7 WordPress Plugins To Expand The Versatility Of Your Web Design

7 WordPress Plugins To Expand The Versatility Of Your Web Design

There are many reasons why WordPress is used to create so many web designs. There is the massive choice of themes, there is the ease of use, it is free, and perhaps the number one reason, there is the option to add a multitude of features and additional functionality via the use of plugins.

Plugins are what take WordPress from being an excellent web design and CMS platform to an extremely versatile asset for any business which wishes to maximise the effectiveness of its website. Plugins can be installed in seconds, most of them are relatively easy to use, most are free, some are free with paid upgrades, and they can transform the appeal of your website, not just for you, but more importantly, for your visitors.

Now, if we wrote another 1,000,000 words we would still not come close to properly describing every WordPress plugin which is available (55,000 and counting) and some might reasonably argue the fact there are so many makes it more difficult to determine which plugins are worth installing. Instead, we are going to focus on 7 of the top plugins which all add versatility to your website.

Yoast SEO – To Help Boost Your Rankings On Google

This is one of the most popular plugins of any kind and provides website owners who find SEO daunting a simple and easy way to boost their onsite SEO. Yoast analyses every page and every piece of content and then highlights how it should be optimised for better rankings on Google.

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7 tips for Cheaper Web Design

7 tips for Cheaper Web Design

Web design costs can be reduced by thinking through the project from start to finish and preparing as much as possible in advance. This cuts web design costs and speeds up the web design process.

1. The wedding planner

We know what a wedding planner looks like, right. Never without clipboard – or App – unflappable, in control, and just thoroughly well organised. Being organised will help to reduce web design costs. Start with a basic site map (a list of links to all your website’s pages) with a Homepage, About Us and Contact Us, and then list all the products or services you offer. Place them on your sitemap in a logical order, grouping like sections together. Think about how your clients or customers will travel through your website, and crucially where you want them to end up – usually a purchase or point of contact. A good web design agency will bring lots of ideas to the table for ways you can show content. That’s their job. But it’s your job to understand your customers or clients and impart that information clearly to the web design agency at the outset.

2. Picture this: a designer spending hours looking for pictures

That’s going to cost in studio time, right? Studio time can be expensive, so we all need to use it wisely. Images are frequently the largest barrier to finishing a website on time. Get all the images you want to use up front and supply them to the web design agency in a single file, clearly marked, and ideally listed in an Excel sheet or Word document so everybody has the same record. Original, unique images are usually the best option, however some brilliant images can be obtained through stock image and video libraries like iStock and Shutterstock. So start researching as early as possible and give the web design agency a good idea of your media library before they start the design process.

3. Who da boss?

Approvals processes are absolutely critical to completing a web design project on time. Many projects get thrown off their axis when unaccounted for opinions suddenly have to be… accounted for! We’ve all been in this situation, so it’s important to get everybody’s approval as early as possible. Major design changes and upsets will frequently add cost to the overall web design project.

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Attract more customers online

Attract more customers online

Whether you have had a website for some time or you are just starting out, unless you put tactics in place to help people find your website, they won’t. Secondly, once they have found you, there’s a host of techniques you can use which will encourage people to inquire with you.

But, before we reveal how to turn your online activities into a lead generation tool, let’s start with your website.

Your website

The design, layout and content of your website is crucial. It’s well worth getting this right, before you invest any money directing people there.

You may have had your website designed recently and feel that you would rather see some return before you spend more, but trust us, you have to get it right. Plus, a lot of what we’ll recommend can be done with just an investment of time and won’t cost you a bean. Sounds good, right?

If customers don’t like what they see on your site, if the page loads too slow, has too much text, too few images or provides no customer projects or reviews – they will leave, never to return.

When people land on your website, it takes them 0.05 seconds to make a judgement about your site. That’s 1/10th of a second!

In a busy, attention demanding space they need to recognise what you do instantaneously, or they won’t stick around.

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Marketing an e-commerce website

Marketing an e-commerce website

Way back when outbound marketing prevailed, companies used to have a website designed as an online company brochure and didn’t do anything to change the site for many years after.

How things have changed! The website now plays a pivotal role in reaching and converting new customers and a whole industry of UX (User Experience) and CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) techniques and strategies has evolved.

For many smaller businesses, the investment in an e-commerce website is a significant chunk of their marketing spend. And by having a nice looking website that’s easy to navigate means that your users are going to buy. If only it was that easy!

CRO is no longer optional, it’s a must. An e-commerce business needs to continually refine their website, understanding how your users engage with your site and introducing tactics to improve conversions.

So, as a small business with an e-commerce website what can you do to 1. get people to find you and 2. convert them to paying customers? In this article we’ll outline some simple ways that you can market your e-commerce site and increase conversions.

Getting potential customers to your e-commerce website

In addition to Google Ads (PPC) which any e-commerce small business should be utilising, the power of social media is undeniable and it simply cannot be ignored as a major channel for driving ecommerce business. Your customers are using social media, and so should you. But it’s not just about being on social media, it’s about using it strategically to engage and attract customers. Take a look at our previous post where we discussed how to develop a social media strategy for more on this.

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Planning your first website

Planning your first website

If you are commissioning a website build for the first time and your job role isn’t a marketing one, it can be pretty intimidating. There is a lot of technical jargon and terminology you may not be familiar with. It’s hard to feel in control of your project if you don’t understand half of what’s being discussed.
So this post is an attempt to address some of the basics associated with a new website design project, to help you feel more prepared and confident when you meet with your web designer.

Your domain name and web hosting:

A domain name is your Web address: www.myaddress.co.uk. You buy this from a registrar such at 123-reg.co.uk. If you don’t have a domain name yet, you can go to this site and try out domain names until you find something that you like and is available.

A domain name needs to reflect your current business, whilst also giving you scope for growth in the future so do choose wisely. We can help you to choose the most appropriate domain name.

Web hosting

Essentially renting space on a server to store the files that make up your website. We will set up your domain name to point to the files. Web hosting is paid for annually.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE YOU START:

Before the fun stuff begins, such as designs, photos and colour schemes, to make sure your website project is a success, you need to be clear about your website goals and how your new website will support your business goals and tie into your marketing strategy.

What are your goals?

If selling online, what are your online turnover goals? Is the main goal of the website, lead generation or is its main purpose to capture registrations for a free trial, event or other offline activity?

Having a clear idea of your goals for the site will help your web designer to advise you on the best ways to achieve them.

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Five steps to great logo design

Five steps to great logo design

It can be difficult to take the plunge, a shake-up and change from the familiar branding you see day-in, day-out. But if you’re a business owner, a budding entrepreneur or just been tasked with overseeing the project; we all have to go through a re-brand at some point – starting with a logo design. This short five step guide is here to help you not be too overwhelmed by this sometimes daunting task.

Everyone knows how important a logo is to a business, but have you really thought about how important it actually is?! It’s more than likely the first thing people will notice about your business, sub-consciously forming an opinion within seconds and what they will remember and associate with you going forward, so it needs to be right and decisions made for the right reason.

1. Do your research and get inspired before you start:

As with most things in life, knowledge is king. As a rule of thumb, the more preparation you do the better the outcome and the smoother the ride. In the time that you’re considering updating your logo, keep a mental note (or even better, an actual note on old fashioned paper or slightly less old fashioned, on your phone) of logos and branding you’ve see elsewhere. It doesn’t have to necessarily be related to your business but it will get you thinking and when you have it all compiled you will start to form opinions on what you do and don’t like. Your designer will of course do their own research, but the more information you can provide and discussions you can have with your designer, the more they will be able to get in your frame of mind. This is necessary as being on the same level is important to a successful working relationship when it comes to design. When a client gives me a brief, I like to think of it as soaking up all the information they give, using my brain as a filter and a bit of a mixer, then outputting the other end in a concise, professional package.

It’s also a great idea to compile you research into a mood board. It will help you to narrow things down a bit and get a clear idea of the direction you want to head in with the designs. So again, if you come to the first meeting with one, you’re on to a winner!

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Time to Get Personal

Time to Get Personal

As marketeers and designers, we have always talked about being in the business of B2B or B2C, this has widely been accepted as a broad mechanism of targeting groups of people. But earlier this year, we came across something which suggested that we should all be in the market of H2H. That is Human to Human.

As Bryan Cramer, the CEO of PureMatter and the man that came up with this concept, says,

“Marketing increasingly strives to become one-to-one, with solutions to collect and wrangle the big data about us to serve up more personalised offers and experiences.”

Essentially H2H requires us all to do away with the jargon, move away from ‘solutions’ and ‘synergy’ and talk to people like real human beings. It requires customer empathy and engagement.

So how do you talk to customers as humans recognising their own individual needs and challenges without increasing marketing resources?

Whilst social media enables companies to share content, amplify their marketing, monitor the voice of the customer and gain valuable insights, its essentially a mass-market media. Of course, you can tweet individuals but to reach 1,000 individuals requires 1,000 tweets.

In the last 10 years, full-colour digital printing technology has developed in conjunction with data management, creating greater possibilities in one-to-one personalisation. Variable data printing makes it possible to create 1,000 unique documents that have customised messages and images for each customer, allowing you to create directly with individual end-users.

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A to Z of website features and design

A to Z of website features and design

DO YOU KNOW YOUR MEGA MENUS FROM YOUR RSS?

Ice creams come in many flavours, so it’s worth checking out the latest – corn-on-the corn with black pepper? Web design is very similar. Before you decide what you want, you need to know what’s available. You may have seen features on other company’s sites that you like, and you want to emulate those, but there’s a whole universe of options. Do you know your mega menus, GoogleBots and Splashscreens from your RSs?

A TO Z OF WEBSITE FEATURE AND DESIGN

Take a look through this table of features and think how some of these might benefit your business or organisation. Many of these will help to put a message out in a more efficient way, so it’s well worth thinking through your options before committing. Ask your experienced web design company, like Calico, for their opinion on how some of these can benefit your business.

Accept cookies pop-out

Most websites operate with tracking data, such as Google Analytics, which offers valuable insight into how many visitors come to your site, what keywords they use to find you and what content they look at, etc. These applications deploy cookies in order to provide you with this information. Cookies are very small text files which are stored on your PC, laptop, mobile phone or tablet when you visit a website. All websites owned in the EU or targeted towards EU citizens, are now expected to comply with EU Directive and inform consumers about how information about them is collected by websites. That’s why we have the Accept Cookies pop-up.

Aggregator

Small websites can provide a large, wide-ranging number of stories by aggregating news from other media institutions or social media sources. Aggregation can also pull in a diversity of voices into a single site. Use this to get your site notice by a diverse range of visitors.

Blog/News post

Blogs are like news, except typically more informal. They often allow users to navigate posts by date, category and tags, and showcase blog authors with thumbnails. They invite feedback via comment forms – these can be pre- or post-moderated. Whether you have a special interest or want to publish content for search engine ranking purposes, each website we build comes with blog capabilities.

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Millions Images for Your Website Only at Depositphotos

Millions Images for Your Website Only at Depositphotos

There are a lot of images available on the internet. Some are free and the others are available at certain prices. Getting free images are a good but not great choice for website, especially the professional one. For this case, it is better to find out images in microstock website where quality images are available in low prices and with free royalty.

From many microstock websites on the internet, Depositphotos, is one great choice. This website is reputed as the fastest-growing microstock agency because of its well and fast development. Depositphotos provides more than 15 million stock images which are varied in form of photo and vector or illustration. Besides that, this website also provides stock footage. It is also trusted by more than 1 million users from all over the world, showing that they are quite professional in this kind of business.

For browsing all those images and finding the one that you needed, user can use search function. Besides that, you can also use the prepared categories which specifically contains certain images based on their theme or related attributes. However, generally you will find two types of images in this site: stock photography and stock vector.

Stock Photography

Photographs which are available in Depositphotos are varied and have large number of collection. The quality and art of photographs displayed on Depositphotos does not need to be doubted as they are taken by great photographers. Besides that, every photographs uploaded had been selected carefully to ensure its quality before it is sold. Photos are very good to be included in website’s banner or article.

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