But assuming you aren’t going to listen and continue to ignore good advice, Ashley has a few tips for you to help look for a web design agency:
Consumers these days have a mindset that won’t let them settle for anything less than perfect. And with the rise of e-commerce, businesses need to maintain a certain amount of online sophistication in order to create the right impression.
If you want to survive in the global market, your website needs to portray your brand’s style and spirit. Therefore, it’s vital to have a web design that is clean, easy to navigate, and highly responsive so that users will love to interact with it.
Just like anything you choose to represent your company, whether it’s the employees you hire — or your brand logo — your web design must be spot on.
The design you achieve decides the future of your company because web design has the power to influence traffic volume, engagement levels, and conversion rates, all of which impact the performance and growth of your business.
So you don’t want to employ the services of any old web design agency. You need to choose the best. But the sheer number of available agencies is sure to make this a daunting task.
Are you in search of a web design agency? If you are
on the verge of starting your online business or are thinking of revamping your
current site, here are 11 questions that you should ask before signing an
1. Do you utilize the right CMS for your websites?
Consider your website as an investment. To make the most out of it, you need to know how to keep it up to date with current trends. Problems often arise when there is a lack of sufficient technical knowledge in the area. Therefore it’s important to understand the terminology that goes into web design.
For anyone who’s not familiar with CMS, it is known as a content management system. It’s a platform that simplifies the updating process so that non-technical individuals can do it themselves. Popular ones are WordPress, Squarespace, and Joomla.
It allows business owners to have more control as they can effortlessly login to the backend and edit text, images, videos, or even add additional pages to the website.
So yes, CMS is something that you need.
<h2>2. Do you have previous experience in designing websites for businesses similar to mine? </h2>
Each business has unique demands. Likewise, your website will need to have features that meet the requirements specific to the industry.
Even if you see examples of a web design agency’s work on their website, verify their qualifications and experience. Have them walk you through the phases of design and development they have previously utilized. Ideally, you want to work with individuals who are experienced professionals.
3. Can I meet the team?
There is a great deal of research that you can do online and over the phone, but nothing beats the old ‘meet and greet’ attitude.
By personally interacting with the team that will develop your website, you can get an idea of how dedicated they are to understanding a client’s needs and goals.
<h2>4. What happens if the site doesn’t perform as you expected it would?</h2>
The website that the firm develops should have the ability to grow with your business and adapt to its growing demands. But even when you prepare yourself with the proper research and ask the right questions, sometimes people are disappointed with the final results.
By asking this question beforehand, the web design agency can provide you with a list of options that will help to keep in line with your expectations. They can also explain the requirements and tasks that a successful website entails.
Remember a good website is only as good as the people who know how to operate it to its optimal potential. And this leads up to the next essential question.
<h2>5. Will you provide training for employees using the website?</h2>
As an owner, you need to take responsibility for your website. An agency can design and develop a site for you, but at the end of the day, you are in charge. With some initial training and guidance, you’ll soon learn the ropes.
The agency should train you on how to keep your site live, whether you need to add more pages, edit content, or post new blogs.
Besides on-site training, ask if your web design partner provides phone and email support, ongoing maintenance, ongoing support and troubleshooting assistance while upgrading, etc.
6. What if I’m unable to update my site on my
You’ll be surprised to learn that the aspect that dictates the success or failure of your site is not the design of your website but rather the critical 18-month period after its development.
The level of engagement and support provided by the web design agency have a considerable impact. While you may be able to update and upgrade some aspects of your website, you may need help for more complex procedures.
Inquire if any upgrades are included in the plan or if there is some support available at an additional charge. Also, understand the schedule of updates that will be necessary for the near future.
7. What other services do you provide?
When you hire a company to design and develop your website, be upfront about any web design services that are included in the package.
As mentioned above, a certain amount of prerequisite training is essential. Ask if they will also design a logo and provide SEO services, both of which are crucial for building your brand’s reputation. Since SEO is vital for digital marketing practices, this should be overlooked.
The site needs to be optimized with respect to structure, content, images, videos, etc. not only for search engine rankings but also to enhance UX. On the plus side, it goes to show that the agency is up to date with the latest SEO and marketing trends.
8. Where will the content come from?
Agencies are responsible for providing the initial content, images, videos, etc. for a client’s site. However, you need to inquire whether it will be handled in-house or outsourced. Real pictures and original text create wonderfully unique websites.
However, it’s quite common for developers to outsource work. If this is the case, you need to know who will support, maintain, or rectify any bugs after the website is launched.
9. What’s the cost and time frame of completion?
As with any other business agreement, these are vital parts of the deal. You cannot sign a contract with a company that does not provide you with an estimated cost or project completion deadline.
Professional web design companies offer a realistic timeline and often adhere to them.
10. Will I have ownership of my domain?
The last thing you need is to discover is that after all the hard work, time, and money you’ve put into your website, you do not have ownership rights to it.
When you complete ownership of your site, you can redirect your domain to another server and maintain your online presence in the event that there is a lapse in the domain or hosting services.
For the security and future of your company, it’s better to opt for a backup storage service, preferably through the cloud.
11. Is my website mobile-optimized?
As Google’s SEO algorithms are constantly changing, the web design agency must be on top of the latest trends, such as fast loading speeds and mobile optimization. Both are equally important and go hand in hand to increase SERP rankings.
Though most offer this service as a part of their SEO campaign, it’s always better to ask if the agency includes this or you are expected to hire third-party marketing agencies to handle the task.
Choose Web Design Agencies carefully (if you must)
When searching for a web design agency, you should not rush into a decision. It’s not enough to simply ask questions. You’ve got to do your homework.
With the help of online research, reviews, testimonials, etc., you can gather adequate info about the agency even before you approach them. Carefully analyze their portfolio.
Peruse their previous successful projects and judge if this company is the right one for you. Lastly, listen to their plans on how their design will help to generate more revenue for your brand, generate leads, integrate automation tools, provide user-friendly navigation, offer secure methods for payments, and anything else your website needs.
Since each business has different requirements, it’s best to make a quick list of everything that you need before you begin your search for a web design agency.
About Ashley Rosa: Ashley
Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she
loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and
sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can
find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.
At the time of writing this, Webflow is the best alternative for WordPress.
Webflow allows you to drag-and-drop elements and it allows you to create websites without messing with code. Webflow has templates available that you could base your website design on.
However, unlike WordPress themes, Webflow doesn’t restrict your design potential.
Your website design itch gets complete freedom. Make use of Webflow’s Flexbox or the New CSS Grid — on top of all the features, Webflow already has available — to build your websites exactly the way you like them.
Webflow — along with its CMS feature — makes for a great alternative for WordPress. Webflow gives you everything you need to build just the kind of website you could have built with WordPress. Except that Webflow sites are on HTML and CSS only while the database functions of WordPress are delivered by Webflow CMS.
Webflow Use Cases
Contrary to what most people might think, Webflow isn’t just for designing regular websites, blogs, or other types of websites.
You can use Webflow to design anything you like (and some of these use cases will save you money). Here are some use cases:
Design basic, and regular static websites (small, medium, or large)
Create complete, CMS-driven, content rich blogs, online publications, or portals.
TL; DR: Compared to Webflow, WordPress websites are expensive. Period.
With WordPress, there’s the question of just how expensive WordPress websites can get when you finally add up all the recurring and one-time costs that you’ll put up just to get the site up and keep it there.
We aren’t even factoring in the costs (or time and other resources) you’ll spend on digital marketing.
Here’s a comparative breakdown of WordPress, when compared to Webflow (and for a few assumed plugins, extensions, themes, hosting options, etc.)
WordPress is a CMS by itself. The theme you choose dictates how your blog posts, pages, and everything else is going to look like.
Webflow CMS is where CMS meets visual design. With Webflow CMS, you’ll develop the content structure you need. Then, you’ll link content with your design so that Webflow CMS pulls data to fit into the design you created (you can do this one CMS item at a time or bulk import using CSV or API.
Webflow CMS, just as everything with Webflow, doesn’t require you to work with HTML or CSS. It’s more like tying things together.
“Don’t lock yourself into inflexible templates, blog-centric content structures, or complex code languages. Just build the schema you need and connect it to any design you want.”
Webflow CMS allows you to:
Build collections of anything — colors, images, text, numbers, videos, audio, or a combination of any of these — and pull them into your CMS design.
Use Dynamic HTML embeds and dynamically change HTML elements by changing relevant parameters with CMS fields.
Mix and Match collections once you create them (with any type of content), you can also create powerful relationships between each type of content, displayed together in a design you specify.
Collaboration & Management With Webflow
Webflow has already put in the thought about making it easy for multiple people (teams, contractors, designers with clients, etc.) to collaborate. You can invite others to work with you on your websites.
For instance, you can invite clients to check out their website in real time while still restrict usage or certain features. If you love to prototype and show your designs for your team’s input, you can do that as well.
Planning an all-out organic marketing strategy or build a website with multiple collaborators, writers, or designers? You can invite collaborators, contributors, and designers to help work together.
Thanks to the way Webflow is designed, make site-wide edits (changing colors, headlines, etc.) one time and it’ll reflect across the website (or not, depending on how you work).
Webflow’s Hosting is lighting fast as far as I’ve seen and it’s optional. I’d not see why you wouldn’t use Webflow’s hosting though considering that Webflow uses infinitely scalable server fleet (as compared to a typical shared hosting solution that uses a single, low-scalability configuration).
Apart from lightning-fast speeds thanks to 100+ data centers worldwide (powered by Fastly and CloudFront), you also get access to CDN, SSL certificates for all sites, http/2, compliance, guaranteed 99.99% uptime, and page loads in milliseconds.
Cost of hosting on Webflow starts from $12 per month going as high as $36 per month, per website.
Upkeep & Management
WordPress is WordPress.
You’d then let WordPress sit on hosting, add plugins for functionality, use themes and/or customization (DIY or paid) to make it all work.
Unlike WordPress, Webflow is a managed system (including hosting, SSL, collaboration, CMS, content, and more) and everything you need sits together, in one cohesive system.
Apart from your content and design, there’s nothing else for you to manage. You’d need to upgrade anything, add (and upgrade plugins), or worry about compatibility of themes and plugins.
Need to make changes to the design itself? Build new pages? Need to create landing pages? Want to make changes to content? How about a complete redesign? Just hop inside the Webflow editor and make your changes.
With Webflow e-commercewill be released, how you develop websites for e-commerce is going to change completely. Like, forever.
Webflow e-commerce boasts of:
Custom product Grids
Display your products however you want.
Instead of getting stuck with your typical Paypal Checkout or any other checkout design, create your own.
Custom Animations for E-commerce
Why should your products look static and dull when you can animate them with Webflow’s custom Animations?
Of course, there’s more to Webflow e-commerce. Check out this blog post if you are interested.
Once your website goes live, you’d normally not need any help at all given how proficiently tools like Webflow are managed. For that matter, even SquareSpace, Wix, and Weebly are managed without you ever having to worry about technology, Infrastructure, servers, upkeep, maintenance, etc.
Webflow has a very active forum along with manned customer support management. I had to reach out to them a couple of times with questions about hosting and collaboration and I get instant replies or at least 12 hrs before a response comes in (blame my time zone, if you will).
Is Webflow truly an alternative to WordPress?
WordPress renders itself vulnerable to users ending up using terrible shared hosting, bloated WordPress themes, or outdated plugins. Most users also cannot really put up with the demands of having to upgrade and maintain their websites.
Add the varying costs of using several tools to make your WordPress website get results for your business and it only becomes a nightmare to manage (unless you can manage, that is).
Meanwhile, Webflow does have a slight learning curve.
For designers, developers, and teams that have a lot of website design or landing page design (or both), Webflow is truly a no-brainer.
For savvy business owners, freelancers, and agencies, Webflow is again an awesome fit.
If you are totally a non-techie, Webflow might not be for you if you want a website quick and easy just to host five to six pages or if you don’t want to get your hands dirty (even with that drag and drop builder).
Webflow comes in as a refreshing alternative to WordPress. It has everything WordPress has (and maybe even better) without the need for extra costs, themes, plugins, and hosting.
Website development or design (unless you are creating something that’s like Facebook) for most businesses shouldn’t take more than a day. In fact, from a marketing standpoint, any small business website that takes more than a day to create is an opportunity cost.
If you take 4 weeks, 6 months, or even one year to create websites and launch them, you are wasting all the time that you could have used for marketing such as blogging, growing your social media presence, or building your email list.
Websites should not have to take that long given that there are so many options available to you, thanks to the DIY Website builders, WordPress itself, and several other options.
WordPress powers 26% of the entire web, and it’ll be a dishonor not to mention WordPress approach to building websites in a day. It’s possible, if the perfectionist in you and web developers may please excuse?
Focus on growing your email list and use Sumo and OptinMonster to create lead generation elements to grow your email list.
So, what are the best WordPress Website Builders or WordPress page builders available for you? Dig in
Important Note:WPEngine recently acquired Studiopress, the Genesis Framework, and Studiopress Themes. With any paid plan on WPEngine, you now get access to all the Studiopress goodness at no cost to you. Plus, you’ll be able to use advanced staging options within WPEngine, super-fast hosting by WPEngine, and the ability to grow at scale when you need to.
If you want to bypass the WordPress hunting shopping part, go to Studiopress, pick a theme, and launch your site.
Studiopress lets you run (and use) the Genesis Framework which is the best framework in the entire world of WordPress themes. Sharp designs, solid reliability, fantastic themes, bloat-free code, and SEO-friendly are some of the hallmarks of Studiopress.
StudioPress Sites also allows you to just pick one of their themes and get started immediately.
You don’t even need to bother with hosting if you pick Studiopress sites since the product falls back on their own Synthesis Hosting product.
Off late, Divi builder has been growing in terms of community, resources, and popularity. The latest version of Divi is powered by React.js and is now a much improved version of what it used to be.
With the Divi Builder, it’s no more a simple WordPress page builder plugin; it’s a complete WordPress website builder plugin with the added benefit of picking from a slew of completely build layouts for various categories of businesses (thanks to their awesome Divi layout packs)
With the Divi builder, you can use the Divi theme (if you are just getting started) or the Divi Builder plugin (if you are using some other theme) and quickly create pages, layouts, modules, or even complete websites just by importing layout packs.
Beaver Builder directly competes with the Divi Builder (among others such as elementor pro) is another popular, well-documented, and reliable WordPress page builder that you could use to construct each page of your website exactly the way you’d want.
Beaver Builder also comes with a native theme on top of which you could use the Beaver builder plugin to craft your website the way you want to.
For the marketing hearted among you, Beaver builder also allows you to create unlimited Landing pages and special content pages.
Elementor Plugin or Elementor Pro is slick, easy-to-use, and a fast WordPress website builder that you could opt for. Elementor Plugin is fast and has both free and paid versions available for you.
Armed with a full library of plugins, an ever-growing repository of pre-made templates that you can work right off of, and great support, Elementor Pro is certainly worth your consideration.
Oxygen is the latest among the many WordPress website builders or WordPress page builders.
Featuring a complete website building solution, Oxygen comes with a vast variety of pre-built blocks in addition the regular modules and website building elements made available to you.
When you use Oxygen, you don’t need themes to begin with (you only need hosting). Build pixel-perfect, responsive, good-looking, and completely custom WordPress websites in style, quickly, and maybe within a day.
Layers is actually theme — with a point-and-click builder — has been around for a while is a great alternative for any of the others listed here.
Along with a Layers Builder, the plugin is a great way to build fluid, easy, and solid websites using WordPress. With layers, you get extensions, themes, and plugins that you can use to build a WordPress website easily for your business.
Want to create simple or complex layouts on your WordPress site? Want to be sure of razor sharp design while being completely responsive? Tailor WP is a great way to bring in extensibility and attractiveness to your WordPress site while letting you get started with customization of your WordPress website in no time.
You get one-click edits, create reusable templates, and Tailor WP is completely free to use.
Cloudpress is another awesome option to create beautiful, pixel perfect WordPress websites. You’d just pick a theme, use the WordPress builder app, and host the website on a server.
Choose from a host of design-focused themes and then make changes to your theme the way you’d like.
You also get access to over 80+ pre-built layouts to speed up your design process even more. You can also control absolutely all aspects of your design including elements, typography, boxes, layouts, colors, and more.
Make By Themefoundry
Make is a free, open-source WordPress website builder that’s built by reiterating over 5650 times and with over 10 years of experience with WordPress. It’s built with love by top developers and power users to shame even some of the best paid WordPress Drag-and-Drop builders out there in the market.
The Make Layout Engine™allows you to work from within the familiar WordPress editor, allows you to customize absolutely everything, built multiple sites, or create a foundation for your WordPress development business.
Make is all yours, completely, always free.
Which of these WordPress DIY website builders do you use?
Copy is everywhere — on every website you visit, every landing page you land on, every ad you see, and on every product you touch.
You see copy in those ads on the newspaper you sat down with this morning, on the outdoor hoardings you saw on your way to work, and everyone else you see advertising spreading its tentacles.
Effective copywriting bring in trillions of dollars and counting to businesses that know how to use it.
But then, the most powerful copywriting in the world is often the simplest: You’d never find fancy word play, manipulative gimmicks, or lines shrouded in secrecy. It’s because simplicity in copy is so rare (and effective), it’s also hard to find.
We went out looking for some of the simplest copywriting on website home pages and this is what we found:
Litmus App Home Page
Litmus is a tool that helps you test your emails for compatibility across email clients and browsers. It allows for simple automated checks to see if critical elements of your email — links, campaign load time, images, and more — remain intact on all email clients (such as Outlook, Gmail, etc).
Their homepage has no fancy jargon, though. They get right to the point in the simplest possible way and very quickly at that.
A headline and a paragraph underneath it already tells you what Litmus app is all about.
A typical web hosting companies normally have a lot going on their website homepages — traditionally, it’s always been a busy place, that home page. Further, with most hosting companies, the deciding factors are usually supported.
Kinsta is a WordPress hosting solution that places your websites on Google Cloud platform and is a little paranoid when it comes to support. As far as WordPress managed hosting is concerned, Kinsta has the simplest of all homepages ever, maybe only comparable to Flywheel
Think about this: I don’t know about you but I get enraged if someone steals my time, in any way possible.
Enraged isn’t even the word. I could kill if someone were to make me wait for anything. True that sometimes time slips away. Most times, others just take time right from underneath your feet.
That’s why this line:
“Ever feel like someone else is stealing your time?”
…got my attention. It evoked those emotions. I couldn’t help but nod my head in agreement.
That’s powerful shit, by itself.
It’s another thing that Toggl uses this line on their homepage, and the tool helps you track your time well.
Note: I love those animated illustrations on the homepage, too. I wish I could get someone to do that for us.
You know what? Given just how big Shopify is, they could get away with anything. But, they don’t.
Simplicity comes to rule again with some of the simplest language ever used on a major eCommerce platform’s homepage.
Shopify is the world’s best, easiest, and the most robust eCommerce platform that enables to set up your e-commerce real fast.
First, there’s that “you” in the heading. Do we have a winner here?
Next, the sub-heading helps you understand what Shopify can do (including help you sell from the trunk of your car).
Apologies for another time tracker making its way to this list, but here’s not only an example of really simple copywriting but also an excellent product which makes its value evident instantly.
Beautiful use of colors, illustrations, copy, and an enticing Call to action are all winners on an already minimalistic layout.
If there could be elevator pitches for copywriting headlines, this would be it:
“Fully Automated Time Tracking”
Yup, that does it for the Timely App which now comes with Artificial Intelligence.
Py For Work
If you were a technology company looking for talent, how easy is it for you to understand this:
Here’s an amazing example of an app that caters to a very particular audience (technology companies) who are looking for something very specific (suite of tools to source and hire engineers and tech talent).
What happens when you use a simple headline, a paragraph below that headline that packs a punch, a call to action (or a form), and social proof all above the fold on a website?
You get unimaginable conversions, that’s what.
The headline goes: Design and Develop at the same time.
Webflow is a new-age tool used to build and develop websites without using code. While it’s not exactly like Weebly or Wix — where those are pure DIY website builders — Webflow is more like “you can drag and drop whilethe code is automatically produced”.
Webflow is incredibly flexible, powerful, and allows you to create the kind of websites you don’t ever get with WordPress or other DIY website builders.
The homepage on Monsterinsights goes something like “The Best Google Analytics Plugin for WordPress”.
Can it get any simpler than that? Plus, there’s that counter and some social proof thrown in for good measure.
MonsterInsights is a WordPress plugin that helps you make sense of your analytics. While Google Analytics is certainly a must, using Google analytics directly calls for a bit of technical savvy. Plus, most of the data in there goes above the head of most business owners.
For that reason, MonsterInsights makes it easy for you to make sense of only those numbers that matter.
You cannot “not” talk about copywriting, leads, conversions, and results without mentioning what the folks at Sumo do.
Sumo is an excellent and a must-have tool to start generating leads for your business. Regardless of the volume of traffic you get, you’ll be able to start generating leads with their famous welcome mat, pop-ups, forms in blog posts (like the one below), autoresponders, and more.
Their homepage is a fantastic example that employs brevity, clarity, simplicity, and communicates a solution to a problem every business has: generating leads.
Add power words like “free” and “automate” and Sumo has a winner.
What some of those examples of great copy on websites? Show them to me.
Front page designs for websites or hero sections of your home page is prime real estate, but most website owners and marketers treat it like garbage.
Ideally, for maximum conversions, home pages should be built like landing pages.
Landing pages are designed with a singular goal in mind: what do you want your visitors to do?
The most important thing they should do is to signup and get on your list.
Nobody is going to buy from you right away (if it happens, you are lucky)
Visitors won’t even signup for your free offers right away (Industry benchmark for conversions is a mere 1.56%
Read everything you wrote at one go and then go to your checkout page.
Arrive at your website and bookmark your page as if you were the only one out there doing what you do.
People have choices
On the Internet, everyone has low attention spans.
But then, those are landing pages and that’s why they are an important part of a marketing funnel.
Home pages, however, don’t get the respect they deserve. You call it home, and then do what?
Have a single image that never loads
Fill it up with garbage like sliders
Showcase your latest blogs
Tell the world what a huge company you are
When you build a home page like a landing page, your home page also starts working to ramp up your conversions.
Bryan Harris of VideoFruit calls a home page built like a landing page as an “Inverted Pyramid page” or as an “Upside down” page.
Call it whatever, but you should turn your home page into a landing page.
Here are 16 examples of individuals, bloggers, and companies that did just that.
Evernote, much like DropBox and Google, was always built home page designs with the sole intent of converting visitors into users. While Evernote still has a “freemium” way of doing business, the sheer elegance and the effectiveness with which it accomplishes what it does should be an inspiration for every business.
Podia (Earlier Coach)
Coach might be relatively new to the “teach your online courses” platforms, but the home page just works. The white and blue combination brings elegance, sophistication, and charm to the page.
It’s here because that home page is converting for Coach, and it’s kicking everyone else’s ass as you read this.
Notice how Webflow makes you take action, right at the top? Name, email, password, and signup.
Webflow makes everyone a designer cum developer. It’s not entirely a drag-and-drop website builder. But nor is it something for hobbyists to hack and stitch some random-looking website. Webflow brings chutzpah to HTML designs.
It boasts of fast hosting and beautiful website designs along with animations and many unique layout possibilities.
Noah kagan (OkDork)
The marketing champ, the Noah, the Kagan. The man who built AppSumo and SumoMe. Who else can teach us how to design a home page that just has to convert the way it does?
Noah has been one of those other influencers who insists on a gated home page that functions like a landing page. He probably started it all and others followed.
Robbie Richards is the go to guy when it comes to SEO. His painstakingly written, extra long blog posts apart, he is also a great case study for “content upgrades”, going deep into SEO, and while we are at it, he is also the man who seems to have ripped SEMRush apart and put it back together.
Ramit Sethi (I will Teach You To Be Rich)
Ramit is a master at marketing. An author, a celebrity, and the guy who can’t bear the thought of you sacrificing your latte. His incredibly awesome content at Iwillteachyoutoberich.com he uses several design best practices to bring him what he wants: subscribers.
You just have to love his home page design for IWillTeachYouToBeRich: He puts his face up there (I wish I had a photo like that) and starts you off playfully with a quiz. I have a feeling that the quiz results are only accessible if you provide an email address.
He also started GrowthLab – which is more like a magazine – and is an awesome read by itself.
What do accountants, book keeping guys, and fancy financial heads know a thing about marketing?
See the pretty girl talking to you over coffee? That did it for me (except that I am in India and I don’t think Bench can serve me here).
The pretty lady aside, there are just two fields and a free trial.
Bench is your personal book-keeping team. Instead of struggling to find some freelancer or an expensive full-time hire, just pick Bench and they’ll take care of book-keeping, auditing, accounting, and your other financial needs.
You’d think that “cleaning” can be a boring business to be in, right? Maybe. But MyClean does remarkable things with its home page.
Notice how you can choose your service, location, and go for a booking right away. My only worry for this home page is that MyClean might just miss out on future bookings (by using marketing automation and email nurturing) by focusing on the “now”.
A great looking page, especially for an industry that at least is not as hot as SaaS tools.
Intercom brings it all together: customer support, livechat, and the fact that you are a lovely human being who happens to run a business and also care for your customers.
It’s very popular already but take a look at their home page and you’ll love it – and not because it’s just so adorable to look at.
It’s also because Intercom makes it so damned easy to “get started”. If you are a nosy guy like me though, you’ll probably watch the video first.
The page packs a punch. Aren’t those characters on the page awesome?
Power of a video, the adorability of a child, and a single-field signup ask. That’s what makes this page such a beautiful and effective home page design for Airtable.
Airtable is an online database service. As a product, is something like a Swiss army knife. Dylan Tweney of VentureBeat writes, Airtable aims to target people who want to organize information with much greater flexibility than Excel, for instance.
Don’t let Airtable’s simplistic explanation of what it does fool you, since there’s more under the hood. The dra-and-drop interface allows you to connect millions of specialized apps, each serving a unique purpose for users.
Using Airtable’s Integrations, you can also connect other apps with Zapier and make your data come to life.
The simplistic design, a demonstration of what’s possible with an image along the CTA, and the CTA itself is a winner for Marvel App.
The Marvel App was built was developers and designers to help them design, prototype, and collaborate with teams and/or clients.
Designers and developers can create app screens directly in Marvel or add assets from Sketch or Photoshop or sync with cloud storage. Marvel’s editor allows you view, edit, and share designs right from your iphone or tablet (apart from the web).
A single call to action that fires off with users just submitting an email address to get started is something that’s apparently worked for MixPanel.
MixPanel is that little startup with an Analytics tool that beats Neil patel’s KissMetrics today. MixPanel allows you to get analytics for you to understand a users’ journey with instant insights. It also has built AB testing, funnels, engagement, and more.
Asana has color, charm, and simplicity built into its home page design. On top of that, it’s easier than ever to create an account. Signup or just login using Google.
How easy is that?
Now, a lot of people know Asana. It’s a fantastic project management tool and this is the one I use to manage all my projects, along with those of clients. Asana makes it really easy to setup projects, tasks.
If you are smart, you can also use Asana for a lot of other purposes such as a CRM, a bug tracking tool, a support desk, or whatever.
It plays well.
Imagine yourself, in the normal course of a day: blog posts, twitter feeds, Whatsapp messages, phone calls, messages, and Facebook.
Doesn’t your life look cluttered already?
Now, multiply this clutter by 10 times or 150 times. Can you imagine the chaos?
That’s what Front hopes to clear, and is a dream come true for teams. Front brings all yur external messages, emails, support tickets, Twitter updates, Facebook Messenger messages, chat, and SMS into one, unified Inbox.
The home is as simple as the app proclaims itself to be. Simple headline, a description that aids the headline, and a tempting 14 day free trial is all that there is between their users and themselves.
We are selling to people. Humans read your blog posts. Jon doe finally buys from you or becomes a user.
Take a look at their home page (and I happened to know their previous home page variant too) and they’ll usually feature a real human being (happy, of course) working away. Because everyone starts from the left of the page, the minimalistic signup form also sits on the top left.
Plus, they have a one-month free trial. Gusto’s home page ticks off everything on a typical landing page best practice guide. Minimum possible fields on form, a great background image, and testimonials (for social proof).
What does a $7-million-dollar company know about landing pages, funnels, and the art of signups?
They do know a lot when they seem like they practically invented it.
Sumo is a power Suite of tools built to do just one thing for you: build your subscribers. It also helps you get traffic and boost your social presence (but those are secondary).
For yeas now, their home page has been a terrific marketing case study: a strong offer (try free) and a simple way for people to signup.
Let’s admit it. Most small businesses have websites that have grown slow, fat, and with a serious case of code bloat.
You think not?
According to Andy Favell of Clickz, the size of webpages sent to mobile phones quadrupled in the last 5 years. Out of the entire load, images account for 68% of the ridiculous average of 2.2 MB.
We’ve seen enough cases of our clients where they don’t get the results they deserve just because of this bloated fat — and this fat comes in all sorts of things.
It’s not just file sizes and code bloat that’s the issue though. There’s also the question of website speed, security, and how your website is setup to meet goals assigned to each of those website pages.
Start with Managed Hosting
First, start off with the right kind of hosting.
If you are on HTML/CSS, go with an Amazon deployment or Google Cloud.
If you use WordPress, use any of the options below:
WordPress Managed hosting or at least using a VPS optimised for WordPress helps speed up your site and also adds various levels of security to your website. Most managed hosts have optimised infrastructure in place specific to WordPress. These hosts work around the clock to ensure clean, malware free environment.
In most cases, there’s also scalability built in to ensure that your website is not shut off when your have traffic spikes or you suddenly get famous.
Speed Up Your Slow Boat
Ask yourself this: What happens if my website is slow?
79% of customers who run into any kind of performance issues on your website are less likely to buy from you again. This covers more than just the time load time of your website, but the speed of your website is one of the easiest things to fix on order to prevent hesitation among repeat buyers.
A delay in load time of just one second can leave you with a 7% reduction in conversions. For example, if your website is bringing in $100,000 per day in sales that one second delay could be costing you $7,000 per day or more.
They also have an infographic to show how important website speed is:
Your website could suffer from any of those points, or maybe it just lacks focus. Gina Greco of Marketing Sherpa writes about a few tell tale signs that you can use to identify if your website lacks focus:
1. What does your home page have? One focus? Or many? Gina points at whether or not your home page has “all” the products or just the popular products?
2. Does your copy talk “at” your customers or talk “to” your customers?
3. She points to an important series of questions by Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS: the homepage should answer three main questions for customers almost instantly:
Where am I?
What can I do here?
Why should I do it with you?
Your website home page is too important for you to screw up with meaningless sliders, crappy graphics, and good for nothing fancy design that serves no purpose (except to massage your ego).
Your home page should focus on exactly what you need from your visitors – What’s the easiest, low-commitment task that you’d want your visitors to take? What do you want them to do? Is the home page built to work like a machine to get you the results you need?
Tim Ash, the leading landing page expert, pointed out two distinct steps to build trust with your home page. Here’s what he has to write on importance of home page design:
“A website home page is a map of the world for that site – or at least it should be. Its purpose is to let site visitors know the range of things that can be done within the site or the scope of products, services or information that can be found.
To accomplish this, visitors first need to think that your company or organization is worthy of their business and they need to trust that you can give them what they need.”
Tim recommends using social proof, endorsements, transactional assurances (by addressing visitors’ concerns at every touch point).
Personalise those Visits
Websites are lonely places and most of the browsing that happens are private instances. As such, you’ll do great if you bring in certain ways to personalise the browsing experience.
Adobe’s June briefing reports that about 37% of companies are able to target personalised web content in the right context, in real-time. These companies surveyed use personal data, purchase history, browser history, user preferences, and on-site behaviour to personalise the experience.
Ott Niggulis of ConversionXL helpfully pointed at a few case studies that just prove how effective personalisation can be:
* Visual Website Optimizer saw a 149% increase in clickthrough rates to their “careers” page.
* Bedbathstore.com improved conversion rates by by 10% throughout the site.
“You can cut through the clutter and filter out the noise by making the web experience more relevant to the individual. It’s a more targeted approach that’s been proven to be much more effective.
When you provide a personalized experience, visitors remain on your website longer, download more offers, and ultimately purchase more products.”.
If you started off with some kind of a membership site or if you happen to know when your users are logged in, you have a head start here. For bloggers, small business websites, and many other regular websites, full-fledged personalizing is harder to achieve.
Small business websites are the most guilty when it comes to not following what I call the “One Page per CTA” rule. This simply means that every page on your website should have a singular Call to Action.
This is only possible if you think ahead and decide what your goals for each page are.
* Home Page — The most important CTA ( fix an appointment? Download an eBook? Read blog? Contact? Buy something? Signup for a free trial?
* About Page — Learn more? Read your blog posts? Join your personal network?
* Product pages — Buy products
* Contact page — Contact now.
* Services — subscribe, buy, or learn more?
If you leave your website pages without a CTA, your visitors will exit just as happily as they came in. Period.