6 minutes | Jan 13, 2016
The Best WordPress Plugins for Your Website
WordPress plugins are bits of software developed by people from all over the world that can be uploaded to your WordPress website to extend and expand its functionality. The goal of this guide will be to review & recommend the very best WordPress plugins to use on your website, across the areas of forms, performance, membership, surveys, e-commerce, SEO, development, security & usability enhancements. There are a lot of plugins for WordPress. At last count there was over 42,000 plugins on the official WordPress repository. Not to mention the countless other third-party sites that sell WordPress plugins. The trouble with plugins is that they are all built by different people around the world which can result in varying levels of quality. As WordPress grows and evolves future compatibility issues may arise if the plugin is not built to WordPress standards as well as being properly maintained. Having poor quality plugins can result in broken websites. Broken websites results in profits lost and headaches gained. That is why it is important to choose the right plugins for your website. Over the years working with WordPress every single day, we have tried and tested thousands of different plugins for all different needs so that our clients don’t have to. Here is a list of all the plugins we use regularly at Web3. The reason for creating this list is to help website owners choose the right plugin for their website making the web a better place. I have personally tested all these plugins thoroughly myself along with my team and know they work well and are regularly maintained. We use most of these plugins on a regular basis through our own website and the hundreds of other clients websites we work with and manage every day. If there is a plugin that you think should be added to the list, please let me know in the comments and we will run it through its paces. Contact Forms A contact form when filled out on your webpage by your visitor gets automatically sent to your email as a message. Contact forms are essential for customer communications. Forms can be very basic with just one field or can be extremely complex with multiple different fields such as name, email, telephone etc. The following form plugins have a number of addons that can add additional features when activated as separate plugins. Gravity forms Is a plugin that allows you to create both simple and really advanced forms easily. It is however a premium plugin. If you need to create forms on your website, Gravity forms is great. Using their addons is also really great and allows you to add a lot of additional functionality to your website. I will mention them a lot throughout this post as they cover a lot of areas that will really make your site powerful and work for you. Contact form 7 Is another form creator plugin for your website. It is a lot more basic than gravity forms but allows you to create all the basic forms you will need and is free. I have used this plugin in the past but since using Gravity forms, haven’t looked back. Another great alternative is Ninja Forms. It is built by a number of great plugin developers. Need updates to your website? Get hassle free WordPress support with updates and maintenance on your website. I need website help Newsletter sign-ups Integrating newsletter sign-ups into your site is a great way to market to your customers. There are a number of email newsletter providers which all have similar ways to sign up users. I have found the easiest way to integrate sign-up forms into your site is through the Gravity forms newsletter addons. When someone submits the form, it will send the signed up user to the newsletter subscription and take care of all the heavy lifting for you. AWeber (Gravity Forms Add-On) Gives you an easy way to integrate all of your forms with the AWeber email marketing provider. It allows you to collect and add subscribers to your email marketing lists automatically when a form is submitted MailChimp (Gravity Forms Add-On) – Gives you an easy way to integrate all of your forms with the MailChimp email marketing provider. It allows you to collect and add subscribers to your email marketing lists automatically when a form is submitted. An alternate option is the mailchimp for WP plugin Campaign Monitor (Gravity Forms Add-On) – Gives you an easy way to integrate all of your forms with the Campaign Monitor email marketing provider. It allows you to collect and add subscribers to your email marketing lists automatically when a form is submitted. Install these three Gravity forms plugins from the Gravity forms Add-Ons area from your websites backend. Membership / Community When people are in a group or are members of a community, they can feel like they belong. WordPress has a number of plugins that allow you to build membership portals and online communities right from within your website. User Registration (Gravity Forms Add-On) Create advanced user registration forms that replace the simple WordPress registration form. Perfect for when you need to sign-up users to your site but you want to make it visual and on a page of your site rather than the default WordPress register page. – (install from Gravity forms Add-Ons area from website backend) Members A user, role, and content management plugin. This plugin allows you to modify and add/remove all the user permissions to certain aspects around your site. Once you have created or modified the role, you can use shortcodes to display content to only these users. I absolutely love this plugin as it is light weight and does one job well. The author is also well known in the WordPress community too. Groups Group-based user membership management, group-based capabilities and content access control. Allows you to assign users to certain groups that you create where you can allow them access to specific content you create. bbPress bbPress is forum software made by the same people who make WordPress. It integrates into your existing site so you can create an online forum or message board where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. bbPress is focused on ease of integration, ease of use, web standards, and speed. BuddyPress BuddyPress helps you run any kind of social network on your WordPress website. It has a number of features that turn your site social including member profiles, activity streams, user groups, messaging, and more. Surveys/Quizzes Surveys, quizzes and polls are a great way to add both interactivity to your website and a solid method of gathering information from individuals. These plugins are embedded into your page to capture data and you can then view the results in the back-end. Survey (Gravity Forms Add-On) The Survey Add-On allows you to easily interact with your users to both collect and analyze data from your target audience. This plugin allows you to do all things survey e.g. create market research, customer satisfaction, employee surveys or job satisfaction surveys. Quiz (Gravity Forms Add-On) The Gravity Forms Quiz Add-On allows you to quickly create Quizzes that are automatically graded or scored when the form is submitted Polls (Gravity Forms Add-On) The Gravity Forms Polls Add-On allows you to quickly and easily deploy Polls on your web site. Easily add poll questions to any form! You can display the poll results publicly or privately. An alternative to this would be Polldaddy by Automatic. Install these three Gravity forms plugins from the Gravity forms Add-Ons area from your websites backend. WP Pro Quiz Is an alternative to the gravity forms plugins mentioned above. It has a lot of features that will help making quizzes easier. We tend to always use the gravity forms plugins over this as we are nine times out of ten already using gravity forms so they integrate nicely. Shop/Online Store If you need to sell something on your website then you have a great array of options from you dedicated shopping cart functionality, to your simple single buy it now button. Either one of these plugins are what we always use when creating a shop online. Woocommerce Undoubtedly the best E-commerce platform for WordPress that allows you to sell anything. Woo-commerce was recently sold to Automattic (the company that runs WordPress.com). The plugin is a fully featured online shop with shopping cart functionality as well as hundreds of add-ons to fully customise to your exact requirements. Easy Digital Downloads An easy and very simple way to sell digital or virtual goods through WordPress. We use Easy digital Downloads to manage and sell our products and services. I personally really like the work that the author, Pippin and his team, does. He makes really good well thought out plugins that just work. It is a lot more simpler than Woocommerce and lacks the ability to ship physical products but can be added on from its range of add-ons available. Gravity Forms Although gravity forms is a form creation plugin, it has a number of great add-ons which allow you to accept payment from your form. This sort of setup is for when you have only a couple of things you want to sell on your website and is the most custom way to sell. It is not recommended if you do not have a lot of technical skill to setup and is not the most scale-able solution. It does however work very well and if you are like us and have built a custom selling solution then it will work great for you. We have it hooked up to Easy Digital Downloads to track payments and the form is used to process credit card payments for our services e.g. on our WordPress support solution page. Coming Soon Page Web3’s maintenance mode plugin We have made a simple coming soon plugin that integrates very nicely into our trisense theme. We will be publishing it for others to u
12 minutes | Dec 29, 2015
Combine SEO with Content Marketing to Increase Your Website’s Traffic – Part II
In Part I of our series on content marketing and SEO, we explored how SEO and content marketing got to where they are today. For Part II, we’ll show you why SEO keyword research should be an integral part of your content marketing efforts, and how to do it. Introduction to SEO Keyword Research One of the most valuable techniques that come from search engine optimisation is keyword research. Researching, identifying and analysing keywords and key phrases that are relevant to your business can give you an invaluable insight into what solutions your audience is searching for. Since a search engine’s intention is to match the user with the most relevant content to their search query, it makes complete sense that you should first research the keywords and phrases that your audience is using to search for answers before writing another blog post. If you’ve done little or no work towards defining who your ideal audience is, then I recommend that you have a listen to our introduction to attracting, engaging & converting more customers on your website podcast and complete the accompanying worksheet. To give more context around the subject of keyword research, let’s pretend that your business provides home loans to Australian families. Your overall objective is to get your website in front of more people who are looking for a home loan to generate more sales leads. How to identify keyword volume Before proceeding, I recommend that you check if there is enough search volume for phrases relevant to your industry by using the free Google Keyword Planner tool. We use Market Samurai and SEMRush to conduct more detailed keyword research at Web3, however these tools are not free. If you are just getting started with keyword research, Google’s Keyword Planner tool is the perfect free tool to start out with. Once you have logged into Google’s Keyword Planner tool using your Google Account, complete the following steps: Hit the save button to progress to the keyword data screen. Follow the steps in the image below to get the average search volume for your keyword: From here your decision is pretty straightforward. You want to target keywords that have search volume. Targeting keywords that no one is searching for is pointless. As as a general guideline, we recommend targeting keywords that have over 900 average searches per month. The caveat to this guideline is keyword competition, which we’ll cover next. In this example, we can see the keyword ‘home loans’ is searched over 8,000 times per month in Australia. This is great, however it would be very unwise to target this keyword phrase in our content marketing efforts because it is too competitive. Understanding keyword competition Keyword competition plays a very important part in deciding which keywords you should target. Overall, there are two important areas you need to know when understanding keyword competition: Strength of Competition: Using our example above, the phrase ‘home loans’ has a large amount of monthly search volume. However, plugging the term ‘home loans’ into Google Australia, we can see the first page organic (non-paid) search results are dominated by Australia’s biggest banks and publicly traded home loan corporations.It would be insanely difficult, if not impossible, for a young upstart Australian home loan company to get onto the first page of Google as the search position listing competition is simply too strong.The key outcome here is that you should target the keyword phrases that have low levels of competition strength as you’ll have a much better chance of achieving a first page search results ranking.The best way to do this is by targeting long-tail keywords, which we will cover in Part III.Competition Volume: How many websites are competing to rank at the top of Google for your keyword phrase? This can be identified by the number of results listed when searching the keyword phrase. Additionally, the Google Keyword Planner tool will display the amount of companies paying Google to have their websites visible on the specific keyword phrase. The Google Keyword planner tool will display this information in three levels of competition: low, medium and high.Overall, it is important that you assess the competition volume and strength as part of your process in identifying keyword phrases. In our case, we go into a lot of micro detail here in analysing domain age, authority rankings, page title and URL competition levels, however the steps above will get you moving in the right direction. Interested in rocketing your websites SEO? See how we can launch your websites SEO performance into the stratosphere and grow your website online. My website needs SEO Choosing keywords that are relevant Relevancy is a vital aspect to understand when conducting quality keyword research. If you identify a keyword that ticks all of the other boxes regarding what makes a quality keyword, but the keyword isn’t relevant to your business and target audience, then it is a pointless exercise. Fortunately, Google’s Keyword Planner Tool can quickly generate a list of keywords that it thinks is relevant to what your business does. If you look at the results in the image above, you will notice keywords such as ‘car loans’ and ‘cash loans’ appear in the results. As the goal of the home loans business is to rank well in the search engines for home loan related keywords, creating content around the keyword ‘car loans’ would not make sense if the home loans business does not provide car loan services. In short, focus on identifying the keywords that are relevant to your business from a product/service level, and ignore the ones that are not. Defining the commercial value of a keyword Assessing the commercial value of a keyword will help you understand how profitable it is. Let’s put it this way, imagine that you have completed the following steps: You identify a keyword phrase that is relevant to your business’s products and servicesThe keyword phrase has high levels of trafficThe keyword phrase has acceptable levels of competition volume & strengthYou create content around the keyword phrase, and manage to achieve the top search position ranking in GoogleYour website gets smashed with heaps of traffic every day as a result Sounds like the image of success right? Well, not quite. Even if you manage to achieve all five steps above, the increased traffic coming to your website may not result in more enquiries, purchases and overall conversions. One of the primary reasons why this happens is you may have targeted a keyword phrase that has low levels of commercial value. Therefore, it is really important that you assess the commercial value of a keyword phase before taking steps towards creating content on your website for it. One of the simplest ways to assess the commercial value of a keyword phrase is to see the average amount of money people are paying Google Ads to have their website rank for the particular keyword phrase. The commercial side of Google Ads works like an auction house. The average cost per click (CPC) dollar value of a keyword phrase increases depending on how much people are prepared to bid for it. So, if a law firm is paying $30 for someone to click on their Google Ads ad targeting the keyword phrase ‘family law’, it is because the law firm can, as an overall average, obtain more than $30 from each website visit. Inside the Google Keyword Planner Tool, you’ll see the column titled ‘suggested bid’. The dollar values listed in this column suggests an estimated cost per click. The higher the suggested bid value is, the more money people are prepared to spend for a click. How does this relate to choosing good keywords? Well, let’s say that you are trying to decide which one of two keyword phrases to create content around when both phrases are relevant to your business, have high levels of traffic and reasonable levels of competition. If one of the keyword phrases has a significantly higher cost-per-click dollar value than the other, there’s more of a chance that the keyword will result in more profitable traffic coming to your website from the search engines. You should always adopt a quality over quantity approach when it comes to the content you produce and the types of keywords that you target. That’s why it’s important to differentiate your content marketing strategy by not just targeting high traffic keywords, but keywords that will drive high quality, profitable traffic to your website and your business. Now that you understand the fundamentals of conducting quality keyword research for your business, it’s time to learn how to put this all together. In Part III of this series, we will walk you through the steps in combining your keyword research together with your website and content marketing strategy to increase website traffic. What’s your favourite way to conduct keyword research? Please share with us your keyword research strategy by leaving a comment below. The post Combine SEO with Content Marketing to Increase Your Website’s Traffic – Part II appeared first on Web3 Web Design Brisbane.
7 minutes | Dec 16, 2015
Combine SEO with Content Marketing to Increase Your Website’s Traffic – Part I
What is SEO? Are you confused or struggling to answer the question with absolute certainty? Well, you’re not alone. The SEO industry is in a state of flux, which is leaving many people confused about what it actually is. Here’s our definition: “Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the art of improving your website’s search engine ranking positions (SERPs) by increasing the volume of relevant and commercially viable traffic to your website.” Now that we are on the same page as to what search engine optimisation is, how do we go about doing it? The answer to that loaded question is incredibly vast, however let’s get one thing clear: At the core of any successful website search engine optimisation strategy is content. This leads us on to our first key point… Many people treat websites, content marketing and SEO as entirely separate things. Why Content Marketing & SEO should be seen as one with your website Online search engines were invented to solve one big problem: to find and display web content that answer the internet user’s questions. Plain. Simple. Straightforward. That’s it. Interested in rocketing your websites SEO? See how we can launch your websites SEO performance into the stratosphere and grow your website online. My website needs SEO Historically, it has always been the objective of online search engines such as Google to match its users with relevant, high-quality content that provides answers to questions and solves problems. The point in history were SEO lost its way was when internet marketers realised they could trick Google Search into displaying their website higher up in the search engine page results. These ‘tricks’ lead to the rise of ‘Black Hat SEO’, including such tactics as: Spamming a website with search keywords to improve its search position ranking for people using those keywords in their searches e.g. “SEO Brisbane“Linking multiple websites that only exist for the sake of improving another website’s search engine rankings to the main websiteUsing text that is hidden on web page to trick the search engines into ranking that page, when the context of the page is completely different to the keyword it is ranked forUsing doorway pages that are designed to rank highly, only to redirect the search engine user to another non-relevant page when clicked on.Directly copying content from other websites to increase the website’s overall size and volume of information. Between the early 2000s to around 2012 Internet Marketers made millions by deploying these and many more black hat SEO techniques to their own businesses, and businesses which they sold these services to. It wasn’t until the search algorithm update in 2012 dubbed ‘Panda’ that Google Search finally had enough. Google Search began its own war against black hat SEO by penalizing websites which were guilty of displaying black hat SEO techniques. Since the Panda update, Google has continued to put nails into the black hat SEO coffin by continual improvements to its search algorithm with the core intention of improving the search engine experience by penalising websites that conduct black hat SEO. The most worrying thing about the SEO industry is there are still many SEO companies selling black hat SEO services to uneducated companies. Many proclaim that these black hat techniques still work as they are unwilling to re-engineer their business to stay relevant. This is why so many people are confused about SEO, and continue to get burnt by these backwards SEO companies selling services that do not work anymore. Those who are uneducated about search engine optmisation do not know who to believe or what to think. If you are confused about what to think, I invite you to go back to the core reason why search engines exist: to provide relevant content that solves problems and answers questions. Content always has, and will continue to remain king. Your website, content marketing and SEO should be viewed together as one single integrated strategy. Why Content Marketing is the Future of SEO Arising from the fallout of Google’s war against black hat SEO is Content Marketing. In fact, the content marketing industry has achieved double digit growth rates consistently for the last six years. Source Overall interest in content marketing has grown dramatically over the past 5 years compared to SEO. The internet marketing industry has come full circle, and has gone back to following the original intention of Google Search prior to the black hat search engine optimisation hangover era which was to provide users with relevant content that solves problems and answers questions. However, many people view content marketing and search engine optimisation as two completely different things when they are actually both intended to increase a website’s viewership to create new sales opportunities. In fact, many of the organic, natural SEO techniques (the antichrist to black hat SEO) that were created and refined over the last decade have incredible impact when deployed together with a content marketing strategy. In part two of this series, we’ll explore how traditional search engine optimisation keyword research techniques can be used to improve your overall content marketing efforts. Stay tuned for more shortly… The post Combine SEO with Content Marketing to Increase Your Website’s Traffic – Part I appeared first on Web3 Web Design Brisbane.
14 minutes | Nov 26, 2015
3 Steps to Increase Your Website Conversion Rate
Website conversion rate optimisation is daunting to many people. If you ask any website conversion rate optimisation guru how to improve your website conversion rate, you’ll be met with a barrage of jargon, scientific analogies and numbers that probably make no sense to you. Don’t get me wrong – conversion rate optimisation is arguably the most important thing you could invest time and resources towards improving your website’s ability to grow your business. However, conversion rate optimisation doesn’t have to be impossible for business owners to understand if you know where to start, what you should do to improve your website’s conversions and why. Have Google Analytics Correctly Installed Before we can start the conversion on improving your website’s conversions, it’s fundamentally important that your website is setup to track and measure how people are getting to it, and what they are doing when they get there. As the old accounting saying goes, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” – the same goes for your website and its conversions. There’s a thousand and one ways you can measure this data, however the undisputed standard in website analytics is Google Analytics. If your website has been set up by a web designer that is worth their 2 cents, then Google Analytics should be already installed. If you don’t know if your website has Google Analytics installed or not, here’s the quick and easy way to find out. Install the BuiltWith Chrome or Firefox browser extension.Go to your website, and click the green ‘BW’ button in your browser barScroll through all the content that is displayed in the window. If you website has Google Analytics, it will show up. If it doesn’t, follow this guide to set it up. BuiltWith will help you quickly understand what you have installed on your website, and what you don’t. TIP: If you’re running a WordPress website, we recommend installing Google Analytics to your website via the Google Analytics by Yoast plugin. Installation is relatively straightforward. Use Google Analytics to Make Data-Driven Decisions on Improving Your Conversions A trap that I see all too many people fall into is making assumptions on how they can improve their website. Let’s get one thing clear before we move on: Your assumptions and opinions about your website do not matter. Is your website generating sales? Let us help you get more leads and convert your website visitors into buying customers. I need more customers In this day and age of content overload we live in, it’s all too easy to read a case study or download a template that promises for an “XYZ” increase in your website conversion rate, which leads you to think “Hey! I can achieve the same results on my website if I do the same thing”. The reality is, there are too many variables, too many different scenarios that influence a website’s conversion rate. The only practical way that you can continually improve your website is through consistent testing and measuring of ideas grounded by a solid understanding of your website’s data, and not your own assumption. Google Analytics is one of the core tools that will help you stop making assumptions about your website, and allow you to make better quality decisions towards improving your conversions. So what are the top three things that you can do today to improve your website’s conversions? Google Analytics will help you make better data-driven decisions on improving your website. Step One: Audit Your Website With Google Analytics One of the biggest killers of conversions is website bugs. Think about it – if your visitors cannot get to your website’s point of conversions because of technical problems and issues preventing them to do so, you can almost guarantee there will be a zero change of conversion. So how can you ensure your website is bug free? In my honest opinion, you cannot guarantee that a website can be 100% bug free across every single internet equipped device and browser in existence. There’s simply too many variables at play. However, you can fix this problem by approaching it strategically using the data from our good ol’ friend Google Analytics. Here’s how: From your Google Analytics Dashboard, go to Technology -> Browser & OSWith the Browser Tab open, you’ll be able to see what web browsers your visitors are using to access your website, segmented by percentages.Make note of what browsers that the majority of your website’s traffic is coming from. If the majority of your website’s traffic is coming from Google Chrome, it’s obvious that you need to make sure your website functions flawlessly on Chrome above all other browsers.Click on the titles of the browsers to get a detailed breakdown of what browser version your visitors are using. Thanks to Chrome, Safari and Firefox having inbuilt auto update features, your don’t have to worry too much about making sure your website works in older browser versions. However, it is best to check if this is true for your website by looking into your data – the results may be different.Always look into what versions of Internet Explorer your visitors are using to update your website. Internet Explorer is still a large traffic source for websites, particular those catered towards an older market. Additionally, if there’s any browser that your website will not work in, it is likely be an older version of Internet Explorer.Click on the operating system tab, and drill down into the different operating systems that your visitors are accessing your website with. As with browsers, if the mass majority of your traffic is coming from one Operating System (OS) type, make it the priority in your cross-device testing efforts to ensure no website conversion rate killing bugs are present.Click on the Screen Resolution tab, and make note of what screen resolutions your viewers are accessing your website from. Your website may look beautiful on your 27” iMac, but if over half your traffic is coming from a 19” monitor, you want to make sure it looks just as good and functions at that screen size. You can prioritise browsers, devices and screen sizes for testing by analysing the data in your Google Analytics account. Step Two: Make Testing Easier with BrowserStack Now that you understand what browsers, devices and screen resolutions your website visitors are using to engage with your website, it’s time to make sure your website functions properly. If you are working with a web developer or agency, make sure their testing procedures match your findings in Google Analytics. It never hurts to check your own website yourself. However, unless you own a computer store, it’s near impossible to test your website on all variations that your visitors are accessing your website from. Fortunately, website testing tools such as browserstack.com make this process a lot easier. Here’s how to test your website using BrowserStack: Sign up to your free trial of BrowserStack here.Once you’ve gotten to the testing interface, start testing your website through different browser, Operating Systems and screen resolution combinations based on your findings from Google Analytics. When testing your website. Click on every link, button, popup & interactive element to see if it functions correctly. Step Three: Have a Process to Track Your Bugs If you’ve never tested your website, or your haven’t tested it in a long time, you’ll undoubtedly uncover many bugs and issues. It’s important that you effectively track these bugs, so you can report them to your web developer. To make it easier for your web developer to identify the issue and put in place a fix, we recommend using our Cross-Browser & Device Testing template Spreadsheet as you go along and test your website. This way, it’s easy for you to note down any conversion-killing bugs, and keep track of them until they are fixed. Download your website testing template Having a good bug tracking process will save you a bunch of time & headaches. If you do come across any issues on your website that are killing your website conversion rate, then we’re here to help you. Drop us a line here, and we’ll get connected. The post 3 Steps to Increase Your Website Conversion Rate appeared first on Web3 Web Design Brisbane.
22 minutes | Nov 3, 2015
Attracting, Engaging & Converting More Customers on Your Website
Most business owners want to be equipped with a winning website strategy, however very few know where to start. The subject of website strategy is massive, and often overwhelming to most business owners. Having a nice website for your business is great, however if there is no underlying strategy that ties your business goals to your website’s goals, you won’t be able to reach your full potential online. Think of your website strategy as the foundations to building a skyscraper. Do you want website customers fast? Increase your digital footprint and reach more customers with a dedicated online marketing strategy. I want more customers With the right foundations put in place at the start, you can build up your business to be the online leaders in your industry. In this podcast episode, I cover the six essential ingredients that go into building the foundations of a successful website strategy. Those six areas are: Defining your brand vision, mission and storyYour overall business objectives, sales & marketing goalsYour products/services, and what makes them uniqueYour ideal customer – who they are, what they do, and where do they hangoutWho are the current benchmarks to beat in your industryYour bottom-line business metrics, and your desired improvements Download your Website Strategy Worksheet Do you need help defining your online strategy for your business? Leave a comment below & let’s start a conversation. The post Attracting, Engaging & Converting More Customers on Your Website appeared first on Web3 Web Design Brisbane.
12 minutes | Oct 27, 2015
How Much Does Web Design Cost?
Getting a quote for your web design project is often daunting and confusing. However, it doesn’t have to be if you know how the process works upfront. Successful web design is complex. Truly effective and successful website design projects are ones that are tailored to the unique wants and needs of your business. No two website design projects are the same, which is the reason quotes vary from project to project so greatly. Web designers often struggle to effectively quote on projects due to this huge variance, which ends up confusing them and you. Fortunately, the quoting process that most good web designers and agencies follow is relatively similar. In this episode, I clarify the web design quoting process, covering three key areas: How the cost of a web project is calculatedWhy web design quotes vary so greatlyAn example of a real website project quote, and where the cost all goes Our 39-point web design process that we follow for most web design projects. PODCAST TRANSCRIPT BELOW This is the Web3 podcast about attracting, engaging and converting more customers on your website. Hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the second episode of attract, engage, and convert. Today we’re going to talk about what you should expect to pay for web design services in Australia. Alright let’s start the show. So here’s the thing pricing for web design services comes in a huge variety, businesses often struggle to understand why websites cost what they do. More importantly, web designers as an agency typically struggle to effectively price for their web design services, which just adds to the confusion. Does your website work for your business? Your website should be number one at sales and marketing your business. If not, you need one that is. I need a better website So in this episode we’re going to cover three key things. Number one: how is the cost of the web project calculated, Number two: why web design quotes vary so greatly and Number three: an example of a real web design agency quote that we have created for a recent project of ours. So how is the cost of web projects calculated? Well there is two core frameworks or two different ways that web designers and agencies typically take when it comes to pricing for project. Number one is value-based pricing, which is something that personally we do not do at web3 nor is very common play for most agencies. The second way is the good old money for time, that is you want something done here’s how long it takes, here’s our hourly rates, this is the cost and this is the type of pricing formula that we apply to the mass majority of projects that we do here at Web3 has with many other agencies in and around Australia. There is a couple other areas that factor in when it comes to pricing for website projects, for example, additional expenses such as domain names and website hosting. So overall it seems pretty straightforward but why then is there such a huge variance when it comes to price? Well, let’s dig a bit deeper here. So why is it that Web design quotes vary so greatly? There is really for key areas that define the price of a web design quote. The first area is the quality of work, now you can type into Google cheap web design, affordable web design and you will be met with no shortage of companies or web designers selling these types of services. Put simply, you get what you pay for. If you don’t believe me just do it, pause this podcast type in cheap or affordable web design into Google and then just see the type of results that you get. See the type of portfolios and case studies that turn up. Most cases, it’s pretty low-quality work, as I mentioned you get what you pay for. As with many other industries. It’s no different with web design. The second area that cases web design quotes to vary is simply supply and demand. Now referencing that with Web3, since starting we’ve always been pretty darn busy, as with most of the businesses when the demand for work outweighs the supply naturally, the cost of the alley right that calculates goes up to meet the demand in the market until you find that sweet spot. What’s important to understand here is that if a web designer or an agency is in low demands, then it typically means that they are selling for really cheap services, which also directly correlates with their work of not being very high-quality. The exception of this is if the agency or web designer is new, they might be able to produce an excellent work, but when it actually comes to delivering an awesome customer service experience. They might not know how to do that because they simply have had the experience of an established agency. The thirds point is how establish the agency is, are they brand new into the block Do they have any proven track record, any clients at all? Typically the agencies that have been around for a long time that do have a proven track record and can back up their claims and their services with real results can justify charging more for their services compared to a company that is just started, just formed up. Now you can decide to walk with a brand-new company in order to save price, but you run the inherent risk of that company not being able to deliver the work or stay in business for the longevity of your project. I’ve seen this happen many, many times where clients have come to us. Well, they simply have worked with a web designer that went out of business midway through that project, but simply the more established the agency the longer that they’ve been in the market for, typically the higher their price will be, but that price can be justified with a high-quality of work a proven process, a proven product and a proven service. Now the fourth point is the overhead of the agency. How many staff does the agency have? Do they have a big swank office in the middle of the city that costs a lot of money over head to keep up and running? Typically, you’ll find big agencies with lots of people in a big office have to price their services higher than what an agency with a small team, with a small office or no office at all can because they simply need to cover the overhead. Now you may be wanting to have the full wine and dine experience, where you can go into the office, have coffee, made by a barrister etc. etc. etc. But do keep in mind that you will be needing to pay for those services. If you’re not looking for all the bells and whistles and free coffee galore then you can typically save money by working with an agency that’s either setup to be remote or set up to be agile and flexible and location independent. The other area that reflects the pricing of web design services is the hourly rate and well that hourly rate goes. There’s a lot that goes into defining an hourly rate and one other thing, particularly that gets missed a lot is the complexity and the features required to complete a successful outcome of the project. This is often one of the biggest areas of confusion which I’ll give you an example, an enquiry came through not so recently where they were looking for a simple online store. I went through and broken down with them, which I’ll briefly breakdown now. A simple online store might look simple on the surface, but when you dig into it you need to be able to set up and manage the payment gateways integration with things such as PayPal, such as Visa and MasterCard. You need to be able to build out a check-out feature, a shopping cart feature, the payments shop notifications, e-mail notifications when new customer orders, updates, changes to the billing log, shopping cart abandonment, having a profile that people can track their order logs from and the ability to update their profile when necessary. Change their billing details, change their address details, their postage details and so so so much more. If I can parallel out recently where I took my car in for a service at the local mechanic and I was quoted twelve hundred dollars to change one of its core leathers which Ii thought was quite a lot considering it was just changing one part, but yet did I know that to be able to do something like this, they need to be able to not only by the part from the manufacturer, cover the labour cost to change it and fit it, but then also rebalance the entire car wheel alignment, be able to test it Etc. etc. etc. The point I’m trying to make is, is that web design is not as simple as many people may think. To be able to really achieve high-quality successful results. It is a time-consuming and complex process. If you’re wanting to see a high-quality result achieved. So to put all of this theory into practice, I’m willing to give you a real life web design project that we have landed and currently working on right now. The website project was to be able to redesign and build a completely custom WordPress website with a backend intranet system as well together in one project. The project was six thousand nine hundred dollars including tax. Now, where does that all go, let me explain. Initial strategy sessions are able to define the outcomes of the project and the strategy and what needs to be done on the website. Two hours 2 by 120 is $240. Wireframing four hours five. Site mapping, one hour, WordPress set up three hours, theme development 8 hours
10 minutes | Oct 19, 2015
How to Find a Rockstar WordPress Web Designer
In more than eight-years working in the web design industry, the most common complaint I hear from business owners is their web designer sucks. When I dig a little deeper as to why they suck, the typical responses are: They don’t understand my businessThey created something that isn’t aligned to what my business actually doesTheir design doesn’t fit my audienceI can’t even get in contact with them to fix all these problemsThey are just too painful for me to work with There are hundreds of things that could have happened over time for these responses to become a reality. However, the bottom line is there are too many crappy web designers and WordPress web design companies out there who consistently get these kinds of complaints from their customers. If you’re looking for a great web designer to work with on your next project, don’t let this be you. The good news is this does not have to happen at all if you ask the right questions to make the right decisions when searching for the right web designer for you and your business. Myself and my business partner, Joseph, have described the four key steps in detail in our very first episode of the Web3 Podcast, which you can listen to below. Download the how to choose a web designer checklist Podcast Transcript This is the Web3 Podcast about attracting, engaging, and converting more customers on your website. Hello and welcome to the first episode of Attract, Engage, Convert. The Web3 Podcast. This podcast is designed for entrepreneurs with early stage businesses or even established businesses who are wanting to create a professional online presence and really to transform your website into a platform to grow your business. So here’s the problem, most people that have never had a website built or have worked with a web designer to have website created before have got any idea what is or how to find out about choosing the right web designer for your project. Also, for people that have worked with web designers before and have had bad experiences and have turned them off, working with web designers, then this episode really will help you understand about what are the things, what are the steps you needed to do to be able to choose a good web designer to see the goals of your project reached and fulfilled. On the flip-side, you maybe wanting a web designer that creates a professional, beautiful website for your company that drives profit to your business – a web designer that is reliable, that you can trust and that is your digital adviser for all things online. You want a trusted digital adviser who is willing to work with you to adapt to your business as it grows and evolves online. Does your website work for your business? Your website should be number one at sales and marketing your business. If not, you need one that is. I need a better website So the very first thing you need to know before you even start jumping into Google or working through your contact list is you really got to get clear on what is it that you actually want. Do you even actually need a website? What is it that you want to do? Do you want to get more leads, do you want to make your website look more professional perhaps but make it load faster? If you’re really looking and you know that you need a comprehensive overhaul. Let’s say your website is three years, five years old. It’s dated, it’s not working, it’s clunky. It’s broken, you’ve got no one to support it, no one to maintain it, and you really need to work with someone to fix that problem, then, getting a website or working with a website designer to build is is of course is the right way to go about and that’s what we’re going to focus this episode on. Firstly, you want to really get clear on what are the goals. Are you looking to increase your leads? Are you looking to increase sales? Are you looking to increase your conversion rate on your website? Even if you are just roughly writing it down for now, just getting something down on paper to work with and speak to with the people that you contacted, the web designers you contact is important. Secondly, you need to get clear on your definition of what is a successful outcome. Is it being being able to automate a part of your business that’s taking a lot of your time? Is it to be able to achieve a certain amount of leads per month or to increase your conversion rate by a certain amount from what it currently is. When you know you definition of success is and you share with the people that you want to work with to design your website, it makes everyone’s life much easier. Finally, you need to know on how much you’re prepared to spend. We’re going to do an episode entirely on pricing of website design services and web services in general soon. But it’s important for you to understand what is it that you are willing to invest in constructing and building and designing a new website. And if you know that you are looking to or if you need marketing services along with that, how much are you willing to pay per month for those marketing services? Even again, if it’s just a general idea having some basic questions answered up front will really help you to understand who’s going to be the right company to work with. So the next thing you want to do is to do some research on the web designers in your area. When you identify the companies that you think can help you, you want to do some research to make sure they are the right fit for you. Ask for or find on their websites some examples of previous work that they have done. You can view web3s latest work here. And another thing you want to do is ask people in your network, see if any people that you know, know of any good web designers that can help you achieve your goal. When you have made contact with the web design company, ask them if they can provide some clients that you can talk to to see how they went in the experience and how their website is tracking now. One final thing that I noticed a lot of people go wrong with, is when they ask for referrals or they ask people in their network who they know that can build websites. Or is a website designer, and you hear someone that refers back what you are going to differentiate there’s two things. There’s referrers or people that refer companies because they know them because they’re friends or they know them because they just happen to pop – up on their facebook feed or LinkedIn network that they’re a web designer. View Web3’s Facebook and Web3’s LinkedIn. You want to make sure that the actual person referring you someone has gone through and engaged and bought a service or worked and had a website built by that referee. Make sure that what they – the person that they are actually referring to they had experienced their service and have experienced what they do. And it’s been a positive one overall. Something really important to keep in mind. So, once you’ve got your research, you know what you want to do, and whom you want to work with, you want to then get in touch. Pick up the phone, organise a meeting, organise a time to come together with the web design company. You want to be able to ask them questions and really learn about their process. Every web design company, web designer, digital agency, has their own unique process on how they go about and build websites and do things. So, you want to ask them, “How long does it take to create a site?” And obviously that’s going to require a definition of scope. And being able to work through the process and understanding what is it that you need and then best recommending what’s going to best achieve the goals that you are looking for is part of what the web designer should be doing with you. From there you should be able to have an idea of how long it will take, what are the steps, what are the processes required to complete the project. And also, something that’s really is important is understanding about what you need to do during the process, during the project in order to achieve a successful result. A lot of web designers won’t provide copy-writing services to their clients. So, if that is the case, then we need to make sure that you have the time willing to invest into the project to achieve a good quality result and you are not committing to something that you can’t follow through with your own schedule and your own time. A good thing you want to keep in mind is once a website is launched, who is going to support it? Is it you? Is it the website company? Or is it a third – party? Because once a website is built, particularly a Word Press site, it requires maintenance, it requires updates. It’s like running a car. You need to change its oil every so long or it’s going to break down. So who’s going to be doing that? And it’s important that you work with a company that can provide support or has a system of structure around supporting built and launched website. And finally, what’s really important is that you need to know who’s going to be your person of contract throughout the project. Is it the person that you’ve been dealing with and speaking with to the company to that point? Are they just going to send you off to some overseas mob that you can’t even pick up the phone and call them? You really want to get clear on who’s going to be your point of contact throughout the project and get to know that person if they are aligned with your goals, aligned with your vision. Whoever is your point of contact in the project, is going to be the person driving the direction, the vision, the strategy of your website. And you want to make sure that they understand you, your business, your goals, your needs, your wants and your desires. You don’t want to just
0 minutes | May 19, 2014
WordPress 3.9 Is Alive