How Do I Get My eCommerce Website Design Project Started?

Running an eCommerce business can be a wonderful way to generate income and to free yourself from the bonds of a traditional job working for someone else. However, one of the keys to creating a successful eCommerce business is having a good eCommerce website design.

Gregory was excited about his new business. He had begun purchasing abandoned storage units and was selling the contents on eBay. However, he quickly discovered that he really needed an eCommerce type of website to draw in more customers.

After trying to design his website on his own, he gave up in frustration. He had no idea how to integrate shopping cart, payment portals and update his inventory content. He turned to an eCommerce website design expert and was thrilled with the results. He is now making sales as quickly as he can get his new inventory up on his website and listed with eBay.

Elements of an eCommerce Style Website

When you are starting an eCommerce website design project, it can be very confusing. There are many different things to think about that are different from a website that is only focused on conveying information. You need to have a shopping cart, the ability to include product descriptions and photographs of your products and the ability to process payments.

Shopping Carts – There are many different excellent shopping cart programs that you can include with your eCommerce website design. If you are working with a website design firm, they may make suggestions about a specific shopping cart that would be best for your particular business. You should use a shopping cart that allows you to update prices, product descriptions and product photographs easily. You should also be able to add or delete products easily.

Payment Portals – Another element that is extremely important in eCommerce website design is having a payment portal. The majority of eCommerce purchases use a credit card. If you do not already have credit card processing set up, you may want to consult with your eCommerce website design project manager. He or she may have suggestions about coordinating credit card processing with your shopping cart.

Shipping – You should also have the ability to choose how to calculate shipping. This largely depends on how you ship your products and if you charge a flat rate or if you use a shipping company that has variable rates, depending on where the product is being shipped.

Additional Elements of eCommerce Style Websites

As part of your eCommerce website design, you might also want to think about adding a blog or informational videos to add more value to your website visitors. Blogs are a great way to increase website traffic and potential customers. Informational videos also serve the same purpose. Both of these elements should be integrated into your overall eCommerce website design.

Successful eCommerce website designs include more than just products. You should promote your eCommerce site using social media, article marketing and other methods to intrigue customers enough to want to visit your site and purchase your products.

Website Design Project Management From Scratch

How designers create a creative website from scratch

Web designers working in a web company have immense pressure to fulfill client site design requirements and finish the work before deadline. The main concern of talented designers is to create a ready version that inspires his client with the intuitive elements & appeal. An innovatively designed look & feel that outline functionality of the brand that is set to be marketed online.

Before, initiating the project it’s crucial to understand that, why to design & invest on constructing a website which is worth appealing & visitors find it well on search engine. To meet the above objective, different techniques are applied for managing, controlling web projects. From preparing prototypes, coding to testing, the team works & coordinate in diverse situations to bring up the best in demand that allow visitor to stay longer on the webpage & compel them to do not leave without making any inquiry or conversion.

Understand business behavior to create user-centered design

Responsibility of a designer is to create a site the way his client visualizes. Whether the business represent online shopping store (or an ecommerce store), travel guide, restaurant, retailer etc. every business category depicts its specific points to study from start till finish of the project.

Inspired creative design created using flash, graphic design concepts that lure visitor attention.

Simple & sensible design created using simple modules that portray a professional standard look.

Effective & quantifiable practice used to complete project deliverables. The main aim is to construct a website that expresses customer brand and match its industry.

To create web sites that are deliberately unique, stand among the competition & deliver success experienced web designers initially concentrate on preparing a logical website architecture that involve right design & planning techniques as follows:

Design that expresses your brand, balance functionality and visual elements

Study of elements

The basic question that hit designers mind is to use what elements that can attract the target audience. Website build with right clarity of modules, focus on plan & purpose to target audience has the ability to emerge out with tremendous response.

Create project that focus on understanding the usability factor for visitors, navigation & make it crawl-able to search engines by aesthetically presenting the content.

The highest priority should be to prepare a design that does not appeal the target audiences that mainly look for that product or services instead of making it eye-catchy for all visitor-types.

Client-focused Questionnaire

Right project planning & scheduling revolves around user requirements and useful information related to design, services & functionality. Questionnaire is prepared for conducting effective work, to maintain better working relationship with client and to assure that everyone is on the same page at the end of the scheduled time.

Queries help to create efficient work-flow & outline functionality to bring out the work smoothly. Also helps in effective time management to deliver project before deadline. If possible client should make available samples of previous design work.

In case of handling complex web projects website designers & developer conduct brainstorming session with the client to know exactly the objective & functionality. A checklist can also be created to simplify the process

Industry & Competitor Study to develop site of visitors interest

This study helps to understand that today’s ecommerce website design targets age group, likes and dislikes of approaching visitors. This intelligent approach is to analysis information in order to provide client with value added recommendations for improving their marketing efforts. These things can develop visitor’s interest and is a great way to build foundation to attract source of qualified visitors

To know how your user interface and system (example: organized map of navigation links) work together before entering the programming stage

– Testing & usability study – The elements should be tested well before pre-launch of a website like content, style, validation and security. Example: Check the blog integration & posting before hitting the publish button.

– Collect feedback – Helps to focus on marketing goals, modify mistakes to reduce the complexity. With this technique the web design process will go smoothly and with fewer mistakes.

Today talented website designers are assisting hundreds of business. By combining the right design principles & right domain, user can well interact with your website services.

How Marketing Consultants Can Make the Difference In Your Web Design Project

Web design is an integral part of a modern marketing campaign. The quality of the design and coding work done on your website is incredibly important, as a DIY website simply cannot compete with a professionally created online presence. Even if the aesthetics were equal, which is unlikely, a professionally designed and well built website will always outperform a homegrown page because of the tremendous amount of coding and back-end work that goes into doing it right.

Often, small business owners turn to web designers for help getting started, only to find that they don’t “speak the language” of web design, and this leaves them unsure of what to ask for, how to answer the web designer’s questions, and whether they’re truly getting a good deal. This is where a reliable marketing consultant comes in. By hiring a marketing consultant, business owners benefit from having an advisor and liaison who can translate the web design lingo, leverage their standing professional relationships for better pricing, and handle the day-to-day issues that arise during web development work so that you as the business owner can focus on your business, not your website.

Marketing consultants are sometimes freelancers, but they are just as often team members working for advertising agencies. If you’re working with an independent web designer and have hired an advertising agency, they will fill this role for you and handle the minutiae, bringing you in periodically for the bigger decisions. Even then, a knowledgeable marketing consultant will narrow down two or four dozen options to an easily navigable top five, for example, explain the choices at hand, and make recommendations as to a path forward.

Alternatively, small business owners sometimes hire advertising agencies or marketing consultants first, letting these companies bring in their own team members or freelancers for web design. Regardless of how the situation comes about, in addition to helping you navigate the waters of a web design project, an advertising agency and/or web consultant will bring one other major component to the table: cohesiveness.

When building a website, it’s important to understand that while web development often seems to occur in a vacuum, it truly should not. Websites are key parts in a comprehensive marketing campaign that should typically integrate Internet and traditional marketing elements. Therefore, a great website is of even more value when it is the main piece in a large puzzle rather than a separate entity that does not align with the remaining pieces. That is, if a customer has been to your brick-and-mortar shop or has seen your TV, print, Internet, or direct mail advertisements and then visits your website, the branding should be consistent across all of those platforms. The site should immediately be identifiable as part of the whole, and that only happens when your web consultant and/or your advertising agency is intimately involved in your entire website design project.

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that web design projects are often bid without regard to content, which you’ll be expected to provide as the business owner. The right advertising agency or marketing consultant will have staff or freelancers who can provide solid, clean, engaging content that also addresses your needs for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) while ensuring that your branding and messaging remains cohesive across all platforms.

Outsource Website Design Projects to India and Get a Taste of Success

Businesses from developed countries like U.K., U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand, etc. are turning towards other countries for web design outsourcing. These web design & development companies outsource an entire range of services including SEO , content writing, eCommerce solutions , website development, Internet marketing, website designing, and more. The primary reason for the growing trend of web design outsourcing is the large savings that can be achieved in capital and labor costs. Outsourcing gives businesses the opportunity to utilize the same high quality of web services, but at a fraction of the cost they would pay if the development was done in-house. Basically, website development outsourcing reduces overhead costs, and thereby yields higher returns.

In western countries, typically every business, whether small or large, owns a website dedicated to their company. This has fueled web design & development outsourcing around the world. India has emerged as a prime destination for web design outsourcing, where businesses can hire web designers and get their work done at very nominal rates without sacrificing on the quality aspect. There are a multitude of such outsourcing companies. The decision as to which to work with has to be made after thorough research has been done. The outsourcing company should have prior experience handling web design projects similar to that of your company.

Experts advise on checking the outsourcing company’s portfolio and its team of web developers. How experienced is the team, and what are their specialties? Also, these web developers often post reviews and testimonials form their past clients on their sites, which can be quite insightful.

Web designers from India have a strong hold on the English language, which is the main language that business is conducted worldwide. Communication is the key factor for any business; communicating the right message to right audience is the key element of importance. So here lies the second point of significance of outsourcing: Excellent communication skills.

The websites that are easy to use, attractive, and interesting score higher results in search engines. Web design outsourcing will ensure that your site is on top of the latest trends and a step ahead of your competitors. You will witness your new website increase its number of visitors, and slowly your business dreams will turn into realities.

Any good business puts great stress on saving time and money. Professional web designers understand your exact needs and design a customized design that works towards your business goal, while allowing you to save money and concentrate your resources on core business initiatives.

Before outsourcing website design, you should be clear in your goals and expectations regarding what you want your website to achieve. The entire website theme, design and layout have to be in connection with your business purpose. The service provider should be a reliable and trusted one that can effectively handle projects similar to yours.

Copyright © 2008

Get Value for Your Money in Website Design Market

There are plenty of web design companies present in the market, you would be surprised to see the variation in pricing when you contact these companies to get a quote for your website design project. You can get confused while getting quotes for the project if you are new to it, as you might not know which elements of website design are cheap and which ones are costly. So you may end up confused not knowing whether you are paying right or not.

Every web design company has their own designing packages and pricing systems. It is very common that you get the same quotes for your project from two different companies. Here arises the difficulty to make a decision on which one to choose. There are a few indications that may help in making a decision when getting web design quotes and avoid giving extra bucks.

The charges of website design vary according to the size of your website and number of web pages that it has. The reason behind it is, every web page is required to get programmed in the presence of templates usages also. The main job of website designers is to make sure that all the web pages are linked up properly with each other, with all navigation and website menus functioning properly. If the size of the website is large, the overall cost could be expensive to due to presence of multiple web pages.

Including special features or design elements in the website would definitely cost more and rise up your budget. This holds true especially for situations when the website has to build up the interface with some other program. To illustrate, a website with an inventory program or software needs specialized features.

When your web design is required to work along with other programs, than the web design company has to do relevant researches about how to use and apply the software and interface the programming. Thus the overall costing of the website shoots up, as more time is also devoted in such projects.

Go through the list of services that are included in the website design package, many companies include various types of services and charge accordingly. Services like search engine optimization, website maintenance; analytical tools if included in the package can give you good deal for your money. You can ask for programming tools like content management system so that you can keep the site content updated by yourself without taking help from the outer resources.

Copyright © 2011

The Sitemap: The Backbone of Your Website Design

One of the first deliverables in a website design project is the sitemap. This seemingly simple document, usually no more than a page in length, often causes a great deal of confusion. The sitemap is a critical piece of every website, so it’s important to understand it.

The sitemap is the spine around which your website will be built. The sitemap dictates-or rather, it demonstrates-the navigational structure of your new website. Here’s a breakdown of what the sitemap contains:

  • Parent Pages: These are the pages that appear in the top-level navigation. The pages that appear in the navigation bar are those that your clients are most likely to be interested in. Remember, it’s a hard fact of business that clients and prospectives care more about themselves than they do about you. Having one parent page about your company is good-having three relating only to you, not so good.
  • Child Pages: These are the pages that belong “under” the parent pages. Sometimes a child page can have its own child page. Anything beyond a “grandchild” page is unadvisable, as it can make your website look messy. Make sure the child page is a good fit for the parent page. Putting your Team Bios under the Services page is a sure-fire way to confuse your visitors.
  • Top Links: This is typically reserved for social media links. We won’t discuss here the pros and cons of the various social networks. Suffice it to say that you should only post a link to social media accounts if you plan to update them regularly. A Facebook page that hasn’t been updated since February 2010 is worse than not have a Facebook page at all.
  • Bottom Links: These links are typically overlooked. They include pages like Privacy Policy or Legal. While you may think no one reads this information, it’s important to include it nonetheless. Your visitors have a right to know what information (if any) you’re collecting from them and how you’re using it. A Privacy Policy is especially important if you have a contact form or an email newsletter sign-up.

Even if you aren’t developing the website, it is just as important that you understand the purpose and value of the sitemap. Every website project should start with a sitemap. Without it, you risk your website becoming a wobbly, unstructured mess. When selecting a web designer be sure that a sitemap is included in the project plan.

Why Colors Are So Important in a Website Design Project

Even smaller details become much more important when it comes to building a brand identity for your business or products. The purpose of design is to assist you into achieving your marketing goals, as well as make your information available to potential customers and alliances. Website design is an important factor in your over all brand building strategy. Attention to details is essential for the effectiveness of your website or else it might go unnoticed among thousands other websites.

Color selection is an important aspect of web design process. It decides how useful and effective your website design would be to potential customers. As a small business you need to pay attention to usability of your website design, because if it is not usable then it is not effective and that would be a waste of your time and resources.

Selecting a color palette for your website design is a significant assessment as it will decide how practical and pleasant your web design would be to possible customers. As a small company you must pay attention to details if you want to succeed in today’s competitive marketing situation. Many thanks to the social web that now small businesses actually have a chance to compete with large corporations with a little edge in their favor.

If you are not going to make your website your hub for all social media related activities then it would be best that you don’t even bother having a web site. A place where people can visit and has a format like that of a cheap brochure design is actually not a website.

What makes web attractive is that it is an interactive form of medium. Unlike conventional media people can actually do things with the content you publish on the website. Now with the tools provided by social websites, such as social book marking and link sharing, people are sharing more and more interactive activities with each other than ever before.

Your website’s color should have a consistent scheme, this is important as we have seen plenty of small business websites that were designed on frontpage or MS office and contained too many annoyances.

When choosing color palette for your site you need to make sure that the colors you are choosing match the actual theme and purpose of your website. Though it is wonderful to think of a beautiful killingly interesting color scheme but if you can’t figure it out, don’t worry there are still some common best practice that would make you stay focused on your content.

These rules include using light colors for background especially if you have mostly text on your web pages. Light background would make your text more readable. Maintain a consistency in design colors of your icons, logo and other graphics you might use on your website.

You may want to use different colors for your headings, titles, hyperlinks, etc. It is important that you do that because it makes reading easier for the viewer and they can quickly scan your page and make a decision. If you have nicely linked your other web pages together then there is a very good chance that the visitors would click on your links. To make these links you need to use colors that highlight hyperlinks and make it easier for the visitor to find them out.

Where You Could Find Innovative Ideas for Your Web Design Projects

Web design needs a lot of creativity as an average looking website is not going to make such a good impact in the market place. Therefore, you must get inspiration from somewhere in order to be creative. As such, it is useful to find from where you could find inspirational ideas that you could use in your website design projects.

Explore the internet

Internet is a place where you could find any detail. Therefore, go to as many websites as possible and try to find something novel. Think how to add something more into it to make it more creative. For sure, you are going to find some useful ideas when you explore a few websites. In addition to that there are designers who produce creative work from which you could get some ideas. The following are a few resources from where you could find some good ideas.

Online galleries for web design

There are lots of online galleries to which you could submit your work. It is there not only for submitting. You also have the option to look at them and get ideas to create your own designs. These ideas could come in handy when you design your website.

Museums

Museums are places where you could find lots of creative work. No matter whether they belong to ancient times or to the modern days, if you have the creativity to convert them into ideas that could fit into websites, you will come out with beautiful websites. The advantage with museums is that they have a diverse lot of artifacts from which you could gather some creative ideas.

Look at your old design work

If you have been engaged in web design for some years you may have made a lot of creative designs. When you look at your old work you may get some ideas which may fit in to your new project. If you are not able to find anything, walk into a book shop. Books may have quite a few good ideas which you could pick up.

Photography

Photographers are generally people with creative talents. Use of camera angles and composing good photographs need innovations in order to create good photographs. Therefore, they are good for you to find some new innovative ideas. If you possess a little knowledge in photography, you could add a few innovative graphics in your website where they are relevant.

Antique Shops

Antique shops also could bring you some good ideas the same way the museums do. Antique shops also sometimes carry artifacts from which you could learn a lot. Some of them may belong to a different era but still they may fit into your project when you use them with the right changes.

Television

Innovation is a must when it comes to TV programs and set designs for TV shows. You have the possibility to learn a lot from them.

No matter from where you pick up your clues on innovation when you add those innovative design ideas in your web design, you are going to come out with an outstanding website.

Website Design Pricing Methods You Should Know About

In the industry of web design, there are three major website design pricing methods being used. Depending on the designer, the charge can be per hour, per page or per project. Having many different payment options is a good thing because it gives you numerous options from which to choose the kind of service that will fit your budget.

In this article, we will compare three major pricing methods and how each of them can affect the outcome of the website design project.

Hourly Rate

An hourly rate of pricing is frequently used by freelance web designers. Basically, you pay an amount (around $80-$100) for every hour the designer works on your project. This payment method can be an affordable option if your goal is to have a 2-4 page website. The price goes up depending on the complexity of the design and of course if you want more pages for your site.

One of the drawbacks of this pricing plan is that it tends to be a method used by many freelance web designers who need to maximize their return for each hour they work and tend to rely on simple graphics to accomplish that feat.

To ensure that you get the best service from an hourly rate, ask the designer to provide a timeline for completion. Agree on a payment plan ahead of time to hopefully avoid any questionable fees and charges at the end of the project.

Per Page Rate

Another version of pricing for website design is to charge per completed page. The reason why some designers follow per page pricing is because some pages are actually more complicated to create than others.

One of the pages that require more work than others is the main or home page. More time is required to create the layout and work on the graphics to grab the visitor’s attention. Of course, all the extra effort doesn’t come free which is why some pages are quoted higher than others.

A per page design pricing rate can be an affordable option for creating a website even on a tight budget. You can always keep the price low as long as you limit the number of pages and there is always the option of expanding the site and adding more pages along the way.

Web Design Packages

A complete design package is the most common pricing method used by most website design companies. This is definitely the most convenient way to create a website even on a tight budget. For a certain amount of money, (around $500) you can get all the services necessary to get your website up and running on the internet.

You can choose between wide varieties of design packages. The design packages can range from a simple template design with a few hours of customization to a full custom site depending on your budget. So you get to choose a package that will fit your website design pricing budget. It’s one of the best services you can get for your money these days and definitely something you should seriously consider.

Website Design – Considerations for Successful Web Design Project Management

Web Design services are now being provided by many service providers. In these times of tight competition some of the vital considerations for offering successful web design project management in the market are as follows.

Task Definition

Planning and putting the plan on paper is the first step towards starting any website design project. When you put the plan on paper you come to know how much work or portion of the project needs to be completed in the stipulated time frame. You can divide the project in different stages. The planning helps you to proceed to the next stage after completion and approval of the former stage by the client. Planning helps you at using the resources at hand and arranging of manpower from outside if necessary. Task definition helps in sticking to the schedule and delivering the completed project in time.

Choosing the clients

There are many businesses that want to hire web design services. All the businesses are not prompt at paying the bills tabled by you. There are some businesses that are very difficult to handle especially when they as the whole layout to be changed when more than 90% of the website design project is completed. It is better not to have these sorts of clients. You can filter these sorts of clients by the way they communicate and through your network.

Time Management

It is usually seen that if you deliver before schedule you are in good books with your client but if you fall behind the schedule the client may not complain but spread a negative word about you in the market. If you think that the website design project can be completed in 15 days, commit to complete the work in 20 days. When you schedule it this way you have room to suffice for any delay because of uncontrollable factors.

Conflict Resolution

In case of a huge website design project, it is usually a team work, and when it is teamwork there are supposed to be some conflicts among the team members. One needs to know the art of defusing these sorts of situation. If the contract, terms and conditions are not clear then there could be a conflict between you and your client. It is because of this that one should put everything on paper. Despite putting on paper, if any conflict takes place with the client then it is usually better to compromise and decrease your margin of offer rather than risk the client’s negative feedback.

Turnaround time

Make sure that the client can reach you any time. Every type of client usually wants to be regularly updated with the latest development. This sort of attitude of the client is also prominent in the website design industry. For this you need to make yourself available to your client through a mobile phone that can help you to not only telecommunication but also send and receive emails. Constant communication helps in transparency and building of a long term professional relation with the client. The response by you should be so prompt that the turnaround time is minimized.