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Recommendations for a Great Web Designer

Web DesignIf you’re in search of a great web designer, you may want to skip Elance and go directly to Twitter, do not pass go. Finding recommended vendors and freelancers for your business may be as easy as asking the hundreds of folks in your social media network who they recommend. Here’s a breakdown of ways to find trusted contractors, by social media outlet:

LinkedIn

One of the most powerful elements of LinkedIn is the “recommendations” feature. You can write, read, and request recommendations from others in your network. It may take a little legwork, but you can use this feature to find a great copywriter, and read what others have to say about him or her. Think of it as a Yelp for people.

Twitter

While you’re missing out on the depth of information available on LinkedIn, you can get instantaneous responses. For instance, tweet “Looking for a great online bookkeeper” and you should get a bunch of responses within minutes. Give more weight to those that come from inside your network, though, as often a request for referrals will generate automated responses from a spammer. It looks like it comes from one of your friends, but is actually just an ad.

Facebook

You can post requests for referrals, just like on Twitter, and you can also search for people with those keywords in their profiles. Beware, though; just because someone is listed as “Penelope Bookkeeper” doesn’t mean they’re an expert. You could also post your request in groups that are associated with the topic (post a request for a logo designer on a graphic artists’ Facebook group wall, for example).

YouTube

It might seem a little strange to put out a call for resources via video, but why not? Especially if you have a significant following, you could get a tremendous response. Added benefit: If the project you have in mind has a visual aspect, you can demonstrate it right on the video (think office organization, website overhaul, kitchenette remodel).

Even if fourteen people recommend the same web designer, make sure to do your due diligence. Get a written quote and scope of work, ask for a list of projects completed, and confirm that that person will be doing your project personally, not outsourcing to another. With these tips in mind, you should be able to find great outsourcing resources at the click of a mouse.

Recommendations for a Great Web DesignerWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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What Makes WordPress so Popular with the Pragmatic?

WordPressIt is free

Being free is not a requirement, but it helps. WordPress, first released in May 2003 by Matt Mullenweg, it now being used by more than 300 million websites worldwide. That’s what I call growth. As a result, WordPress is my personal recommendation to anyone considering creating their blog or website.

It is functional

WordPress offers significant functionality right out of the box. It doesn’t matter if your site is a blog or a business site. It is a robust and efficient solution.

Easy to manage

I’ve always been a DIY type individual, and WordPress makes a website easy to manage by yourself.

Easy to learn

There are online communities where you can learn more about WordPress without having to figure it out on your own. Building a website is no more complex than learning to use a moderately complex application like Microsoft Word. Also, don’t underestimate the value of online tutorials. There are many.

Well supported

It’s also easy to find service providers who are experienced with WordPress when you need additional customization or personalization of your blog. Consider yours truly, the Pragmatic Web Designer. I just love to build websites: timely, practical and relevant.

Search engine friendly

Another very compelling reason to use WordPress is that search engines like Google.com and Bing.com love WordPress and rapidly index posts and pages on a WordPress site.

Flexible

You can find thousands of WordPress plugins which will enhance, and extend your blog or website. They are what make WordPress truly extendable. There are plugins for almost any purpose you can imagine. Plug-ins allow users to customize their website without having to pay a programmer or purchase expensive add-on products.

What Makes WordPress so Popular with the Pragmatic?When it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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Get Answers with Social Media

Social MediaIt used to be that all answers to your questions could be found on Google. Then, when Google became overrun with junk sites and advertisements, Wikipedia became the guru of choice. But even Wikipedia won’t give you the answer to every question you have. Sometimes the information is too ancient, or sometimes you don’t want the facts; you want an opinion. So what better place to turn to than social media?

Social media is great for the following types of questions:

Opinions

Heading to San Antonio and want to know where to find authentic Tex-Mex? Wikipedia won’t help you and Google is full of sponsored ads. So instead of doing a fruitless search, post a query on your Facebook page, and within hours your followers will have chimed in with a variety of suggestions, depending on your appetite, allergies, and budget.

When you want an opinion or suggestion, ask your social media network. They tend to enjoy giving help and assistance, and the resulting information may be more appropriate to your circumstance than a review written by a nameless, faceless entity.

New technology questions

Your brand-new video camera won’t boot up after the last charge. You could spend an hour or two on the manufacturer’s website, searching the FAQ pages for an answer. You could google the problem, but all the answers you get are for the previous model. So you send out a plea for help from the Tweetiverse, and within minutes you have a handful of suggestions, as well as the site to go to for expert help.

Google often doesn’t help much with tech questions because there either aren’t enough answers out there to make it to the first page of the search results, or the resulting pages are all scams, junk sites, or sponsored posts for services that will fix your camera for a small fee. That’s why you can often save time by asking your network first.

References and referrals

Looking for a great handyman in Manhattan can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. You can go through the Yellow Pages or check online, but are any of these guys any good? To know for sure you need a personal reference or referral, and that’s where your social media network can really help out. Post a Facebook query or tweet it out there, and you’ll get answers that will steer you in the right direction.

We often think of social media as a way to just hang out with our friends and colleagues, but it is actually one of the greatest examples of the wisdom of crowds. Take advantage of it, and save time, too.

Get Answers with Social MediaWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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How Much Does a Quality Website Cost?

Web DesignPlanning your web design budget

Every website is different, making pricing an “art” more than a “science” with web developers using many methods to determine the cost of web design. There are four common types of web design pricing today: Hourly rates, Project price, Package rates, and Per page. Below we describe each of the common methods for website pricing. If you already have a requirements list for your website, ask for a quote.

Charging hourly

A prevalent way for web designers to charge is by the hour. Depending on the experience, your location, and many other factors, the hourly rate can be anywhere from $10 outsourced overseas to $200 per hour for a high-level consultant! It is is a vast difference, but you can find both and everything in between.

The important thing is to remember – you do “get what you pay for.” Make sure the web developer is worth the rate they charge. Always check with the designer’s past clients. Standard hourly rates:

  • Student/Offshore: $10-$30/hour
  • Freelancer: $35-$100/hour
  • Expert Consultant: $50-$200/hour
  • Company: $75-$150/hour

Per project pricing

Many web design firms will give you a set price to complete your project. It can be a good option. Make sure you have a thorough and complete requirements list before you begin the project. A good design firm will break out each proposal section with a list of features, specifications, and assumptions for each section of your website. Please make sure you get it in writing, so you both have clear expectations. Typical pricing for projects:

  • Outsourced Offshore: $500 – $15,000
  • US Designer: $3,000 – $20,000
  • US Web Design Firm: $5,000 – $50,000

Package rates

Many web designers will have pre-made packages that are usually cheaper than the project model. The drawback of packages is that they try and fit your business into a pre-made website that might not have all the bells and whistles a custom site has. Most designers, however, will have a flat package rate then allow you to request customization at an additional charge. Package rates at Pragmatic Web Design begin at $299 for up to 3 pages.

Per page pricing

Some web designers charge a flat rate per page; this can range from as low as $50 to $200 per page. This pricing is usually for basic static brochure websites that do not require a lot of custom features. The per-page price may go down with a bulk discount depending on the number of pages you need. Typically, designers with less experience are the ones who usually charge per page prices.

Brochure websites

In this day and age, a company needs to have an online presence and a corporate brochure site. A “brochure” site means a website that serves as an online brochure that gives general information about your company’s products and services. A brochure site does not have complex database programming, e-commerce, or lots of interactivity. It serves as an online advertisement that features graphic design. These websites may start for as little as $500 or be as high as $2,500.

Complex websites

E-commerce, Corporate or Commercial websites can range from very simple to very complex. There are quite a few things to consider when preparing to budget. More complex sites feature a greater level of interactivity and database integration. You may need a private intranet for employee communication and document sharing, or an extranet to share information and track vendors and customers. If you choose the lowest price possible, you will probably not get any qualified providers to respond. These websites usually start around $5,000 and can go as high as $25,000 depending on the complexity. Sites can go as high as $100,000.

Summary

If you have a requirements list for your website or would like to develop one, call 239-400-0622 or email [email protected] a request for a quote. At Pragmatic Web Designer, we make estimating a project easy. Package pricing is online, and our other rates are $50 an hourly or $100 a page. A requirements list is the basis for project proposals.

How Much Does a Quality Website Cost?When it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. You can reach us by phone at (561) 543-2892 or email: [email protected]

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The Correlation Between Traffic and Sales

Web DesignMost of us involved in the internet or online marketing understand the correlation between traffic and sales. The more people who visit your site, the more sales you’re going to have. But just getting traffic to your site isn’t always enough to grow your sales. It’s important to be sure that you’re doing everything you can to maximize the number of sales that you get from the current traffic you have, and to make sure once someone has visited, they keep coming back.

How to Get The Sale

First of all, rethink how you sell to your customers. Instead of giving a hard sell, always keep in mind how you can best benefit your reader. People are more likely to buy from someone they trust, so write your sales copy as if you were trying to tell a friend about a great product. It will make the reader feel as if you’re talking directly to them.

After you’ve made some sales, try to get testimonials or reviews from your customers. It’s important to put a variety of comments; include the bad with the good. If all you’ve got are string after string of positive comments, it looks phony. The important thing is that people are more likely to trust buying from you when they see that other’s have. It’s called the “bandwagon” syndrome – everybody wants to jump on it!

Use enticing images of your product, showing it in use if possible. When people see something being used, it makes them think of how they could use it for themselves, giving them more incentive to buy.

If you can, offer bonuses for the purchase of your products. Let people see the monetary value of the bonus; they’ll feel more like they’re getting more value for their money.

Don’t forget to ask for the sale! I’ve seen so many sites that have a beautiful copy that lists benefits of the product, great bonuses, and lots of convincing testimonials – and then never tells the visitor “Click Here to Buy!” People have a tendency to do what they’re told; it’s human nature. When you see a big red button that says click here – you’re likely to click it! It’s also important that you make it very clear what they need to do to purchase. Make sure the link is big and obvious.

Keep Them Coming Back

Once you’ve made the sale, you want to make sure you don’t lose contact with the customer. If they’re happy with their purchase, they’re more likely to buy from you again. Even if someone hasn’t purchased from you before, if you can get them to return to your site over and over, you’re much more likely to make a future sale. Don’t let these potential customers slip away!

A frequently updated blog on your site is one way to keep them coming back. Talk about issues that are important to your customers; talk about updates to the product, new ways to use it, or new products that they might be interested in. But not just that; if applicable, talk about yourself and let them know there’s a real person out there behind what you’re selling. They’re more likely to trust you, which means they’re more likely to buy your products.

Another way to keep people connected is by way of a forum. This is a very effective way of bringing people back to your site and keeping them engaged. It also gives them an easy way to talk directly to you about questions about your products, which increases the trust factor like nothing else.

While increased search traffic is always a worthwhile goal, optimizing your sell rate and increasing customer loyalty are ways to maximize your income without relying too heavily on the search engines. It’s the threefold approach that will lead to your success.

The Correlation Between Traffic and SalesWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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Premium Theme Options for the Pragmatic

WordPressAside from the two big players already talked about, there are other places to purchase premium themes. Two of our favorites are Theme Forest and Woo Themes.

Theme Forest

Theme Forest is a marketplace where developers can list their themes for sale. They pay Theme Forest a commission between 30% and 50%, depending on exclusivity and volume of sales.

WordPress themes begin at about $20, but the typical price is $35. Because Theme Forest is simply a marketplace, there is no guarantee that the themes you find there will be of a certain quality, so you need to do your due diligence. Theme Forest does not offer support for the themes they sell – for that you need to go to the developer itself – although they are good about refunds should you run into a problem.

WooThemes

http://www.woothemes.com/

WooThemes is another premium theme vendor. Unlike Theme Forest, WooThemes develops their own themes, so the quality is consistent. They also offer a little different pricing structure. All themes are $70 each, and with that, you have a license to use that theme on as many sites as you like. Or for $150 you also receive the layered PSD files for easy customization.

If you have a lot of sites, though, or are a WordPress developer, the best option is to sign up for their Theme Club Subscription. The signup fee is either $125 or $200 (depending on if you opt for a developer membership or not), plus $20 – $25 each month. This gets you instant access to all 100+ themes WooThemes currently offers, plus 2 new themes each month.

In addition, if you choose the developer option, you’ll also receive the complete PSD files for every theme you download, making it a simple thing to completely update the theme and make it fit the style of your blog or website.

Premium Theme Options for the PragmaticWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]

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How to Maximize Sales Using the Internet

Web DesignMost of us involved in the internet or online marketing understand the correlation between traffic and sales. The more people who visit your site, the more sales you’re going to have.  But just getting traffic to your site isn’t always enough to grow your sales. It’s important to be sure that you’re doing everything you can to maximize sales that you get from the current traffic you have, and to make sure once someone has visited, they keep coming back.

How to get the sale

First of all, rethink how you sell to your customers. Instead of giving a hard sell, always keep in mind how you can best benefit your reader.  People are more likely to buy from someone they trust, so write your sales copy as if you were trying to tell a friend about a great product. It will make the reader feel as if you’re talking directly to them.

After you’ve made some sales, try to get testimonials or reviews from your customers. It’s important to put a variety of comments; include the bad with the good. If all you’ve got are string after string of positive comments, it looks phony. The important thing is that people are more likely to trust buying from you when they see that other’s have.  It’s called the “bandwagon” syndrome – everybody wants to jump on it!

Use enticing images of your product, showing it in use if possible. When people see something being used, it makes them think of how they could use it for themselves, giving them more incentive to buy.

If you can, offer bonuses for the purchase of your products. Let people see the monetary value of the bonus; they’ll feel more like they’re getting more value for their money.

Don’t forget to ask for the sale! I’ve seen so many sites that have beautiful copy that lists benefits of the product, great bonuses, and lots of convincing testimonials – and then never tells the visitor “Click Here to Buy!” People have a tendency to do what they’re told; it’s human nature. When you see a big red button that says click here – you’re likely to click it! It’s also important that you make it very clear what they need to do to purchase. Make sure the link is big and obvious.

Keep them coming back

Once you’ve made the sale, you want to make sure you don’t lose contact with the customer. If they’re happy with their purchase, they’re more likely to buy from you again. Even if someone hasn’t purchased from you before, if you can get them to return to your site over and over, you’re much more likely to make a future sale. Don’t let these potential customers slip away!

A frequently updated blog on your site is one way to keep them coming back. Talk about issues that are important to your customers; talk about updates to the product, new ways to use it, or new products that they might be interested in. But not just that; if applicable, talk about yourself and let them know there’s a real person out there behind what you’re selling. They’re more likely to trust you, which means they’re more likely to buy your products.

Another way to keep people connected is by way of a forum. This is a very effective way of bringing people back to your site and keeping them engaged. It also gives them an easy way to talk directly to you about questions about your products, which increases the trust factor like nothing else.

While increased search traffic is always a worthwhile goal, optimizing your sell rate and increasing customer loyalty are ways to maximize your income without relying too heavily on the search engines. It’s the threefold approach that will lead to your success.

How to Maximize Sales Using the InternetWhen it comes to building your brand, your website is one of your most powerful tools. Contact Dr. John Elcik at identityXperts to handle all of your web design needs. We can be reached by phone, at (239) 400-0622, or email: [email protected]