What Makes Good Web Design?

back of a man facing a board covered in notes. back of a man facing a board covered in notes. thinking about web design.

What Makes Good Web Design?

Every customer wants good web design. The first question we’re often asked is what can you do, but really people should be telling us what they want. A decent developer will be skilled enough to create what you imagine in your head. They won’t tell you what you need. They should also spend some time getting to know you and understanding your business. It’s key to helping your page do the job it was created to do. How can anyone claim to build you a great online presence if they don’t even know what you’re doing?

Thankfully Kitty from Misfitt web design & development takes a quite different approach. The first thing she always does is arrange a personal consultation. It’s vital that we understand a few basic things, and that you understand the full process too. So, what kind of questions should you be thinking about?

 

a woman holding a pen to her lips over a desk covered in papers and books thinking about web design.

What is the purpose of the website?

Ask yourself, what is the purpose of the website? This is really important as it sets the whole tone for the site you’re going to build. Ask yourself, why do you feel you need an online presence?

Are you simply wanting an information page? Do you just want people to be able to see what you do? Or would you like to collect emails and information so you can contact your customers and interested parties directly? Perhaps you want to sell a product, or sell a service. No matter what it is, you need clear direction. It all affects the final design.

What Does it Look Like?

Do you have anything in mind when you think about your website? Do you know what you’d like, what colours you might want to use, the overall ‘feel’ and message that you’re trying to convey?

Conversely, is there anything you DON’T like? What really irks you, gets your goat or really riled when you look at sites? What would you like to avoid?

How Can Customers Contact You?

How will customers contact you? Through the website itself via an online form? Directly from email? Or will they call you on the telephone?

Social Media

Ah. Social Media. The power of all those other areas like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They’re just the big three. There are heaps more places to spread your message if you want to.

You Are Not Your Customer.

You need to think about what your typical customer looks like. Most importantly, and I cannot stress this enough, you are not your target market. In fact, it’s so important, I’m going to say it again. YOU ARE NOT YOUR TARGET MARKET.

Many people I have built websites for have sometimes made comments such as “I don’t like Facebook, so I’m not going to use it.” Or they don’t use Instagram, so dismiss it entirely as a medium to find customers. Let’s say it again;

You are not your target market.

 

back of a man facing a board covered in notes.

Is it sinking in now? Just because you don’t use it, doesn’t mean that others aren’t. There are so many people out there and they’re all different. When you’re writing your website, thinking like the customer is vital.

Think Like a Customer

This will allow you to target particular people. You will probably have heard of keywords. Well yes, keywords are important, as is getting all that stuff in the background of your website that you may not understand. (Don’t worry, Kitty at Misfitt Web Design does)

When customers reach out, they’re often looking to fix a problem. Perhaps consider writing a regular blog or series of articles that will answer the questions they have. It will also pull them into your site. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter if they never read your article; getting them to your website is the main purpose.

How will you contact them?

This is another often overlooked item. Will you enter the customer information into a database, or integrate your form seamlessly with another application such as Mailchimp, the automated bulk email service? Whatever you choose to do, you must be aware that saving customer information means that you take on a duty of care. You have to ensure that whatever data you keep about your customers is secure. Really secure and kept private. You must also be aware that if any customers wishes to be given a copy of what information you do hold, or wants that information erasing, you must be able to carry out that request.

E-Commerce & Online Shopping

How will you manage your online shop? Will you use Shopify or WooCommerce? Have you considered payment options, credit card gateways and bank transfers? Dare I mention GST and tax obligations? There are a number of very good systems out there that will help make the transition to online trading fast, efficient and easy.

Don’t be Scared

This article could go on for more, discussing appointment calendars, contact systems and the like. However, the main purpose is to explain that it doesn’t have to be scary. It doesn’t have to cost the earth. With prices from as low as $1,500.00 for a custom-built website you won’t find a more dedicated developer than Kitty. She will work with you to agree layout, colours and design. She is skilled at creating clean, uncluttered and easy to use sites. Always thinking about the user experience and accessibility for everyone, it’s important to get someone that understands not only good web design, but great customer service.

Top Tech

It’s vitally important to Kitty than her customers feel comfortable, that she’s easy to get hold of and can weed out any potential issues before they become reality. That’s why she uses only the very best up to date services. With computer servers in Auckland, you can be sure that you’re going to get great speed in NZ. She also offers 99.9% uptime or you’ll receive a credit on your account. With daily backups of your site and 24/7 automatic monitoring, you know that you’re in safe hands with Kitty.

 

 

Call Kitty on 0223074553 or use the online form.

Misfitt. Talking your language.


Make it Count. Make it Misfitt.

 

Start-Up Stumbler

printed book pages lined up on the floor

Kitty writes about the evils of Procrastination

I’m terrible at taking my own advice. When talking to people about SEO (search engine optimisation) I always tell them that to really drive up organic growth they should be writing a blog. As often as possible. Weekly? That would be great but the reality is more like every month. Do they do this? No. The surge in copywriters and people skilled at writing good prose, optimised for those all-important Google algorithms is immense. Everyone promises to grow your customer base, find new areas of business. Some of the claims are really quite impressive. Do they deliver? Possibly. At a price.

Take My Advice, I’m Not Using It

But I’m not here to lament my terrible blogging skills. You can see for yourself that I’m not the world’s greatest regular blogger. (Unless you pay me of course, then I’ll turn something out quick smart.) Why is it that we don’t spend time working on promoting our own businesses? I tell people that this is worth cold, hard, cash. Do I use my own skills for myself? Of course not. Well. I am sat here on Waitangi Day morning (national holiday here in New Zealand) while everyone else is in bed, finally taking my own advice, but it took a while.

 

woman gazing out of a window
Gazing into space is much more fun than working, right?!

Toughing it Out

Starting up a small business is easy. Keeping it going is harder. I sometimes feel I’ve hit that place where it’s quite tough. Working from a home office provides so many distractions it’s not funny. It’s amazing how appealing laundry becomes when faced with the alternative of knuckling down to actually getting the job done. Procrastination abounds, but I’m trying to keep a lid on it. I have found a strange correlation between working hard and obtaining money. I quite like that bit. It’s been a slog, but steady income is beginning to come in, and it feels good.

Job Satisfaction

It’s very satisfying to know that while some around me complain bitterly about their bosses, their demands from work, I create my own future. I am my own boss, and I really should pull myself up harder. Goal setting, planning, the dreaded sales funnel. All are actually really important. Which makes me think that perhaps that monthly blog might have to go back onto the schedule. And my boss will have to make sure I write it.

Until next month. 😉

Kitty @ Misfitt – Design / Build / Digital Marketing

Google Keep (s) Your Data

Data Machine

I have this love / hate relationship thing going on with Google. I sometimes wonder if I should be more wary of the data behemoth it has become, slurping up information from every inch of our lives. Then I love the convenience of asking it a question, it all feels very Star Trek – “Computer! Tell me the answer to all my questions!”

Keep (ing)

I really like Google Keep. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a note-taking whatnot. You can take pictures or write things (if you have a fancy writing phone thing, or just use your fingertip) and you can of course type. The notes sync beautifully across all devices (well it is Google – it’s everywhere) and this means no matter where you are you can obtain your notes on stuff. I like to use it to store notes I make in my other life as a comedian. I see things or have an idea and I can quickly write it down to refer back to later. I’ve been made aware of other note things, and some look quite good, but Keep is great due to it being simple, easy and of course free. The ability to search for notes with a single word, or quickly sort through things is a great function. It’s the perfect example of a user-friendly application.

I’ve just re-read this and realise I need to quickly point out that I’m not an agent of Google. Though of course, feel free to send me money in exchange for favourable reviews. 😊

We Know Where You Live

I freaked out when I saw the timeline thing on my phone. It was all there. All of it. The creepiest thing is that while you know you can switch it off, the level of detail makes you wonder if it’s all still hiding somewhere. I was both horrified and fascinated that I could pick back through the days and see precisely where I had been and how long I had stayed. The route I took and … well. You get the idea.

It got me thinking just how much we rely on this stuff. I’m not surprised that some people are freaked out and perhaps a little scared by just how much information is recorded on them in the name of improving your search responses. And then you log onto a European site that has a fit if it has to store a cookie on your device.

Sometimes I think we’ve already lost the war on stored data. I dread to think how difficult it would be to erase the data that’s saved about us online. Ever Googled yourself? It’s quite a shock to see what results come back. Things you completely forgot about, they’re all there. For everyone to see.

Having said all that, I’m still happily writing my notes into Google Keep. And enjoying the seamless transition between my devices. No ads, no subscription, just type and store. (Along with all my personal data.)

Until next week, Kitty.

 

image of lots of words around social media - web, friends, data etc all swirling off into the distance.
image of lots of words around social media - web, friends, data etc all swirling off into the distance.
image of lots of words around social media - web, friends, data etc all swirling off into the distance.

Kapiti Women’s Expo

Expo Approaches!

I’m getting really excited about attending the Kāpiti Women’s Expo in a few weeks at Southward Car Museum. It's looking like a packed event full of interesting items with some very cool exhibitors. I'm also thrilled to be presenting some very special offers only at Kapiti Women's Expo.

Special offers from MISFITT

I’ll be offering a special discount of 25% off standard digital marketing package for three months to anyone that makes an appointment with me that day.  (Reduction of $63 - full price $250 per month.)

I’ll also be offering 20% off standard website build - five pages, contact form, and stock images to promote your brand. (discount of $400 - full price $2,000 - reduced to $1,600.00)

I’ll have some excellent offers too – win a gift box by the lovely people at Kāpiti Goodies. Each box is hand-made by the Shed Project, a local community concern that supports differently-abled people. These useful handmade wooden boxes are then filled with treats from our region.

Offer only applies to customers that make an appointment on the day of the event.

Alternatively, contact me here and let's talk.

Look forward to seeing you there!

MISFITT – talking your language.

 

Caught out by Colds

Misery at Misfitt

Well it’s been a busy week for me at Misfitt, and tougher than usual as the flu season is in full swing, and has taken its toll on me. Website design and content optimisation has had to take a back seat as I concentrate on my own health and have been resting as much as I can to ensure I can bounce back as soon as I can.

At least it has forced me to take stock of my business, work out what’s working and what needs attention, and as usual I am well overdue with my blog posts! So here I am finally heeding my own advice and writing some content in my own site.

Meet and Greet

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Kapiti Popup Business School last week to help out with their web building day. It all came about as I was at the Electra Business Breakfast, organised by Kapiti Business Projects, a great place to meet new people and make good contacts in the community.

The Popup School was full of energetic people keen to learn how to get their startups off the ground, and turn them into successful entrepreneurs as soon as possible. I was there to assist with search engine optimisation (SEO) and clear up a few confusing things around keywords and metadata.

It was a great day, especially as I managed to bag a good seat to see Ruth Pretty the Cookery School and Caterers in Te Horo in action, talking about how she started out in business herself. A really inspirational lady!

Get In On The Action

It all goes to show how lucky we are to live on the Kapiti Coast and what an exciting time to be getting involved in helping people promote themselves.

If you’d like a consultation, call me on 0223074553 or drop me a line here and let’s talk.

Kitty.

projector showing misfitt logo and kapiti popup business school
classroom with the students from the kapiti popup business school.
Ruth Pretty talking to a classroom with the students from the kapiti popup business school.

SEO Irony

SE - What?

For someone that spends a lot of time telling people to write blog posts the irony that I don't do the same is not lost on me. 😉

Discipline

I need to force myself to be more disciplined and actually put this stuff into practice more often After all, I build web sites for a living. The least I can do is think a little about my SEO. For the uninitiated, this acronym is the magic that will get your site found by your potential customers. Without it, you're languishing away at the bottom of page 8,978 or something terrible like that. However, you can fix this.

It doesn't have to be that way.

No. As the marvellous boys of Erasure pointed out, we can do something to fix this. But like all things worth doing, it takes time and effort. A blog doesn't have to be a huge outpouring of personal messages. It doesn't even have to be that long a message. It simply has to be your own work. In your own words. Sound familiar? I bet you all heard that at school too.

Like a Phoenix

Your site will rise from the Google's depths (other web crawlers / search engines are available, please delete as applicable) and you will find that given time and patience, you can vastly improve your SEO results.

Or you could use Google AdWords. But that gets so expensive so quickly.

And Naturally

Whilst I'm terrible at making myself organise my regular blog posts, I can write you amazing content from only $200.00 per post. Optimised to boost you up the rankings, I've proved over and over I'm immodestly pretty good at this stuff. Which is handy when it's my job.

Contact me, Kitty, today to find out what I can do to help you get found online.

AdWords may be easy, but can easily run up huge costs!

image of coins in stacks.

Content is King

Content is King (or Queen)

Well, that's what they say anyhow. (Should it be Content is Royal?!) Here at Misfitt Web Design and Development on the beautiful Kāpiti Coast north of Wellington I think content is pretty important too. And having someone to oversee your site and ensure that it's kept current and up to date is vital.

Who You Gonna Call? Kitty from Misfitt!

That's certainly what the good people looking after the new Kāpiti Performing Arts Centre realised. With a website that was terribly out of date and generally lacking much-needed tender loving care they were on the lookout for someone that could help. Naturally that's where I come in! With my skills in SEO, Google Analytics and IT knowledge I was delighted when they asked if I would take on the role. It's no mean feat but I'm up for the job and the first thing to do was to check for those all-important updates to plugins and the general health of the website.

Let's Rock and Roll; and Review this Website

Kāpiti's premier performing arts venue needs a premier service, and I'm currently working hard to create a fresh new look for the site. It also badly needs just some general love and attention, and of course, those regular updates to reflect what the very talented youth of not only Kapiti College, but the wider region are coming up with. Drama, dance, performances of all kinds or perhaps somewhere to hold a corporate conference? Kāpiti Performing Arts Centre has it all. And Kitty from Misfitt web design and development working hard behind the scenes will build an amazing online presence to ensure the world knows all about it.

 

Image result for content is king

 

New Year – New Look!

Get Found with Misfitt Web Design and Development

It’s a new year and we’re all thinking about kicking things off for building a successful 2019. It could be you are thinking about your targets for the year and how you will achieve your goals.

 

One thing that everyone needs is to be found easily by their customers. There is nothing worse than looking for someone on a website but there is no easily found telephone number, address or contact form. If it’s difficult to find, chances are your customers will simply give up and go elsewhere.

 

Here at Misfitt Web Design and Development good layout and ease of use is vitally important. This is known as user experience, or UX. Without it, your site can be rendered next to useless.

Search Results

And let’s not forget being found in the first place. Getting to the top of that all-important first search entry is so important. This is called search engine optimisation or SEO, and here at Misfitt it’s something Kitty is really good at.

Image result for seo meme

So if you’re looking for an update, refresh or simply want to be found more quickly and easily, give me a call on 02230 74553 and talk to me about what you need.

 

Pricing

Custom Website builds from $2,000.00

NZ Hosting from $25.00 per month

Domain Name and set up only $80.00

SEO posts to boost your results - $200 per post

Spruce up That Website!

Who What Why Where Huh?

Ah. Spring is in the air. Is it warm? Is it cold? Should you wear a jacket or not? You can never quite pitch it this early on. And oh, of course it’s also time for a bit of a spruce up and a spring clean.

And why should this be limited to your house? Have you had a look at your website recently? Are you optimised to make sure you’re site is still current, fresh and attracting new customers? Is your message getting across like it should?

There are a number of ways that you can find out if people are looking at your site. After all, you had it built and it’s there. Why build a website if you’re not going to use it? Whenever I design a new website for a customer I always ask WHY.

  • Why do you want a site?
  • What do you want it to achieve?
    • Advertising?
    • Selling?
    • To contact you?

 

And you should give thought not only to how it looks, but to how easy it is to navigate, (this is called UX or User Experience) how well linked to external browsers (they’re things like Safari and Chrome) can find you and if you’re apprearing in search results. (This is called Search Engine Optimisation or SEO.)

I always add Google Analytics to each website I build. This is vital to analysing its effectiveness. I also send out useful reports to customers that show not only how many people are looking at it, but what seach words they have used to find it. Or not find it. This report not only shows how many impressions, or times your advert was seen on screen, but crucially how many times it was clicked on, (this is called Click through rate or CTR) and the position that you were in the list. The lower the number, the better this was, and everyone wants to be top three.

It’s not all doom and gloom. By seeing what words you’re NOT using you can improve your blog posts, make your content more relevant to the searches you want to be found in, theroefore boosting your SEO and of course, that all important customer traffic to YOUR website.

So there you have it. And you know what to do. Contact Kitty from Misfitt web design and development today and arrange your Spring-clean!

Be different. Choose Misfitt.

 

Website Design Controversy!

OK. This might be kind of controversial. I’ve seen a number of posts on Wellington Facebook groups recently asking for people to build websites. Often small businesses or start-ups that are looking to build their brand and gain an online presence.

In the comments I’ve been delighted to see that some of my customers and friends have referred the person to me, but there are heaps of people suggesting the poster build their own site using online free resources like Wix and Weebly. 

seo meme rank no 1

Now there is nothing wrong really with using these web utilities. They are quite simple to use and operate and will host your site for a minimal fee. However, there are so many things that need to be thought of before embarking on the site build. 

Think about:

Who will maintain your site?
Who will rebuild it if there is a problem and you lose your site entirely? 
Who will back up your data / site and ensure it is available 24 hours a day?
Do you understand privacy laws and the requirements around data storage? 

Most importantly:
 – Can you afford to spend the time out of your business to learn how to build a professional looking site?
 – What damage do you do to your brand image if you have a poorly-built and badly maintained site that doesn’t comply with current legislation?

Most of us know how to re-wire a plug but that doesn’t mean we’d undertake rewriting our entire house. Websites require a lot of things that are ‘under the hood’ so to speak.

The answer:

When I build a site I can spend more time setting up all the background requirements than I do adding the actual content. The reason is because there is simply so much that is needed just to keep your website running smoothly and ensure it’s compliant and safe.

When you hire a professional website builder you get someone who understands what is needed to make sure you get exactly what you want, with the backup to support it and keep it running. You will also gain valuable advice about how to maximise your search engine optimisation (SEO) to make sure you are being found when people are looking for a business like yours. 

Luckily Kitty from Misfitt web design and development (that would be me) has a handle on all of this and can ensure you get it right first time, every time. And with competitive packages that will get you up and running with a clean, modern website on a professional hosting platform for only $300 deposit what are you waiting for? 

Be different. Choose Misfitt. 

Practice What You Preach

Ah. The blog. Or update, or whatever it is you want to call it. I must admit, it’s the one thing I’m forever telling people they should be doing, and yet I’m not the best at the regular updates myself. However, spurred on by a desire to do the right thing and lead by example, here’s an update.

And I of all people should be updating my blog regularly. I’m a developer, I build websites for a living and advise on SEO. I know better than most the vital importance of this. And yet still I find it difficult to do. However, I’ve begun using ‘time blocking’ to ensure I get things done. It’s actually proven really easy and a great way to remain focussed. And actually, it’s hardly rocket science. You basically decide that for an allotted time you’re going to be working on this or that project. And you simply do it. See? I told you it was easy.

The hard thing is learning to discipline yourself. No Facebook, no Twitter, no email, ‘phone on silent. Yes. On silent. Now I know we’re all about customer satisfaction, but they’re not going to be satisfied if you don’t finish the job, right? So yes. On silent. If you’re serious about customer service, you’ll have no trouble returning their calls once you’ve completed your task.

And that’s it! Easy-peasey. And now I’ve written this in my allocated time-slot, all I need to do is upload it to my website and schedule it to Facebook. Have I told you about scheduled posts yet? I’ll get onto that in the next update. Because hey, if a web designer can’t follow her own advice, why should you? And that’s the best impetus I have for continual improvement.

Remember to try time-blocking! It really will help you become more efficient and effective.

Check back next week for my next instalment!

Thanks, Kitty of Misfitt.

Wordcamp Wellington 2018

They do say there is no rest for the wicked.  I prefer to think I’m just a girl on the go. And when Misfitt heard that there was to be a WordPress Wordcamp in my native Wellington I knew I had to be there!

The flexibility of this popular template system means here I am, writing this update on the train as I travel to this action packed weekend. It’ll be great to meet other like- minded developers, expand my knowledge and find it how to create even more awesome websites!

WordPress powers a surprisingly large part of the net. It’s the world’s largest content management system (CMS) and is responsible for helping create over 25% of the world’s internet sites.  (Slight disclaimer, that’s from 2015, think that’s slightly out of date now!)

For the schedule I’m following, head on over to the Wordcamp Wellington site, or follow me here or use this handy qr code .