I’m one of those people that whenever I hear of a new product, service or company I immediately like to check out their web site. It gives me a fast and thorough to understand what they are doing and what they are offering.
Because this is the first impression, it is critical. How professional the web site looks will have a deep impact on my impression of the company as a whole.
I know that I’m very connected to the web and I wondered if others were so quick to check out web sites and how important that first impression was with them.
So I set out to survey people. I reached out through Facebook, LinkedIn and the blog to find participants in the survey. Since I found these users online, they were clearly web users, but they were not necessarily designers or people I necessarily knew professionally.
As the owner of a design firm specializing in web site design, I find myself cringing at the inferior design, confusing content and general unprofessionalism of so many web sites. But I wondered, as a professional designer, if I was overly sensitive to this.
So in the spring of 2014 I reached out (mostly through Facebook, LinkedIn, and blog readers) and surveyed nearly 200 people to get a cross section of web site users to get their opinions on web design.
Recently, I spent some of my time at the FutureM / Inbound conference(s) in Boston, MA. The two conferences were run jointly, sharing Key Note speakers and allowing participants to all mingle together.
There were thousands of people deeply involved with marketing, on both the agency or in-house side. As with any good conference, I was introduced to new ideas and strategies and brushed up on some techniques. I tried to walk away inspired, but honestly, I felt a bit saddened as I realized that the door has slammed close on an era of the free, level playing field in the areas of social media and some forms of content marketing.
A new trend is emerging in web design: developers who bash the idea of using Photoshop to design web sites.
Lately, I have heard several different people extolling the belief that less design should be done in Photoshop and more should be done “in the browser”. Recently at WordCamp Maine, Sang-Min Yoon , a web designer & front-end developer, gave a talk called: Designing (Deciding) in the Browser.
Full disclosure: I was not at WordCamp (although DeAnne Curran from our firm was there and part of the design panel), but I could tell from Twitter, and even some e-newsletters that his talk had struck a nerve. Additionally, this anti-Photoshop rant has appeared on some Responsive Web Design forums and groups that I’m involved with.
Whenever trends like this arise, it is an opportunity to reflect on one’s process. But it’s not always best to take them to the extreme.
As the owner of a web design and development firm in Portland, Maine, I frequently get asked about web hosting. “What is a good web host?” or “How much should I be paying for hosting my web site” are questions I hear a lot. Many of the web design or redesign estimates we prepare include hosting costs.
Here are some of the things I have discovered over the years about the costs (and risks) of choosing a web host.
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