How to Start and Run a Successful Web Design Business?

How to Start and Run a Successful Web Design Business?

While listening to the stories of great web designers it seems that starting a web design business is much easy. But the process of starting your own business is not that easy as it seems; you not only need to have designing skills but along with that, a full-fledged plan and sincere efforts are also required to get your business run successfully.

Once designers get experience and acquire skills to handle projects on an individual basis, they think of working as a freelancer or starting their own web designing company. No doubt it is a good idea but it requires a blend of strategic thinking, thoughtful and skilled efforts, and tenacity to convert your dreams into reality. However, all those, who are planning to start their own web designing business, can refer to the below-given tips for a perfect start and seamless running of their web design business.

  • Know your strengths and weaknesses

Your strengths will let you choose main services you would be offering and your weaknesses will help you at avoiding wastage of time and energy on the things that can be handled by someone else.

If you have planned to start your own business then definitely you will be hiring some staff for it. So, a thing that you need to do at first is knowing the tasks you are excellent at and you would handle yourself, and knowing the ones for which you would need someone’s help.

  • Know your market

No doubt you would be delivering the services you are good at but don’t offer people what you are trying to sell. Instead, try to know what they are looking for and tailor your services to their needs. If you are finding it hard then you can get some potential clients to tell you about their requirements for web designs.

Ross Williams of Rawnet Ltd explains: “In the beginning there was a rush for everyone to have a website. Now the focus is on the most innovative and exciting.”

  • Have a clear thought about your offerings

Once you have known your market, enlist all your offerings. It depends on your skill set and talent that what services you would be offering to your clients. More clarity about offerings means greater chances of success. Here are some questions that you should ask to yourself for finalizing your services:

– If you want to deliver services all over the world or just to local clients?

– If you want the payment for the whole job or on an hourly or daily basis?

– If you will be managing the client relationships yourself or would hire a professional?

  • Design an attractive website

As people would be hiring you for web designing services, they will definitely notice the design of your own website to have an idea about the quality. So, design an attractive website to reflect your business to the best. It should be responsive, fast and engaging so that viewers will just enjoy the browsing process on it. Clear and easy navigation along with the relevant content are the two main things that will add value to your business website.

Andy Budd of Clearleft explains. “The quality of design work is so high, that you have to be really, really good to actually get work.”

  • Be active on the Social Media

Social Media is no more restricted to establish social connections among the people, its approach has reached a far behind that. It has become the excellent way to promote your services, drive traffic to your website, attract potential customers and form a network of the people who have the same niche. So, understand the importance of all the social media platforms and the way you can use them to maximize your business profits.

  • Show your credibility

When clients shop around for web designing services, they look for the experts. So, showing your credibility to the world is really essential. Mention all the essential educational details, certifications and work experiences on your profile as it would give people a reason to trust you and your services. Enhance your credibility by posting visual content about your area of expertise and by updating yourself as per the latest industry trends.

In the last, we would like to say that this is an era of tough competition, so you would need to keep patience and show perseverance regardless how many hardships you face to get started. And once you have an effective and thoughtful foundation in place, success will come your way on its own. It is well said by Gurpreet Walia, CEO at Suffescom Solutions- “The way to get started is to stop talking and start working as per your plans”.

 

 

[Source:- Entrepreneur]

 

Designing effective web surveys

featured_surveys

Web surveys are important tools that websites and businesses can use to gauge important feedback from their site visitors and customers. Web surveys are also somewhat unsung elements of a site because their role is primarily to collect data instead of being a main feature.

In e-commerce, and in any business really, determining what your customers want is largely based on directly asking them. Plus, doing so will also give you amazing insight into the user experience—what’s working, what’s not, and what could and should be improved!

So, as you see, using web surveys offers a lot of benefits. Of course, designing them properly has a lot to do with whether or not they’re successful for any site.

We’re going to skip the part about defining your survey’s objective and being clear on the type of feedback you want since that’s a given for any successful survey. Rather, we’ll only focus on the survey-design aspect.

1) THE USE OF IMAGES

You probably have a belief in your head that a web survey should be mostly just a bunch of rote lines all up and down the webpage, with each line asking a question. While that’s definitely the classic or old-school idea of a survey…designing it in such a stark and empty fashion won’t do any wonders for its conversion rate!

Using images throughout your survey—intelligently spaced and breaking up different sections—has been proven to influence the conversion rate, but also other, very important survey behaviors.

Survey Monkey ran an interesting experiment tied in to the 2015 UK elections. They had three treatments of their survey design, each with three, unique images—which was the only constant variation in the design (they phrased the question of who respondents wanted as PM differently in two of three designs). They wanted to determine how the click and completion rates were affected.

The images they used were:

  • The entrance to 10 Downing Street (where the British PM lives).
  • A color-coded map of the UK, colored by party representation.
  • Rosettes (ribbons for military decoration).

The map image performed the best in terms of the click rate, which was 9.3%. The Downing Street entrance did the worst with only 5.9%, and the rosettes has 8.2%.

On the completion rate side, the images didn’t really affect this stat, as both the map and Downing Street images had a completion rate of 89.9% while the rosettes did a bit better with 90.9%.

This makes a lot of sense, as images have been proven to affect the conversion rates of sites. On the web, using images in your design always leads to better results.

So when you’re designing surveys, don’t just include images, but think carefully about the ones you’re using. In surveys, they should relate somehow to respondent characteristics for maximum impact.

2) UNDERSTANDING THE LIMITATIONS OF MOBILE

When it comes to mobile, surveys are a double-edged sword. On one hand, more people are now using mobile than desktop, so more people than ever will be taking your survey on their smartphones. Unfortunately, the survey user experience is just worse on mobile for a number of reasons.

The big problem is time. Surveys on mobile take users anywhere from 11% to 50% longer to complete than those on desktop. Users and customers today value speed more than anything in UX, so the length of time for survey completion on mobile is definitely a big cause of friction.

This slowness boils down to three reasons in particular:

  • Server connections on mobile are just slower than high-speed, desktop Internet.
  • The smaller screen sizes of mobile make it harder to read and get through survey questions.
  • Users are just more distracted on their smartphones, particularly when attempting to do surveys in transit.

What can be done about this slow mobile speed?

For starters, don’t use matrix questions, which are those multiple questions shown on a grid. You’ve seen them anytime you’ve ever had to answer a survey question, but they aggravate the UX by forcing users to scroll up and down and left and right. Doing all of this on a small smartphone screen is clearly a nuisance. Instead, forego multiple choice questions and answers with more direct questions that only require a yes or no answer from users (and, therefore, no need for a grid).

Keep the length of your surveys relatively short to increase completions.

Of course, remember to always test your survey across various devices: iOS, Android and desktop.

ABOVE ALL: DESIGN FOR USER EXPERIENCE

Designers and developers are always taught to first design for the user experience. Designing a web survey can be a tad tricky since you’re not dealing with a conventional page, but it’s a great chance nonetheless to apply all that you know about designing for great UX.

The Laboratory for Automation Psychology and Decision Processes at the University of Maryland provides a set of helpful guidelines in web-survey design. The basic principles all have to do with presenting the survey in a user-friendly way.

Some helpful pieces of design advice include:

  • Putting your logo at the top left of the page and the navigation menu vertically, on the left side of the page.
  • All questions and answers should be left-aligned.
  • The response format should be positioned to the left of all response categories.

Besides these, it’s always a good idea to use design elements that encourage easy reading since your users/survey respondents will be scanning the length of the page to read the questions and, hopefully, complete the entire survey.

Further good practices include:

  • Using enough white space between the individual questions so users can focus on one question at a time without feeling like they have to squint or try hard to guess what the question is asking.
  • Using a size of font that’s easily readable on the web, especially on smaller screens for mobile; according to research from UXmatters, that would at least be 4-point for small mobile devices and 6-point for bigger mobile devices.
  • Using, if possible, numbers and/or bullet points to further break up the questions into smaller, more easily digestible chunks of text that’s easier to skim.

Overall, the web survey you design should be a joy to move through and answer—not a detestable chore that your users won’t finish.

POINTS TO CONSIDER

Web surveys can be an effective tool to get feedback from users, readers, clients and consumers of any given site. The catch is that they have to be designed for usability, so the respondents don’t abandon the survey before completion. You want good, usable data from any survey that you create!

So remember some important guidance:

  • Definitely use images, but be choosy and only use those relevant to survey respondents.
  • Always design your survey for mobile since more and more people use mobile even to answer surveys these days.
  • Follow basic UX principles to ensure survey readability and usability.

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

The best web hosting services of 2017

Whatever size of website you have, this article will help you find the best web hosting services for you as well as the best hosting deals to go for.

The first step is to identify what your needs are – with one eye on future growth of your website – then choose an appropriate plan at the right price. Value for money is not just going for the cheapest. Web hosting companies usually offer three main paid-for tiers of hosting packages.

Shared hosting means youshare a server with other sites and web hosting accounts. The site can often be slower and these plans are for sites that don’t use a lot of bandwidth.

With a dedicated server, you have the entire web server for your own use. Faster performance is pretty much guaranteed.

Virtual Private Servers (VPS) or Cloud Servers enable you to scale resource as and when you need it rather than being restricted by the limitations of a physical server. They draw from a pool of processing power, memory and storage depending on your requirement.

Finally co-located hosting enables you to purchase your own server and, while it will be kept in the vendor’s data centre, you’ll have complete control over it so you can install anything you need onto it.

Some providers arrange their web hosting deals according to business segments (small businesses, e-commerce, artists, resellers), features (WordPress compatibility, email hosting, cloud computing, managed service providers) or platforms (Linux or Windows).

Many packages include a wealth of features that you may or may not place value upon, including control panel, the ability to create online stores easily, easy site builder tools and varying levels of support (either on the phone or live chat).

Our list is made up of UK providers (those with a UK storefront with a UK phone number) as well as some foreign web hosts that comply with several ground rules like having EU data centres, a right to cancel, a cooling period, a full refund policy and/or a free trial period.

So first, we’ve picked out a bunch of deals that are ‘best for WordPress or other features’ followed by a run-down of our favourite deals from the best web hosts.

 

 

[Source:- Techrader]

Designing effective web surveys

featured_surveys

Web surveys are important tools that websites and businesses can use to gauge important feedback from their site visitors and customers. Web surveys are also somewhat unsung elements of a site because their role is primarily to collect data instead of being a main feature.

In e-commerce, and in any business really, determining what your customers want is largely based on directly asking them. Plus, doing so will also give you amazing insight into the user experience—what’s working, what’s not, and what could and should be improved!

So, as you see, using web surveys offers a lot of benefits. Of course, designing them properly has a lot to do with whether or not they’re successful for any site.

We’re going to skip the part about defining your survey’s objective and being clear on the type of feedback you want since that’s a given for any successful survey. Rather, we’ll only focus on the survey-design aspect.

1) THE USE OF IMAGES

You probably have a belief in your head that a web survey should be mostly just a bunch of rote lines all up and down the webpage, with each line asking a question. While that’s definitely the classic or old-school idea of a survey…designing it in such a stark and empty fashion won’t do any wonders for its conversion rate!

Using images throughout your survey—intelligently spaced and breaking up different sections—has been proven to influence the conversion rate, but also other, very important survey behaviors.

Survey Monkey ran an interesting experiment tied in to the 2015 UK elections. They had three treatments of their survey design, each with three, unique images—which was the only constant variation in the design (they phrased the question of who respondents wanted as PM differently in two of three designs). They wanted to determine how the click and completion rates were affected.

The images they used were:

  • The entrance to 10 Downing Street (where the British PM lives).
  • A color-coded map of the UK, colored by party representation.
  • Rosettes (ribbons for military decoration).

The map image performed the best in terms of the click rate, which was 9.3%. The Downing Street entrance did the worst with only 5.9%, and the rosettes has 8.2%.

On the completion rate side, the images didn’t really affect this stat, as both the map and Downing Street images had a completion rate of 89.9% while the rosettes did a bit better with 90.9%.

This makes a lot of sense, as images have been proven to affect the conversion rates of sites. On the web, using images in your design always leads to better results.

So when you’re designing surveys, don’t just include images, but think carefully about the ones you’re using. In surveys, they should relate somehow to respondent characteristics for maximum impact.

2) UNDERSTANDING THE LIMITATIONS OF MOBILE

When it comes to mobile, surveys are a double-edged sword. On one hand, more people are now using mobile than desktop, so more people than ever will be taking your survey on their smartphones. Unfortunately, the survey user experience is just worse on mobile for a number of reasons.

The big problem is time. Surveys on mobile take users anywhere from 11% to 50% longer to complete than those on desktop. Users and customers today value speed more than anything in UX, so the length of time for survey completion on mobile is definitely a big cause of friction.

This slowness boils down to three reasons in particular:

  • Server connections on mobile are just slower than high-speed, desktop Internet.
  • The smaller screen sizes of mobile make it harder to read and get through survey questions.
  • Users are just more distracted on their smartphones, particularly when attempting to do surveys in transit.

What can be done about this slow mobile speed?

For starters, don’t use matrix questions, which are those multiple questions shown on a grid. You’ve seen them anytime you’ve ever had to answer a survey question, but they aggravate the UX by forcing users to scroll up and down and left and right. Doing all of this on a small smartphone screen is clearly a nuisance. Instead, forego multiple choice questions and answers with more direct questions that only require a yes or no answer from users (and, therefore, no need for a grid).

Keep the length of your surveys relatively short to increase completions.

Of course, remember to always test your survey across various devices: iOS, Android and desktop.

ABOVE ALL: DESIGN FOR USER EXPERIENCE

Designers and developers are always taught to first design for the user experience. Designing a web survey can be a tad tricky since you’re not dealing with a conventional page, but it’s a great chance nonetheless to apply all that you know about designing for great UX.

The Laboratory for Automation Psychology and Decision Processes at the University of Maryland provides a set of helpful guidelines in web-survey design. The basic principles all have to do with presenting the survey in a user-friendly way.

Some helpful pieces of design advice include:

  • Putting your logo at the top left of the page and the navigation menu vertically, on the left side of the page.
  • All questions and answers should be left-aligned.
  • The response format should be positioned to the left of all response categories.

Besides these, it’s always a good idea to use design elements that encourage easy reading since your users/survey respondents will be scanning the length of the page to read the questions and, hopefully, complete the entire survey.

Further good practices include:

  • Using enough white space between the individual questions so users can focus on one question at a time without feeling like they have to squint or try hard to guess what the question is asking.
  • Using a size of font that’s easily readable on the web, especially on smaller screens for mobile; according to research from UXmatters, that would at least be 4-point for small mobile devices and 6-point for bigger mobile devices.
  • Using, if possible, numbers and/or bullet points to further break up the questions into smaller, more easily digestible chunks of text that’s easier to skim.

Overall, the web survey you design should be a joy to move through and answer—not a detestable chore that your users won’t finish.

POINTS TO CONSIDER

Web surveys can be an effective tool to get feedback from users, readers, clients and consumers of any given site. The catch is that they have to be designed for usability, so the respondents don’t abandon the survey before completion. You want good, usable data from any survey that you create!

So remember some important guidance:

  • Definitely use images, but be choosy and only use those relevant to survey respondents.
  • Always design your survey for mobile since more and more people use mobile even to answer surveys these days.
  • Follow basic UX principles to ensure survey readability and usability.

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

Office 365 is king of business web apps, but Slack is growing fastest

Office 365 is king of business web apps, but Slack is growing fastest

Which is the most popular business app used online? Unsurprisingly, it’s Office 365, the subscription version of Microsoft’s productivity suite, according to some new research which details the most-used web apps.

These figures were revealed by Okta, a firm which produces software to manage employee logins to online services. The company found that among its customers, Office 365 was king of the enterprise cloud apps, followed by Salesforce.com, Box, Google Apps for Work, and in fifth place was Amazon Web Services.

Okta also made an interesting observation regarding Office 365 and Google Apps both being used within the same organisation. Indeed, data showed that over 40% of companies use both of these services due to preferences for one or the other in different departments.

Not slacking

As for the fastest growing business app, that was Slack, which witnessed a growth rate of 77% in the second half of 2015. We can expect Slack to put in a very good showing this year, by all accounts, as it’s continuing to pick up the pace with “no sign of slowing down just yet” Okta says.

Adobe’s Creative Cloud also had a good year in 2015, growing its user numbers by 44% according to the report.

One final nugget on business security for you: Okta found that 30% of organisations are now using multi-factor authentication, a number that still needs to increase in an ideal world.

[Source:- Techrader]

 

Google Reports Web Traffic Encryption Progress

Google this week launched a section of its transparency report to track the progress of efforts to encrypt the Web, by both the company and third-party sites estimated to account for about 25 percent of Web traffic.

Google Reports Web Traffic Encryption Progress

The report will be updated weekly with information about progress the company has made toward implementing HTTPS by default across its services.

Gmail, Drive and Search have long been secured with HTTPS, and traffic from products such as ads and Blogger were added over the past year, Google said. It plans to bring other products under HTTPS protection over time.

Implementing HTTPS can be difficult.

“There are a lot of details that you have to get right — the right version of TLS certificates, HFS with Mozilla,” said Peter Eckersley, technology projects director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

“We’re trying to change the situation,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Obstacles to implementing HTTPS include older hardware and software, which don’t support modern encryption technologies; governments and organizations that may block or degrade HTTPS traffic; and some organizations’ unwillingness or lack of resources to implement HTTPS, Google said.

The Encryption State of Play

As of January, just over 75 percent of requests to Google’s servers used encrypted connections, excluding YouTube traffic, Google’s statistics show.

Maps was the most encrypted Google product, with 83 percent of Maps traffic being encrypted. Advertising came next with 75 percent, and News and Finance tied at 59 percent.

Among the top 10 countries with encrypted traffic, Mexico led with 86 percent, Brazil was second with 84 percent, and the United States was ninth with 72 percent of request encrypted.

Mobile traffic accounted for 95.5 percent of unencrypted traffic to Google’s servers.

Dangers Inherent in Mobility

Mobile devices account for one-third of all Web pages served worldwide, according to Statista.

Most of the unencrypted traffic originates from devices that may no longer be updated and may never support encryption, Google said.

“Only 10 percent of Android phones are encrypted, because Google does not control this,” said David Jevans, VP of mobile security at Proofpoint. “It’s controlled by the handset maker [and] cannot be fixed because the phone carriers won’t take on the burden of validating new Android releases on old phones.”

Google is forcing handset manufacturers to turn on encryption by default in the next version of Android, known as “Marshmallow,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Possible Solutions to the Mobile Problem

Mobile device insecurity “is a transient condition [because] the replacement cycle for mobile devices Is 24 to 36 months,” pointed out Frank Dickson, a research director at Frost & Sullivan. “The issue gets solved simply with the passage of time.”

Google is responsible for this problem because “they obviously control the Android platform,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“For the really long tail of websites, we need them to ignore the Android 2 series and Windows XP user bases because there’s this important security feature inside TLS called SNI that they don’t support,” the EFF’s Eckersley said, referring to the Éclair, Froyo and Gingerbread releases of Android.

SNI makes virtual hosting easier on HTTPS because it adds to the Transport Layer Security handshake the domain name of the host the requester wants to connect to, he said.

There are workarounds. The EFF’s Let’s Encrypt certificate authority “gives people up to 100 domain names in one certificate, but not everyone wants to do that because it slows things down,” Eckersley noted.

Making a Virtue Out of Necessity

“Google’s revenues depend on commerce being transacted on the Internet,” Dickson asserted. The company’s revenues will suffer if the Internet is viewed as unsafe for commerce.

Encryption efforts now better protect people against bulk dragnet surveillance and against hackers on their WiFi connections, “but that’s still only maybe 40 percent of traffic,” Eckersley noted.

“We’ve made progress with the big sites — Google, Facebook, Wikipedia,” he said, “but there still are millions more that need to be protected.”

 

[Source:- Technewsworld]