Tag Archives: website launch

Websites for Start-up Businesses

At OMdeSIGN we produce a host of state of the art, beautifully designed websites for start-up businesses and local companies.

We don’t make any distinction between working on projects such as these and on branding or development which is designed to operate on a global basis. The time we take to get a handle on exactly who the client is, what they do and how they want to be presented to the world, allied to our commitment and attention to detail, often results in a project which take the form of an interactive experience linking the owners of the business, OMdeSIGN and the all-important end user.

If you’re starting, or are planning to start, your own business, then you’ll naturally be an expert in the service or product which you’re seeking to provide, and will be keenly impatient to get that message out to the wider world via your own website. The days when an online presence could be regarded as either a luxury option or a virtual adjunct to the wider business are long gone.

Put simply, if you don’t exist online – and by ‘exist’ we mean boast a website which is effective, accessible and easy to find – then, to all intents and purposes you hardly exist as a business.

With a few extremely niche exceptions, virtually all businesses will attract new custom, build their client base and expand into new territories via their online presence. Your competitors, whether large or small, will all have websites, and so your aim is to create – or have created for you – a site which can better those of your rivals in terms of form and function. The ‘democratisation’ of the web is such that even the smallest business can compete with huge multi-nationals, using flexibility, innovation and attention to detail to differentiate themselves. The key lies in finding an agency that can meet that brief, and OMdeSIGN is just such an agency.

We’ve created a huge number of start-up websites over the years, and amongst the sectors which we’ve worked in recently are the following:

How much does a website cost?

The only honest answer to that question is that it’s not really possible to say, any more than it is to answer the question ‘How long is a piece of string?’ Every site we create is bespoke, tailor made and individually crafted to answer the needs of your business and your end users; the customers and prospective customers you need to impress. For that reason, the price of each website will vary, because each website will be an individual, unique project. The promise we do make is that our pricing structure will be transparent and easily understood from beginning to end. If our portfolio appeals to you and you’d like a website of the same quality, then contact us with a few details and we’ll happily provide a quotation. And you know what? There’s every chance it might actually be cheaper than you imagine.

Dating Websites. Looking for the perfect match?

Looking for the perfect match? We guarantee OMdeSIGN will make your heart beat that little bit faster the first time you set eyes on us 😉

Let’s be honest, mention the words ‘Online Dating’ a few years ago and, well……. you wouldn’t have mentioned it would you? You’d have kept it a secret, been a little embarrassed, thought it was the kind of thing that women who live with too many cats or men who think ‘Jedi Knight’ is a real thing to be tended to do. Not any longer. The rush to social media, meaning more and more people spend more and more of their life online, has altered the situation radically. You stay in touch with your friends and family online, you do more and more of your shopping online, and use the same tools when you trace your family tree, watch your favourite box sets or research your holiday. Mobile technology has increased online access even further, and with this ease of access comes ease of opportunity, so why not find love there as well? The short answer to that question is that there’s absolutely no reason why not, and a huge number of reasons to get online and start searching for Miss, Mr or Ms Right.

The latest research (as published at www.dailymail.co.uk), the result of a survey carried out by the online dating service eHarmony, indicates that the situation as it stands today, in which over a third of marriages begin with an online romance, is set to accelerate in the future. Before too long, it is predicted that 38% of couples will originally have met via an online dating site or matchmaking service. Given the rapidly accelerating spread of mobile online contact and social media, it should come as no real surprise to discover that, by 2040, seven out of ten couples will be able to thank online dating or other online communication for bringing them together. Drilling down into the figures, what’s more, uncovers the fact that an online inspired relationship needn’t be any less stable than its analogue counterpart. Of the 19, 131 married couples who took part in the survey, only 6 per cent of those who met online had gone on to be divorced, compared to 7.6 per cent of those meeting in the ‘real world’.

So not only is online dating a large and thriving market, but it’s one which is growing exponentially and looks set to keep expanding into the future. It’s no longer an embarrassing secret, it’s a mainstream activity, and as it moves into an increasing number of niche areas, it’s bound, somewhere out there, to be suitable for you and your individual speciality.

The popularity of dating websites is driven, in large part, by the lack of pressure they represent. It’s entirely up to each individual user how far, how fast and how deep they wish to go. Users can come from all age groups, all parts of society and have all manner of expectations, whether they’re looking for friendship, a brief flirtation, a lifetime of love or just a few hours laughing and chatting with like-minded individuals.

 

If you want to get involved in the supply of dating sites and are wondering where to start, the answer is to ask yourself a few vital questions:

What is your unique offer going to be?

What will make your dating site different?

Will you specialise, and if so in which arena?

Maybe you’ll construct a site targeting people of a certain age, be it the growing ‘silver surfer’ movement of older people online, young professionals, students or perhaps wealthier professionals, people like doctors, lawyers and architects.

No matter who your site is aimed at, the key to success is ease of use. As a web designer it’s all too easy to become overly absorbed in complex design ideas and the striking use of graphics. Whilst the look of your site may well be what first attracts casual visitors, the most beautiful and aesthetically innovative site in the world will fail if users find it difficult to navigate. Anyone visiting your site, especially for the first time, is going to be using all of their time and energy wondering how exactly to present themselves, and trying to capture both their personality and what, or who, it is they are looking for. Any technical issue which gets in the way of entering and storing this information, or makes it difficult to do so, is just going to frustrate would-be users and stop the experience being the fun it ought to be.

A user verification system will ensure that all of your users are totally genuine, and will also offer the reassurance that anyone they meet on the site is equally ‘for real’. User profiles should also contain all the necessary information other users will be looking for, and searching for that perfect profile should be made as simple as possible.

Here at OMdeSIGN we’ll design a dating site with the following features:

  • Profile search filters including distance, zip code, city, county, username and individual keywords.
  • An option to narrow down the geographical area of each search.
  • Quick Search forms, Advanced Search forms and the ability to save the criteria searched for.
  • Communication tools such as a mailbox and internal messaging. Above all else, a site of this kind is about easing communication. That’s why we’ve improved our user interface and made it possible to start new conversations straight from the mailbox, alongside providing auto-complete suggestions from the friends list, if you’re wondering exactly who to send that message to.
  • Photo Uploading – users may insist they’re looking for just the right personality, but trust us, a photograph is still all important.

Added extras, the kind of bonus features which will really make your site stand out, include matchmaking, a virtual gift shop, a general chat ‘Shoutbox’, the option to connect with Facebook, a profile building tool, private messenger, public chat forums and classified ads. The idea behind these extras is that you’ll be creating a one stop shop offering everything required no matter what your guests are looking for.

We know, we had you at hello, and you’d like to know how to create your dating site. With us by your side it really is simple: you provide a name and idea and we do the rest – designing your unique logo and branding and crafting a bespoke splash page to greet visitors. If you’d like to know more, just get in touch. We give you this promise – we will keep your number, and we will call back…

Why not get started with contacting our studio and we can take it from there?

Your Essential Checklist before launching your website. Part 2

In the excitement and rush to launch your new website it can be all too easy to overlook some very important things. Drawing on our extensive web design experience, we’ve compiled a simple at-a-glace checklist to help you optimise your website before you go live.

Pre-launch checks

6. Performance

It’s a simple fact, a faster site gets better rankings. It also reduces frustrating load times and therefore the risk of losing browsers. Services such as Google Page Speed can help you check the load time of your pages. Compressing any images or keeping them as small as possible is also a good way of improving load times.

7. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO means making your site as visible as possible to the search engines in order to get your site ranked as high as possible in the listings.

Titles and headlines – page titles and main headlines play a key role in this. You should think of them in terms of what your users will type in as their search and also to give them an immediate insight into what they can expect to find. Users will click on what they think is most relevant to their search, so put yourself in their shoes and adjust your key messages accordingly.

Keywords – good use of keywords is vital. Make sure your headlines and text include a good density of your keywords in both their singular and plural forms. But keep it natural so that it doesn’t look forced.

Image Alt-Tags – use short descriptions to make sure your site includes relevant and descriptive alt-tags.

Descriptive URLs – check the format (user/search engine friendliness) of your URLs. Your website’s URL enables search engines and users to quickly view the content of your pages.

8. Social Media Sharing Tools

Encourage your site visitors to help promote your business through social media. So before launching your website, you need to secure the name of your site on the major social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest. Also make sure you embed social media sharing tools into your site.

9. Legal considerations

Make absolutely sure that your website complies with all relevant legal considerations that pertain to your online business. Issues can include:

Data Protection and Privacy – if you capture or distribute data or use cookies, then you need a simple, clear policy. You will need to display a Data Protection statement on the relevant pages on your site together with contact details for further information.

Copyright – make sure the copyright ownership is clearly stated.

Terms and conditions – these need to be provided if you are offering a service or providing e-commerce facilities.

Company Registration Information – limited/registered companies are legally obliged to clearly display the registered company name, number and address on your website.

10. Final Tips

Web Analytics – these track visits to your site and gather valuable information about daily hits, monthly page views, time spent on site etc. The statistics not only show how well your website is performing, but can also show you where improvements can be made – for example, if key pages aren’t holding users’ attention. Google Analytics is one of the most common tracking services and you can sign up free!

Favicon – when your website is open in a user’s tab or window, a favicon is a device that brands the tab or window and is also saved with the bookmark, allowing your web pages to be quickly and easily recognised. Try saving favicon.ico in your root directory as some browsers will automatically pick up the favicon from there.

11. Tell the world!

Promote, promote, promote! Use emails, tweets, Facebook updates, friends and anyone and anything to announce the launch of your new website and drive more traffic to your site – this in itself will help in the rankings battle.

Remember, from now on your business has a 24/7 presence in the world – how good is that!

Your Essential Checklist before launching your website. Part 1

In the excitement and rush to launch your new website it can be all too easy to overlook some very important things. Drawing on our extensive web design and development experience, we’ve compiled a simple at-a-glance checklist to help you optimise your website before you go live.

The design and build stage

Text font and size – ensure all text is clear and easy to read with good line spacings. Large text and plenty of white space works well on the web.

Contrast – today’s screens show up subtle differences in colour, so make sure your design and text complement each other and enable maximum clarity.

Consistency – this is vital across your entire site so that users don’t get confused or fed up. Consistency also makes you look professional. Buttons and links should be obvious, while headlines and sub-headlines should be consistent in style, size and colour.

Coming Soon – it’s a good idea to include a ‘Coming Soon’ page to encourage users to bookmark your site. But make sure it’s just as impactful and well designed as the rest of your site.

Pre-launch checks

Whatever you do, do not skip these vital checks before launching your site!

1. Proofreading

Nothing says unprofessional as immediately as poor spelling and grammar. Spellchecks are important but not good enough on their own (especially if you’re a UK site and your spellchecker automatically changes things into American spelling!) – you should proofread everything twice, especially to check that no ‘lorem ipsum’ test content are still in place.

Triple check that all contact details are correct – names, phone numbers, email addresses etc.

2. Navigation and Functionality

Check everything is exactly where it should be, functions properly and that all buttons and links take you to where they should take you. It’s also a good idea to make sure your logo links to your home page.

3. Updates

Give your audience a quick and easy way to receive new updates without always having to visit your site. Let them subscribe free to an RSS feed link via your Blog so that any updates can automatically be available to them.

4. Cross-browser checks

Your website needs to work across all the most popular browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome.

5. Compatibility and Validation

Compatibility – make sure your website works across all devices, including desktop and mobile.

Validation – sites often fail to validate for simply rectified reasons. It’s important to understand any errors in order to be able to remove the causes.

JavaScript – for security reasons, many web browsers turn off JavaScript. So you need to ensure any response forms or similar will still complete server-side validation checks without Java-Script. This is especially important when talking about ecommerce London projects so please make sure this requirement is not overlooked.

Continue reading here:

Your Essential Checklist before launching your website. Part 2

Web Design Awards & Recognition

Web Design Awards

Whenever we ask our customers how they became aware of our website design studio, 7 out of 10 claim their starting point was searching for winners of website design awards. Our websites have been recognized for their high level of visual creativity, professionally coded CSS, excellent user experience and clean, W3C compliant code. How easier to spot excellence in any industry than by the accolades given out by judges and insider specialists. We are incredibly thankful for the kind words and recognition we have received so far and in the work we create will continuously endeavour to settle for nothing less than award-winning standard.

March 2012

Our Web Design Studio featured on CSS Design Awards, a living archive of the world’s greatest websites and an inspirational showcase celebrating emerging talent. The goal of CSS Design Awards is to capture every step in the rapid evolution of web design and to shine a light on designers that inspire us all.

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March, 26th 2012

omdesign.co.uk is a featured website on Design Delight.

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February 2012

OMdeSIGN London website featured on Best CSS Vault, an Inspiration Gallery of beautiful CSS websites.

best-css-vault Web Design Awards

January 2012

OMdeSIGN featured on CSS Nature.

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January 2012

OMdeSIGN featured on Neue CSS, a showcase of inspirational quality CSS websites, serving as inspiration for the design community.

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December, 18th 2011

OMdeSIGN featured on Web Design Inspiration, a premium web design inspiration gallery.

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November, 17th 2011

Our London Web Design Agency featured on CSS Mania, one the most visited CSS showcase websites featuring only beautiful websites written in valid XHTML/HTML5/CSS.

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