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Magento vs. Woo Commerce

Magento vs. WooCommerce

Expert Tips For Magento vs. WooCommerce

 
Many people just like you who are launching eCommerce websites to sell online look for helpful blogs like this one to compare eCommerce tools. Should you use Magento, WooCommerce, or Shopify? Which platform offers the best eCommerce software?
To simplify things, in this blog post we’re going to focus on comparing Magento features to WooCommerce features, but check out our main blog page for other posts that discuss Shopify, too.
The Similarities Between Magento and Woo Commerce
Unlike Shopify, which is an out-of-the-box solution for launching eCommerce websites, both Magento and WooCommerce are more advanced eCommerce software solutions. Choosing either Magento or Woo Commerce will require those who want to sell online to have an internal resource who is technical and can configure their chosen eCommerce software to meet their specific needs, or engage with a marketing agency like ours to create their eCommerce websites for them.
Many entrepreneurs who want to sell online consider these two eCommerce software solutions for a variety of reasons, including:

  • They are going to be creating eCommerce websites that are larger and sell more products online.
  • They want to be able to customize more features of their eCommerce websites.
  • They want more control and insights into their eCommerce websites.

Whatever your reason for wanting to compare eCommerce tools Magento and Woo Commerce, continue reading to learn about each of their unique features.
Key Magento Features
Magento comes as both a free open source edition and an Enterprise edition. Which option you’ll choose will depend on your unique needs for your eCommerce website.
Key Magento features that make it stand apart include:

  • The Enterprise edition is highly-scalable, which makes it great for eCommerce websites whose business plans have them growing and growing.
  • There’s a huge network of Magento developers and agencies like ours that specialize in building eCommerce websites powered by Magento, so you’ll easily be able to find resources to sell online using Magento.
  • Even though it’s a customizable solution, there are several useful out-of-the-box features.
  • If you plan to sell online to other businesses, you’ll love the Magento features focused on B2B eCommerce.
  • Magento features let you input lots of product data info, which is important for eCommerce websites that are selling products online that have lots of technical specifications (especially for B2B eCommerce websites).
  • Magento features provide you with strong order management tools, which makes tracking and fulfilling orders easier to manage.
  • One of the most well-appreciated Magento features is that it makes accepting payments and shipping orders very easy, which is especially important for eCommerce websites with large volumes of orders to fulfil.

Key Woo Commerce Features
Woo Commerce is a WordPress plugin and the most commonly used eCommerce software solution. But just because so many other people use Woo Commerce, does that mean you should as well?
This eCommerce software platform has some great features for entrepreneurs who want to launch eCommerce websites and sell online. Key Woo Commerce features that make it a great solution for your online store include:

  • It’s part of the WordPress universe, which means you have a seemingly endless amount of themes to choose from and WordPress experts, like our agency, to engage with to create your eCommerce website.
  • It typically has a lower cost of ownership than Magento does.
  • It’s easier to get started with than Magento because it has a lower learning curve.
  • It’s a great eCommerce software tool for selling content, such as ebooks, podcasts, videos, etc.
  • Woo Commerce has many free plugins available to enhance your eCommerce website even more.

Should You Choose Magento or Woo Commerce for Your eCommerce Website?
As you can see from the discussion above, both Magento features and Woo Commerce features are great. Which platform will be best to enable you to sell online will likely be a more subjective opinion, and highly dependent on who you choose to engage with to build your eCommerce presence.
Some experts specialize in Magento eCommerce websites. Others focus on building eCommerce websites powered by Woo Commerce. You may make a decision about the eCommerce software that you’ll use to power your online store simply after you’ve chosen an expert or agency to engage with.
We Can Build Both Magento and Woo Commerce Sites, and Help You Compare eCommerce Tools
At Agency Partner Interactive, we’re digital marketing experts who are knowledgeable about Magento features and Woo Commerce features. We don’t want to push you into choosing one eCommerce software solution over another, but rather help guide you through an evaluation of these platforms so you can compare eCommerce tools and choose the right one for your business.
When entrepreneurs come to us to build eCommerce websites, we first get to know their companies and what their online selling needs will be. For example, we want to know:

  • Will you be selling B2B or B2C?
  • How many products will you be selling?
  • How many technical details do you need to explain about your products?
  • What do you expect your daily web traffic to be?
  • How many orders do you expect to receive daily?
  • How much assistance will you need with order fulfilment and shipping?
  • What payment processing solutions will you be using?
  • What do you want the design of your eCommerce website to look like?
  • How much control do you want over your eCommerce website?

By collecting answers to these important questions, we’re better able to understand your needs, help you compare eCommerce tools, and assist you in making a decision between Magento, Woo Commerce, or something else.
Contact Us To Get Ready to Sell Online
If you need to build eCommerce websites, our digital marketing agency is here to help you. We can assist with both the technical details of creating your online store, creating compelling and search engine optimized content for your website so it’ll rank highly on Google, and create beautiful images and videos to showcase your products to website visitors.
To get started, reach out to our team today. You can call us at (214) 295-5845 or fill out our online contact form.
Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Magento vs. Woo Commerce” instead.
Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!


 

shopify_vs_woo_commerce

Shopify vs. Woo Commerce

Shopify vs. Woo Commerce

Expert Tips For Shopify vs. Woo Commerce

 
Entrepreneurs like you who are preparing to launch eCommerce websites to sell online need to carefully compare eCommerce tools to select the best platform for their unique needs. Would you best benefit by leverage Woo Commerce features, Shopify features, or Magento features?
As a digital marketing agency that has helped several entrepreneurs launch eCommerce websites and compare eCommerce tools, we know a lot about your eCommerce software options. In this blog post, we’ll compare six Woo Commerce features and Shopify features to help you decide between these two popular eCommerce platforms.

  • Which eCommerce Software Offers the Best Design Options?

It goes without saying that eCommerce websites need to be well designed, both for desktop and mobile users. Modern online shoppers quickly bounce off eCommerce websites that feel clunky, are difficult to navigate, or don’t display product images in an aesthetically-appealing and compelling way. Woo Commerce and Shopify approach store design in two different ways.
Woo Commerce is a WordPress plugin, which means in order to use this eCommerce software, you must have a WordPress site. While that’s great for design – there are so many different design options with WordPress – WordPress isn’t an out-of-the-box solution. You can definitely have a unique, customized eCommerce website if you use Woo Commerce, but you’ll have to either put in the work to create the design yourself, buy a theme from a third party, or hire a designer to design your store for you. However, with branding and user experience being so important to eCommerce websites, many entrepreneurs who want to sell online see these investments as just a basic expense of launching an online store.
Shopify, on the other hand, comes with free and paid design options that the average person can easily customize on their own. There are several beautiful designs to choose from, but you do want to customize things like colors and fonts so that your online store doesn’t look like others. The good news is, though, that Shopify provides a simple user interface for customizing designs, so it’s an easy do-it-yourself task, which is great if you’re working with a limited budget for launching your online store.

  • Which eCommerce Software Offers the Best Pricing?

The pricing differences between Woo Commerce and Shopify aren’t as straight-forward as they may initially appear.
If you want simplicity and a single vendor to pay, then Shopify is for you. With Shopify, you pay $29/month for hosting, receive an SSL certificate for free, and pay an additional $9/year for a premium domain.
The Woo Commerce plugin is technically free, though you’ll pay for a theme if you purchase one from Woo Themes. Additionally, you’ll have other regular expenses to third parties, including $5-$100/month to a third party for website hosting, $0 to $100/year to a third party for an SSL certificate (depending on what deals you can find), and $9/year to the third party for a premium domain.

  • Are Woo Commerce Features Better Than Shopify Features?

Deciding whether Woo Commerce features are better than Shopify features is really a subjective exercise. To make it easier for you, we’ll tell you what we love about each of these eCommerce software solutions.

  • Woo Commerce is great because:
    • It gives you complete customization and control over your eCommerce website.
    • WordPress is a huge community, so there’s a seemingly endless amount of themes to choose from.
    • It’s easy to configure Woo Commerce to work with your WordPress website.
  • Shopify is great because:
    • It’s an out-of-the-box solution that benefits entrepreneurs who may not be as tech-savvy or have the time to customize their eCommerce websites.
    • With Shopify, you just pay one vendor for everything related to your online store.
    • Shopify allows you to quickly create eCommerce websites.
  • Which eCommerce Software Is Easier to Use?

If you’re not tech-savvy, then Shopify will hands-down be easier for you to use than Woo Commerce. As we’ve mentioned above, it truly is an out-of-the-box option for quickly launching eCommerce websites. While customizations to themes are always recommended, Shopify makes customizing a theme very easy, even for those who aren’t design-inclined.
That being said, so many people know and love WordPress, which makes choosing Woo Commerce a great solution if you want a more unique online store or you want more control over it. Whether you implement Woo Commerce yourself, or you hire a designer to create your store on WordPress for you, if you want more control over your eCommerce website, Woo Commerce is the clear choice for you to use.

  • Which eCommerce Software Offers the Best Customer Support?

Shopify offers free 24/7 support to its users via email, chat, or a phone call. It also has a very built-out online knowledge basis to look for support articles that may apply to you.
Woo Commerce, which is a WordPress plugin, offers support through the WordPress Forums or by going to WooCommerce.com and creating a free account to access its online support.
If you want to make sure you have 24/7 support available at your fingertips in several different formats, Shopify is the clear choice for you.

  • Which eCommerce Software Makes it Easier to Incorporate SEO?

The importance of incorporating SEO into eCommerce websites can’t be overstated enough. Your online store needs to include common search terms related to the products you sell so that you rank highly on Google and get discovered via search engine results.
But, SEO isn’t all about the content you create. There’s the back-end to SEO, which includes ensuring that your online store has all the appropriate meta information, a natural linking structure, and clean code.
Shopify is great at this, and as long as you’re smartly incorporating popular keywords into your web content, you should be fine with SEO.
Woo Commerce, is run on one of the largest publishing platforms there is – WordPress. As such, WordPress is full of knowledgeable SEO experts who can help you create optimized content, and has several SEO plugins, like YoastSEO, to fine-tune your SEO even more.
Ranking the two websites in terms of which provides the best SEO experience really is a subjective exercise. But just as with other aspects of the two eCommerce software platforms, if you’re looking for something that requires as little effort as possible to check the SEO box off your to-do list, you likely want Shopify.
So Which Platform Is The Best?
As you can see from the discussion above, there’s strength with both Woo Commerce features and Shopify features. If you want more customization and control, you’ll likely want to choose Woo Commerce. If you want to get your online store set up quickly and with as little work as possible, Shopify is best for you.
We Can Help Customize eCommerce Websites
Whichever platform you choose, we can help. Whether you need assistance with setting up and customizing Woo Commerce or need help creating content that’s optimized for search engines that will go on a site run by either of these two platforms, we can help. To get started, call us at (214) 295-5845 or fill out our online contact form.
Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Shopify vs. Woo Commerceinstead.
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10 Best e-Commerce Platforms for Small Businesses

10 Best e-Commerce Platforms for Small Businesses

Expert Tips For Small Businesses

 
E-commerce is a thriving industry.. this is a fact. If you are struggling to cope with this, then you should take a look at the following infographic from BigCommerce.
e_commerce_platformsIf you want to start an online store or simply wish to migrate to an existing content management system (CMS), there are fortunately numerous options for you to choose from. 
Here are 10 of the best e-Commerce platforms geared specifically toward small businesses

1. Shopify

Benefits: Overall functionality, convenient use
Price: $9-$300.
Transaction Fee: 2.9% + $0.30 – 2.4% + $0.30
Shopify is a preeminent e-commerce CMS. As one of the more cutting-edge options available, users can take advantage of how convenient it is to use this platform. Both beginners and veteran marketplace teams can excel on this platform with a wide variety of helpful features.
Shopify is also relatively inexpensive. Therefore, if you’re looking for a standard e-commerce platform you can grow with, choosing Shopify is a great selection.

2. BigCommerce

Benefits: Wide selection of themes and designs, broad payment options. 
Price: $29.95 – $249.95
Transaction Fee: 2.9% + $0.30 – 2.2% + $0.30
BigCommerce is a fierce competitor to Shopify as the e-Commerce industry’s top CMS. Both platforms offer similar features at an identical cost. You can’t really go wrong in choosing either platform.
However, BigCommerce does have some advantages, including a wider selection of themes, designs, and broader payment options. BigCommerce provides a visual store builder, supplying up to 80 different themes. 
Other features include 24/7 support, cloud-hosting, marketing services, conversion optimization tools, and so much more.

3. 3dcart

Benefits: Built-in features, payment options
Price: $19 – $229
Transaction Fee: Varies
3dcart is an ideal alternative to Shopify. Though, the platform has a strong reputation for providing more than 200 built-in features users can take advantage of. Users also have the option to choose an affordable plan and still receive incredible benefits, such as saved carts, real-time shipping rates, unlimited product variants, and one-page checkout.
Furthermore, 3dcart provides more than 100 different payment providers and offers a discount if you use payment gateways they are partnered with. 

4. Volusion

Benefits: Cheap processing rates
Price: $29 – $299
Transaction Fee: 2.15% + $0.30 with Volusion Payments
Volusion is similarly priced compared to Shopify, but it is perhaps more simple-to-use. Many themes on the platform are free, as well as inventory and customer management, sales analytics, and marketing tools. 
Volusion does have some disadvantages, which include an annual sales limit depending on the plan they choose. There are also a limited number of payment options. While Volusion may not be as advanced as Shopify, it does offer users the opportunity to save money on processing orders. 
Depending on the model of your business, this may be an ideal choice. 

5. PrestaShop

Benefits: Open-source platform 
Price: Free to download
Transaction Fee: Varies
All of the entries on this list so far have been SaaS platforms. Though, depending on your marketplace, an open-source platform may be a better selection. If you are looking for an open-source platform, you should consider choosing PrestaShop.
This platform is completely free to download. This means you will only be responsible for paying for payment processor costs, web hosting, and other developmental resources. 
One underrated feature of PrestaShop is the ability to integrate and run numerous stores from one platform. If you have access to a skilled developer, possess proficient technical knowledge, or are willing to pay for the costs of setting up your marketplace, PrestaShop is a great option. 

6. WooCommerce:

Benefits: Free for WordPress users
Price: Free 
Transaction Fee: Varies
There isn’t much to say about WooCommerce that hasn’t already been stated previously. Compared to Shopify and BigCommerce, WooCommerce is a worthy alternative. This platform gives users the ability to upload an unlimited number of products and integrate with more than 400 applications.
What’s more, is that WooCommerce has been integrated with WordPress. If you are currently using WordPress, you can download WooCommerce for free and begin using it. 

7. Squarespace

Benefits: Ideal for very small retailers
Price: $26 – $40
Transaction Fee: 2.9% + $0.30
This list wouldn’t be complete if there wasn’t an option for very small retailers. If you run a shop by yourself or have a limited number of products, Squarespace is an excellent and affordable option.
Squarespace offers all of the features you need to run a successful marketplace. The platform is used mainly to build business websites, so you can expect the templates on there to be professional and clean. 

8. Square Online Store

Benefits: Free hosting
Price: $0 – $79
Transaction Fee: 2.9% + $0.30
Square Online Store is very similar to Squarespace. It’s also powered by Weebly, allowing users to create an online store within minutes. Before getting started, you can choose from a bunch of free themes, customize your theme, and start accepting payments instantly. 
Your completed website will come with a free SSL certificate, product options, unlimited products, and so much more. In fact, the most basic plan on this platform is completely free of charge.
If you desire to use a convenient platform with sufficient features for your marketplace, then Square Online Store is for you.

9. Sellfy

Benefits: Selling digital products
Price: $29 – $99
Transaction Fee: Varies
All of the platforms on this list are designed to sell digital products. However, if you are solely looking to sell your products and limit your spending, Sellfy is a great option. On this platform, you can quickly build your marketplace and start processing orders.
Sellfy is best for very small retailers that don’t have a preference of advanced features. 

10. AmeriCommerce

Benefits: High scalability
Price: $24.95 – $299
Transaction Fee: 2.9% + $0.30 – 2.4% + $0.30
AmericCommerce is similar to Sellfy, but this platform allows you to scale your business over time. Generally speaking, AmeriCommerce will grow as your business grows. You can choose more than 60 free themes and utilize dozens of payment gateways as you improve your marketplace.

Give Us a Call Today!

Do you need direction in choosing the right e-Commerce platform for your business? If so, give us a call at (214) 295-5845 to speak to a member of our award-winning team. 
Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “10 Best e-Commerce Platforms for Small Businessesinstead.
Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!


 
 
 
 

magento_1_end_of_life_migrating_to_magento_2

Magento 1 End of Life – Migrating to Magento 2

Magento 1 End of Life – Migrating to Magento 2

Expert Tips on Magento

 
Magento is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms available. Powering at least 0.8% of all websites on the internet, the platform handles more than $150 billion in gross merchandise each year
As the platform continues to grow, changes are being made to its existing products. This entails the end-of-life of Magento 1. While it was known for quite some time that Magento 1’s support would come to a close, many users have hesitated to migrate over to the newer Magento 2 platform.
This guide will break down all of the information concerning the end of support for Magento 1 and your best course of action for migrating to Magento 2.

What Does This Mean?

Any time software or an application ceases support, it means that the manufacturer has discontinued that product. This, of course, means you can use the product. However, the manufacturer won’t provide any technical support or updates for the product.
Therefore, if you are experiencing any problem with the outdated product, you’ll have to service the issue on your own. The end-of-life process of an application places an obsolete product in purgatory. Over time, the product ceases to exist when newer versions are available.

When Will Magento 1 Be Discontinued?

The official date that Magento 1 will be discontinued is June 2020. Again, multiple sources have speculated the end of support for Magento 1 for several months. Yet, more than 189,000 out of a total of 240,000 sites are still operating on the Magento 1 platform as of June 2019
As the platform comes to an end, you can expect to see more merchants make the move to Magento 2. Many e-commerce retailers rely on personalized support to navigate their businesses.

How Will Your Magento 1 Be Affected?

There are still many merchants that are using Magento 1 to conduct their business. Although Magento 2 will become the new standard moving forward, it’s not exactly required to make the switch.
Nonetheless, if you decide to wait until the end of service for Magento 1, your online store will be affected. Here are the ways that this change will impact the design, extensions, security, hosting, and costs related to your platform.

Design:

Regardless of if you’re migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2, you will have to endure a website redesign. Depending on how extensive your M1 website is, this process can be extremely time-consuming and expensive.
Before taking part in any website redesign process, you should create a plan for your next move. Also, you should carry out a comprehensive audit to ensure that your new website will maintain the same user experience and functionality. 
Soon, many audit checklists will be created to help merchants make the switch when they deem the time necessary.

Extensions:

While your M1 website is being audited, you should check the integrations and extensions you are currently running. Although popular M1 extensions are not directly compatible with M2, several original extensions have been updated and are now compatible with the M2 platform.
This ultimately makes it easier and affordable for merchants to migrate over to M2. Still, switching over to any new content management system (CMS) will require you to find new integrations, extensions, and plugins to salvage the functionality of your existing website.
This may result in you creating a dev site to test these integrations for your live site. During the auditing process, you will be able to identify plugins that are obsolete and determine whether you should move forward with them.

Security:

When a manufacturer ceases support of an application, security issues almost certainly arise. After all, if manufacturers refrain from servicing their software, they can open up the opportunity for security fractures.
If you want to enhance the functionality of your e-commerce website, then you have to make sure that your integrations and extensions will continue to receive updates. This helps your business to avoid security issues and stay on top of compliance mandates. 
Granted, members of the Magento community have said that they will continue to provide support to users who are still using the M1 platform. No one knows how long this support will last before more retailers flock to M2. As a result, many merchants are already making the switch.

Hosting:

Fortunately, there won’t be many changes to the hosting after the end-of-life for M1. Though, when an increased number of users migrate to M2, they will likely ask a change in how their hosting is structured.
With Magento being a complicated application, the hosting structure is based on cache, PHP, and much more. Thus, Magento will have to consider changing their hosting structure.
Ultimately, migrating to Magento 2 will give you the opportunity to rethink your hosting provider and make the necessary changes to improve your business. 

Costs:

The majority of migrating costs will be derived from auditing your existing site and creating a new site for the M2 platform. Most likely, a website redesign will be necessary, further driving costs.
If you have a budget and are hesitant to move to the M2 platform, then you’re clearly at a crossroads. While you may have limited financial resources to make the switch, migrating to M2 will be better for your entire online store. 
For this reason, consulting with a reputable web development agency is your best chance to make the right decision.

Who Can Migrate My Website?

If you don’t want to put forth the time and effort of migrating your website to the M2 platform, then you’re in luck. There are countless qualified web developers that can assist you throughout the process.
Agency Partner Interactive specializes in Magento migrations to ensure that your business is placed in the best possible position to thrive.

Migrate Your Website Today!

Migrating your website to M2 can be a massive decision. If you need assistance with kick-starting the process, feel free to give us a call at (214) 295-5845 to learn more about how we can help you. 
Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Magento 1 End of Life – Migrating to Magento 2instead.
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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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!