In this week’s blog, I will be highlighting the pros and cons of using Wix to design a business website for yourself. The quickest answer to give is that it depends on what kind of business site you want and its scale. Let’s take a deeper dive into this.
Wix has some great pros, such as an “easy to use” editor allowing you to customise a design with ease, access to lots of different templates to build your website from, and it is reasonably priced. By doing it yourself you can be free to express your business exactly how you want, provided you have a creative mind and know how to replicate your ideas within the Wix builder, which does take some technical knowhow.
One of the cons of Wix is its bad loading times. Wix hosts your website for you which can be good, as you don’t have to worry about it. But this can also be an issue as once you are with Wix you are almost stuck with them, with additional costs pilling up to further professionalise your website. Transferring a Wix site elsewhere can also be tricky to migrate over if you don’t know what you are doing, this becomes an issue when your business scales and your website needs to scale with it.
Making your website yourself comes the time and effort you need to put into it, ensuring the backend of the website is set up correctly and also ensuring your website looks good. Although companies like Wix advertise as “make your website in less than 1 hour” that isn’t too a full extent true, as building a website isn’t quite that straight forward, otherwise there wouldn’t be thousands of blog posts on search engine optimisation, content structures, on and off-site reputation management and website optimisation. This is the large downside to doing it yourself, as most of the time it isn’t done correctly. Which is why in most cases we would recommend paying to have your website made professionally for you.
What business’ benefit from Wix
The main conversation of this blog is whether Wix is suited to your business. Wix is great at making small business websites with tonnes of templates to choose from in a range of different industries with access to different add-ons to make your website experience better for your customers. However, any large business would want to look elsewhere as the larger the scale of the website the longer the loading times will be, meaning the overall quality of your website will drop.
For individual websites, Wix can be very good as it’ll be a smaller site where you can set up the site yourself on a cheaper plan and follow a template design. If your individual website is for a portfolio, we wouldn’t recommend Wix due to the loading times with high-quality images of your work which you would want to show off proudly. A WordPress site would be better matched for this.
Wix is known for its poor load time which is why we would only recommend it for small businesses, individuals & mico-organisations which use their website as a place of information, not as a large site or as an eCommerce store.
When selling products online we would recommend Shopify, if you’re selling a larger quantity of products. If your selling only a few products then a WordPress website with WooCommerce would be well matched for this.
If you have any questions or would like us to design your website for you, please get in touch.
DecodeXP exists to create team-working challenges in a re-imagined way using personality mapping and providing a custom experience for other companies. They “focus on developing the ‘I in teams’ by enabling individuals to gain an evidence-based understanding of their natural role within a group, build resilience and inspire them to operate at their best as they face new challenges”.
From the same owners of www.challengerescapes.com, our task was to create a new website for DecodeXP, using some features from their other website. The mission was to have a slick and professional-looking website which could tell the story and provide all the necessary information for what DecodeXP has to offer.
To start off our process we spoke with Jamie, the founder of DecodeXP, and already having a good understanding of what they wanted after inspecting the Challenger Escapes website we were able to create some initial sketches of what we could create with the content that we were given.
The About page was highlighted as the main focal point for information on the site. We ensured a stand out feature on the home page directed users to the about page. This being the brief overview of How DecodeXP Works. We also added in a menu section within the footer which had anchored links to each section of the About page. This allowed us to have multiple ways of getting the user to the about page where they could learn the value of DecodeXP and how it could benefit them.
Working with Jamie and the DecodeXP team was an absolute pleasure and we look forward to working with them in the future.
In this weeks blog, I will discuss some of the different reasons you may need to consider a rebrand.
1. Stay current
One of the main reasons companies rebrand is to stay current. Design trends have a huge impact on how customers perceive a brand and what products/services they offer. Having your branding kept up to date shows your customers that you pay attention to trends in your industry.
Staying current goes hand in hand with having an outdated brand. However, there is a difference between an old logo and an outdated one. Brands that have an old logo, but a well-established audience and brand, then it is best to do research before rebranding as it can go wrong. Such as the infamous Gap logo rebrand. You can rebrand in a subtle way where you keep the same core identity but add a contemporary element to the aesthetic. An example of this is Mastercard.
2. Connect with a new audience
Whether you’ve changed your business approach, have new products or something else, you may want to attract a new/wider audience. It is essential for your brand to speak to your target audience, so a rebrand may be an option so that you can ensure you are doing that.
A perfect example is if your products/services are for millennials but your branding hasn’t been changed to suit their different media consumption habits or values, which differ from other generations. Your branding may not appeal to them and will be less successful.
3. Stand out from competitors
In some cases, it is a great idea to rebrand as a way of standing out from your competitors. It is an effective way to set your company apart from others, showing potential customers that you are the experts and are unique. It helps you become a leader in your industry by having your own voice, look and feel. You shouldn’t just change your logo or branding because a competitor has, it should have a purpose to feel authentic and original.
New companies are energised and want to make a statement in their competitive markets, so they will come for your customers and if their brand looks better, provides a similar service and is contemporary for their target audience then they have a good chance of attracting your customers. If this happens, it is due to you having low brand equity. You need people to recognise your brand and to spark positive emotions to stay relevant and in contention to be the best your brand can.
4. New goals/products
A common reason for a rebrand is if your brand has new goals/values or you’re offering new types of products/services. In this sense, a rebrand can act as a way to show your company is evolving. Your rebrand ensures your brand is updated to reflect your new goals/values.
It is very common for a brand to change as they grow and it is important that your brand strategy aligns with what you are trying to achieve, without having outdated branding that isn’t adapted for all platforms or is too product specific. Here is an example of a rebrand we have done for Holt Twins. We completed a rebrand for the launch of their new product.
5. Boost your bottom line
The other 4 points of this blog post all come into this one. The main benefit of a rebrand isn’t to just impact your inbound strategy, but it can make your company more profitable. By standing out, reaching new customers, keeping hold of your clients and showcasing your expertise will enable you to maximise your profit just by giving your brand a new look.
Branding is much more than just a logo or a visual element. When you think about your brand, you should be thinking about your entire customer experience from the moment they engage with your brand. This covers your logo, your website, you social media, the way you communicate with your customers and how your customers engage with your staff.
To break it down, your brand is the way your customers perceive your business. You need to plan to create a brand experience that you want your customers to have. A good brand doesn’t just happen overnight, it needs to be well thought out with a strategic plan.
The structure of your brand
The golden rule for branding is authenticity.
You want to have a vision for your company. Where do you see it in the next 5, 10 or even 30 years? We all know there is no real finish line with a business, all business owners want to strive for better and to go above and beyond, but you need to set the initial targets of where you want to be and what you want to achieve so your entire team can be helping your company achieve your vision.
You need to know what your brand stands for, the values and understanding why you’re doing everything that you do. Your vision and your values are usually linked together as one usually leads to the other. When planning what you want to achieve you’ll pull out ideas of why your vision matters and the values that come from it. Think of the values you’ll need to have in place to achieve your goals as well as the culture you embed in how your workplace operates.
The representation of your brand is essential. When I say your representation I am talking about the design of all of your visual elements as well as the language you use within these, to create your branding DNA. It is also how your customer perceives your brand through their experience, if you need to speak to your customers on the phone then the way you speak to them will have an impact on how they see your brand. You need this representation to match your brand values so there is consistency within your branding, which is key.
Your Design Elements
You want your brand to stand out for the right reasons, so it is critical all of your visual elements both look good as well as being consistent. When your branding is consistent it is easier to recognise, and people feel more comfortable with your brand as it comes across as more reliable. Once this is achieved (providing your services match the quality of your brand) you can begin to form brand loyalties with your customers.
Your visual elements will need to use the same colour scheme, typography and general design styles throughout to ensure consistency. You want your brand to clearly communicate with your customers what your company is all about, but at the same time standing out from your competitors.
In conclusion, the best brands are built up from strong foundations of the visions and goals you set, then creating values that match them. These ideas are set for you and your staff to hold onto, to work towards and to achieve. Your brand needs to show these off through consistent visual assets, as well as communication with your customers in general. Your aim should be to stand out and look good, keeping your visual assets fresh and up to date.
In this week’s blog post, I am going to show off an example of what our logo design process looks like. The example I will use is one of the recent logo designs we made for Olivia, who is setting up her own personal training business.
Our logo design process begins with a questionnaire. This helps us understand what our clients’ business is all about, from their vision to their long term business goals. We use the answers from the questionnaire to create the initial logo designs for the clients, the amount we design varies on which package they have purchased.
In the first revision, we walk through our designs with the client, giving them the opportunity to leave feedback for which avenues to develop further.
Repeating The Revision Process
We then use the feedback from the first revision to make amendments to the designs. In this example, we agreed with Olivia that it would be best to add a symbol relating to personal training (which she initially didn’t want). She sent us some examples of icon styles which she liked the aesthetic of, so we incorporated those within the designs we had made so far.
We repeated the revision cycle process for the number of revisions that she had in her package, then created her final logo. The final step was to create all of the files types which she would need, in different sizing and formats (eg JPG and PNG). Below is her final logo design.
This is a checklist for your website and what it could be missing. I first provide the checklist with a basic description of what each point is, then go into further detail with examples later on.
SSL certificates are data files that establish an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. If your website isn’t secure you could be losing business as people may click off your site if they know their data won’t be protected.
2. Design and User Experience
The aesthetic of your landing page is where your user gets their first impression of your website, so you want it to stand out for the right reasons, not the wrong. Your website needs to look good to create the best impression for your business and services.
3. Mobile and tablet optimisation
We all live busy lives, so people usually access websites on the go. If your website isn’t optimised for mobile and tablet then it’ll reduce your chance of success from your website.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is used to increase a website’s position on search engines results pages such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. Having your SEO set up correctly and strategically helps draw consumer traffic to your website, boosting sales and revenue.
5. Google Loading Time
You can use Google Loading Time to see how long your website is taking to load. In short, you want your website to load as fast as possible. If you get a low ranking on Google Loading Time, you should aim to change that as quickly as possible.
A favicon is a small icon used in a web browser to represent a website/web page. Although they may appear minuscule in the grand scheme of your website, they have great importance by improving user experience, branding and professionalism.
Your website is required under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to let users control the activation of cookies and trackers which collect personal data.
SSL certificates are data files that establish an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This means that all data being passed between the web server and the browser remains private and protected. Having an SSL certificate is essential for any website that is requesting or submitting any data.
If your website isn’t secure you could be losing business as people may click off your site if they know their data won’t be protected. Google has announced that SSL also works as a ranking signal, meaning if you don’t have a SSL your website will be harder to find, impacting on your website traffic and revenue.
2. Design and User Experience
This is a critical part of your website which needs to be done correctly as it is how your user views and uses your website. The aesthetic of your landing page is where your user gets their first impression of your website, so you want it to stand out for the right reasons, not the wrong. Your website needs to look good to create the best impression for your business and services.
You want the design of your website to match your branding and to align with what you want to achieve from your website, looking professional and helping achieve your business’ goals. User Experience is key for having a great website, the navigation needs to not only work correctly, but it should aim to make it easy for the user to access and understand.
3. Mobile and tablet optimisation
We all live busy lives, so people usually access websites on the go. If your website isn’t optimised for mobile and tablet then it’ll reduce your chance of success from your website. Over 60% of people accessing the internet are using their phones, meaning if your website isn’t optimised for mobile, you are losing out on 60% plus of potential customers and revenue.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is used to increase a website’s position on search engine results pages (SERPs) such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. Having your SEO set up correctly and strategically helps draw consumer traffic to your website, boosting sales and revenue.
How can you boost your website ranking? You want to ensure that your website is set up using H1 tags. This makes your website more likely to appear on a search engine when the user searches keywords which are part of your titles.
Your meta description should be written strategically, using keywords to help maximise your website position in search engine results. You can also boost your ranking by making sure the pages on your website use permalinks that are concise to ensure they are optimal.
5. Google Loading Time
You can use Google Loading Time to see how long your website is taking to load. In short, you want your website to load as fast as possible. If you get a low ranking on Google Loading Time, you should aim to change that as quickly as possible. Your website’s loading speed also impacts it’s ranking on search engines and Google is now valuing website loading speed more and more.
What causes a low ranking? Having large file size images can slow down your website. In most cases, you can reduce the file size of images without disrupting their quality. You should aim to have your website load in under 3 seconds. Faster is better, as your site’s speed can contribute to the rise and fall of your conversion rate.
A favicon is a small icon used in a web browser to represent a website/web page. They are most commonly displayed on the tabs at the top of a web browser but are also found on a bookmark bar, in your history tab and more. As this icon is seen in different places, it’s important that you have one on your website, and that it links to your business’ branding.
Although they may appear minuscule in the grand scheme of your website, they have great importance by improving user experience, branding and professionalism. They act as a visual cue and can make your website easy to locate in bookmarks and in the history tab. Favicons contribute to your branding, so you shouldn’t miss out on the chance to enhance the professional look to your website.
Cookies can be used on websites to retain information such as login credentials and identify customers to provide a more personalised shopping experience. They are also used in website tools such as Google Analytics, which is used to help you analyse in-depth detail about the visitors on your website. Depending on the type of cookies used on your website, you may need to request consent from your users before they use your website.
In this weeks blog post I will be coving the fundamentals of SEO by walking you through the 3 mighty pillars of SEO.
Firstly SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, it’s the process of ranking higher on Search Engine Results Pages or SERP.
The 3 pillars of SEO are as follows: 1. Search Intent/Content 2. Technical Onsite SEO 3. Backlinks sometimes called “Offsite SEO”.
With the combinations of these 3 pillars will you have a strong website that ranks well in all major search engines.
The first pillar – Search intent & content
Everything that happens in a search engine begins with a question/query and ends with a result/answer. This is fundamental to SEO and will stick around with every algorithm update.
There are different kinds of search intents:
1. Educational – when a user wants to find out what SEO stands for, “what does SEO stand for?”.
2. Transaction – when a user wants to buy a football goal, “football goal for sale”.
3. Navigation – if a user already know where they want to buy their football goal from. They want to buy it from SportsDirect, they type “SportsDirect”.
4. Commercial Investigation – This is where the user doesn’t know which football boot brand to buy, and they want to know the difference between the two, this is where they want to compare products to figure out what they really want, “Nike vs Adidas football boots”.
So, the basis of this pillar is to make sure that you are answering the correct search intents/queries with quality, original content and blog posts, which are inlined with your business goals.
The second pillar – Technical onsite SEO
Technical onsite SEO is all about how your website is structured. The user experience comes into play here but it really comes downs to the code of the website. Including items such as heading tags, image alt descriptions, page speed, etc.
Technical onsite SEO is all about formatting your website in a way Google understands, because if it doesn’t, it won’t show it in its SERPs.
The third pillar – Backlinks Offsite SEO
Backlinks and links can be thought of references & citations in a paper published in an academic journal. The more of high quality links, the better. Google rank all links based on a simple 3 principle framework called DND.
D – Domain Authority
This brings into question how credible is the domain, Google check the website by the 3 pillars mentioned in this blog post.
N – Niche Relevance
Is the links destination relevant to its starting point? For example if a Yoga Teacher website links to a website designer, they aren’t relevant to each other. However, if the Yoga Teacher website links to a Yoga Leggings website, they are relevant and will get a higher Niche Relevance Score.
D – Do Follow
There are two ways of linking:
Do follow – if a link is set to “do-follow” you are saying that you recommend the destination, and so your reputation is passed on through the link.
No Follow – if a link is set to “no-follow” you are simply saying I am unsure of the reliability and qualify of the destination of this link, but you can still use it at your own risk, while not passing on any of your own reputation.
The more higher ranked do follow backlinks you have, the better position you are in for this third pillar.
Bringing it all together
All 3 pillars need to work together in some shape or form. Here is an analogy imagine a car:
The car itself is the technical onsite SEO, the fuel for the car is the backlinks offsite SEO and the driver is the search intent. You need all three for it work and without one, you won’t go anyway (unless you are in a Tesla).
Thank you for reading!
If you want to learn more about SEO we would strongly recommend using https://hawkacademy.co/, it’s a really great platform!
PS – they offer a free trial.
Algorithm “Google’s algorithms are a complex system used to retrieve data from its search index and instantly deliver the best possible results for a query. The search engine uses a combination of algorithms and numerous ranking signals to deliver webpages ranked by relevance on its search engine results pages (SERPs).”.
Heading Tag “The heading tag is used in HTML to define headings of a page. Headings are defined by <hn> , with “n” being a number between 1 and 6, and determines which position a heading has in the hierarchy of the heading structure. Heading tags have a particularly important function within an HTML structure.”
Page Speed “Page speed is the measurement of how fast the content on your website page loads”.
Alt Text “Also called “alt tags” and “alt descriptions,” alt text is the written copy that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load on a user’s screen. This text helps screen-reading tools describe images to visually impaired readers and allows search engines to better crawl and rank your website.”
Queen’s Lane Consultants exists to make R&D Tax Credits accessible to businesses across the UK. Their professional client-first approach had made them one of the fastest-growing companies in their industry.
Their old website was a year old, and due to their rate of growth was stale and out of date. It needed to be redesigned from the ground up with their new encrypted client portal in mind. Their website needed to represent their new size and success as a company.
We started the website design process with a conversation, already having a good understanding of what QLC wanted after designing their client portal. Meaning we could redeploy the design language used for their new website.
Having access to their Google Analytics account, meant we could investigate the user flow of their old website and use this data to improve the User Experience of the new site. We found a high volume of users visiting the “Our Team” page, meaning we needed to explore ways to cater for this higher volume of users. We decided to create a unique page for each employee allowing users to learn more about QLC’s great team.
Working with QLC and Frank was an absolute pleasure and I look forward to working with QLC in the future.
“Jacob was fantastic throughout the entire process, he was up to speed and informed, professional and good to deal with.
I would recommend him to anyone in need of a professional website builder.”
In today’s blog post we will be discussing 5 reasons you need to redesign/update your businesses logo & branding.
Having a contemporary logo gives the impression to your consumers that you are aware of current trends which suit their needs. Rebranding to have a more contemporary look is very common, especially with large iconic brands such as Google. Whether it’s a subtle change or a complete rework, having a contemporary logo will benefit your brand, even for traditional brands which can keep their heritage through modern design. This can mean a more innovative or minimalistic design which shows off everything consumers need to know about your brand in a simple way.
Represent Brand Values
As your company grows, your brand values may change. Your logo needs to represent these new values so it makes the correct impression to your consumers. Depending on your brand identity, your logo may look outdated, so a redesign can help, but keep your values in a more effective contemporary design.
Scalable – Link To Marketing
In modern times, logos are used across a wide range of platforms, where some logos weren’t designed with this in mind. Your logo needs to be flexible to work in different environments where dimensions change. If your logo isn’t available in an array of different sizes to be adapted to fit different environments, it’s time for that to change.
Your Logo Doesn’t Stand Out Enough
In all markets, it is essential for your logo to stand out from your competitors. Your logo is the first touchpoint of your brand, meaning standing out will have an impact on both your brand and your bottom line. It is important to grab the attention of your consumers quickly, communicating your core values and attracting your target audience.
Rebranding with new company colours
As time passes your market may change, meaning you may require a rebrand to adapt the direction of your business to this “market change”. This may mean the structure of your branding will need a new look, including new colours. Colour can have an impact on a company’s branding and marketing, but also need to be used correctly to represent the personality of your brand.
Here at Beue Media, we specialise in logo & branding design – so if you are thinking about updating your branding or logo in the near future please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via our graphic design page.
Thank you for reading, we hope you are having a great day!
Working with Deborah at Nature’s First Aid was an absolute pleasure, she had a strong vision for her new eCommerce website. Before beginning the project she answered the website design questionnaire, which allowed us to see her true perspective of not only the vision of her new website but also her aspirations of the business as a whole.
Fully optimised for mobile
Deborah’s eCommerce website needed to be optimised for mobile, over 50% of internet users are only accessing it via their smartphones and as 88% of users that have a bad experience on a website don’t return, we needed to get it right. Especially when eCommerce websites are concerned, if a user has a bad experience they won’t make an order. Most bad experiences on websites are from incorrect or incomplete UX (user experience) or a website not being optimised for mobile or tablet.
Nature’s First Aid natural oil kits had a variety of extra options which included a personal tag and pouch colour choice. To incorporate this within the project page, we created multiple product variant options for users to pick from. Thus allowing them to display multiple product options through just one project page. A really powerful tool for a business of their size.
Again it was an absolute pleasure to work with Nature’s First Aid on their new website. We wish them all the success here at Beue Media, just like we do for the rest of our clients.
“I feel very lucky to have been introduced to Jacob a couple of months ago on a photoshoot. Since then the world has fallen into lockdown and it has not been possible to find work as a photographer.
Simply, I cannot praise Jacob enough for his creativity and support helping me set up a new website in these challenging times. No question has not gone unanswered with clarity and patience. He has been the perfect balance of professional expertise and inspiration. I could not be happier with the website he has created for me and I recommend him wholeheartedly. The website he has created speaks for itself.”