry of listed information;
  • a response to a complex inquiry in graphic form;
  • a response to “System, do you understand me?”

He ties all of these to the same 2-second interval within which the user should get the relevant type of response. Without digging deeper, we should note that this interval also depends on a person’s working memory (referring to the span of time within which a person can keep a certain amount of information in their head and, more importantly, be able to manipulate it). To us, as developers and UX specialists, this means that within 2 seconds of interacting with an element, the user will be in a flow and focused on the response they are expecting. If the server returns an error during this interval, the user will still be in “dialogue” with the interface, so to speak. It’s similar to a dialogue between two people, where you say something and the other person mildly disagrees with you. Imagine if the other person spent a long time nodding in agreement (the equivalent of our indication of a success state in the UI) but then finally said “no” to you. Awkward, isn’t it? So, an optimistic UI must communicate failure to the user within the 2 seconds of the flow.

An optimistic UI must clearly yet carefully communicate failure to the user. Most importantly, it should happen within the 2 seconds of the user’s flow. 

Armed with the psychology of how to handle failure in an optimistic UI, let’s finally get to those 1 to 3% of failed requests.

The Pessimistic Side Of Optimistic UI Design

By far, the most common remark I hear is that optimistic UI design is a kind of black pattern — cheating, if you will. That is, by employing it, we are lying to our users about the result of their interaction. Legally, any court would probably support this point. Still, I consider the technique a prediction or hope. (Remember the definition of “optimistic”? Here is where we allow some room for the “hopeful” part of it.) The difference between “lying” and “predicting” is in how you treat those 1 to 3% of failed requests. Let’s look at how Twitter’s optimistic “like” button behaves offline.

First, in line with the optimistic UI pattern, the button switches to the success state right after being clicked — again, without the user pressing or hovering over the button any longer, exactly as the button behaves when the user is online.

When offline, Twitter’s like button is still visually updated after being clicked.

But because the user is offline, the request fails.

So, as soon as possible within the user’s flow, the failure should be communicated. Again, 2 seconds is usually the duration of such a flow. Twitter communicates this in the subtlest way possible, simply by reverting the button’s state.

After the failed request, Twitter subtly reverts the visual state of the like button, without any visual fuss.

The conscientious reader here might say that this failure-handling could be taken one step further, by actually notifying the user that the request could not be sent or that an error has occurred. This would make the system as transparent as possible. But there is a catch — or, rather, a series of issues:

  • Any sort of notification that appears suddenly on screen would switch the user’s context, prompting them to analyze the reason behind the failure, a reason that would probably be presented in the error message.
  • As with any error message or notification, this one should guide the user in this new context by providing actionable information.
  • That actionable information would set yet another context.

OK, by now we can all agree that this is getting a bit complicated. While this error-handling would be reasonable for, say, a large form on a website, for an action as simple as clicking a like button, it’s overkill — both in terms of the technical development required and the working memory of users.

So, yes, we should be open about failure in an optimistic UI, and we should communicate it as soon as possible so that our optimism does not become a lie. But it should be proportional to the context. For a failed like, subtly reverting the button to its original state should be enough — that is, unless the user is liking their significant other’s status, in which case the thing better work all the time.

EXTREME PESSIMISM

One other question might arise: What happens if the user closes the browser tab right after getting a success indicator but before the response is returned from the server? The most unpleasant case would be if the user closes the tab before a request has even been sent to the server. But unless the user is extremely nimble or has the ability to slow down time, this is hardly possible.

If an optimistic UI is implemented properly, and interactions are applied only to those elements that never wait longer than 2 seconds for a server response, then the user would have to close the browser tab within that 2-second window. That’s not particularly difficult with a keystroke; however, as we’ve seen, in 97 to 99% of cases, the request will be successful, whether the tab is active or not (it’s just that a response won’t be returned to the client).

So, this problem might arise only for those 1 to 3% who get a server error. Then again, how many of those rush to close the tab within 2 seconds? Unless they’re in a tab-closing speed competition, I don’t think the number will be significant. But if you feel this is relevant to your particular project and might have negative consequences, then employ some tools to analyze user behavior; if the probability of such a scenario is high enough, then limit optimistic interaction to non-critical elements.

I intentionally haven’t mentioned cases in which a request is artificially delayed; these do not generally fall under the umbrella of optimistic UI design. Moreover, we have spent more than enough time on the pessimistic side of things, so let’s summarize some main points about implementing a good optimistic UI.

Rules Of Thumb

I sincerely hope this article has helped you to understand some of the main concepts behind optimistic UI design. Perhaps you’re interesting in trying out this approach in your next project. If so, here are some things to keep in mind before you begin:

  • A prerequisite to everything we’ve talked about so far: Make sure the API you’re relying on is stable and returns predictable results. Enough said.
  • The interface should catch potential errors and problems before a request is sent to the server. Better yet, totally eliminate anything that could result in an error from the API. The simpler a UI element is, the simpler it will be to make it optimistic.
  • Apply optimistic patterns to simple binary-like elements for which nothing more than a success or failure response is expected. For example, if a button click assumes a server response such as “yes,” “no” or “maybe” (all of which might represent success to varying degrees), such a button would be better off without an optimistic pattern.
  • Know your API’s response times. This is crucial. If you know that the response time for a particular request never goes below 2 seconds, then sprinkling some optimism over your API first is probably best. As mentioned, an optimistic UI works best for server response times of less than 2 seconds. Going beyond that could lead to unexpected results and a lot of frustrated users. Consider yourself warned.
  • An optimistic UI is not just about button clicks. The approach could be applied to different interactions and events during a page’s lifecycle, including the loading of the page. For example, skeleton screens follow the same idea: You predict that the server will respond with success in order to fill out placeholders to show to the user as soon as possible.

Optimistic UI design is not really a novelty on the web, nor is it a particularly advanced technique, as we have seen. It is just another approach, another mental model, to help you manage the perceived performance of your product. Being grounded in the psychological aspects of human-computer interaction, optimistic UI design, when used intelligently, can help you to build better, more seamless experiences on the web, while requiring very little to implement. But, in order to make the pattern truly effective and to keep our products from lying to users, we must understand the mechanics of optimistic UI design.

RESOURCES

The article first appeared on https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/11/true-lies-of-optimistic-user-interfaces/

12
Dec
2016

Create your PayPal Business Account in 6 Simple Steps:

If you are a small business owner looking to collect any forms of payment online, you would probably need to setup a PayPal Business account (or at least, engage a similar service). Setting up this account would allow you to take credit and debit card payments, direct payments from your customers’ personal PayPal accounts as well as online cheque payments. Luckily for business owners who have limited amount of time and technical expertise, PayPal has made it pretty straightforward to set up a business account. Just a few steps and you’re done!

To make things even simpler, we have compiled a step-by-step walk through of how you can create your own PayPal Business account.

  1. Visit PayPal’s site and click “Sign Up Now”.
  2. Choose the option “Receive Payments with Paypal”. screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-4-04-11-pm
  3. Sign up for your business account with a unique email address that is not tagged to any other PayPal accounts. Then proceed on to fill up your business and account holder’s information. screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-4-04-55-pm
  4. Open up the verification email that PayPal will send to you after completing the above steps.
  5. Log into your PayPal account and enter the remaining details needed to complete creating your PayPal Business account. At this point, you would need your bank account details that you would like any payments to be credited into. PayPal will then send a verification request to your bank in the form of two small deposits. This takes about 3-5 days.
  6. After you see the transactions from PayPal in your account, you can log into your PayPal Business account again to complete setting up your account.

That’s it! Now, you have your PayPal Business account.

For more information on developing an eCommerce site, feel free to approach our account managers at hello@akimitechnologies.com

17
Nov
2016

13 Essential Questions to Ask When Hiring a Web Design Company

Investing in a new website can be a very expensive proposition. Before you settle on a website development firm, make sure you know what you’re getting into! I highly recommend asking an exhaustive list of questions to each firm you’re considering working with. Web design is comprehensive so try these on for starters:

1. Do you handle all development work in-house? How big is your team?

How long have they been working together? Many design firms do not have in-house development teams. This is typically a sign that the person selling you the website doesn’t understand the technology that drives your website. Additionally, having a middleman between you and your developers is a recipe for disaster. You’re actually buying the work of a third party that you know nothing about. Make sure the firm you hire has their own staff of web developers. Additionally, it takes years for a team of developers to settle on a set of technology and become experts. If a team has been together and focused on the same core set of technology for three or more years, they probably have a reliable web solution.

 

2. How long have you been deploying this technology?

Can you show me the back-end of similar sites you’ve deployed? Getting an early peak at the “back-end” (content management system) will be very informative of what your experience will be when you get your website. Being able to quickly and intuitively edit your website is critical to the long term value of your website. If you have to contact your design firm every time you want to edit a word on your website, you’re going to lose your shirt in costs.

 

3. Can you build the site responsive (so it will work on mobile devices and tablets).

Over 50% of all websites are now viewed on mobile devices. Your website should be built mobile ready. These days, that means that the site is “responsive.” In layman’s terms — the site design changes (responds) to the dimensions of the screen on which it is viewed.

 

4. Is your content management system (CMS)/technology proprietary or open source? What types of licensing fees are there?

There are many content management options on the market. Software that is “open source” means it’s created and maintained by the developer community at large and free to use (although it still costs money to implement) and frequently means there are more people that are familiar with it and use it. This drives development costs down. Proprietary software owned by a specific company and may be so custom that only the creators know how to work with it. Imagine buying a car with a new engine design that only one mechanic knows how to work on. It’s expensive and risky. You want the cheapest, most widely adopted technology that gives you the functionality you need. When it comes to content management systems, for most small to medium sized businesses, that solution is WordPress.

wordpress-589121_1280

5. Do you offer a warranty? If so, how long is the warranty good for? Maintenance plan? Service Plan? Hosting? What are those costs?

A website is like a car. It requires ongoing maintenance and support (you have to change the oil!) Every single day the world wide web is changing. Web browsers are being updates, new viruses are being born and new functionality is being introduced. Your site may function beautifully today, and be broken tomorrow. You need to prepare yourself for ongoing costs. It’s best to know how the firm you’re going to hire for your website development is going to handle that.

6. How do you base your pricing? Will this be hourly, or flat-fee based on the project? How frequently do your projects go over budget? What is your payment policy? Is there a clear procedure for billing for extra features or work outside the project’s initial scope?

It seems to be common practice in this industry to do little up front discovery, underbid a project and then jack up the price on clients as the website is being built. Our clients frequently tell us: “Wow, your proposals are big!” Our proposals are big because we do exhaustive up-front discovery and write extremely details scopes. We want to know exactly what we’re going to build before we give the client a price. This way, we can guarantee that we’ll hit our deadlines and meet their budget. If the website development firm you’re getting a quote from doesn’t ask a ton of questions and write a detailed plan as part of their proposal, beware!

 

7. What is your estimated timeline to build this site?

This is another good item to ask references about. What timeline did they give the client versus how long it actually took to build the site. Speed for development also goes back to question #1. A team that has worked together and on the same technology has probably encountered most bugs and can work quickly. A third party developer working on new technology is probably going to encounter new bugs and miss deadlines.

 

8. Can you talk me through your design process?

Process is critical! A firm’s processes and systems are a great sign of reliability, consistency and quality. At Go Media we may go a little overboard. We have a detailed 32 step process for our web development. Ok, we go way overboard with our systems and processes.

 

9. Will I have access to all my design source files for internal use?

I’ve seen some firms hold their clients hostage. Know who owns the design files. My company’s policy is to send our clients all their files (including design source files) at the conclusion of every project. If you ever have a falling out with your graphic design firm and realize you aren’t in ownership of any of the design files, you’ll really regret not asking this question up front.

 

10. How do you track the success of your websites?

There are many ways to track success of a website deployment. Success may be traffic, conversions, sales, etc. Whatever your metric for success is, make sure that you have ways to track it and make sure the firm you hire includes that in their proposal to you. When the website launches, it should already be built into the site.

 

11. Can you provide references?

I don’t need to say much about this. This is just a good practice before making a major investment.

 

12. How long has your firm been in business? How big are you?

You’re going to want to stick with your web design firm for a while. Generally it is difficult for development teams to get into other firm’s work. There is a ramp-up time that will cost you money. So, you want to work with a firm that isn’t going anywhere. Size can also be a factor. Big or small they both have their pros and cons. Typically, the bigger the firm the more expensive the service. But size has it’s advantages. If one employee at a large firm has a family emergency, there are other workers there to pick up the slack. I suggest picking a firm that is six or more employees. At six employees, a web development firm should have at least two designers and two developers. It’s a nice layer of protection for your project.

ux-788002_1280

13. Do you have a dedicated project manager that will be managing this project?

It’s very helpful to have a dedicated manager on your project. They build timelines, schedule meetings, coordinate feedback, review and organize content, etc. If the firm you work with does not have a project manager, be prepared to spend a lot more time dealing with web development minutia. And understand that most web development delays occur because of the minutia. It’s the little things that cause the biggest delays!

Have a web idea? Just drop us a note here and we can chat – http://akimitechnologies.co/contact/

This article first appeared on the Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-a-beachy/13-essential-questions-to_b_5453856.html

18
Aug
2016

How Much Does An Ecommerce Website Cost?

How Much Do E-commerce Websites Cost?
 boss-fight-stock-photos-free-high-resolution-images-photography-women-woman-iphone
E-commerce websites come in many different types and scale of operations. There are many ways to get one set up depending on the scale of your business and the stage that you are willing to adopt for eCommerce as compared to your offline business. So what are some typical costs? It’s not an easy question to answer but here’s an overview.

Whether you’re starting a brand new e-commerce site or rebuilding an existing one, these are the main considerations that will influence the cost:

  • What are your specific business specific needs? Where are your customers and what do you plan to automate?
  • Which platform do you want to use?
  • What expert help is available for you?

HOSTED VS SELF-HOSTED

Before we get too ahead of ourselves, you may be wondering about hosting. Should you host your website yourself? Or should you use a hosted platform? There are advantages and disadvantages of both.

HOSTED

A hosted platform is a piece of software that runs on some other company’s server. More often than not, you won’t have access to the code that runs your site. Shopify and Wix are good examples of this approach.

desk-worker

Advantages

  • Easy to use – usually these have one web interface which means there’s not a single line of code to write.
  • Up-to-date – you will never have to worry about updates. With a hosted platform they will roll out changes as and when they need to.
  • Powerful hosting – typically these companies have impressive servers and infrastructure, which means that your website will always be fast no matter how much traffic you get.

Disadvantages

  • Hardcore Customization – because you can’t change the back end code, adding very bespoke functionality could be tricky on these platforms. This leads to alot of frustration as some of the features that you need , can’t be made available.

SELF-HOSTED

A self-hosted solution is a software that is run on your own selected hosting provider. You create and see the code and are responsible for uploading and updating it on to the server provider. Some examples are Bluehost (www.bluehost.com), Dreamhost (www.dreamhost.com) etc. If you are having any technical problems you are the one who has to sort it or ask some vendor to help.

Advantages

  • Customization – if you don’t like something you can change it. When you have access to the bank end code you can pretty much do anything – or you can pay some vendor to do anything.
  • Ownership – You don’t own the code on a hosted solution. However if you host your own software, it will always be yours and you can stay on that platform for as long as you want and have the means to control everything.

Disadvantages

  • Higher setup cost – you need to invest more in the beginning to find the right team for development and support.
  • Setup and monitoring – you need to setup everything yourself and keep track of tools for monitoring the entire system.  You will also need to continually pay for the hosting fees. However, this should also be the same for hosted platforms like Wix.

numbers-money-calculating-calculation

On a second note, if you are wondering which Content Management System (CMS) to use, you can read our summary article here.

WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY NEED?

Before we get into pricing though, it’s important to understand the specifics of your business. It’s tempting to charge in with an all-singing, all-dancing website that features every bell, whistle and add-on available. And there’s no shortage there: every leading e-commerce platform – whether it’s Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce – offers a wide range of apps and plug-ins to increase functions on your site. These include apps for pre-order management, customer management function, shipping and inventory management.

Do you really need all those features though? 

Perhaps not. Not yet, anyway. You’ll only overcomplicate your website before you’ve figured out what you and your customers need. Asking for more features will increase the cost, so think about what actually serves your profitability.

LESS IS MORE

Think of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) model. This means starting with a basic version of your website. At this stage all you need to worry about is selling to the customer. This helps minimize risks, saves money on unnecessary add-ons, and ultimately lays the groundwork. By starting with a basic, bare-bones approach, you can launch earlier, which means you gain operational experience and gather customer feedback earlier. This will help you figure out the apps and new functions your website actually needs.

WooCommerce and other hosted platforms are one of the best ways of working with this model. Hosted platforms include a load of typical functionality that you’ll need when setting up an e-commerce store, like a PCI compliant checkout and inventory management, which means you don’t have to pay to re-invent the wheel. This lets you focus on finding the right design for your website, or adding bespoke features.

Startup Stock Photos

CALL IN THE EXPERTS

It’s true that there’s no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to quality e-commerce websites, so eventually you’ll want an agency to help you out.

In the long run, a professional eCommerce development agency will help you make money by making your website better and by following best practice. They can help you save money too by setting up your website so that it’s easy to update.

Choosing the right agency can be difficult. Here some things to look for in an agency:

  • A commitment to increasing sales and an understanding of how to turn visitors into customers.
  • Great customer reviews and look out for search ranking when you google “eCommerce website development”. A high ranking means that many people are looking at that same company.
  • A proven track record for developing bespoke projects.
  • Customer testimonials.
  • Clear fixed pricing and schedules that work to your requirements.
  • Honesty – if you think an agency is only telling you what you want to hear, it’s possible they’re not being upfront about how tricky setting up an ecommerce website can be!

HOW MUCH DO E-COMMERCE WEBSITES COST?

So now we’ve looked at how to assess your business’s needs and find an agency that works for you, there’s only one big question left – just what will it cost you? There is, of course, a wide range of pricing available and just as there’s no one size fits all in terms of website design and functionality, this is also true of pricing too. We’ve done our best to showcase some benchmark rates to help with your decision making.

DESIGN AND BUILD

  • Around $4k – $6k for a very basic site from a small agency or freelancer, probably built on WordPress.
  • Between $20k to $30k for something more sophisticated that is built from scratch for you by 5 – 30 person agency. It is a wages game, so assuming that the average wage is $5k. Each eCommerce project will require minimally 4 people to do the job i.e. Project Manager, Designer, Front End Developer and Backend Developer. Each team will take 2-3 projects at one time and it takes 2-3 months to finish the job. You should be expecting a fair price to be around there.
  • $50k for more complex projects
  • $100k+ when working with larger agencies on larger technology stacks.

LICENSING/SOFTWARE FEES

  • If you use a hosted solution like Shopify or Squarespace, you won’t pay an initial cost but you will have monthly fees between $30 and $300/month. This fee includes upgrades and security updates, which you’ll need to pay someone else to do on a self-hosted solution.
  • WordPress is open-source so it’s free to download and install. You’ll need to host it yourself. Hosting cost with Bluehost is estimated at $8-$10/month.

HOSTING

  • The hosted solutions will include the hosting cost in their monthly fees.
  • If you expect a lot of traffic you’ll need to spend money on servers and you can consider the bigger players like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services.

ADHOC WORK

For a hosted website the pricing structure is a little different and there are several things to consider:

  • Web design agencies can charge between $40 – $150 per hour. The advantage is that their capacity is more predictable and they’ll have the skillset you need to get your project done, but having that skilled team at the ready comes at a cost. More importantly, they have the experience and they are more likely to get things done based on their experience with clients that are similar to yourself.
  • Freelance developers can cost anywhere from $25 – $70 per hour depending on their skill set and experience.
  • Offshore developers are usually the cheapest option at $5 – $20 per hour. However, do bear in mind the skillset and more importantly the level of professionalism attitude that you will be getting. The experience varies on a case by case basis.

However, with all of these options are pros and cons, so be sure to do your research and be aware of any offers that sound too good to be true.

When agreeing on a cost, do ensure that the price quoted is the total cost and that there are no hidden extras. An e-commerce website is a huge project and will inevitably take time to perfect. Before anything you need to think about exactly you want and need from your ecommerce site and then ensure your designer/developer will be able to deliver it.

The real answer to the question “How much should an e-commerce website cost you?” is simple: nothing’s for certain. Every business is different, and every business develops in its own way. As an extension of your business, the e-commerce website will reflect that as will the money you spend on it.

FINALLY – WHAT DO WE CHARGE?

  • Drop us an email and we will share with you our standard package. It will be clear and transparent that applies to all of our clients. You can contact us here
18
Aug
2016
17
Aug
2016

10 Reasons Why WordPress Is The Best

You are roaming here and there and looking for best reasons that could convince you for using WordPress for designing your website. How would you feel if I say that you have landed to the appropriate page that you have been looking for? Here we are describing a huge number of reasons why you should go for WordPress for designing your website. Let us start:

  1. WordPress is available for Free

Free always gives a powerful approach. And why anybody would say No when technology is ready to design your website for free where you can make things according to your needs and requirements? I won’t ever say no. At least try it for once. When it is available for free then what is the harm in using it?

But yes you might think about if it is of any good or not? After all things that are available for free always lack good qualities. This is true on your part but it is not always true. This is not the case in the world of softwares.

In the world of software, some of the best things are available for free like Java which is generally used for Android phones and for most of the banking software’s. It is all what have been rightly called as “open source”. But for common people it means community supported and free software. Hence I would say that Free is good for many reasons.

 


  1. Very Easy to Use

The software is so easy to use that even your grandma can use it. You must have used Microsoft Word before. If you have used Microsoft and know how to use it then you can use WordPress very easily. Writing a page or post in WordPress is very easy and smooth.

It is very simple and you just have to type your words, you can design them as bold, italic, you can add headings, centre align the text, add images, and a lots of things you can enjoy and perform asyou’re your needs and requirements.

WordPress allow you to create your own website and become the boss of your own website. This is what we keep on telling to WordPress users. The only aim of WordPress is to give you the website that you could control yourself.


  1. Easy to Add Functionalities

WordPress offers you a very easy and simple way of designing and allow you adding functionality to your website. For example you need a contact form for the people so that they could email you through your website. No need to worry. You will get at least 5 great plugins that you can easily add to your WordPress theme.

If there is no problem WordPress will offer you some useful and great plugins for that too. WordPress offers you plugins for almost anything you want or anything that you could imagine.


  1. WordPress Makes SEO Easy

Search Engine Optimization also known as SEO becomes very simple when you use WordPress for your websites. It is good and necessary to learn a little of SEO but with some simple plugins so that you could get results in almost no time. Adding SEO functionality is very simple with WordPress and sometimes you don’t even have to start with it. It is very easy to use.


  1. Make Your Website Stylish With WordPress Themes

You cannot completely depend on functionality but sometimes all you need is to make your website look good. After all it is your website and who does not want to make more customers. Always keep in mind that your website is your most important online asset and the only business card seen online. So it is obvious that you want it to look awesome.

Here WordPress will save your day again. WordPress offers you a number of themes and these themes are simply the skins or the styles that you add and they completely change the look and feel of your website. So you can always try a few more and can go with the themes you love the most. If you choose a manual one, go on reading this post to find out how to choose a theme in WordPress.


  1. WordPress offers a Built-in feature of adding a Blog

Having blogs on your website is a must now. Blogging is one of the best ways to advertise your products and services. Add great content to your website and let people fall for your products and services.

Not only writing, you can also add videos, Infographics or anything that you want that you want to convey to your readers. A blog is just a page having a date on it. This WordPress was built originally built around these blogs. So adding few more is as easy as drinking water. Also you can build a site without one, so please do not feel pressurized for writing a bundle of content. WordPress offers you a number of options and it takes only few minutes to add a blog.


  1. WordPress Is Flexible

You can say WordPress a complete CMS i.e. Content Management System. This means that you can do anything you want with it. The plugins and themes that we are talking about in the above paragraphs can be considered as some of the highlights. But if you don’t want to play with all this, WordPress offers you a lot more powerful things to help.

You can very easily create your menus to get your customers on your own page. After this you will find some useful widgets in it. These are the flexible elements that you can always add to your header, footer and the sidebars of your website. You can add almost anything into this widget. Like

  • Advertising
  • Forms
  • Buttons
  • Images
  • Content and lots more.

With the help of this WordPress, you can create anything that you want to, using your imaginations. It does not matter if you do not have any technical skills with you. Anyone can use this WordPress very easily.


  1. Ecommerce is Easy to Do

People generally build websites because they want to sell their products and services online and WordPress is giving them a huge number of ways to do that. WordPress offers you a plenty of options as per your business’ needs. This is as simple as adding a PayPal button on your website. There are a number of Plugins to help you. You can also integrate eCommerce systems with that and the free among them is WooCommerce.

This is actually amazing to know how much functionality WooCommerce allows us to use for free. So there is no need to fear if you have a shop, you can very easily get online with this WordPress.


  1. Loads of Support

This is not the last point but WordPress is well known for providing a lot of support to the people who use WordPress for designing their websites. Because a number of people use WordPress and a lot have been written about it, you will come to know about anything you want to know about WordPress.

There are a hell lot of forums, blog posts and a lot of support from Web Developers of WordPress and lots more. So if you are playing with the things that you get stuck with, chances are that someone out there will help you about the doubts.

And if you are not ready to play with your own website then you can always take help from professionals. It has always been safer and simpler to use.


  1. Go for WordPress now!

Well we hope that we have written good enough that will convince you to make use of WordPress for designing your website. WordPress is an amazing platform to design your website and you are going to love it. Honestly, for all the reasons mentioned above you cannot resist using WordPress.

The above article is adapted from the link here – http://wpfixit.com/top-10-reasons-why-to-choose-wordpress/

15
Jun
2016

How Much Does A Website Cost?

In our day to day, we often get clients who ask us “How Much Does a Website Really Cost?” We do try to explain but sometimes it is better to get a 3rd party perspective. Below is an article from Forbes Magazine (http://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyapozin/2013/08/07/how-much-does-a-website-cost/#566b68faa5d1). Hope it will share some light on Web Development:

Pricing a website isn’t as easy as you may think.

At my Web agency Ciplex, we regularly receive questions from people who want to know, “What do websites cost?” And like asking how long a piece of string is, it’s a question that really has no black and white answer.

I’ve been in this industry for more than 13 years, and my company has built more than 2,000 websites of all sizes and types. But to this day, I still cannot answer this question.

Here’s why a one-off website quote is nearly impossible:

1. Website design and development should be viewed as a service, not a product. It’s hard to shake the idea that websites aren’t a commodity. Websites are something that someone, often multiple people, have to put together. Viewing it as service-based will help you to better understand why a one-off price isn’t simple to give — building a website takes continued time and effort.

2. Building a website involves a complex level of planning. Detail is an integral part of Web development — and this greatly affects pricing. Case in point: you may want a feature on your website for users to upload an image. There are 50 questions I could ask you, and based on your answers, I can either build the feature in one hour or 100+ hours.

For example, I may ask you: What’s the size limit of the images you’re uploading? What file formats does it support? Do you need the ability to crop the image? The list goes on.

So, if I asked you all of these questions in order to figure out how long it would take to develop one feature, are you willing to answer 1,000+ questions for the potentially 100+ other features that your website will have? Also, are you willing to pay for the time it takes to go through this process, essentially making the quote no longer free? Or is it better to simply find a trusted team that works for a fair rate, and you set the budget and objectives, and they do the best possible approach to get there? Buy trust, not line items.

3. Quotes are far too subjective. Building a website can be accomplished hundreds of different ways. Don’t believe me? Go out for a quote and I guarantee by asking just a few companies for a price, you’ll get responses all over the map. I’ve had clients tell me over and over that they received quotes ranging from $3,000 to $100,000 for the same set of requirements. How can that be possible?

4. The definition of success for your website may vary from person to person. The Web development industry is full of opinions, and no one is right or wrong. For example, a designer may think a great website should look like a piece of art, while a developer may think it’s best if the site has been created using the greatest and latest code built from scratch. A marketer may pride the site on being simple, direct, and SEO optimized, while your perception may be a site with a lot of great features. The real success of your website comes down to the business goals you want to accomplish with it, not what’s in it or how it’s made.

5. There’s more than one way to price a website. There are two ways you can end up with a price for your website: fixed bid or hourly. For fixed bid, you will receive a figure like $5,000. With an hourly price tag, you will pay someone $100 an hour for as long as it takes to complete the project.

Ciplex used to offer fixed bid pricing, and we moved away from that. There’s too much gray area (as you can see above), and it becomes somewhat of a gamble. Pricing that’s hourly or even weekly allows clients to see the website as a service that involves numerous elements to effectively and efficiently complete — like people, brainpower, and time. This way, when you buy time, you’re also buying trust and essentially an augmented team for your business. If the focus is too much on the billing component, we tend to lose focus of why we are building the sites — ROI, amazing work, reaching and surpassing business goals.

6. The Web development industry has very few standards. Since Web development is a fairly new industry, there really aren’t many standards. How one person or company goes about building a website may be completely different than another. For example, there are dozens of languages used to program a website, as well as many platforms and systems. This is made even more intricate when you factor in that each solution can be reached in 1000 different ways. As the industry grows, more standards are likely to emerge, but until then the lack of uniformity causes an issue when determining price.

There’s truly no good answer to the question, “How much does a website cost?” But understanding the subjective nature of this service will help you in the future.

The above article is taken from Forbes Magazine – http://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyapozin/2013/08/07/how-much-does-a-website-cost/#566b68faa5d1