website_design_steps

5 Steps to Build a Website

5 Steps to Build a Website

Tips from Web Design Experts

 
Creating a website is no small feat and it sounds pretty terrifying to most people, especially if you have no experience. If you happen to need a complex website you could opt to Hire a Professional to take care of it for you; however, for a basic site, you may be able to DIY with a few simple steps, and not too many tools.

Here are five simple steps to get you started:

1. Choose a Hosting Platform 

A web host is a location where you decide to set up shop. It is your landlord to whom you pay rent to house all your digital content. Each web page is a room with its own set of amenities and decor such as the images you display on the walls. As you can imagine some websites will have more detail than others depending on the level of attention given to keeping it clean and orderly.
Just like any lease contract, you will want to do your homework when choosing a provider to host your website. Read all the terms and conditions.

2. Choose a Domain Name 

A domain name or URL is your location’s home address. What’s cool about building a website is that you get to personalize it and choose your street name. You will want to put some thought into this as this is how people will remember how to find you on the web. You will want to decide if you want a .com Address or one of the many other options. There is a fee to register a domain name and often you can find web hosting providers that will include a domain name registration as part of a Package Deal, which helps to streamline the process.

3. Map It Out 

This step is primarily strategically mapping out the type of furniture and decor that will go in each room. As stated above, each page is its own room and will serve a specific purpose. Your Home Page, or Landing Page, will serve as your front door–the first visual people see upon arriving at your site. Some people display big beautiful photos on their front door to entice people to enter while others may post their store hours and the services they provide and call it a day. 
Before you start designing or building rooms, you should have a clear strategy for the furniture and decor (i.e. content) that those pages will contain.

4. Design Your Website

The design step is easily the most complicated step for most people because it is the first technical step of building a website. People often hire a professional even for the most basic websites at this phase after realizing, during the intense learning curve, how much work it can be. There are, of course, cost-effective options when you Build a Website, but it would serve you well to learn some basic coding. That said, there are web hosting platforms that provide an easier approach to this phase with more drag-and-drop design options.

5. Keep Up With Maintenance 

Once you are up and running and opened your doors for business, you will want to ensure everything stays running smoothly and in working order. You’ll most likely need a maintenance repair person. If a light bulb goes out or the air conditioner breaks, who is meant to repair it? As often as not, web hosting providers will offer this as an additional service or as part of a package deal. So it’s worth having a look at the ones that do–especially if you are not very tech-savvy.
As you can see, building a basic website can be simple if you want a simple website. However, the more complexities you add to your home, the more work it requires. It can be the difference between a tiny minimalist home in the country to a big house atop a mountain. Both are fully functional and operational, yet one has more bells and whistles to implement and maintain.  
Choosing the right Web Host Platform for your business can be a daunting first step. Although no two sites are the same, all great sites have one thing in common – a plan from start to finish. You could go it alone, but with Agency Partner Interactive, we’ll help you get started on the right foot and build a website that is best suited for you.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch ” 5 Steps to Building a Website” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!


website_design_basics

Web Design Basics to Improve your Foot Traffic

Web Design Basics to Improve your Foot Traffic

Tips from Web Design Experts

7 Web Design Basics to Consider When Making Your Website the Best it Can Be

Web design is fundamentally the same as print design. You’re aiming for something that grabs attention, catches the eye and flows smoothly. The web design basics are the elements of contrasting color, font styles, layout, and borders. All of this is what inspires a customer to explore your site and invest in your content. 

Web Design Move-ability

Move-ability, or flow, is the design and navigation of your site. A crucial part of web design is concise web pages that are not too long with grammatical perfection and working links. That’s your message. We need to access your message with ease.

Web Design Page Layout

How is your foot traffic going to view this page? On a computer? A phone? A projector? Responsive Web Design (RWD) will Change the Perspective of your Web Page to device-appropriate dimensions so that no matter the platform, your website remains understandable and accessible. 
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is an accessible design option that will make creating web design layout a breeze. You can pick from templates or design from scratch. The benefits of CSS is that not only are the options vast, but they will impact every page of your site, saving both time and money as you implement updates to your design. 

Web Design Basics: Cursive Versus Print

Font style is a major component of web design. We already know that print is typically easier to read and understand than cursive. Where wanting to stand out is excellent, some fonts out there come across with the wrong voice or attitude. Aim for a font that reflects the Content of your work. 

Pastels or High Contrast in Web Design

The color Design of your site should reflect the nature of the content being sold. Consider your color wheel when you’re tweaking this Web Design. If I’m selling a yoga blog with classes, I’m going pastels. If I’m selling the Waldorf Astoria, it’s all non-gloss ivory and gold filigree. 

A Web Design Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

In web design, an appropriate picture can convey what too many words will make confusing. Studies have shown that people have an incredibly short attention span. Ensuring that your website features short content with visuals to get the message across will be a better grab than a block of text that the customer has to scroll through endlessly. 

Got the Map to This Web Design?

Navigation is one of the most important aspects of your web design. Links, subheaders, and menus should be visible, accessible and, of course, working. Try to make your pages loop back to each other instead of sending your foot traffic, offsite unless you absolutely have to. You want your foot traffic to engage with your site as long as Possible.

Agency Partner Web Design Software

Picking the right software for your web design can be a trying and annoying experience as so much information out there can be mean trail, error, and loss of time and money. With Agency Partner we’ll help you get on track to get your site up and running with concise information and clear web design. 

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch ” Web Design Basics to Improve your Foot Traffic” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!


A Webbed World: Design VS Development - API

A Webbed World: Design VS Development

Design VS Development 

Tips from Web Design and Development Experts

To accurately define the terms, Web Design & Development, the latter first needs to be divided into two components, front-end, and back-end. Each of these plays a purposeful role in the creation, execution, and receptivity of a website. 

Web Design VS Web Development

There is a fusion occurring in the web world. Developers and designers are often mistaken and casually interchanged when discussed. However, their CV’s boast skill sets that differ from the other. Job postings may also get them confused, especially as developers and designers are expanding their knowledge into each other’s fields. While this gives them both more possibilities and understanding of a broader scope of web work, the two pools are flowing into one, and the water appears murky with confusion. These definitions, in layered order, should add a drop of clarity. 

Back-end Web Development

These developers have in-depth knowledge of how to work with the website’s core. Their focus is on how the site works, and they power it with programs like Java, PHP, Python, Net, Ruby, and more. It is also necessary for them to have a foundational knowledge of both HTML and CSS. Their ability to communicate with the server is conducted through coded programming languages, which allows them to cultivate the external layout via the website’s back-end. Speed, responsiveness, and efficacy are all essential characteristics of a website, and as administrators of the unseen, the purpose of a back-end developer lies in foundation laying. 

Front-end Web Development 

With languages consisting of HTML, CSS, and Javascript, a front-end Web Developer’s task is to focus on the client’s perspective and build on what the back-end developer has put in place. They’ll fill in details such as drop-down menus, fonts, and sliders. When it comes to being aesthetically-minded, the front-end is the intermediate step between basic development and design. They’re required to ensure a site or application’s attractiveness, ease of use, and SEO Ability, while a web designer plays purely with the user’s perspective. They employ a form of localization to ensure that the site platform translates across all web and browsing devices and ensure no errors or coding bugs exist. 

Web Design 

Web designers are the visual promoters and creatives of the web world who bring sites and applications to life. Their keen eyes and site-mapping expertise enables them to take an application or website and connect all its aspects for an attractive, harmonious feel and user experience. They work their magic with balancing proportions of color, weight, texture, complexity, and other creative elements. Additionally, to make sure that the qualities don’t underwhelm or overstimulate the viewer to distraction, they determine the content that is spotlight-worthy. Designers establish consistency and aesthetic balance for overall site acceptance and enjoyment. Their go-to tools are Adobe Photoshop, Sketch or Illustrator. It is also essential for Web Designers to have HTML, CSS, and Javascript dexterity
Back-end, front-end web developers, and web designers each cater to an aspect of the website and application process. It is clear that there are overlaps. While having broad knowledge is empowering, focusing your skills and experience into the skill set of one title is potent. 

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Design VS Development” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!


Dazzling by Design: The Web Design Process - API

Dazzling by Design: The Web Design Process

The Web Design Process in 2020

Tips from Web Design Experts

At our digital agency, we would like to believe that nothing happens by accident. Legendary doesn’t happen by birth and great doesn’t just come from good. Sure, some things happen by chance, but great web design is a very intentional, considerate effort. It requires a mixture of experience, artistry, a business case, and a good process
The unveiling of a new website for a client is almost always a moment for congratulations and celebration — but the weeks leading up to that event are methodical and fairly linear. Similar to a basketball player such as the late Kobe Bryant, leading up to the big game, a great deal of planning and practice goes into being ready for showtime. Without adequate preparation, there is no way to know if the site is ready for high volumes of traffic, form submissions, calls from customers, and more.  
To get to the point where a website can be deemed a brilliant, new piece of coded architecture, a coordinated effort among a project team of web designers, business analysts, and website developers is a must.
As a web design agency, we have been doing this for over 10 years, completed over 1200 digital projects, and we know that a successful website comes from a combination of excellent team players, trustworthy business data, considerate business analysis, and a touch of digital artistry.
So how does success become a reality — what goes into the Web Design Process?
Kobe Bryant Quote - No Excuses

The Web Design Process is An Intentional, Linear Process

The steps of the website design and development process are:
  1. Project Discovery Session
  2. Project Planning
  3. Design Phase
  4. Development Phase
  5. User Acceptance Testing and Launch
  6. Website Maintenance (routine)

Step 1: Information Gathering and Discovery

The first part of the web design process is arguably the most important. A friend of ours is famous for saying “measure twice, cut once.” In the web discovery phase, this is where you work to ensure alignment among all stakeholders. The stakeholders for your website project may include the technical project team, business users, customers, and others that count on your website to be a successful, functional business tool. Whether you are building a custom site, a WordPress site, or a Magento or e-commerce site, make sure to include your digital marketer in this planning effort. A website is a huge part of digital marketing. Without considering the needs and expectations of customers, your market, and even the competition, there is no context for your site. Without context, your site lacks focus and purpose.

Step 2: Planning Your Website Project

Understanding the objectives of the new website is key. Following your project discovery phase, the project team is able to identify and plan for specific resources that will need to be called upon to address your website’s unique requirements. By working with you to fully analyze the business goals, objectives, and considerations that were previously discussed, you are now able to set a project timeline. At a high level, this timeline will set expectations for how the project will advance moving forward. This should include a full understanding of milestones, deliverables, and a reiteration of payment schedules.

Step 3: Web Design – A Pixel Perfect User Interface (UI)

This design phase is a fun one because this is where you get to see your great ideas come to life in a more tangible way. In Step 3 your web design will work to create an impactful User Interface that is focused on facilitating a high quality, frictionless User Experience.
So while things are still light and without any code, you have an opportunity to focus on creating a fantastic web experience that is most likely to result in high conversions. Depending on your site’s purpose, your marketing team may tend to measure conversions as form submissions, product purchases, or phone calls.
Some things that come to play in this process are graphic design, user experience (UX), user interface (UI) design, sitemaps, page layouts, and wireframes.
Here is where the fun of throwing creativity into the ring happens — a knockout between Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock, in terms of concept, color, and web design process. Once the ideas have settled and the business logic takes over, style tiles prove to be a great method of ensuring consistency throughout the site. To wrap up the design phase, your project team will look to you for final approval before advancing to the development stage.

Step 4: Web Development and Integrations

This is where things get real. The nuts and bolts of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and HTML (HyperText Markup Language) coding mesh together here, raising the site from being just a static design to being a functional web page. In this process, code is written to bring your design concepts and mock-ups to life. This is where you see the power of your color palettes, visuals and content come into play as a marketing tool. During the development phase, your marketing team should have ample time to focus on content creation and a full on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy for the new site. 
As a note of advice, you should ensure that there is a road map for onward travel. After all, this site should not be considered a static project and a true website should always be a work in progress; to maintain your site’s health, it will need constant updates and adjustments to meet ongoing browser, device, security, and user needs. Similar to the latest software update that your smartphone mandated, your website requires at least that same frequency of attention (at a bare minimum).
Finally, once your software developers have finished programming your site, it is time to seek final approval before moving on to testing, delivery, and upload.

Step 5: Testing and Delivery

This is the final dress rehearsal before your site launches. All of the pieces of the coding will need a run-through, any link issues ironed out, and final tweaks made so that it is pixel perfect, and ready for the opening night. In this effort, make certain that every button clicks and functions as expected. Also be sure that the site is tested on mobile devices, desktop computers, and even big screens. In 2020, your site should be mobile optimized and responsive. 
‘Creating a buzz’ might seem counter-intuitive for a website but consider fine-tuning your up-to-the-minute keyword and SEO Strategy to be exactly this. Make certain that research and place your meta titles, meta tags, and meta descriptions on each webpage. Also, consider placing a Google Analytics tracking code so that you have a basic understanding of site traffic and user behavior. If your website is your company’s primary source of revenue, you might also consider adding some sort of heat mapping analytics tool and leveraging insights that come from Google Search Console. 
Once your site has been fully tested, make sure everyone who is involved in the web design process understands how the whole site runs. And then you are ready… give your software developer or project manager a final approval and then your site is as good as live! 

Step 6: Web Maintenance 

Another essential part of this process is understanding that it will never be finished. As time moves on there will be a million little ways to tweak the setup, ensuring that it continues to be a market-leading website, rather than an old hat that has fallen off the shelf. Routine site speed optimizations are necessary and recurring site updates should be performed to be viewed favorably by search engines and your site’s users. 
In order to keep the site fresh and enticing, keep on top of content, global color and image trends, as well as developments in your field. Most companies will create a monthly budget for website maintenance in order to keep overhead investments predictable and under control. Think of this as a visit to the Web Mechanic – a regular checkup to keep things running smoothly and routine adjustments will help avoid a major accident and drastic overhaul in the future.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Dazzling by Design: The Web Design Process” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!


 
 
 

Basic HTML for Internet Marketers - API

Tag, You’re It: Basic HTML for Internet Marketers 

Tag, You’re It: Basic HTML for Internet Marketers 

Tips from Digital Marketing Experts

Between the brackets, there is a whole new world that, once uncovered, will unlock many doors for marketers with a basic knowledge of HTML. You can use your coding knowledge to create a variety of headings, format paragraphs, line breaks, lists, and to set up your photos for SEO detection. So prepare to dip into the seemingly secretive world of coded meanings and symbols as we present some basic HTML tips for Internet Marketers.

HTML for Internet Marketers 

Any owner of a website or blog will profess that working with a developer is helpful when getting your content live, yet having a basic knowledge of HTML will save you from always having to dial 911 for assistance. Learning this skill is a liberating and empowering move in the tech-intensive world of today. 
Tip: When using HTML commands, most “opening” tags have a corresponding “closing” tag that nearly matches. The difference is that the closing tag is always preceded by a slash. This tells the computer where to start a command, and where to end the command. Pay close attention to the examples below.

Hyperlinks

Hyperlinks are transporters, one click on a hyperlinked image, word, or sentence and you’re taken to a different document section, an entirely new website, or to begin a download of a PDF or ebook. Hyperlinks shown in blue underlined text, called anchor text. 
The essential key is an opening <a tag and the hypertext reference (href), as shown here:

<a href=”https://www.destinationURL.com”>click this link”</a> 
The result: Click this Link
Arguably, the most important hyperlink is the one that takes your customers to your website so you’ll want to memorize this:

<a href=”https://www.agenypartner.com”>agencypartner</a> 
The result: Agency Partner Interactive
Now, simply replace the anchor text with your URL.

Paragraphs and Spacing

The popular paragraph <p> tag is placed at the beginning of, you guessed it, a paragraph. Its closer is the </p> tag. This tells the computer where the paragraph starts and where it ends so it can format it accordingly:

<p>Place your paragraph content between these tags.</p> 
You may find times when you want to reformat elements within the paragraph.
<p>To shorten a line of text, enter a line break like this.<br>
The content will continue on the next line.</p>
To increase the space between lines, say to double-spacing, change the opening paragraph marker to include a line-height command:
<p style=”line-height: 2;”>This will double-space all the lines within your paragraph. You can set this to 1.5 for less space, to 3 for more, etc. Note that this HTML command will only work on the specified paragraph. If you want to use it for multiple paragraphs, you will need to use the line-height tag on each.</p> 

Headings

These eye-catchers are reasonably easy to code and are very important in catching the attention of search engines. They begin at <h1> and move inversely: as the numbers increase, the headings decrease in size:

<h1>Big, Bold and Beautiful!</h1> 

<h2>Resize your headings with ease</h2> 

<h3>Discover the How-To</h3> 

Lists

While they utilize the same format and are both flanked by list-item tags: <li>. Bulleted and numbered lists have additional tags used at the start and finish of each list: <ul> will give you bullets while <ol> is used for numbered lists: 

Bulleted

<ul>
<li>bullet 1</li>
<li>bullet 2</li>
<ul>

Numbered 

<ol>
<li>number 1</li>
<li>number 2</li>
<ol>

Images

Often, picture sizing and image resolution can be troublesome. A good tip is to resize your pictures before uploading. This also maintains proper proportions. 

Labeled images containing keywords have a better chance of being noticed in search results. And, in the off chance that a picture doesn’t load at all, the “alt” text at least provides the user with a better description than “jpeg10678”.

<img>src=”https://www.agencypartner.com”alt=”place alternative image description here”> 
These tools and basic HTML knowledge are resource savers. A solution that would have taken you hours to discover, are now be easily visible and the glitch resolved with these simple, must-know coding tags. Consider your virtual toolbox upgraded!