Building a WordPress Website

Build a WordPress Website from Scratch

If you are looking to build a WordPress website from scratch, as well as contacting me for a quote for my WordPress website design prices you may like to have a greater understanding of what WordPress is and how popular it has become in recent times.

The infographic below, courtesy of Supertasker will give you a great insight into one one of the most popular content management systems (cms) on the web.

Build a WordPress Website from Scratch

Feel free to contact me about my wordpress website design services via my website.

Google Responsive Website Design Checker

Need some help with your responsive website design?

Google Responsive Website Design Checker – Google recently came out with an announcement that they will be using mobile-friendliness as an SEO ranking signal, effective from 21st April 2015.

Responsive website design
Simply setting up an online website for your business isn’t enough anymore and Google requires this update to make your website design more adaptable across devices and search engines. Since smartphone’s are taking over the market, Google found a new way of enhancing SEO ranking signals on their search engine.

Google focuses on improving user experience and therefore makes sure that all the websites that are appearing on their search engine are also up-to-date and relevant. In order to be on top of the rankings, website responsiveness is very important and this is why all website owners out there need to take immediate action. If your website is not user-friendly, you will simply lag behind and won’t be able to keep up with the competition.

Google was signalling throughout 2014 to indicate the importance of mobile-friendly websites and the mobile-search experience it wants for its users. A mobile-friendly label had already been introduced on mobile phone searches for websites that were meeting the benchmark set by Google. It was obvious that it would soon be used as a ranking signal and that is exactly what happened. Fortunately Google gave a fair warning to all website owners this time around before taking action.

They hardly ever disclose the launch date, and the fact that they did should be embraced by all website owners and encourage them to take action as soon as possible!

This new method of optimised SEO ranking is not just helpful for Google, but also the marketers who can now reach a larger audience and users who can optimise their Google searches. Users can now make relevant as well as high quality searches easily and from anywhere, on devices which they carry around with them constantly. Google has also come up with statistics to back up their decision that has proved that mobile-friendly websites are more sought after by consumers, hence website owners should pay heed to them and take action accordingly.

To make it easier for website owners out there and help them check whether their webpage is mobile-friendly or not, Google has come up with a powerful tool for website owners to know about their website’s presence on the search engine. This tool is known as Google Webmasters Tool (GWT) which has proved to be one of the most popular ones out there. Website owners who have verified their website via Webmasters Tool receive a warning if there site is not mobile-friendly yet. Through Google Webmaster Tools you can analyse whether your website page has a mobile-friendly design or not by simply registering your page on this tool. Once this has been done, you just have to enter your webpage URL to check whether its meeting Google’s criteria or not.

Through this Google Website Tool you can know exactly where your website presence stands and if you fail to make it mobile-friendly before time, it will significantly lose its visibility on the internet.

To check your website now visit the Google responsive design checker : https://www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

Other search engines are available…

If you need help getting your website up to speed with all of the latest updates and move to responsive designs, just contact Sims Designs under no obligation and I can check your website and offer you some advice and even give you a quote. Start now by continuing to read about why you need a mobile friendly website design.

Website Management Services

Need some help with website management services?..

I provide website management services for anyone who has a website.

website management services

You do not have to be an existing client of mine for me to be able to help you out with your requirements. Perhaps your current website has got too large for you to manage, or you need some technical updates or custom php programming? Other scenarios might be the inability to be able to get in touch with the person that designed your site, or that they aren’t capable of delivering what you want….In any case I can quote you for any website management services that you may need.

Here are some thoughts from a recent client:

“I would highly recommend Steve at Sims Designs to businesses of any size. He took all of our requirements onboard and delivered a great looking updated website despite our fairly exacting standards.”

The types of site I can help with cover the broad range of websites that are on the internet and include:

  • WordPress website themes and coding
  • Ecommerce websites
  • Database driven websites
  • Simpler start-up sites
  • Social networking updates
  • and so on…

When you choose me for your website maintenance, you can be assured of the following:

  • Fast turnaround time
  • Friendly and prompt customer service
  • Affordable website maintenance costs
  • Bespoke maintenance contracts

I ensure that you are satisfied with my services at every step. I’ll communicate with you regularly by email, phone or video call with updates on our work so you are kept informed at all times. This is all part of the Sims Designs promise!

Remember I also offer a range of web services, so if you are looking for website designers for small business projects get in touch.

Why not read more here about my website management services.

26 Facts About Google

We all know who Google are, but did you know these 26 facts about Google?

Google began in March 1998 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Ph.D. students at Stanford University.

When I started using the early internet Altavista was the search engine of choice, but having read about Google in a magazine and finding that it’s search results seemed to be a lot more accurate than those from other similar search engines, Google was bookmarked and soon became the search engine of choice by internet users.

Hopefully you may of found my website by searching for a search term like affordable web design for small business in Google…

There are of course other options, like Yahoo! and Bing but Google still remains as popular as ever.

The infographic below details 26 facts about Google that you never knew about...

Google Facts

Thank you to the team at Whoishostingthis for the above infographic.

What is Responsive Web Design

What is responsive web design?

Websites have changed in recent times with the onset of tablets and mobile phones, websites now need render well on a variety of devices so that users can view them whatever device they are browsing the internet on. From a web design perspective this is known as being ‘responsive’, eg. A website will respond to and fit the screen of the device being used.

Responsive web design solves the problem of making the same code work across multiple screen resolutions to ensure an issue free viewing pleasure for your user. As you can see in the infographic below 75% of consumers now prefer a website that is responsive so it’s time to ensure that yours is, or to contact Sims Designs to see how we can help you with your website to improve it’s responsiveness and effectiveness across all devices.

Other factors to consider are increased conversion rates, responsive sites are prefered by Google and sites are easier to manage. For more information about responsive web design, you may like to read our previous article about responsive designing for ecommerce websites and this article on designing for the mobile generation is worth a read.

The infographic below will explain a bit more about what responsive website design is as well


Responsive website design

Thank you to the team at Whoishostingthis for the above infographic.

Update – Just been reading an interesting article about Instagram and how it is fast becoming a great selling tool for businesses, but as it’s largely mobile driven it’s another reason to ensure that your own website is responsive.

Help with WordPress : WordPress Definitions

Help with WordPress : Some WordPress Definitions

WordPress is used throughout the internet for the creation of websites, with the added advantage of being a system that most people can use easily and understand, even non-technical users can soon get to grips with adding posts and images to their website.

I do howver get asked for help with WordPress websites from clients and from users asking for assistance with layouts, widgets and more technical matters any of which we would be happy to help you with should you wish to contact us. We also offer professional WordPress website development should you need a more complex site, a custom theme or a bespoke widget.

For the basics though I have put together a series of graphics in conjunction with Big Idea Marketing to help you with the most common features. Have a look through the WordPress definitions below and please share it with anyone who may need a helping hand with their WordPress website.

The graphic below will help you with some of the basics

Help with wordpress websites


Help with wordpress websites

An Overview of Google+

I’ve been asked a few times by clients if they should set up a Google+ account as they feel that they won’t really use it and they wonder about the effort and impact that any work they do will have on their business. So here’s a quick overview of Google+.

Google Plus

As well as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the other social networking sites that are out there, Google+ seems a bit superfluous to the others, do you really need another avenue of social interaction, will will it end?

Well if you use a GMail account you’ll have a Google+ page ready to go and most likely if you’re a business owner you may well have a pin on Google Maps and perhaps a Local page as well, so why not look into actively updating and embracing your Google+ account….

There’s no point us in re-inventing the wheel with an explantion of how it works, as the team at Mashable have a great post on it that you can read, so check out their Complete Guide to Google+ and you’ll perhaps surprise yourself with how into it you get.

How to use Pinterest

Following the growing popularity of Pinterest it’s time to mention it and give you the low down on what it is and how to use Pinterest.

Pinterest

Essentially it’s a very graphical way of sharing information from your website with other users and getting links back to your site, along with all the benefits of being ‘social’. It works particularly well with sites that perhaps sell products, for food related sites, photographers and the like…

Why? Well it’s image based. So instead of ‘tweeting’ or ‘posting’ you can now get ‘pinning’ to your page storing graphics and photos on your ‘board’ so that they are saved for you to refer to at a later date or share with your friends.

Pinterest is currently being used by people mainly in the 25-45 age bracket and over 70% of them are female, so if your business is interested in targetting that demographic then it could be for you. Should you want to check it out head on over to Pinterest to get started…

 

Video creation services for your website

A more and more common feature on websites are videos. They are great way of engaging your visitors quickly and getting over your important messages without the need for them to read through paragraphs of text on your home page or other site pages.

Video Creation

I can imagine you are thinking ‘why do I need to add a video to my website”, it’s done well without one and that sort of thing is for other people rather than for us…

Well you could be missing a trick and losing customers to your rivals. Users love video, it engages them and gets them interested in your site and products immediately. Your video can also be uploaded to You Tube or Vimeo, so you can tap into the power of their services and get a valuable backlink from a high authority site, which can only be a good thing.

You can also post your video on Facebook or Google+ with a view to getting it shared and as a result your products and services out to a wider audience, which again can only be a good thing. My video creation services can help you do all of this and we’ll even upload it to You Tube and install it on your website as well. Contact me for more details.

Also, your video may also get a decent Google ranking in it’s own right if it’s added correctly to sites like You Tube, which will bring in more visitors to your site and more potential buyers for your products or services.

The cost of creating a custom video for your website isn’t as much as you think, so why not consider adding one today with our video creation services.

My Top 5 Favourite Websites and Why They Rank High

In this article I share my personal top 5 favourite websites, why they are my top-rated and our reasons behind choosing them:

BBC.co.uk

The main reason for adding this site to the list is because of how neat and tidy the design has been created. Its limitation on colour use benefits the news and corporate background and makes searching for specific articles and information easily accessible. One of the key things a website should have is good navigation – without that, how is anyone going to find what they want? Well, the BBC seems to have that all covered rather well. For example, landing on their homepage and wanting to read more on their sports updates, videos and information takes seconds when you can easily see their ‘sport’ tab immediately. Once you have clicked that tab, you then have multiple options of sport choices suited to your preference. Let’s face it, the longer it takes to find what your looking for on a website the less likely you are to stay there and continue.

To see exactly what we mean, take a look for yourself: http://www.bbc.co.uk

Wikipedia

This site would impress any web professional because it is one of the highest-ranking sites in the world, claiming the number one spot in Google for a huge amount of keywords! The content and the way the site is structured are essentially perfect in terms of SEO. The bonus for Wikipedia is they are not concerned with promotional, flashy, modern content – their ‘encyclopedia’ status allows them to produce pages which are simple, clean, text-based and perfect for search engine indexation. On top of this, the site speed is excellent, substantially aiding the impressive rankings.

Take a look for yourself by visiting here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

YouTube

When most users think of an online video, they most commonly think of YouTube. The influence of their video platform dominates those of any other video platform available today. YouTube’s website is extremely clever because of one main thing – it’s obvious! Everyone understands it right away; what it is for and what it does. It’s incredibly user-friendly, as anyone can use it without signing up or reading lengthy text. Users that subscribe to it profit right away, as they are able to link cool stuff back to their website from YouTube. It has a brilliant marketing concept too; whoever uses it is actively helping promote their service, which is extremely smart.

To have fun searching through some great videos follow this link: https://www.youtube.com

Google

Google is simply a genius website! It’s the current leading search engine for a reason – it works! We think Google is so smart because you don’t even have to think to use it, and that’s what makes this search engine so powerful. Almost everyone in the world knows of Google and most people use it without thinking.

The main reasons for thinking Google is definitely worthy of a top 5 spot are; the search page is simple and you cannot go wrong as there are not too many options to choose between. It’s easy on the eyes due to the colour scheme and is laid out in such a way that allows you to browse results easily and quickly, due to the basic amount of options. The search box at the top and middle of the page, as well as the search results, can be refined in just one click. You can also switch between the various types of results (image/map/etc) with just one click using the same search term. Finally, something that we can’t express enough – Google’s simple design enables it to load fast! Something that most other search engines are yet to learn!

If you want to find something, you will find it with Google and you will find it fast. Start your search here: https://www.google.co.uk

WordPress

My final website choice is WordPress. WordPress just has to be in the top 5 as it is so straightforward. The colour options chosen keep the site modern with sophistication, yet its use is powerful, reliable and simple. It could not be easier for the customer to get started on creating their website – no long winded way around it. They make downloading a theme simple and effective, even if you have no experience in website development. You won’t find any lengthy and boring explanations of anything on this website, oh no! WordPress tell you exactly what you need in the simplest format. Even the 3 stage bullet list on their home page explaining how easy it is, is…well…easy! They have a fantastic resource section and their blog is always full of useful articles of interest.

Take a look for yourself: https://wordpress.org

What Are Your Favourite Websites?

So, that is my top 5 websites and why we think they rule the roost. But, we are always interested to hear others opinions. Do you agree or do you think I have missed some vital contenders?