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The top three causes of protracted website projects

Having developed hundreds and hundreds of business websites over the past 15+ years, we’ve pretty much seen every possible problem along the way. Sometimes things don’t quite go to plan, sometimes clients’ plans change mid-course, and there’s a myriad of other things that come up which cause the website to take longer to complete than expected.

However, hands down, these are the most common causes of delays in corporate website design… sadly, they’re all things we need from the client!

1. Content

Ahhh, content, our old friend foe. We typically complete small business websites within a couple of weeks, but 99 times out of 100, we then wait for the content to be added.

While we ask for all content to be provided up front, this NEVER happens. Ever. We complete the design and development, provide training, and then wait for the client to let us know once they’ve finalised the content on the site. Sometimes that’s as little as a week or two, but it can range from a couple of months to — in a few cases — YEARS! We once finished a project then waited more than THREE YEARS for the client to add some content to a handful of pages on their website.

Tip: Start writing your content before you even look at web developers. Even if it’s just a few bullet points, tackle at least one page per day. We can even write the content for you if we have the basic information to work with.

2. Images

Similar to content, it’s difficult to get all of the necessary images together from the client. Most businesses — small businesses in particular — don’t have many suitable images to use at all. The best solution here is to get a professional photographer to take photos at the office/workplace. This way there will be royalty-free images of the office, staff, products/services, and so on.

Otherwise, we do supply stock images as part of all of our website packages, but sometimes there are too many gaps to fill so the client can simply buy additional images from us.

Tip: Have at least 2-3 images lined up to use with every page on the site. Most sites would therefore need around 15-20 images. We can provide stock images to cover any gaps.

3. Approval

There are a few stages in our corporate website design process which need approval: Master design (header and footer), the home page design, and the final approval to publish the site. Around half of our projects are approved promptly along the way, but the other half have delays of days, weeks, or months before approval is given.

For the final approval, for example, we’d likely already have added all content to the site, so all it takes is an hour or two, at most, for the client to check over each page, test the contact forms, and so on. We provide a checklist for these steps. But people working in small businesses are always busy, so this does tend to get put on the backburner, when it really shouldn’t.

It’s great to aim for perfection, but it’s important to know where to draw the line. So while you don’t want to compromise on the quality of the website design, for example, think about whether it achieves the objective. If it does, and there’s nothing vital missing or incorrect on the site, why not approve it now and take the pressure off? You can always improve as you go.

Tip: Don’t let trivial things hold up the website. Focus on getting the website out there and improving it over time — which is what should be done with every website anyway.

Don’t let it happen to you

We offer website packages to suit a range of budgets, and we help our clients get their websites online as soon as possible, while avoiding doing things “on the cheap”. Give us a call on (07) 3333 2932 or get an instant online quote if you’d like to find out more about our corporate website design packages.

Save on tax by starting your new website now!

The end of financial year is fast approaching! If you’ve been thinking about developing a new website for your business, why not act now with a professional web design in Brisbane? You’ll be able to deduct the expense in this financial year and reduce your tax bill.

We have a range of website packages available (including through our partner company, Just Websites) to suit a range of budgets. We go the extra mile on EVERY project to make sure you’re 100% satisfied with the result.

All of our websites are:

  • designed to work on PCs, Macs, phones and tablets
  • customised to your design requirements
  • easy to update yourself with a drag-and-drop editor
  • available up front (50% deposit, 50% when completed) or on 12 month payment plans
  • developed by our local Brisbane team with 50+ years of combined experience
  • designed using stock images, if you don’t have suitable photos of your own
  • completed within 2 weeks (if content is provided up front, or we can write it for you).

While we specialise in small business websites, we work with everyone from sole traders right through to News Corp, Coles and other heavyweights, so we understand the needs of all businesses.

Don’t put it off any longer!

Web design in Brisbane has never been so affordable! Let’s get your new website knocked over and start bringing in new business for you.

Give us a call on (07) 3333 2932 or get a free quote online in a few clicks and we’d be happy to help.

Are all corporate web design services the same?

There are so many web developers in Brisbane offering corporate web design services, so how do you figure out which one is best for you?

One of the biggest issues for companies when selecting a web developer is that they don’t know what they don’t know. Comparing apples to apples can be very difficult when you’re wading through a checklist of website inclusions, many of which will be completely foreign to you. Every web developer is different. It’s not like shopping for a car where you can compare some basic facts and figures, or jump in for a test drive.

Making matters worse, how do you even know if the web design company you’re considering using has been around for a long time, or is a relative newcomer with little experience?

As a long standing web development company in Brisbane, many of our clients have come to us in the first place because their website project didn’t go to plan, in one way or another. So how can you make sure that you receive a high quality corporate website design that will establish a positive presence on the internet for your business?

Questions to ask corporate web design agencies

As you can imagine, asking a lot of questions is the only way to be really sure that your corporate web design package will include everything that is important to your company. Here are some important questions to help you filter out the good from the bad:

  1. Can you help us compare your packages to those of another web developer?
  2. Can you offer a full range of services in addition to corporate web design, such as copywriting, search engine optimisation, and graphic design?
  3. Are there any key limitations of the software or packages that we should be aware of?
  4. Do you have clients who we can phone for a reference?
  5. Can you show us examples of websites which you developed at least three years ago, including proof of their age?
  6. Can you show us examples of websites which you have developed in the past month, including proof of their age?
  7. What makes you different to other developers?

Another concern is always the budget and without a doubt, you will want to save as much money as possible on the design of your website. The problem is that there are many web design packages around the $500 mark, but many of these are designed by people with little experience or training and don’t offer any ongoing support. In fact, many of the ‘cheaper’ websites are outsourced overseas, resulting in very poor website designs.

All of this means that if you are searching for a web development company in Brisbane, interstate or even overseas, you need to be very careful and ask a lot of questions, before you make your final decision. Local developers are usually the best choice in any case, because you can see them face to face if any issues arise or you need to have a meeting to discuss the project.

If you want a professional and experienced Brisbane web development team to create your website, call GO Creative on 07 3333 2932 or get an instant quote online.

How do you know if your web design company has everything covered?

When you’re looking for a web design company in Brisbane, it can be difficult to know which company is best for your business. This is usually because most people don’t know enough about web development to make an informed decision.

No one can know everything about all topics, which leaves you in a quandary about picking the right website developers. Brisbane has so many options in this area that it’s easy to feel stuck. One common strategy used by many businesses is to compare prices. A great tip here is to ask the developers themselves to help you compare their services and costs with their competitors, as this will help you to realise that you might be paying for a substandard service.

Know which questions to ask

There’s more involved in selecting a web design company than just money, even though this is of course a serious consideration. If you’re searching for a web development company in Brisbane for your business, here are five questions to ask before making your final decision:

  1. Can they build a responsive website? Since over 50% of all websites are now opened on mobile devices, it is vital that your new website is mobile friendly.
  2. Do they include optimisation features? Your website needs to be optimised for search engines (e.g. Google). So you not only need the ability to add meta titles and descriptions, but you also need fast loading web pages and a page structure that is recognised by search engines.
  3. Who writes the content? The content of your website needs to be optimised for both search engines and for people, so unless you can do this job yourself, ask whether the web design company has a copywriter.
  4. Who provides sources and images? If you engage the web developer’s copywriter, find out who’s responsible for sourcing and paying for any images needed.
  5. Can they explain your costs? Ask for a detailed list of all costs involved in creating your website. Also ask for their refund policy, payment schedule and timeframes for completion.

You can get an instant quote online for your new website or call us on 07 3333 2932 for a chat with our team of website developers in Brisbane.

 

How do websites actually work, anyway?

As a leading web design company in Australia, we are often asked how websites work and about the different types of website management systems that are available. In this post we will shed some light on these topics, giving you a greater appreciation of your website.

What is a website?

A website is one or more pages that are stored on a server (large computer) and connected to the internet by the server. For a website to exist, you need to register a domain name (address of the site), set up web hosting (a place to store your website and related settings), and then create the website, of course. You can purchase domain names and hosting through many web design companies in Australia and if you contact us at GO Creative, we can sort this out for you.

How do you create a website?

Today, most websites consist of hundreds or even thousands of files which contain code known as HTML, along with a database where the website settings and content are stored. HTML code provides the structure of the website, as well as the pages, posts, images, videos, text and other content. The design (colours, fonts and layout) is controlled by a different type of code called CSS, whilst JavaScript is yet another type of code, and is generally used to control menus, animations and other effects.

There are many considerations when creating a website, such as the design, navigational structure, functionality on phones/tablets, search engines (like Google), scalability, and more. This is why website development should be left to professionals in all instances, otherwise it’s simply a waste of time and money.

Software options

There are a variety of software packages available to create websites, some of which allow you to create your website online (though generally this isn’t the ideal way to do it). Others allow you to download the software, installing it on a website hosting account, configuring it, setting up the design, the content and so on.

The latter option gives you much more control over the design and allows an endless number of customisations, which are perfect for businesses. The most popular website software (also known as a CMS or Content Management System) for businesses and bloggers is WordPress, but you can also use Joomla, Drupal, Magneto, OpenCart and CMS Made Simple, among countless others.

How long does it take to create a website?

This varies quite a lot. Some “cut price” website developers use pre-designed templates and have lots of limitations which means they can slap out a website in a matter of days. They’re usually cheap, but like everything in life, you get what you pay for. Any reputable website developer would take at least a couple of weeks to create a website, because there are so many tasks involved in creating a high quality website. For example, we have a standardised development process which includes more than 200 individual tasks, some of which take five minutes, while others can take several hours or even days.

How visitors find your website

Once you’ve created your website, people can access it by typing in the address directly into their browser, clicking on a link to your website from another site or email, or through search engines. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing, scour the internet for new websites, which is why your website appears in the search engine results pages.

Can we help with your website?

If you’re in the market for a professional web design company in Australia with a proven record for creating successful websites, call GO Creative on 07 3333 2932 or or get a free instant online quote.

Getting the best out of your digital marketing agency

Successfully marketing your business can be a long and winding road, which is why it’s so important that you engage the right professional digital marketing agency. Brisbane is still just a “big town” but there are a plethora of agencies out there — some good, some… well, not so good! Choosing the right agency can be the difference between success and failure. Many business owners try to market their own business, but invariably they find the work tiresome, difficult, time-consuming and ultimately not overly successful.

So when searching for the right digital marketing agency in Brisbane, look for those which don’t just say they can get results, but have a proven record of success. They must have the knowledge and the experience to handle your marketing strategy, leaving you to focus on managing your business.

If this sounds like your situation at the moment, here are a few tips on not just finding, but also getting the best out of your digital marketing agency:

Company logo design

It is essential that your company or corporate logo design is professional, reflects your brand and is consistent across all of your marketing materials. If you don’t have a professional company logo design already, then selecting a digital marketing agency in Brisbane who has graphic design skills, as well as marketing expertise, keeps everything in one place and makes it easier for you to keep tabs on what’s happening.

Professional website design

It goes without saying that you need a high quality website that is tailored to your business and reflects your brand. It’s a good idea to check with your digital marketing agency about their full range of services, because many offer professional web design as well, and can handle a redesign of your website very easily. Consistency is key here, so using the same company to develop all of your marketing materials is usually the best way to go. And not just an agency who says, “sure, we can do that”, but one which genuinely specialises in a range of different marketing services.

Affordable web hosting in Australia

If you do choose the right digital marketing company, they will not only provide graphic design and website development for you, but they will also offer web hosting in Australia. This is a huge bonus, because you have everything for your website and the marketing side of your business under one roof. And having your hosting in Australia offers a range of benefits for your website speed, security, support, and so on.

When you’re in business, you have to invest money to make money, and the success of your business is definitely worth the effort. Outsourcing your marketing to a professional digital marketing agency, in Brisbane, is one of the steps you can take that will seriously increase your return on investment.

If you can see the value in working with a digital marketing agency who offers the whole suite of services — marketing expertise, website design and hosting, and graphic design — phone us on (07) 3333 2932 or get a free instant quote online.

What information should be included on your website’s home page?

We have been a web development and website management company for nearly twenty years, so we know that using a free or cheap online website builder sounds like a great way to save money, but it’s not the best strategy to help your business grow.

If you don’t know what information to put on your website, the best design/layout, and the other “best practice” methods to convert visitors into customers, you’re actually going to miss out on a lot of potential customers.

As a web development and website management company, we know that there’s much more to a website than a home page, but today we’ll just focus on that page, because it usually has the most traffic and is therefore very important. If you don’t employ a professional copywriter, here’s what you should include on the home page of your website, so that your visitors stay, look around and hopefully convert into customers:

  • What do you do?
    You must be absolutely clear in letting your visitors know what services or products you can offer them. This is not the time to waffle on or overload the page with details about everything you do. Use simple language and guide visitors through to view more information.
  • Where do you do it?
    Many people will be looking for a local provider. If you only service certain suburbs of Brisbane, for example, make sure that your visitors know this up front. Visitors can become quite frustrated if they are not given all of the information they need to make a decision, and your service area is important.
  • Who will benefit?
    If your services are only suitable for home owners, 4WD enthusiasts or people with a disability, for example, let them know. For example, a plumber’s website might include the following sentence: “ABC Plumbing provides residential and commercial plumbing services on the Sunshine Coast”.
  • What are the benefits?
    Why should a visitor buy from your business? Why should they choose you over your competition? What can you offer them that is better than the competition? You must state these reasons very clearly on your home page.
  • How do they contact you?
    Don’t make your visitors click on a dozen pages to find your contact details. Have them available in the header, sidebar or footer as well, making it that much easier for them to contact your business. And, of course, make sure your phone number is “tappable” when your website is viewed on a phone.

In general, you have only a few seconds to grab your visitor’s attention, so you need to avoid fancy language, show them why you are special, tell them your qualifications and experience, give them examples and prove it to them with testimonials.

For the expert help of a web development and website management company in building your new website, call us at GO Creative on 07 3333 2932 or get a free instant online quote.

5 reasons why your business needs a website

If your business is running on just a physical store, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table by not having a website. In this day and age, the first place consumers look for a product or service is online with a search in Google. So if your business website doesn’t show in Google, then you have just lost another customer.

If you are still not convinced that your business needs a website, here are 5 more reasons that should make you put the pedal to the metal:

  1. Your business is selling 24/7: With a website, you are selling or promoting your products or services every hour of every day, every day of the week and 365 days a year. This increased availability can make a huge difference to your bottom line and dramatically increase your monthly profits.
  2. Increase your customer base: With a website you can quite easily sell your products or services all over the world. Of course this depends on your line of business, but you can massively expand your reach to an entirely different community with a website, something that might be impossible or very costly with a regular marketing campaign.
  3. Increase sales and lower costs: If you want to target customers in another suburb or part of the country, instead of spending an excruciatingly large amount of money building or leasing another physical store, with a website you are there already! All you need to do is setup an online marketing campaign targeting that new area and you can increase your sales quite easily. This is also a great benefit to small stores with a limited budget or even new business startups, who can sell their products or services online, before they even think of opening a physical store.
  4. Leverage social media marketing: No-one can deny the popularity of social media, so if you are not leveraging these platforms for your business, you are seriously leaving money on the table. A website gives a clear shot at increasing your customer base using the power of social media, so it only makes sense to get onboard and talk to your web developer ASAP.
  5. People like to shop online: More and more we see the percentage of consumers who shop online increasing. So without a website, you are losing an increasing number of potential customers and even some of your existing customers, because they find that shopping online is simply more convenient.

If you are still not convinced that your business needs a website, call us for a chat at GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

Startups and the changing face of technology

Many of our clients are startups and need a website to promote their products or services online. Apart from the usual problems facing any new venture, our new clients also have to deal with the rapidly changing face of technology as well.

Smart technology

Most small businesses are not in a position to take advantage of smart technology just yet. A good example is the technological leap from smart phones and tablets to smart wristwatches, allowing employees to receive emails on their watch.

If you want to be in the frontline of technology then it might be worth your while keeping up with smart technology. Alternately, you might just decide to save your money and wait a little longer to decide whether the latest gizmo is here to stay or is just another fly by night.

Cloud computing, big data and security

Without a doubt, the startup costs of a business heavily invested in cloud computing will be much lower than for traditional startups. However, with so many cloud based service providers jumping on the band wagon, the challenge is not only with understanding the technology and keeping up to date, but in selecting the best provider, as well as customising your cloud apps and services on an ongoing basis.

Even more of a problem is the issue of security and the protection of company data and resources from hackers. So with cloud technology, educating employees about online security will be essential to protecting the integrity of both company and customer information.

Then there is the issue of big data, which can be handled quite easily with the massive resources of the cloud. Accessing personnel who can handle this type of data however, may become a challenge all of its own.

Customised user experiences

Lastly, as technology continues to advance, customers’ expectations also increase and businesses face the challenge of creating consistent user experiences, across multiple platforms and channels. This means businesses need to be focused on social media networking and on creating unique interactions for customers, who want to access information at the touch of a button.

For more information on website promotion, online marketing or website design in Brisbane, call GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.

Mythbuster Monday: We only need to register one domain name

Without a doubt, this is one myth that most of our clients believe is just plain common sense – that you only need to register one domain name for your business website.

It’s understandable why many business owners think this is true, because after all, when you register a business name you only register one name. The problem is that with domain names it is a whole different ball game and you do need to register more than one domain name.

Why do you need to register more than one domain name for your business?

The single, most important problem with having just one domain name is competition.

Just imagine that your domain name is mywidgets.com.au and you build your brand into a healthy business. Suddenly you notice that traffic and sales are dropping off, so you increase your promotions and run some specials to bring in more customers. Over time however, you realise that this isn’t working and your traffic and sales are continuing to fall.

Then you realise that another website with the domain name mywidgets.com has appeared and after some research, you realise that they have ‘stolen’ your traffic. This is a serious problem that happens to many businesses, not just the large multi-corporations, but small businesses as well. We’ve seen it first hand, and there’s not much you can do about it unless you have a trademark, and even then it doesn’t guarantee anything.

This is why it is vital to register more than one domain name for your business, so you can put a stop to this sort of underhanded competition, before the rot sets in.

So if your business name is mywidget.com.au, then it serves your business well to also buy the .com, .net and .net.au versions of your domain name as well. Some businesses purchase another 10 or 20 versions of their domain name, so that there is no possibility that customers will confuse their domain name with a copycat.

Purchasing multiple domain names makes good sense, because it helps to protect your brand at an extremely minimal cost. An average annual expense a couple of hundred dollars, to ensure that your competitors can’t underhandedly jeopardise your market share, is definitely a sound financial investment.

For more information on domain names or help with website design in Brisbane, call us at GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.