Web design and marketing news Wysi Berkshire

Keeping small businesses up to date on business online, including web design, web development, web marketing, digital marketing, SEO, and much more

Thinking Big With Your Customer Service

Dean Vizer - Thursday, November 28, 2013
CMS websites by wysi of Berkshire

Customer service is one of the easiest ways to differentiate yourself from your rivals. Providing personalised service, following up on customers after they enquire about your services or contact you with a problem and generally showing that you care about your customers is a simple and effective way of building trust and proving that a customer should choose you instead of your competitors.

Berkshire web designers wysi

Customer relationship management, or CRM, is an essential part of doing business today. There are many powerful CRM tools that can make this job easier by making your record-keeping more efficient and automating a lot of time-consuming tasks.

At WYSI, we are best known for our customer-facing websites, which use the powerful Adobe-core Siteglide CMS to provide everything from simple blogs to fully featured business websites. However, we also have expertise in creating company intranets which you can use to provide your employees with information about processes, quality control and customer service.

Choosing the right tools for your customer relationship management will make it much easier to provide your users with a consistent, efficient and pleasant experience from first contact through to order fulfilment, billing and customer support. Our systems have fully customisable role-based access-control lists that ensure you remain in full control at all times, and your employees are given access only to the tools and systems that they need to do their jobs correctly.

Information Is Power for Your Business

If you are still using a pen and paper system, now would be a very good time to upgrade. Take advantage of the data that you have collected about your customers and use it to improve the service you can give them. Instead of spending a lot of money on paper flyers to post to your customers, email them with notifications about special offers. Use your sales records to find your most loyal customers, and reward them. Track complaints and support requests and use the trends that you discover to provide a smoother and more pleasant end-user experience.

A good customer-facing website is an important part of building your brand, but the technology you use internally is important as well. Investing in your internal network and training your employees to make the best use of the tools that are available to them will pay off as your team becomes more efficient and your customers appreciate the personalised service they receive.


How Careful Website Design Prevents PR Disasters

Robert Wakefield - Friday, November 08, 2013

It's easier than ever to set up a single-user personal website, but creating a business-focused website is more challenging. Not only are website visitors more critical of problems with the design, speed and stability of business-focused websites, but you have to contend with administrative challenges too.

Most hobbyist blogs are managed by just one person. Business websites may have entire teams working on them. Each person in the team is responsible for a particular job, such as managing social media, handling images or video content, working on product listings or posting to the blog. A smaller, family-run business may be comfortable with every team member having administrative access to the website. However, as your company grows you will need to be more proactive about managing the roles of each employee.

Rogue Employees and PR Disasters

Most employees are trustworthy, but all it takes is one disgruntled employee (or one ex-staff member with a vendetta and the admin password) to ruin your website and your social media accounts. Robust, business-focused content management systems offer flexible access-control lists that can help to prevent exactly that problem. Instead of giving every employee the ability to manage everything on your website, you can offer more restricted access so some employees can only make new posts and edit their own work, while others can delete posts but not edit the back-end code. Only your developers need access to the most sophisticated parts of your CMS.

Siteglide is a powerful business-focused CMS that offers role-based access control, responsive themes and more. At WYSI, we offer affordable web design in Berkshire and use the Siteglide CMS for our clients.

All of our websites are designed to be secure, fast and mobile-friendly from day one. Whether you're looking for a robust intranet or a creatively branded customer-facing website, we can help you. Our websites are designed to be easy to extend and expand, so you can keep using the same system as your business grows.

Don't try to put together a DIY business website. You may be able to make do with a DIY content management system while your business is small, but you will end up paying more to move to a professional system in the future. Choose professional, affordable web design in Berkshire today and you will save money and time and avoid stress in the long term.


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The Benefits Of Flat Design

Luke Wakefield - Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Flat design is back! But what exactly is it and how can it benefit your company?

Companies such as Windows and Google have recently paved the way for a resurgence in flat design - a notion that has been in existence for many years. From websites to app design, more and more companies are leaning towards a clean, effortless approach in a bid to improve the user's experience and the business's success.

Simplicity

Before fancy graphics were a possibility, websites had to be simple - there was no other way. But then technological developments took over and websites started to sing and dance. There was no disputing that they looked great, but content was starting to get lost behind all the performance in many situations.

So flat design started to make a comeback. But by using everything we've learnt about design over the years and mixing it with fresh coding possibilities, the approach is much more attractive and the possibilities are almost unlimited.

Focusing on content

If the past year in web design has taught us anything, it's that we must never lose sight of a website's purpose: to sell. Whether it's a product, a service or simply an idea, a website should always there to display useful content that keeps people coming back. Naturally it should look great as well, but a responsively designed, flat website is far more likely to create a straightforward user experience.

Fast and responsive

Flat design is also making it much easier to achieve truly responsive design. Websites that look good from smartphone to laptop (and everything in between) are essential to success. Flat design makes this much more achievable and what's more, load times of a flat design website are far quicker.

Clear marketing

Successful companies have leaned on crystal clear content marketing for many years, so why should a website be any different? By adopting the flat design approach, your website can be as pure as your marketing.

What's more, flat design can help companies to achieve higher conversion rates on their website. Because of the uncomplicated design, the eye is drawn directly to calls to action buttons and the user is less likely to be distracted from their main reason for being at your website.

If you are considering a redesign for your website this year (and thousands of companies are), just think about the benefits you could reap from a flat design.

Why users are leaving your website and how to fix it!

Bronwyn Murgatroyd - Monday, March 18, 2013

When planning a website, we find that many people tend to forget one key stakeholder; the website visitor. It's easy to design a website that you feel works for you and makes sense to you. But where does that leave your website visitors, your potential clients?

When planning a website, we find that many people tend to forget one key stakeholder; the website visitor. It's easy to design a website that you feel works for you and makes sense to you. But where does that leave your website visitors, your potential clients? Below are some examples of what not to do when designing your website.

Slow loading speed

Slow loading speed is one of the main reasons why vistiors leave a site. If your web pages take a long time to load, you're in trouble especially if you happen to have an ecommerce website.

Solution; optimise your website for all major browsers and devices, ensuing that every page loads quickly.

Bad Navigation

Nothing frustrates a user more than a website that's hard to navigate. Complex or inconsistent navigation can cause users to feel helpless, confused or angry - certainly know the emotions you want potential customers to be feeling.

Solution; Your website navigation should be logical and easy to use. Try grouping navigation elements in a central area. For longer websites why not try adding a sitemap.

Having a bad content structure

Having a bad content structure on your website can destroy your conversion and retention rates. Many sales are lost each day as customers can't find what they are looking for

Solution; Don't have your visitors fish around for the content they're looking for, simply group similar content in a clean, concise manner and consider using bold headings in addition to highlighting certain keywords that visitors may be searching for.

Poor readability

Bad fonts, non-white backgrounds, insufficient white space, colour links, and excessively long paragraphs can alienate visitors from an otherwise high quality and informative website. A bad layout and an overwhelming density of ads per page can aslo decrease readability.

Solution; When it comes to presenting your content, stick to the accepted web conventions

Not sure if your users are leaving your website? Why not speak to us here at Wysi and we can do a FREE website audit.

What your web designer will want to know

Bronwyn Murgatroyd - Monday, March 11, 2013

If you're thinking about giving your website a makeover or you're wanting to launch a new business, then do your homework before you meet a potential web designer.


There's a very long list, but the basics to get you off to a good start are in three categories;

  • Functionality - what do you want the website to do
  • Aesthetics - What do you want your website to look like
  • Purpose - What would you like your reader to do

  • Functionality

    Functionality should be a key consideration in any website design. Visitors to poorly-constructed webpages are left feeling confused and uncertain when trying to navigate the site and can view a company as amateurish or even untrustworthy and not worth doing business with because of this.

    It's worth sketching out how you see the pages being arranged, whether they should be on the main menu or in a subsection. Functionality includes things like online shopping, downloading documents, interactive forms, sign up boxes, video, audio and other things that affect the experience the user has.

    Aesthetics

    There are many ways to set up the look and feel of your site - using colour, images, different layouts and techniques such as using frames or tables. The most important aspect though is to decide what look you want for your website and apply that look consistently. In order to help your designer get it right, browse a list of sites you like and more importantly, think about why you like them. If you like nice crisp and uncluttered white sites - and your web designer knows that - you won't end up with a dark, ornate site that you dont like!

    Purpose

    When you are designing and building a website you need to have a definite purpose in mind. Ask yourself what you would like visitors to do on your site as there are many potential purposes for a website including getting people to read and comment on your blog, sign up for a free tips download, register for a course or webinar, provide feedback, ask for more information or just pick up the phone and call you.

    Unless you know what you want it to do, you'll have no way to measure how well it's working. If you're armed with this information when you meet to brief your designer you will have a much better chance of getting the website you want.

    Knowing what your end goal is can help us here at Wysi design or retool your site to be the most efficient, exciting, and popular site possible! Why not let us know how we can help my giving us a call today!

    Website packages - the whats and whys

    Luke Wakefield - Tuesday, March 05, 2013

    What are website packages and why are they such a good option? The best products follow a strict process that has been refined over time and that's exactly how a good website package works.

    Every business is unique and has different needs. Understanding that is a key part of the web design process: what works for one company might not work for another.

    But there are also elements of web design that apply to all businesses. Essentially, the foundations are the same but the finished product is as unique as the business for which it has been built.

    This is why offering web design packages can be beneficial to everyone involved, saving time and money.

    Foundations

    All websites need certain elements in order to function. Top of the list are things like hosting (essentially an online parking space for your site), domain registration (the web address you want to use), email and customised, professional design. 

    Then there are the attractive extras, things that aren't necessarily vital, but add plenty of value to the site and its functionality. These might include search engine optimisation, social media sharing options, cookie notifications and a blog or news facility. 

    Packages

    For these reasons, it often makes sense to offer design packages when approaching a new project. Doing so can save the company and designers time, which translates into savings on project costs.

    Approaching projects in this way is great for budgeting as you always know what's coming. You can bolt on extra features and services as you need them, but the all the fundamental elements that you need are covered. This is why most small and medium businesses opt for the package approach.

    It's sensible to approach a web design project in this manner as you know from the outset exactly what you are getting for your money.  The reason that design agencies like to offer the package option is that it can end up saving them time, meaning they can pass any savings on to you, the customer.

    What's included?

    It depends on how much you are able to spend. Most web design companies will offer a tiered system where you can choose the package that best suits your needs.

    A good website package will include all of the basic foundations that are mentioned above, as well as offering useful extras that add value and function to your website. The selection of these extras will be based on experience, highlighting the features that most companies want in their website.


    Why a small business should have a website.

    Bronwyn Murgatroyd - Friday, March 01, 2013

    Do you have a small business? Are you wondering whether or not you should have a website? The answer is yes, you should. Having an online presence is your business card to the multitude of people who are online searching for the product or service you are offering. Any and every type of business can benefit from having a web presence, and the following are just a few points you should consider when starting your online presence

    Do you have a small business? Are you wondering whether or not you should have a website? The answer is yes, you should. Having an online presence is your business card to the multitude of people who are online searching for the product or service you are offering. Any and every type of business can benefit from having a web presence, and the following are just a few points you should consider when starting your online presence

    Do you have a CMS?

    Content Management Systems are used by many of today's websites. It allows users to be able to edit the content of their website without having any programming knowledge. If you are paying someone to design your website then make sure it has a CMS. Otherwise, ever time you need to make a change you will have to pay the designer to do it for you.

    Use Social Media

    Ok so everyone is using social media, but even if you don't have a unique or interesting service, having a social media account such as Facebook which will help you connect with a larger audience as well as have a positive impact on SEO which is very important.

    Testimonials

    Testimonials are incredibly important for small businesses which, unlike big brands, you cannot count on a strong brand recognition and therefore need to rely on other elements to gain trust from potential new customers. Displaying some good testimonials from clients will show your perspective client that you are trustworthy and have the experience they are looking for, therefore inspiring them to choose you over a competitor.

    Imagery

    The vast majority of users only briefly scan websites for useful information without actually fully reading a web page, this is where images come into play; great looking pictures of your premises or products will allow visitors to see straight away what's great about your business and further their trust in your company.

    Show them you care

    First impression are everything. If you, a potential customer, look up a small business on the web and either find no website or one that is quite outdated, would you be inclined to visit the business? Probably not, and neither would others. Having a fresh, updated website gives a small business credibility in the eyes of the consumer, and shows that they care about their customers.

    Get the experts in

    Creating a website is easy and there are many applications out there which enable you to do it for free yourself. But the results are nearly always poor as well as not being set up properly for users to intuitively find their way around.

    At Wysi we provide a different service which offers you the chance to pick a package that suits your budget. You can also access our powerful content management system to adjust your site and add/delete content for all your business needs.

    5 New Web Design Trends for 2013

    Bronwyn Murgatroyd - Thursday, February 21, 2013

    Can you believe that February is nearly over? 2013 is definitely steam rolling ahead with no signs of it slowing down, just like the ever changing web design world and that's why we think it's important to list out some of the innovative website design features we've come across.



    Can you believe that February is nearly over? 2013 is definitely steam rolling ahead with no signs of it slowing down, just like the ever changing web design world and that's why we think it's important to list out some of the innovative website design features we've come across.

    Responsive Design




    From mobiles to tablets, users are visiting your sites from and increasing array of devices and browsers. Is your website ready? It's glaringly obvious that technology has moved and continues to move to more mobile and tablet devices.


    With the evolution of smart phones and tablets, users are accessing the web via mobile devices more than ever. Responsive design allows you to have one website that is cable of recognising the size of the screen and is able to adapt its layout accordingly. Therefore there is no need to host and edit two websites anymore!

    Full Page Backgrounds



    It's becoming more common to find websites with full page background images, it's an effective way that will certainly grab your visitors attention as well as being a great way to create a personal relationship with your website visitor. Visuals are very effective triggers for emotions, bounding people to your site. For example take a look at one of our latest sites thats gone live - McFarlane Telfer and see for yourself.


    Fixed Navigation
    When it comes to reading a long blog post or browsing through a single page design, it can be a real pain having to scroll to the top of the page in order to continue navigating around the rest of the website. Not to worry, this problem is easily solved through the use of a fixed navigation bar. This way the primary navigation is always accessible on screen no matter how far down the page you've ventured.

    Adding a video to a Landing page
    With such little time to capture your site visitor's attention, a block of text explaining your products and services is imperative for the life of your site. Why not consider creating a landing page video that draws in the attention of your users.

    Take a look and see how it works by clicking here

    Large Buttons
    With more and more internet time being spent on phones and tablets and without a mouse to click with, it's safe to say that the size of buttons on touch screens will grow in 2013. Usability and efficiency is key in pleasing your viewers, having them tap the wrong button because it's to small is annoying and inconvenient. With the growing number in touch screen users, it's only natural to make the buttons more useful for your user.

    Need help with updating your website to keep up with the trends for 2013? Why not contact us at Wysi and we will be more than happy to help!


    Navigation – how to nail the structure of your site

    Luke Wakefield - Monday, February 18, 2013

    Navigation is not just about structuring your website for Google. More and more companies are realising just how easy it can be to lose traffic if your navigation is poor.

    When surfing the web, we’re incredibly impatient. You’ll be familiar with the setup: you stick a search term into Google, click on the first result and find yourself in a mess of information. You can’t locate the menu, let alone the information you were searching for. You immediately hit that back button and select an option from further down the page.

    A clear menu

    The most critical thing of all is to have a clear, attractive navigational bar that people immediately notice. Someone may be arriving at your site purely to find your contact details, so having a clear ‘get in touch’ menu item will secure that phone call or email.

    Entice your readers

    A good way to structure your navigation and draw readers deeper into your site is to use themed pages. By focusing a group of pages around one central theme, you’re more likely to retain users as they browse around the section that drew them in in the first place.

    Make sure that you include various links throughout that draw the user back and forth through al the themed pages.

    Using a sitemap

    Including a sitemap can be an extremely good idea to cover all your navigational bases. A clearly laid out sitemap can help many users find exactly the page they’re looking for, without having to trawl through each of your menus.

    Make sure that your sitemap is laid out clearly and hierarchically for ultimate ease of use.

    Deep links

    A popular method of traffic retention is using deep links – links to other, relevant content in your website. The keyword there is ‘relevant’. Using deep links is a great way to hold on to your visitors once they arrive at your website.

    For example, if you sell graphic design services and you have a blog post about logo design, select a prominent phrase (such as ‘finding a good logo design service’) and link this directly to one of your services pages. If someone is reading up on logo design, the chances are high that they might consider using your service.

    But please make sure your deep links are relevant and useful to your readers, or you’ll quickly lose them!

    What makes a good website

    Bronwyn Murgatroyd - Tuesday, September 04, 2012

    A good website is of course very much down to personal taste and can change from person to person. There are however, certain essentials that should be considered.


    A good website is of course very much down to personal taste and can change from person to person. There are however, certain essentials that should be considered.


    Purpose
    What is the aim or objective of the website? Is it general promotion? Is it to sell things directly? – The purpose should be evident within all areas of a site from website visual design to its navigation.


    Design
    Colours, style, alignments, and visual elements – these are all areas that make up a design. A good design highlights the important areas of a website, making it easy for visitors to find what they want quickly and without hassle.


    Content
    One of the most important areas of a website – visitors go to web sites primarily for information – every page should have a goal and be specifically aimed with the target audience in mind, both with regards the terminology and the way in which it is presented.


    Navigation
    Links, menus – the way in which people move between pages within a web site. When arriving at a new website, visitors have a limited amount of patience before going elsewhere. Clear navigation allows customers to find what they want quickly without any undue frustration.


    Usability and Accessibility
    HTML (the language in which web pages are written) must be properly formed so that the web page is viewable in different Internet browsers such as Internet Explore and Mozilla Firefox. Other issues include the use of flash and high quality images - there's not much good having a fancy website if not everyone can view it.


    With the increasing popularity of smart phones and mobile browsing, it has also become important for a website to either provide a specifically designed mobile-friendly version or to ensure the website is displayed correctly in the smaller display area.


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