Tag Archives: search engine optimisation

Should You Follow These Web Design Trends for Your Business in 2019?

web design trends

What is your New Year’s resolution in this wonderful year of 2019? Well, I don’t want much for New Year’s resolution; I only want to improve my creativity, especially when I am a writer who also has eyes for design creativity. And just when I said that, I already saw a new set of creativity applied on 2019’s new web design trends. Wow, people are just fast, aren’t they? Every year comes and goes, and people already come up with ideas to improve and produce new and better inventions, especially business owners and designers. Maybe you have seen those unique eateries with modern designs, as well as their modernish food menu that are unusual. Yes, even creations can also be made for food and drinks. However, there is another thing that business owners can make use of when it comes to attracting new customers; web design. If you are a business owner, having a website is crucial in attracting and interacting with customers; therefore, knowing about web design is also necessary. Now that it’s 2019 and there are new trends already, let’s look into these web design trends in this year and find out if you should follow the trends for your business’ website. Keep reading to find out!

The non-traditional scrolling

We all know scrolling is simple. We just have to scroll up and down to go to a page that we want to reach. However, non-traditional scrolling has a different kind of…well, scrolling. Take a look at the example below.

Web design trend 1

 

Aces, a baseball recruiting agency, uses a horizontal scroll at the top of their website to grab users’ attention, show off the talented players they work with and give some fast facts about their business. So, instead of being directed to the bottom page as we are scrolling down, we have a slideshow that moves sideways until we have seen the entire content there. When we’re done, we will be directed to the bottom page as usual.

Gradients

I know websites that contain gradients are not really new in the world of web design, but hey, it’s always bang on-trend from time to time. I mean, look at this example.

Web design trend 2

Even Instagram rebranded their logo to the magenta gradient – and people definitely noticed the difference. Their decision to modernise gradients impacted design as a whole and has now become a popular design choice among creatives.

Scroll-triggered animations

Okay, I know scrolling has really become the trend in web design lately and scroll animations seem to be more popular. This kind of web design is not only showing the value of a visual design talent and front-end development skills, but it also increases the quality of time efficiency and user engagement. By scrolling and clicking through the page layouts, a website with this type of design can show users their entire service line or important content.

web design trend 3

Making use of colour branding

Another trend that can increase value to the business branding itself is the use of colour branding. Camden Town Brewery is using a web design that is branded based on page or product and changes colour when the user navigates and interacts with the product or pages. This web design subconsciously helps the user navigate through the site and associate which product or service page they’re looking at solely based on visual colour cues.

web design trend 4 1

web design trend 4 2

So, should you follow these trends?

The answer is yes, you should. However, that doesn’t mean that you can follow all of the web design trends in 2019. Aside from these web design trends mentioned in this article, there are other web design trends in 2019 that you also need to look at. That being said, not all design trends are made and meant for your business. You still need to see if the design is SEO-friendly or not. You also need to know if the design is compatible with any device and whether or not the design will affect your website’s performance. Therefore, you should consult to a professional web designer to help you with your business website. Haven’t got a web designer yet? Contact or visit us now and let our design team assist you and give ideas and solutions for your business website.

Local Delicacy: Making Your Website More Appealing to a Local Audience

web development tips

There’s being famous and then there’s being ‘famous’, or infamous, for the proper word. The person who first said that any kind of publicity is good publicity has clearly never met Martin Shkreli, a man so hated that his own lawyer once said that they felt like punching him in the face from time to time as well. Fame isn’t just fame; there are actually several different layers to the term fame itself that you might want to know about.

In another example, there’s the term famous and ‘locally famous’. KFC is famous, almost everyone around the world knows about it while a place like the Seven Seeds might only be known to those with a familiarity to Melbourne. On the outset, being locally famous might seem like the lesser outcome but for small, homegrown businesses, being known by people in a 10-mile radius is better than being known by people across the Pacific, which is why in terms of web development, increasing your website’s local appeal is preferable for small businesses.

Locally famous in a globalized world

Yes, I know that it sounds slightly oxymoronic but trying to appeal to the widest audience possible might not always be in your best interest. Anyone who serves food and or beverages would have no use in attracting customers from a thousand miles away and professional services such as in the legal and financial field wouldn’t work beyond borders since each state, not to mention country, has their own specific laws.

Sure, we’ve now come to a point where say, Indonesian boots maker can garner customers and a write-up from a New York-based publication or how going to Hong Kong just to have a custom suit made are now actually a thing but the fact remains that for the majority of small businesses today, it’s the people around you that’s the most important. Appealing to the local audience then, should be your goal and your website should always reflect this intent.

Think of this as the difference between running an ad in your local newspaper and starting a marketing campaign in YouTube. Yes, YouTube’s global reach means that you have the potential to reach a much wider audience but you’d also be jostling for attention against the millions of videos that are uploaded to YouTube every day. By contrast, a local newspaper would limit the competition to just a handful and while your audience will be considerably smaller, it doesn’t really matter as that’s the kind of audience you were trying to court in the first place.

Search engines as of now are automatically tailored to the location of the user. A user in Melbourne typing the word weather into Google would be presented with a different result compared to a user in Darwin for example. This rise of location-based technology, combined with the reasons mentioned above, is why making your website more appealing to a local audience should be a priority and here are some things you could do to achieve that.

Get to know your audience

Darwin’s tropical climate and their population of merely 150,000 would present a vastly different challenge than Melbourne’s four seasons and their 5 million citizens. Each region would have their own quirks, personalities and stereotypes. If you’re willing to go deeper into the various available demographics, you can start differentiating by gender, age, economic status and even political views. All of that is just a roundabout way of saying that when trying to attract a local audience, you have to be specific.

Get to know what’s currently trending in the city or which aspect of the city they actually like or any other information that might help you in courting them. You know the saying, when in Rome, do as the Romans do and to do that, you actually have to figure out what it is the Romans actually do in the first place.

Add a local flavor to your website

Before people get to see what’s written in your website, their eyes would usually gravitate around the images first so it might be a good idea for you to consider adding images that properly represents your city. A landmark such as Sydney’s Opera House might seem like a good option but that’s actually a very generic choice and is more representative of what outsiders think of when they hear the word Sydney. Instead, dive into the local scene and try to come up with an image that would imply an insider’s knowledge of a particular city.

One of the things that we’ve learned about the internet is that instead of acting as a place where different ideas and viewpoints are exchanged, it actually acts more like an echo chamber, where users seek out information that reinforces their existing views. In other words, familiarity is an appealing trait in the internet and by highlighting the fact that you and your audience share a similar place of origin and/or residence, you can use this sense of familiarity to your advantage.

Incorporate locally-relevant trends and/or topics around your content

Say your local sports team just won something or a local politician might be embroiled in a scandal, anytime anything interesting happened where you run your business, try to insert yourself into the conversation whenever appropriate. Include winking references to those events or if it’s possible, try to tie your business with those stories. If there’s nothing interesting going on around even talking about the weather might do, Lord knows how big of a deal the recent drought was in some parts of Australia.

Get together with other local businesses or sponsor local events

Technically, this advice doesn’t actually relate to your website but if you are collaborating with other local businesses or partaking in a local event, you can include that information in the homepage of your website as some sort of a badge of honor so I’m including this anyway. Now, this might seem small but by connecting your business to other local institutions, you are indirectly adding credibility to your website. They’re not as good as genuine reviews but I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I have more faith in businesses that are connected to others compared to those that seemingly exist in a vacuum.

Design Language: 4 Things to Consider when Choosing a WordPress Theme

web development tips

As of 2018, WordPress remains far and away the most popular content management system in web development, with the platform capturing a sizable market share of 31%, far eclipsing the second-placed Joomla, coming in at a measly 3.1% market share. WordPress owes its popularity mainly because of two reasons, its sheer versatility and the simple fact that at its most basic version, it is available for free. There’s just no denying free stuff.

Technically though, WordPress works under the ‘freemium’ model, in which plugins and themes, the very reasons for WordPress’ versatility, are separated into free and premium ones, just like with mobile apps and games. These themes and plugins come for the most part from third-party developers, owing to WordPress’ open-sourced nature and as such, WordPress is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the number of options available. Some might say there are way too many options.

Finding the right WordPress theme

Choosing a theme is usually one of the first and primary decisions you’ll have to make when starting out with WordPress. Themes aren’t just about looks. Basic functionality, layout, aesthetic impressions, the overall design language of your entire website is going to be heavily informed by the theme you’re going with. Apple didn’t merely stumble into their cohesive design language, shaping every piece of product in their lineup, both software and hardware, by accident. They did it through careful research.

Now, due to its open source nature, it is actually possible for you to design and develop a customized WordPress theme of your own, either from scratch or working from what’s already available but for most small businesses, this is usually unnecessary. The decision then, boils down to a choice between the plethoras of themes available for WordPress. In one marketplace alone, Themeforest from Melbourne-based Envato, there are over 10,000 themes available, packed like sardines in a crushed tin box.

To help you navigate and differentiate between this overly crowded market; here are some factors to consider when choosing a WordPress theme:

  • Choose between simple themes or a comprehensive framework

To put another wrinkle in your decision process, WordPress framework is the current trend in web development. Remember at the beginning when I said that WordPress themes also account for functionality? WordPress framework works by pushing all of those functionalities within the framework itself while themes consist solely of stylistical options. In a WordPress framework, you basically have two themes; parent themes dictate the functionality while child themes dictate the actual aesthetics.

The benefit of going with a framework is that it makes WordPress more in line with full-on web builders like Wix or Squarespace by allowing easy, drag-and-drop codeless customization and seamless theme switching but with the caveat that you can’t perform under-the-hood modifications as freely as you’d like. Usually though, framework already has a lot of functionalities and widgets built-in that you normally won’t have to add one yourself.

  • Just the right amount of functionality

First, consider what functionalities you’d like to have with your website right now and those you’re considering in the foreseeable future. Now, choose a theme that fulfills those needs with the minimum amount of baggage. A feature-rich theme might sound attractive but if it consist of features that are irrelevant, don’t bother. Those extra functionalities are just going to slow down your website and since load speed is now a Google ranking factor, a slow website isn’t something you want to be burdened with.

Technically, you can still add functionalities with plugins but again, adding more baggage is going to slow down your website, so try to go with a theme that already has the functionalities you need built-in to the theme.

  • Responsive web design and mobile-friendliness

Mobile web browsing has overtaken the conventional desktop experience in 2016 and you need to adapt your website for optimal viewing on diminutive displays and gesture-based navigation. The one method of solving this is by using responsive web design, in which the webpage detects the medium it is being displayed and adapts itself. Choosing a non-responsive theme in 2018 is akin to connecting to the internet with a 56k dial-up connection. It’s just too anachronistic of a choice.

  • Finding the right aesthetics

Take a glance at the selection available in Themeforest. On the left-hand side, there are a lots of different tags you could use to filter out just what exactly what kind of website you’re looking for. Food & beverage? Technology? A design portfolio or a resume? There are tons of themes available for various specific needs and choosing the one that fits the aesthetic you’re looking for should not be a problem. There are various considerations to factor in before you jump the gun, however.

First is the available color palette. Assuming you’ve already settled on a logo for your business, you need to find a theme with a color palette that could complement your logo. Some themes are available with unlimited color options while some, usually the free ones don’t. The second factor is legibility. If you’re working in the creative and/or visual industry, this might not be a primary consideration but for businesses working in professional services, you should always balance style with substance. Fussy, visual heavy design tends to not work with law and accounting firms.

Additional considerations

The example marketplace I gave here, Themeforest, deals exclusively with premium themes. If you’re looking for the free ones, the directory on WordPress website is a good place to get you started. Here’s my advice though, try to avoid themes that are made by an individual. Those tend to be extracurricular excursions and since there are no professional obligations, questions of supports and updates are always going to be on your mind.

There are a lot of organizations dedicated to making WordPress themes and most usually offer free themes to go with the premium ones. The free ones are usually restricted in some ways, with less functionality and a limited color palette but if you can live with those restrictions, those free themes are a definite bargain because getting support will be much easier than from an individual designer.