Biggest Mistakes of DIY Websites.

There are many DIY Website these days and many business and individuals who are using them to develop their websites as a way to save an extra buck. The truth of the matter that many eventually realize is that DIY are much more expensive than hiring a professional designer at the end of the day.

There are many reasons that you should consider which you can read more here.

There are many mistakes out there but we shall cover just some of our top 6 that we have been able to observe:

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is very crucial for all website. If your website is not easily found by Google, then it is as good as it not being in existence. This is usually the best way for your clients and potential clients to be able to find you online. When this is done well you will be able to rank Highly and in turn will translate to an increase in your website traffic. More often than not DIY Websites never really offer SEO so you will have to piece together the puzzle of this perplexing practice on your own.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is very crucial and important for one to be able to gather crucial statistics about their websites. One is able to know where the origin of visitors is coming from, the devices they use, gender etc. These statistics is crucial as one is able to tailor make their products so that it meets the right clientele. This is one service that is not enabled in DIY Websites yet it very crucial and relevant.

Free Templates.

The templates that come with most DIY Websites most times are extremely basic and cannot be easily modified. This is usually very limiting as you are not able to customize the website to meet your personal or business needs. Most times one has to make an additional purchase in order for them to unlock the premium features of the template. A professional will be able to make all the edits even to a premium template so that it doesn’t look generic but is completely customized to your needs.

Responsiveness

More than 80% of websites these days are accessed from Mobile devices. When you are designing your website, you need to ensure that it first is responsive and can open on any device without losing it’s feel before developing on for your browser. Many at times DIY are not designed with mobile first in mind hence when you finish your website when you go to mobile you have challenges with the layout.

If you decide that are up to the task to tackle this process of designing your own website, there is a big chance that you will be left extremely disappointed with the outcome of all your hard work. Finding out that your site doesn’t display properly (or at all) will leave you kicking yourself for not hiring a website designer in the first place. If you want to see your website reaching your intended clientele, then DIY websites is definitely not the way to go.

If you on the other hand want your website to truly represent you, your brand, and your company, then you need to hire a website designer. Contact Us Today.

 

Increasing Your Website Traffic

There are more than a billion live and active websites in the world. This in turn shows that you already have immense competition but one thing to remember is that you are not in competition with everyone. Your goal is to get more people in your target audience to visit your site. Below are some simple ways to increase the amount of traffic that you are getting to your website.

Optimize Your Website Content

This is the key step for any website. If you want to truly increase website traffic, you first ought to ensure that your website content is optimized. Otherwise, the traffic will be fleeting and only temporary.

Have a Social Media Presence

Having great content on your website is not enough and hoping that people find it – you have to be proactive. One of the proven ways to increase traffic to your website is to use social media channels to promote your content. Share your content on your social media pages i.e. Facebook, Twiiter and Instagram among others.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), will increase traffic to your website in two ways. Initially, there’s on-page SEO. This deals with refining each page of your website with the right navigation, keywords, headlines and so on. Next is off-page SEO. This is about the same things off the pages you control. For instance, guest blogging, forum commenting, and anything that you can do to get reliable links back to your website.

Focus On Mobile Usability

Serious about driving traffic? Then you need to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. Use Google’s Page Insights Tool to check the friendliness of your mobile layout and see if it conforms to guidelines. You should also make sure that all your posts and content are AMP-specification ready.

Engage In Influencer Marketing

This is a great way to get your message out to millions of people without having your own large audience. You can leverage influencers on Twitter, Instagram and any number of other social networks. Find people who are entrenched in your niche or industry and reach out to them. This won’t be cheap, but it could potentially bring you droves of customers and sales in the near term.

Post Content to LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become much more than a means of finding another job. The world’s largest professional social network is now a valuable publishing platform in its own right, which means you should be posting content to LinkedIn on a regular basis. Doing so can boost traffic to your site, as well as increase your profile within your industry – especially if you have a moderate to large following.

Link Internally

It is just not enough that you get other sites to link back to you but you also need to improve on your internal linking structure. When you create and publish content on your website, be sure to keep an eye out for opportunities for internal links. This not only helps with SEO, but also results in a better, more useful experience for the user – the cornerstone of increasing traffic to your website. This also helps one to be able to read even more of your published articles

Learn from Your Analytics

Use tracked links for your marketing campaigns and regularly check your website analytics. This will enable you to identify which strategies and types of content work, which ones need improvement, and which ones you should not waste your time on.

Securing Your WordPress Website

Securing your WordPress website is extremely vital especially if it is your source of daily income. You would not want your website to down at any moment as you might lose clients and business.

WordPress is one of the best platforms out of the box, for website development, but there’s more you can do to keep your site safe from creepers with malicious intent. There are a number of security enhancements that are easy for one to implement and can be performed manually in a few minutes to spare. Others simply require installing a particular plugin some of which one will have to part with an extra buck.

If you’re looking to create a secure site, choosing WordPress as your platform is an excellent way to start. It’s not only a flexible, powerful platform for building websites — it’s also remarkably secure out of the box.

Some of the few key things to do, include:

Update Regularly

Every good software product is supported by its developers and gets updated now and then, but WordPress is updated very frequently. These updates are meant to fix bugs and sometimes have vital security patches.

When you fail to update your themes and plugins will cause you to be in some serious trouble. Most of the hackers rely on the mere fact that people can’t be bothered to conduct regular updating of their plugins and themes. More often than not, they exploit bugs that have already been fixed.

So, if you’re using WordPress products then update them regularly. Plugins, themes, everything.

Delete Dormant Plugins

Plugins that are not in use ought to be deactivate and deleted immediately. Some hackers take advantage of these dormant plugins or themes as they are a vulnerable point as times one will not even update them.

Bonus: By cutting back on plugins you aren’t using, you’ll also improve your site’s performance.

Back Up your Site

Ensure that you make regular backups of your WordPress site. A backup of WordPress data and files can play a crucial role in an emergency. If all else fails, you won’t have to start from scratch! There are a number of plugins that can be used to make regular website backups

Schedule your backups so you won’t forget them, and do a test restore from time to time.

Database Passwords

A strong password for the main database user is a must – the one WordPress uses to access the database. As always, use uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters for the password.

Choose the Best Hosting Plan You Can Afford

Your WordPress site is only as secure as your hosting account. If it’s running an old, vulnerable version of PHP, it won’t matter what you do to secure WordPress.

It’s essential that you choose a hosting provider that prioritizes security. Some of the features that you should look for are:

  • Support for the latest PHP and MySQL versions
  • Account isolation
  • Web Application Firewall
  • Intrusion detecting system
  • Proactive updates and patches
  • Fast server monitoring
  • Daily backups

Remove your WordPress version number

Your current WordPress version number can be found very easily. It’s basically sitting right there in your site’s source view. Here’s the thing, if the hackers know which version of WordPress you use, it’s easier for them to tailor-build the perfect attack. You can easily hide your version number with a security plugin, one of the best to check out is iThemes Security.

Change the WordPress database table prefix

Once you install your WordPress site you will notice wp- table prefix that is used by the WordPress database. I recommend you change it to something unique.

Using the default prefix makes your site database prone to SQL injection attacks. Such attack can be prevented by changing wp- to some other term, e.g. you can make it mywp-, wpnew-, etc.

If you have already installed your WordPress website with the default prefix, then you can use a few plugins to change it. Plugins like WP-DB Manager or iThemes Security can help you do the job with just a click of a button. (Make sure you back up your site before doing anything to the database).

There are very many other ways to secure your site. These are just but a few but be sure to contact us so as discuss more on how to design and develop a secure website. Email Us Today

Web Development Trends

Web Development Trends For 2017

Technology changes constantly, so to be at the top of your game as a web developer, it’s vital you’re keeping up .

Web development is progressing at incredible speed these days and trends that were hot in 2016, today will be considered nothing less than archaic. Users are having more control and power and companies are shifting their services according to the user needs, which may be unpredictable.

Here are some of the trends that we have observed through this year:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is something that is shaking the modern IT world the world over. Companies are competing against each other to hire the best talent in the industry.Google and Facebook are some of the companies who have well implemented AI and this is through face recognition. The importance of AI is explained by the fact that it allow devices to act independently aka without manpower and this leads to increased efficiency, accuracy and overall better user experience.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things is all about making devices smart and enabling them to communicate with each other. Looking at this with regards to website development we perceive a time where apps will be developed to allow for remote control of even homes. We are seeing smart homes being developed where everything will be controlled from your phone/tablet.

To learn more on Smart Homes

Rise of  JavaScript

JavaScript has been rising since 2016 and its rapid growth allows developers to work on chatbots, virtual reality and many other trending things.

The language grammar and efficiency of writing the apps were improved and overall, JS is now the most popular language among full stack developers.

Bots

We are used to boring and old-fashioned bots but 2017 seems to level them up. Now bots are intended to become more personalized in order to provide better user experience, which, again is a huge marketing advantage.

Bots are now able to react more “human-like” and give personalized advice, for example, during shopping. Developers are trying to eliminate the feeling that you are talking to a machine and instead, turn the conversation with a bot into fun and useful process.

6 Things Your Website is Missing

Chances are, that you already have a company website that is up and running, and listed on several directories. This is great as it allows people to have the chance to locate you easily when they go online, with this there is some information that one expects to find in order to continue with further engagement or not.
You need to ensure that your website is updated, so people check the correct and accurate information. We have put below a small list of things that we believe need to be taken into consideration as soon as possible.

About Us Page:

This is one website page that usually has the highest number of views of all pages. This is page is an opportunity to build trust of your organization stating how long you have been in existence, leadership structure, and also at times the values the company stands on. Include information on this page that will make people to be confident that you are not a briefcase company

Contact Information:

This information is very vital and has to always be accurate and up to date. The telephone number should be active and preferably mobile numbers if available. If in any invent you have changed physical locations it is also very important to change it on the Maps. It would also be great to have your number at a location that one can easily and quickly see it.
Reviews/testimonials from past or current clients:
You may not know the importance of this but it is a great way of showing new and prospective clients that there are people out there who can attest to your product or service. It might seem like something very minor but it has the potential to draw business to you.

Mobile Friendly Design:

Smartphone users are the majority of the current website traffic. The website that you have MUST be mobile responsive and not static. The number of people glued to their smartphones is ever increasing. Ensure that they have an exceptional experience on your website while browsing.

SEO:

Search engines will always produce your highest quality prospects because they represent people who are actively searching for the products and services you offer. Make sure your website has a customized search engine optimization strategy in order to boost your site’s search performance.

Call to Action:

This is usually the best way to collect information from you potential clients visiting your website. Calls to action are offers in the form of buttons, banners, or graphics that prompt people to continue down a conversion tunnel. Calls to Action are both directly and indirectly related to traffic (or the lack of it), and missing even one chance at a Call to Action is a big missed opportunity.

When Is the Right Time for Rebranding?

Rebranding is a common business practice that many major companies have been practicing for years. Many at times as the consumers of the brand we might not be able to notice the changes made unless it is major makeovers. A good example of a company in Kenya that has done a major rebrand is Orange Telekom to Telekom.

The brand that you have developed is the core identity of your business: a collection of all the values, ideals, characteristics and the personality traits of your company reduced to a single set of recognizable standards. Brands at times go through crises, it mostly during these times that many tend to rebrand to be able to reinvent themselves.

The following are some of the telltale signs that your brand is probably ready for an update:

Failure to differentiate yourself from Competition

Branding is all about having a competitive advantage over your competitors. When you realize that, your brand seems to disappear in the sea of many competitors it is time to think about rebranding. You need to have brand that is unique and stands out.

Brand Reflection

A great brand communicates a definite message to your current customers, potential customers, and just visitors. You need to have a brand that attracts people to your brand and keeps them always coming back. If you also have a products/services that no longer appeal to the market it would be high time to shelve and identify which new ones to incorporate

Old image is obsolete

You could be in need of a rebrand simply because your old image is obsolete. Design trends change quickly, and in the span of a decade or two, the fonts, colors and shapes that seemed cool at the time could be laughed at in the modern era as nostalgic leftovers.

Targeting a New Demography

An effective brand created is one that was developed specifically for a specific target audience; this helps a brand become more relevant. Once you set a target audience for your brand you need to be able to evolve along the same lines. A brand that targeted towards young men will not be appealing to middle aged women.

 

 

designer/client relationship

What makes a good designer/client relationship?

In order to have a great designer/client relationship, you need a strong foundation pf mutual understanding and respect. We ensure that we have a one on one discussion with the client so that we can be able to deliver the product desired. Many at times we desire to have a great experience, but occasionally you will have an experience that will be unforgettable.

Here are some ideas and tips to consider that will help you have the best designer-client relationship during your branding process:

Clear Guidance

It would be unfortunate once the designer has finished with the project only for the work. In the initial stages of the project, the client needs to state what they expect. They should communicate timelines and the cost implications.

Communication

This is key for any work relationship to work. In order to be able to achieve the desired resulted a good communication channel needs to be established. This is a good way to prevent unexpected obstacles cropping up further down the line. Throughout the project, a lot of communication will also be required to make any necessary changes before final product.

Feedback

Positive feedback is always helpful, does not have to be critical, and should be honest. Criticism is part of our daily engagement and we never take it negatively. The designer/client relationship is successful then there is transparency from both sides.

Friendliness

Lastly, you need to have created a lasting working relationship. A positive attitude, reliability and honesty can make all the difference in establishing a successful long-term partnership.

To wrap up, a good relationship relies on both parties to have open and honest communication, this will in turn lead to a mutual trust and respect. If you would like any design queries answered, please email us at consult@pixeldesignagency.co.ke. Looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

Web Hosting

Choosing a Web Hosting Company

Choosing a web hosting company for your website can be an easy process as long as you take into consideration the key factors to getting good service. Several companies offer the service both locally and internationally, some costings maybe similar but in the details is where there is a huge difference.

Some of the key things to consider when making this ultimate valuable decision include:

  • Reliability

The company should have a record of having no down time and being operations 24/7/365. It would be unfortunate to have a hosting company that experiences a lot of down time; hence, clients are not able to access your website. You can be able to know more about this when you get to read the testimonials.

  • Customer Service

Currently we always need to ready for the inevitable. No matter how good your web skills, or how reliable the hosting company, there will come a time when something will go wrong, or you will need to ask a question. When this time come, you cannot to be able to get in touch with your host provider at any time of day or night. Consider where the host company location, whether they have a live chat platform on their website, and functioning number or email address.

  • Purpose

Depending on your website and the content, which you have, will dictate how much space you should be able to purchase for your website. If the website that you are putting up is for fun, you can consider getting a free hosting, which unfortunately has advertisements. If the website on the other hand is for business, paid hosting is the way to go

  • Pricing

Web hosting packages differ wildly in price across different providers. You can easily decide to choose the cheapest package but as the old adage, “Cheap is expensive in the long run”. Always look at the features offered with each package that informs most times the price charged.

  • Scalability

This is looking at how possible is it for one to increase their allocated space when need arises. You would want a hosting company that is open to this so that in the event you miscalculated on the size of space you initially bought you have freedom to make adjustments. While many providers offer that ability, many make upgrading easier than others do.

  • Security

Security has become big business and with the ever-growing potential of being hacked. It is paramount for hosting with a provider that takes this very seriously

  • Reputation

Lastly, another factor to consider, and potentially one of the most important, is the hosting company’s reputation. Websites should have testimonials, clientele or statistics that can demonstrate customer satisfaction. It is helpful to look at hosting forums to see what people are saying.

Conclusion

There are many more things that you can consider before making that decision to purchase your hosting package. Therefore, before you click, Buy Now, make the following considerations so that you will not have to regret later. Feel free to consult us in the event you require more information concerning the same.

 

Website Re-Design

Signs Your Website Needs Some Re-Design

There are many varied reasons that would lead one to consider re-design of their website. When you realize that the number of websites views has reduced it is high time to reevaluate your website and see the changes.

Some of the reasons that could lead to loss traffic include:

  • Outdated Information

When your website is not up to date with new information, it can lead to miscommunication of Information. This can in turn lead to loss of clients, it will also send a wrong message that you do not care so much about your website or you are too busy to do it. There could also be changes in the team, board and other subordinate staff that are still displayed as active members

  • Evolution of your Brand

Over time companies rebrand with the changing times. Most times, you will find that the existing website still represent the old brand hence can be confusing. When rebranding happens, the website should also reflect the new brand and embrace latest technologies.

  • Navigation Challenges

User experience is very important to everyone who visits your website. If people have a great experience, they are likely to share the same with their family and friends. There ought to be clarity when one visits the website on how to access information.

  • Responsive

Most of the old website where not responsive hence, their display on other devices such as mobile phones and tablets will not be so appealing. Considering most websites are viewed on these devices, it is best to update your website appropriately

  • Lack of Natural SEO Traffic

When you realize that your website gets literally zero natural traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, then something is definitely wrong. You need to look at your website structure as that could very well the problem that is leading to no website traffic.

  • Lack of Blog

Blogging has become a great way to draw traffic to your website. If you do not have a blog, it is high time that you included one and started sharing information relevant insights with your audience.

  • Audience Evolution

The people who viewed your website a couple of years back are not the same ones viewing it now. You need to be able to change with times and move accordingly. You always need to reach out to the new audiences, with new and updated content and offers that appealing to the market.

Time for Action

How many of the above, have you checked off? Then it is high time you considered redesigning your website. Contact Us Today for a free consultation on the changes that your website requires and we can be able to start working on them as soon as possible.

Seven Reasons why your business needs a Professional Website

Seven Reasons Why You Need a Professional Website

Any business that wishes to be competitive in the online or offline market must have a professional website. Internet has become the leading resource for people to find information, with business research being a leading reason to perform a search on the web.

The following are some points to consider:

  • Your Customers Expect it

Many people currently are always looking for products and services online. A great percentage have smart phones hence they will be searching online for different suppliers and vendors of products. Without an online presence, you will tend to lose on this huge chunk of potential customers. If you do not have a business website, today’s digital-savvy (and impatient) customers may look elsewhere.

  • Online brochure

You website tends to act as a brochure hence saves you spending a lot of money creating physical brochures to distribute to people. This is a more cost effective method, and will save you as an organization a lot of money.

  • Wider market reach

A clean, professional and modern website is an effective way for one to have a wider market reach. There are no limitations to the audience whom you can reach and this in turn increases your customer base. If you in turn have content that is shareable, it in turns will drive more traffic onto your website

  • Accessibility

Websites are available to both your regular and potential customers, 24/7/365 providing them with the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed.

  • Saves on Valuable Time

Providing information to your customers is not an easy thing and requires a lot of time. When you have an online catalogue, you can provide lots of information about your products and services. Once the website is up and running the information is always available for their consumption at any time they need it.

  • Portfolio

You have a platform, which you can use to be able to display your past projects to your potential clients. This helps show credibility that the company has been around and that there are clients who can attest to your quality of work.

  • Customer Service

This is also a platform of providing advice to customers about questions that have been frequently asked before. When you include an FAQ page, adding articles or uploading newsletters to answer all your customers’ questions you can keep them up-to-date. The best way to provide them with value added service than by sharing information on your website.

Conclusion

Your website can be a very powerful tool that can bring more leads and clients to you with minimal effort. In order to do that, your website needs to present your business in the best light possible.

Are you in need of a Professionally Handcrafted Website? Contact Us Today.

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