What web designers say and what they really mean…

A lighter look at the life of web designers…


Many website designers live in a world where most of their social interaction is with other web designers. This means that when it comes to dealing with clients it can be difficult for them to get their point across, without jargon, or in a way that many of us would understand.

Some of the best web designers have got it spot on by learning how to talk to their customers and ignoring that age old phrase; “the customer is always right”. However, many will still try and jargon their way out of things and won’t ever explain to you (the client) what it is they really mean. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular phrases heard worldwide, from the mouths of web designers, and what they really do mean.

“Your site is living in a bad neighbourhood”

When you hear this phrase you may instantly be running and hiding for cover. What do web designers mean? Are there criminals in your neighbourhood? What do the web designers know that you don’t?

Never fear! A neighbourhood simply refers to the server where your website is hosted, but a bad one can have a pretty negative impact on your website. Some servers may host websites that use bad (black hat) techniques or spamming, to get their way to the top of search engines, and this can lead to that whole server being penalized. Take the designer’s advice when it comes to where to host your website, even if it is going to cost you a little extra. They’re not trying to make money from you, it is to stop you from being penalized and ending up on page 11,947 of Google.

“You have a high bounce rate”

Put the space hopper down, we’re not talking about how high you actually bounce here! A bounce rate refers to how many visitors leave the website from the first page that they view. A poor bounce rate means that many of the visitors don’t bother looking through the rest of the website and simply go back to where they came from. This could be due to a number of things including poor navigation or badly written content. It may be that you need to rethink your menu system or have the content re-written so that visitors stay for longer and browse through the site.

“Yes…that could work….”

It is important to remember that the web designer is (hopefully) the expert when it comes to what works best for your website. With ‘the customer is always right’ ringing in all of our ears it can be difficult to take on board what has been suggested to you. If your designer says that WordPress will work best for your site then it is only you that they are thinking of. In most cases it doesn’t make any difference to them what you decide, but they want to make sure that it is perfect for you. Web designers are perfectionists and this is what makes them so good at their job. If they have suggested something then it is probably going to be in your favour to take that suggestion on board!

“You’re not getting a lot of hits”

Finally, one you smugly understand! Well, kind of. Hits are not actually representative of one single visitor to your website, it is actually a request for a single file from your server. This means that pages that have lots of files (lots of images and so on) can generate lots of hits. It is important to understand the differences between hits, visitors, visits and page views before putting a marketing plan into action. You may not be getting a lot of hits simply because there are not very many files on that page for the server to download. Or it may be that your website isn’t very good and not generating much traffic at all. Ask your web designer to explain the differences and then work together to put a marketing plan in place.

So, there we have it, the beginning of a new era of communication between clients and their web designers. Next time your web designer begins talking jargon simply show them this article and ask them to break it down. Or just put a jargon request in the comments and we’ll help you seem really smart and clued up!

More reading: Checkout my web page on website design UK.

Choosing a website domain name

Choosing a website domain name

Choosing the right business domain name for your website can be crucial. We can take care of your business domain name registration for you, and we include a domain name and web hosting in all of our web design packages.

Here are some tips to help guide you with choosing the domain for your business :

1) If you are buying a .co.uk website domain name (e.g. newbusiness.co.uk), make sure you also buy the other main TLD’s (Top Level Domains) for the same prefix (e.g. newbusiness.com, newbusiness.net). This will ensure that no-one else can come in at a later stage and capitalise on your brand name using another major domain name type. Although there are dozens of TLD types available, we’ve always purchased the .co.uk, .com, .net and .org variants to protect our brands. There’s no harm buying more variants, but do make sure you take care of the important ones. All domain names are issue by Nominet, the official registry for UK domain names.

2) If you do a domain name search and find only the .co.uk is available for your chosen prefix (e.g. newbusiness), it may be worth your while choosing another domain name prefix where most or all of the TLD’s are available. We spent quite some time researching suitable domain names before deciding – dozens in fact.

3) It is possible that your small business may grow into different areas of interest, or even change tack altogether. For this reason, it may be an idea not to make your business domain name too specific to one area of your expertise.

4) Keep your domain name as short as possible and simple – it needs to be memorable, and preferably not contain hyphens.

5) A few web promotion firms suggest inserting your major keywords into your domain name wherever possible to help with your search engine rankings. We do not subscribe to this view. Sure, there may be some small benefits in having some keywords in your domain name (e.g. “the-best-web-designers.co.uk”), but your web promotion effort should come later. Your domain name should be chosen to best represent your company’s interests rather than to please the fickle search engines! An example would be alumimium secondary glazing from OmegaBuild.

6) Allowed characters – Domain names can only contain letters, numbers, and dashes. Spaces and symbols are not allowed. Domain names are not case sensitive.

7) Choose a reputable domain name supplier. A company which has been around a while and is well known is a good bet. We’d also recommend choosing a company which provides a user interface so that you can manually edit your domain name details (email forwarding, transferring your domain name elsewhere).

8) If you intend to buy a sizable number of domains, try to ‘park’ them with one single domain name company. Domains are far easier to administrate and keep up-to-date if they are in a single place you trust.

9) You should ensure that your domain name is not a commonly known brand name or trademark. Something like “Microsoftwebdesign.co.uk” would not be a good choice!

10) Make sure you keep your contact information up-to-date. Although your domain name supplier is bound to contact you when a domain name comes up for renewal, it is your responsibility in the end. Going back to point 8) again, for this reason, having a single domain name supplier will help.

Business domain name registration

That’s the easy part…Ask Sims Designs to do all the hard work for you and we’ll take care of your business domain name registration and we’ll also create your business website design for you as well!

1) Contact me to check to see if your business domain name is available.

2) Contact me to ask us to purchase it on your behalf (approx cost with hosting is £50+vat) and feel free to contact me for a free web design quote for a website should you require one.

Choosing a website domain name isn’t as easy as you think and it’s a decision you need to get right!

Infographics for small businesses

This infographic details the importance of infographics for small businesses and why all small businesses should start to utilise them with their websites to gain more visitors and multiple backlinks…

Small business infographic

Infographics for small businesses – Please contact me if you would like an infographic designed for your small business or see my profile on Themeforest.


Responsive website design for ecommerce sites

Responsive website design : Improve your customers’ online shopping experiences with responsive website design.

Despite an increasing number of people using their smartphones and digital tablets to shop online, many ecommerce businesses are still yet to think about responsive web design, leaving their websites unsuitable for viewing on these devices.
Responsive web design is a process of creating layouts and coding so that a website is optimised for viewing on all types of devices, from traditional desktop computers, to laptops and smartphones.

How does it work?

Responsive web design involves creating a series of CSS queries that are able to identify the type of device a particular website is being viewed on. The web design will then adjust itself accordingly, ensuring that its screen size, pixel resolution and features are all compatible for that particular device.

Benefits of responsive web design
Although the initial cost of responsive web design is usually much higher than traditional ecommerce website design, it will work out much more cost effective in the long run. The alternative option is to have a number of websites built to suit each device, which will not only cost more, but waste precious time and resources.

Webmasters that have used responsive web design to build their ecommerce website will also benefit when it comes to maintaining and updating their site. Rather than having to update their content or upload their products for each individual site, they can simply make the change once and it will update all forms of the website.

With more and more people using their smartphones and other digital tablets to shop online, it is now more important than ever to make sure your website is fully optimised for viewing across all devices. Those that fail to do so will risk losing potential customers to their competitors. Using responsive web design you can be sure that you are always providing users with the best viewing experience possible. You will soon see an increase in customer satisfaction as users will feel like their needs and requirements are being met by your business.

Contact me for more information or for other services such as WordPress custom theme, design and website development.